# Feminists Who Practice Gender Discrimination

You know what annoys me more than I can express? You can be a person who is only interested in attaching yourself to some guy, becoming his maid and mostly bored sexual partner, you can happily dilute your identity in his completely, even give up your name for him, live as his kept toy, abandon your career to serve his needs (I can give links but do I really need to?), and still call yourself a feminist IF you happen to have a vagina.

At the same time, you can dedicate your life to activism on behalf of gender equality, work hard to maintain the principles of equality in your life, acquaint yourself with feminist theory and improve daily upon its practice but your right to call yourself a feminist will still be disputed IF you happen to have a penis.

And the most hilarious thing of all? The people who award the title of a feminist or withdraw it on the basis of the shape of one’s genitals don’t see a problem with calling themselves feminists. They engage in blatant gender discrimination but see their own feminism as holier-than-thou.

This is precisely the reason why radical feminists often exhibit vicious hatred towards transgender people. In their neatly ordered universe of “penis=male=bad” and “vagina=female=good”, complexities of gender identifications serve as a disruptive, destabilizing force that – oh, horror! – might require one to question the gender binary. And who needs to go to all that trouble when you can simplify your life so much by analyzing the world through the male / female lens?

The entire point of feminism is supposed to be that vaginas and penises should not have meanings assigned to them. (Except, of course, the very individual, personal meaning one might or might not choose to assign to her or his own genitals.) And here come these pseudo-feminists whose entire worldview is based on the difference between penises and vaginas and who do nothing but invent new meanings for these organs.

Seriously, with such friends, feminism needs no enemies.

## 294 thoughts on “Feminists Who Practice Gender Discrimination”

1. Ruminations about feminism divorced from specifics and definitions of terms (such as radical feminists, which to a historian is a chronologically tethered moment) make it hard for me to discuss this, although I’d like to because nothing makes me quite so happy as chatting away about feminism. Are these feminist academics, theorists, people walking around in your world? I’m all for the larger discussion of feminism, but can’t really figure out how to do it here, which kind of bums me out.

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1. The post was written in response to the post I linked to, that’s all. I saw it in my blogroll and got annoyed. I think it’s very representative of the kind of things a vertain group of pseudo-feminists likes to promote.

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2. Believe me, I (and Jaime) know all about the evils of radical feminism. They make me physically ill, and I’d rather not share a planet with them, never mind the label of “feminist”. Their rhetoric of “gynergy”, talking about how trans* women “disrupt the goddess”, and describing them as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” makes me crush coal into diamonds.

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Sexists are everywhere. Big surprise. What would interest me is to see the statistics on how many of those who call themselves feminist exhibit sexism (and to what extent) relative to how many of those who do not call themselves feminist.

I believe that feminism actually attracts sexists. Certainly there are some strong arguments to make that case but I would still like to see that confirmed or refuted with some empirical evidence.

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1. Feminism is all based on the idea that the shape of your genitals should not be invested with any meaning. That’s as anti-sexist as it gets. Of course, every political movement has an insane radical wing or a bunch of ignoramuses who join because they have nothing else to do. That does not discredit the entire movement, though.

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If only stating the goals of a movement were enough to ensure that all its members agree with those goals life would be so easy. My experience is that the egalitarian feminists are the exception rather than exemplary. More importantly, those who have political and medial influence are often radicals who go largely unchallenged by the majority of the movement.

So what are us outsiders supposed to believe? There just aren’t enough articles like this one to make a convincing case that feminism is inherently egalitarian. In fact the fast majority of such articles are from people who openly oppose feminism.

One of the best feminist efforts to talk about men’s issues I’ve seen so far (NSWATM) has all but failed due to it’s almost exclusive focus on minorities.

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1. “More importantly, those who have political and medial influence are often radicals who go largely unchallenged by the majority of the movement.”

– I don’t know for sure but I have a sneaking suspicion that my blog is more popular than the one I linked to. 🙂

“So what are us outsiders supposed to believe? There just aren’t enough articles like this one to make a convincing case that feminism is inherently egalitarian.”

– I’m trying to post as much as I can. 🙂

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“- I’m trying to post as much as I can.”

I really didn’t mean that as a demand from you personally. You’re awesome enough as you are.

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4. And the real surprising part is that when feminists start wondering about why people choose not to become feminists they will literally point to everything under the sun from media spin, Rush Limbaugh, MRAs, non feminists who can’t think for themselves, and all in between. But how many of them will admit shit like this is part of the reason why?

As for that opening paragraph about that big event they don’t want to mention my money says it has something to do with a certain High Sschool student that recently transferred away…

I’m sorry but if you’re going to hold my gender against me while at the same time telling me I’m the one that needs to check my privilege you’re doomed as far as I’m concerned.

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1. “And the real surprising part is that when feminists start wondering about why people choose not to become feminists they will literally point to everything under the sun from media spin, Rush Limbaugh, MRAs, non feminists who can’t think for themselves, and all in between. ”

-Exactly! This attitude literally drives crowds of people away. Yet in gender Studies there is article upon article published pondering the most bizarre explanations as to why feminism is getting less popular by the day. They build a ghetto around themselves and then protest against living in a ghetto.

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And one of the most frequent arguments I’ve heard is the “you don’t know how privileged you are” ad hominem. The “logic” behind that statements is that those who have privilege are inherently ignorant of their privilege and because all men are privileged therefore all men are ignorant of gender oppression (of women).

The fact that the very same argument can just as easily be stated with the sexes reversed seems to escape them. Either way, it is consistently and almost exclusively men who have to acknowledge their privilege in almost any feminist context. I’m going to lean out of the window and postulate that women in feminist circles enjoy an authoritative privilege that is deeply sexist and ruthless in its application. In other words, the use of male privilege as a silencing method is itself a form of female privilege within feminism and perhaps outside of feminist circles as well.

And the privilege to silence people or deny them a voice is perhaps the most powerful of them all.

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1. And one of the most frequent arguments I’ve heard is the “you don’t know how privileged you are” ad hominem. The “logic” behind that statements is that those who have privilege are inherently ignorant of their privilege and because all men are privileged therefore all men are ignorant of gender oppression (of women).

And how many times have you seen this as (usually) the last item on a Male Privilege Checklist? Now I can understand how someone can not be aware of an unfair advantage but there comes a line where one crosses from trying to “raise awareness” and go into “when all else fails play this final trump card to defend against dissenting voices” territory.

And the privilege to silence people or deny them a voice is perhaps the most powerful of them all.
Of course it is. With that power you literally control the conversation. Sure its not the same as sending people off to camps/prisons/exile but it serves damn near the same effect.

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@ Danny
“With that power you literally control the conversation. Sure its not the same as sending people off to camps/prisons/exile but it serves damn near the same effect.”

How do you think sending people off to camps is justified? With words. Dehumanization is a classic basis for justifying ethnic cleansing.
I should add that I do not believe feminism will result in some form of mass male extermination (even if there are some who call for it).

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3. “As for that opening paragraph about that big event they don’t want to mention my money says it has something to do with a certain High Sschool student that recently transferred away…”

Can someone tell me what the big thing was that happened last week? I missed it on the basis that my brain melted down two weeks ago and I haven’t had time to read up the 382 posts in my Google Reader so far -.-

Also, the mean thing about privilege, at least in its typical narrative, is that it is actually impossible to not have privilege. You either admit that you are privileged beyond fuck or you are guilty of taking advantage of your privilege to be ignorant of your prileges.

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5. It’s the cult of suffering again. You can be a feminist only if you suffer. If you try to do something to alleviate that suffering, you are not really one of the party of sufferers, hence your inner purity is under question.

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1. It’s the cult of suffering again. You can be a feminist only if you suffer.
Oh but there’s more to it than that. Not only do you have to suffer but you have to be “the right kind” of sufferer.

This will come into play when it comes time to talk about why such feminists can simultaneously fight for the rights of a woman that was abused by her husband, deny a transgender woman her womanhood (because apparently Teh Patriarchy doesn’t do that good of a job on gender policing so they have to pick up the slack), be okay with an abused hetero man being turned away from a shelter because he is a man, and perform an act of surgery on the issue homophobia against gay men to separate the gender aspect and make it look like it was just about his sexual orientation while at the same time super gluing sexual orientation and gender together when it comes homophobia against gay women.

You must be a woman for your suffering to actually be acknowledge when it comes to folks like that.

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“- I’m trying to post as much as I can.”

I really didn’t mean that as a demand from you personally. You’re awesome enough as you are.

Oh, that’s so good to hear! Thank you. 🙂

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1. lamestllama says:

The only thing that would be more awesome would be $\emph{BloggerClarissa}^{n}$ for some large $n$.

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1. I have no idea what this means. 🙂 It looks too mathematical for me to understand.

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1. lamestllama says:

@JFA I love the videos! I wouldn’t mind having a training session myself. But you would have to go easy on me.

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1. I was only able to teach anyone for a few sessions, so I upped the intensity at times.

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How do you think sending people off to camps is justified? With words.
I’m not saying it is. The “of course it is” was in answer to you commenting that the privilege to silence/deny is perhaps the most powerful of all.

I should add that I do not believe feminism will result in some form of mass male extermination (even if there are some who call for it).
I don’t think it will either. But you would think that people who are rallying against a group that’s been oppressed for longer than people have existed they would be mindful not to do the same to others wouldn’t you?

