What’s in a Name? Everything

My daughter has a saying she learned at school.

“Thoughts become words, words lead to actions, actions become habits, and habits create your character.”

When she told me this saying, it made me think of a Maya Angelou quote on the same subject,

“The ‘b’ word and the ‘n’ word are like poison, whether you take poison from a vial or pour it into Bavarian crystal, it is still poison.”

This in turn reminded me of an exchange between myself and a guy I knew many years ago.  We’ll call him Bob (and FYI, this is paraphrased because I don’t remember the conversation verbatim from over a decade ago).

Bob: “I just don’t get it, you seem to get bitches without any trouble, but I can’t get bitches at all.”

Me: “Calling women bitches probably doesn’t help your cause.”

Bob: “It’s not like I call them that to their face.”

Me: “Doesn’t matter.  When you call women bitches, you’re thinking of them as bitches, and it affects your thoughts and actions so that you treat them like bitches.  I don’t know any women who enjoy that.”

Bob: “So I should stop calling women bitches?  And then they’ll like me?”

Me: “That couldn’t hurt.  But really, you should stop thinking of women as bitches, and treat them like people.  People like to be treated like people.”

It’s the same line of thinking that makes me hate it when people call something they don’t like “gay.”  I can’t tell you how many times, when I was teaching, I had to come down on kids for saying “that’s gay” about something they didn’t like.  When you say something bad is “gay,” you equate gay and bad in your mind, even if it’s just in order to form the sentence.  The thing is, the more you connect “gay” and “bad” in your mind, for any reason, the stronger the connection between those two concepts becomes, after time causing you to dislike things you would label as “gay,” which can lead you to homophobia.

This is why dehumanizing terms like “gook,” “kraut,” “jap,” “haji,” “redskin,” and the like have been much more popular in wartime with various cultures.  It’s a lot easier to slaughter people when you’re thinking of them as something other than human beings.  It’s also a lot easier to enslave and torment “niggers” than it would be to do the same to “people of color.”  It’s easier to objectify and disrespect “bitches” than it is to do so with “women.”

Which leads me to this article, “Unmasking the Patriarchal Values in Halloween Costumes: Naughty Leopards, Sassy Space Girls and Warrior Ninjas.”  At which point I feel I must offer this disclaimer:

I am not a misogynist.  I am not a misandrist.  I am not a feminist, nor am I an MRA.  I can identify with certain goals and complaints of both groups, and there are others with which I don’t agree.  Do not label me as any of these things.  Doing so is not only disingenuous and misleading, it is patently false.  I respect people as people regardless of their sex and/or gender.  I am raising my daughters to do the same; to respect themselves and others as people above all else.  End of disclaimer, back to the show.

This article is steeped in bullshit.  As are, in my less than humble opinion, all articles and any other complaints pointing to “The Patriarchy.”

Is the article correct that Halloween costumes degrade and sexualize women?  Yes.  Is it unfair and sexist that all the specifically female-oriented costumes seem to have “sexy” in the title, as though women are only important due to their sex appeal?  Absolutely.  Are women portrayed and pigeonholed as almost completely sexual objects in our greater culture at large?  No argument here, that is the truth.  I have daughters, and I hate the fact that this is the truth.  Which is why I didn’t buy them any of these costumes.  Instead, we made our costumes, and both of them played male animal characters from a favorite cartoon show.

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That said, they have, in years past, also been princesses, fairies, and the like, depending on how they felt like dressing for Halloween.  And I encouraged them in all of these choices, because the point is for them to exercise making choices for themselves.  That is what empowerment is, after all.  And let it never be said that I wouldn’t want my daughters (or yours, for that matter) to grow up to be empowered, willing and able to make their own choices as responsible adults.

But I digress a little here.  Back to the terrifying specter of “The Patriarchy.”

Like a specter, it’s not real (and no, Paul Elam, there is no matriarchy, either, so just… don’t).

Men are objectified, just like women are.  We’re just objectified in different, albeit no less dehumanizing, ways.  For instance:

It’s a common trope in comedy that women love a man in uniform, because “When you see a man in uniform, you can always smell… BENEFITS”.  How about other things that attract women to a man in uniform?  Things like loving a Naval uniform because “It is good to have guys like this around us knowing they are there to defend us,” or how about a doctors’ outfit because “they make us feel safe,” or a tailored suit because “the suit represents [to] me the respectful man who has power and who is smart enough to lead a company or either a country!”  Even the article that started this whole tirade mentions that “Costumes geared toward boys represent characteristics, as evidenced in the names, and/or professions that elicit social respect and financial stability read: utility. Those marketed to girls highlight comparatively diminutive qualities and roles… indicating that one is pleasant, or sexually available” (italics represent my own comments).

