Monday, August 23, 2010

The Double Standard of What Gender-specific Quotes Mean and Represent: The Endless Parade of Anti-Feminist Quotes Continues

image of Dwaine Tinsley: cartoonist (creator of "Chester the Molester" published in Hustler magazine for years), good friend of Larry Flynt, and incest perpetrator of his daughter, is from here

From this blog website: My reply to it follows.

Misandry is not feminism!

This (content warning) disturbs me a little as a believer that all people should have equal rights and not seek domination over another sex, ethnic background (I refuse the term “race”), or orientation. To me and many others; this is what feminism is about.
“I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”
- Robin Morgan: civil rights, antiwar and radical feminist activist, writer, poet, and editor of Ms. Magazine

Nothing has ever been accomplished anywhere with hate. In fact I think that “man hating” pushes women and man further away from the ultimate goal of equality because it then places the sexes at “war” with each other as well as reinforcing the misconceptions about females.
“When a woman reaches orgasm with a man she is only collaborating with the patriarchal system, eroticizing her own oppression.”
- Sheila Jeffreys: professor, political activist and author
This is plain BS. People are supposed to enjoy sex and having an orgasm isn’t making you a slave to the patriarchal system. Not having one is because that means your man only cares about his pleasure rather than yours as well. This lady is backwards and this statement is utterly ridiculous. To me it seems that she is stating you cannot be a feminist and enjoy sex or to be a feminist you must be a lesbian.
“To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.”
- Valerie Solanas (1936-1988): Author of the SCUM Manifesto, attempted murderer of Andy Warhol
This is what I call role reversal and it isn’t okay. Just because females have been treated as the proverbial slab of meat does not make it okay to treat men the same way. This comment is sickening…
“I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig.”
- Andrea Dworkin (1946-2005): writer, antipornography activist
Physical abuse or assault is never okay no matter what sex it is EVER. I don’t think I need to say any more than that.
“We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men.”
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902): social activist, abolitionist, women’s suffrage movement leader
Again, this is just pitting the sexes together in a power struggle which is self defeating to the movement as a whole.

The bottom line is that these women weren’t feminists and women who think like this are not feminists. Just like misogyny; misandry is dangerous to the concept of equality and attitudes like this should be refused by the feminist movement.

Julian Real's reply:

Feminism isn't "misandry" and those tired old quotes don't make it so. They are trotted across the internet more often than the "important" news of which female celebrity was caught in the paparazzi's photographs not wearing any make-up. You're really misleading people here with this post, and it's sad to see--again.

Feminism has always been anti-rape (against anyone), against violence (against anyone), and for equality and dignity and human rights, for raising boys to be humane, for raising girls with self-esteem and confidence.

The people who most promote the hatred of men are MEN, not women. Haven't you noticed that? It is men, after all, not women, who start and maintain wars, right?

The people who do hate women most dangerously are men, and too many of them demonstrate it in ugly and lethal ways, as we all got to witness when recently hearing Mel Gibson be verbally threatening and insulting and degrading to Oksana Gregorieva, or with Phil Spector's murder of Lana Clarkson. We have story after story of male serial rapists and serial killers in the news, which also seems like a storyline prime-time programs like CSI, NCIS, and Law and Order cannot do without. How many more times do we have to see a young, thin, white woman appearing to be dead, bloody, wrapped in plastic, to "entertain" mass U.S. audiences? Those shows, every week, don't show bloody, naked, young pale men in plastic, do they? Who writes those story lines: women or men?

Lies are spread about feminists being "man-haters" by reproducing  five or seven or a dozen quotes, as you do above, as if we couldn't do precisely the same thing with just quotes that have left the lips of male actors, or that were composed by "great" male novelists, essayists, or playwrights. Shall we conclude then, that those men's quotes are representative of how most or all male actors, novelists, essayists, and playwrights feel about women? Why do men's rights activists regularly, online, promote this the double standard:

A few hateful comments by men towards or about women are indicative that some men are bitter about women because sometime in their lives a woman probably hurt them very badly; but a few quotes by some feminists, often from works of fiction or as noted in statements that have been made up completely (evidence linked to below), mean that feminists who disrespect or disregard men in some way are speaking the one truth that all feminists believe--or that even the feminist being quoted believes?