Sure its not the same as sending people off to camps/prisons/exile but it serves damn near the same effect.
“Damn near the same effect” being “get rid of those who don’t agree with you”. I should have clarified that I meant that more in relation to say political prisoners than mass extermination or ethnic cleansing.

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8. lamestllama says:

How did I miss this great post !!!

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9. lamestllama says:

I just discovered I can typeset with $\LaTeX$ on WordPress blogs

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1. lamestllama says:

So your husband being a statistician will definitely use latex to write up his papers it is a typesetting language all you need do is use the dollar sign then write the word latex then any valid latex and finish with the dollar sign so I can do maths here now – $$\lambda(\mathcal{G} \cbox \mathcal{H} \geq \lambda( \mathcal{G}) + \lambda( \mathcal{H}).$$

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1. “So your husband being a statistician will definitely use latex”

– It took me a while to realize that the sentence “your husband will use latex” did not mean what I thought it did. 🙂

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2. lamestllama says:

perhaps that was a little too advanced – $\sum\limits_{i=0}^n i^3$

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10. Talis says:

“You know what annoys me more than I can express? You can be a person who is only interested in attaching yourself to some guy, becoming his maid and mostly bored sexual partner, you can happily dilute your identity in his completely, even give up your name for him, live as his kept toy, abandon your career to serve his needs (I can give links but do I really need to?), and still call yourself a feminist IF you happen to have a vagina.”

Can you actually point to a real world example of a woman who fulfils those characteristics (that’s a pretty misogynist way of describing any woman by-the-way), who calls herself a feminist, and has been unquestioningly accepted as a feminist by other feminists?

I can’t think of any, certainly not that have been accepted as feminist by radical feminists.

Maybe you’re thinking of liberal ‘fun feminists’ here (or maybe even ‘conservative feminists’ – a real oxymoron), but then you go on to bash radical feminists for their putative ‘misandry’ and ‘transphobia’ – it doesn’t help your ‘argument’ to mix and match your feminisms in this way, it just makes you look ignorant.

There are a small number of men who have been accepted as pro-feminist by radical feminists (for example: John Stoltenberg, Robert Jensen, Jackson Katz), the small number is not due to ‘penis-based’ ‘discrimination’, it’s to do with the fact that most men who claim to be feminists turn out not to be. They only support the aspects of feminism that directly benefit them (lots of men support abortion because an unwanted pregnancy could ruin their lives), they turn nasty if you try to take their porn and prostitution away, and they expect to get their cocks sucked in return for being such brilliant ‘feminists’ (In case you can’t work it out Clarissa, believing that men are entitled to sex is anti-feminist).

Radical feminists do not support gender essentialism or gender binaries, we recognise that women are oppressed as a class, as women, and we are assigned to the class ‘women’ at birth. To pretend that being born female doesn’t matter is not feminist.

The reason radical feminism isn’t ‘popular’ is because, unlike fun feminism, it challenges the status quo and challenges male privilege. Very few men are brave enough to give up their privileges, and they become vicious in defending their privileges.

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1. “The reason radical feminism isn’t ‘popular’ is because, unlike fun feminism, it challenges the status quo and challenges male privilege. Very few men are brave enough to give up their privileges, and they become vicious in defending their privileges.”

– This is a blog for intellectuals and not for folks who repeat the meaningless word “privilege” 3 times in 2 short sentences like crazed parrots. Please go away, educate yourself, improve your intellectual level, and then come back.

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11. Talis says:

So you don’t actually think people get automatic privilege for belonging to a particular class of people!?

So, all those female foetuses being aborted in India, all those baby girls being killed in India and China, all the girls world-wide who don’t get the same nutrition, or access to education and healthcare as their brothers, that’s nothing to do with males being privileged over females?

Clarissa, Clarissa, Clarissa, once again, instead of being capable of offering an actual response to anything I’ve said, you resort to idiotic name calling – at the same time as claiming this blog is for ‘intellectuals’ – ha ha!

I really do wonder how you cope out in the real world, if you behaviour there is anything like it is here, you’d be unemployable – do you talk to students like this? Do you call them ‘crazed parrots’ when they say something you don’t like? Do you tell other academics to stuff things up their asses?

You are ridiculous.

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1. Buddy, are you on drugs or something? You are neither an academic nor my student. You are a very silly person who memorized a couple of important-sounding words and is now trying to inflict her company on people who are a hundred times smarter and who actually read.

If you can’t see a difference between a blog and a classroom, you shouldn’t expect answers to the silly statements you make.

“So, all those female foetuses being aborted in India, all those baby girls being killed in India and China, all the girls world-wide who don’t get the same nutrition, or access to education and healthcare as their brothers, that’s nothing to do with males being privileged over females?”

– And all of those men who are drafted against their will in Russia and Ukraine, get raped, starved and abused in the army, shipped home in zinc coffins just because they happen to have penises? All those men who in Russia and Ukraine have the lifespan of 12 years shorter than women? All of those men in these countries who suffered during the Communist genocides and wars in numbers that were incomparably greater than those of women who suffered from the same genocides? Whose “privilege” is that?

This is why I’m saying that you are stupid. Very very stupid. And I have a vague suspicion that all your “knowledge” about India and China comes from some garbage you read online. You have never been to those countries, have you? You just think they need your condescension of a well-fed ignoramus.

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1. Talis says:

“Buddy, are you on drugs or something? You are neither an academic nor my student. You are a very silly person who memorized a couple of important-sounding words and is now trying to inflict her company on people who are a hundred times smarter and who actually read.”

Wow, you manage to sound more and more ridiculous every time Clarissa, congratulations on that.

Do you think this constant name-calling makes you sound convincing?

“And all of those men who are drafted against their will in Russia and Ukraine, get raped, starved and abused in the army, shipped home in zinc coffins just because they happen to have penises? All those men who in Russia and Ukraine have the lifespan of 12 years shorter than women? All of those men in these countries who suffered during the Communist genocides and wars in numbers that were incomparably greater than those of women who suffered from the same genocides? Whose “privilege” is that?”

There are intersectionalities of privileges, rich men don’t get drafted, and if they do they get the safer jobs that don’t involve getting sent to the front line, what you are describing is what happens to poor men, the poor part is not insignificant.

Women get raped in wars, systematically, rape is an intrinsic part of genocide, and you’re forgetting who does all the raping and murdering: men, or are you going to claim women are somehow responsible for this?

“This is why I’m saying that you are stupid. Very very stupid. And I have a vague suspicion that all your “knowledge” about India and China comes from some garbage you read online. You have never been to those countries, have you? You just think they need your condescension of a well-fed ignoramus.”

Now this is absolutely crazy. Are you really claiming that this kind of gender discrimination doesn’t happen? Are you really that ignorant and crazy that you’d deny this just because I said it?

I put “missing girls India” into Google, and the first link is a BBC news report:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13264301

“India’s 2011 census shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven – activists fear eight million female foetuses may have been aborted in the past decade”

Or is the BBC ‘online garbage’? A search for “missing girls China” has an MSNBC article as the first link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5953508/ns/world_news/t/china-grapples-legacy-its-missing-girls/#.Tvy1B0qPZ7w

“China is asking where all the girls have gone.

“And the sobering answer is that this vast nation, now the world’s fastest-growing economy, is confronting a self-perpetuated demographic disaster that some experts describe as “gendercide” — the phenomenom caused by millions of families resorting to abortion and infanticide to make sure their one child was a boy.”

I put in “gender discrimination nutrition” and the second link is to a paper by Babita Sinha, Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, IIT Roorkee, Roorkee, this is the introductory paragraph:

“It is now a well established fact that there exists rampant malnutrition in many regions of the world, especially in countries of South and East Asia. India is no exception and addressing this problem has become a major concern for policy makers and implementers over the last few decades, especially in light of the drive towards making growth inclusive. Inadequate and poor diet and repeated exposure to diseases and illness combined with improper care during childhood are the major cause of malnutrition among children (Pelletier 1994; Ruzicka and Kane 1985). Discriminations, whether implicit or explicit, in nutrition and child care have exacerbated the plight of the girl child, which manifests in excess female mortality, as has been highlighted by many studies (Tabutin and Willems, 1995; Arnold, 1992; Hill and Upchurch 1995). It is well recognized fact that malnourished children will grow into malnourished adults with lower capacities and abilities. Several policy initiatives have been launched to ensure equitable access to life skills but they will be sustainable only if they can address the current and emerging issues that affect food security, nutrition, poverty, and gender equity.”

All garbage of course, since it doesn’t concur with your prejudices. I can understand you arguing that men have it bad too – lots of them do – but to deny the very real victimisation of women and girls for being women and girls is utterly disgusting, and you are no kind of feminist.

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12. Talis says:

Whoopsie, that should be ‘your behaviour there’

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1. lamestllama says:

Talis, you mentioned the couple of billion “privileged” males in India and China in your last post. How does your lot compare with the average male from these countries?

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1. I’m actually grateful to Talis for coming by. People already started asking me which pseudo-feminists I was alluding to in my post. She was kind enough to illustrate better than I ever could.

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2. Talis says:

Yes, I have it better than a poor man from the developing world, that’s my white, Western, middle class privilege right there. It’s that intersectionality thing again, I don’t get any privilege for being female, but my other privileges make up for it.

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13. Talis says:

The mind truly boggles Clarissa, you out-right deny that in the developing world female foetuses are being aborted, that baby girls are being murdered and systematically disadvantaged – with no evidence other than that I said it so it can’t be true – and you call me a pseudo-feminist!

You are ridiculous.

