Friday, June 10, 2011

Exposing the HeteroPatriarchal Agenda and Values of Father's Rights Activist, Jackie Anderson

image is from here
Is the logo above is unduly phallic or is it just me who sees erect penises where they don't belong?

A fellow blogger has written commentary appropriately interrupting the text of a dangerously heteropatriarchal dood. His name is Jackie Anderson, and he's a Communications Director for StudentsForLifeofAmerica. He'd be more dangerous if he made sense, but perhaps not. Perhaps we don't live in a time when making sense is all that important. The more I think about it, the more it appears that nonsense sells, and the more the nonsense taps into racist and heteropatriarchal memes,  themes, ideals, and myths, the more adored it will be by the pro-status quo masses.

The Hermes' Journeys blogger has put his critique and commentary in brackets and italics below. I'll put my own comments in the cross-post in bold, [brackets], and also in a pretty color. I was welcomed to do this by the host of Hermes' Journeys.

To link back to the original pro-feminist intervention, please click *here*.
To link to the original post containing this Fathers' Rights nonsense UNinterrupted, please click *here*.

Only the text in the pretty pinkish color is mine. To be honest, I really don't like pink, or blue. And, in a preliminary response to what follows, I don't like tea parties or toy trucks either. -- Julian

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Unofficial Month of Men!

My brain almost exploded when I opened up my email this morning. See, I subscribe to the mailing list for this ridiculously well-funded and well-organized Arlington, VA-based pro-life group called Students For Life, in order to keep tabs on their memes and tactics. You can pretty much guess what their emails are normally like. But today's was special. Today's was designed to make sociologists apoplectic.

The subject was "Should Men Have A Say?" And the email starts out with a message called "A Man's Choice?" from Jackie Anderson, the Communications Director. I will reproduce it here with my comments in brackets:

June is unofficially the month of men. [isn't every month?] [And isn't this the official millennium of men, much like all the others?] Father’s Day [in the US] falls on June 17th this year. [OK I'll give you that one] The release of X-Men: First Class last week helped to begin the month with a testosterone-infused rush to the box office. [um, what the shit does that have to do with anything? are you just trying to hook in the college-aged crowd here? the X-men, if anything, are a progressive organization. The movies are basically a parable for gay rights!] [Yes, Hermes! He might like to consider what it is he's REALLY promoting. And I hope he realises women have testosterone too. And men have estrogen.] Like similar holidays [which celebrate Christian white het men's "greatest" accomplishments in mass murder, slavery, and oppression--such as Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas], we take time this month to celebrate those whom we love [--and with FR activists that'd be "ourselves, and our reflections in mirrors"], those who have loved us from the start [statistically and anecdotally, that's not likely to be daddy], and sometimes, those we may not see as often as we wish. [Statistically and anecdotally, that would be daddy.]

