CAFE’s Menu is Just Fine – A response to Paul Elam

***This was a personal response and does not reflect the views of The Canadian Association For Equality.

2663980-890290-two-candles-flaming-in-the-darkPaul Elam recently took me to task over comments I had made on a panel at AVFM’s first international conference on Men’s Issues.  Here is my response to his article:

 

 

Paul,

I could tell you were angry with what I had said on the panel when you pointed out that “someone” on the panel mentioned radicals, and then you denied their very existence.  If I had meant AVFM, I would not have sat on that panel. I have dealt with enough radicals from the other side; I wouldn’t deal with those I may consider radical on our side. Everyone I know in what we consider the MHRM, rightly deny participation of red-pillers, PUA’s, etc. However, the media does not, and there was a fair amount of media there.

It is ironic that you closed your rant by stating that the last thing the MHRM needs is an activist “Good Men Project”.  Someone from AVFM mentioned to me at the conference that you recently got raked over the coals in the comments section of an article on masculinists.  One of those comments levied the same accusation at AVFM:

“Is it necessary to condemn every fucking group in [the] manosphere? … it seems that inch by inch AVFM is moving towards becoming another GMP.”

My response was “good”. We should be told when people disagree with us. I despise an echo chamber, which is probably one of the biggest reasons that I am involved in getting men’s issues addressed. This is why I wholeheartedly endorse this article. If you dislike what I say, by all means, tell me. That applies to everyone in the men’s movement, not just Paul Elam. If you dislike or disagree with what someone is saying, especially those you consider to be leaders of the movement, tell them.  Let your voice be heard.

The comment that irked you was spoken while I was discussing a sub-reddit I enjoy occasionally engaging in, “feMRAdebates” where people of all perspectives discuss gender issues. I was adding to what Stefan Molyneux had said about “know thyself”.  Many in this movement see feminism, and thus feminists, as the enemy; I don’t see it in such black and white terms.  At the conference, I believe you yourself mentioned supporting what you call “good” feminists, such as Christina Hoff Sommers, Cathy Young, or Camille Paglia. There are those who do discuss errors of feminism, and speak to men’s issues, and do so under the banner of feminism. Like Warren Farrell, I support anything that helps liberate people from staunchly held gender paradigms.

EchamI was telling people to engage with those whose opinions differ from their own, and to learn from them. For those who are anti-feminist, consider it “knowing thy enemy”. For those who are just interested in men’s issues, then engage perspectives outside your preferred echo chamber. You won’t always agree with people, or be agreed with (am I right, Paul?), but you will be better for it. You will also be helping those who have a poor understanding of what men’s issues are by giving them a better understanding of how
men and boys are underscored, misunderstood, and underrepresented in the realm of gender discussions.  If you are good enough, you may even sway a few opinions. I even find that those who self-identify as “radicalsare occasionally worth talking to.

What I meant was to ignore those who are radical in their opinions.  You won’t get anywhere arguing with a troll who just hates men/women, or thinks all men/women’s issues are invalid.  If you do choose to engage with those kinds of radicals, remember that it is not them you are talking to, it is those who are listening or reading along.  Someone else on the panel mentioned the old adage of “if you argue with an idiot, they will just bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”  As such, keep the higher ground or ignore them.

As for rPN protestadicals who picket men’s conferences in Detroit, or scream in your face at a discussion of men’s issues in Toronto, I agree with you; we do not have radicals in the MHRM in that sense.  What I liked best about your closing statement on the panel was when you said “if we did have radicals, we would cast them out”.  If you don’t think we have radicals, great.  If we ever get some, then yes, we should cast them out for their transgressions against the entire movement.

One of your writers, Andy Thomas (who also has an article on CAFÉ’s website), wrote a great article for AVFM a year ago titled “We are the radicals now”.  He asserts that feminist revolutionaries who think they are radical, are nothing of the sort.  He refers to himself as a radical, and says “We are not just radical, we are in every sense the most radical thinking movement in the history of human society.”  You deny the existence of radicals, and I certainly did not mean the type Andy wrote about anyway.  Perhaps we need to discuss what one another’s definitions of a “radical” are before you go chomping at the bit.

This is what will separate us from the feminist sphere.  When discussing their radicals, or those who are truly man-hating, they tend to claim that not all feminists are like that (NAFALT, to the uninitiated).  This is not denying their presence in feminism; it is not decrying them as feminists; it is not saying that they reject their form of feminism.  It is saying yes, they are feminists, but we’re not all like that.  If they won’t cast them out and say they don’t accept them as feminists, then it is worse than the no true Scotsman fallacy.  They are not saying no true feminist would say/act like that, they are saying yep, that’s definitely an aspect of feminism!  If the radical feminists were an illness of feminism, they would be Tourettes, and we’re expected to ignore the occasional outburst of “rape apologizing scum” and “shut the fuck up!”

So yes, I support what you said in response.  We cannot be accepting of radicals or radical viewpoints, in the extreme sense of radical, if they pop up under the banner of the MHRM.  I support your calling me out on something you disagreed with.  However, I don’t support your trying to turn AVFM readers against someone who you simply disagree with, who also contributes to the recognition of men’s issues, because I did not mean them.  If I meant AVFM readers, and writers, I would have said that’s who I meant, and I would have given specific examples because I prefer to address people as individuals rather than guilty by association.

At this same event a CAFE representative proudly, publicly, and quite sneeringly scoffed at the idea of men’s “rights,” a shot I interpreted as a direct insult to those of us who actually believe men should have them.”

Does this sound like sneeringly scoffing to anyone else?  Sure sounds like someone saying men’s rights are human rights to me; someone in support of a men’s human rights movement.  For more people who use the perspective of a MHRM, you don’t even need to look outside your own walls.  He also said that is what we, CAFÉ, are.  If that displeases you, so be it.  I’m sorry if you don’t think men’s rights are simply human rights.

You say I should hold some resolve, have a fucking spine, and essentially not sit on the fence.  Sorry, but I prefer to have an open mind.  It’s the other side of the fence that is usually stuck in staunchly held world-views (Patriarchy! Patriarchy! Patriarchy!), and that’s what you want me to be like?  Pass.  That’s why I’m not over there.  Thank you for dissenting from my opinion and reminding me that we are allowed to challenge each other on this side.  Please continue to do so.  That is what I value about the men’s movement.

With all due respect, I would suggest you work harder at practicing what you preach, lest you come across as an overly defensive individual, more concerned with his personal ego gratification than with the ultimate goals of the MHRM.  Personally I’m disappointed you didn’t feel you could come and talk to me about my comment afterwards, wherein we could have had a discussion on what I meant by my comments and come to a better understanding.

Your light will not get any brighter by blowing out someone else’s candle.