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1. Finally, you said something true: your mind is very boggled. Could you do us all a favor, go unboggle it and then come back? Or maybe not come back, which would be very good, too?

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1. Talis says:

Clarissa, Clarissa, Clarissa, are you still, then, denying the anti-female bias in China and India?

I know it’s easier to name-call, but I did offer you evidence.

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14. lamestllama says:

Talis :
Yes, I have it better than a poor man from the developing world, that’s my white, Western, middle class privilege right there. It’s that intersectionality thing again, I don’t get any privilege for being female, but my other privileges make up for it.

You don’t get any privilege for being female? Siince your at least an occasional Guardian reader take a look at this http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2001/jan/08/health and explain the gender bias here?

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1. Talis says:

I’d say your article was over a decade old, and these kinds of things are swings and roundabouts: public policy focuses on breast cancer, breast cancer survival rates improve, someone notices prostate cancer isn’t getting enough attention, so priorities shift.

You might look at the gendered way girls and boys are raised, girls are encouraged to be ‘good’, so we go to the doctors like we’re told; boys are raised to please themselves and have someone else tidy up after them, so they don’t go to the doctor unless they have a wife to ‘nag’ them into it.

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Talis :
I don’t get any privilege for being female,

I can only say that I would gladly swap every male privilege you claim I have with the privilege to get priority for space in lifeboats and similar situations. No other privileges measure up to the expectation to sacrifice yourself because of your gender. Nothing does!

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On second thought, scratch that. I think people should all have the same priority. Nobody should have to grow up feeling that their life is worth swapping with somebody else’s because of their genitalia.

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1. Talis says:

“the privilege to get priority for space in lifeboats and similar situations.”

Because that’s an everyday situation is it?

But it’s easier to concentrate on fantasy scenarios (modern, Western, sea going vessels will have an adequate number of lifeboats for everybody), than look at everyday things like the pay gap, rape culture, the trafficking of women and girls in to sex slavery, female genital mutilation, the selective abortion of female foetuses etc. etc.

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16. People, let’s not allow this Talis person to drag us down to her level of privilege-counting, eh? Privilege is a word that is so beloved by the stupid people because it allows them to feel self-righteous as a result of mindless repetition of this meaningless word.

There are so many blogs where people gather and cluck “privilege, privilege, privilege” because they have no brains whatsoever and saying “privilege” in every possible context is all they can contribute to a discussion. I’d rather my blog wasn’t one of these places. This is why I always end any discussion where a person starts blabbering about “privilege.”

“Privilege” does not exist.

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17. Talis says:

““Privilege” does not exist.”

Let me get this right Clarissa, you are saying that the fact that female foetuses are aborted for being female, the fact that baby girls are killed for being female, the fact that girls are systematically deprived of nutrition, healthcare and education, has nothing to do with males being privileged over females?

Are you denying these things happen (even though I’ve provided evidence that they do), or are you saying that the fact these things happen doesn’t mean anything?

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1. What I’m saying is far too complex for your tiny little brains, you silly little freakazoid.

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18. Talis says:

“What I’m saying is far too complex for your tiny little brains, you silly little freakazoid.”

Oh my God, you think that’s an argument!

Do you have any idea how stupid you are making yourself look!?

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19. Talis says:

“Are you denying anti-male bias in Russia and Ukraine?”

I’m sorry, are you claiming Russia and the Ukraine are being run by a secret cabal of man-hating women?

It isn’t an anti-male bias, it’s an anti-poor bias, these things are not happening to rich and powerful men.

And it’s very funny, that, while you claim ‘privilege’ doesn’t exist, you talk about ‘anti-male bias’, which is just talking about privilege by stealth.

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1. This is hopeless. You can’t respond to a simple yes or no question. No, freak, I’m not claiming there is any secret cabal. I am claiming, you stupid stupid fool, that the patriarchy oppresses and rewards BOTH men and women. It oppresses and rewards them in different ways. And it’s an exercise in stupidity to try to calculate whose list of oppressions and rewards is larger, more significant, etc. Now try to stop screeching for a while and attempt to process this idea, OK?

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20. Talis says:

Clarissa, Clarissa, Clarissa, calm down dear, you sound like you’re about to do yourself an injury!

I’m very glad to see you use the word ‘patriarchy’, it shows we are both at least in the same solar system.

I never denied that men suffer under the status quo, but men are not oppressed as men, that is the point I was making – all the oppressions different types of men suffer, they suffer for reasons other than being male. Men can be oppressed for their race, religion, class, sexual orientation, gender expression, ableness, but not for being male. Lots of men are powerless, but men are not oppressed as men.

Women are oppressed as women, female foetuses are aborted for being female, baby girls are killed for being girls, and girls are starved and neglected to death for being girls; there is not a country on the planet where boys are systematically treated this way – lots of boys go hungry, but never because they have a sister getting preferential treatment.

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1. Talis: I understand that this is your position. I think your position is stupid. Men are oppressed for being male all the time. If you are refusing to see that, it’s your right. Just like it is my right to discuss all kinds of oppressions – including the ones you refuse to see – on my blog.

Maybe it’s time for you to go away and join other privilege-scratchers somewhere, OK? Your way of thinking is very simplistic and it bores me to discuss anything with you.

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21. Talis says:

And really Clarissa, criticising me for not being able to “respond to a simple yes or no question” is a bit rich coming from you isn’t it? You can see that can’t you? You are aware of your own behaviour surely?

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22. Talis says:

“Maybe it’s time for you to go away and join other privilege-scratchers somewhere, OK? Your way of thinking is very simplistic and it bores me to discuss anything with you.”

I’m not going anywhere till you acknowledge the systematic abortion of female foetuses for being female, and the systematic killing of girl children for being girls.

You denied that this happened, you called it “garbage [I] read online”, and when I offered you proof, you ignored that proof. Denying that this systematic oppression occurs is utterly anti-women and anti-feminist, and it would be remiss of me to let it stand.

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1. Of course, systematic abortion of female fetuses happens.

Only idiots would deny that this happens. And even bigger idiots bring this as proof of something to a post dedicated to American pseudo-feminists who deny the right of American male feminists to call themselves feminists. You have to be a jerk of major proportions to use murdered girls in India as an excuse to be vile to people in the US. Like those girls only exist to provide losers like you with excuses to be even bigger losers.

You disgust me. People who use the tragedy of others, the tragedy they only know about from some stupid titillating tabloids, to promote their idiotic pseuod-political movement in the US are vile, nasty jerks.

Has my position become clearer to you now, you idiot?

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1. Talis says:

“Of course, systematic abortion of female fetuses happens.
Only idiots would deny that this happens.”

The thing is Clarissa, you were denying it! You said: “And I have a vague suspicion that all your “knowledge” about India and China comes from some garbage you read online. You have never been to those countries, have you? You just think they need your condescension of a well-fed ignoramus.” That was a direct refutation and denial of what I said!

“You have to be a jerk of major proportions to use murdered girls in India as an excuse to be vile to people in the US.”

But Clarissa, you were using the murder of men in Russia and the Ukraine to be vial to me – that makes you a jerk of major proportions too!

“You disgust me. People who use the tragedy of others, the tragedy they only know about from some stupid titillating tabloids, to promote their idiotic pseuod-political movement in the US are vile, nasty jerks.”

Again, that is exactly what you were doing when you brought up the plight of poor men in Russia and the Ukraine, so you’re a vile nasty jerk too!

“Has my position become clearer to you now, you idiot?”

Yes it has, you are a ridiculous hypocrite!

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1. No, loser, I wasn’t trying to be “a vial”. I was sharing with you information about my own culture. While you were using people you know nothing about to prove some ridiculous point. Do you not see the difference?

“Again, that is exactly what you were doing when you brought up the plight of poor men in Russia and the Ukraine, so you’re a vile nasty jerk too!”

– No, silly thing. I’m simply a Russian-speaking Ukrainian. I speak from personal experience, from profound knowledge, from what pains me. And you speak from your Google searches. Still can’t see the difference?

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2. Talis says:

Oh no, one spelling mistake invalidates my entire argument! Whatever shall I do!?!

“I’m simply a Russian-speaking Ukrainian. I speak from personal experience, from profound knowledge, from what pains me. And you speak from your Google searches. Still can’t see the difference?”

Really, you have personal experience of being Russian and Ukrainian men? Lots of Russian and Ukrainian men? You have profound knowledge of being multiple Russian and Ukrainian men?

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1. Hopefully, you shall finally realize that you are too stupid to be in our company and will finally leave. Or haven’t you shared enough of your profound Google-inspired knowledge of China with us yet?

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3. Talis says:

What’s the matter Clarissa, don’t you want to elucidate on your profound personal experiences as multiple Russian and Ukrainian men?

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1. Do something good for people for once, leave us the coordinates of your dealer. I think many people would be interested in trying the drugs you are on.

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Talis :
“the privilege to get priority for space in lifeboats and similar situations.”
Because that’s an everyday situation is it?

Irrelevant. The very fact that this happens implies unmistakably that women’s lives are valued over men’s lives. It doesn’t matter how unusual those situations are. They’re just exemplary of the underlying bias that is present in all situations.
And it is still common practice even today and even in Western nations.

Like I said, I’d happily swap with that female privilege and give up all my male privileges – even the fake ones.

Female genital mutilation? You’re kidding right? In case you haven’t noticed, that is OUTLAWED in all developed countries while male genital mutilation is not. So whose privilege is that?

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1. “Like I said, I’d happily swap with that female privilege and give up all my male privileges – even the fake ones.”

