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Politics On gender politics

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by Shadowex3, Nov 3, 2013.

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  1. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member


    The problem I have with much of the MRM is that it seems to argue from a position of helplessness as a prerequisite, which might explain why it's more of an anti-feminist movement than a movement in support of anything. Perhaps it started as something more, but the current form seems to depend on opposing feminism, and it seems to do so dishonestly. Not on all counts, I'm sure, but it certainly seems to happen in the main. This causes problems with the perceptions and understanding of feminism, but more important to the raison d'être of the MRM, this focus on feminism seems to have overwhelmed any real focus on male-centric issues, such as re-evaluating what masculinity means and figuring out how to tackle problems affecting men exclusively or disproportionately.

    So what seems to be happening is that the MRM is conducting a campaign against feminism, often through straw men, faulty generalizations, and binary thinking (to name a few problems)—all at the cost of demonizing feminism and undermining the importance of men's self-reflection, empowerment, and personal growth.

    The worst issues facing men will not be solved by attacking feminism wholesale. The solutions will instead come from empowering men to uphold their rights not as men per se but as human beings.

    Perhaps this is fundamentally an issue of the difference between pessimism and optimism.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    To sum up...
    Let go of your anger...that is the path to the Dark Side.

    **and that goes for all sides.
  3. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Certainly. I don't deny there is anger among feminists. This is a problem as well.

    This works both ways:

    In your arguments against feminism, do you examine the best in feminism? After all, you look to the best in the MRM in your support of the MRM.

    In your arguments against the MRM, do you examine the best in the MRM? After all, you look to the best in feminism in your support of feminism.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    @Shadowex3, this may sound weird, but I actually don't give a shit about convincing you of anything. My goal in situations like these is to convince lurkers. So I'm going to bullet point some things, and you can respond however. But to be clear, I think your 'evidence' is shaky (to be charitable), your use of logic flawed and your thinking totally manic on this shit.

    1. Patriarchy is system where political and economic power is generally controlled by men.
    i. It comes with a shiny silver kitchen set of ideas that serve to justify and perpetuate itself
    ii. Many of these ideas are harmful to men because they limit the number of socially acceptable ways a male can act
    iii. Despite these harmful results of patriarchy, men as a group tend to have more economic and political power

    2. Feminism is a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but it is predicated on the general notion that men and women are equally shitty (or logical equivalents of this idea)
    i. pretending that all feminists believe the same thing or that the actions of a subset of feminists are manifestations of the beliefs of all feminists makes as much sense as pretending that all Christians are Baptists. To believe otherwise is a textbook example of flawed logic. If B is a member of A, and B believes C, then the fact that D is a member of A doesn't mean that D believes C.

    3. We both agree that men suffer disproportionately from certain diseases and conditions. Where we differ is who we blame. You blame feminists, I blame patriarchy (partially, there are other components to it too). Given that many gender-based disparities (like the glass cellar) predate political feminism, it seems absurd to me to want to pin gender-based disparities on feminism.
  5. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    I'd say, the only difference between me and others, I believe the positive aspects of Feminism is a subset of Egalitarianism.

    That the original surge of Feminism came from need to fight and balance out the negatives aspects of Patriarchy. (which still exists, but not as bad as before either)
    But now, as with any battle, some have used it as an excuse for their anger...a target.
    or have overstepped their original goals, now at times suppressing or ignoring men's useful aspects.

    But we need to let go of that...simply acknowledge the negative, but let go of the "blame"...move past it.
    Otherwise, it eats at us.
    Similar to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict...or any other long-term divisive issue.

    In the end, I believe Egalitarianism should be the overall goal,
    incorporating both sides, no...all sides...and the positive and productive uses of all, no matter their source...if & when they occur.

    Instead of saying, this is that...and that is this...and them are those. And this sex did THAT to me...
    We can say, this person is useful here, in that aspect, at this time.
    And that person is not quite as efficient for that need, at this time.

    This way, there is no victim or victor.
    There is only purpose.
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
    • Like Like x 2
  6. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    I think my big problem with the whole 'lets replace Feminism with Egalitarianism' is similar to the problem that people of color have with the SCOTUS announcing that statist racism no longer exists so their going to gut the voting act.

    Before anyone takes offense I'm not saying most people are doing it on purpose but I think there is an effort to undermine feminism as a whole.
    For every step forward there are two steps back.
    There are many successful woman but the fact is that the highest number of people working minimum wage and on welfare are women.
    Systematic attacks on abortion and birth control so common they are hardly even news anymore.
    If a woman does speak up she gets pilloried as a slut by Rush and Hannity.
    You can't tell me that the voices for the patriarchy aren't fighting this every step and they have some powerful weapons.
    We thought we'd won battles, turned around and they overwhelmed us.