“May I never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

lonecan

 

Posted in Men`s Issues | 7 Comments

A Conversation With Men is Needed

conversationMs. Magazine published an article by Donna Decker on how we should not be surprised that a white (in truth, half white) male went on a killing spree in Santa Barbara.  Ms. Decker feels that this story will repeat itself if we do not talk about violent men and what makes them that way.

I won’t argue the fact that men make up the majority of perpetrators of violent crime.  However, it is deceitful to act as if it is women who are the majority of their victims, nor were they a majority of the Santa Barbara murders.  It is further disingenuous to discount the overwhelming number of young men who are murdered simply because they were murdered by members of their own gender, instead of the opposite gender, though this is the argument put forth regularly by feminists.

The claims Ms. Decker makes about femicide (the murder of women because they are women, though it has also been broadly defined as any murder of a woman) paint a dire picture indeed:

In the U.S., femicide is the second leading cause of death for women 20-24, and the leading cause of death for African American women ages 15-24.

Death by Homicide

In fact, this is not actually the case.  There are no specific stats kept on acts of “femicide”, but homicide (which would include femicides, as it includes all murders regardless of whether the victim’s gender was the perpetrator’s motive or not) is actually the 4th leading cause of death for all women, aged 20-24, in the United States, accounting for 360 murders in 2010 (accidental death is first, with 1,920 deaths).  The leading cause of death for black women aged 15-24 was also not homicide either, it was the same as for all women; accidental death.  Homicide was the second leading cause of death for black women aged 15-24 with 268 deaths.

The causes for male deaths in the same age brackets are similarly ranked.  The leading cause is accidental death for men 15-24, while the second cause of death is homicide.  However, for black men aged 15-24, murder is the #1 cause of death.  For that matter, in the U.S., murder is the #1 cause of death for black men aged 15-34!  Surely, thanks to their male privilege, even though it is their #1 cause of death, black men’s overall numbers must be lower than the 268 black women who were murdered in 2010.

Shockingly, black men’s male privilege doesn’t seem to have protected them to any further degree than black women with their lack of privilege.  In 2010, 991 black men aged 15-19 were murdered, 1,557 aged 20-24, and if we add in the 25-34 bracket, in which 2,132 black men were murdered, that brings the total to 4,680 black men murdered between the ages of 15-34, compared to black women’s death toll of 537 for the same age range.  That is almost 9 times the number of males who died compared to those black women who lacked their male “privilege”.  As a matter of fact, the number of women who died by murder in 2010, of all races, from age 1-44 (the only age ranges where homicide was one of the top 10 causes of death for women), was 4,278.  That’s still over 400 less murders than black males aged 15-34 alone.

That must be because they are black, and thus lack privilege though, as it is only white males who are privileged.  Of course, if that is the case, is there really such a thing as male privilege if it only applies to males of one colour?  I mentioned above that homicide actually ranked as the 4th highest cause of death for all women aged 20-24, with a count of 360.  Let’s see how it stacks up with the white privileged women compared to the doubly privileged white males.

In 2010, white women, despite their white privilege, were murdered in numbers reasonably comparable to their black sisters.  There were 120 white females aged 15-19 who died by homicide (ranked 4th), 205 for ages 20-24 (4th), 385 for 25-34 (3rd), and 383 for women aged 33-44 (8th).  That is a total of 1,093 white women aged 15-44 who were murdered in 2010; the total for black women aged 15-44 was 714.  Ms. Decker feels that these numbers are why women are so frightened of men, and that we need to have a deeper conversation about men’s violence because of the harm it is doing to women.

One would assume that carrying the dual-privilege card of white and male (which usually comes along with heterosexual cis-gendered privilege), that the number of murders of this demographic should be the lowest of all.  However, In 2010, there were 547 homicides of white men aged 15-19 (3rd most common cause of death), 852 for ages 20-24 (3rd), 1,335 for ages 25-34 (5th), and 893 for white men aged 35-44 (6th).  This is a total of 3,627 white male homicides in 2010 for the age range of 15-44.

A quick recap of homicides in the U.S. in 2010 (age range 15-44 years old):

  1. All men = 9,519 (page 20)
  2. Black men = 5,591 (page 34)
  3. White men = 3,627 (page 27)
  4. All women = 1,890 (page 22)
  5. White women = 1,093 (page 29)
  6. Black women = 714 (page 37)

Murders

 

 

(Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

I agree with Donna Decker when she says “let the talking begin”, but I don’t agree with what she thinks we should be talking about, or who should be doing the talking.  Before we get into that, there are some other stats I’d like to delve into from the same report.

Santa Barbara Victims The six victims in the Santa Barbara killings, whom Ms. Decker seems to have lost sight of.  From the top left: Christopher Michaels-Martinez, Veronika Weiss, Katie Cooper, Cheng-Yuan Hong, George Chen, Weihan Wang.

 

Death by Suicide

Ms. Decker lists off some instances where men have gone on killing sprees and targeted women specifically.  Although her article was in relation to the recent Santa Barbara murders, I do not think Elliot Rodger belongs on this list.  While Elliot Rodger expressed a particular hatred towards women, he had a great loathing for all of humanity.  While he expressed a deeply misogynistic hatred for women, his 141 page manifesto and YouTube videos exhibit contempt for all males as well, whom he saw as beneath him.  Of the people he murdered, 4 were men, 2 were women.  Though his intended main target was a sorority house, he did not feel that men deserved to live either.  He could not understand why women did not want him, but would date these douchebags who were beneath him.

What Elliot did have in common with three of the four cases that Ms. Decker highlighted (Marc Lepine, George Sodini, and Charles Roberts), was that his murderous rampage ended with his own suicide.  I feel that many of these sprees are a grandiose suicide attempt.  The ultimate intent of these sprees is an attempt to exit this world in such a way that will either punish those who the killers feel have wronged them, such as the maliciously misguided and misogynistic murder sprees of women detailed here; to gain perpetual infamy through a killing spree of random people and then committing suicide; or either of the above in the hopes that the end result will be suicide-by-cop for their criminal actions.

SuicideMany of these sprees are more about a disdain for all human life and an attempt to make a big impact in order to leave a mark on society before they complete their suicide.  However, many m
en who choose to take their own life, to quote T.S. Eliot, go out “not with a bang, but a whimper”.  Yes, misogyny is something that should be tackled and addressed, but we need to also discuss the concept of misandry, the hatred of men, particularly this internalized misandry which leaves men feeling unworthy of their own lives, let alone the lives of their fellow men.  Far more men die by suicide than people die by the mass murderers on killing sprees which Ms. Decker highlights.  Since we already took a comparison look at the homicide rates of men and women, let’s look at suicide rates, broken down by race and gender, which is also a conversation we are currently not having.

