Saturday, January 15, 2011

The White Male Trolls Are Coming--again, in histerical reaction to Suzanne Moore's article, "It's Time To Get Angry", in The Guardian

image of a typical white male troll (I peeked under the nappy) is from here
My comments, one longer one, and one about a typo-correction, are below, within the last six or so comments listed. (There are hundreds, at the original site, *here*. You may also click on the title just below, to link back to article at The Guardian.)

It's time to get angry

andrea dworkin feminist suzanne moore
 
Troublesome woman ... Andrea Dworkin was 'properly furious'. Photograph: Murdo Macleod


Children say the cutest things! Over Christmas one of mine told me that years ago she asked me why I was a feminist. It was on the way to school and I am not a morning person. Possibly she was expecting something about equal pay. Apparently I snapped: "Because men do horrible, horrible things". She was alarmed.

That was bad of me wasn't it? A little sexist? Warping the mind of a young girl. She is now grown up and thinks it's funny. It's probably not in any childcare manual and the right answer would have been stuff about wanting equal opportunities. Or I could have replied that anyone with a brain, man or woman, would see the necessity of feminism. I could have been "inclusive".

Nowadays, saying bad stuff about men is not how feminism conducts itself. We all lurve men. We are all smiley for fear of being labelled man–haters. And what is the result of this people-pleasing, ultra-feminine, crowd–sourced sexual politics? Sod all.

Reasonably sitting around waiting for equality while empowering oneself with some silicone implants does not really seem to have worked wonders, does it ladeez? Postfeminism – as personified by the Sex and the City generation – basically confused sexual liberation with shopping: a mistaken strategy even within its own market-driven terms. So we live on a permanent diet of crumbs from the table. A woman over 50 gets to be on TV! Whoopdiwhoop! It's a victory, sure, but is that all there is? It's time to wake up and smell the skinny latte.

A woman is murdered in Bristol and the response is to tell women to stay at home?! For their own safety. Though no one thinks it's a woman doing the murdering. A curfew on men would be considered a monstrous idea, even though most women live with internalised curfews anyway.

An argument about gangs of men who "groom" young women for sex becomes an argument about ethnicity and faith. Of course, these are issues to be discussed, but the central issue, surely, is the abuse of children. Turning vulnerable young girls into drug-addicted prostitutes is disgusting in any culture. But it wouldn't be a viable proposition if men did not want sex with these children. As with all arguments about prostitution, the one group we rarely hear from are the men who buy sex. The "punters".

I don't like the jargon "sex workers". We are all sex workers these days, unless we are celibate, as we are all encouraged to pursue lifelong sexiness. Most young women are endlessly groomed to be desirable after all. Yet the men who have sex with young, frightened, addled girls choose to do so. Such sex, we are told, is about power. To have sex in a car with a heroin addict is very cheap indeed. It goes on day in and day out, and of course it makes me wonder about male sexuality. As does the use of rape as a weapon of war. To say these things is not to say all men are rapists. But some are. To not say them does not make it stop.

It is as though feminism had to sex itself up to keep itself interesting. We are not hairy man-haters who bang on about domestic violence and abuse. We are fascinating women interested in fashion, relationships and true intimacy. OK, so we have a few little problems like having it all turning into doing it all, and finding a nice guy to do any of it with at all, but look on the bright side! We have got a few more female MPs, our girls are doing well at school and isn't life grand?

Well no. No it isn't. Just as the third way, or triangulation, produced a dire shutting down of political discourse, the triangulation of feminism, the third wave, as it was often called, has produced pitiful results. Part of the problem was that what many American feminists were writing in the last decade was simply superimposed onto British culture. It didn't work. We don't have a moral majority.

To see Naomi Wolf, that histrionic proponent of the third wave, pop up to demand that the women accusing Julian Assange of sexual assault and rape be named (surely they have already been shamed) is a logical conclusion of this deal. It is a dead end. Much of Wolf's work is privileged narcissism dressed up as struggle. The Beauty Myth did not have an original thought in it, but never mind, it remains the only feminist text read by many. Wolf and many of her contemporaries muddled the personal with the political to such a degree it is embarrassing. Wolf was snapped up by the media as she was beautiful – as though feminists couldn't be. Greer and Steinem were lookers, weren't they? Wolf's argument now about the anonymity of accusers in rape trials arrives on these shores a little after the Lib Dems dropped this peculiar proposal, which was never in their manifesto anyway.