Men play an intrinsically different role in our lives than women do. [!!!!! AHHHHH BRAIN STARTING TO MELT] [Men do not play an intrinsically different role in the lives of children who are raised by two fathers, or whose single and partnered mothers do the work of two parents; traditionally, men's role is to disappear or dominate; to cheat on one's mother; to beat one's mother; and also to beat and incest the children; I'll inquire about this blatant omission of reality further later on] From an early age, we’re taught the idiosyncrasies that make men who they are [Often enough from heterosexist media. I wonder, Jackie, are you referencing the men who are abusive, or the men who are not?], and similarly, that make women equally as unique. [FFFUUUUUUU...] [We might note the phrasing "similarly ... equally as unique" is nothing if it isn't oxymoronic. First, it implies oppositional and hierarchical uniqueness, attributed not to individuals but to ALL women as distinguished from ALL men is a form of similarity; this would mean that socially speaking, all men are clones, including genetically if you think genes greatly inform personality and actions, as men like Jackie do; are we really supposed to believe that ALL men share the exact same ideosyncrasies--like car-adoring, warring, and snoring? Does this mean that each woman shares with every other woman those OTHER ideosyncrasies --being gentle, nurturing, irrational, athletically incompetent, and unaware of what a automobile's transmission is? Isn't this is racism, classism, and hetero/sexism full throttle? When men accuse women of making such grandly irrational statements just like Jackie's, the women are called misandrists; I conclude, therefore, using anti-feminist "logic" that Jackie is also a misandrist; because he has informed us that all men are alike, all men must be like him: misandrists. Right? Isn't that how "logic" works? Like math? Let's see if I get called a misandrist for noting what far too many men say. I don't say what ALL men say, because I do recognise that all men are not exactly alike; some of us are gay, not class privileged, Indigenous, Black, Brown, and Asian, intelligent, caring, warm, nurturing, athletically incompetent, unable to distinguish the motor of a Jeep from that of a Jaguar; men, collectively, are not the shockingly homogenous, homosocial bunch who organise as Fathers Rights activists] Baby boys get blue painted rooms and toy trucks after their first sonogram [well, not the fetuses who get prematurely punched out of the woman's belly when daddy finds out she's pregnant because he didn't wear a condom, and/or because he raped her; too often the babies and the new mom's get black-and- blue]; little girls will wear pink ruffles and decide to cut their Barbie’s hair themselves. [Really? You're really gonna go there, huh?] [Internationally, including among "First World" nations, even more fetuses won't come to term if they are determined that they'd be born into girlhood] Boys scrape their knees climbing trees and girls will discover early on that a slumber party with best friends beats the outdoors any day. [Well, many girls will discover that sleepovers in the tree houses they built is fun too--some girls, like some boys, do demonstrate an ability to enjoy more one thing; but globally most girls are very poor and don't have room in their materially impoverished homes for middle class activities like "sleep-overs"; most girls and their parents cannot afford Barbies and ruffles. Does this mean they aren't girls?!?! You won't hear anything about poor people from FR activists. They're all white, class-privileged, and "First World", and base their understandings of the world as if they're the only men on Earth] Men are categorized for their power and strength; women for their gentle, nurturing souls. [This is exactly the kind of ridiculous cultural myth I take great pains to debunk in my sociology classes, and here you are just flouting your ignorance. Are you also going to ruin students' science education by telling them how obvious it is that the Earth is flat?] [It's disgusting, isn't it Hermes? Unabashedly sexist people--women and men--categorise people this way; Jackie's and other het men's stereotypes of women do not fit well with other Fathers Rights activists' stereotypes of feminists, who are, after all, women who are all equally unique--according to the incredibly logical Jackie] The question, after the aforementioned and established [by denial and delusion?] cultural deliberation, is this: when did it become acceptable to remove men from the topic of abortion? [OK so now we're on this tired trope. Obviously, you're not talking about within the pro-life movement, which is so latently patriarchal that men's input gets a premium in abortion discussions. Just google men and abortion and you'll find a host of sites encouraging men to get involved, which is of course loose cover for unabashed pro-life propaganda. Make your woman go through with birth, claim your child as your own. It's a man's highest duty to procreate and raise a family. Rather, you're talking about your false straw man representation of the pro-choice movement, and feminism in general, as something that obliterates the male perspective and privileges freedom from external control over cultural theological ideas, and patriarchal structures that objectify women and define them as baby-factories. In fact, much of the pro-choice movement explicitly lobbies for men's inclusion in abortion-related discussions.] [I rather look forward to the day when white het class-privileged men shut up on the subject. Such a day has yet to arrive in human history since white manhood and male heterosexuality has existed. Jackie might want to open his mind to the fact that often,
men will demand that their pregnant spouse get an abortion and if they have the money they'll pay for it to eliminate the possibility of having parental responsibilities if she gave birth, lived, and raised the child; in case these FR doods didn't know it, that's mostly how abortion happens--it's men's choice and only men's choice; these FR guys seem to want to pretend that isn't the case, because then they'd have to be angry at and blame MEN, and they're too dick-whipped to do that.]
That's all that was in the email, but then there is a link to "read more" that, if you click on it, takes you to what is evidently a blog post from which the above text was excerpted. Here is the rest of the post:
The basic, secular pro-life [anti-woman, pro-man] argument is founded on bedrock truths concerning biology. [Or the dusty distortions of already thoroughly refuted "truths" purported by sociobiologist and evolutionary psychologists--who, surprise, are disproportionately class-privileged white het men.] Take DNA A, merge it with DNA B and you get DNA C. [Not true. You get various potential combinations, none of which amount to "C"; the combinations amount to various configurations of A plus B.] Simple enough [one might even say, "too simple"] (though, frustratingly, not for everyone [like those who are capable of complex thought]), and with that example you have life’s simplest equation: 50% + 50% = 100%. [See: 50 plus 50 equals 2x50, not "C"] Fifty percent of us [does he mean, for example, my legs, internal organs, and skin? None of those come from my parents--only genetic information that allows for some possible outcomes; how would being half one's mother and half one's father result in a child having a hair color that is unlike either parent? Uh-oh, we just got too complex for Jackie's simple understanding of genetics and human biology; and see what Hermes says next for more outing of Jackie's stupidity] come from our mothers, [so we are exactly our DNA? we are not our choices, our circumstances, our hopes and dreams, but rather we are information in a pattern of molecules?] who selflessly and fearlessly carry us to term and raise us to be solid contributors to society. [I'm fairly certain this isn't always the case. I can think of mothers who are not selfless or fearless, and I can think of grown-ups who never learned to be solid contributors to society.] [Women are hardly fearless when they are living with a domestic terrorist who pounds her in the hopes she and the fetus will die.]