 

For starters, in 2010, those with the least societal privilege (according to feminist standards of privilege), black women, accounted for 240 deaths by suicide between the ages of 15-44.  Blacks who had the privilege of being male, aged 15-44, were almost five times as likely to commit suicide as black women, with 1,185 deaths by suicide.  Women aged 15-44, who lacked the privilege of being male but had the privilege of being white, more than doubled the suicide rate of black men with a total of 2,972 reported suicides.  Those who carried the societal privilege of being both white and male, aged 15-44, almost quadrupled the number of suicides completed by their white sisters with a staggering 11,592 deaths by suicide.  In fact, the rate of suicide for those privileged to be white men was over two and a half times greater than all 3 of the other demographics combined!

A quick recap of suicides in the U.S. in 2010 (age range 15-44 years old):

  1. All men = 13,447 (page 20)
  2. White men = 11,592 (page 27)
  3. All women = 3,457 (page 22)
  4. White women = 2,972 (page 29)
  5. Black men = 1,185 (page 34)
  6. Black women = 240 (page 37)

Sicides

 

(Click to Enlarge)

 

 

 

Not the Conversation You Think We Need

“It takes balls to talk about the things that frighten us. Women do it all the time, because the things that frighten them are, frankly, men. Now how about if men take a deep breath and listen for a moment to their wives and daughters and mothers and aunts and girlfriends, who are telling them that being angry is OK, but acting it out with hatred against half the population of the world is not. It is old news, pathetic and soul destroying.

Let the talking begin.”

As is the problem with many feminists, Ms. Decker feels men shouldn’t be having this conversation.  She feels they should take a deep break and just listen.  Ms. Decker clearly does not know how conversation works.  A conversation involves an exchange of ideas, a discussion between two or more parties, not merely a unilateral doling out of advice from women to men.

Ms. Decker says it takes balls to speak of the things that frighten us, and that women do it all the time.  My fear is that those of us who actually do have balls are not discussing these things.  This recent killing spree in Santa Barbara involved someone who isolated himself in videogames.  Elliott Rodger’s manifesto speaks of a man who had few conversations and fewer friends.  A man who was mentally unstable and who felt the entire world was beneath him.  He did not have hatred for half the population of the world; he had hatred for the whole world.

No, we should not take a deep breath and simply listen to the women in our lives.  We should collectively take a breath and allow each other room to talk in a manner that is more than just a one-way communication.  We need to teach people to have respect for everyone, not just women.  Also, to ignore women’s role in raising these types of men is to do women a disservice.  You are assuming that the wives, daughters, mothers and aunts that men have in their lives are incapable of also being a negative factor who contribute to the small minority of men who commit these atrocious acts. Perhaps it is the other men in their lives that can provide the needed conversation these men should be listening to; their sons, brothers, uncles, and fathers.  It takes a village to raise a child, and I have yet to visit a city, town, or a village that does not have women contributing to the raising and influencing of men, or men in the raising of women.

You are right that we need a conversation, but are you willing to allow men the space to have it?  The stats within this article show that men are murdered at five times the rate at which women are murdered.  Men commit suicide at seven times the rate women are murdered.  Men kill themselves more than they kill each other, and far more than they kill women.  If anyone should fear men, it is men.  It is not women we need to teach men to be gentle towards, it is men themselves.

Telling men to do nothing but listen to women is precisely the kind of conversation we do not need, nor is it a conversation at all, but it is precisely what we are being told to do.  Those who keep telling us we should be listening to them when we try to have those conversations ourselves, are not nearly as polite about it as Ms. Decker.

Yes, Ms. Decker, let the talking begin, but let us all talk, as members of the same shared society.

“Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long”
-T.S. Eliott, The Hollow Men  

 

***All stats are from the CDC
*
**The FBI has statistics that break down the murders by gender of the offender.  Looking at their statistics change the rates in my article a bit.  Men would now only be twice as likely to be murdered by men than women are (though almost 3 times as likely to be murdered by a woman as women are).  This would not change the risk of men killing themselves at 7 times the rate at which women are murdered by men.

Posted in Men`s Issues | 7 Comments

Debunked – Part 3

I honestly can’t be bothered. I went to go see what the last 4 “debunked” issues were, and I see he’s made changes to where I already highlighted that he has absolutely not debunked a thing. Instead, here’s a screenshot of my parting comment:

Fuckwit Debunked
I’ve got better things to write about than basically correcting this guy’s homework for him.

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“Debunking MRAs” Debunked – An Addendum on Suicide

In my original writing on the subject of suicide in “’Debunking MRAs’ Debunked”, I was being mathematically lazy.  Someone at the subreddit “feMRA debates” challenged me on where I got my numbers from.  They didn’t agree with how I used an example of 100 male suicides compared to 35 women attempting suicide 3 times.  They felt this was also a poor example as it actually meant 100 attempts on both sides.  To be honest, I just compared the idea of 100 single completed suicides to 100 incomplete attempts, divided by 3, because it was easier to make reflective percentages.  Due to this criticism, I chose to explore the numbers more accurately.

The statement is often framed poorly, such as “women attempt it three times as often”, which does not mean that women who attempt suicide do so three times as often individually, it means 3 times as many women attempt suicide as men.  Of course, there are those who attempt suicide multiple times, which inflates their numbers.  That is why I originally chose to tackle the numbers from a perspective of women attempting it 3 times, which is inaccurate.  Using more lazy math, it probably would have been more accurate to have asked which is more important, 100 male deaths by suicide, or 300 females who have attempted suicide and still alive to seek help for what pushed them to their attempt?  Instead, let’s look at the actual numbers that Owen Lloyd had.

According to the source given by “debunking MRAs”, in the U.S., there were 38,364 reported deaths by suicide in 2010, which is approximately one death by suicide every 14 minutes.  78.9% (30,269) of these were male.  21.1% (8,094) were female.

However, the argument that my calculations resulted in an equal number of attempts for both sexes is incorrect.  Completed suicides are not counted in the attempts.  The source says there is no complete count of attempted suicides, and that they arrive at their numbers by utilizing hospital reports of “non-fatal injuries resulting from self-harm behavior” collected by the CDC:

“In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, 464,995 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm behavior, suggesting that approximately 12 people harm themselves (not necessarily intending to take their lives) for every reported death by suicide. Together, those harming themselves made an estimated total of more than 650,000 hospital visits related to injuries sustained in one or more separate incidents of self-harm behavior.”

They admit that there is no way to distinguish genuine suicide attempts from non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) behaviours.  I assume the higher number of 650,000 is due to people making repeat visits, although, as mentioned above, “women attempt suicide 3 times as often” does not mean individual women attempt suicide at 3 times the rate of individual men, so we can’t determine the gender ratio of repeated attempts based on the information given.  487,500, 75%, of hospital visits can be attributed to females, while 162,500 visits can be attributed to men.

