Monday, April 25, 2011

You Might Be an Asshole If ...

So, I took my first stab at making a comment at Feministe. I wasn't going to link there here because I don't like the idea of dogpiling. A bunch of supportive dissident feminists showing up there would quickly turn into a clusterfuck. But the thread has been closed, so I'm not worried about sending folks there.

It was closed because of an asshole infestation. I might've been one - I'm not sure.

For the relatively small commenting crowds that show up at non-controversial posts at Feministe, I feel that I could do a decent job on my own of representing dissent. The reason is that if you (as a dissenter) have one point you want to contest, and someone who agrees with you ... oh fuck it. Analogy time:

You make the complaint to the "Baker's Bureau" council that they are selling fattening cupcakes at Store #5. Valid retorts come back from the council saying that the cupcakes aren't that fattening, they don't sell many, etc. An invalid retort comes back saying that the milkshake stand next door to Store #5 is just as bad and you should go bother them.

It's easy for you to say "No, I'm talking to you about your cupcakes at Store #5, don't bring in other issues."

With me?

Now imagine another person, angry with the Baker's Bureau about Store #5 appears next to you and shouts out "Store #5 sells honey-drizzled croissants, as well, with the same calorie count as the cupcakes!"

Yes, Honey-Croissant-Person is on your side, and almost certainly agrees with you about the cupcakes. They are an ally.

But if you are just looking for an answer from the Baker's Bureau about those damn cupcakes, you don't want to start talking about croissants!

I hope that wasn't too hard to follow.

Back to the Anxiety post: My first post was an honest question: if women are more anxious than men, and this study says it's because of the way we're raised, how SHOULD we raise our children? I also threw in there a reference to the high rate of male suicide -because anxiety plays a role in any suicide.

I thought I was on-topic with this. I don't think it got off-topic until Eve posted, claiming that the anxiety women experience could be correlated to "the constant stress of being threatened with sexual violence."

She derailed the conversation about female anxiety into blaming rape culture.
Her original correlation was related to this finding about infant mortality among minorities:

She bought the story as reported hook, line and sinker. She turned "racism may affect infant mortality" to "sexism certainly affects female anxiety" with ZERO link in between.

The thread quickly went down hill from there, and I don't blame Jill for closing it. I didn't intend on stirring up that much shit, and I don't even know how culpable I am.

Eventually, PrettyAmiable turned my rhetorical question into a weapon and I knew the thread was lost. She really thought that I was asking "Do all women feel like you do?" was one I honestly expected an answer to, so she came back with a snarky "Well, I happen to know that all women feel exactly as I do all the time."

Considering that I wasn't even asking her, I knew the thread was lost.

Shortly after that, I realized that being skeptical of "rape culture" brands one an asshole. Fantastic.

I'd also like to say that I'm a little disheartened. I started this blog hoping to better understand my own experiences with Feminism, feminists, sexism and gender.

It now seems that my options are limited:
  • Read pro-feminism blogs that stringently delete, dogpile or moderate dissent
  • Read and comment on pro-feminism blogs that will quickly identify me as a dissenter and therefore disregard any rational argument I make
  • Read MRA sites that are far too misogynistic (and rarely chastise their own)
  • Read the barely-updated FeministCritics.Org
  • Suck Hugo Schwyzer's penis
  • Continue to post rarely-read and even-more-rarely-commented-upon posts at this blog and hope enlightenment comes


  1. Welcome to my world.

    I've been an "egalitarian feminist" or MRA (depending on how you regard egalitarian feminism) for 12 or 13 years now.

    In all the time I've argued online it really hasn't gotten any better and I could have written this post about my reception at feminist blogs back in 1999. This isn't really something new, and I'm not sure what advice I can give you other than keep your own blog as open to good arguments as you can, and give a list of blogs in addition to feminist critics (which does get really good sometimes, but mostly isn't busy, alas) that you could check out. So here it is:

    Clarisse Thorn's blog
    Stand Your Ground forum: MRA sympathizing but moderated unlike The Spearhead
    Emporiasexus : a link off ethecofem
    Traditional Catholicism a blog by Alte, open to all and sundry, lightly moderated.

    I hope that helps a bit.


  2. If it is any consolation, there are those who, like Clarence above, really sympathize with what you are saying. I've only recently begun sifting through the blogosphere, especially the feminist blogs, although I've been on the internet for awhile. I had always had my own doubts about feminism - not because I felt it was an evil conspiracy out to get men - but because I saw same raging hypocrisy growing up as a boy in the 90s. It was weird to see people talk about things you agreed with, equality, not letting gender-roles close in on you like a straight-jacket, etc. But these 'lenses of insight', if you will, never seemed to shine a light on the difficulty of boys, preferring to tell guys that they had it made, 'Life handed to them on a silver platter', etc. And often this same mentality seemed like it increasingly infantilized girls.

    Well, enough for my little rant. I just wanted to add my own consolation, and say keep up the good work you are doing. You seem to be doing well enough, and I think if you keep at it, you will be surprised how many more people there are like you out there.


  3. Wow that thread went to hell pretty damn fast (sup by the way, I found my way over here from Quiet Riot Girls blog). I liked your original comment a lot and cannot understand why you were rounded on. You know that thread perfectly illustrates why I rarely read feministe now, too much one-upmanship not enough discussing of the actual articles (It’s a shame as well because I do think Jill is a good writer). Do keep updating though after reading around your blog its clear you have an interesting perspective.

    Also Womanist musings has some great critiques of the mentality of main stream feminism if you’re interested in checking them out by the way.