In Which I Explain Things to Indifferent Children

Indifferent Children says:

Where is this patriarchy that has men and boys targeting women and girls? Males are 3.4 times more likely to be murdered than females*. Our society obviously hates males. These incidents are terrible, but is it less terrible when a boy is killed than when a girl is killed? Is it more terrible that nine girls were killed in one building, than that 30 boys will be killed in ones and twos across the nation?

* No, I’m not ignoring that men are the bastards doing to killing, only pointing out that these bastards target men more than women. So while women have much more to fear from rape or domestic battery than do men, if women are more afraid of being murdered than men are, that fear is caused by psychology, acculturaltion, or something else other than the reality of the situation.

To which I say, "Duh."

And then I pause and say "Duh" again.

And then I consider laying down under my desk until my head clears.  But I do not.

Instead, let me explain things.

We have a way of relating to each other based on a series of combined oppressive systems: sexism, racism, etc.  These systems are harmful to us.  All of the systems are based on consolidating power among a small group and keeping the group without power split into factions fighting against each other rather than working together to change the system in a way that would be more beneficial to more of us.

From where I’m sitting, it looks like this system perpetuates itself most readily by turning woman-hating into our national pastime.  Women are perceived as weak, vulnerable, uppity sluts who need to be taught a lesson for putting gross things like dicks in our mouths.

Other people might look at the same system and say, "No, the system perpetuates itself most readily by turning everyone against black people."  Or poor people.  Or rural people.  Or folks in the inner city.  And so on.

Call it what you want, we all seem to recognize that it’s there.  But here’s the more important point, it’s a system that thrives on human suffering.  It is built on and works because people suffer.

And any system that has at its foundation the suffering of humans is evil.

And because a system is evil and needs suffering to perpetuate itself, no one is protected.  Not even the people who have been promised that they will benefit from the system.

Of course, if we frame the system as the ‘patriarchy,’ it makes perfect sense that men are the predominate perpetrators of violence.  But fuck yes, it also makes sense that men are the predominate victims of violence.

For one, under the patriarchy, being a woman is the worst thing to be, so any man that appears too womanly (too weak, too smart, too nonviolent, too gay, whatever) is an obvious target for purging from the ranks of "man."  Or some other forms of punishment.  But also, W. gets it (even though I bet you ten dollars he’ll deny he gets it) when he says:

Perhaps it’s a backlash against female power. I’m not referring to feminism, and I do realize we still have a partriarchy for the most part.

But women have a large power over men’s self image. It starts with mom, and it’s perpetuated when any heterosexual man wants a date. A woman’s opinion is more important to a lot of guys than another guys. It’s usually easier to interact with another guy, but women are more mysterious. And it’s a lot more crushing to be rejected by a woman than by a man, at least socially. Ask any teenage boy who can’t find a date to the prom.

If Bridgett is correct, perhaps the increase in violence against women is correlated with an increase in chosiness among women which leads to rejecting more men.

Exactly. 

God, exactly.  

If women are supposed to be below men in the scheme of things, it is hard for some men to reconcile how someone on a rung below them can have power over them.  Either the man has misinterpreted where he is in the hierarchy of things and he really is beneath women, in which case he is worthy of even more scorn than women are worthy of, or the woman has misinterpreted where she is in the hierarchy of things and must be put in her proper place.

That’s why it’s so crucial for men to understand and support what feminists are trying to do–not just to make life easier for women, but because the way we do things now is costing you, too.

And the price is too damn high. 

34 thoughts on “In Which I Explain Things to Indifferent Children

  1. I claim to ‘get’ everything. Even if you took that a step farther than I had.<quote>Other people might look at the same system and say, "No, the system perpetuates itself most readily by turning everyone against black people." </quote>You’ve been one of those people yourself on at least an occasion or two that I can recall. Although, I guess the key point of contention in that statement is ‘most readily’. Everyone thinks it is their interest group. I don’t think the system perpetuates itself by turning everyone against a certain group per se. The system perpetuates itself by those with power turning everyone against those without, of all interest groups (minorities, women, gays, etc..). I don’t think we have a patriarchy as such. We just have a system where the people in charge happen to be men. It’s a hold over from when traits like brute strength and agressiveness were a very important survival characteristic. It’s a hold over from when traits like brute strength and agressiveness were a very important survival characteristic. Now they aren’t as important, so the persons in power will be just as happy to find another selection factor the new guy doesn’t meet if he does fulfill that one. It’s not a system that favors men, it’s a system that favors people in power already. They don’t have a go to whipping boy (or group), just whoever is most convenient.

  2. "patriarchy …. It’s a hold over from when traits like brute strength and agressiveness were a very important survival characteristic."You might want to read Gerda Lerner or someone like that for some nuance.

  3. "And any system that has at its foundation the suffering of humans is evil."For all of society’s faults, I sure wouldn’t call it evil. Our poor have obesity problems, we live on average to our seventies, and we are currently fighting over theoretical class issues with keyboards.If this is evil, I’ll take it.

  4. Well, that’s the rub, isn’t it? If its easier to live with it than to fight it, who doesn’t just live with it?Lord knows I do until it’s my drinking water poisoned or my friends raped or my family ravaged by drugs, then I want to know what the hell went wrong and why no one stopped it sooner.

  5. > All of the systems are based on consolidating power among a small group and keeping the group without power split into factions fighting against each other rather than working together to change the system in a way that would be more beneficial to more of us.Exactly, Aunt B. And you have bought into their program hook, line, and sinker. You treat men like a different faction. The PTB (Powers That Be), want you focused on the power differences between men and women. They want you to think that the difference between "girls" and "children" is important. They want you blaming the patriarchy, instead of looking about for the really big discrepencies. In the same job, a woman makes 70-80 cents where a man makes a dollar. The wealthiest 1% make an average of 80,000 times more money in a year, than either of us will in our lifetimes. Even if I made twice what you did, the difference in our salaries would be rounded to zero, when figuring out what percentage of their wealth, we earn.We are like shackled slaves whining about who got more of the maggot-ridden grits. And some people are whining that they didn’t get as many maggots! There is no patriarchy; the oligarchy has all of the power. The power games in the harem and the fieldhouse are manufactured to preserve the status quo. > From where I’m sitting, it looks like this system perpetuates itself most readily by turning woman-hating into our national pastime. … Other people might look at the same system and say, "No, the system perpetuates itself most readily by turning everyone against black people." Or poor people. Or rural people. Or folks in the inner city. You see all of these different factions. You see people being duped into believing that "the national pastime is…[a vs b, or c vs d, or e vs f]" At most, only one of them can be the national pastime, so the rest cannot be. And yet you are ‘captured’ by a faction. You insist on picking a side, and claiming that the pastime is "hating women". Just say No! to being turned against your fellow ‘man’. Stop believing that there is some XXXXarchy that benefits that dude on the bus who makes minimum wage (until he gets murdered).(but watch out for those Fundies; they’ll burn your ass at the stake. mine too.)