When framed in this fashion, it is also hard to make a concrete claim that women attempt suicide at three times the rate of men, as they state there is no way to differentiate a suicide attempt from NSSI with this data.  The stats on females being admitted to hospitals at 3 times the rate of males for self-harm behaviour makes sense when considering that “one of the most consistent findings in the research literature until the end of the 20th century was that NSSI occurred 1.5 to 3 times more in females compared to males.”  Furthermore, holding a gun to your head or putting a rope around your neck is not likely to warrant a hospital visit if you don’t follow through on what I would still perceive as a suicidal attempt.  Statistics do not account for these attempts, for men or for women.

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“Debunking MRAs” Debunked – Part Two

Preface:  Part two includes stats on child custody.  The stats from “Debunking MRAs” were used recently at CAFE’s talk by Edward Kruk on shared parenting.  This is the dubious research that protesters of men’s issues cite, providing “Debunking MRAs” as their source instead of doing their own research or actually looking at the sources listed.  I sure hope this wasn’t done by university students, but it was a UofT event.  From the Warren Farrell protest, to “Big Red“, to this:

Õ
If you missed Part One, it can be found here

 

9973TressDunceCap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

de·bunk
verb
Expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief)


“Debunking MRAs” Debunked

Part Two

5) Murder: men are mimage2954878xurdered at a rate 5 times that of women.

Owen uses his usual tactic of moving the goal posts.  Instead of discussing men as victims of murder, he changes the argument to men as murderers, claiming men are perpetrators at 9 times the rate of women.  He then claims that this highlights that women are not responsible for the high rate of men being murdered.

This is where his perverse version of a feminist ideology is showing.  He feels that one gender’s problem must inherently be caused by the other gender in order for it to matter.  Men being 5 times more likely to be victims of murder does not matter to him if men are also the ones committing the majority of them.  Let’s add in a little bit of intersectionality to spice this notion up; if black men are only being murdered by white men, is it not an issue?  The point is moot; men are murdered at a far higher rate than women.  This is in direct contrast to the oft used feminist claim that every space is a safe space for men.

As for men murdering at a higher rate, he provides no citation, but I don’t question its truth.  However, what are the stats on women who murder their husbands in self-defence, thus removing any chance for their victims have of defending themselves against allegations of abuse?  What are the stats on women who hire or recruit men to do their killing for them?  Women who are more successful than Nicole Doucet, who was let go without a conviction despite multiple attempts on her ex-husband’s life, including being caught attempting to hire an undercover RCMP officer posing as a hit man, simply because she claimed her ex-husband, Michael Ryan, had been abusive.  Michael Ryan was not asked to testify in defence of these allegations, despite being willing and desiring to do just that, and Nicole escaped conviction because of this, and because the courts felt that the trial process had already been enough of an ordeal for her.

WhatEmmett-Till-507515-1-402 about incidents where it is a woman’s cry that brings male violence, which is often used to bring violence to another male, rarely another female.  Emmett Till, a black man, had the audacity to talk to Carolyn Bryant, a white woman.  For this unforgiveable crime, she had her husband and brother-in-law murder Emmett.

Here’s a more contemporary example, a woman calling her “boys” to commit violence on the hosts of the British show “Top Gear” (I recommend watching the whole video, but the incident starts at 4:30):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKcJ-0bAHB4

Owen also cites that 200,000 women suffer serious violence from their intimate partners every year, and seems to feel this is should be reason for more murders by women of their partners.  One point of contention, these stats come from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.  This means that they are only stats of cases that actually reach the justice system; incidents need to be reported to be recorded.  In Canada, we have the general social survey, which is a better measurement of intimate partner violence.  It places rates of IPV in Canada at 7% and 8% for men and women respectively, but that is a moot point as we are discussing murder.

Yes, women are certainly more likely to be murdered by an intimate partner (it was 241 people killed by their wife or girlfriend, compared to the 1,095 people killed by their husband or boyfriend), but men are far more likely to be murdered by strangers and acquaintances.  Ignoring the violence done to men, because it is other men committing the murders, is discounting thousands of victims.  Should we not care about intimate partner violence in the LGBT community because it is women abusing women and men abusing men?  No, that would be equally unjust, and we should care about all victims.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics, also pointed out that for men, in the case of murder, almost half (49.7%) of male-victim offender relationships were unknown (“non-intimate” includes strangers), which means the relationship to the victim is unknown in 5,406 cases.  For women, the relationship was unknown in 23.8% (722) of cases of homicide.

Falsehoods exposed in the claim that men are murdered at 5 times the rate of women: 0

Moving the goalposts of an argument is not debunking it.

Next!

child-custody6) Child Custody: Women receive physical custody of 92% of all children of separation, and men only 4%.

91% of the time, if someone isn’t citing their stats, you can call them on pulling it out of their ass.  I choose to not accept this incidence as part of the other 9%.

A lot of the citations in this section seem equally dubious, such as the first statistic that child-care in married households is performed at a 2:1 ratio by mothers compared to fathers.  In the traditional family (i.e. father works outside the home, mother works in the home), if a father works 8 hours a day (plus travel time), a mother is taking care of the kids all day, and the child sleeps for 8 hours (sleeping not counting as spent time), then that right there would be a 2 to 1 ratio of parenting time in a 24 hour day.  Parenting is, of course, far more nuanced than this.  One parent’s increased time outside the home is going to be correlational to the other partner’s increased ability to stay home and spend more time with their children.  This is not justification for expecting the primary working parent to maintain their same level of financial support after a divorce in order to support the raising of their children by the stay-at-home parent.  The time spent with the children will definitely be skewed in the stay-at-home parent’s favour, but why is the working parent expected to maintain their more-absent role now that their partnership has dissolved?

After this, Owen’s citations get rather bizarre.  “Divorce Peers” has two footnotes, but does not mention what specific information they got from which footnote.  The first footnote is a book from 1996 titled “Child Custody Made Simple”, and indicates that the author claimed “these results are very similar to those in a national study.”  They don’t care to mention what study the author was referencing, as the author probably didn’t either.  The other footnote is for a book from 1997 titled “Out of Touch”.  Indeed.

The claim that fathers win custody battles 70% of the time is mentioned in passing in a document by the American Mother’s Political Party (I think they might have an agenda!).  It focuses on abusive relationships, and not divorce or child custody.  The citation Owen had for that snippet of information was from a 1989report of a gender bias study conducted by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.  This clearly does not mean 70% of all custody cases.  Upon further digging, I found an article which shows that, using the same data, “when mothers sought sole custody, the court granted the request at a rate 65% higher than it did when fathers made the same request.”  This article also explained that the 70% was representative only for legal custody, not physical custody.