    So I see this as an ongoing deal where you have to stick to your guns.
  7. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    Charlatan, Do you think I don't know there are good people who call themselves feminists like Raven's mother, one of my closest friends, or even my own mother? She ardently called herself a feminist right up until some of the truly disgusting actions of the last few years, at which point the fact those actions were tacitly condoned by silence and later actively defended by opposing the backlash to them was simply too much for her.

    Let me explain it through a similar situation with a different group: You know I'm a freemason. Most of my lodge brothers are old white men. They're some of the most morally upright and generous people I know, and yet their political alignment ranges from tea party to thinking every president since Herbert Hoover was a "progressive" and a liberal.

    Despite the fact I consider these people to be not just friends but brothers I still think the republican party, especially the tea party, is a backwards reactionary group of right wing extremists. Does the fact I know republicans that are good people change that? Does the fact that I know people who are Pre-Reagan Republicans (old school high taxes small military republicans) change that? It doesn't. The party as a whole has been corrupted and is effectively owned and dominated by what was once the extremist fringe. They set the tone, they control the majority of not near totality of actual actions taken, and despite all the talk by "good republicans" there is no meaningfull mass organized opposition to the corrupt status quo.

    Which is why I base my arguments against the movement as a whole on the condition that the movement as a whole fails at the very moral high ground it claims to represent. If feminism were in the position of Christians and the Westboro Church I would have no problem with it, but as I'm about to point out the situation is completely different.

    That's a pretty common complaint about the MRM, and it's one that I think SYABM addressed very well, complete with significant documentation of the activism that actually makes up a (near totally unreported) majority of the MRM's actions. I have to ask: Are you really judging the MRM itself, or are you going based on what feminist websites and writers claim about the MRM?

    Yes there is a certain degree to which anti-feminism and the MRM overlaps but consider how feminism started off and continues to behave and ask if you can say, in good consicence, they don't have a right to oppose feminism in addition to their activism:

    As early as the 1970s the mere act of offering shelter to male domestic violence victims earned someone death threats and got their dog shot by feminists, even though Erin should by all counts be a hero to anti-abuse advocates everywhere for almost singlehandedly inventing the modern shelter system and helping to make spousal abuse as despised as it is today.
    Despite men being about half of all domestic violence victims (also) there are still virtually no shelters, and when one man tried to open Canada's only shelter for abused men and boys he was targetted by feminists for a massive political and social campaign of vitriolic opposition. He was bankrupted, abused, and eventually driven to commit suicide.
    One of the core arguments of feminism is that it's "hijacking" to try and bring up men's issues in "feminist spaces", but even when men try to deal with issues affecting men entirely on their own feminists go out of their way to attack and shut down those attempts, even to the point of committing felonies and singing "Cry Me a River" to mock suicide victims and their families.
    Most heinously of all, why has there not been a single peep about the total and absolute erasure of over a million rape victims? Even if the catastrophic death toll of suicide wasn't enough, Feminism is concerned with rape to the point of mass hysteria, you would think the revelation that as many men are raped every year as women but are institutionally erased would be a big deal but instead it's met with a deafening, and ultimately a damning silence.

    Like I said above to Charlatan... if feminism were in the same position with these people as MLKjr was with the Black Panthers, or christians are today with the Catholic Church's officials or the Westboro Baptist Church then I would be a solid supporter of feminism as a movement.

    But it just isn't. For all the lonely individuals like the handful of people we all know feminism itself has no serious opposition to these people. Their actions were never seriously and publically condemned, there was never any support or aid for their victims even in long term public actions like Earl's shelter getting attacked, and the moment anyone tries to stand up and say "Now hold on this isn't acceptable behavior" suddenly feminists come out of the woodwork to attack that person instead.

    I don't judge feminism solely because of things like I've listed here. I judge feminism because of its actions and even more damningly conspicious inaction.

    Yes, "feminism is not monolith", but together a thousand bricks form a wall and at some point the argument that you're talking about individual bricks and not a wall becomes disingenuous. Just like with the republicans at some point you have to look at the overall picture and say "Yes, there are good feminists, but feminism has become corrupt and violent, and feminists are not only refusing to deal with that collectively but collectively opposing the efforts of others to do so, or to deal with their own issues independently".

    1. Women are a majority of voters (one, two)
    2. Women control an overwhelming majority of household income and spending (one, two, three, four)

    Even if every male voter voted for something they wouldn't be able to win the election unless women agreed to it in sufficient numbers. Saying that men as a group have more power is not just factually inaccurate, it's extremely degrading to women because it requires you to say that women are so feckless and incompetent that even when they're a majority (and have been for a long time) they're incapable of exercising any real agency. This is where I'd normally expect someone to bring up "internalized patriarchy" but lets face it that's even more insulting, it's saying women can't even be trusted with their own thoughts and opinions if they aren't the "right" ones... to say nothing of the big brother overtones inherent in claiming people who disagree with a political group must be brainwashed.

    The fact is that women flat out control elections and the economy. If a man is in power it's because women gave permission for him to be there, without them he wouldn't have won even if every single male voter voted for him. Similarly if products or marketing exist it's because women choose to support it with the money they overwhelmingly control.