  6. I’ll make you a deal, indifferent children, when the most common forms of violence against women stop involving men using our cooters against us, I’ll stop being concerned about getting the short end of the stick.I know I said not to compare tragedies, but what crime affects one in four of you? We’re singled out because of our gender for a crime that involves violating us in a specifically gendered way.I think it’s really unfair of you to expect me to pretend that we’re both equally affected by the power structure when my whole way of being in the world is built around rape prevention.And not just me.Most women are constantly curtailing their lives in order to keep from being easy rape targets.It could be that that’s not necessary, but that’s not what we’re taught from the time we’re very small.So, I’m sorry, but as long as I have to put a cell phone and pepper spray in my pocket in order to feel safe walking my pit bull around my neighborhood, it’s impossible for me to not think of the ways my gender affects my place in the world.

  7. > I’ll make you a deal, indifferent children, when the most common forms of violence against women stop involving men using our cooters against us, I’ll stop being concerned about getting the short end of the stick.So you’re saying that a sudden upsurge in non-cooter-related woman-beating would be an improvement? Whoa.> Most women are constantly curtailing their lives in order to keep from being easy rape targets.In my experience, it is not true that "most" women are "constantly" curtailing their lives. I know (IRL) one woman who seems like she might curtail her activities every day out of fear. Whether this is fear of rape, I don’t know. I know one woman (different woman) who carries pepper spray. All of the other women I know, go about their lives doing pretty much what they want to do. If they want to go out drinking and dancing, they probably think about rape, and go with friends. They probably would not go out ‘on the town’ alone, and rape would probably be a big reason. But it seems to me that very few ‘constantly’ curtail their lives.> as long as I have to put a cell phone and pepper spray in my pocket in order to feel safe walking my pit bull around my neighborhoodSorry B., but if you are walking a pit bull and you think that you need to carry pepper spray, then your fears are not grounded in a rational threat assessment. I am not running you down. They’re your fears. If carrying pepper spray makes you feel safer, then great. If you’re afraid of being struck by lightning, then carry a lightning rod (on a very long grounding cable). But this level of fear is not caused by the lightning.

  8. So, let me get this straight. You’re saying that only going out in groups is not curtailing your life?Perhaps we have different definitions of curtailment.I think grown people needing to find other people to guard them while they go out to have a good time to be curtailing their activities.How often do you feel compelled to go out in a group for any other reason than socially?

  9. Also, how can you ask a woman who grows up in our culture, where we’re pulled aside repeatedly and told "Don’t dress this way, don’t leave your drink unattended, don’t let your guard down around his friends, don’t stay out too late, don’t walk around alone" from the time we’re small girls to realize that her level of fear is unreasonable?I’m sorry, even though I agree with you, that most women are afraid above and beyond the actual threat to them, damn it, do you not get how we’ve got no way to understand what the true threat is?The message we get all the time from the whole culture is "Be very afraid of men."I never once have claimed that women are easy victims and I’ve often pointed out the ways in which we are complicit in our own problems.And I suspect that you are probably making very reasonable points from your perspective.But from mine?I don’t know. I’m kind of stunned. I feel like we’re seeing the same things–for instance that women almost always go out in groups in order to feel safe and relaxed enough to have a good time–and you’re saying "What’s the problem?" and I’m saying "That, that right there, that I have to drag a crowd behind me, that’s the problem."How can you not see that? You can articulate it. How can you not see it?

  10. > that I have to drag a crowd behind me, that’s the problemAunt B., Yes it sucks that there are a few predators out there, and it sucks that women need to be on-guard, and are safer in groups. But do "most" women "constantly" need to be on-guard? No. Women who want to go out partying need to be on-guard on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s not right. It’s not fair. I would change it if I had a magic wand.But are you in danger on your street in daytime? No, not even if you didn’t have a pit bull.> The message we get all the time from the whole culture is "Be very afraid of men."That’s not the message that my female friends are getting from the culture. Maybe viewing the world through a feminist lens, or getting too many of your messages from feminist sources, is giving you a distorted worldview.> do you not get how we’ve got no way to understand what the true threat is?Sure you do. Statistics and common sense are great tools to evaluate any threat. Do you buy every ‘threat’ that the media hypes this week? Are you as afraid of terrorists as the Bush administration wants you to be? Or do you weigh the likelihood and consequences of these threats?> How often do you feel compelled to go out in a group for any other reason than socially?There are places that I frequent that I would not feel as safe going alone. Google for "Ybor City" in Tampa, FL. It’s a really neat party zone; they used to close the main drag to cars on Friday and Saturday nights, so that us drunks could stagger from bar to bar. I never go alone, that would be a great way to get robbed or stabbed first and then robbed. As the crime gets worse, I go less often. It’s not right. It’s not fair…