The “sexy nurse” costume objectifies women as a sex object, while the “doctor” costume has the same objectifying effect, only it objectifies men as a means to gain security and status.  Women = sex toys, while men = tools.

And before you start screaming “Not all women are like that!” and mocking my point with “What about teh menz?” let me remind you that Partiarchy is defined as “a social system in which males are the primary authority figures central to social organization… and where fathers hold authority over women and children. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination.”  Men are the authority figures, in other words.  Not a majority of authority figures are men, but men are the authority figures, deriving such authority from subjugation of women.  And if women are subjugated in our society to benefit men, could this happen without the severest of consequences?

What about this, on national television?

Could these facts be true, if women in general were at the mercy of men in general (my comments are in italics)?

  • In the United States, more men are victims of rape each year than women.
  • In many parts of the U.S., men who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse have no access to resources such as safe houses; in many places (including, as it turns out, my home town of Portland, OR) the laws and policies that enable resources for at-risk victims are written in such a gender-specific way as to only apply to women.
  • If you fall behind on your child support payments because you have lost your job, you can be sent to prison – and in your trial you are not entitled to legal representation – The only other group not entitled to a jury trial and an attorney are suspected terrorists.
  • If an adult woman molests a male child, and that molestation results in a pregnancy, that boy can be forced to pay child support for his offspring once he becomes a wage-earning adult.

Look, people.  All this Patriarchy vs. Matriarchy, MRA’s vs. feminists, “which sex is oppressing the other” is straight out of Willie fucking Lynch, and it’s important that you see it.  It’s divide and conquer, simple as that.

We don’t live in a Patriarchy.  We don’t live in a Matriarchy.  We live in a good old fashioned God Damned Oligarchy, and anyone telling you that the struggles faced by any group of people aren’t part of an overall rich vs. poor narrative is a big fat fucking liar, or at best has their head up their ass.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is this.

When you call the Oligarchy a Patriarchy, you’re implying that men in general are responsible.  That may not be what you initially mean, but that’s what you’re doing.

Yes you are.  No, stop arguing, and listen.

If you are using the term, you know that the word is derived from “Pater,” the Latin reference to fathers, and knowing that, you create a connection in your brain between a word that means “father,” and an oppressor.  And I am here to tell you, calling an oppressive system “father” is pretty fucked up.  It’s like saying something you don’t like is “gay.”  It’s like calling your enemy a “kraut.”  And it has the same effect on your psyche.  And as a father, who has never oppressed anyone, I rightly take offense to this term that dehumanizes me, as well as denigrating the role I play in the lives of my children.

Moreover, not only does the term “Patriarchy” as used in our American parlance degrade men at large as an oppressor class and a faceless enemy, it’s not even God Damned accurate!

So get it right, people.  There’s nothing wrong with being pissed about “sexy” [insert whatever profession you wish] costumes being the only female-specific option.  I don’t like it either, and I’m with you on that.  But blame your objectification on the right people.  The people who objectify me just as harshly.  The people who look at all of us as nothing more than tools to be used, objects to be played with and thrown away.  Don’t waste your time fighting a “Patriarchy” that isn’t real.  Turn your energy, your fury, your snarky internet comments, toward the Oligarchy that’s actually at fault.

And for fuck’s sake, please remember that looking sexy on Halloween isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world to begin with.

6 responses to “What’s in a Name? Everything

  1. Men are objectified, just like women are.

    Because the experience of men is exactly like the experience of women.

    And if women are subjugated in our society to benefit men, could this happen without the severest of consequences?

    Ah yes, the grand power vested in a youtube video just disproved patriarchy. Well done.

    In the United States, more men are victims of rape each year than women.

    Oh LOL forever. Really. I’m certainly glad you attended to the origin of that. Here is what the Daily Beast article actually said.

    TDB:” The New York Times may have recently reported that the majority of sexual assault victims in the military are men,

    I suggest you invest some time in checking your sources. For a reality based argument I suggest starting with real statistics, as opposed to shit MRA sites make up. these:

    1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).1

    17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.1

    9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003

    1. National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey. 1998.
    2. U.S. Department of Justice. 2003 National Crime Victimization Survey. 2003.