    "Hypoagency" is blaming women's inactions, failures, and the consequences of their actions on men as a cultural norm. It's the infantilizing and degrading treatment of women like they are inanimate objects only ever acted upon by outside (male) forces, no matter how much of a majority they are or whether they were the primary or even sole actor.

    If you keep that in mind you'll start to realise just how much female hypoagency colors every aspect of our culture. For example even though women range from a majority to an over 2/3rds supermajority of college graduates we practically obsess over what few male graduates are left outnumbering women in STEM fields. And when we do it we don't ask "How can women succeed better in STEM fields" we instead rob them of all agency and say "How can we change STEM to make it suit women better". It's foot binding by socialization.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Minimum wage workers are split 49.3% male and 50.7% female.

    So first off that's not even true, and even if it was then beneath them 70-90% of the homeless are men because they're systematically and institutionally discriminated against in terms of services and welfare availability.

    See, this is exactly the sort of thing I have a problem with feminism over. Even if women were a majority of people working minimum wage the people that are even worse off dying in the streets are almost exclusively men. In any other circumstances nobody would ever say that the people dying in the streets aren't the ones that are worse off, more oppressed, and more disadvantaged than the people who at least have a job.

    Note: I am by no means saying that this isn't a problem mind you, our minimum wage is just plain offensive and morally unsound. For a healthy society the minimum wage needs to be a living wage and the only demographic that should ever be statistically dominating it should be youth on their way to something better or people specifically working unskilled part-time labour not to support themselves. Demographics getting trapped at the bottom of the unskilled wage pool is a sign of a broken society.
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  8. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    I'm not going to waste anymore time going point by point with you. T'ain't worth it. Even when you're clearly wrong, which you aren't always, you can't admit it.

    To reiterate (and expand):

    1. Patriarchy comes from a system where political and economic power is generally controlled by men (via corporate boardrooms and political committees)
    i. It comes with a shiny silver kitchen set of ideas that serve to justify and perpetuate itself
    ii. Many of these ideas are harmful to men because they limit the number of socially acceptable ways a male can act
    iii. Despite these harmful results of patriarchy, men as a group (and/or ideas rooted in patriarchy) tend to have more meaningful economic and political power
    iiii. If the fact that gender imbalances are less weighted towards men or even weighted towards women is evidence that patriarchy no longer obtains then the fact that we have a black president is evidence that racism no longer exists. Both seem ridiculous to me.

    2. Feminism is a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but for me it is predicated on the general notion that men and women are equally shitty (or logical equivalents of this idea)
    i. pretending that all feminists believe the same thing or that the actions of a subset of feminists are manifestations of the beliefs of all feminists makes as much sense as pretending that all Christians are Baptists. To believe otherwise is a textbook example of flawed logic. If B is a member of A, and B believes C, then the fact that D is a member of A doesn't mean that D believes C.

    3. We both agree that men suffer disproportionately from certain diseases and conditions. Where we differ is who we blame. You blame feminists, I blame patriarchy (partially, there are other components to it too). Given that many gender-based disparities (like the glass cellar) predate political feminism, it seems absurd to me to want to pin gender-based disparities on feminism.
  9. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

  10. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    Ok I see where I read the wrong column. The rest of my point still stands however. Those women aren't beneath men, they're above them.

    To say otherwise is like saying that Group-X is worse off than Group-Y because 64% of Group-X makes $10 an hour while ignoring that 70-90% of the people making only $5 an hour are from Group-Y.

    But I still want to reiterate that there is absolutely no excuse for one of the richest and most powerful nations in the world not to pay anyone a true living wage. It's beyond moral bankruptcy for people to profit off of wage-slavery and driving others into poverty.

    At which point we're back to the simple question: When will we ever NOT be in a patriarchy? How can your theory ever be falsified if even when the exact opposite of what it claims is true you still say your theory stands? According to your "logic" no matter what happens, no matter how much power and control women have, you can always claim we're still in a patriarchy.

    It is the most absolutely, fundamental, core tenet of all logic that to be valid a theory MUST be falsifiable. It can not be both itself and it's opposite. You can not have a theory claim men are in power and control everything, have evidence that shows it's the exact opposite, and then claim your theory is still true.

    If a man is in a position of economic or political power it's because he was put there by women, they chose him as their representative. Even if every voting male picked that person they would not succeed without women approving of it. It is the most absurd thing imaginable to claim that even when women are a majority (at times an overwhelming majority) they're STILL not responsible for anything or represented. They chose their representative. It doesn't magically not count just because they chose a man.

    I can't think of any more insidiously underhanded way of being sexist than telling women that they're so weak, pathetic, and feckless that even when they literally overwhelmingly dominate the economy and can determine elections they're still powerless and utterly lacking in agency. More than that, you're completely denying the validity of the opinions, beliefs, and actions of those women simply because they didn't do what you think they should have done.