  11. Okay, indifferent children, you’ve been reading me for a long time and commenting here at Tiny Cat Pants for ages. I think we may have, in the past, disagreed about things, but I don’t recall them ever reaching a point where I ever felt personally insulted or angry at anything you said.And so I’m startled and confused to find myself at this point with you now.So, I feel for the sake of my fondness for you as a commenter, I must ask, is there something you want to come out and say to me? Or some question you think I’m leaving unasked? Worse yet, do you feel that I’ve in some way broken frith with you?If so, please, come out and say it and let us make things right between us.If not, I’ve got to ask just what the hell you’re doing. The internet is a wide open space and there are plenty of other places you could go if something about me annoys you.What stake do you have in suddenly deciding it’s your job to convince me that I’m misinterpreting reality and that, if only I’d accept your version, I’d be happy? Who are you to decide, first of all, that I’m not happy? Second, who are you to diagnose feminism as the cause of my unhappiness and the cause of my delusion?I’m serious. Just step back for a minute and consider: When you said, "Maybe viewing the world through a feminist lens, or getting too many of your messages from feminist sources, is giving you a distorted worldview." you imply that I’m fundimentally misinterpreting the world around me.How in the hell did you for a moment think that such an accusation, such an enormously patronizing accusation, was not going to be met with hostility?That you, a stranger with a glimpse of my life filtered through what I choose to tell you, can, from afar, decide you know better than I do how to interpret the facts of my life is really something else, I’ll say that.

  12. Wow . . . lots of stuff to digest here.I guess I was brought up differently than all these men you talk about. I was always taught that men and women are equal but different, and each is important to the family, society, and humanity as a whole.I was taught that, as a man, I should try to make myself good enough to attract a mate that would be a life partner, lover, and best friend. I was always taught that women want their man to be sensitive, caring, and supportive as well being able to provide.What a crock of crap! LOL!Seriously, though, that’s how I was brought up. It took me 30 years to finally find a woman who was brought up to appreciate that.Violence against women . . . *sigh*. Of COURSE men are more apt to be violent. We’re wired that way. On the other hand, most beat cops I know won’t hesitate to tell you that lots of domestic abuse is BOTH people beating the crap out of each other.I want to give you guys the perspective on relationships and violence from "the nice guy". I was the guy in your high school who was semi-popular but didn’t date THE girls because I was just "a nice guy". When asked "how do you pick up girls around here" from a male visitor, the usual response is "find the hottest girl in the club, walk up to her, and SLUG HER dead in the face . . . she’ll follow you around for about three months like a homesick puppy." Basically, it’s a running joke among guys around here that, sadly, "nice guys" like me can actually relate some truth to.I’ve seen MANY really nice, smart, BEAUTIFUL girls throw themselves at stupid, loser, abusive guys while "nice" guys are left scratching their heads.My cousin was a BEAUTIFUL girl. In high school, she dated a loser who, in my presence once, hit her. Needless to say, this didn’t go well for him. A few weeks later, I heard he slugged her again. Then once more a few weeks after that. Eventually, you just get tired of hearing her cry and moan. She just went back for more every time. Understand, this was high school. She could EASILY have moved on, but she didn’t.See, "nice guys" like me see little or no consequence to hitting a girl. No, most of us would never do it, but when we see girls that we would LOVE to have as "significant others", and we see them utterly devoted to an abusive loser, it sends a very VERY confusing message back.Maybe it’s growing today because men are both not being taught to respect women but also women not doing much to earn respect, either. I think it’s VERY harmful to hear music that young boys listen to calling women "bitches" and "ho’s". Then again, you see young women out socially, half dressed, kissing each other on top of a bar table, and bragging about what bitches they are. Well . . . what’s a young man to think?If there’s a patriacrchy out there in power, I must have missed my membership card. Crap ladies, I’m still waiting for my checks from the "white privilege conspiracy", but none have made it so far.I think women have a lot more power than they’d either like to recognize or concede. I think that women like the IDEA of being as violent as men. Look at the action movies in the past few years. We don’t have Rambo, anymore, but we have LOTS of Aeon Flux, Kill Bill, and other female ultra-violent film stars. Maybe, though, while it looks good on the big screen to see a 5’3" 104 pound lady action star throwing around 280 pound guys, in real life, it doesn’t work that way. Just like many other things in our society, I think these movies send a bad message to our young people i.e. women can both BE violent and be dealth with violently.Both sexes use whatever tools they find effective at getting what they want. There’s no doubting that. villifying one sex, however, is disingenuous at best.We live in a world full of mixed signals. Turn the channel on any given night and you can see a beautiful modelesque female FBI officer beating the crap out of a 300 pound rapist on TNT, a young woman recovering from a brutal rape on Lifetime, and 3 teenaged sisters getting boob jobs together on Dr. 90210.It’s a warped world out there, but if you think it’s all part of some male-driven conspiracy, I wish most of us males knew about it, too.

  13. > When you said, "Maybe viewing the world through a feminist lens, or getting too many of your messages from feminist sources, is giving you a distorted worldview." you imply that I’m fundimentally misinterpreting the world around me.No Aunt B., when I said, "if you are walking a pit bull and you think that you need to carry pepper spray, then your fears are not grounded in a rational threat assessment." That is when I suggested that your worldview might be distorted. You seemed to agree with me when you said, "even though I agree with you, that most women are afraid above and beyond the actual threat to them" or "It could be that that’s not necessary, but that’s not what we’re taught from the time we’re very small."Why are you angry? I didn’t attack you and call you stupid or ‘bad’. I said that your worldview is constructed by the inputs that you have recieved. So is mine. Isn’t this one of the foundations of post-modernist thought, that nothing is objectively true, only constructed and largely subject to culture? > That you, a stranger with a glimpse of my life filtered through what I choose to tell you, can, from afar, decide you know better than I do how to interpret the facts of my life is really something else, I’ll say that.Of course, I am only commenting on the ‘mythical’ Aunt B., the one that you construct via your writing. If this Aunt B. is exactly the way that you are (whatever your name is), then my comments apply somewhat to you. If the mythical Aunt B. resembles you very little, then they apply not at all. I thought that it was understood that we are ‘afar’, and my comments thus come from a position of profound ignorance about the real you.I come here because I think that you say a lot of interesting things, and you say them well. I don’t agree with everything, but most things. Please assume that my statements are not intended to be malicious.I’m sorry that I made you angry, but I am confused as to why what I said should cause such an emotional response. Perhaps it is because I consider my worldview to be conditional and imperfect rather than absolute or true? Am I far off the mark?