    When you call the Oligarchy a Patriarchy, you’re implying that men in general are responsible.

    Because rich, old white men with lots of power. Nope, certainly not patriarchy.

    I rightly take offense to this term that dehumanizes me, as well as denigrating the role I play in the lives of my children.

    Wow, now imagine how women feel when they’re called sluts or whores. But they’re “offense” doesn’t matter, the label sticks as well as the deleterious effects that go along with the shaming that is normalized in our patriarchal culture.

    Don’t waste your time fighting a “Patriarchy” that isn’t real.

    Another dude telling women that their struggle isn’t real, how original. I’m thinking that your poorly informed, biased approach to patriarchy and feminism in general has led you to several false conclusions. The handy fact that these poorly evinced arguments just happen to support your worldview is, unsurprising.

    I am not a misogynist. I am not a misandrist. I am not a feminist, nor am I an MRA. I can identify with certain goals and complaints of both groups, and there are others with which I don’t agree. Do not label me as any of these things.

    Let’s go with these monikers instead: exhibits poor attention to detail, willful or possibly incidental ignorance and a inflated sense of self importance.

    And for fuck’s sake, please remember that looking sexy on Halloween isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world to begin with.

    Because you how fuckable you look for males is an important female duty. :P

    Your fisking aside, I suggest you go find a more charitable source of information regarding the patriarchy and feminism, as you have made a great show of “caring about the facts” – perhaps starting with ones based in reality would help your cause.

    • I wondered how long it would be before someone who completely missed the point (intentionally or by accident, I can’t tell) decided to comment on this. Let me clarify for you:

      You get Cholera, I get Tuberculosis. Our symptoms are not identical, yet we both experience being extremely ill.
      You slip a disc, I get a hernia. They are different, but we are both in pain and incapacitated.
      You get treated like a sex toy, I get treated like a pack mule. Neither experience is identical, but we are both being used and objectified.

      Get it now?

      And as an aside, please tell me you understand irony. Because “A Feminism 101 Blog” would never, ever contain biased information promoting the concept of a patriarchy, right? Yes, the majority of power holders are old white men (I know I addressed this in the post, you should read it). And the majority of organisms who eat pigs are human. But the former doesn’t mean that all men have power any more than the latter means that all pigs are eaten by humans.

      Moreover, your rape statistics fail to acknowledge the over 200,000 prison rapes that occur each year. And yes, while most of those are committed by men, the fact of being locked up in close quarters with convicted rapists makes such travesties an inevitability. You also ignore the fact that if a woman holds me at gunpoint and force me to have sex with her, it is not rape, according to the Department of Justice, which defines rape as “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” Therefore, it is impossible for a woman to “rape” a man by forcing him to penetrate her, which (just maybe) skews that statistics a bit (or is the DOJ an MRA apologist site, too?)

      And FYI, I didn’t quote the Daily Beast. I quoted Tod Kelly, in an article posted on Ordinary Times, as a follow-up to his Daily Beast article. He was quoting official government statistics. After fact checking them because he was sure they wouldn’t be true (did you read that article either?)

      You also (almost certainly intentionally) ignored other facts stated in the same paragraph, which I can only assume is because you acknowledge that they are real issues.

      And since when did I tell women that they don’t have anything to struggle against? I believe what I said was that Oligarchy (the proper definition of the system) is where said struggle should be aimed. The fact that I said the vast majority of men are also objectified, albeit in superficially different ways, does not mean that the majority of women are without difficulties. 1 does not ever equal 2, is what I am getting at. I’m pretty sure I was very clear that a majority of (but not anywhere close to all) power holders being old rich white men who take advantage of almost all men and women not in that group is by definition an Oligarchy, whereas a Patriarchy, by definition, puts all men in positions of authority over all women, and derives benefits for those men through the subjugation of those women. We do not live in a society where that is the case. Period.

      And I’m curious: when you wrote “imagine how women feel when they’re called sluts or whores,” did you not read the beginning of the post, where I explained why it’s wrong to call women “bitches?” I’m sorry I didn’t include every possible derogatory term ever leveled at women, but I assumed my readers aren’t idiots, and figured they could make the logical jump from “calling women bitches is bad” to “calling women sluts and whores is also bad.” I would ask you to consider how men feel when you call them “pigs,” “dogs,” and “oppressors.”