    Let me see if I can make this even simpler still:

    There is Group A
    In group A there is subgroup A1
    Everyone not in A1 is in A2
    Subgroup A1 does something absolutely terrible in the name of "Group A"
    A2 does not say anything, does not do anything
    Group B says something
    Group A1 AND A2 attack Group B

    Group A2 is as guilty as Group A1, both for their failure to act and for their actions defending A1 when later challenged by Group B.

    I don't hold christians responsible for the westboro baptist church because they act against westboro, to ensure that westboro's poisonous ideology does not spread and so that westboro cannot take public actions without opposition or rebuke.

    I hold feminism responsible for it's failure to act against their version of the westboro baptist church, for allowing its poisonous ideology to spread and become dominant, and worst of all for allowing them to repeatedly perform real world actions with a terrible cost in human life and dignity without opposition or rebuke, and for then attacking those that DO stand up to oppose those terrible actions.

    Do you understand the difference? I judge feminism by its real world actions, or conspicuous inactions. You judge feminism by the words of those trying to excuse, erase, or obfuscate those actions and conspicuous inactions.
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  11. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Wouldn't this mean simply that women play a role in empowering the patriarchy? Over 80% of Congress being male is still 80% of Congress being male no matter who voted them there.

    Also, women hold 4.4% of the CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies. Do women have the most power in placing people in these positions?

    Also, I'm no statistician, but I'm not sure your theory regarding vote distribution works, at least not universally.

    Also, are you saying that women tend to prefer men in positions of power?

    But 80% of Congress and 96% of Fortune 500 CEOs are male. You can look at other areas of political and economic power and find similar balances.

    If what you say is true, why are women putting men in such positions? Do they not want to be in these positions themselves?

    Also, being that men are overwhelmingly in these positions of power, does this not demonstrate an patriarchal impact?

    Please help me understand. I still don't get your position.
    --- merged: May 19, 2014 at 7:59 PM ---
    For me, it's a matter of perception. Most of what I have gathered from the MRM is from the MRM itself. I sometimes read responses to the MRM from a pop-feminist perspective, and I usually have a mixed response to it (if I don't simply reject it). Pop-feminism (Jezebel and its ilk) doesn't do a very good job interacting with the MRM positions.

    I remember when I first heard about the MRM. I thought the idea in essence was good, but the more I read about it the worse I felt about it. I think the thrust of it is misguided, and there is a lot of it I think is too propagandic. So in theory, I think it's a good idea, but in practice I think it falls flat (to be nice). I'd expect more from the movement to avoid a tit-for-tat campaign of propaganda vs. the more incendiary aspects of feminism.

    Most of my understanding of feminism is from an academic perspective, which would explain much of my disappointment with pop-feminism. But this may also explain why I have problems with the MRM too. Both the MRM and pop-feminism tend to lack in argumentative and logical integrity.

    Much of it is very disappointing—in large part because it's distracting at best, damaging at worst.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2014
  12. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    I think the question of when does patriarchy end is a good one because the answer gets to the heart of how patriarchy continues to manifest. I think that it can easily be argued that patriarchy will always have relevance in how we conduct ourselves even if we can successfully society of all possible gender disparity. For instance, it will always be obvious when one reads the constitution that our country was founded by people who didn't think women could handle the responsibility of voting. It will always be in our history. We will never live in a country that hasn't been heavily influenced by patriarchy. I imagine it's similar to how, even though we haven't been subject to monarchy in the US for centuries, its presence can still be felt in the fundamentals of how our government functions (and how it purports not to function - as a monarchy).

    Still, there's a long way to go.

    Patriarchy, like racism, is going to be around for a long time.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Frankfurt, Germany
    While I haven't at all followed the chain of posts by shadowex and Bodkin (seriously, you guys write way too much), I wanted to make a quick observation:

    Reddit seems to have been evolving more and more into a pro Male Rights environment as of late. It is interesting to see what this exposure could result in, given that Reddit reaches tens of millions of people, many of them young males and many not having spent much time seriously scrutinizing the gender debate.
  14. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    I totally write too much on here. I love the read of my own text, though.

    I would suspect that the confluence of reddit and MRM is a demographics thing. Though there are definitely MRA-hostile enclaves there.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    In a community as large as reddit you can, generally speaking, find enclaves that are for or against just about any subject you care to think of.

    Reddit also bears the concept of the "hive mind" which is really just an overwrought way of identifying popular opinion. The reddit "hive mind" seems to be undecided on the topic of MRM, in my not even remotely scientific opinion.

    I've long held that feminism suffers from a branding problem, and it seems to me as if the men's rights movement is a response to that. As a young man it's not hard to look at the political landscape and see all this progress being made to advance the rights and privileges of women, and start to sort of wonder where the champions for my very real and harmful gender issues are. If feminism could be made to be inclusive of those issues as well then the MRM wouldn't be necessary, and this combative back-and-forth between the two could be avoided. Sadly feminism can't be feminism and also be inclusive of men, because it's at it's core a movement for women. It's in the name. It's in the branding.