  14. Heh. From the lurker. I don’t have much comings and goings with the topics that excite you here, IC, so I don’t "know" you as well as B. and some of the others.But Dude, do you not see the giantly colossal error you JUST made.First you say""Maybe viewing the world through a feminist lens, or getting too many of your messages from feminist sources, is giving you a distorted worldview."And then you say"So is mine. Isn’t this one of the foundations of post-modernist thought, that nothing is objectively true, only constructed and largely subject to culture?"So obviously you grasp the fundamentals of postmodernism vis a vis the Weltangschaung. Given that you DO understand, what business is it of yours to determine that another’s Weltangschaung is mis-structured? Yes, B. gets a lot of her information from feminist sources. But more to the point, B. (like the rest of us vaginally-charged) gets information tailored to her femininity. That’s what the point of this thread is. I take it that you are a man. That means that no one has probably conditioned you to the same types of concerns because there was no need. The sad reality of latter twentieth-century America is that women were programmed to a level of fear that may seem both pointless and unrealistic to the average man. But off the top of my head I can name at least six sitcom episodes that aired in the late 70s and early 80s that involved rape, sexual harrassment and self-defense. For women. Not for men. My point is that female intrinsic vulnerability and the need to rise above it is so programmed as to be part of our DAMNED ENTERTAINMENT. (Remember the Facts of Life girls in a self-defense class?) Anyway, I got off topic a bit. What I came out of lurkdom to say is that while you’ve got a grasp of the fundamentals of PoMo you seem to lack the belief in its practice that is necessary for discussions like this.

  15. > So obviously you grasp the fundamentals of postmodernism vis a vis the Weltangschaung.Katherine, I am an engineer. I know much less about concepts such as Weltangshaung than many of you. My introduction of post-modernism wasn’t a defense like, "nothing can be wrong so I can’t be wrong." It just seemed that my big offense was suggesting that Aunt B.’s ‘worldview’ (same as Weltangshaung?) was distorted in a certain way.But isn’t the important point of this way of thinking that *everybody’s worldview is distorted*? I wasn’t trying to say that Aunt B.’s worldview was more distorted than mine, or anyone else’s.But I thought that she had already ‘posited’ that her worldview along with many others’ might be distorted in a certain fashion. I was identifying (apparently in a very hurtful fashion) a source for one kind of distortion.I don’t see how this is different from telling someone who complains about illegal aliens that their worldview is too much influenced by Rush Limbaugh or Fox News. Of course, I could be incorrect in telling someone that (hell, Rush might hold the secrets of the universe). What makes my statement to Aunt B. so much more offensive? I’m not being snarky or trying to defend what I said. I really could use some enlightenment.

  16. First off, sorry. "Weltangschaung" is worldview. I’m showing off my fine liberal arts useless education by using that word. Second off, you keep using the phrase "too much". That’s a large part of the problem. "Too much" is not a phrase one can really use in a postmodern discussion because "Too much" explicitly establishes that there is indeed a baseline experience. That the other person has somehow varied from the baseline experience and is therefore at fault. But all that esoteric masturbation aside, here’s the crux of the issue.Women (in general) are taught that their femininity makes them vulnerable. They are taught that by EVERYONE. Mothers and fathers and schoolteachers and sitcom writers and marketing executives and professors and playwrights. If you are not a woman you do not have the same experience. Your mother is likely not telling you to stay off of elevators in department stores and your teachers are not instructing you in how to carry your carkeys in a convenient pseudo-brass knuckle way. Because society doesn’t expect men to be in rape danger to the same degree. Granted, we women aren’t likely being taught things that are part of the male code. Since I’m not a man I can’t tell you what those things are.So yes, fromn the outside looking in the female fears may seem unjustified. I personally think that the desire to pubcrawl is unjustified. But who am I to tell you to stay out of Ybor City? Your life experience is that pubcrawling is fun. Anyway, I’m rambling. In a nutshell, it’s not that you are disagreeing but the manner in which you state your disagreement that is offensive. Given that I’ve done the same thing myself on occassion I can understand how it’s an easily made mistake.

  17. Women (in general) are taught that their femininity makes them vulnerable.++++++++++++++++++++That, to varying degrees, is true. Women are GENERALLY weaker physically and make a much better target for violent crime. The fact that they possess material goods and their bodies can be targeted, as well, makes women even more desirable targets. This is just nature as it is. This isn’t really a conspiracy (not saying anyone here suggests that . . . just pointing it out).++++++++++++++++++++They are taught that by EVERYONE. ++++++++++++++++++++Well, they should be. A problem you don’t point out is that there are a significant number of them that don’t listen. We generate lots of women who put themselves in terrible situations believing that “I’d kick him in the nuts” equates to the world’s greatest method of self-defense.I don’t think that women should be in constant fear of being raped. That’s a little over the top unless you live in a REALLY bad area. On the other hand, I’m 230 pounds and a second degree black belt . . . and I carry a gun for self-protection, so sometimes prudence is good for both sexes.++++++++++++++++++++You are not a woman you do not have the same experience.++++++++++++++++++++Men and women both can be victimized in unique ways. Don’t believe because it’s very difficult to rape a man that men can’t be victimized by men OR women. It’s just a different form.Odds are your mothers never told you to be careful about sleeping with the wrong woman because, if she gets pregnant, she can ruin your entire life.Also, while my wife carries a weapon as well (legally), and is HIGHLY trained to use it, she knows that I’m the ‘man’ and I’m going to be the first line of defense. If anyone gets shot, stabbed, runover, or whatever, it will be me. I’m not going to yell “EQUAL RIGHTS BABY” if we get robbed or attacked and expect her to fight 50% of the bad guys. That’s my responsibility. She IS welcome, however, to shoot a couple of them on the way out and call the cops! LOL!We all have dangers in the world.+++++++++++++++++++++Because society doesn’t expect men to be in rape danger to the same degree.+++++++++++++++++++++No, it’s legal and they call it divorce court! :D+++++++++++++++++++++Granted, we women aren’t likely being taught things that are part of the male code. Since I’m not a man I can’t tell you what those things are.+++++++++++++++++++++Well put, and I appreciate you saying that. It shows lots of wisdom and understanding.I think that men AND women put themselves into bad situations either without thinking or believing they can “handle it”.The rape issue is difficult on both sides. Of course women are victimized, but until you’ve gotten a friend out of jail because he allegedly “raped” a girl only to have her recant and say “I thought being a rape victim would help me get a job with the ACLU, but I felt too guilty”, you don’t realize how easily men can be targeted, as well. Sadly, that’s a true, documented story from good ole West Tennessee.Remember, to become a rapist, all a woman has to say is “okay, I’m done” and the man inside her is technically a rapist. Just the fact that my penis is inside her the SECOND she doesn’t want it there legally makes me a rapist regardless of her desire to have it there 0.0342 seconds earlier. That’s a pretty tough standard to live by for any human.