Is that fair? Is what you do above fair to feminism?

Why the very selective quoting? You could promote feminism with the quotes listed below. Feminists were and still are trying to achieve: an end of male violence against women and an end to rape. Feminists work to achieve equal rights, including equal pay for the same work done by men, and feminists note that "housework" is hard work.

See this for more on how your blog post dovetails with what anti-feminist men's rights activists spread across the web:

Why don't you put up the quotes below, by radical feminists? I'd recommend that you at least balance out the post you have above by also posting these (not just in a comment by me) to show how even more feminists, including the one's selectively (like Dworkin's and Morgan's) or quoted out of context (like Stanton's) by you above, really feel about men's humanity.

"The strongest lesson I can teach my son is the same lesson I teach my daughter: how to be who he wishes to be for himself." -- radical feminist Audre Lorde

"People can find eroticism in relations with people whom they respect and whom they see as equals." -- radical feminist Catharine MacKinnon

"In the long run, Women's Liberation will of course free men -- but in the short run it's going to COST men a lot of privilege, which no one gives up willingly or easily." -- radical feminist Robin Morgan

"[A] legitimate revolution must be led by, made by those who have been most oppressed: black, brown, yellow, red, and white women —- with men relating to that the best they can." -- radical feminist Robin Morgan

One of the most spuriously quoted lines by Marilyn French is one from her novel, The Women's Room. It reads, "all men are rapists, and that's all they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws and their codes."

What is next was quoted from her in 2007 and is NOT from her fictional characters:

"Most men are on our side. They like their lives better than their fathers' lives. They like being involved with their children. They like having a better relationship with their women." -- radical feminist Marilyn French

"I believe that all human beings are equal. I believe that no one has the right to authority over anyone else." -- radical feminist Marilyn French

"For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?" -- radical feminist bell hooks

"No one deserves brutality because of what they are, there condition of birth." -- radical feminist Andrea Dworkin

"Truth is harder to bear than ignorance, and so ignorance is valued more--also because the status quo depends on it; but love depends on self-knowledge and self-knowledge depends on being able to bear the truth." -- radical feminist Andrea Dworkin

"Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust." -- radical feminist bell hooks (Communion: The Female Search for Love)

"As all advocates of feminist politics know most people do not understand sexism or if they do they think it is not a problem. Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these folks think feminism is anti-male. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media." -- radical feminist bell hooks

Why do you quote Dworkin from a work of fiction? Does a misogynistic quote by Norman Mailer or Ernest Hemingway mean all male novelists hate women? And, noted above here, there are plenty of quotes you could cite by Dworkin that demonstrate she believed in the humanity of men. She was no man-hater, which is obvious if you read her work carefully and know anything at all about her life.

The Stanton quote was obviously written in response to the predominant and prevailing view that white men are superior to all women, of any ethnicity.

Let's visit a few of the quotes by men, throughout history. Because given what follows, you ought to conclude what you do about "feminists": that a few carefully chosen misogynistic quotes from men who say hateful things about women are representative of how men feel, generally, as a group. Is there or isn't there a double standard about what quotes mean when compiled in curiously biased ways?

Below are just a tiny sampling demonstrating that men's institutionalised hatred of women is centuries old and exists across many societies. These are men, who, unlike anyone you cited above, occupied positions of significant political leadership and social influence with actual power to control institutions and societies that radical feminists, as yet, have never had.

Jack Holland details the ways in which both the Greeks and Hesiod viewed the figure of Pandora.

 ‘The Greek phrase used to describe her, kalon kakon, means ‘the beautiful evil’.’

In Hesiod’s words...
 ‘From her comes all the race of womankind
 The deadly female race and tribe of wives
 Who live with mortal men and do them harm.’

