I don’t often write responses to other peoples blog posts. If I do, it’s usually a comment, or I try and say something positive. I like to encourage others to write, even if I don’t like their style.
But then it happens. Someone goes and says something so profanely stupid, my bitten tongue can be restrained no more. Even then, I often just rage about it quietly. It takes a special kind of stupid that makes me pick up my laptop and spend an early sunday morning reading sexual assault statistics, instead of watching a sunrise.
You ruined my sunrise, I shall not be kind.
This post is in response to Why I’m Not A Feminist by Mark Manson.
Reading the intro, I must admit, I felt this might actually be interesting, until I got to the part about men lagging and “why masculinity seemed to be on its death bed,”… this gave me pause. Did I miss a memo? So far, no one has asked me to stop being “manly”… No one has complained about my beer swilling, or my cursing. (fair warning, there’s probably a lot of cursing to come.) No one has made me stop lifting heavy things, or doing other activities associated with a traditionally “masculine” action, like hunting, or fishing, or being generally promiscuous (ok, my wife MAY have an issue with the last one, so that stopped a few years back) What part of Masculinity is “dying”? I mean sure, it’s no longer socially acceptable to beat your wife, or sexually harass your coworkers, but if anyone needed to do those things to feel “masculine”, they probably need psychiatric help.
But, the blog did improve and (dare I say it?) hit a high not with this gem: “Fact remains, if you want to argue against something, you need to understand it first.” — Why yes, yes you do… maybe this won’t be so bad.
And it isn’t. To be totally fair, the next few paragraphs all the way up to the “History” filled me with hope that maybe this wouldn’t be the same shallow, debate by declaration, type blog post we see so often.
The first bit of history was even (mostly) accurate. It just seems that as we get more recent, the level of research went down. Now, Modern events often have less liturature on them than older events, and can sometimes have conflicting lit. based on the idea that two people watching the same event seldom see the same thing… but still, I was a little disappointed by a few things.
Dworkin’s claim that “All men are rapists,” (which has since actually been attributed to Margaret Atwood) came from the second wave
No, it came from a famous Author named Marilyn French, and is actually said by a character in her book “The Women’s Room” RIGHT AFTER her daughter is brutally raped. Using this to condemn ANYONE is simply absurd. But at least up to this point, the claims have been opinion based, and nothing has clearly flown in the face of facts and statistics…. until:
The most famous bogus study from this period was the popular study that concluded that 1/4 women will be raped at some point during their lives
Say what you will about statistics, but we have the numbers on this. In fact, even in Canada (a nation with one of the LOWEST rapes per capita in the world) 1/4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. When you look at international data, the number of strictly rape cases easily surpasses 1/4 women. For the record, this information took less than 4 minutes to find on google.
Pop culture began its shift toward the castrated, dumb, fat men we see in movies and TV today
Yup. Because the average american got fat and dumb. The USA is the only nation on earth where the average IQ has DROPPED over the last 20 years. You are also the fattest nation on earth. That isn’t feminisms fault. Put down the triple cheeseburger, get back in shape, and maybe TV and movies will start reflecting that again.
But once we get passed all that, skipping beyond his clearly biased versions of history, and what the feminist movements fought for, and ignoring that fact that his “research” into the term “rape culture” apparently didn’t uncover in the basic fact that the term came from a time when Martial Rape was not only morally accepted, but LEGAL, and referred to any culture that would have a legal/socially acceptable form of rape… and ignoring the massive logical inconsistencies in his selective reading… we get to his “reasons” for not being a Feminist.
1)”Men and women are fundamentally different and therefore should not be expected to behave identically”
Ok, who the fuck expects that? I have NEVER met a single person, claiming to be a feminist or anything else, that thinks men and women should BEHAVE identically. The entire point of feminism is that they should be TREATED the same. Not BE the same. Hell, Just between two men you have most of the differences he talks about (I’m over 6′ tall, and (untill recently) was over 300lbs. I highly doubt my friend from work (5’7 if hes lucky, and MAYBE 150lbs) is as strong as I am… but that doesn’t mean I should treat him differently.
2) “If we’re going to talk gender, we should talk both genders at the same time.”
No. We shouldn’t. Both genders are different, and face different issues. We can address one without having to address another AT THE SAME TIME. It’s like writing an essay on the Jewish Oppression under Roman Rule, and saying “well, we better talk about Christian issues too”.. no, we don’t. 1 topic at a time. And if you bring that to a modern context, (and to total godwin this), a book on the Holocaust, and factors that lead to it, and how to prevent it from happening again, doesn’t also need to address christian concerns.
3) “The concept of rape culture is offensive.”
Yes, it is. But it’s also mostly accurate, as he even admits. Not sure what his point is beyond “this offends me, But I don’t care enough to change the reasons behind it, just stop using the term”…
Beyond that, the term does not imply every man is “contributing” to a rape culture, or one of victim blaming. But the idea that hes “tossed guys out of bars” makes him some hero is fucking absurd. I’ve done it, I’m sure others have done it, at some point, everyone who works in, or goes out to the same bar a lot, will do it. It doesn’t make you fucking batman, and it doesn’t mean you now have free reign to claim your good action outweigh the bad… remember WHY the guy got tossed in the first place?
4) “Feminism accomplished all of its political and academic goals, and I’m not convinced it has a necessary reason to still exist.”
I actually wrote an entire blog post that I think answers this. I’ll quote the relevant parts here:
I’ve been asked to walk people to their cars after work, had EMPLOYERS move around me to get a better view of my wife (that one almost ended in violence). We have had to think about location, and risks when looking into apartments. I’ve friends who feel they cannot travel alone (I’m talking world travel here), and others who change 6 times for fear of what could happen or would be said if they dressed as they wished.
And This: http://www.gameranx.com/features/id/7851/article/woman-receives-death-threats-for-confronting-bendilin-spurr-misogynist-game-designer/
Overall, his “research” wasn’t very academic, he was simply seeking out books and stories that helped paint the picture he wanted to paint of feminism as an antiquated and anti-male phenomena. From a philosophic perspective, his arguments are packet with straw men (very intricate ones), as well as drawing false conclusions from only partially valid premises. And from a male perspective, he seems to me to just be another guy who thinks in order to start treating women better, we can’t be “manly”. And to be blunt, that’s just fucking stupid.
It’s worth a read, but more as a joke than as a serious discussion on feminism.
Overall Grade, C-. An argument was made, but research was clearly half-assed. Was this done the night before it was due?