  18. Okay, indifferent children, you first. You have changed your tune subtly over the course of the whole thread here. I’m sure you’re aware of that, but in case you aren’t, let me remind you that, when you first commented in this thread, you said:–"There is no patriarchy; the oligarchy has all of the power." In other words, "your perception of reality is wrong.–"Just say No! to being turned against your fellow ‘man’. Stop believing that there is some XXXXarchy that benefits that dude on the bus who makes minimum wage (until he gets murdered)." In other words, "There are no real problems between men and women, you just think there are because you’re deluded."–"In my experience, it is not true that "most" women are "constantly" curtailing their lives." In other words, "I know the experiences of women better than you, who are a woman, do."Then you change your tune slightly. Suddenly, there are problems between men and women–"Yes it sucks that there are a few predators out there, and it sucks that women need to be on-guard, and are safer in groups." But you’ve decided that most women don’t need to constantly be on-guard.And then, I quote you. I quote your exact words–"Maybe viewing the world through a feminist lens, or getting too many of your messages from feminist sources, is giving you a distorted worldview." and you look at those very words, which YOU WROTE and say "No Aunt B., when I said, "if you are walking a pit bull and you think that you need to carry pepper spray, then your fears are not grounded in a rational threat assessment." That is when I suggested that your worldview might be distorted."But that’s just not what happened. I copied and pasted right where you said that maybe feminism is giving me a distorted world view and you turned around and said, "No, that’s now where I said your worldview might be distorted, I said it when you were talking about how you walk around the neighborhood."When you can look at something you said and then say "That’s not what I said," I don’t know how to interpret that other than as immensely hostile towards me. It’s right there. You can go back and see for yourself when you said what.But instead, you’d rather just argue your point.And that’s what I interpret as over the line.For you, this is just an interesting theoretical argument about whether there might be a better way for me to interpret the world.But you read me and you’ve read me for a long time. You know that these things are important to me and not just theoretically. That they matter to me on a deeply personal level.When you start talking about how wrong I am in my framing device, I hear you saying that I’m wrong in how I live my life, in the causes I’m committed to, and, worse yet, that these things that are so important to me, that deeply impact people I care about, don’t matter, and if only I listened to you, I’d realize that.I have no way to understand that except as exceedingly hostile.I want to be clear, though. I’m not mad at you. I just really want you to understand this from my perspective, if that’s possible, to see a little bit where I’m coming from, how I feel like you’re dismissing me.

  19. Ed, you’re next. I kind of don’t even know where to start with you because we’ve got no history and so I have no idea what you’re getting out of this conversation and what you think you’re contributing.You seem to think that I don’t actually know real men or real women and so I need you to inform me about how things really work.But here’s the thing: I’m well aware that women are fucked up. I’m well aware that many domestic violence situations involve both parties equally beating on the other.And you have my sympathy that you feel you were told women wanted certain things in a mate only to find that that didn’t match your experience.I’m also sorry that you watched girls accepting shitty treatment from boys and found it unfair. If you could consider one thing, consider this: What the fuck is wrong with these girls that they would think that the best they could hope for in life is to be beaten by a man they love? And wouldn’t you support any effort to help women realize their own worth, so that they don’t feel like they have to tolerate shitty behavior from men?If so, then why are you jumping into a conversation about how my feminism is misguided? If you know how fucked up women are, you should support women’s efforts to become unfucked-up.If you want to do that here, a good way to start is to listen and ask questions. It seems like you have some. Like, for starters, why do women date asshole men instead of nice guys? That seems to be an implicit question in what you’re saying.And I will answer it. Because women don’t want to date nice guys, because nice guys actually aren’t usually very nice at all. Instead, they usually expect a lot of butt kissing from supposedly grateful women because, hey, they’re nice guys.Women want to date strong and confident men. The mistake we make, especially when we’re young, is to confuse asshole behavior for strength and confidence. Most of us eventually figure it out.In return, I have a question for you, when you say "When asked "how do you pick up girls around here" from a male visitor, the usual response is "find the hottest girl in the club, walk up to her, and SLUG HER dead in the face . . . she’ll follow you around for about three months like a homesick puppy." Basically, it’s a running joke among guys around here that, sadly, "nice guys" like me can actually relate some truth to." do you actually think that makes you sound like a nice guy?You would tell a story in which you and your buddies stand around and joke that the way to pick up a girl and get her to do whatever you want is to punch her in the face to a woman (me) who is a total stranger to you and say that you can relate to that and actually think that I would agree that you’re a nice guy?Ed, I’m going to be honest with you. That story coupled with your annoyance that a woman can decide at any time, even when you’re fucking, that she no longer wants to have sex with you makes me afraid of you, not sympathetic towards your points.Can you see how that reads to a girl who doesn’t know you?

  20. Ed, you’re next. I kind of don’t even know where to start with you because we’ve got no history and so I have no idea what you’re getting out of this conversation and what you think you’re contributing.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++I enjoy conversation. I find you one of the few feminists that seems to actually welcome discussion. Fair enough?++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++You seem to think that I don’t actually know real men or real women and so I need you to inform me about how things really work.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Well, aren’t we all here to express ourselves? You can make a blog post about Foley or President Bush, but I’m assuming that just because you post about it you’re not assuming that no one knows about it. I kinda’ go along the same lines here. I don’t assume you’re ignorant about what I post. I just want to express my feelings that may or may not mirror what you feel.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++But here’s the thing: I’m well aware that women are fucked up. I’m well aware that many domestic violence situations involve both parties equally beating on the other.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Simply the fact that you’re aware of this is one of the reasons I enjoy your site. You seem to be able to see both sides of things and are willing to discuss it. If I didn’t like your site, I wouldn’t come here to chat.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++And you have my sympathy that you feel you were told women wanted certain things in a mate only to find that that didn’t match your experience.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++It’s cool. I’ve found that what women want is like the weather in West Tennessee. If you don’t like it, wait 5 minutes. It will change. :)++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++I’m also sorry that you watched girls accepting shitty treatment from boys and found it unfair. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++It’s nothing to be sorry about. I’ve come to learn that what people (men and women) tell you they want and what they REALLY want is two different things. Women are always quick to tell you they want a nice, sensitive man with a great sense of humor. That sounds good in an interview, but I’m BETTING that Tom Cruise gets more action that Carrot Top. :)++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++If you could consider one thing, consider this: What the fuck is wrong with these girls that they would think that the best they could hope for in life is to be beaten by a man they love? And wouldn’t you support any effort to help women realize their own worth, so that they don’t feel like they have to tolerate shitty behavior from men?++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Okay, excellent idea, and I’ll offer up some observations from a couple of decades watching "the game". Basically, like men, I think most women are ego driven. I think that women sometimes find a "bad boy" interesting in the fact that he’s exciting YET he can be "fixed". I think women find it a challenge . . . especially beautiful women who are around men that grovel at their feet. I think it’s an ego thing. They KNOW they can have the groveler whenever they want them. The "aloof" guy is more of a challenge.So they chase the loser in hopes of winning him and fixing him. Fixing him makes him no longer interesting, though, so any guy who knows his butt from a hole in the ground WILL NOT change. If he does, she’ll leave. If he DOESN’T, I find most women will try harder and harder and harder to "win" him over. Eventually, I think the woman’s ego gets destroyed somehow, and she loses sight of what she is "worth" . . . especially in the eyes of other arguably better men.I realize that some women just get trampled on right out of the gate and don’t ever build any self-esteem much less ego, but there are plenty of "winner" girls out there who are chasing the challenge of "fixing" a guy.For those girls, I really think it’s about ego. If not, why chase a loser?++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++If so, then why are you jumping into a conversation about how my feminism is misguided? If you know how fucked up women are, you should support women’s efforts to become unfucked-up.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++I’m not sure your feminism is misguided per se. I hope I didn’t give that impression. Feminism, in its current guise, seems somewhat, I don’t know, derailed from what it was say 20 years ago. Now, it seems like it’s more about finding new and exciting ways to blame guys for EVERYTHING no matter what. I guess, eventually, even "nice guys" get tired of being call "potential rapist and forced birth maker" all the time (not saying YOU said that . . . just a general observation). Hey, I haven’t beaten any women, and I’ve definitely NEVER raped anyone. Why hate me?As far as "fixing" women goes, though, crap, women can’t even do that. Honestly, the most screwed up women I’ve ever met were generally more screwed up by THEIR mother than anybody. There’s not much I can do to undo a mother’s work, you know? Besides, I’m usually too busy having in-depth discussions about world politics with my penis. :D:DAnyway, I think a lot more problems for women are brought about by other women. I think women care too much about what other women think of them and expect them to be. I think that if women could open themselves up to listen in on what REAL guys want, expect, or find attractive about REAL women, they’d be surprised . . . and relieved.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++If you want to do that here, a good way to start is to listen and ask questions. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++I’m not sure I have any questions right now. If I do, don’t worry, I’ll ask. I have no ego to speak of! LOL!+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++It seems like you have some. Like, for starters, why do women date asshole men instead of nice guys? That seems to be an implicit question in what you’re saying.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++It was a question I asked over and over as a teenager and young adult. I think I have the answer now. It doesn’t make it "okay" or make me any less confused. No, not confused, just . . . "why?"+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++And I will answer it. Because women don’t want to date nice guys, because nice guys actually aren’t usually very nice at all. Instead, they usually expect a lot of butt kissing from supposedly grateful women because, hey, they’re nice guys.Women want to date strong and confident men. The mistake we make, especially when we’re young, is to confuse asshole behavior for strength and confidence. Most of us eventually figure it out.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++That’s fair enough. I’m not sure most women NOW want strong and confident men, though. I think that strong and confident men are too much a hassle now. I see young women going after pretty passive but "pretty" guys, now. Actually, I don’t think the whole dating thing is anything like I remember it. My daughter is 21, and a "date" to her is some guy meeting her at 3:00 in the morning at a club after she’s done partying with her friends. I just see so much different now that I’m not sure anything that I’ve formulated even applies, anymore.Honestly, I’m not even sure if schools are "allowing" guys to be strong and confident, anymore. I kinda’ go along with Carlin’s "pussification of America" sentiment.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++In return, I have a question for you, when you say "When asked "how do you pick up girls around here" from a male visitor, the usual response is "find the hottest girl in the club, walk up to her, and SLUG HER dead in the face . . . she’ll follow you around for about three months like a homesick puppy." Basically, it’s a running joke among guys around here that, sadly, "nice guys" like me can actually relate some truth to." do you actually think that makes you sound like a nice guy?+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Does it make me sound like a nice guy? To you, no. To another guy, probably. Another guy would see the irony in it i.e. "here’s how it works . . . and it works . . . I just can’t do it". Also, it’s satire i.e. "Let me offer you this utterly STUPID suggestion that, sadly, works for a lot of guys".Maybe it doesn’t make me sound like a "nice guy" to a woman, but it DOES make me sound like an honest guy to another male who’s familiar with the situation.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++You would tell a story in which you and your buddies stand around and joke that the way to pick up a girl and get her to do whatever you want is to punch her in the face to a woman (me) who is a total stranger to you and say that you can relate to that and actually think that I would agree that you’re a nice guy?+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Yup. I’d would and have told that to women of all ages. I make no bones about it. I find that almost every REALLY attractive girl I’ve ever been around has, at one time, been head over heels in love with a guy who wouldn’t pee on her if she were on fire. I also find that, as you’ve said yourself, been an asshole is likened to being confident. I guess I oversimplify it but it’s pretty accurate with this. I think lots of attractive women think this when I guy DOESN’T fall at their feet: "This guy should be falling at my feet . . . and he’s NOT . . . WHY NOT? He must be something special . . . I can MAKE him fall at my feet . . . can’t I?" Thus the competition begins. Meanwhile, some really nice guys around this girl are watching her throw herself at a guy who could care less if she lived or died. And she’ll let this guy do things to her that shouldn’t even be done to farm animals in the name of "getting him" and eventually "fixing him".I’m not sure it’s that complicated, anymore, but it was like that when I was single. I’m afraid that now days it’s more about just "hooking up" than anything else. I think women are much more sexually aggressive now, and they gage themselves not on how good their current man is but how many men they can attract and "have" at their beck and call. I could be wrong, but it’s the "sense" I get now in society.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Ed, I’m going to be honest with you. That story coupled with your annoyance that a woman can decide at any time, even when you’re fucking, that she no longer wants to have sex with you makes me afraid of you, not sympathetic towards your points.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++There’s no reason to be afraid of me. I’m no danger to you at all.My illustration is this, and think about it SERIOUSLY, okay? I can be having sex with my wife, everything happy hunky dory, screaming orgasms all around, and the SECOND she wants to stop, I’m a rapist. The second she decides in her mind she doesn’t want me there, legally, I’m a rapist. Even more frightening, 4 hours after we go to sleep, wake up, and head to work, she can DECIDE I was a rapist because, looking back, she really didn’t want to do it. Feminist or not, that’s a pretty hefty power if you know what I mean. I don’t consider that any less threatening than any physical advantage that I’d have over any given female in today’s society.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Can you see how that reads to a girl who doesn’t know you? +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++I can see how that reads to a feminist who doesn’t hold men in very high regard (in general . . . not just you). Then again, to women who don’t think much of men, would anything I say, right, wrong, or indifferent, really play well, anyway?At my stage of life, I don’t really concern myself with how women see me. I’m married, my wife and daughter love me, my mother (a VERY practical feminist) loves me, and the people I work with respect me. I like me, too, so that makes for a great combination. With that in mind, I think my time is much more valuably spent telling people that I have some respect for (you) what’s really in my heart and on my mind. I’m a real person. I’m not a rapist, a massagingist (yeah, I know how to REALLY spell it, but I hate that word), or a woman hater. I’m also not after anyone here sexually, so I have no motivation to be untruthful about how I feel or see things. I think a lot more garden variety men feel like I feel. They just don’t really have the energy or forum to express it.

  21. Ed, you crack me up. You’re like a magician who distracts with one hand so that you can move something with the other.I’m not talking about whether other guys think you’re a nice guy. I’m not talking about whether other feminists don’t.I’m asking you just as one person with her own frailties and fucked-up-ness to another person with his own quirks–because, let’s be honest, you weren’t telling those stories to other feminists or to other men; you chose to tell them to me. You and me.In retrospect, you don’t think there’s something the least be problematic in insisting that you be recognized by me as a nice guy while at the same time you’re telling stories about how you can sympathize with the urge to punch a girl in the face and how unfair you think it is that women can change their minds at any time about having sex?I’m just asking.And, I have a question for you. Maybe just as a thought experiment. If your wife sticks a dildo up your butt, who between the two of you should get to decide when it’s been in there long enough?

  22. Ed, you crack me up. You’re like a magician who distracts with one hand so that you can move something with the other.====================================Howso?====================================I’m not talking about whether other guys think you’re a nice guy. I’m not talking about whether other feminists don’t.====================================Fair enough. I think first you have to define what kind of feminist you’re talking about.If you’re talking about a feminist like my mother, then while she might be disturbed by what I say as it is VERY unrefined, I think the obvious inference is both satire and frustration. I mean, it’s obvious that no one in their right mind would take that advice and go "COOL!!! HERE GOES!" and slug some girl at a bar.If you’re talking about a feminist who simply hates men and sees the penis as the root of all evil, then it really doesn’t matter what I say. The fact that I’m a male disqualifies me for anything more than quiet disdain.=====================================I’m asking you just as one person with her own frailties and fucked-up-ness to another person with his own quirks–because, let’s be honest, you weren’t telling those stories to other feminists or to other men; you chose to tell them to me. You and me.=====================================Okay, I THINK you’re asking if I considered how you’d react to what I said either positively or negatively. If so, my answer is "I really wasn’t sure." I didn’t fret in saying it, and it sort of says what I feel with regards to my experiences, but I was more interested in WHAT your reaction would be more than which side of the love/hate line I’d land on.======================================In retrospect, you don’t think there’s something the least be problematic in insisting that you be recognized by me as a nice guy while at the same time you’re telling stories about how you can sympathize with the urge to punch a girl in the face and how unfair you think it is that women can change their minds at any time about having sex?I’m just asking.======================================And it’s a very fair question.First off, the "nice guy" thing was more or less qualifying my raising and tendencies i.e. I’m NOT the guy your mom warned you about. That being said, I’m not a "yes dear" guy either. I want to be a nice person, but I’m not one to be constantly overrun or pushed aside.Now, as a "nice guy", that doesn’t mean I think that anything you propose or want to do is wonderful and right. Do I think a woman has the right to say "no"? OF COURSE I DO! Do I think that a woman should have the right to scream rape after having sex with a guy for 30 minutes just because she decides she’s ready to leave, well . . . that’s a pretty hefty legal weapon to weild. Do I think it’s okay for a woman, 6 hours AFTER the sex to reconsider, change her mind, and decide she was raped afterall? No, that’s utterly unacceptable . . . but it happens all the time.I don’t think that any person, regardless of sex, should be able to change their mind in the middle of doing something consentual and then declare the other guy is a sexual predator and guilty of a felony. Legally, a woman can do that.It would be like this. You and I are friends, and I let you borrow my car. You drive to another state to pick up your mother, and I suddenly decide I want my car back and turn you in for grand theft auto. "Yes officer, I let them borrow it, but, halfway through, I canged my mind. NOW they’ve stolen it because I’ve revoked my permission. Arrest them!" That’s utterly illogical and downright stupid . . . and just like the rape example logically.To me, it’s just a very dangerous tool that may be required but should be really carefully monitored.And I’ve never had a desire to punch a woman in the face to get her to have sex with me. I’ve had women that wanted me to punch them AFTER we had sex for being so stupid, but never before! LOL!======================================And, I have a question for you. Maybe just as a thought experiment. If your wife sticks a dildo up your butt, who between the two of you should get to decide when it’s been in there long enough?=======================================I do. BUT, if I told her to shove it up there, I shouldn’t be able to press charges for sexual assault or rape because she did what I wanted to do but I changed my mind in the act. Also, I shouldn’t be able to change my mind 16 hours later and cry rape because I feel guilty about my decision.Do you think that’s fair?

  23. ps – if you check out the something positive link, be sure to click on the "next comic" link at the bottom to continue reading the whole series.

  24. Ed, one thing that I see as mistaken in your interpretation is that these women are CHANGING their minds rather than coming to clarity or voicing their opinions. If a woman actually consented to sex, then she does not have a legal right to claim later that it was rape. What is complex here is what constitutes consent, and what many people have been trying to explain is that not saying "no," and not kicking and screaming is not the same thing as consent. And, when a person consents to sex, that doesn’t mean that persons consents to anything at all being done. So, if you wish for the dildo to be in your ass, that’s fine. If you then wish for it to no longer be there, but your partner does not take it out, then the situation has changed. You might not have changed your mind about wanting it in there in the first place, but you’re done, you’ve had enough of it, it was fun but it’s not anymore. And, that’s okay – you can say "stop" without regretting having started. Your partner not respecting that is a violation. Sometimes women have abused the law and falsly accused others of rape. Women shouldn’t do that. But all women are not responsible for those actions, and that doesn’t mean that we should be any less vigilant about reducing real rape and making the world safer for women. False accusations are limited to rape anyhow, so I tend to be leery of people who make such an example of it, especially men who claim to be "nice guys" who love and respect women.

  25. We mustn’t mind old Ed, he has clearly stated that he didn’t get to fuck many women in college(etc etc) because he was "too nice" so therefore his understanding of woman is a bit limited, basically his data set is a too small(and no that wasn’t meant to be a crude joke).

  26. Ed, one thing that I see as mistaken in your interpretation is that these women are CHANGING their minds rather than coming to clarity or voicing their opinions. If a woman actually consented to sex, then she does not have a legal right to claim later that it was rape. What is complex here is what constitutes consent, and what many people have been trying to explain is that not saying "no," and not kicking and screaming is not the same thing as consent. ================================Okay, how about this. Can she decide halfway through "the act" that she doesn’t want to do it, anymore, and tell the guy to stop? If he doesn’t IMMEDIATELY, is it rape? I guess what I’m saying is that rape in society today can be as subjective as a person wants to make it out to be depending on their motives.================================Sometimes women have abused the law and falsly accused others of rape. Women shouldn’t do that. But all women are not responsible for those actions, and that doesn’t mean that we should be any less vigilant about reducing real rape and making the world safer for women.================================True, but those women must understand that while THEY are intensely sensitive to women being raped by "evil men", most men are intensely sensitive to men who have been the victim of false accusations by "evil women". It all depends on what side of the fence you fall on.================================False accusations are limited to rape anyhow, so I tend to be leery of people who make such an example of it, especially men who claim to be "nice guys" who love and respect women. ================================No. Anything can be a false accusation on any subject, but we were talking specifically about rape here. No great wisdom in that statement. And I’d be leery of anything I read on the internet from anyone on any website. But, eventually, you have to either stop reading the internet because EVERYTHING is a lie, start believing some things you may or may not agree with, or just admit to yourself that you’re only believing the things that reinforce what you want to believe and carry on with the mental masturbation.

  27. We mustn’t mind old Ed, he has clearly stated that he didn’t get to fuck many women in college(etc etc) because he was "too nice" so therefore his understanding of woman is a bit limited, basically his data set is a too small(and no that wasn’t meant to be a crude joke).==========================================Hmmmmmmm . . . don’t see where I said that, but, hey, if we want to allude to jokes, how about "I went to an engineering school with excessively high academic standards, so naturally their weren’t many women around" or "no, it’s not that I didn’t have sex with many women . . . I just didn’t want to have sex with you." :DAll feeble attempts at wit aside, I admit it’s much easier to brush me aside as some kind of bitter person who didn’t get laid. Then again, you really don’t know anything about me or my lack of or abundance of successes. But, hey, whatever makes you sleep better at night.As far as not understanding women too well, that’s not true. LOL! I don’t think WOMEN understand women too well. I’m not sure anyone does. However, I find that men who DO learn much about their ways are generally too old to take advantage of it. LOL!I WILL leave with this one, though. I don’t think women are NEARLY as complicated as they’d like to believe. I think they’re different in how they come to conclusions as opposed to men, but I don’t think they’re any different. I think they strive to be accepted like men, and I think they strongly seek approval from a source that simply won’t give it (regardless of what that source is).Also, I think women and men confuse sophistication with constant change. A leaf in the breeze doesn’t follow a sophisticated pattern of movement, subtle flips, and gentle direction changes to travel to a much desired location. The leaf blows randomly in different directions. I think many women do that due to lack of satisfaction in whatever they tend to be doing at the time.

  28. Ed, sorry for the typo there – it should have said "False accusations are NOT limited to rape." That changes things in my comment such that we probably don’t disagree about things. And you’re right about the fence-viewpoint for sure; however, I think it’s fair to say that the ways women adjust their lives to the fear of being raped is much more intrusive to freedom & happiness than the way men would need to adjust their lives to the fear of being falsly accused of rape, unless of course you want to define male happiness largely by accessiblity to random sexual encounters, which will just bring us full-circle back to the motivation of feminists to challenge the idea of women as a sex class here to serve male interests. And, yes, when someone says "stop" you should stop immediately. Why wouldn’t you?

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