Tertullion, one of the founding fathers of the Catholic Church, famously harangued the archetypal feminine thus...
‘And do you know that you are Eve? God’s sentence hangs over all your sex and His punishment weighs down upon you. You are the devil’s gateway, it was you who first violated the forbidden tree and broke God’s law. You coaxed your way around man whom the devil had not the force to attack. With what ease you shattered that image of God: man!’

 ‘Woman is a stupid vessel over whom man must always hold power, for the man is higher and better than she is.’   Martin Luther, Protestant Reformationist. (NOT Martin Luther King!)

 ‘A man with a hundred tongues who lived for a century would still not be able to complete the task of describing the vices and defects of a woman.’  Mahabharata, Hindu.

Georg Hegel, wrote in his ‘Philosophy of Right’...
 ‘Women are certainly capable of learning, but they are not made for the higher forms of science, such as philosophy...Women acquire learning – we know not how – almost as if by breathing ideas, more by living really than by actually taking hold of knowledge.’

Friedrich Nietzsche said that...
‘When a woman inclines to learning, there is usually something wrong with her sex apparatus.’

And it lurches into the twentieth century with the words of Otto Weininger on the absolute nothingness of women...

‘Women have no existence and no essence, they are not, they are nothing, Mankind occurs as male or female, as something or nothing...the meaning of woman is to be meaningless. She represents negation, the opposite pole from the Godhead, the other possibility of humanity....A woman cannot grasp that one must act from principle; as she has no continuity she does not experience the necessity for logical support of her mental processes...she may be regarded as ‘logically insane’.    From ‘Sex and Character’, 1906.

Dr. Max Baff, Professor of Psychology, in 1910:
‘All women are fundamentally savage, and the suffragist movement is simply an outbreak of emotional insanity.’

‘Women who say no do not always mean no. It is not just a question of saying no, it is a question of how she says it, how she shows and makes it clear. If she doesn’t want it she only has to keep her legs shut and she would not get it without force.’  Judge David Wild, 1982.

And here's another bit of "brilliance" by Martin Luther:
‘Men have broad shoulders and narrow hips, and accordingly they possess intelligence. Women have narrow shoulders and broad hips. Women ought to stay at home; the way they were created indicates this, for they have broad hips and a wide fundament to sit upon, keep house and bed and raise children.’

‘The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain – whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of senses and hands...’  Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man.

I haven't even tapped the vast body of "great" literature, exposing all the quotes from those famous misogynists Norman Mailer and Ernest Hemingway. I haven't even shown images of woman-hating mass produced by pimps like Larry Flynt of Hustler, who thought monthly cartoons created by a convicted incest perpetrator of his daughter, Dwaine Tinsley, and good friend of Larry's, about how funny it was to be a child molester. I've shown no images by Bob Guccione of Penthouse, such as his "classic" photographs, in his magazine, of East Asian women wrapped in white sheets appearing to have been dropped off a cliff onto rocks, as if dead--in a pornography magazine for men's entertainment (according to men and the fact that they said they enjoy the images). I haven't begun to quote what all those men have to say about women and especially feminists that is disgustingly pro-rape and virulently woman-hating.

So will you correct the perception you leave readers with above about what feminists generally believe, and please also clearly indicate what men, historically, have done to subordinate women, that far too many men still do?


expotl said...

You're so true. I also fight for equal rights, join demonstrations and try to stop sexism where I can. It's very often pretty deperating if you look at mass media or just around. But we keep on fighting for we will reach a day where we all live with equal rights. - a man
by the way, where do you have the Nietzsche-quote from, I've read nearly all of his books, and he was definitely not a sexist, look at the third picture:
the pic is pretty famous, and in "thus spoke Zarathustra" there's another quote which is often believed to be sexist, but you often have to look at the context concerning litarature ..

Julian Real said...

Greetings, expotl,

There are many citations for the quote by Nietzsche. Here is one by Gary K. Clabaugh from *here*:

Besides, observes the noted philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) in Beyond Good and Evil, "When a woman inclines to learning there is usually something wrong with her sexual apparatus."