      And finally, looking fuckable is no one’s duty, yours or mine or anyone else’s, and I never said it was. If you don’t want to look fuckable, don’t buy the fucking costume. I didn’t. My girls and I made their costumes, remember? And they both went as male cartoon characters, because that’s what they wanted to dress as and I am all about empowering kids to make their own fucking choices. But, for those who do want to look like something out of a cheesy teenager’s fantasy, there are worse things in the world than indulging that desire.

      • Neither experience is identical, but we are both being used and objectified. Get it now?

        What I do get is the clear notion that the idea of power gradients do not exist in your analysis. The idea of different classes of people that have vastly different experiences given the same stimuli do not seem to exist in your analysis. That is the trouble I’m having with your argument.

        And as an aside, please tell me you understand irony. Because “A Feminism 101 Blog” would never, ever contain biased information promoting the concept of a patriarchy, right?

        Of course it does, the notion that you’ll find an unbiased source anywhere is absurd. The idea I was pushing toward is that if you’re going to argue against something, you find the best and brightest case – the most unassailable stronghold of that position and argue against that – nothing is added to the discourse by using weak or inaccurate versions of your opponents arguments.

        Yes, the majority of power holders are old white men (I know I addressed this in the post, you should read it). And the majority of organisms who eat pigs are human. But the former doesn’t mean that all men have power any more than the latter means that all pigs are eaten by humans.

        No, it just means that if you happen to be white and male, you have every advantage available to you in our society, while people from other genders, classes and ethnicities do not. Being white and male in our society is considered the easiest difficulty setting.

        Moreover, your rape statistics fail to acknowledge the over 200,000 prison rapes that occur each year.

        I’m not sure where you are getting that number from as I am seeing much lower reported numbers. Rape is bad, but I wonder why you’re going on about the men because if you acknowledge the fact that 9 out of 10 rape victims are female, and the large majority of the rapists are male, thus demand more attention as it is a bigger problem.

        You also ignore the fact that if a woman holds me at gunpoint and force me to have sex with her, it is not rape,

        Because this happens all the time? You know what actually happens all the time? Men rape women and get away with it, all the time. Out of every 100 rapes only 3 rapists will ever spend a day in jail.

        Therefore, it is impossible for a woman to “rape” a man by forcing him to penetrate her, which (just maybe) skews that statistics a bit (or is the DOJ an MRA apologist site, too?)

        Then you would agree that actions should be taken to increase the ease of reporting rape and increasing the rate of convictions of rapists no?

        And FYI, I didn’t quote the Daily Beast. I quoted Tod Kelly, in an article posted on Ordinary Times, as a follow-up to his Daily Beast article.

        Kelly’s article doesn’t give sources, the Daily Beast does. Tod Kelly made a factual error in his article and I pointed that out that error and sourced where others could also go see the discrepancy. Just because an author says something has been fact-checked to be 100% true, does not mean what he writes is 100%. Furthermore, such a glaringly base mistake calls into question the accuracy of the rest of the “100% fact checked” statistics and interpretations he brings to the table. Does this not sound like a reasonable course of action?

        He was [mis]quoting official government statistics.

        FIFY.

        More to the point, do you intend to correct the factual error on your site?

        After fact checking them because he was sure they wouldn’t be true (did you read that article either?)

        I read the Kelly article and the Daily Beast piece – that is how I caught the mistake in the first place. Critical analysis begins with one’s own point of view as it is all too easy to be critical of arguments that are contrary to your own. Have you done your homework and checked out the concurrence between the the DB says and how Kelly interprets it?

        You also (almost certainly intentionally) ignored other facts stated in the same paragraph, which I can only assume is because you acknowledge that they are real issues.

        Actually, I figured that Kelly was a fairly unreliable source and discounted what he said. Comparing what he postulates and what the Daily Beast article says tends to validate my evaluation. Would you like a breakdown of where the Kelly article is wrong, and where its right (aka doing *your* homework as it you who are making those cliams)? That will be another comment because this one is already overlong.

        And since when did I tell women that they don’t have anything to struggle against? I believe what I said was that Oligarchy (the proper definition of the system) is where said struggle should be aimed.

        You just did it again. Stop it. The people who determine where and when the struggle happens are the ones that are currently being oppressed. If women believe that patriarchy is the root cause of their oppression, then it is up to them to determine when that how that struggle is to take place and when it is over.

        We do not live in a society where that is the case. Period.

        It’s easy to dismiss the notion that a system that works for you and benefits you is a bad thing. Haphazardly defining patriarchy to make seem ludicrous is nothing new under the sun. By your definition oligarchy does not exist either because of the way it is phrased, because not ALL oligarchs are oppressors – some merely exist on inherited money and eat bon-bons, true fackts! Therefore your thesis is invalid.

        Again, when you choose to weakly define an counter-argument, it adds nothing to discourse except to illustrate the weakness of your own argumentation.

        And finally, looking fuckable is no one’s duty, yours or mine or anyone else’s, and I never said it was.

        Indeed you did not. It is an expectation put on women by patriarchal society and it is an onerous burden that men know nothing or close to nothing about.

        I am all about empowering kids to make their own fucking choices.

        That is a laudable goal, but sadly, unlikely to happen while the current societal norms in place.

        there are worse things in the world than indulging that desire.

        Women strike that terrible patriarchal bargain all the time. So, put that way, I would have to agree.

        • “What I do get is the clear notion that the idea of power gradients do not exist in your analysis.”

          So, I assume you have objective evidence that my having a Y chromosome automatically confers on me authority and power over those who do not have that chromosome, right? Not “more people with power have Y chromosomes than not,” because again, 1 is not 2. But evidence that I have additional authority and power due to that biological feature than if I didn’t have that trait. Can you give some cogent analysis of how being objectified sexually is inherently worse than being objectified as a tool? Tell me, how is a fleshlight more put-upon than a toilet plunger?

          “Nothing is added to the discourse by using weak or inaccurate versions of your opponents arguments.”

          Agreed. So why do you keep doing it? As in attributing viewpoints to me I never stated, and immediately assuming that your sources are inherently more reliable than mine, without any explanation as to why?

          “If you happen to be white and male, you have every advantage available to you in our society, while people from other genders, classes and ethnicities do not.”

          I don’t recall ever saying sexism and racism didn’t exist, or that their effects are not felt by people throughout our culture. That said, there are many advantages to which I am not entitled, by virtue of my Y chromosome. There is the family courts’ default preference for mothers as custodial parents, for example. How about the fact that my sexuality is immediately assumed to be predatory, perverted, and dangerous, simply because I am male? Or the fact that if you force me to have sex with you (without inserting anything in my body), our justice system’s official stance is that it was not rape, solely due to our sexes. Leading us to…

          “9 out of 10 rape victims are female, and the large majority of the rapists are male… Because this [women forcing sex on men] happens all the time? You know what actually happens all the time? Men rape women and get away with it, all the time.”

          I must reiterate here. If women coercing men into sex were considered rape (because, as demonstrated in the last response to you, it isn’t), those numbers would be a lot different. As it stands, there are no reliable numbers for how many women rape men, because almost all forms of female-on-male sexual coercion (by force, using drugs, shaming into the act, etc.) are not considered rape. I wouldn’t call it an advantage that you can do whatever you want to me, but so long as you don’t penetrate my body it’s a lesser crime. Would you? You know what else happens all the time? Sober women have sex with drunk or otherwise intoxicated (and therefore unable to give consent, right? Right?) men, and according to law enforcement, that’s not considered rape. Drunk or intoxicated heterosexual couples have sex all the time, and only the male can even be charged with rape, simply because of the way sex organs are shaped.

          Moreover, according to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey for 2010, the same number of men as women (1.1%) report having been forced to have sex in the last 12 months, with the vast majority of those men reporting the perpetrator as female. While I will grant that perhaps a small majority of rapes are committed by men, I think it more likely that the small differential is due to the fact that since men can’t report their assault as rape, the incidence of female-on-male sexual coercion is very highly under reported.

          “Then you would agree that actions should be taken to increase the ease of reporting rape and increasing the rate of convictions of rapists no?”

          Absolutely we agree on that. Those actions should apply to us all equally, whether we have Y chromosomes or not, and the definition of crimes should not be written to exclude half the population from being able to report it in the first place.

          The Kelly article I quoted was a follow-up to the one you quoted, correcting misconceptions he had previously held. But, if you must know,

          You really can be sent to prison for failing to pay child support, and since the court determines what you are able to pay based not on your total income and expenses, but on the ratio of your income level to the recipient’s (as well as custodial time and how many of the child’s bills you pay), you can be denied counsel and sentenced to prison for failing to pay because you lost your job, or had a sudden serious illness, or any number of reasons that I have personally heard magistrates in child support cases dismiss with “It doesn’t matter. If you can’t afford it right now, you better figure out a way.” (and no, they didn’t say this to me, just to nip in the bud the false accusation that I’m just being bitter)

          And yes, male victims of female rapists (I’ll break with the U.S. government here, and call female-on-male forced sex a real crime on the same level as it would be if the sexes were reversed) are liable for child support if the rape results in a pregnancy. See San Luis Obispo County v. Nathaniel J. Also see The University of Pennsylvania Law Review, which explains, “The man or woman legally required to make payments each month is the one biologically linked to the child, with no weight given to the existence of any social, psychological, emotional, or other ties between them. Courts give no consideration to the circumstances leading up to or involved in that biological connection, and they do not require consent to the sexual relation.” So yes, I have the privilege of being forced to make monthly payments to someone who forces me to impregnate them (while at the same time not being allowed to charge them with rape), and face prison if I refuse.

          “Just because an author says something has been fact-checked to be 100% true, does not mean what he writes is 100%. Furthermore, such a glaringly base mistake calls into question the accuracy of the rest of the “100% fact checked” statistics and interpretations he brings to the table.”

          Do you trust ABC News?

          “You just did it again. Stop it.”

          No. And your fearless insistence that I do so is demonstrative of the fact that I have no authority, real or imagined, over you.

          “The people who determine where and when the struggle happens are the ones that are currently being oppressed. If women believe that patriarchy is the root cause of their oppression, then it is up to them to determine when that how that struggle is to take place and when it is over.”

          You are right that oppressed people are the ones to decide how to fight back against their oppression and oppressors. But you don’t get to decide that I am an oppressor simply because you have determined for yourself that all men gain advantage through the oppression of all women. To do so is roughly akin to the Tea Party deciding that they are being oppressed by the President’s communist agenda, and fighting tirelessly to bring it down, despite the fact that the President does not have a communist agenda.

          Moreover, and I can’t believe I have to point this out again, the fact that a majority of people with official power are men does not mean that the majority of men have said power. 1 is not 2. Up is not down. Black is not white. A further example:

          Approximately 50% of the top 1% of Americans (defined via access to wealth) are women. Everyone in that top 1% has more power than everyone in the bottom 50%-75%, whose sexes are divided along approximately the same proportions. Therefore, all of the women in the top 1% have power over at least 50%-75% of all men. The wife of a billionaire has far more power than I do, after all, while I have no authority to exert power over her without being imprisoned. This sort of power dynamic is indicative not of massive and widespread advantage being offered to men on the basis of sex, but of advantages and power being determined almost exclusively by access to wealth.

          That sexism still exists does not mean we live in a Patriarchy any more than the existence of racism means we live in the Antebellum South.

          “It [looking sexy/fuckable] is an expectation put on women by patriarchal society and it is an onerous burden that men know nothing or close to nothing about.”

          Right, because men don’t have any idea what it’s like to be forced to shoulder dehumanizing and onerous burdens due to societal expectations.

          “Women strike that terrible patriarchal bargain [to look sexy/fuckable, presumably because it's the least worst option] all the time.”

          Me too. Every day. Just like literally everyone else who has no choice but to make hard choices and do things they don’t like and shouldn’t have to do.

  2. So, I assume you have objective evidence that my having a Y chromosome automatically confers on me authority and power over those who do not have that chromosome, right?

    When did women get the right to vote? When were they explicitly by rule of law expressly not considered the property of their husbands? Fairly recently, as in 20th century recently. Women have not been considered people for a very long time – that is historical fact – Google it.

    So society, set up by men, ruled by men, and possessing the normative standards of men is patriarchal, for a precedent see *any* history text.

    So yeah, your possessing a Y chromosome *is* a big advantage and confers a great deal of privilege to those who happen to have it. See the Scalzi article referenced in my last comment.

    Can you give some cogent analysis of how being objectified sexually is inherently worse than being objectified as a tool?

    Somehow I doubt that you’ll accept anything that I put here, since the precursor knowledge – power gradients and class in society – seem to be a bit of blind spot in your analysis.

    Does being objectified as a tool mitigate your chances for work in society? Does being objectified as tool make you vulnerable to sexual assault and rape, and of course constant harassment and questioning of your abilities?

    It does not. Your class is considered the norm and by default, correct. Women, do not have this luxury and thus this isn’t a valid comparison.

    But you don’t get to decide that I am an oppressor simply because you have determined for yourself that all men gain advantage through the oppression of all women.

    Individual men are not all oppressors. In terms of class analysis, men as a class oppress women, and the system in which that happens is called the patriarchy. So, if you personally do not oppress women, congratulations, you get a cookie. But, feminist analysis isn’t all about you.

    Right, because men don’t have any idea what it’s like to be forced to shoulder dehumanizing and onerous burdens due to societal expectations.

    Nope they don’t. How many routes to you plan when going out? Do you worry about dressing too “provocatively”. Do you plan your outings so you’re never alone? Do you suspect that every man you see may be a potential rapist and thus are always planing an escape route? Do you suffer street harassment and cat calling, no matter what you wear, every day? Is your personal space constantly violate as people touch, grab and pinch various parts of you? Do others think they have the right to touch you?

    As a man, I’m guessing that to most of those the answer is no. And that list has not even touched on the differing socialization that men and women receive. So, again, “no’ men don’t have an idea of what it is like to be woman.

    • “When did women get the right to vote?”

      1920. A whopping 52 years after non-landed men (1868). How many American women, alive today, have been denied the franchise?

      “When were they explicitly by rule of law expressly not considered the property of their husbands?”

      When were they? There aren’t (and weren’t) any such widespread laws, outside of a very few small, isolated communities. Women did, however, begin to be treated more favorably, and as responsible adults, when their husbands were no longer solely responsible for the actions of their wives. This change was better for everyone.

      “Somehow I doubt that you’ll accept anything that I put here, since the precursor knowledge – power gradients and class in society – seem to be a bit of blind spot in your analysis.”

      Which I will take to mean you don’t have such cogent analysis.

      “Does being objectified as a tool mitigate your chances for work in society?”

      Yes. If I have been objectified as a plunger for 20 years, and seen only as such, my opportunity (regardless of ability) to be considered a saw is severely limited. And a tool that’s no longer needed is immediately discarded. You use them until they break or they’re not necessary, then you throw them away.

      “Does being objectified as tool make you vulnerable to sexual assault and rape, and of course constant harassment and questioning of your abilities?”

      Yes. Because if my usefulness as a tool comes into question (questioning of my abilities, whether done with a basis in fact, or not), then I am liable to be discarded for a new tool. At which point I am subject to possible homelessness, or (if I have child support payments I can no longer afford) imprisonment. Greatly increasing the likelihood of my sexual assault. Is vulnerability to rape the only metric by which one can measure societal mistreatment?

      “Do you worry about dressing too ‘provocatively’?”

      I worry about dressing inappropriately for the tastes of women (or I used to, anyway, before I decided that living in fear was not for me). I did this because when women decide a man is a “creep,” based on his appearance, he is at heightened risk for ridicule and verbal assault, and physical assault from women and other men should he decide to defend himself in any way.

      “Do you plan your outings so you’re never alone?”

      Yeah, usually. And I’m under no more or less obligation to do so than you are. According to anyone.

      “Do you suspect that every man you see may be a potential rapist and thus are always planing an escape route?”

      What an odd thing to assume about someone whose “class is considered the norm and by default, correct.” I don’t suspect every man of being a potential rapist, no. Nor should you. Doing so is dehumanizing and sexist toward men, almost all of whom are decidedly not rapists.

      “Do you suffer street harassment and cat calling, no matter what you wear, every day?”

      Nope, and neither do you. Or the vast majority of women. I have seen, over the course of several decades, exactly two women be cat-called or sexually harassed on the street. And, due to the fact that I’m outside a lot in a major metropolitan area, I suspect the incidence of such a thing would be more than once ever 15 years were your statement even close to accurate.

      “Do others think they have the right to touch you?”

      Yes. Women who think I have verbally offended them in some way think they have the right to physically assault me. And based on every time law enforcement has been contacted in such a situation (experienced by me, anyway), they in fact do have that right, because no one is going to arrest them.

      “Men don’t have an idea of what it is like to be woman.”

      And mules don’t know what it’s like to be oxen, either. And women don’t know what it’s like to be men. Contrary to what one would have to assume for any of these statements of yours to carry any weight.

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