– This is, of course, based on highly personal preferences but I thought about it long and hard, considered all of the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in this society (because this is the society where I live and that I know very well), and arrived at a conclusion that I’d never swap my female “privileges” for the male “privileges.” For me (once again, just for me), this would imply losing more than I will gain as a result of the swap. I can’t say how often I get an opportunity to exclaim to myself, “Thank you, God, for not making me male!” But that’s just me, in my very specific personal situation and my personal life experience.

I fully recognize that other people (men and women) might see this issue very differently because of their personal preferences, history, etc. This is precisely why these discussions of privilege make no sense.

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2. Talis says:

“The very fact that this happens implies unmistakably that women’s lives are valued over men’s lives.”

That is utter tosh, the systematic abortion of female foetuses, the systematic murder of baby girls, the systematic neglect and starvation of girls in the developing world says otherwise, you focus on one fantasy scenario that may have existed among upper class white Europeans during a short period of history.

“Like I said, I’d happily swap with that female privilege and give up all my male privileges – even the fake ones.”

No no, it’s the female privilege that’s fake, the whole lifeboats thing is so far removed from modern reality you may as well be talking about medieval chivalry.

Are you really saying you’d give up male privilege for the pretend privilege of getting a place on a fantasy lifeboat?

“Female genital mutilation? You’re kidding right? In case you haven’t noticed, that is OUTLAWED in all developed countries while male genital mutilation is not. So whose privilege is that?”

Yes, I am aware it is outlawed in developing countries, do third world girls not count then? Male circumcision and female circumcision are not really comparable, the equivalent of the most severe form of FGM would be cutting a boy’s whole penis off.

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No no, it’s the female privilege that’s fake, the whole lifeboats thing is so far removed from modern reality you may as well be talking about medieval chivalry.

No. It’s real and it’s in practice in modern developed countries. I wish it was made up but sadly it’s not. And you choose to ignore the implications of such a policy – which are that there is a profound undervaluing of men’s lives relative to women’s that stretches much further than just extreme examples. Such a difference in value would never only express itself in one place.

But the problem is that you’re blind to the other side of the fence. That’s why you’ll just dismiss with the same ignorance. Like a creationist who rejects evolution, you reject the existence of female privilege as a fantasy. That is an emotional decision on your part. Nothing else.

“Are you really saying you’d give up male privilege for the pretend privilege of getting a place on a fantasy lifeboat?”

Yes. Because, you calling it a pretend privilege doesn’t make it one. For me it is quite real and you will never know how it is not to have that privilege and how self indulgent it looks for you to try to deny it’s existence.

“Yes, I am aware it [FGM] is outlawed in developing countries, do third world girls not count then? ”

You were the one who brought up FGM as an example of male oppression of women. So the question is better directed at you if MGM should not count.

“Male circumcision and female circumcision are not really comparable”

They don’t need to be comparable. The fact that you exclusively brought up FGM while not protesting the acceptability of MGM just goes to show what a vile and hateful sexist you are.

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3. Isabel says:

“The very fact that this happens”

Where does this happen? You ignored the part immediately following where Talis ointed out that nowadays there are enough lifeboats for everyone. Seriously, this is a common practice still? Can you give an example?

“Such a difference in value would never only express itself in one place.”

So what are some other examples?

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Recent example: At the Hudson river crash the call was made “women and children first”. And next you’re going to say that everyone survived so it’s a non issue. My point is the implication of this call being clearly that men’s lives are valued less and this is obviously as true today as it always was.

Even an ignorant moron can see the implication of such a rule. Even someone who has the ‘privilege’ to benefit from it will know what it means. So denying it makes you a lying, whining, spoiled kid. Grow up.

Why are you people so scared of the possibility that men have some disadvantages too? Are you afraid that you might have to give up say 1% of the sympathy that gets poured exclusively into women’s needs? That’s it isn’t it? You think men should never get any compassion whatsoever – not even a tiny fraction of what women get.

THAT, my fellow humans is privilege – and it’s very female.

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2. Isabel says:

“cent example: At the Hudson river crash the call was made “women and children first”. ”

What Hudson river crash? btw, according to wikipedia, this is not a maritime rule.

“Even an ignorant moron can see the implication of such a rule. Even someone who has the ‘privilege’ to benefit from it will know what it means. So denying it makes you a lying, whining, spoiled kid. Grow up. ”

Wow, could you be more of an asshole? Chill out with the non-stop insults. In an emergency, people may react differently from the norm, so life-threatening emergencies are not exactly great examples. These are rare events which most humans will never once experience. Instincts for saving the GROUP may kick in at these times (so children and women of childbearing age may be favored); furthermore, in general, “chivalry” is not generally correlated with equality for women.

“You think men should never get any compassion whatsoever – not even a tiny fraction of what women get. ”

Such a bitter person. I do feel very sorry for you. Does that help?

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3. Talis says:

Adi, does it not occur to you that ‘women and children first’ is purely a practical thing? Men, on average (and I am making a very broad generalization here), tend to be bigger and stronger and more capable of lifting/pulling themselves out of wreckage. It makes more sense for the biggest/strongest person to help the smaller weaker ones out first before getting themselves out. If a hospital were being evacuated, it would make sense to get the bed and wheelchair bound people out first, because the able-bodied people can get themselves out. Such a policy wouldn’t be seen as a bias against the able-bodied.

Is it really an anti-male bias to expect a full-grown man to lift a child out of wreckage before he climbs out himself?

I’d prefer a gender neutral, ‘children and those less able to help themselves out first’ style announcement myself, since there may well be big strong women on board able to help others (hopefully such a woman would stay and help others anyway, and not trample over others to get out first).

Your ‘proof’ of ‘anti-male bias’ is still an historical fantasy.

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24. I think that maybe its time for all those gender egalitarian’s out there to stop labelling themselves by a gendered term such as feminist or mra. Just a thought. 😉

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I think ultimately that is unavoidable if we are to achieve a truly egalitarian existence.
That is assuming that humans even want it. I’m not so convinced.

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2. It just bugs me so much that a good term with so much proud history of amazing achievement should be ceded to unenlightened parrots like this Talis creature.

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1. Its ok Clarissa, I think that is why its called growth. 🙂

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Radfems are a bunch of sexist, pathetic, whining crybabies wallowing in self-pity, squealing to be rescued from the evil dragon they call “patriarchy”. As such, radfems are themselves unwittingly patriarchal. They are also pathological misogynists who project their deep belief in female inferiority onto everything they see in society. An insult to any liberated woman.

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1. “They are also pathological misogynists who project their deep belief in female inferiority onto everything they see in society.”

– EXACTLY!!!

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This is, of course, based on highly personal preferences…

Same here. That is one of the problems: It’s impossible for us not to be biased because, like it or not, we all have a sex and cannot change it (at least not feasibly).

Nobody will ever really know what it’s like to live like the other sex. We can only listen to them describe it but they, like us, have no scale of reference. Camille Paglia said about the male existence that “There is nothing in that anguished motion for women to envy.”
But she describes a sexual craving that she has never felt and never will feel the way men do. She simply cannot know if there’s something enviable about it.

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27. Talis says:

Oh Clarissa,

That you attract such obvious and utter woman-haters to your blog should clue you in to something! They only like you because you bash other women for them, dudes love a good cat fight!

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1. I know, I somehow managed to attract a woman-hater like yourself. I have no idea what I have done to deserve this.

You are a stupid troll. And you are being bashed as such, troll. Whether trolls who alight on my blog do or do not have vaginas is of no interest to me.

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2. @Talis

The reason she attracts this “Dude” to her blog is because of her outspoken brilliant dialogue. Her guts and intelligence remind me of the most important women in my life all of which are egalitarian’s(or feminists if I use her word). 😉

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Aaaaaand, there it is!
The misogynist shaming card.
You’d have thought my anticipatory identification of it would have at least made her wait a few comments before attempting to pull it.

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28. Talis says:

So radical feminists are whining cry-babies? I’m not the one complaining that I don’t have a seat on a made-up lifeboat, I’m not the one who has to resort to fantasies of ‘chivalry’ to ‘prove’ that women have it better than men.

And I sure as hell don’t believe in female inferiority!

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You are the one who reduces gender interactions to oppression of women by men. The rest of us have not made any such generalization. Clarissa and I have added our personal impression of the comparison between the different ways that men and women are exploited but those were not generalizations about society.

As for proving that women have it better than men (or the other way round), this is extremely hard because, as I said above, we are all biased. One would have to circumvent that bias by reducing the analysis to only the data of which we are certain that it is desirable/undesirable. examples of this would be health, lifespan, victimization of violence, education. I don’t know the stats on those world wide, but I do know that they favour women in most, perhaps all developed countries. That’s just an initial thought.

“And I sure as hell don’t believe in female inferiority!”

You might not even be aware of it. Try to ask yourself why you are so comfortable with the belief in universal female oppression. Isn’t it telling that you feel uneasy, angry and reactionary whenever the possibility arises that women are not oppressed?

I mean, if women are really just helpless victims of the cunning manipulation by the male conspiracy, then that does not inspire confidence in women’s ability to think for themselves and act independently. If anything, your views are perpetuating the myth of female inferiority not contradicting it.

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1. ” If anything, your views are perpetuating the myth of female inferiority not contradicting it.”

– And that’s precisely her goal. She dislikes women on such a profound and basic level that she will be motivated to present us as stupid with every word she says.