Weirdly, this was really the only thing the Lib Dems have had to say about women since being in power. There are valid arguments to be made about not treating rape differently to other crimes. But the police here know many women won't come forward and all are aware of our appallingly low conviction rates.

Still, everyone seems to lose their heads around Assange. I picture Bianca Jagger washing his feet with her tears soon. Wolf actually compared him to Oscar Wilde. The similarity is that they were both in solitary confinement. Practically the same person then?

Of course, Wolf has every right to think what she likes about Assange's accusers – and to change her mind as she did about abortion – but what kind of feminism is she now espousing? I find it very difficult to know.

God, how I miss those troublesome women like Andrea Dworkin and Shulamith Firestone. They may have been as batty as hell but they had passion. And balls. They were properly furious at the horrible things men do to women. Who in their right mind, male or female, isn't? Your mother, your sister, your daughter are being told to stay inside and not complain too much. Take up knitting or vajazzling maybe?

Or take comfort from Gideon's "We are all in this together"? The last election was the most regressive for women I can remember. Women appeared as trophy wives, or not at all. The consequences of that are that this government – this new way of doing politics – is hitting women and children the hardest. Women are suffering most from the cuts that men are making. Just look at the figures.

This makes me very angry indeed. Which I know may increase "visible signs of ageing", but it's way too late now. Feminism has been dumbed down into politeness and party-political promises for far too long.

The backlash is happening in front of our eyes. Recession, of course, leads to reactionary measures and some of this reaction is taking away the few gains women have made. We can take nothing for granted. We need fire in our belly for this fight, not a bleedin' gastric bypass.

Angry Birds is the name of a game about birds and pigs. It is, as everything is now, an app. But I don't want an app. I want a movement.

Angry Birds. I am one. Join me.