And the other fifty percent of us, as dictated by simple [meaning: inaccurate and simplistic] biology, comes from our fathers, [who art in heaven--what about what we allegedly get from THAT Father? Wait. This dude isn't Christian??? Jackie may wish to explain to believers in the Virgin Birth that it never happened and that the reason the myth is even in the N.T. at all is because back then they didn't know there was any genetic material--or other significant contribution other than the shelter of the womb--passed on to the fetus; the math then was different: children were supposed to be 100% of the father and not at all of the mother] who contribute DNA [too often by force and without the woman or girl's enthusiastic consent], late night ice cream trips for their expecting counterparts [that's cutely trivializing, really], [I hate to bust Jackie's white, middle class, Western, delusional, culturally myopic bubble but most fathers--and mothers--don't live near ice cream shoppes and don't own cars] and the strength of their own character and spirit [read: that one character and one spirit body-type that is Woman's; and that one character and spirit that is all of Man's or a male God's, according to Jackie above] that they hope will one day be reflected in our own selves. [I'd like to hear Jackie's explanation for what it is rapists and adult male incest perpetrators hope for--and pass along to their offspring] A whole half of our mothers [the left half or the right half] is within ourselves; no more, no less. [No truth. No accuracy.] Consequently, the same goes for our fathers. [Hmmm. This would mean that each and every one of us is basically half-man and half-woman: 50/50, right? Hold on... Not the last time I checked!]
And while we’re on the topic of math, it’s 100% impossible to conceive [of this nonsense] without men. [I wouldn't be so hasty here. There's been a lot of research in parthenogenesis lately: scientists have been able to implant the cell nucleus of a mouse egg inside another mouse egg, and get them to join to form a fertilized embryo - no sperm required! And they're doing similar things with macaque monkeys, too. But I wouldn't expect you to, you know, follow developments in science or anything.] [And Lesbians do it all the time! Non-Lesbian women too: Nadya Suleman didn't have sexual intercourse with a man in order to conceive; this is partly why she is so despised by het men; although her male doctor was present for portions of the fertilisation process, but I don't think that's what Jackie is trying to say] In some way, shape or form, men are involved [read: usually in control of, as through force and coercion] in 100% of conceptions worldwide throughout the history of human life, [as opposed to the history of plant life] no matter the race, religion or creed. [Is this building up to us all singing the National Anthem or waving an Amerikkkan flag?] It’s simple biology. [Whenever you say something is simple that's probably a good clue that you don't understand it.] [LOL. Good one, Hermes!]