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29. Talis says:

Dear oh dear Clarissa, you’re back to calling me a woman hater! I’ve gone on, repeatedly, about the harm that happens, for real, to women and girls, and that makes me a woman hater!

I’d ask you to back that up with some kind of logic or proof, but I know you don’t do logic or proof.

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See my comment above.

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30. Talis says:

“The reason she attracts this “Dude” to her blog is because of her outspoken brilliant dialogue. Her guts and intelligence remind me of the most important women in my life all of which are egalitarian’s(or feminists if I use her word).”

Ha ha ha! If you think Clarissa is ‘brilliant’ in any way I actually feel sorry for you dude!

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1. @Talis

Brilliance, like beauty, is all in the eye of the beholder. Funny thing is, when I was younger I had a “stereotypical” view of what I thought was beautiful in women. As I have matured that view has definately grown to include more women. Who knows, maybe if you got past your victimized persona I might think youre brilliant too. 😉

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31. Talis says:

“Do something good for people for once, leave us the coordinates of your dealer. I think many people would be interested in trying the drugs you are on.”

Clarissa, Clarissa, Clarissa, don’t you realise that name-calling and insults don’t actually make you right, and they certainly don’t make you look clever?

Once again, I’ve responded to every point you’ve made (I haven’t been polite about it, but you reap what you sow darlin’, if I’m being obnoxious, it’s only in response to your original obnoxiousness), and you’ve barely managed to keep up; how long did it take to get you to even acknowledge that there is systematic abortion of female foetuses going on in the world?

But apparently your profound personal experiences of being multiple Russian and Ukrainian men trumps all – and I’m the one on drugs!

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1. I think you already published this same comment twice before. Or maybe 3 times. I know I’ve seen this “Clarissa, Clarissa, Clarissa” several times already.

I also have seen these “multiple Russian men” several times, too. Are you just copy-pasting stuff from your previous comments, or what? Or is it like a template you have for trolling? It seriously looks like you enter some unconnected bits of phrases into a software and it mixes them up to produce these “comments” of yours.

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32. Talis says:

Yes Clarissa, I have been repeating myself, well done for spotting that. I am repeating my self because you don’t respond otherwise, I think it’s because you’re a little bit thick.

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33. Talis says:

You repeat yourself plenty of times too, I think it’s because you’re a little bit thick.

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34. Talis says:

Oh yeah, here’s another one, dying in childbirth, no man ever died in childbirth, are y’all willing to sign up for that ‘privilege’ along with your fantasy seat on a made-up life boat?

Or how about a fistula? That’s where the pressure of the baby’s head during childbirth wears through the wall of the vagina, resulting in urine or faeces leaking through into the vagina. This happens a lot to women in the developing world, as poor nutrition leads to extended labour, and women in the developing world can’t easily access medical treatment to fix it, so they end up being shunned because the constantly leaking urine or faeces causes them to stink – what a privilege!

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HERE IT IS. The bigotry-contest candidate of the year:

“Oh yeah, here’s another one, dying in childbirth, no man ever died in childbirth, ”

So men systemically oppress women because only women can die of childbirth. I rest my case. Here’s a flash:
Death in childbirth has been reduced to a tiny fraction of what it would be if it hadn’t been for the PAAAAATRIARCHY *cracking thunder*. In fact, even women’s liberation was enabled by the patriarchy.

I know you’ll hate that notion so much that you’d never concede it no matter what so I’m expecting yet another round of cheap dismissal and/or ignorance.

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1. “HERE IT IS. The bigotry-contest candidate of the year:

“Oh yeah, here’s another one, dying in childbirth, no man ever died in childbirth, ”

So men systemically oppress women because only women can die of childbirth. I rest my case.”

– And here is our proof that pseudo-feminists like Talis see the very fact of being female as a horrible burden. They hate female bodies, they hate the existence of women, and as a result they hate feminism because any vindication of these creatures with vaginas they despise and detest so much is intolerable to them.

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35. “Clarissa, Clarissa, Clarissa, calm down dear”

“Dear oh dear Clarissa”

“Clarissa, Clarissa, Clarissa, don’t you realise”

Patriarchy is shit and all but you sound like my fucking dad.

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1. I know right? You would think that someone that is trying so hard to make the people around here aware of male privilege and female oppression would know how patronizing it is to call a women that they only know through a blog dear as if Clarissa was Talis’ daughter or something.

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I’m not sure she really wants to end female oppression. I believe she just wants to continue attracting attention and sympathy by spreading the myth that women are helpless victims. She’ll deny that of course – even to herself.

Unfortunately, there are many people like her. This is why I’m not sure humanity even wants gender egalitarianism.

Or can you imagine any scenario (in the distant future perhaps) in which radfems finally achieve their goals and say “that’s it, the world is fair for women and I’m not needed anymore”? Of course not. There is no such scenario because their declared goals aren’t what drives them. It’s the complaining and whining that they’re here for and that will continue until the end of human civilization.

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2. Talis says:

Yes, I know my behaviour here is obnoxious, but have you noticed how Clarissa’s first response to anything I say here is to call me a ‘crazed parrot’ or a ‘freakazoid’? If she was capable of engaging in reasonable debate, and actually responding to what I said with something other than insults and name calling, I wouldn’t have to resort to such behaviour in the first place.

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1. FIRST response? You are trying to get people believe that this is your first appearance here, trying hard to spam my blog? And you haven’t been doing that for a very long time? You pick a thread, then spam it out of all reason, and then have the gall to say that your very FIRST statement was greeted by telling you that you are a crazed parrot?

Reasonable debate with you? Are you serious? Am I expected to engage in “reasonable debates” with every spammer out there?

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3. Talis says:

I’m pretty sure you started it Clarissa. I wrote about how harmful labiaplasty was for women, and you accused me of wanting to “police women’s genitals”; you couldn’t offer any logic or rational to back up that claim. It’s been down-hill since then, and you’ve still barely managed to back up anything you’ve said with anything approaching logic or rationality.

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1. You are either fixated on me or on labiaplasty or your life is so non-existent that you remember such insignificant details of a long-ago boring discussion. You need to get a life, buddy. And while you are at it, figure out the difference between “rational” and “rationale” and “vile” / “vial” before you try to enter into conversations with educated people.

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4. Talis says:

Thank you for pointing out my little spelling mistakes Clarissa, maybe now you can explain how, exactly, I want to “police women’s genitals”, and how talking about women dying in child birth means I hate women.

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1. No, Talis, I’m not interested in explaining anything to you. You repeat the same thing, you never engage with what is actually being said, your knowledge is abysmally poor, your writing is hopeless, you can’t follow a simplest line of argument. You have absolutely no value to me as a discussion partner. There is such a thing as “the culture of discussion.” You obviously have no idea what it is, which makes you a very boring person to discuss anything with. If you want to improve, start with the following:

a) try to figure out why the discussion of policing genitals does not belong in this topic
b) reread the part of the discussion about dying in childbirth and try to figure out exactly why you were accused of hating women. A hint: all you need to do is read the ENTIRE comment addressed to you. Another hint: reading and thinking does not equal copy-pasting.

Good luck.

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bloggerclarissa :
It just bugs me so much that a good term with so much proud history of amazing achievement should be ceded to unenlightened parrots like this Talis creature.

I’m sure you have good reason to feel personally so attached to this term or ideology.
In light of that I have a hypothetical question:

Supposing feminism, as a movement and ideology turned bad – either by being hijacked by a majority of people like Talis leaving only you and a few other exceptions or by shifting goals from within or any other method. What would you do? Would you declare that the feminism you once associated with is gone and you no longer call yourself a feminist by the new usage or would you continue to argue that you alone know what real feminism is and declare all the others pseudo-feminists?

Or, in short, can anything happen with feminism that might make you stop calling yourself a feminist and if so, then what?

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1. Sister says:

Ugh, I agree. The term feminist has lost all meaning. Everyone pulls it out of their back pocket to prove whatever point they are making ‘I am a feminist – I work.’ ‘I am a feminist – I don’t work’. ‘I am a feminist – I love sex’. ‘I am a feminist – I am asexual’. ‘I am a feminist – go vaginal births’. ‘I an a feminist – pro c-section’. And so on, so on, so on. What does feminism even really mean now?

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1. Good question. But the thing that has become a turn off is how people who id as feminist seem to think that its a free pass. As in “Oh I’m a feminist so you know that I’m for equality.” There is way too much negativity in that movement for that to pass. But they get too worked up when they learn that being feminist can’t be assumed to mean equality.

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2. Adi: I vote, I work, I didn’t die of endless childbirth before the age of 30, I teach, I write, I have a voice, I am respected, only I decide how to dispose of my body, how to dress, how to live my life, I enjoy complete sexual freedom – all this and a lot more has been given to me by feminism. No amount of screeching from the Talises of this world can obscure the fact that every single thing I value in life has been given to me by feminism. What’s a bit of clucking from some fools compared with that?

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Interesting that you’d evade the question. I mean, it’s great you have all those things but ascribing them all to feminism is an extraordinary thing to say. For example the right to vote must have existed as a concept before it could be distributed equally. In other words, women having the right to vote would never have been possible if it hadn’t been implemented for anyone else beforehand. The whole idea of democracy came into being through patriarchal societies.

Freedom, legal justice, scientific (and in particular medical) progress and all the other things we value today as a civilization; feminism has not only contributed but a miniscule part to those things, it has also only even started to do so when they were all well on the way.

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1. “ascribing them all to feminism is an extraordinary thing to say”

– No, it isn’t. It’s the historic truth.

“In other words, women having the right to vote would never have been possible if it hadn’t been implemented for anyone else beforehand. ”

– According to this logic, the civil rights movement achieved nothing because somebody might have criticized slavery in Ancient Greece.

“Freedom, legal justice, scientific (and in particular medical) progress and all the other things we value today as a civilization; feminism has not only contributed but a miniscule part to those things”

– Ophthalmology also contributed nothing to legal justice, so what? Let’s dump on ophthalmologists? Feminism’s goal is completely different. And I also dislike this “things WE value.” You can value whatever you like, but I should, surely, be allowed to value what I want, right?

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2. Isabel says:

“all this and a lot more has been given to me by feminism.”

So the job is finished? There is no more inequality- is that what you are saying/

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1. “So the job is finished? There is no more inequality- is that what you are saying/”

– Of course not! there is a LOT left to do. A lot. Just a small example: there is no parental leave in this country. That is a barbarity of extreme proportions, Isabel. I like the Swedish system where both parents get the leave for different months in the beginning of the child’s life.

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37. I’m just waking up this morning, so I apologize if the following turns out to be a bit incoherent.

My experience with feminist ways of thought was based on a very personal necessity — to bring myself out of a traditional mindset and into the 20th Century. My culture had a very limited pool of knowledge about sexuality and gender relations. We hadn’t even broached upon gender politics. That is to say modernity had not yet arrived in my culture.

This led to a state of affairs where I didn’t understand the sub-texts of any of the social situations I was in. In retrospect, I see a lot was implied about identity, including gender, but I didn’t really catch it at the time.

My inability to respond appropriately and to defend what others perceived as my “identity” made me extremely vulnerable to such onslaughts as workplace bullying. I really had no idea what people wanted from me or how to behave normally. To make matters worse, I had internalized attitudes that were socially quite passive. A female in an extremely right wing, militaristic culture has no need to assert herself. Men are expected to do that for her.

For me, feminism was a way of solving this set of problems, in order to bring myself into modernity.

Feminism gave me the philosophical justification for what I needed to do, which was to engage in a prolonged and difficult battle with my original character structure in order to transform it into something more effective for the modern world.

What surprised me was how few people were able to understand this need and how many — good liberals included — worked actively to sabotage my project. Since I wasn’t able to articulate the nature of my project at the time, the lack of active support can be explained away. The attempts to sabotage my freedom by affirming my father’s perspectives over and against mine really needs a lot more explanation. It seems that even those who are otherwise impartial in their dealings with others do believe in patriarchal authority.

The problem was, many people were pushing me back into the range of control of someone who was not only mentally unwell, but who wanted me to become a Christian fundamentalist and conservative. Once again (it bears repeating) good liberals were doing this. Many of them turned out to be very much in thrall of ideologies concerning patriarchal authority and its rights. People seem to get pleasure from reinforcing a familiar ideology.

I finally won my battle, needless to say, but it was all my own effort.

The broad meaning of feminism today is different from the meaning of my feminism. Like most aspects of life, unless you’ve been through the experience — in my case, the experience of giving birth to oneself — you have little idea of what it means. You will be likely to misconstrue its meaning.

This is why not just feminists have a hard time understanding where I am coming from.

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Why are you people so scared of the possibility that men have some disadvantages too? Are you afraid that you might have to give up say 1% of the sympathy that gets poured exclusively into women’s needs? That’s it isn’t it? You think men should never get any compassion whatsoever – not even a tiny fraction of what women get.
THAT, my fellow humans is privilege – and it’s very female.

I find this ongoing emphasis on “getting compassion” very strange and culturally narrow. Just about anything that anyone’s on about these days seems to be cast in this framework. I don’t think humans really need as much compassion as this form of framing human experiences implies. Speaking for myself, I need solid human relationships, not “compassion”. I’m sure this is true for most people. The don’t want to be de-humanised by identity politics and then given back their humanity in regulated installments of “compassion”. We can bypass this whole issue if we just start treating each other as human.

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1. “I find this ongoing emphasis on “getting compassion” very strange and culturally narrow. Just about anything that anyone’s on about these days seems to be cast in this framework. ”

– I know. The religious verbiage is so present in every area of existence in this country that it’s bizarre.

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Sister :
Ugh, I agree. The term feminist has lost all meaning. Everyone pulls it out of their back pocket to prove whatever point they are making ‘I am a feminist – I work.’ ‘I am a feminist – I don’t work’. ‘I am a feminist – I love sex’. ‘I am a feminist – I am asexual’. ‘I am a feminist – go vaginal births’. ‘I an a feminist – pro c-section’. And so on, so on, so on. What does feminism even really mean now?

Perhaps it’s because feminism, more than anything else, means empowerment of women. And, as it happens, in today’s times, women are empowered by everything that women do according to this article:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/women-now-empowered-by-everything-a-woman-does,1398/

I wonder what we should read into that, given that being a man is generally described as “not being a woman”?

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1. “Perhaps it’s because feminism, more than anything else, means empowerment of women. ”

– No, it doesn’t. Empowerment is a meaningless word, just like privilege.

Once again: feminism always has and always will mean a movement based on the idea that one’s biological sex should not determine anything in one’s life. That’s it. Empowerments and privileges are silly new-speak terms that have no direct relationship to this movement.

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In this case I think empowerment means emancipation from rigid gender roles. If anything, feminism has definitely made significant advances for women. And even if it never does this for men, having done it for women at least constitutes a first stop towards men achieving this too.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think feminism has done nothing good. I just don’t believe it has only done good either. And in its modern form, I believe it does more harm than good. This might feel unfair to people like you who I think genuinely want gender egalitarianism. But unfortunately there are only very few Clarissas among feminists and there are very very many Talises. I wish it was not that way but it is.

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1. “In this case I think empowerment means emancipation from rigid gender roles.”

– If it means that, then the word “bread” can mean a car, seriously. I can only participate in a discussion whose terms are at least somewhat defined. It makes no sense to discuss anything when a word can mean something completely unrelated.

“And in its modern form, I believe it does more harm than good. ”

– Can you give a few examples?

“But unfortunately there are only very few Clarissas among feminists and there are very very many Talises”

– Glad as I am to feel special, this is not true. Every woman in the academic environment is a feminist, for the obvious reasons. And every professional woman I meet in other environments (business, for example) is, too. Talises among them are very very rare.

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2. Isabel says:

“Talises among them are very very rare.”

people can be really different on-line. I keep a lot of controversial opinions to myself, depending on how well I know people.

If your definition of feminism does not pre-suppose a bias against women, then why use the word feminism? I think you need a new word. And I agree with Talis that the bias exists in the world much more than an anti-male bias. We still need a movement that is focused on women.

As far as North America goes, politics and business, media, entertainment and many other important fields, that affect people’s lives are still largely controlled by men.

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1. I don’t want a movement focused on women or men. I want a movement focused on the idea that “men” and “women” are fictitious constructs that invest meaningless physiological characteristics with life-changing profound meanings. The process of dismantling such constructs is what interests me. Counting biases and keeping a check-list of victimizations is a pointless exercise, from my point of view.

Why not just agree that the gender binary and gender stereotypes are harmful and reductive and proceed from there without engaging in this endless discussion as to whom they harm more?

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3. Isabel says:

“Why not just agree that the gender binary and gender stereotypes are harmful and reductive and proceed from there without engaging in this endless discussion as to whom they harm more?”

And how are you going to do this while completely ignoring the fact that men still largely control business, politics, and media? And I would hardly call my assessment of that situation “counting” or “keeping a checklist”. Sure, you’ve succeeded in your goal of belittling once again, but you’re not really helping. And believe me, whether glancing at the Wall Street Journal, or looking over a list of CEO’s one doesn’t have to do any actually counting to see glaring bias.

Again, why call your movement “feminism”? If you believe at this point that men are harmed as much as women, which is what I am getting from your comments, then why use a female-focused word to define the movement?

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1. “And how are you going to do this while completely ignoring the fact that men still largely control business, politics, and media?”

– In the meanwhile, women get to keep the custody of the children a lot more often than men get to be CEOs of anything. And the decision whether the position of the CEO you, as a man, have about 0,001% chance of getting is more or less important than the issue of custody that you have about 95% chance of losing is a very individual one.

Yes, a man is more likely to be a CEO than a woman. But he is a lot lot lot more likely not to get the custody of his own children.

Once again, this is a useless checklist. Useless. Because everybody is different and everybody values different things. And we can’t even begin to measure whose suffering is greater, Mary’s for not being a CEO or John’s for not living in the same house with his kids.

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4. Isabel says:

“Once again, this is a useless checklist. Useless. Because everybody is different and everybody values different things. And we can’t even begin to measure whose suffering is greater, Mary’s for not being a CEO or John’s for not living in the same house with his kids.”

It is not useless at all, and it is not a “checklist” to point out that the society is still largely run by men. Try applying your reasoning to racism, or any other example of inequality and you will see how offensive your reply is. I don’t see how we can assume women have equal power in a society when the important institutions such as business, politics and communications are largely run by men. Again, no counting is necessary.

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1. Do you really think this discussion needs to be derailed even further by bringing racism into it? Seriously?

This is what I mean by abysmally poor culture of discussion. People have nothing whatsoever of value to contribute, so they start derailing. You write a post criticizing a statement by a specific blogger as to how no man can be a feminist.

“But how about aborted fetuses in China?” One commenter immediately rants.