  • HungryHorace
    15 January 2011 4:38PM
    Attn: Chaps.
    Don't bother, this article has nothing to do with us.
    Its to do with an internecine struggle within feminism.
    The situation is that older feminists like Ms. Moore (and Mswoman) don't want to hand the movement over to younger women. This came to a head recently over the election of the leader of a women's movement in the US and its been bad tempered ever since.
    One view as to why is expressed in the article, the opposing view is that like the leaders of any movement they've become hooked on the trappings of power and wish to defend their powers, privileges and in some cases, incomes. What Moore stops short of saying but probably wants to say is: I burnt my bra for you and all you do is vajazzle? Damn right I'm not handing over the baton. The Guardian, or rather access to its pages, is one of those privileges they are very keen to retain but if you read around on the web a bit you'll see it isn't necessarily one sided.
    Third wavers would claim that rather than moderating their language so as not to scare men, they spend most of their time moderating their language so as not to have second wave feminists launch ferocious personal attacks on them.
    Elam: This problem manifests itself when senior feminists insist that junior feminists be good daughters, defending the same kind of feminism their mothers advocated. Questions and criticisms are allowed, but only if they proceed from the approved brand of feminism. Daughters are not allowed to invent new ways of thinking and doing feminism for themselves; feminists’ politics should take the same shape that it has always assumed
    So I know it looks like we're being talked about here, but we aren't, leave them to it.
    adastram
    Maybe when they've sorted it out amongst themselves they can tell us. I know it hasn't happened yet but I live in hope.
  • Kate100
    15 January 2011 4:42PM
    Thing is there are loads and loads of real feminists - angry, set on dramatic change. Women who reject plastic surgery and vajazzling, women who are fighting tooth and nail for an end to male violence against them. And the media do EVERYTHING they can to silence us.
    In November thousands of women closed down the streets of London in the annual Reclaim The Night march. A month earlier the largest feminist conference for over a decade took place - the Feminism in London conference. How much coverage did we get from The Guardian? None at all!! From the other papers? None at all!!
    Meanwhile the coverage of cosmetic surgery with articles that read like adverts, the fawning ver any feminist who says anything negative about women, a woman or the movement continues apace.
    I don't need telling to be angry. I need someone to go out and tell the world how angry I am!!
  • GodThorIncarnate
    15 January 2011 4:45PM
    This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.
  • Ionie
    15 January 2011 4:46PM
    @MrsHappy
    "Mothers need to spend more time in the early years with their children, if they can't spare the time they shouldn't have the children"
    No. Parents need to ensure that they can both spend quality time with their children. Fathers who don't show much interest in their children and don't bother to make time to spend with them are sending them the wrong message - that by implication looking after children is not important enough for them to engage in it.
    Luckily many fathers these days don't buy into the out-dated ideas you apparently espouse - that it's only up to mothers to make time for children. My mother growing up knew fathers of friends who were emotionally absent from their children - the results for the children weren't good.
    Saying that only mothers are to blame if the children don't turn out well because they didn;t spend enough time with them is a gross insult to fathers - it implies that what they do with their children isn't important.
    As for the article, it's not about being angry with men in general on a personal level. That's why comments like - I am happy; I love my sons and so this article doesn't concern me etc are so vacuous and off the point. I would say exactly the same: I'm happy on a personal level with my children, husband and career. But that doesn't mean I don't care about women who aren't happy.
    The article is directed at trying to change aspects of society which still lead to inequality for girls and women - it's saying that won't happen without anger.
    Some aspects as a start -
    introduce parental leave not maternity leave and leave it up to couples not the state, to decide on parcelling it out
    introduce further family friendly policies for parents - eg working from home where possible 2 or more days a week (also greener)
    consider an inquisitorial system (as in most of Europe) for rape trials, not the current adversarial system (also rape would not be the only serious crime not dealt with via jury trial) and consider making previous convictions admissible in such a system
    concern ourselves with the complete lack of prosecutions for FGM in the UK though FGM has been illegal here for yrs (not one prosecution)
  • MrsHappy
    15 January 2011 4:47PM
    ScaaarBeeek
    15 January 2011 4:31PM
    To be honest sometimes you can't tell the men from the women, it's all got mixed up, some women have more testosterone than the men - take Thatcher for instance - she was three men in her cabinet.
    I know some nasty women who'd punch you if you looked at them sideways, in fact I was punched once in an supermarket car park for telling a violent woman to stop hitting a small child who she had pushed to the floor.
    As long as either parent is consistent and doesn't try to buy their child's affection with material things there isn't much difference.................. except that Dads sometimes start looking for a bit of skirt after a few years of marriage are attracted to the office secretary and dump their children and their wives ; )
  • chappelle
    15 January 2011 4:47PM
    HandandShrimp
    Moreover, only the father can show the son how to become a man.
    Not if he is an arse
    Well said. I think it's the quality of parenting not the quantity of parents that make the difference. Plenty of dads (and mums for that matter) would do far better by their kids for not having anything to do with them whatsoever if they're not going to bring anything good into their worlds.
    Still having useless or unreliable parents can often make a child more independent which isn't a bad thing.
  • MostUncivilised
    15 January 2011 4:48PM
    @Mswoman:
    They're not just going to hand us equality and rights on a plate.
    You look like you're seeking superiority rather than equality. You're helping to give all women a bad name when you're at your worst and most misandrist.
    Frankly, I'm ashamed to be associated with ardent feminists when you claim to speak for all women - not all of us feel constantly victimised and treated unjustly. I'm actually very happy about how I've been treated by men - equally and with respect. It's other women who have made my life a living hell most of the time. Sorry if that doesn't go with the ideal of the sisterhood or whatever else you want to call the view through your rose-tinted spectacles.
    And simpering and fawning to them, in some misguided attempt to win them round to our view, does nothing more than plays straight into their hands.
    No, getting angry will play into the hands of the misogynists. Misogynists, not men. The people who have a low view of women (including some women I've spoken to, actuallty) will only feel that their prejudices have been confirmed if we get angry with them. Far better to be polite but assertive - being aggressive gets people nowhere.
  • sarka
    15 January 2011 4:51PM
    MsWoman
    "Saying to men "it's not ok for you to do this" is not the same thing at all as saying "it's not ok for you to do this, but it's ok for us to do it to you," and I honestly don't know anyone who would argue that it is."