The last cited source is very duplicitous.  The webpage says it is from the American Psychological Association in the top-left corner and, if you click home, it does take you to the APA home page. However, the website is www.nfflp.org, not the APA website.  If you type that in your search bar, you get redirected to some site called “The Liz Library”.  I was left with the distinct impression it is essentially a feminist court website, rather than a source of objective and relevant information.

For me, this brings the validity of the information into question, but I’ll accept that it is actually from this 1996 report on family violence.  All Owen states is that abusive men are among the most likely to fight for custody.  This page does not show any numbers, or cite its sources.  All it does is make vague and generalized statements such as “recent studies suggest” and “research indicates”.  Given that this report is 20 years old, it could very likely have relied upon the 1989 report by the Massachusetts Supreme Court mentioned previously.

There are no studies that one can look at for the rates at which abusive mothers fight for custody, in which an abused husband would likely have all of the same concerns as an abused wife.  Again, the rates of domestic violence are almost equal!  Furthermore, granted the higher likelihood for women to get either sole custody or, in the case of shared parenting, primary custody, it would be all too easy for a woman to continue emotionally abusing her husband through the manipulation of their children.  Such was the case for 10 years for a Toronto father, before a court stripped the mother of her custody rights for her malicious parental alienation efforts.

Falsehoods exposed in the claim women are most often awarded child custody: 0

Now we’re just getting pathetic.

I can’t speak for the United States, as it was difficult to find any accurate statistics on their custody cases.  However, up here in Canada, the Department of Justice conducted a national longitudinal study on children and youth and reported that in cases with a court order, mother’s had sole custody 80.8%, father’s 6.6% (page 21).  In the other 12.6% that had shared physical custody, 68.6% lived only with their mother, 10.5% with their father, 7.8% mostly with their mother, and 3.9% livedmostly with their father.  Only 9.2% wereequally shared.

For more on custody issues for fathers in Canada, I recommend a look at Fathers Are Capable Too

Next!

Jury-Box-thumb-360x301-46282

7) Jury Bias: Women are acquitted of spousal murder at a rate 9 times that of men

It absolutely is a matter of bias, despite what Owen claims.  The only citation he gives to back up his assertion is the same APA citation he gave to debunk custody victories.  As he says, women are sometimes acquitted of murder due to allegations of abuse.  Men are almost never acquitted for murdering their abusive wives.  This was the only story I could find of a man being acquitted for murdering his wife on the grounds of intimate partner violence.  The abused husband was subjected to thirty years of intimate partner terrorism, including being beaten with a fire poker and having his thumb broken, which was described as “hen-pecked” in the media.

In Canada, it has recently been argued that women with abusive partners are morally entitled to murder their abusive partners.  Not people, women.  That is gender bias.  Furthermore, it is not “exceptionally rare for any man to experience a comparable level of terroristic threat from his wife”, it is, however, exceptionally rare for us to hear about it.  Here are some links if you would like to hear about it:

Domestic Violence Against Males in the U.K.:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGDTDawB4wE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aumw1CATQds

In the U.S.:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSg15iEt48M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhXfeBFATHw

In Kenya:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R8aEEAEScI

Yet we never hear of it being presented in a gender neutral fashion when we hear about one’s “moral entitlement” to murder an abusive spouse.  Rarely do we even hear of intimate partner violence itself being presented in a gender neutral fashion.

If you feel that every one of these 1.3 million women (a number your citation doesn’t actually mention), then you should feel that men are equally justified in murdering their partners.  I, however, feel it is rarely acceptable.  Organizations that work with women fleeing violence usually set up a plan in advance for when they leave their abusive partner.  Why not just come up with murder plans, or aid and abet them in murdering their spouses?

Here is a breakdown of spousal murder court cases in the U.S. from 1988, examined in 1995 (so I admit it is dated).  It states that “Jury trials ended in acquittal for 27% of wives, and 0% for husbands”.  That is a lot more than the “9 times” acquittal rate the original author stated.  How many times does 0 go into 27?

Falsehoods exposed in the claim that women are acquitted of murder more than men: 0

There is a lot of information in that last link that is interesting, but your declaration that 1.3 million women would be justified in committing murder certainly speaks to a bias in you, and hints at a larger bias in our society.  It is the one-sided perspective of domestic violence that feminism has painted for you, man-abuser/woman-victim, which has left you feeling that murder is justified on that grand a scale.

It is your belief that the worst case of intimate partner violence a man suffers, is still not as bad as the lightest form of IPV a woman suffers, as you state that all 1.3 million women would be justified in receiving an acquittal for murdering their abusive partners, while declaring it exceptionally rare for a man to feel a comparable level of terroristic threat from their abusive partners.

If you were called to jury duty in such a case, are you seriously going to sit there and tell me you would not be biased?

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Lady-Justice8) Court Bias: Men are sentenced 2.8 times longer than women for spousal murder

This is Owen’s worst argument yet.  No citations, no sources, just a simple blanket statement that women’s lighter sentencing is because many of them murder their spouses must have been abused, and they are only given light sentences because no woman would murder her husband for any reason other than self-defence!  Well, except maybe for the 66% of cases where there was no evidence of abuse, or that “The average prison sentence for unprovoked wife defendants was 7 years, 10 years shorter than the average 17 years for unprovoked husband defendants

Then there’s the complication that we would also need to see these cases on an individual basis.  What was the evidence of abuse?  When a husband is murdered, he cannot defend himself against allegations of abuse if a woman chooses to make them.  This was most recently seen in the case of Jodi Arias.  First she claimed her husband was murdered by robbers who broke into their home, then she changed her story to one of self-defence from years of on-going domestic violence, for which there was no evidence.  No evidence except for her word against… Well, her word.

For a Canadian example, we can just look back to the recent case of Nicole Doucet, who I mentioned previously.  For a woman who was abused, and so terrified of her ex-partner that she had to have him murdered, she sure didn’t express it while attempting to hire an undercover RCMP officer to murder her ex-husband.  When he asked why she wanted him murdered, asking if it was because he was abusive, she gave a definitive “no”.  That is certainly not the song she sang in the court room, where often that is the only evidence of abuse a woman needs to present; her word.  Even though it was an attempted murder charge, her ex-husband, Michael Ryan, was not asked to testify in his defence on the allegations of abuse.  It is telling indeed that it was the victim in this case, Mr. Ryan, who was actually placed on trial and not even given the right to defend himself.  Even though Mr. Ryan was still alive to give testimony, to give his word against hers, Nicole was allowed to still have it be her word, and her word alone.  When women succeed in actually murdering their partners, it is guaranteed that their voice will be the only one heard.

And there’s the rub.  Women are granted a defence for murder, a battered-woman defence, which is practically never applied to men.  That stats page on spousal murder conviction rates listed 44% of women as giving evidence of assault at the time of their murder; men, 10%.  It says 56% of those women were convicted, but it does not give a statistic for men, leading me to conclude that they were all convicted.