“And how about racism?” Another one chimes in.

All that’s missing is for somebody to ask, “And how about chicken soup?”

And why not? Come to think of it, chicken soup, CEOs, racists, and Chinese fetuses are equally related to the right of male feminists to refer to themselves as feminists, which was what the post was about.

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5. Isabel says:

“This is what I mean by abysmally poor culture of discussion.”

It also helps when you start calling people names and psychoanalyzing them 🙂

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1. “It also helps when you start calling people names and psychoanalyzing them”

– I’m not trying to help you. Do you see words “Trying to help Isabel” in the title of the post?

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6. Isabel says:

“- I’m not trying to help you. Do you see words “Trying to help Isabel” in the title of the post?”

LOL. I never said you were trying to help me, and I definitely did not request it. Where did that come from??

I quoted your comment about a “culture of discussion” immediately above my reply so obviously that situation was what I was referring to, not my personal situation. Why do I even need to explain this??

In other words, it doesn’t help any culture of discussion when one participant resorts so easily to insulting off-the-cuff psychoanalysis when someone disagrees with them. Or starts focusing on typos. Or calls people trolls. “Troll” has a specific definition btw, I think you should look it up. It doesn’t mean “someone who I think is a jerk and who disagrees with me.” Yeah, giving words your own made-up meanings doesn’t help the culture of discussion either.

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1. “In other words, it doesn’t help any culture of discussion when one participant resorts so easily to insulting off-the-cuff psychoanalysis when someone disagrees with them. ”

– And now you are trying to derail the topic with a completely irrelevant discussion of psychoanalysis. There has been no mention of anything even remotely psychoanalytical in this topic, yet you keep spamming the thread with mentioning it for no reason whatsoever. These attempts to derail the conversation time and again that you keep engaging in even after I specifically asked you not fifteen minutes ago to stop doing that are what make you a troll, Isabel.

This is a thread dedicated to a very specific issue. Its goal is not to let you vent grievances from other threads or to discuss racism and psychoanalysis. If you have nothing to contribute to the subject of male activists’ right to refer to themselves as feminists, then I kindly ask you to stop spamming the thread.

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7. Isabel says:

I was referring, of course, to comments you made to *Talis* (why do you keep trying to make this about me? I am not taking this conversation personally at all, believe me) right here on this particular thread, insisting that she “hates women” and calling her a troll.

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1. “I was referring, of course, to comments you made to *Talis* (why do you keep trying to make this about me? I am not taking this conversation personally at all, believe me) right here on this particular thread, insisting that she “hates women” and calling her a troll.”

– And what does any of this have to do with psychoanalysis, exactly? Or is “troll” a psychoanalytic category in your mind?

Once again, Isabel, unless you have anything to add on the topic of the post, I kindly ask you to stop spamming the thread. Talis, trolls, racists, and psychoanalysts have not been mentioned in the original post.

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2. “according to this article”. Jesus Christ. That’s The Onion, you big dope. Now show us the juicy exclusive about shirtless ripped Joe Biden washing his Trans Am on the White House lawn.

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40. Talis says:

“So men systemically oppress women because only women can die of childbirth. I rest my case. Here’s a flash:
Death in childbirth has been reduced to a tiny fraction of what it would be if it hadn’t been for the PAAAAATRIARCHY *cracking thunder*. In fact, even women’s liberation was enabled by the patriarchy.”

Claiming that women’s liberation was ‘enabled’ by patriarchy is just bizarre – that’s like saying the abolition of transatlantic slavery was ‘enabled’ by the transatlantic slave trade. If a problem doesn’t exist in the first place, the problem doesn’t need to be solved.

Lamestllama was claiming that men’s shorter life spans are ‘proof’ of male oppression, maybe that’s just biology too? Maybe he shouldn’t be whining about how bad men have it, because if we were still in prehistoric times life spans would be even shorter? Maybe you should stop whining about you non-place on an imaginary life-boat, because without patriarchy, there wouldn’t be any life-boats, or any ships either for that matter?

Yes, maternal mortality rates have improved in the west, and these improvements occurred under patriarchy, so did the invention of the atom bomb – it’s not very easy, or useful, to pretend we know what would have happened, development wise, had patriarchy not occurred.

It’s worth pointing out that women’s value as mothers is directly related to the number of sons they produce; to some men, preventing maternal mortality in women is just the same as preventing maternal mortality in live stock, the woman herself isn’t valued in her own right.

Women dying in child birth is related to women’s oppression, poor health due a lack of nutrition and medical care leads to complications in pregnancy and labour, women and girls are fed less and are less likely to receive medical attention.

Also, when women do not have access to birth control or abortion, are not able to insist on birth control being used, or are not able to say no to their husbands, they don’t get to control their own fertility, and do not get to avoid pregnancies they know may kill them. That isn’t just ‘biology’ it’s intrinsically linked to women’s second-class status.

Clarissa:

“And here is our proof that pseudo-feminists like Talis see the very fact of being female as a horrible burden. They hate female bodies, they hate the existence of women, and as a result they hate feminism because any vindication of these creatures with vaginas they despise and detest so much is intolerable to them.”

This is really crazy, so pointing out the ways women are oppressed, for real, in the real world, means I hate women? So ‘feminism’, then, is systematically denying, downplaying and ignoring what happens to women, and especially denying, downplaying and ignoring what happens to non-white, non-middle class, non-Western women?

Why do you hate poor third world women so much Clarissa?

“No amount of screeching from the Talises of this world can obscure the fact that every single thing I value in life has been given to me by feminism. What’s a bit of clucking from some fools compared with that?”

It’s not actually just about you Clarissa, it’s about all women, but then you’re not a real feminist, real feminists care about what happens to all women, not just white, Western, middle class ones, you’re a selfish-individualist who happens to be female.

“Perhaps it’s because feminism, more than anything else, means empowerment of women. And, as it happens, in today’s times, women are empowered by everything that women do according to this article:”

My goodness, are you actually quoting the Onion as a legitimate source? You do realise it’s a satire don’t you?

The Onion article is satirising ‘fun feminism’, the kind of feminism that says any choice a woman makes, even when she ‘chooses’ to conform completely to the status quo, is ’empowering’.

The fact hat you don’t even understand feminism enough to know when you’re reading a satire of it, doesn’t make you look that intelligent.

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1. “[Radfems] hate female bodies, they hate the existence of women, and as a result they hate feminism because any vindication of these creatures with vaginas they despise and detest so much is intolerable to them.”

“Why do you hate poor third world women so much Clarissa?”

Gosh this thread has come a long way from “It’s stupid to say that no man can be a feminist” in the OP.

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1. Especially, given that I’m a 3rd world woman.

This is what happens when you let a troll run free on the blog.

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2. Talis says:

Clarissa, you still haven’t explained how my talking about women dying in child birth proves I hate women.

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2. lamestllama says:

Talis,

I did not claim anything about the length of mens lives. The article I posted was about spending on mens health.

Having read all this thread I feel that you would have done better to argue in good faith rather than point score at every opportunity.

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1. Talis says:

I’m pretty sure when I talked about men’s life spans I was responding to another commenter.

I feel that you would have done better to argue in good faith rather than point score at every opportunity.

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41. Until people are willing to acknowledge that just using terms like feminism and patriarchy are actually sexist we are going to go round and round on this issue. The fact that many people miss the obvious implication that patriarchy(MALE) is bad and feminism(FEMALE) is good is proof to me that we all need take a refresher course on what Egalitarianism is really about. 🙂

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1. “terms like feminism and patriarchy are actually sexist”

I wish there was an adorable little emoticon that could properly convey to you how this makes my brain explode.

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42. Titfortat :
Until people are willing to acknowledge that just using terms like feminism and patriarchy are actually sexist we are going to go round and round on this issue. The fact that many people miss the obvious implication that patriarchy(MALE) is bad and feminism(FEMALE) is good is proof to me that we all need take a refresher course on what Egalitarianism is really about.

Well, patriarchy doesn’t mean “male”, it means the rule by fathers. Feminism doesn’t mean “female”, either. It is the agenda for women’s equality with men.

Your “obvious implications” are just distortions of concepts, making them cruder than they are. Your equation of concepts with genders really distorts the concepts badly.

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1. “Well, patriarchy doesn’t mean “male”, it means the rule by fathers. Feminism doesn’t mean “female”, either. It is the agenda for women’s equality with men.

Your “obvious implications” are just distortions of concepts, making them cruder than they are. Your equation of concepts with genders really distorts the concepts badly.”

– Exactly.

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43. JFA

Actually it is very tacitly implied. To not acknowledge this reality is where the disservice really is. So lets jump back on the merry go round. 😦

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44. Titfortat :
JFA
Actually it is very tacitly implied. To not acknowledge this reality is where the disservice really is. So lets jump back on the merry go round.

Depends on who you’re talking to. I think it is very important to maintain rigor, although it is also important to be able to discern where people are not being rigorous. In fact, academic rigor is becoming rare. The popular meaning of these terms is not helpful, because when they are reduced to meaning “male” and “female”, one’s level of understanding is very much diminished. It’s important to recognize that these terms do have meanings apart from their popular usage.

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1. The entire point of the post – which it seems has been forgotten in the heat of the discussion – was to recognize the existence of male feminists. N., for example, is a passionate feminist who will be very surprised when I tell him about this feminism=female patriarchy=male type of analysis.