    Couldn't agree more. And one of the problems is the tactic by which many men respond to the proposition that "it's not okay for you to do this", viz in spoilt child mode
    e.g., not only "what you mean is that it's okay for you to do it but not me"
    but more often
    "You hate me! You're hateful! You're a nasty stupid person! Nobody likes you!"
  • epistaxis
    15 January 2011 4:52PM
    Horace: perhaps you're right. I keep getting told I am just a potential rapist in waiting and I just assumed the guilt for everything straight off and presumed I was in the wrong. I stand corrected.
    I had to google vajazzling by the way. What will they come up with next eh?
  • chappelle
    15 January 2011 4:52PM
    I did actually have to find out what vajazzling was and was a little bemused.
    Wasn't the frou-frou's natural fur coat glam enough for you ladies?
  • ScaaarBeeek
    15 January 2011 4:52PM
    Elam: This problem manifests itself when senior feminists insist that junior feminists be good daughters, defending the same kind of feminism their mothers advocated. Questions and criticisms are allowed, but only if they proceed from the approved brand of feminism. Daughters are not allowed to invent new ways of thinking and doing feminism for themselves; feminists’ politics should take the same shape that it has always assumed
    To anyone who is unfamiliar with Paul Elam, he runs the website A Voice For Men. He is a prominent Men's Movement activist.
    He has also made a number of eloquent engaging videos on YouTube.
    I really wish the Guardian would ask him to write an article.
  • snoozeofreason
    15 January 2011 4:53PM
    Suzanne Moore wrote:
    A woman is murdered in Bristol and the response is to tell women to stay at home?! For their own safety. Though no one thinks it's a woman doing the murdering. A curfew on men would be considered a monstrous idea, even though most women live with internalised curfews anyway.
    The snag with this is that asking men to stay at home might not work either. The murderer is probably a busy person, and he might not notice an appeal addressed to men in general.
    Clearly what we need to do is to specifically ask murderers if they wouldn't mind staying indoors, or at least restricting their activities to specific hours. That would work.
  • Ionie
    15 January 2011 4:55PM
    @Hungryhorace
    "The situation is that older feminists like Ms. Moore (and Mswoman) don't want to hand the movement over to younger women. "
    No - that' completely irrelevant to it. It's about taking a stance, which applies regardless of age. As I said above, the question is whether appeasement or anger are more effective. Of ocurse anger must be tempered by reason - but her point is that anger as a motivating force is a powerful weapon that should be utlised.
    Also the idea that this is nothing to do with men is extremely naive and not espoused by men who understand the trends that have occurred over the last 20 yrs in Europe, especially in relation to parenting.
    Men are now far more involved in equal parenting than they were 40 yrs ago. That's all good, but working patterns haven't yet caught up with this changed model of parenting, especially in the UK. That is something that rightly concerns fathers as well as mothers, as of course many men realise.
  • MostUncivilised
    15 January 2011 4:55PM
    @ScaaarBeeek:
    Moreover, only the father can show the son how to become a man.
    Do you also think that only the mother can show a daughter how to become a woman? My Dad taught me more about modern life than she ever did, he's been a wonderful parent. He's actually taken more of an interest in my alternative gothy fashion quests than my mum has while also taking a lot of interest in my science studies outside of school. I've never been told that anything was unsuitable for me because it was usually for boys and not girls.
    (And indeed, only a father can show his daughter what to EXPECT from a man.)
    I disagree - my Dad told me not to expect anything, he taught me that as a woman I'm equally capable of achieving things as men are. He also taught me to be assertive and not to take any abuse from people, male or female. Far from expecting anything from men, I was taught to challenge and question anything I thought was wrong and to create my own success.
  • happytoleaveBritain
    15 January 2011 4:59PM
    @MostUncivilized
    No, getting angry will play into the hands of the misogynists. Misogynists, not men. The people who have a low view of women (including some women I've spoken to, actuallty) will only feel that their prejudices have been confirmed if we get angry with them. Far better to be polite but assertive - being aggressive gets people nowhere.
    Bingo!
    This was the brilliance of MLK's basic tactics, like those of karate--use the "enemy's" momentum against him. Opponents of feminism could use the empty anger of this piece and some of the more vacuous statements or overgeneralizations of too many "feminist" writers here against feminism. Caring but canny feminists could do the same. Be assertive, be brave--but be "civilized."
    On another note, "feminism" is past its sell-by date. We need to think in broader terms of "gender." Bring men into the discussion qua "men." But then again, this is third-wave feminism which, as HungryHorace noted, is a likely target (conscious or unconscious) of this and similar rants.
  • HungryHorace
    15 January 2011 5:02PM
    Ionie
    I disagree.
    From the trope of the 'daughter that doesn't know any better' to the fairly explicit stuff about Naomi Wolf "and her contemporaries".
    Its not exactly written in code is it.
  • reynardmandrake
    15 January 2011 5:03PM
    Whenever I hear a woman bragging how lovely "her men" are and how horrible feminism is, I sometimes get the hunch that this woman hates other women.
    Like my best friend who was always suspicious of me and other women, flirting with her husband (I did no such thing).
    Some women hate the thought of another woman being around as it invades their "territory".
    I do wish more people on this thread - men and women would be a bit more honest.