Falsehoods exposed in the claim that women are acquitted of murder more than men
: 0

All 4 of these points, murder, child custody, jury bias, and court bias, had a lot in common.  The recurring theme in all four has been the persistent presence of a gendered perspective on domestic violence, a systemic and biased perspective which consistently and significantly disadvantages men, particularly in the courts.  Let’s see if we can try and find anything more there.

I decided to take a look back at murders, and the numbers we had for spousal murders.  The numbers provided by Owen’s own sources reported that women were victims of murder by an intimate partner 1,095 times, and men 241 times.  I granted him that.  He also claimed that women, and all women, who have been victims of domestic violence, would be justified in murdering their spouses.

Looking at this stats page once again, it states that the “report’s results are likely to be applicable today”.  So let’s apply them today.  As I said earlier, it reports that 44% of women accused of murder of their intimate partner, presented evidence of abuse, as did 10% of men.

44% of 241 = 106
10% of 1095 = 109

This shows an equal number of spousal murders which also had evidence of intimate partner violence perpetrated by the victim upon the accused.  Owen is still correct in his assertion that women are murdered by their intimate partners far more often than men, while men are murdered more often overall.  However, the number of men murdering abusive wives is virtually equal to the number of women murdering abusive husbands.  If these stats are marginally transferable, a 56% conviction rate would suggest that 47 abused women would have been acquitted for murdering their abusive partners, compared to 0 abused men.  Does that sound like court bias to anyone?

NEXT!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

“Debunking MRAs” Debunked – Part One

Dunce-Boy-81910857689

 

 

 

 

 

 

de·bunk
verb
Expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).

“Debunking MRAs” Debunked
Part One

There is a talk being held in Kingston, Ontario, at Queen’s University on Thursday, March the 27th, by University of Ottawa English professor Janice Fiamengo.  On the Facebook page for that event, I saw a blog article posted a number of times that supposedly “debunked MRAs”, authored by Owen Lloyd, and it was claimed that the article was well researched (i.e. he actually cited something).  Having already written a critical examination of another document claiming men’s issues are myths, I decided I would do the same with this article.  I will also try to stick to the same sources that Owen did, as that keeps us on a level playing field and shows how little, if anything, was actually debunked.

sadddd

1) SuicideMen die by suicide at 4 times the rate of women

Owen’s article reveals how poorly researched it is right out of the gate.  Worse, it reflects how poorly it examines the list that it is attempting to debunk.  In debunking that men commit suicide at 4 times the rate of women, the author starts by claiming that women are certainly trying to commit suicide, as they attempt it three times more often than men.  Which is worse though, a woman attempting suicide 3 times and still being alive to seek help for the issues that drove her to her suicide attempts in the first place, or 100 men completing their suicide on their first attempt?  Assuming we are counting men’s completed suicides as attempts, I’ll ask that question again, but in a more mathematically honest manner.  Which is worse, 100 men dying by suicide in a single attempt each, or 35 women attempting suicide 3 times each, and still being alive to seek services for that which drove them to attempt suicide in the first place?

From the same stats page that Owen used, we can see that completed suicides (suicide attempts resulting in death), was 78.9% male, and 21.1% female.  The author claims men are more likely to “succeed” (because this is a measurement of success for men in Owen`s eyes, as his source never uses the word “success”), because men are trained for violence, emotional detachment, and to deal with problems themselves.  I suppose the fact that over 50% of completed suicides are carried out by firearms has nothing to do with it; it is men’s capacity for violence, now being exerted against themselves that is to blame.

Owen then attempts to vilify men who have committed suicide by pointing out that sometimes people commit acts of murder during their acts of suicide.  He stretches this even further in attempting to add to women’s rate of suicides by including this form of murder with women’s suicide stats.  Even if we added Owen’s highest claim of suicide-murders, 1 500, and made it all women, that would make the rate of death by suicide at 26 710 males to 7 200 women (if accepting the numbers originally stated).

Since 7 200 x 4 = 28 800, male deaths by suicide would still be approximately 4 times that of women.  Again, this is if only we took Owen`s highest number cited for murder-suicide and disingenuously claimed it was all men murdering women.  This, despite his cited sources stating:

Mental health and justice experts say murder-suicides are the exception and that suicidal people are rarely a risk to others.”

“ On January 18, 2008, an aunt was taking her niece and nephew to her house for a weekend stay. While en route, she pulled over, took off her clothes and those of her niece and nephew, and carried the children into on-coming traffic. All three were killed.

Falsehoods exposed in the claim that men die from suicide at a rate 4 times higher than women: 0

As someone who has had multiple family members die by suicide, one of which was a murder suicide attempt by a woman on her husband, this is insulting on a very personal level.

Next!

death-and-taxes2) Life ExpectancyMen live an average of 7 years less than women

Owen starts with “this is a curious statement”.  Someone who is still pondering a statement does not sound like they are remotely ready to debunk it.  He proceeds to instead focus on the sub-point of the original article, that men “receive only 35% of government expenditures for health care and medical costs”.  He does this by discussing how much health insurance companies charge women compared to men, and justifies why they do this.  Health insurance costs more the longer you’re alive, because that means they are in more need of care for a longer time.  This does nothing to debunk the average life span of men compared to women it just offers an explanation for the sub-point.  It is known that insurer’s rates are based on actuarial calculations based on mortality and morbidity rates over many years.

He finishes off this attempted debunking by mentioning off-hand that this is all “despite [women] receiving 23% less income than men”, citing a news article on the wage-gap myth that women make 77 cents to a man’s dollar.  Some sources that debunk the 77 cent wage-gap theory:

Forbe’s Magazine:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/04/16/its-time-that-we-end-the-equal-pay-myth/

Feminist Hanna Rosin, Authour of “The End of Men”: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/gender_pay_gap_the_familiar_line_that_women_make_77_cents_to_every_man_s.html

Feminist Christina Sommers:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-hoff-sommers/wage-gap_b_2073804.html

Dr. Warren Farrell wrote a whole book on it, titled “Why Men Earn More”:  http://www.amazon.com/Why-Men-Earn-More-Startling/dp/0814472109

For those who don’t like reading (but are reading this anyway), Learn Liberty has a youtube video explaining the supposed wage gap:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwogDPh-Sow

That is so many links that have nothing to do with what Owen was supposedly debunking, that I almost forgot he was supposed to be debunking that men live an average of 7 years less than women, which he never did.

Falsehoods exposed in the claim that men live an average of 7 years less than women: 0

Next!

fortscott02

3)  WAR: Men are almost exclusively the only victims of war

I was pulling for Owen on this one, but I still don’t think he really debunked it.  He made some good points about how we can’t just look at soldier / battle deaths.  Only looking at the casualties of soldiers in war is ignoring a huge portion of victims.  I would expect an MRA would know what it is to be an ignored victim.