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1. Depends on who you’re talking to(JFA)

And herein lies the problem. Seeing as there is no monolith for the term maybe we would be better served with making one. EGALITARIANISM. 🙂

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1. “Egalitarianism” is already a thing and “feminism” already falls under its umbrella, being a kind of shorthand for “gender egalitarianism,” i.e. thought and practice specifically aimed at gender equality. Let’s not confuse the close focus for the wide-angle lens here.

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2. There are many way in which that term has been polluted by actual genocides conducted in its name. Nobody slaughtered millions under the slogans of feminism, have they?

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3. bloggerclarissa :
There are many way in which that term has been polluted by actual genocides conducted in its name. Nobody slaughtered millions under the slogans of feminism, have they?

This too. Uninterrogated “rationalism” and “equality” have made for some well-intentioned carnage.

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2. The popular meaning of these terms is not helpful, because when they are reduced to meaning “male” and “female”, one’s level of understanding is very much diminished(JFA)

Jennifer, I noticed you do some martial art or combat training. I have done a fair bit in my time too. I imagine that you have learned the fundamentals properly and could probably execute a very fine jab against your opponents. Now here is the thing, many people who train cant do a jab very well, but they still call it a jab. Are they wrong for using such terminology, maybe, but that still doesnt stop them from making the statement. In fact, from their viewpoint they are completely justified in using it(which they are because that is how they learned to jab). The same is true for all you feminists out here who dont jab too well. 😉

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1. “Jennifer, I noticed you do some martial art or combat training. I have done a fair bit in my time too. I imagine that you have learned the fundamentals properly and could probably execute a very fine jab against your opponents. Now here is the thing, many people who train cant do a jab very well, but they still call it a jab. Are they wrong for using such terminology, maybe, but that still doesnt stop them from making the statement. In fact, from their viewpoint they are completely justified in using it(which they are because that is how they learned to jab). The same is true for all you feminists out here who dont jab too well.”

– This van only be judged by somebody who understands martial arts. I, as a complete ignoramus on the subject who has never done any martial arts training, should not and would not offer an opinion as to who does or doesn’t jab well.

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– According to this logic, the civil rights movement achieved nothing because somebody might have criticized slavery in Ancient Greece.

I never said feminism achieved nothing. It’s you who seems to think feminism has laid the ground for modern life. You said that feminism “gave” you your ability to work, write, be respected, not die of childbirth before age 30 etc. If you really want to stand by that statement, knock yourself out. I’m not trying to change your view on feminism. I just wanted to know if it’s even possible for feminism to change so that you might one day not call yourself a feminist. If you don’t answer, then I will assume no it’s not.

“Freedom, legal justice, scientific (and in particular medical) progress and all the other things we value today as a civilization; feminism has not only contributed but a miniscule part to those things”
– Ophthalmology also contributed nothing to legal justice, so what? Let’s dump on ophthalmologists?

Come on. That analogy is appalling and you know it. Or are you saying feminism did not contribute anything towards freedom and legal justice? Somehow I can’t believe that.

And I also dislike this “things WE value.” You can value whatever you like, but I should, surely, be allowed to value what I want, right?

There are some things that I believe it’s safe to say that all of us value such as health, safety, prosperity and perhaps civil liberty. Those are what I mean by things “we” value but if you feel that was presumtuous, then I take it back. It doesn’t change my point in the least. Sure can value (or not value) what you want.

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1. “I just wanted to know if it’s even possible for feminism to change so that you might one day not call yourself a feminist. If you don’t answer, then I will assume no it’s not.”

– I’m not good with hypotheticals. What does this mean, in practical terms? Change how? And most importantly, what is the point of these hypotheticals when reality is a lot more fun? 🙂

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Claiming that women’s liberation was ‘enabled’ by patriarchy is just bizarre – that’s like saying the abolition of transatlantic slavery was ‘enabled’ by the transatlantic slave trade. If a problem doesn’t exist in the first place, the problem doesn’t need to be solved.

That’s what it boils down to for you doesn’t it? When you say “patriarchy” you just mean oppression of women. Those are synonyms to you and that’s why you are badly informed. I suggest you read up a little about the emergence of western democracy and culture.

Lamestllama was claiming that men’s shorter life spans are ‘proof’ of male oppression, maybe that’s just biology too?

This also says a lot about your mindset. Lifespan is a strong indicator of living standard of a population. That is because most, perhaps all things associated with a high living standard (health, education, safety etc) are directly connected to a longer lifespan. We have no reason to believe men’s shorter lifespan is biological unless we want to be misandric assholes who, by default, dismiss anything that might draw attention to men not having perfect lives as almighty oppressors of the slave-gender we call women. The only study on lifespan differences between the genders suggests that, when living the same lifestyle, men actually had a slightly but not significantly LONGER lifespan than women. Therefore, if we’re intellectually honest, we must assume that men have on average a significantly lower living standard than women in developed countries. But, I don’t think you’re intellectually honest and so you’ll find a way to dismiss this too.

My goodness, are you actually quoting the Onion as a legitimate source?

No I’m not. That comment was not an analysis of feminism.

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1. Talis says:

“The only study on lifespan differences between the genders suggests that, when living the same lifestyle, men actually had a slightly but not significantly LONGER lifespan than women.”

Wow, there’s only ever been one study into that? I find that difficult to believe, given the seemingly constant stream of trials and long-term studies into lifestyle and diseases that are constantly appearing in the mainstream press. Maybe Science-with-a-capital-S is controlled by a secret cabal of man-hating feminists too?

If you really knew what you were talking about you’d know that one trial one its own doesn’t prove anything, it’s the big meta-studies that bring together the results of many smaller trials/studies that really count; if the results from your ‘only study’ (the only study that gave you the results you like) were never replicated, then your ‘only study’ wasn’t worth much in the first place.

“No I’m not. That comment was not an analysis of feminism.”

Well it sure looked like it, it’s hard to back-pedal when your original comment is still there for all to see.

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If nothing I’ve said has even given you a tiny bit to think about, then nothing I say in the future will make a difference either. You are determined to see women as victims no matter what. You think a huge difference in lifespan is fair to just assume that the difference is biological and somehow drop the burden of proof on me when I say that we have no reason to assume that. That was the very mindset that feminists had to fight when people said that women are bad at math/science/driving/leadership etc. Now you engage in the same practice as soon as it serves your obsession with female victimhood.
You are so obviously denying any discussion about anything but women’s suffering. That’s what’s driving you – not the truth and certainly not equality. Any self respecting independent woman has to be insulted by your childish attitude.

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2. Talis says:

“You think a huge difference in lifespan is fair to just assume that the difference is biological and somehow drop the burden of proof on me when I say that we have no reason to assume that.”

All you have to do is cite an actual article or report there buddy, for all I know your getting your scientific ‘facts’ from the Onion as well!

“Any self respecting independent woman has to be insulted by your childish attitude.”

I’m childish? You’re the one whining ‘what about the poor men’ all over the place, your the one who thinks asking grown men not to trample on small children during an evacuation constitutes an ‘anti-male bias’!

“If nothing I’ve said has even given you a tiny bit to think about, then nothing I say in the future will make a difference either.”

Hmm, sounds to me like you can’t actually back up any of the claims you made and now you’re sulking!

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47. Talis says:

Clarissa, would you please explain to me how talking about women dying in child birth means I hate women? That’s a very nasty accusation, you could at least offer some rational to back it up.

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48. bloggerclarissa :
There are many way in which that term has been polluted by actual genocides conducted in its name. Nobody slaughtered millions under the slogans of feminism, have they?

If you truly believe in equality of the sexes then there is still time. 😉

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1. Talis says:

Wow, you are an idiot.

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49. @Talis

What, for understanding the nature of power and how people can get corrupted by it regardless of the system they espouse? Do me one favour if possible, try to limit the sharing of your nastiness, it is not very becoming.

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1. Fine, people would still be greedy and there would probably still be war crimes in Magical Hypothetical Matriarchy Land.

You’re joking around, right? You’re not actually suggesting that the goal of feminism is to erect an oppressive matriarchal social order? Oh, Poe’s law….

Anyway, re the OP: is it is not more accurate to argue that it is not MEN as such who ought to be rejected as feminists but people who espouse ideas, opinions, and practices that promote repression and oppression based on gender? Taking into account that the loudest and most frequent voices for anti-feminist ideas are likely to belong to men but could as easily belong to women like Phyllis Schafly, Michelle Bachmann, Anne Coulter, &c., most typically anyone who feels like they have something to lose [power perceived or real, “moral values”, whatever] by gender equality.

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1. “s it is not more accurate to argue that it is not MEN as such who ought to be rejected as feminists but people who espouse ideas, opinions, and practices that promote repression and oppression based on gender? Taking into account that the loudest and most frequent voices for anti-feminist ideas are likely to belong to men but could as easily belong to women like Phyllis Schafly, Michelle Bachmann, Anne Coulter, &c., most typically anyone who feels like they have something to lose [power perceived or real, “moral values”, whatever] by gender equality.”

– That’s my point exactly. And it only took us 154 comments to get here. 🙂 In my personal experience (again, this is just me, myself, me), my feminist aspirations towards independence, career, education have been ridiculed an insulted only and exclusively by women. Within my own family, my father was extremely supportive of my education and career aspirations, while my mother kept telling me that nobody would ever want such a blue stocking as me and that a relationship where a man is not much smarter than the woman is doomed.

I understand that other people have different experiences but the point is that women are as likely as men to be anti-feminist. The vitriol that female writers heaped on the sufragettes was in no way kinder than that heaped on them by male writers.

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