  • epistaxis
    15 January 2011 5:06PM
    in the interests of equality, although I don't have a vaj to jazzle, I have tidied up the old chap down below with some fetching stone cladding.
  • ScaaarBeeek
    15 January 2011 5:06PM
    Do you also think that only the mother can show a daughter how to become a woman?
    Yes, only she can, But she often doesn't -- especially if she's a feminist
    .I disagree - my Dad told me not to expect anything, he taught me that as a woman I'm equally capable of achieving things as men are. He also taught me to be assertive and not to take any abuse from people, male or female. Far from expecting anything from men, I was taught to challenge and question anything I thought was wrong and to create my own success.
    Once again, I said only a father can. This does not mean he will. Many fathers today have themselves been raised on feminism.
    And deep down they are stressed out. Their masculinity (read also creativity and generosity) has been stifled and never allowed to develop. To use bit of psychobabble, this is a neurosis.
    They only regurgitate what Ms. Jones in primary school demanded of them 30 years ago. They are lost.
  • wh1952
    15 January 2011 5:10PM
    Women who reject plastic surgery and vajazzling,
    Nice to see feminism is straight onto the important questions ......
  • tinlaurelledandhardy
    15 January 2011 5:10PM
    Great piece, Suzanne!
    MsWoman, you too!
    I can see that the WDYWTTA (anti-) feminists' "but we like men and we don't want you to say unpleasant things and my-husband-can cook" -armada have set sails again. Oh, well.
  • wh1952
    15 January 2011 5:13PM
    ScaaarBeeek,
    The 20th century has not been kind to you has it, and I don't think you'll fit in any better in the 21st.
  • Contributor
    Mswoman
    15 January 2011 5:13PM
    HungryHorace
    "The situation is that older feminists like Ms. Moore (and Mswoman) don't want to hand the movement over to younger women"
    How can I hand something over that's not in my hands in the first place? The "movement" is not my gift to give, and I don't think I've ever implied that it was.
    Although, to quote Robin Morgan:
    "Younger women often patronise older ones. "How cute that you were all so militant! Now, of course, you're ancient - so get outta my way, gimme your torch." Speaking for myself, I'm hanging on to my torch, thank you. Get your own damned torch. It will take every torch possible to transform this system."
  • chappelle
    15 January 2011 5:15PM
    reynardmandrake
    Whenever I hear a woman bragging how lovely "her men" are and how horrible feminism is, I sometimes get the hunch that this woman hates other women.
    Some women hate the thought of another woman being around as it invades their "territory".
    Or it might well be that they have had bad experiences with women that make them rather more cautious with females than with men who might have been nicer to them. Women who have had bad experiences with men probably are more suspicious of them. Why presume that people just decide to hate people for no reason?
    Does seem like she might have been betrayed by him beforehand but decided to blame the other party, but there's usually some justification behind these actions.
  • happytoleaveBritain
    15 January 2011 5:16PM
    Younger women often patronise older ones. "How cute that you were all so militant! Now, of course, you're ancient - so get outta my way, gimme your torch." Speaking for myself, I'm hanging on to my torch, thank you. Get your own damned torch. It will take every torch possible to transform this system."
    Great example of what MostUncivilized and HungryHorace were saying! Thank you!
  • Contributor
    Mswoman
    15 January 2011 5:24PM
    happytoleaveBritain
    "Great example of what MostUncivilized and HungryHorace were saying!"
    Only if you wilfully ignore the very last sentence. Morgan made it clear that she was talking about the need for both young and "vintage" feminists, as she termed them, to take up their torches and fight together.
    This isn't a generational disagreement, it's a political one. There are young, radical, angry feminists around today, in the same way that there are older, 'fun', more liberal feminists. Our differences aren't defined by age, but by our different approaches and political analyses.
  • ready2assemblegerbil
    15 January 2011 5:29PM
    This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.
  • happytoleaveBritain
    15 January 2011 5:34PM
    @MsWoman
    First, an intellectual movement (or its intellectual/discursive side) has a generational component over time. Denying this is foolish. And a call to arms doesn't negate that, or even paper it over--as Suzanne's and your comments reveal. So your response doesn't ring true. Perhaps you need to look in a mirror in a moment of reflexivity, else you become a slave to dogma.
  • HungryHorace
    15 January 2011 5:37PM
    Mswoman
    Fair enough, perhaps I could have put it a bit better but you got my drift sufficiently well I think. Its been more obvious in the US because NOW exists and so on (Susan Faludi sets it out nicely in an article called "American Electra" which appeared in Harpers although this may be coals to Newcastle...).
    I was reading that the thread the other day about whether the Guardian was sexist and wondered what could be done to improve the level of the debate. I'm just saying, imagine you read this (1) as the person this implacable rage is focused on (2) without knowing any the context as regards 2nd wave feminists having a disagreement with the 3rd wave... Your comments are likely to be sincere but probably not very useful to what is actually being discussed here.
    Your comment was about feminism and the forms it takes because you understood what this article was really about, its not a given everyone else did given how it was written.
  • Billyraybob
    15 January 2011 5:44PM
    Sometimes people are treated unfairly because they are women. Sometimes people are treated unfairly because they are men. Sometimes people are treated unfairly because of the colour of their skin, their sexuality, or because they are just simply different.