    I don't think feminism and the MRM are working at cross purposes, so long as we're willing to exclude the extremists on either side. I suspect a good deal more could be accomplished if the adversarial positions could be abandoned in favour of some form of synthesis. But I wouldn't even know where to begin making that happen.

    Just my idle musings on the subject.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Frankfurt, Germany
    Oh yes, so much agreement right here Martian.

    EDIT: From my limited perception of the hive mind, it seems as though the multiple public mishaps by s0-called feminists (specifically the events surrounding University of Toronto) are leaving an increasingly strong impression against the feminist movement.

    Then you have what is branded as the "SRS Fempire", and their members' generally extremely obnoxious behavior and posting content, and feminism as a brand is really dragged through the mud. It leaves the distinct impression that unless one submits to an extremely pro-woman narrative, one can be expected to be labeled a woman-hating pig.

    And that really does not work to get them to like the feminist movement, or to even remotely consider the feminist movement as beneficial to men.

    Of course, you also have extremist groups like the Red Pill pulling their own weight in discrediting the MRM movement they purport to belong to.
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  17. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    Going in reverse order for fun...

    @Martian: The thing is the MRM is not exclusive to feminism, but feminism's response to the MRM has been almost universally hostile to the point of criminal violence. The MRM's opposition to feminism is one of necessity, not one of doctrine. No MRA will ever tell you that women in somalia, saudia arabia, nigeria, india, and afghanistan don't badly need their human rights advocated for. They will however also tell you that feminists in india literally blocked the government from making it illegal to rape men. The problem the MRM has with feminism isn't that it wants to help women, it's that fundamentally it's against helping men to the point the very idea gets mocked as "what about teh menz" or "misandry don't real".

    There's a great quote in response to the constant "Patriarchy hurts men too, you need more feminism" line of thinking:

    "If someone said they were going to work on something for you, but then either did nothing at all or actually made the problem worse on purpose, you’d push ‘em out of the way and get it done yourself. And that is EXACTLY why the Men’s Rights Movement exists."

    You could argue that's just the extremists... but the problem is as I've said repeatedly isn't whether they're extremists or not, it's what the rest of feminism is doing about them. Or rather what the rest of feminism does to obstruct the people who ARE trying to deal with the extremists.

    Use Westboro as an example. What if instead of the current situation nobody ever protested the WBC. What if they were given a free pass to act as they wished without rebuke or opposition, and they escalated to the point of closing down other churches, veteran's services, and attacking VA clinics. And what if after doing all of that somebody tried to stand up to them and suddenly the rest of christianity jumped down those peoples' throats and started making their lives hell. It's not unreasonable in those circumstances to say that the rest of christianity is one way or another defending the WBC, either by tacitly condoning their actions with silence or by actively obstructing efforts to oppose them.

    THAT is the problem with feminism right now, and why the MRM has a problem with feminism. It's not about doctrine, it's about survival. When people are shutting down your shelters, committing crimes to disrupt your events, and literally physically attacking your members you're going to have to stand up to them just to continue to exist.

    The Red Pill has nothing to do with the MRM, they're a sex/dating group like PUA but with more faux-biology rhetoric. There may be overlap among some individuals, and the Redpillers are certainly anti-feminist for their own reasons, but their entire thing is about getting laid. If anything most of them are fairly anti-MRA as well as anti-feminist because they see the MRM as weak, blind, or stupid for believing in gender equality.

    Now The Spearhead on the other hand... they go past Men's Rights, past Anti-Feminism, and straight into misogyny. If you want some crazy woman hating lunatics go read their bullshit. I wouldn't be surprised if they wind up affiliated with white supremacy soon as well. They're firmly in the "stop agreeing with us you make us look bad" camp.

    The thing about demographics on a website is you need to remember your baseline. Reddit draws ~57% of its users from the US, 13% from Canada, 8.5% from the UK, and about 5% from Australia. The 16% left are scattered among various EU nations.

    So right off the bat your population being mostly white matches the baseline for the countries using it meaning it's a statistically insignificant non-result, the 18-34 age range matches the use of technology in general so that's another statistically insignificant non-result, being unmarried matches the average age of marriage in most of those countries, and even the large number of athiests isn't abnormal when you consider the percent of young western people that are athiests. The distribution of jews, hindus, and muslims are also relative matches for the demographics of the contributing nations. The only two things that stand out about reddit's userbase are they're of above average education for the US, and 20% non-heterosexual.

    As for that one "poll" of R/Mensrights' demographics making the rounds, that's already been confirmed to have been the work of bots.