In his first paragraph, he discusses how if soldiers are to be called victims, then they are victims of the ones who sent them to war.  I agree with this, but he then states “those responsible are men”.  This is no doubt true most of the time, but it is certainly not true all of the time.  Margaret Thatcher and the Falkland islands; Boudicia leading the Celts against the occupying Romans; Joan Of Arc; Catherine The Great and the Russo-Turkish wars; Emmelline Pankhurst and the white feather campaign of shaming men into going to war against Germany in World War One, particularly those who did not have the right to vote (something she was trying to achieve for women, but would rather see men without that same right sent to war).

Owen makes the claim that to blame male combat deaths on women is not only absurd, but insane.  Would I be insane to attribute some blame to the women I listed above?  I think not.  Would I be insane to assign some blame to the women who voted the leaders he mentioned into power?  I think not.  I think it is unintelligent to say blaming women at all would be insane, but I have never seen someone blame women, and only women, for men having to go to war.  Men just point out that throughout history, men have been the only ones sent to war, often without a say in the matter.

Citing this source, Owen claims that in a study of wars in 13 countries, of 5.4 million people violently killed, more than 1 million were female.  Personally I’d like him to show me where it says this, as I may just be missing it.  The only section I see discussing gender is a bit on sibling death stats, which states that:

“A total of 43 874 sibling deaths were reported in the 13 surveys, of which 917 were a result of war injuries. Some 38 613 deaths, of which 797 were due to war, occurred after 1955 and were eligible to be included in our analysis. Figure 1 shows the age and sex distribution of all violent war deaths captured in 13 countries from 1955 to 2002. Among war deaths, 58% were in people aged 15 to 34 and 81% were in males.”

0

All I can ascertain is that Owen took the estimated 5.4 million number cited for total violent war deaths in the 13 countries from 1955-2002, and then applied the 81% of male deaths from the above sibling death survey results.  I assume that the 5.4 million violent war deaths is including soldier deaths, of which the overwhelming majority would be male.  It makes no sense for Owen to then apply the gender rate from the sibling death survey, which accounted for less than 44 000 deaths, and only 1 714 of that was attributed to war.  This is the only way I am seeing that Mr. Lloyd could possibly have come to his numbers, as 19% of 5.4 million would be 1.02 million.  However, as should be obvious, one can not just transfer the gendered percentage found in 1 714 deaths to that of 5.4 million.

(Also, Owen says the study was conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School, despite it clearly being in the British Medical Journal, clearly states the lead author is Michael Spagat, a professor of economics at the University of London, and is an article over which there has been much debate as to its accuracy and validity)

Mr. Lloyd also cites some horrible atrocities that men and women have suffered (aerial spraying, war-inflicted poverty, sexual torture), but admits there are no accurate reports of these other possible causes of death that can be attributed to war.

Falsehoods exposed in the claim that men are almost exclusively the victims of war: 0

Owen rightfully pointed out that civilian casualties should also be counted, as well as wartime atrocities committed to civilians, which also include male civilians.  How many men fight for their country when it is attacked, without actually being “soldiers”? Men are still the majority according to his sources; it certainly is almost exclusively male when it comes to “battle deaths”.

Next!

NA-BH580_FATALI_G_201008191624464)  WORKPLACE FATALITIES: Men account for more than 95% of all workplace fatalities

Owen begins by correctly stating, smugly, that in the U.S., “the figure is 92% as of 2012”, which is what it has been in the U.S. for a number of years (I’ll save why this is a complete failure of debunking for later, but let’s go with that statistic for now).  However, he loses any credibility after that by victim-blaming men, saying they choose dangerous jobs, in an attempt to look manly.  Any work I’ve done that came with an element of risk was due to a need for income.  My grandfather worked as a miner, as well as two other jobs, to support his wife and 10 kids; he did not choose to be a miner because it was perceived to be proof of his masculinity, except insofar as to be a provider for his family.

The citation Owen uses for his further victim-blaming is behind a pay wall, but its title is certainly telling of its accuracy for the over 4 000 workplace deaths in the U.S. that occur every year; “Using a Computer Simulated World to Study Behavioral Compliance with Warnings.”  It must be their fault for not adhering to warnings.  Too bad these deaths happen in the real world.

He tries to skew this yet again into how much more important women’s issues are.  “Tellingly, the most common way for a woman to die in the workplace is to be murdered”.  This is true; the most common way for a woman to die in the workplace is to be murdered.  For women, 29% of workplace deaths are due to murder, compared to men’s mere 9%.

Death by

However, 29%, of women’s 338 workplace deaths, equals 97 deaths by homicide.  By contrast, men’s paltry 9% of workplace deaths by homicide comes out to just 366 deaths; telling indeed.

Homicides by

Falsehoods exposed in the claim that men account for 95% of workplace fatalities: 0

Debunking the debunker:  Owen Lloyd was technically correct with his smug opening, but the degree of smugness exhibited in correcting this minor quibble is completely disproportionate with the magnitude of the quite minor discrepancy he is so proud to highlight.  Of course, with almost nothing to validate his position, it is perhaps understandable that he grossly over magnifies what little substantial evidence he has.  As I said, he was correct, men’s workplace death rate in the U.S. in 2012 was 92% (according to preliminary numbers, because why read the small print or go with finalized statistics?), and have been around 91-93% for a number of years.

What does not excuse his smugness, however, and this is an issue that calls Owen’s article entirely into question, is he is using U.S. stats to debunk stats from other countries.  I do not believe you can get any more disingenuous, dishonest, deceitful, or duplicitous than this.  This is the kind of “well researched” document that Queen’s University students are using to try and diminish and quash a talk focused on men’s issues and double standards of feminism?  Shame on them!

In trying to figure out where the original article got its stats from to arrive at its claim that men are 95% of workplace deaths, I backtracked through the U.S. stats, but they are consistently around 91-93%.  I checked some of the few sources that the original article cited, and saw a lot of them are for Australia.  I checked on Australia’s stats and found that “Of the 111 people who died in workplace incidents in 2009-10, the vast majority (95%) were men.

I decided I’d email the person behind that original article, to see if he had any of his original sources, and saw that his email address is in the U.K. (the U.K., not the U.S., there are other countries out there Owen!).  I have not heard back from him but instead dug up stats on gendered workplace deaths for Europe.  “Almost four out of every five (79.5 %) serious accidents at work and nineteen out of every twenty (94.9 %) fatal accidents at work in the EU-27 in 2009 involved men”:

Europe Gendered WPD

Beligum – 100%
Bulgaria – 95%
Czech Republic – 92%
Denmark – 100%
Germany – 96%
Estonia – 100%
Ireland – 100%
Spain – 96%
France – 92%
Italy – 98%
Cyprus – 100%
Latvia – 86%
Lithuania – 89%
Luxembourg – 100%
Hungary – 93%
Malta – 100%
*Netherlands – 90%
Austria – 94%
Poland – 96%
Portugal – 97%
Romania – 92%
Slovenia – 100%
Slovakia – 91%
Finland – 100%
Sweden – 100%
United Kingdom – 95%
Norway – 100%
Switzerland – 100%

*Corrected total to 59, if the 53 men and 6 women is accurate.
**Some countries showed a higher total than male deaths, but no female deaths.  I assume this is due to deaths where the individual’s gender was not reported.

Here in Canada:

“In 2005, 97 per cent of Canada’s workplace fatalities were men. Fatalities among men have increased by 47 per cent between 1993 and 2005 from 727 deaths in 1993 to 1069 deaths in 2005 … In fact, all female workplace fatalities between 1993 and 2005 account for less than half of the male workplace fatalities in 2005 alone.”
-Centre for Study of Living Standards

Given that Mr. Lloyds “well researched paper” shows this degree of intellectual dishonesty due to his lack of compassion and inability to realize that there is a bigger world out there, and that men’s issues are global issues, as are women’s issues, I’m sure my look at his next four points will also illustrate just how pathetic a failure is his attempt to “debunk” men’s issues.

NEXT!

Posted in Men`s Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Feminism is Not Mandatory

Feminism is Not Mandatory

David Moscrop feels there is no excuse for anti-feminism, at least according to the headline of his article in the Ottawa Citizen, but his article bespeaks a much deeper ignorance and authoritarian perspective.  For Mr. Moscrop it is not just inexcusable for people to be anti-feminist, he also feels that every man who does not self-identify as a feminist is “ignorant, selfish, or cowardly”.  I can’t help but notice he does not feel that this should also apply to the many women who also do not self-identify as feminists, or those whom one could label as “anti-feminist”.  As someone who thinks there should be equality between the sexes, one would think that he would not exclude women from his hate-filled, acrimonious view of those who don’t share in his belief system.

I, for one, often take issue with many aspects of feminism, but I would not refer to myself as an “anti-feminist”.  I prefer to think that I am someone who believes in equality, and does not think that any system or structure is infallible.  As such, I often challenge feminism when I see it working in a negative fashion, and David’s article is a good example of feminism gone astray.  One should not have to ascribe to any belief or movement and, to choose not to, is not a reason to be insulted and ridiculed by a man trying to assert his masculinity under the banner of feminism.  David’s mediocre article, which is no more than thinly disguised ranting, is not casting feminism in a positive light.  His hate-filled version of feminism is something that is more likely to push people further away from feminism than to bring them in to its ranks, as he seems to desire.

How, in one sentence, can he talk of the challenges women face while also referring to them as the “fair” sex (as in the physically beautiful sex, which men are anything but); right there he highlights one manner in which women are held in higher esteem than men.  Considering attractiveness is a privilege itself, often leading to one receiving more attention throughout life in a positive manner, is the societal perception that women are by default more fair and beautiful, which, by contrast, implies that men are more boorish and hideous?  Though I may resemble that remark, it does not make me think that such labels should be applied to all men, as many women would likewise dislike being referred to as the “fair” sex.  Please, tell us more about how awful it is to not ascribe to feminism and show us the way.

Feminists, whatever their gender, are a sundry sort. Strictly speaking, we should speak of feminisms rather than feminism.

Feminists are a sundry sort?  Well if there is such a variety of feminisms, how do I self-identify as a feminist without needing to know more about all these different kinds and which I would best identify with?  Should I identify with the radical feminists who are trans-exclusionary, feeling that women who were born with penises are villainous infiltrators?  How about feminists who don’t think there should be any men in the movement at all, and admonish them for self-identifying as feminists, preferring to label them as “allies” (same as LGBT people label their straight supporters who obviously cannot identify as LGBT)?  These feminists seem to be interested in having men just nod along to support feminism and to not be allowed a voice themselves.  Does that sound like equality, or a swing of the gender-power pendulum?

Perhaps one should look at historical feminist figures then, as maybe it’s only recently that feminism
has gotten cast in a bad light by a few misguided feminists.  Perhaps I’ll be able to identify with some of its original representatives.  How about Andrea Dworkin, who is often misquoted as saying “all sex is rape”?  Where did that misquote come from?  Why another feminist, Cathy Young, who felt that it was a reasonable summary of Andrea Dworkin’s claims, such as “Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men’s contempt for women”.

How about self-identified “radical feminist lesbian” Mary Daly, who excluded men from her advanced women’s studies classes at Boston College, and who has been quoted as saying “If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males.”  Oh, and she felt transgendered people were abominations akin to Frankenstein’s monster, but yay feminism!

Should we look even further still into feminism’s past?  How about Emmeline Pankhurst, who fought for women’s right to vote in Britain, but stopped this campaign in order to focus on the white feather campaign; a campaign to publicly shame men to go and fight, often to their deaths, against Germany’s forces in the first World War.  One can draw contemporary similarities to the white ribbon campaign which focuses on one gender by shaming all men for the violence committed by a few against women, but ignores the violence committed against men by women and men alike (a campaign which originated in Canada, where the rate of intimate partner violence against men and women is 6% to 7% respectively).

I could keep going (the “tender years doctrine” would be next, which rightfully changed courts from making the father the default parent in custodial cases, but wrongfully placed the mother as the default parent in custodial cases).  The rest of your article is a bunch of tripe.  When trying to draw comparisons of men to women, one should look up neutral reporting on both, as I did above.  I have a suspicion that your resource for intimate partner violence, “The Canadian Women’s Foundation”, may be biased in their views and reporting.

Talking about how bad women have it in some areas does not negate that men have it bad in their own areas as well.  Comparing women at the top to men at the top is great, but why did you not also draw a comparison to how many men are staying in shelters each night as well as women?   What’s that?  You say there are no shelters for men fleeing domestic violence to compare those specific statistics to (because general homelessness, which is also staggeringly mostly men, doesn’t count)?  That must mean men don’t suffer domestic violence, right?  Perhaps I could interest you in this rock that keeps tigers away?

Gender Distribution of Homelessness in Canada

In short, it is not for you to tell people what belief systems they should ascribe to, or to vilify them if they don’t believe in the same one that you so obviously do; it is very patriarchal of you to do so.  As I said at the start, I would not call myself an anti-feminist, but I would not label myself a feminist either.  Feminism is not above critique, and to criticize it is not anti-feminism.  However, your literal ad hominem shaming methods are consistent with the historical figures of feminism I have highlighted, so I think you are certainly in the right camp.  Hopefully they will forgive you your patriarchal methods of demanding that the ignorant, selfish, and cowardly men fall in line behind you and do as you say.

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