    Women do not have the monopoly on being treated unfairly.
  • ready2assemblegerbil
    15 January 2011 5:45PM
    sophiewilkinson
    15 January 2011 9:54AM
    Brilliant, brilliant piece, Suzanne.
    And if anyone needs evidence that certain environments are unnecessarily and arbitrarily dominated and ruined by embittered men, just look at some of the other comments on here. We could've had an intelligent debate, and now look what's happened
    ______________________________________________________________
    "I don't like the jargon "sex workers". We are all sex workers these days, unless we are celibate, as we are all encouraged to pursue lifelong sexiness."
    ______________________________________________________________
    With comments like these in the original article, how can anyone expect an intelligent debate? It is offensive to men and women in its sweeping generalisation and as can usually be said 'where is the evidence?' - intelligent articles generate intelligent debate.
  • Eques
    15 January 2011 5:48PM
    @rcoldbreath
    We aren't talking about animal cruelty. We are talking about the rape of women. It IS an issue that pertains to women, and only to women.
    No, your original point was that portraying rape in an advert would be upsetting to rape victims. I was saying that a lot of things portrayed in public information films are intended to shock but that the downside is that it is upsetting to people who have been affected by it. Therefore the (valid) complaint you raised was not a specifically feminist one. I think you know this very well.
    There you go again, you see. This is exactly the sort of chippy behaviour I was complaining about in the other half of my post. Twisting absolutely anything anyone says into an attack on women. In this case implying I was comparing women to animals, whereas in fact I gave animal cruelty as one in a long list of examples of issues that utilise upsetting advertising techniques.
  • adastram
    15 January 2011 5:56PM
    Sometimes people are treated unfairly because they are women. Sometimes people are treated unfairly because they are men. Sometimes people are treated unfairly because of the colour of their skin, their sexuality, or because they are just simply different.
    As far as I am aware physical stature is a greater determinant of salary than gender within organisations. Women can wear high heels of course. Well, so can men, but they'll be ridiculed.
    I wrote to New Labour's Equalities Ministry when they were in power, providing the evidence of height discrimination and salary, asking them what they were planning on doing about it. They wrote back and said "nothing".
    It seems some inequalities are more equal than others.
    I am almost certain a similar dynamic goes on with physical attractiveness, but unlike quantifiable or binary factors such as sex and height, you can't measure it. Doesn't mean it isn't worse for the victims, though.
  • variation31
    15 January 2011 5:57PM
    Perhaps what the feminist movement needs is a few men in it, so that it can be run properly.
    Wow, am I glad to enjoy internet anonymity.
  • foreignlilac
    15 January 2011 5:59PM
    @Suzanne. You cant get away with saying men do terrible things because men will take it personally, as a personal affront. They think they are defending their sex when in fact they are defending themselves. How often do men refuse praise when it is offered to the male sex on account of it not being deserved by every man.
    (Waiting for the first one to say..."Well, I don't")
  • tinlaurelledandhardy
    15 January 2011 6:03PM
    but look on the bright side! We have got a few more female MPs, our girls are doing well at school and isn't life grand?
    Well no. No it isn't.
    No, it isn't. Like big finance has re-branded the word scrounger; New Labour re-branded social welfare; Big corporation re-branded non-polluting, the same way feminism has been re-branded by interest groups and media into a one-size-fits-all suit, away from its true egalitarian origin. Feminism is, and necessarily must be, a broad church. Within it there have to be some nutters, religionists and capitalist chauvinists.
    What is the core is what Mswoman says: the political and ideological roots and the obvious clash of interests: for women to have 100 % of the average wages, 50 % of the power and 0 % of gender violence, then men will have to take a step back.
  • happytoleaveBritain
    15 January 2011 6:07PM
    @foreignlilac
    Might be a man takes affront because Suzanne is confusing sex & gender. "Men do bad things" because they are "men" is sexist. It is also a pretty shallow approach to gender & inequality. So you are really oversimplifying as badly as she is. Of course, it doesn't help that there are men who will think as you say they would, just as there are women who think this way as well...
  • happytoleaveBritain
    15 January 2011 6:09PM
    for women to have 100 % of the average wages, 50 % of the power and 0 % of gender violence, then men will have to take a step back.
    And there is the zero-sum tone that won't get feminism much further...
  • JulianReal
    15 January 2011 6:13PM
    And if anyone needs evidence that certain environments are unnecessarily and arbitrarily dominated and ruined by embittered men, just look at some of the other comments on here. We could've had an intelligent debate, and now look what's happened.
    I agree with SophieWilkinson.