    1. There's two problems with that argument though:
    The first is that it's simply circular. You're assuming by default that your theory of patriarchy is correct and then claiming that all evidence somehow supports it.
    The second is that argument's based on saying that a woman's choice only "counts" if she makes the "right" choice according to your politics. If she votes for a woman it's the "right" choice, but if she votes for a man it's because of "patriarchy". What you're really saying with this argument is that women can't be trusted to make their own decisions, that anyone who makes a decision that feminism doesn't agree with must be "brainwashed by the patriarchy".
    Logically that can't be a valid argument because it's basically the same as tossing a coin with the rules "Heads I win, Tails you lose".

    2. Either women tend to prefer male candidates, OR women tend to prefer not to run for office. We already have substantial bodies of research showing that when negotiating for employment compensation women tend to favor things like flexibility and other non-monetary compensation over straight pay, whereas men tend to prioritize getting the highest salary or wages possible at the expense of having virtually no job freedom or flexibility.

    3. And 70-90% of the homeless are men and WELL over 90% of all suicides and workplace deaths are men, while in return men range from just over to just under 1/3rd of college graduates.
    The question I have to ask you in response is how you can claim that already rich and powerful women not being even more rich and powerful outweighs that?
    Put more simply why do a couple hundred apex positions outweigh millions of dead, homeless, and uneducated?
    This question is basically the Apex Fallacy in action. You're using a scant handful of positions at the apex of society to judge men as a class while ignoring that women as a class are virtually completely unrepresented among the very bottom of society.
    On top of this while being on the bottom is predicted almost perfectly by gender, being on top is predicted far more powerfully by income than by gender. Your problem isn't with men, it's with plutocracy.
    Even if that weren't the case I would argue that privilege isn't dominating a handful of special positions, it's being almost completely protected from the very worse positions in society.

    4. While I already addressed this in #2 I've got something else to suggest: Female hypoagency actually hurts women. Consider the fact that the only place in all of higher education men outnumber women is in STEM fields. Right now people are all up in arms saying we need to change STEM programs to suit women... but isn't that doing them a disservice? Isn't that basically crippling them? As one insightful commentor once said: "We don’t need to make STEM more woman-friendly; we need to make women more STEM-friendly."

    5. If women being a majority of voters, consumers, and controlling an overwhelming majority of household wealth and income doesn't disprove that then what does?
    This goes back to the circular argument I pointed out #1 and the hypoagency of #2 and #4. You're not making a conclusion based off the evidence, you're starting with the conclusion and then inventing ways the evidence supports it, and the way you're doing that is by saying "Because they did something I disagreed with patriarchy must be true". It's externalizing the consequences of womens' actions onto men; women didn't choose those men, they were tricked into it by the evil patriarchy.

    Bonus Link: Maybe I'm not explaining it so well in such a short space. Ginkgo's explanation is more thorough.
  18. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    But I'm not making that claim. My question is: If Congress is 80% male and a slight majority of voters are female, then doesn't it follow that women play a large role in empowering a federal government system in which males occupy a vast majority of the roles of political leadership?

    That's not what it means at all. It states that women for some reason are somehow playing a role in electing men in 4 out of every 5 seats in Congress and that this is essentially giving most of the roles of political leadership to men. This is one aspect of a patriarchal society—government leadership overwhelmingly (and in this case consistently) dominated by men. This says nothing about women's choices only "counting" if they're "right" according to my politics. This isn't even about me; don't make it about me (or were you using the generic "your"?). It's not a simplistic question of binary opposites of "woman" as one choice and "patriarchy" on the other. It's a net result of men occupying 80% of Congress. This is what simply is. It's not even simply a question of female voters. You seem to assume that men don't vote for female candidates. (I'm guessing you don't.)

    So no. You're reading way too much into what I've asked to the extent that you've put words in my mouth. In other words, you've assumed way too much.

    The "why" isn't really at issue here. It's the what. A slight majority of voters are female, yet somehow the U.S. in recent years has not come even close to breaking the top 50 of worldwide female leadership. Whether it's because of a lack of female candidates, or that voters prefer male candidates, the result is clear. Surely, there are many nations whose political makeup is more balanced between the genders than America, whose own makeup is consistently balanced towards men. (In other words, men consistently fill the majority of roles in political leadership.)

    Except I'm not.

    I'm stating that influential aspects of political and economic society are widely governed by men in positions of authority. You then throw out a red herring about those who aren't in these positions of authority.

    Maybe you can make a connection, but can we look at these positions of authority first?

    Is it irrelevant that 80% of Congress is male and 96% of Fortune 500 CEOs are male? (We're not even looking at other positions of authority in politics and economics, but we could!)

    Is it a fluke that the balance is such? It it simply because "women tend to favor things like flexibility and other non-monetary compensation over straight pay, whereas men tend to prioritize getting the highest salary or wages possible at the expense of having virtually no job freedom or flexibility"?

    Either way, 4 out of every 5 seats in Congress is filled by a man, and this isn't out of the ordinary; therefore, men are the primary authority figures in American federal government.

    Either way, out of 100 Fortune 500 CEOs, the females among them could all fit comfortably in a Ford Focus, and this isn't out of the ordinary; therefore, men are the primary authority figures in the largest American corporations, both public and private.