How, then, is abortion strictly a “women’s issue”? [um, because that's how you've set up your straw man?] [Abortion is far from a woman's issue only when it is allowed to be a woman's issue at all; men beating up pregnant women to the point that the women or girls either miscarry, die, or have to have the fetus removed prematurely directly involves the participation of men. The mothers who want custody of children (being possessed, abused, and manipulated by bitter, domineering ex-husbands) are not praised to the heavens by Fathers Rights activists, if the disgusting things the F.R. attorneys and the ex-hubbies allege about them of is any indication.] How is the expulsion of men from a conception they take 50% biological responsibility for [I didn't realize they were expelled from conception... then how does conception happen? magic baby fairies flit around in your uterus?] [How do women cope with the fact that many 'biological fathers' are self-expelling, leaving women to decide what to do about the pregnancy all alone when those 100% irresponsible "fathers" learn that the women or girls are pregnant? So much for men's involvement; 50% responsibility goes down to zero percent pretty damned often; as it does when men are court-ordered to pay child support; funny how wealthy men don't want to cough up money when they don't possess the children] any less illogical [than what Jackie argues in this statement?] than the argument surrounding the age-old “my body, my choice” agenda? [actually, that's quite a new line of thinking that developed along with feminism over the past couple of generations. What is age-old is what it developed as a response to: the thousands-of-generations-old idea that women are property of men and have no rights to make choices about their own bodies. This is the fundamental idea of "patriarchy," which your organization advocates a return to.] [Many men seem quite comfortable with the 'my body, my choice' position as long as the body is a man's and choice is only his too]

The sad reality today is that many fathers who want to have a strong presence [a brutal presence, even] in the lives of their child are denied this fundamental right [forgetting, of course, that most men voluntarily forfeit this 'fundamental right'; it appears many men view it as their fundamental right to hit the road, Jack--or Jackie; has Jackie never heard the song "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"?], as the life of their child is snuffed out of existence without them even having the legal right to say otherwise. [No mention here of men who snuff out the lives of pregnant women] Regardless of whether or not the father had a say in his partner’s abortion, [this presumes the partner is a woman, right?] men do suffer the same damaging psychological effects after abortion that often women experience. [How can 'men' feel something that women feel?? This goes against his opening thesis that all men are one way, with the same characteristics and all women are another way. Geesh, next thing you know Jackie will start going on and on about how men get sympathy pains during labor] [Some men really don't deserve this right, see?] [<---See the link there that Hermes embedded.]

Being a father means getting to hold your brand new son or daughter [or intersex child], the newest person on the planet at the time of their birth [well, newest along with all the others born at the same time; what's with the romanticisation of having the newest human on Earth, anyway? Is the child less valuable if its the third newest? Talk about introducing one's child to the insults of ageism!] and imaging their future. [Yes, like the future that unfolds for girl babies who are incested for ten years in their childhood, until they are old enough and physically large enough to tell him to fuck off] It means scraped knees and tea parties, exorbitant texting bills in middle school, and driving lessons and boyfriends in high school. [How much you want to bet he's not talking about boyfriends and tea parties for our sons?] Picking out softball teams, colleges, and wedding dresses. [It appears we've just re-entered the white, middle-class het-only Twilight Zone] Most amazingly, it means getting to play a prominent role in this tiny person, this little ball of blankets ultimately will become. [Your grammar is falling apart at the seams! But interestingly, you've now switched from a pseudo-biological argument for men having control over a woman's body, to an argument derived from rapidly fluctuating cultural meanings of fatherhood, which is shaky ground. which is it going to be?] [Yes, Hermes. I think he meant to say "play a prominent role in the life of this tiny person"--at least I hope like hell he did, because the way he wrote it it's fucking creepy.]