    Wouldn't you know it? As soon as a woman (just one, mind you) dares to speak out against men's atrocities in the dominant media (ruled by white men, in case you haven't noticed) without asking the Master for permission to do so, without apologising, here come those Men's Rights trolls en masse: those über-privileged white men who will never know what it's like to have male genitals in their terribly dissociated, drugged-up bodies or be sexually trafficked across Europe, Asia, Africa, or the Americas, or be kept as a slave, or be raped by a fellow soldier, or be raped and killed by a foreign British or U.S. soldier, or be battered into coma or an early grave for the crime of getting pregnant or not having dinner ready when he gets home from his busy, busy day, or be molested or raped by one's father or father-figure at least twice as often as any son might be. (The sons aren't so likely to be abused by daddy as they are by men who are not their fathers. The most common form of child sexual abuse remains father-daughter incest, however. Notice how the Father's Rights trolls do [<---should read: go] batty at the mere mention of this.)
    The U.S. and Canadian Men's Rights trolls won't own up to the fact that they--disproportionately white men--are the demographic who rape Indigenous women most often in North America. Why do you suppose that is? Just read "The Maze of Injustice", put out by Amnesty International for the whole horrid, truthful story. I suppose the Men's Rights trolls will now accuse A.I. of being run by lunatic lesbians. Try again, straight boys. It's run by more of your own.
    Leave it to the privileged astoundingly immature man-trolls to (rather pathetically) try and knock down and silence Suzanne Moore and every other woman here, or to merely make her out to be batty.
    Such histerically threatened creatures those privileged white heterosexual men, while fully human to be sure. It's a wonder how they get through a day without every single woman in earshot constantly supporting their fragile, in-fear-of-withering, perpetually Viagra-propped-up egos.
    The only issue I take with the article is calling Dworkin 'batty' and saying she had balls--unless by balls we mean "ovaries", which are as ballsy as testicles, after all. She never had testicles, and she was honest to say if she had, she probably wouldn't have treated women especially well--not due to biology, either; due to how men are socially encouraged to despise women in so many ugly ways. You learn compassion for women by experiencing what men do to you that is utterly callous and chronically cruel, just because you're female-not-male.
    I'd call men batty for waging intimate and institutionalised war against women across race, region, age, and race, for millennia. I'd call men three stages past batty for posting the comments they have above and for rather delusionally thinking they don't have male supremacist privileges and entitlements to access women's bodies 24/7, with force when desired. No, not ALL men behave like thugs and cads, of course. But we can note how the men who do rape and procure women aren't hearing any objections from the allegedly "good men" above, trolling away, making the world safe from even one woman who dares speak a few truths about men's well-established power--especially white men's--to rule every institution known to "man" and then proclaim he's being beaten up by women, verbally, when all that's happening is a few women, here, are speaking out about what it is that far too many men do, without apology.
    Are these Men's Rights Activists really that insecure? Just watch how they respond to this comment, below, and any other woman-positive, pro-feminist comment anywhere on the Internet.
    And I'm male, by the way. Now watch closely to see what the MRAs call me. It won't be "ballsy", I assure you.
  • tinlaurelledandhardy
    15 January 2011 6:16PM
    variation31
    Perhaps what the feminist movement needs is a few men in it, so that it can be run properly.
    Wow, am I glad to enjoy internet anonymity.
    So am I.
    Actually some of my favourite feminists are men.
  • thetrashheap
    15 January 2011 6:16PM
    tinlaurelledandhardy - "What is the core is what Mswoman says: the political and ideological roots and the obvious clash of interests:"
    " for women to have 100 % of the average wages", 50 % of the power and 0 % of gender violence, then men will have to take a step back."
    OMG!!
    How can women have half the wages when they work far less?
    How can women have half the wages when men do most of the worst jobs?
    Why is somebody going to clean the streets at 4.00am if they can get the same for cleaning toilets 9-5? Why will a person labour all day when they can get the same money working at a till?
    How are women going to have 50% of political power when they aren't winning the votes?
    How are you going to make this utopia?
    Only through wide spread discrimination could you get your ideal and that is why people oppose this nonsense.
    Do you believe in forcing women to share the worst aspects of life, Give homeless men, womens houses, give women heavier sentences to equal prison population. etc
  • reynardmandrake
    15 January 2011 6:17PM
    @chapelle " . . . Why presume that people just decide to hate people for no reason?"
    As delicately as I can say this - in the case I mentioned above the reason was jealousy. My friend always thought she was uglier than me and she resented it for years. She would get into drunken states of hysteria and accuse me of all kinds of sexual promiscuity, yet she would throw herself at any man in the room. Even today (we are both in our fifties) she can't bear other women around her.
    There is no "sisterhood." What I admire about women like Greer, Millet and Co. is their projects aimed at getting women to be more honest about themselves. I agree with BeautifulBurnout - each individual woman needs to stand up to "Machismo" culture and rise above it. Without this self-examination, a lot of women lack the will to grow-up and will continue to demand to be treated like a vunerable child for most of their adult life.
    My advice to younger womenis to "stay away from Machismo men" and seek healthy, honest relationships with men who are willing to be as honest as you.
    Through honestly, maybe the aggression and bile will dissolve into mutual love and respect.
  • JulianReal
    15 January 2011 6:19PM
    With apology, a typo correction:
    This: Notice how the Father's Rights trolls do batty at the mere mention of this.
    Should read: Notice how the Father's Rights trolls go batty at the mere mention of this.
    But without apology for the observation.

