Seeing a recent post by Mixed about the development of the terms brocialism and manarchy and a little hesitation to start a topic on the overall subject, which had been touched peripherally in other threads, I figured I may as well pick up the ball this time. So, let's get started with TFP's thread on gender politics. Given the strong feelings involved though I think some ground rules are in order: Personal attacks are already against forum rules, but accusations of sexism tend to crop up in gender debates so it's worth reiterating. MRA/Feminazi etc aren't to be used as "snarl words". No calling "witch!" basically. Rebut someone's argument, but don't use silencing tactics to claim they don't have the right to disagree at all. Be clear about definitions and assumptions. Examples: Are you referring only to Radfems and not Libfems? Are you using the "Privilege+Power" definition of Sexism or the dictionary definition? Are you talking about somewhere or sometime other than modern day America, Canada, and the developed world? ----- As is probably painfully obvious from the last few threads which touched on the subject I don't really stand with conventional politics on gender relations. Some people call me an MRA, usually meaning that as "violent woman-hating bigot". Others have called me a LibFem meaning much the same thing. A few more have borrowed Mr. Carlin's list and gone down the line. In terms of self identification I'm perfectly happy to call myself a Men's Rights Advocate. I am also perfectly happy to call myself a Feminist, and an Egalitarian. This is because (in my opinion at least) women's rights, and men's rights, are human rights. The right to self-determination, freedom from harassment or forced gender roles, and equal protection under the law are simply unrelated to sex or gender. The reason I tend to stick to Egalitarian is because the other two have become loaded terms in a political war that's increasingly being taken over by the extremists on either side. MRA's are cast as women-beating rapists by radfems who want to reduce men to 10% of the human population, and mainstream feminists are cast as... well... the radfems from a few commas back. Now are there issues of privilege and discrimination? Yes, demonstrably so. Men have a small unexplained pay gain over women, hold a disproportionate number of seats of economic or political power, far too often does my mother come and ask me to "play the man" and basically be a bearded puppet for her when dealing with people. At the same time men suffer from their own severe systemic issues of discrimination: 90% of workplace fatalities, 70% of the homeless, 3x greater jail time for the same crime, 20x more likely to be sentenced to death, around 75% of suicides, approximately 10% of custodial parents, as low as 30-40% of college graduates, twice as likely to be diagnosed and drugged for ADHD and similar, suffer significant discrimination and grade penalties through K-12, and perhaps most heinously of all 1267000 men were raped in 2010 (compared to 1270000 women) but were classified as "Other" rather than victims of "Rape" and received no attention and virtually no victim services because of the government's gender restricted definition of rape and society's refusal to recognize male victims. Don't get me wrong, (most) of these problems are certainly recognized by mainstream gender politics. Where I differ from that mainstream however is in aguing that this cuts both ways for both genders, and more importantly how I DEFINE that effect. It's not just recognizing the disadvantages of men, and that women have their own profound areas of privilege, it's in how you define the dynamic of privilege and disadvantage. And that's where I get into a lot of arguments. My egalitarian interpretation of an unhealthy society which harms both genders with impunity flies directly against the feminist theory of Patriarchy. In a patriarchal society men are provided with privilege while women suffer from discrimination and disadvantages, the issues I just mentioned are explained more or less as "patriarchy hurts men too (there I said it now shut up)". The problem with patriarchy theory is one of falsifiability. There is no condition under which it is not true, because even the rebuttal to patriarchy is taken as further proof *of* patriarchy through the use of the "privilege backfire" mechanism... on other words even contradicting evidence is claimed to further supporting evidence. This is completely ignoring the "you can't see it because you have it" silencing tactic which essentially boils down to claiming that disagreeing with patriarchy proves it exists, because if you didn't have it you wouldn't disagree with it. It's circular, axiomatic, and based on special semantic definitions which redefine everything to support it. Sexism is defined in such a way that only men can be sexist. Privilege is defined so that only men have it. Men are not victims of sexism, they are victims of the "patriarchy backfiring". Women do not have privilege, they are victims of "benevolent sexism". Anyone argument against all of this must simply be so steeped in and complicit with patriarchy that they're blinded by it and can't see it for what it is. With the radicalization of the gender politics debate this theory has been operationalized in a passive disdain for or even active hostility towards any attempt at addressing male issues... on the light end dismissed with taunts and straw men such as "What about teh menz" and "mantearz" or worse, direct attacks to the point of bankrupting and driving someone to suicide for the offense of opening the ONLY shelter for abused men in his country. When your ideology monopolizes victimhood, premises itself on a black and white us-vs-them workdview, redefines basic terms like "sexism" to back up circular logic, and weaponizes victim-olympics and accusations of misogyny as a silencing tactic this sort of hatred is imho the inevitable result and that's why personally I can not in good conscience fail to oppose it. The problem is, much like american politics has been dragged off to the right, the standards of what is or isn't misogyny have been equally dragged off center to the degree that merely pointing out an equal number of men were raped on another forum got me branded as no better than the Westboro Church. But all that's just my opinion and interpretation of the facts, where do the rest of you stand in the gender debate?