    That's my point. We can look at the homeless and the suicide rates if you want, but that won't change the fact that men by and large are the primary authority figures in large swaths of society.

    I don't generally have a problem with men. (I am one.) The issue isn't an either/or thing. It's not either patriarchy or plutocracy. (It's both...men primarily hold positions of economic power, and economic power has a large impact on governments...also consisting of positions primarily held by men.)

    Also, I'm pretty sure that homelessness is predicted fairly powerfully by income. Sure, more men are homeless than females, but that doesn't change the fact that men are the primary authority figures in society.

    There is a distinction to be made between privilege and authority. I think it's important to keep this in mind when considering this topic.

    Is hypoagency a made-up word? It's the best thing I've heard since studying postmodernist critical theory. I'll take a stab at guessing what it means.

    Anyway, I know a bit about the STEM issue regarding women, and I think it's a compound problem. Perhaps the programs need some changes if they're unfriendly to women somehow, perhaps women need to be taught that it's okay to be really smart in practical things.

    But we've come to another issue of not the "why" but the what. (See above re: "men are the primary authority figures.")

    The problem I have with this statement is that it assumes that authority in society resides in voters and consumers. I won't get into it in detail, but voters and consumers are merely the enablers of authority. As above with privilege and authority, there is an important distinction to be made.

    Okay, back up. I didn't argue anything nor I did I conclude anything. I asked some questions and stated some facts. You've done this above, where you're making huge assumptions about what I believe or what I'd argue. Perhaps how I've responded to you now will give you a better idea. Maybe not.

    Anyway, I'd suggest going on what I actually say, not what you think I might be getting at.

    I don't have time right now; I need sleep. I'll try to get around to this.
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  19. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    Your original question was whether women play a role in empowering the patriarchy, which necessarily means something that is apparently different than what you'd intended to ask. If your only question is whether women played a large role in the current state of government without getting into feminism's theory of "Patriarchy" and everything that goes with it then yes, they did, and that's a simple empirical Yes/No question.
    Whether or not that means those women are suffering from "Internalized Patriarchy" or are part of the "Patriarchy" according to feminism's theory of Patriarchy is a whole nother ball game, and that's the one I answered originally.

    One of the plain mechanical difficulties with discussing this subject is that a lot of words are re-used by Feminism to mean different things. For example "sexism" doesn't just mean being prejudiced or discriminating based on gender, it's rigged using a special definition so only men can be sexist. "Patriarchy" in particular means a whole lot of stuff you're apparently not including, in particular to this point "patriarchy" necessarily states that women are oppressed and men have privilege. That's why I asserted that you can't simultaneously have women as a majority of voters and claim that we exist in a "patriarchy". It's literally saying "Women have a majority of political and economic power, but they have no political and economic power".

    "Patriarchy" means more than just having a majority of politicians be men, it by definition also refers to privilege and oppression. If all that matters is demographics then either we'd live in a patriarchy anytime anything was 50.00001% male, or you've got to deal with the messy business of deciding where to arbitrarily draw the line other than a 50/50 split.

    The thing is "Patriarchy" is a "why" as well as a "what", which is why I answered the way I did. That men fill a majority of political positions is an empirical observation. What we need is a theory to explain why. According to Feminism the answer is "Patriarchy"; women are oppressed and men are privileged and the government's demographics are both a result and a self-reinforcing cause of said result.

    My entire point is that's the Apex Fallacy: A majority of the top government or business leaders are men. Therefore all men are privileged and women are oppressed.
    Let me give you another example: A majority of the top runners in the world for various categories are Africans. Therefore all Africans are amazing runners and everyone else is slow.

    The second is plainly visible as an absurd conclusion. The first should be as well. Would you use the existence of rich black men in the colonial era to say that black men were privileged? No you would not, because an overwhelming majority of black men had an absolute shit deal in life worse than even the poorest white men. It's not a red herring to respond to a claim that men are privileged and women oppressed (the definition of "Patriarchy") by pointing out that women as a class have it substantially better than all but a handful of men who happen to be at the very top.

    Or to put it in numbers: It's not a fallacy to say that 100 CEOs and 440 congresscritters are less representative of men as a class than the 30,000 suicides, 488,000 homeless, and 4,600 workplace deaths that are men. You're trying to say that 0.0001% of society is more representative of society as a whole than 0.2%.

    Using that to support Feminism's "Patriarchy" theory it also involves the Frontman fallacy, which is assuming that just because someone is from a particular class they must be acting specifically on behalf of and in favor of that class. In essence it's a conspiracy theory, arguing that all men are working together to privilege each other when they're in power. This is again why the Glass Cellar is so important, it empirically disproves Frontman AND Apex fallacies.

    I split this one out because the answer right now really is "Yeah pretty much". To quote that article "according to a Rochester Institute of Technology study, [the reason] is that money is the primary motivator for 76% of men versus only 29% of women. Women place a higher premium on shorter work weeks, proximity to home, fulfillment, autonomy, and safety, according to Nemko."