2 comments:

JENNIFER DREW said...

Suzanne Moore is absolutely correct pandering to men will never achieve women's liberation from male domination, but never mind at least it keeps 'the men happy.'

Given the number of hysterical male commentators/male trolls all singing from the same hymn sheet clearly feminism to them is seen as the utter destruction of all mankind (sic) because once again it is men's interests, men's needs and men's rights which are central. Women's rights to even breathe without male permission is seen as trampling on mens' right to dominate and control women.

For the record Andrea Dworkin was not 'batty' but because she dared to speak the truth about male domination, male supremacists became hysterical and made mythical claims.

Remember what Audre Lorde said 'the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.' Meaning of course pandering to men will never eliminate male domination over women.

Men will never cede their rights and pseudo entitlements without a struggle and that is the lesson constantly repeated and constantly forgotten as new generations of feminists believe by pandering to men, male power will be curbed - but reality is men will never give up their power willingly.

Hence the mass influx of white male trolls invading and attempting to eliminate one feminist woman who has dared to hold men accountable for their crimes against women. I mean of course Andrea Dworkin because her name is consistently used as evidence of supposed feminist evil - never mind that Dworkin wrote/told the truth. It is because Dworkin was female just as Suzanne Moore is female that these male trolls suffer uncontrollable rage and yet patriarchy tells us men are supposedly more rational and objective than women!

Julian Real said...

Thank you, Jennifer.

I am deeply sorry that you and the women in Australia have to deal with particularly active white, het, class-privileged MRAs and FRAs.

I forgot to mention in my comment how women who have been abused by boyfriends or husbands in the home, who fight for custody of the children he also abused, are not allowed to raise the matter of him being a batterer or abuser because that is viewed in courts as "the woman playing the victim card". How misogynistic does a society have to be to call women reporting being abused, "playing the victim card"?!