The beautiful gift of fatherhood [that so many men keep unwrapped, taking it with them to their graves] and the inalienable rights [apparently they are alienable - otherwise what the hell are you complaining about?] [LOL] and attributes attached to the men fortunate enough to hold the title [including the men who refuse to hold the baby?] should be celebrated daily. [Oh, please. More patriarchal flag-waving and anthem singing. Barf] Similarly, a heightened sense of fatherhood [is this a nod to all the fathers out there who live most of their adulthoods while stoned?] and the necessity to celebrate the role fathers play in the lives of their children should be emphasized within the pro-life [read: patriarchal] movement. [Even the fathers who emotionally, psychologically, and physically scar and traumatise their children?]
It is no secret that many women who choose to abort their child do so because they feel as though their partners are unsupportive of their decision to embark on motherhood; [and, not infrequently, because the selfish prick refuses to support the new family in any way, shape, or form] it is also no secret that some men are less than supportive of welcoming a child and subsequent financial burdening into their lives.  ["Less than welcoming" is code for him terroristically and self-servingly suing the mother for every cent she doesn't have.]
But what about the men who feel blessed to be a part of something so miraculous, something that could only change his life for the better? [I say have them track down all the dead-beat dads and also have them track down and beat the shit out of the rapers and batterers.]
All fathers should be celebrated for their role in the creation of a new child, and these fathers should be especially celebrated for their decision to welcome this gift into their lives for they serve as role models. [Except when these fellas serve as domineering, drug-addicted, alcoholic, two-timing, prostitute-procuring, physically and emotionally absent, physically, sexually, and emotionally abusive role models, I hope.]
This month, the staff of Students for Life of America [well, Jackie] urges you to do something special for your fathers who have all chosen to celebrate the gift you have been to them since your humble beginning [um, not all fathers have. many choose to escape from the constraints of family life]. Consider writing your father a thank you note. [Dead Daddy, thanks for fucking up my life by hitting Mommy and me with alcohol on your breath. And thanks for showing me what kind of awful man-qualities not to look for in friends and romantic partners] It’s simple and to the point, and with the whole world shifting to email and twitter, he might appreciate the extra effort. There are few better ways to tell someone how you feel than writing it down. [Yes, it was good to write it down there. The only problem is it'll need to be photocopied because I know so many women who were incested and raped by their fathers.] Men tend to be less emotional than women [good god, enough with the tired gender stereotypes, will you stop indoctrinating these kids with essentialist propaganda?!?], [we must suppose here, in his heterosexist mindset, that by "less emotional" Jackie means "vulnerable and open" not "emotional", because abusive, controlling patriarchal men demonstrate a great deal of emotion--lots of anger, moodiness, outbursts of rage, jealousy, and so on] but everyone appreciates being appreciated. [And not assaulted, dominated, or terrorised.] Find a funny card you know he’d appreciate, or devote your Facebook status to him for a day. Small, thoughtful efforts like these go a long way in shining a light on those who mean the most to us, and certainly do much to reflect a truly pro-life heart. [And, statistically, those who mean the most to us are women not because women are naturally, hormonally, or genetically more nurturing than nurturing men, but because so many men feel utterly entitled to be assholes.]
[This paragraph is by Hermes:] So there you have it. A stunningly obtuse tract defending patriarchal ideology under the guise of protecting cute and cuddly babies, and arguing for rolling back the age-old evilness of feminism (women have had rights over their own bodies, like, forEVER! and they're intrinsically treacherous!) and letting the poor, put-upon men have some for a change (men have, like, NEVER had power over women's bodies). Thanks Jackie, that sounds really great.
Julian here: I want to conclude my own responses by stating that Fathers' Rights activists reveal and revel in their patriarchal politics by not confronting men who control the institutions and social, cultural, religous, and economic circumstances in which women miscarry fetuses and abort pregnancies, in which women die during childbirth, by which are coerced to be heterosexual, in which women are forced to have heterosex, in which women are dominated by men, and in which men are led to believe they have a right of access to women's bodies. Unless or until Fathers Rights activists challenge other men to stop raping women and to end rape, to stop incesting their daughters and to end incest, to stop terrorising women at home and in the world, they will have no credibility among anyone other than their own members.

No comments: