Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Rite Of Manhood

Last week, I noticed that I was being followed by a group called @RiteofManhood on Twitter. I won't lie, as soon as I saw their name in my followers, I got suspicious as to exactly what my feelings towards them would be. They are a group of men's rights activists (MRA). Put simply (I appreciate there's different factions and beliefs, but for the sake of ease, I'll leave out the subtle distinctions between groups for now), MRA focus on the societal role of modern men, and wish to reclaim their 'rights', which they say have been eroded by feminism and the advancement of women. Some groups are worse than others, of course. For example, some are mainly concerned with the perceived marginalisation of men in custody hearings (which I plan to write about at some point), whereas some seem to be hell-bent on painting all women as harpies who would cry rape as soon as look at you, just for the lulz (I think you can guess my feelings towards this type of MRA).

Anyway, when I noticed them, I put out a tweet saying:

"It appears I am being followed by a MRA group. *waves cautiously at @RiteOfManhood* I'm a feminist!"

They then responded, and we entered into a bit of a dialogue (which can be viewed here):

@RiteOfManhood: "*waves back enthusiastically* We like to hear all opinions including the redheaded feminists"

Me: "I'm sorry, but I can't agree with your fundamental message - that of essential binary gender differences"

Me: "I also disagree with your message of what makes a 'real man'."

@RiteOfManhood: "I've been scrolling down our tweets and our page. Can you tell me where abouts it says what ur refering to?"

Me: "On the front page of your website and your 'about' page. People are people - no such thing as 'real' man or woman."

Me: "Also, I find your organisation worryingly heteronormative and cisnormative."

@RiteOfManhood: "I'll bring up ur comments to our Director"

@RiteOfManhood: "Hi Natalie. I gave ur comments 2 our director and he wrote a brief response do u have email so i can send it over?"

I was quite heartened by this, and appreciated them both listening to me saying why I couldn't support them, and for taking the time to email me. Here's the email I received:

Hi Natalie. I sent your comments over to our Director and here is his response.

I know that sex and gender are two distinct and disconnected yet connected forms of masculine and feminine. Yet, as we are separate, we are also together. To bring everything together in one blob saying we are the same and equal is not possible, hence the conflict and problems we face in todays society. Men and women are not equal we are both just very different, and without the new feminist paradigm we can do something together that creates unity, but also celebrates our differences without a divisive collision. What is your definition of a real man?

If you have any further questions, comments, concerns, ect feel free to email us and we'll be happy to answer you.


Have a good day,

Jada Lemmens
Social Media Consultant
Hope Studios

So, bearing all that in mind, I'd like to take this opportunity to explain why I disagree with Rite Of Manhood in a form that is not 140 characters or less.

The Rite Of Manhood website can be viewed here. Their tag-line is "Building men, with men, for men". Their home page says: (My comments in red)

"Mankind is at a crossroads of a new revolution.  As human beings the male gender as whole in our western culture has been fundamentally shaken. There is no longer a real separation between boys and men, and many women are desperate to find even one man in their personal or social environment If by 'man', you mean 'someone to go out and kill something for dinner while we stay home barefoot an pregnant', then no, we're not. The children and youth are expressing a longing for real family, and a healthy social connection with men in their lives, but look at our school system, our day cares and pre-schools, what has happened? You can't blame feminism for men not wanting to go into teaching - in fact, it's quite the opposite. If you promote the idea of 'real men' and 'real women', why would you be surprised when men don't want to do a job that is traditionally seen as 'female'?

What can we do but to develop something real, something strong that can build and untie the care of men by building real relationships between them. Men and women are not equal, they are different, and the rite of manhood wants to celebrate those differences and to bring together something new that is beating in the heart of real humanity and real unity, which is a brotherhood of real men. My problem is when you say that differences between men and women mean that they are not equal. Yes, there are certain biological differences - I have XX chromosomes. Men have XY chromosomes. Even that is not a given constant though, there are people with XYY chromosomes, there are people who identify as women but have XY chromosomes. There are people who identify as men who have XX chromosomes. But I digress. My actual point is - why should difference = inequality? Surely people with differences should still have the same equalities of rights, opportunity and consequence?

Let us clear the slate so we can both stand as men and women, before we are crushed by a social ideal that is not working, and which is controlled by only a few.
"

The page about their director says:

Just call me "JD". I live in Hope,British Columbia, and I was called out by some elders several years go to make men. "How am I to make men," I asked?  "One at a time, and by building relationships."
I have a small video studio and am focusing my efforts in the area of social media. Rite of Manhood.com and .org will be a call to men and women to support making real men. I remember an elder sitting me down and letting me know, women are much more intuitive in being a real woman when a man can be a man, (quick interruption to point out that this phrase MAKES ME WANT TO VOMIT WITH RAGE) but there are no real role models, there are no rites of passage or groups that people can connect with, he thought. Well there are! This site is intended to connect groups, individuals, and men wishing to nurture a flame that is resident somewhere in all our hearts, being real men.

Now, here's my problems with this, as I said in my tweets, explained in a fuller manner:

  1. It promotes binary gender differences and biological determinism. This is essentially saying that men and women are wired differently. You know, that men are pre-programmed to go out shagging and killing things, and women are pre-programmed to stay at home cleaning and baking ickle cakes. My first problem with this is that it's bullshit. If there were hard-wired differences between men and women, there would be an inter-gender consensus on at least one thing, and there's not. There would also be no homosexuals or trans people (a point I will return to later). This article takes down biological determinism pretty effectively. My second problem is that it always seems that men get the best things to do. Women can't be scientists or stunt drivers, because our feeble minds and bodies couldn't possibly cope with it, but we're damned good at scrubbing an oven! If an MRA group showed me a list of 'female activities' that included doing one thing I enjoy, or even wasn't all about 'home making' I might be prepared to hear the theory out for longer than 0.5 seconds. I am not naturally a home maker (as anyone who has ever lived with me will testify). I don't cook. I have to push myself to clean. I'm slightly freaked out by small children. I'd much rather spend my time discussing politics and drinking beer. I'm not even comfortable being around other women for the sake of being around other women ("Girl's nights out"? Ugh). My idea of hell would be to be someone who is defined purely by how many children she can pop out and how fast she can get through a pile of ironing. I know I'm not anomalous, most of the women I speak to feel this way. We have brains in our heads, and we'd much rather use them for good than for figuring out how to snare ourselves a 'real man'. Which brings me on to...
  2. What is a 'real man', or a 'real woman' anyway? Look at what I said above - by the base stereotype, I'm not a 'real woman'. I don't think I know any 'real women'. I don't think I know any 'real men' either. 'Real men' and 'real women' seem to be anti-intellectual constructs where the main aim is to secure food and shelter, and that's it. Well, newsflash. We're out of the caves now (and have been for quite some time) - we don't have to do these things. We can concern ourselves with higher matters, and it doesn't stop us being 'real people'.
  3. It's heteronormative. Heteronormativity is the implication that the only 'true' relationship is between a man and a woman, and fails to take into account the spectrum of sexualities. You can't just ignore them and pretend they don't exist, because they do.
  4. It's cisnormative. This means that it only takes into account people who identify with their birth gender, and fails to take trans people of any type into account. Again, you can't just ignore them and pretend they don't exist, because they do.


And that concludes why I can not support Rite Of Manhood. People are people. They are not arbitrary labels to be told how to behave on the basis of what is in between their legs. If you want to be a 'real man', who goes out cutting down trees and killing mountain lions with your bare hands, go for it (although I must point out that I condone neither activity, but as long as it is legal, I fully support your right to make a choice about whether to do it or not). Just don't tell me, or my friends, how to behave. OK?

I would also like to encourage everyone, especially Rite Of Manhood to read this excellent post from The Good Men Project, which explains why the solution to most MRA problems is actually more feminism.


EDIT: 


The wonderful @JennieSue has also written to Rite Of Manhood:


You say that you want to create unity rather than a divisive collision, but by talking about men's rights and denying equality you are being divisive.

I don't think that men and women are fundamentally different.  Our abilities, our needs and our ambitions are all parrallel.  For a society to function well, all members of that society need to be valued and given equality of opportunity.

I think you are asking the wrong question when you ask "What is your definition of a real man?".  
You talk about wanting to solve the conflicts and problems we face in society, and a better way to do this would be to promote equality.  
Asking "What makes a good member of our society" would be much more useful.  By asking simply about "real men", you are excluding women from both the problems, and the solutions of society.

You also talk about wanting to create unity, but without the "new feminist paradigm".  Unity can't be created without equality.  
If women are excluded from the solution, if women aren't part of your discussions, then how can your solution to society's problems be unified?
That isn't to say you can't celebrate individuality and people's differences.  But if you start on the assumption that all men are somehow one thing, and all men somehow another, you are dismissing individuality.

You say that equality is a source of conflict in society, and this does prevent you working towards a unified society.  Women earn lower salaries, are more likely to be victims of domestic abuse, risk their careers if they choose to become parents, make up just a tiny proportion of directorships, board members and politicians.  Worldwide, the UN figures show that women do two-thirds of the world's work, produce half of its food yet earn 10% of its income and own 1% of its property.
If you really want to work towards a better society, you would be working as a feminist to help promote equality.  If women were treated as equal members of society, then we could all work together towards unity.

48 comments:

  1. haha isn't the solution to all our problems always 'MORE FEMINISM'?

    Cath Redfern agrees with you:

    http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/2003/09/feminists_are_sexist

    But here we have a problem. If we live in a world where all positions are 'up for debate' i.e. not a dictatorship, how can people challenge feminist dogma/ideology without being called 'trolls' 'misogynist' 'sexist' etc etc?

    This is a genuine question. Feminism seems to have it all sewn up in terms of how it cariacatures its opponents.

    You can't convince me you are right. I have read all your books and have decided you are wrong. Is there a way people like me (and MRAs) can exist without you always proving how 'untenable' our positions are?

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  2. People are free to have their opinions and to make valid points as long as:

    a) They stay on topic and
    b) Aren't being provocative for the sake of it.

    This post was designed to explain why I disagree with this particular group - they are welcome to reply. I don't think they're trolls, I think they're wrong. I don't necessarily think they're misogynist, I think they're wrong.

    The fact that you've said that I can't convince you I'm right is why I asked people not to engage - if you don't want your position to be proven untenable, don't ask why we think it is.

    Everything is open for debate - you can't whine that we're proving you wrong of you *are* wrong.

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  3. Hi, I read the "excellent post from The Good Men Project"

    "Reality-based explanations" in that post are in fact interpretations. Sentences like "being around kids all day can be a little maddening" are very silly (I have a child asleep next to me as I write this - I know exactly what "being around kids all day" is like)

    The article fails to deal with the fundamental issues of equality that have to be faced up to if you have laws that mean the father MUST work or receive money while the mother can take maternity leave and pay, and has all the legal muscle in custody of a child if the relationship fails.

    It says nothing about this - but caricatures the MRA arguments - taking them at their weakest rather than their strongest, as you must in a serious debate.

    So rather than address issues, your example of an "excellent" post ignores them and ridicules the opponents. In other words business as usual in the feminist community

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  4. The part about that article was added on in a tongue-in-cheek edit after original publication of this post. Nice to see how you're using the fact that you disagree with a link I post at the end of my argument to completely ignore my arguments though.

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  5. I am not whining.

    But if feminists and 'anti-feminists' can't discuss issues then we are a bit stuck. I think really that the way things will change is not by coming to an agreement, or proving each other 'wrong' but by social change beyond any of ours control.

    One reason I still engage on feminist blogs though, is that they are still read by people who are more open to hear my side of things. I am not happy for feminism to bethe only voice in gender issues.

    I don't like MRAs either for many of the reasons you list. But I am glad they are there, showing people that gender relations are not a 'done deal' and it is all still up for debate.

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  6. p.s. I didn't say 'proving me wrong' I said 'proving my position is 'untenable'' in quote marks.

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  7. I agree with Muggins about the Good Men Project article.

    Here is an article that looks at how feminists dismiss opposition to their arguments, particularly from men (MRAs to name but one example). Also, how feminism in general is 'misandrist' as the MRAs claim it to be:

    http://www.marksimpson.com/blog/2011/02/09/misandry-the-acceptable-prejudice/

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  8. Number 1: Rite of Manhood is not MRA. It is a site to to build men, with men, for men. It is the mission of Rite of Manhood to bring men together that live in the western world and collectively create awareness of social, political, spiritual, physical, legal and economic information that will benefit and inform them. It is the mission of Rite of Manhood to create a support network for efforts of individuals and groups whose aim it is to create an awareness concerning issues and information about men, women and families, for men.

    Things are out of control when you see video's like this and no one is taken to court. If the tables were turned this would never have been published.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQnIJ-ljctk

    Rite of Manhood is a bridge for men to have a chance to view under one social media website what is going on around them, good and bad.

    Joshua

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  9. BTW anyone is welcome to become a member. www.riteofmanhood.ning.com has just been developed and will within a year be the largest social media website for men in the world. The site will be www.riteofmanhood.com when we have all the changes made. Right now we are using our www.riteofmanhood.weebly.com to introduce it and direct men and women to the site.

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  10. I'm sure there's a smilie with a tongue in cheek ;) I'll know if you use it. Is the article itself serious??

    Sooo to the "Rite's of Manhood". An admittedly cursory look at the site and your arguments and I (once again) can't see where you get your implications from.

    The site initially seems to talk in very positive language, but does contain ideas you don't like. The idea that men and women, statistically are wired differently is not new - but is very contentious amongst feminists who feel it threatens their ideas of equality.

    I have a psychologist friend who has these same issues. Actually I feel this is a false worry: even if there were very striking differences between the way the genders think and feel (due to hormones, possible early 'hard-wiring' of the brain etc) it would NOT prove or imply that we need to in any way enforce gender roles of one type or another. Please tell me if there's a good argument that says I'm wrong there!

    Perhaps women sometimes do choose something close to the old gender roles out of choice. Let that be their choice! (is that a problem?)

    I do think there MAY be these gender differences, that gender roles are a separate, social issue, and that there will be statistical overlap (ie: men who don't fit into the male 'role' and the same for women) There is an argument for giving people freedom from roles and there may be quite an interesting argument for encouraging people to stay within roles.

    I can just hear you balking at that last bit. I'm only keeping an open mind & have no strong views on that one. To me it's an intellectual/scientific question and to everyone else it seems to mean just politics and immediately rational discourse goes down the toilet.

    For example, you say "It promotes binary gender differences and biological determinism. This is essentially saying that men and women are wired differently." But supposing they ARE slightly different, the site could be saying men need different guidance and education in how to be their "best" self - that is far less threatening than it is made out to be

    I don't see that this "heteronormative" view is going to lead to homophobia, as I think you're implying. If it did, I'd oppose it.

    Lot's of MRA groups I find to be similar to the more loopy feminists out there. All these remarks about how angry you are and wanting to "vomit with anger" don't convince me we're having an impartial discussion, though.

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  11. Muggins said:
    'Lots of MRA groups I find to be similar to the more loopy feminists out there. '

    I agree. It's two sides of the same coin as far as I am concerned.

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  12. I posted three comments and they did not take, I am going to try one last time.

    It is clear in my guidelines on the Rite of Manhood that we do not "discriminate against sex, race, religion or creed. Rite of manhood does not endorse physical or psychological violence, or malicious behaviour against the same or opposite sex. It is neither gender biased or religiously motivated, though it may be spiritually attuned to caring for the earth and aware of a higher power. It encourages building real and lasting relationships with friends, family and community. It believes in the fundamental rights of human beings beyond the confines of the social order of the day, and is not linked or supported by any one group or organization."

    If a site like this was not needed then videos like this would not appear on Youtube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQnIJ-ljctk

    Men need to integrate with different efforts. Good or bad, many things are not right and this conflicts with the treatment of humanity on both sides. We are not in anyway MRA movement, but a facilitator in bringing men together, as the slogan says to build men, with men, for men.

    JD

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  13. 'Build Men With Men, For Men' sounds a bit...gay.

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  14. I was writing a comment but I ended up writing a blog post. It's here.

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  15. @rainbowwarrior Your comments, for some reason, were flagged as spam. I was out, so only just approved them. I am going to bed now, I'll respond to you all in the morning.

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  16. You might find this critique of Amanda Marcotte's writnings on "Nice Guys" interesting....

    http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2011/03/05/amanda-marcotte%E2%80%99s-latest-%E2%80%9Cnice-guy%E2%80%9D-rant-noh/

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  17. Hi stoner.
    That's an interesting link. I think the area between MRAs and feminism, where people actually seriously critique both dogmas is fascinating. I like to think I am an inhabitant of that area myself.

    Polarities are always over simplified and insular.

    We have to learn to occupy the middle ground. And do it with a bit of style!

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  18. OK I have read the Amanda Marcotte article at the Good Men Project blog. It is absolutely awful.

    The way it differentiates between the 'MRA' perspective and 'reality' for a start! Because feminists have access to the truth about 'reality' and nobody else does!

    Also things like saying many many more men die at work because 'women are discriminated against' in the workplace is just vile. This is death we are talking about.

    It is full of really nasty lies I believe. I will blog about it but if Natalie wants to defend the content of that article I'd be interested to hear. As far as I can see it is bullshit.

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  19. "real men" I allways translate that to mean "old fasioned male type"
    in fact my current opinion on where you find the most male dominated are places like IT and computer games where the pepol you meet and not all all like that stero type

    when I was running a computer games shop I was oftern asked "do you have any games for girls" to witch I would reply "I do not think there is any gender limites on games only age limites"

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  20. @Stonerwithaboner, @Elly - I'll look into those later (possibly next week - I'm a bit busy at the moment), but please try to remember that just because I describe myself as a feminist, it does not mean that I support all feminists in everything they say, ever. Just as in every group, there are wide opportunities for disagreement and debate.

    @Rainbowwarrior - I never said your site promoted violence, I merely said I disagreed with you missing certain groups out, and promoting the 'real man' and 'real woman' theories.

    The CollegeHumor video is clearly a subversion of how many women are treated in those kinds of situations - it's designed to highlight how women are treated by some men, not to promote misandry and threats. I fear you really have missed the point with that, and as such, it kind of cuts your argument to shit. In about ten seconds I could gather thousands of links that show men doing that to women in real life. Now, I'm not saying that women never commit, or threaten violent acts against men - but it's much more prevalent the other way round, all over the world.

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  21. Yes Natalie but you said it was an 'excellent article'. The fact is you haven't read it!

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  22. @Muggins - You raise some interesting points.

    You say: "Actually I feel this is a false worry: even if there were very striking differences between the way the genders think and feel (due to hormones, possible early 'hard-wiring' of the brain etc) it would NOT prove or imply that we need to in any way enforce gender roles of one type or another. Please tell me if there's a good argument that says I'm wrong there!"

    I think you're correct - there would be no reason to enforce gender roles. The reason that I (as a feminist) oppose the propagation of the false notion of women and men being fundamentally different at a neurological level is because a) it's simply wrong and b) not all people are sensible/intelligent enough to see your point - it would not mean we had to enforce the roles.

    I also fully support any woman who CHOOSES to stay at home and be a housewife - but no one should have to do it at the expense of other ambitions or desires, because it's "what's expected". Not every woman wants to be Prime Minister or an astronaut and that's just fine.

    On the contrary, I didn't 'baulk' at your comment about encouraging traditional gender roles - I'd be quite interested to hear the argument you could make.

    I don't find the Rite Of Manhood site threatening at all. They asked me why I felt I couldn't support them, and that's what this post was about. I also never said that their heteronormativity would promote homophobia, I merely said that they can't/shouldn't ignore people who don't fit into their worldview, because it's unfair.

    As to me saying I wanted to 'vomit with anger' - that's just the way I write. I can be very florid with my descriptions sometimes (to people's chagrin, I know), but it really was just a cartoonish overworking of how I felt for effect. I thought it was cartoonish enough for this to be clear, but I suppose I was wrong. Trust me, I am perfectly capable of looking at (well-reasoned, evidence based) arguments that I do not support in an objective manner. Yes, I have my triggers (don't we all?) but I'm able to take arguments on board.

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  23. @Elly - I was talking about the 'nice guys' article.

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  24. ok well my question stands then, when you have some time, as to how you can find anything 'excellent' in the Marcotte article you linked to from the Good Men Project Blog. As I can only find bullshit.

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  25. @Elly Will do :)

    I'd be interested to see your comments on it further than it's 'bullshit' - will you be writing about it?

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  26. Yes. I will write in response to your comments on why it is excellent! The onus is on you here as the person who alerted us to this marvellous piece of journalism.

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  27. Elly. I think that your comments can be rather childish and not well thought out, like

    'Build Men With Men, For Men' sounds a bit...gay.

    You make some rather obtuse comments from time to time and I can see you need to mature in your own way, but to mature sometimes we have to look at our own beliefs, let them all go and start fresh. Your structure is compounded with the words and works of others that you repeat as if you understand them, but I don't really think you do.

    JD

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  28. Hi JD thanks for the words of wisdom.

    I will go and start fresh and see what happens tomorrow!

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  29. Hiya Elly and Forty Shades of Grey,

    here's another link that Amanda Marcotte wrote:
    http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/seriously_theres_nothing_nice_about_nice_guysreg/

    (It's actually what caused the article on Feminist Critics)

    Dare I say she seems misandrist...

    Really, I couldn't take her seriously after reading that.

    Hugo Schwyzer seems a little more compassionate (though I have differing viewpoints)
    http://hugoschwyzer.net/2011/03/05/nice-guys-redux/

    Oh, and Forty Shades, sorry to drop more links if you haven't had time to read the first.

    Rock On!

    Stoner With a Boner

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  30. .....oh, and a bit confused, now that I have read through the comments a 2nd time.....

    maybe you were referring to the Nice Guys article I posted above......

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  31. rainbowwarrior

    I agree with Elly. 'Build Men With Men, For Men' sounds a bit...gay. In a macho-manly sweaty way, of course. I've looked at your site, which seems to have a lot of 'coming soon', but the introduction doesn't really say much. What is it that you want to do as you connect with each other, that you couldn't do connecting with just plain 'people'?

    I confess, I don't get it.

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  32. @stonerwithaboner - I'll look at them at some point. However, as I said before - just because I am a feminist, and another person is a feminist, it does not mean we agree on everything.

    Think about it like this: Baptists are Christians. Catholics are Christians. Does this mean they agree on everything? No.

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  33. Hi Daz

    Take a look at this post on Mark Simpson's blog. He talks about how especially in America, a lot of things about/aimed at 'MEN' do end up sounding rather gay! Like you say in a manly macho sweaty way!

    http://www.marksimpson.com/blog/2011/02/20/manly-strap-ons-and-fear-of-the-fag-within/

    P.s. before anyone says it I know I refer to Simpson's work a lot, but when it comes to discussions of masculinity we ignore him at our peril.

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  34. @stoner - the original post by Marcotte that Natalie was referring to was on the Good Men Project Blog and it is about MRAs 'problems' and how they can be solved by 'More Feminism'. I will blog about it as Natalie doesn't seem to have read it properly or have much to say about it or Marcotte. I don't think she realises who Amanda Marcotte is.

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  35. @Elly - check my comments to Muggins above.

    The reason I haven't written about it is that I am not about to spend my time defending someone's viewpoint just so you have something else to bitch about. If you want to critique it - go ahead. I don't class it as gospel, and not agreeing 100% with one article will not stop me being a feminist. As I have now said THREE times, I don't have to agree with everything that falls under the umbrella of 'feminism'. Grow up.

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  36. No but people have raised this issue on your post, about an article you chose to post, and you have not made one comment about it. I asked why you thought it was an 'excellent' article as you said in your original post? All I am asking is what did you like about it?

    P.s. Blogger is shite. Wordpress is the way forward.

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  37. Since you're unwilling to look up the page, I'll repeat myself:

    "The part about that article was added on in a tongue-in-cheek edit after original publication of this post. Nice to see how you're using the fact that you disagree with a link I post at the end of my argument to completely ignore my arguments though."

    I write for another site that uses Wordpress. I can't stand it.

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  38. OK. so you don't agree with the Marcotte post that you have said is 'excellent'? What don't you agree with about it?

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  39. Yawn. OK. In her first example, I think she misses out that we should work on stopping binary gender identities being foisted on our children - if we did this, we wouldn't have to say that "men should treat domestic labor as real work, instead of as emasculating".

    You mentioned further up that her point about people dying at work was 'vile', but her point seems to be more that it is a bullshit argument for MRAs to pull out to try and 'trump' feminists.

    I think the article is a lot less serious than you seem to think.

    There. I've told you my opinion on it.

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  40. thanks. that wasn't so hard was it?

    But I think she is deadly serious even when she writes in a 'humorous' tone.

    If you are a serious feminist journalist writing joke articles about how many men die at work would be a bit sick in my view.

    I agree with the whole 'victim top trumps' being bullshit. But I think feminists and MRAs are both dab hands at that little game.

    Thanks for responding, finally.

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  41. The comparison of feminism with religion is bob on in my opinion. See also, what happens to people's opinions when they leave it.

    There's nobody so evangelical as a recent convert, as they say. And this applies both ways.

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  42. Just in case anyone's actually read through all these comments, here's Elly's (frankly, hilarious) response to this post, written on her blog:

    http://quietgirlriot.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/the-rite-of-faghood-and-fagly-feminists/

    I'll just leave you with her well thought out, completely logical and not at all completely fuckwitted arguments.

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  43. thanks Nat! I love getting readers up my RSS.

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  44. McDuff I haven't converted to anything. I was critical of feminist dogma for a long time. You seem so interested in analysing me and my politics it is really annoying after a while. But also flattering in a way.

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  45. Let's just say that your lens of "FEMINISM SUCKS" is slightly more obvious than even your "COCKS! COCKS EVERYWHERE! COCKS COCKS COCKS!" filter. Yes fine we get it etc.

    Frankly, I think one is likely to have more luck analysing an individual than an entire population, and it has never stopped you trying.

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  46. I analyse a political dogma. Yes you analyse me but I don't know why!! I am not that interesting. Neither is feminism but feminism is a lot more powerful than me and more harmful.

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  47. I thought this was a very interesting post Natalie. Reading the comments it's sad and depressing how many people don't seem to "get" what feminism is but then I guess it means different things to different people. Even those that say they're against it.

    My feminism is limited to "choice". I am a firm believer that people should be allowed to make choices and not be limited or prevented to make those choices because of their gender. I also don't believe anyone should get special treatment because of their gender, whether they're man, woman or inbetween.

    And Elly, the fact you say that "feminism is a lot more powerful than me and more harmful" just shows you actually know very little about it. Feminism has brought us to an age where (in the priveleged parts of the world at least) women can work, earn money for themselves, not answer to their fathers or husbands and make their own choices. Just because bad things are done in the name of "Feminism" does not mean feminism is to blame. Individuals are to blame. It's like saying Islam is responsible for 9/11, Catholics are responsible for child abuse by a few Clergy, or blaming "America" for all the world's problems. It's simplistic and just not true.

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