    Similarly as Carrie Lukas put it: "Women tend to seek jobs with regular hours, more comfortable conditions, little travel, and greater personal fulfillment. Often times, women are willing to trade higher pay for jobs with other characteristics that they find attractive."

    According to "Patriarchy" theory as put forth by Feminism they're one and the same, Privilege IS power and authority.

    It may have existed somewhere before but if it did I don't know of it. To my knowledge the term was invented by Ginkgo and Alison over at Genderratic to explain the phenomena of habitually treating men as the only real actors in any situation, absolving women of all responsibility, agency, or consequences.
    As an example: Remember Dr. Koss from a page or two back? According to her women never rape men, men "choose to engage in unwanted sex".

    The thing about hypoagency is it's not just part of the theory/academia back and forth over Feminism, you can see this having very real consequences in the real world. It affects everything down to our patterns of speech and behavior. Start paying attention to how people talk and you'll see a lot of them don't say "she hit him", instead they'll say "he got hit by her" and somehow assign the blame on the male actor. You see it in behavior as well, how ubiquitous is it among women now to assign the blame for anything that goes wrong on anything and everything but them?

    Which brings you to the same question I asked Bodkin: At what point can your position be falsified? If holding a majority of the power doesn't matter then what does? If you take that position then there's really no way to ever falsify your argument, because no amount of power and control will ever matter so long as they don't exercise it in a way that you choose to say isn't "Patriarchy".

    I think I clarified the issue way up above but I'll restate it here in case it got lost in the wall of text: "Patriarchy" means something, a lot more than just simple empirical demographics. It inextricably and inherently involves the claim that women are oppressed and men are privileged, that's why it's called "Patriarchy".[/quote]
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  20. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I think a problem may stem from how you and I each view patriarchy. I seem to recall that you have an absolutist view of it, which is a problem. We could explore this further.

    So clearly this is not the case. What is the case? The case is that men primarily hold positions of authority in both politics and economics. We could get into the implications of this but only if we can get on the same page.

    This is a question of entrenched authority geared towards men. Bringing up the question of arbitrariness perhaps is a good idea. Do you think that men overwhelmingly and consistently holding positions of authority is arbitrary and therefore irrelevant? (This is an important question in terms of whether we can discuss the implications of such a situation.)

    I generally feel that patriarchy (much like feminism) is largely misunderstood. You seem to take an absolutist view of it, which is something I can see causes problems. Patriarchal influence in society isn't a be-all and end-all thing; it's a part of a wider set of influences, including oligarchy and plutocracy (which we've brought up). So you have a question of power and influence in society that is based on several factors but rooted mainly in wealth and authority. The basic thing to examine is that the power resting in authority is largely and widely controlled by men.

    Out of curiosity, I looked up these apex and frontman fallacies. They seem to be made up by the MRM. From what I can gather about them, the way you are applying them here is itself a fallacy. It's a kind of inductive fallacy or a generalization to assume that a claim of dominant male authority assumes that all men are privileged and all women are oppressed. It's such a simplistic fallacy that I'm genuinely surprised you're using it. (You're also using the frontman fallacy fallaciously in that thousands of males being homeless, committing suicide, and dying in the workplace somehow negate the impact of males also overwhelmingly dominating structures of authority.)

    The patriarchy isn't a concept where all men are privileged and all women are oppressed, despite which feminists you can cherry-pick who claim as much. That is an inductive fallacy. The patriarchy is a complex set of conditions whereby dominant male authority is the primary influence on society, for better or for worse. The absolutist would ask, "So all men win and all women lose?" The realist would ask, "What are the implications of this and how do they manifest in all levels of society?"

    We could get into the realist's question, but we seem to get snagged on the absolutist's binary thinking.

    If this is true, it could help explain the dynamics of authority.

    Citation please.

    Maybe that's why I haven't heard of it. It's a silly idea.

    This is greatly assumptive and demands that I take you at your word. Should we devolve into an analysis of the Jay-Z/Solange incident to find out how often "Solange attacked Jay-Z" vs. how often "Jay-Z got attacked by Solange"?

    Would that have any impact on our views of authority in society?

    It will probably be falsified when men aren't so overwhelmingly in positions of authority in major sections of society.

    Who holds the majority of the power?

    I claim it's men. You want to know at what point that can be falsified.

    You claim it's women. Shall we ask at what point that can be falsified too?

    Probably not. You seem to think that the maleness of males holding a vast majority of authority is irrelevant. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Are we also to accept that the maleness of males consisting a majority of homelessness is irrelevant too?

    Basically: I'm still unsure of your position. Are you claiming that gender in politics and business doesn't matter? Isn't a factor?

    I'll simply reiterate from the above: Males dominate the authority structures in society. Does the fact that they're males have no relevant impact? i.e., Does gender not matter?
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
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