31 January, 2007

How I got here

Posted in Asperger's and Autism, Creative Destruction, Crossposts, Gender Issues, Personal Ramblings at 1:03 pm by Daran

In a comment, to my recent post David Byron said:

I’m not interested in how you got to this specific web page. I would be more interested in how people became attuned to the discrimination against men that goes on since that is what is unusual about people here.In particular I wonder how many have had a Child of the Glacier style experience, vs those who didn’t see any anti-male discrimination until they got hit with it like a brick as an adult (eg divorce). How many were aware of these issues and formulated them out of their own mind vs how many had to read about them from someone else to become aware.

I’m personally curious about how people found the two blogs I started. I’m also aware that there’s been little substantive blogging on FCB recently, on my part because of all the stuff I’ve been doing setting it up. So that post was intended to be nothing more than a bit of light entertainment pending something more substantial.

He asks a good question, though, and his own reply is worth reading. My earliest recollection of consciously observing (and objecting to) a gender norm dates to about the same age, I guess, as Adams was. That would put it in the early seventies. I noticed, (and remember complaining about to my parents), that bad things almost never happened to women in the action/adventure films I watched on TV. They never got killed on the battlefield or in the wild western shoot-out. They didn’t fall into pits of boiling lava, nor did they ever get eaten by dinosaurs. They might get captured by the baddies, but the baddies never did anything actually bad to them, and they always got rescued anyway. Men, by contrast, got casually wasted in their scores.

Even younger – six or seven I guess, I remember being very apprehensive of being put into a class with a male teacher. It wasn’t that any man had done anything bad to me, but that I simply had never been in the charge of any man except my Dad, and of course, he was away at work most of the day. Up until then, all my carers other than him had been female.

Other early childhood memories which may or may not have had a gender element were that I always felt in the shadow of my older sister, who was always physically bigger, more capable, more socially successful, and seemingly favoured by my parents. How much of that was gender, and how much was age and how much was my being Aspie is hard to tell.

I have a vague memory of wanting to do something girly, and meeting with the disapproval of my father, though I don’t remember what it was I wanted to do, or how he expressed that disapproval.

I also remember feeling totally unprotected in the face of the schoolyard bullying I was suffering, that nobody would take it seriously. (Of course, nobody had taken it seriously, that I was aware of. All they had done was pass the buck explicitly back to me.) I didn’t connect it to gender, though, but to childhood. I felt that, as a child, I wasn’t important enough to protect.

Like Hugh, I could never flirt as a teen or even a young adult. It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I ever flirted, and it was a real ‘Gosh, I can do this’ moment. Even now, I daren’t initiate.

Also in my late twenties/early thirties I had my first encounter with feminist hostility toward male-survivors I describe some of these incidents in this post, and in a couple of the comments.

What I never did, as Adams appears to have done at a very early age, is join the dots. Instead I swallowed the script as it has been fed to me: Women were the disfavoured sex; it was men who are violent toward women, not the other way about (my personal experiences of violence by women notwithstanding); men received favourable treatment in court. Etc. It wan’t until I found usenet in 1999 that I first encountered rightwing antifeminists/MRAs, the kind that David calls Chauvinists. What an eye-opener that was!

My first reaction was that their behaviour was appalling, and their purported facts seemed absurd. My second reaction when I tried to defend feminism from them, was that they were well prepared for the argument, and I wasn’t. I had to wise-up and educate myself. Some of their alleged facts stood up. Other’s turned out to be garbage, but many feminist claims fared no better. After a while, feminists and antifeminists came to look more and more like mirror images of each other, and I realised that I could not in good faith defend feminism while excoriating the Chauvinist antifems for their misogyny.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

(Crossposted between Creative Destruction, DaRain Man, and Feminist Critics.)

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29 January, 2007

How did you get here?

Posted in Blogosphere, Creative Destruction, Crossposts, Personal Ramblings at 4:52 pm by Daran

(Crossposted between all three blogs I write for.)

It all started for me, with a link from The Register to Seth Finkelstein’s Infothought blog. I found him to be an interesting, somewhat out-of-the-box thinker, so began reading him regularly. Sometime later Lis Riba popped up to ask his advice on getting a high Google Rating for one of her pages. And so she became my second regular read in the blogosphere. High on her blogroll was Alas a Blog. (I knew there was a reason for giving your blog a name beginning with ‘A’.) Unable always to comment as freely as I would like there, I began to comment on Creative Destruction. Shortly thereafter, a messenger arrived at my door bearing a handwritten missive enscribed upon the finest vellum, and laid upon a silken pillow, exhorting me to become a blogger here. (It was either that, or Amp sent me an email, I don’t recall which.)

At that time, WordPress automatically gave you blog if you created an account with them, and obviously I needed an account to blog at CD, and so the blog that was to become DaRain Man was born. I started substantive blogging there after being evicted from Alas during a little flamewar, and I realised that I needed an independent platform of my own. Later when Aegis/HughRistik accepted my offer to co-blog, it was clear that our joint enterprise was going to outgrow the ‘personal blog’ concept. We decided go for a dedicated URL and hosted environment right from the start, rather than go through the agony of changing addresses later, when we were established. Hence Feminist Critics was born.

That’s my story, but how did you get here?

18 January, 2007

It’s gone all quiet

Posted in Blog Status at 12:17 pm by Daran

Is anyone still here?

10 January, 2007

Announcement – New Blog

Posted in Blog Status at 5:17 pm by Daran

Hugh and I are starting a new blog focussing on feminist criticism, gender politics, plus whatever else we feel like talking about.

In about an hour’s time, (Edit: five minutes) I will close comments in the most active feminist posts/comment here, in preparation to copying them to the new site. (It would be better to close all comments, but I can’t find an easy way of doing that.) Any comments you post after that to any feminist-related thread may not get duplicated, and may be lost altogether.

As soon as the new site is up and running, I will post the URL here.

8 January, 2007

Are Men Oppressed? Part 2 – Systematic Mistreatment

Posted in Feminist Criticism, Feminist Issues, Gender Issues, Male Disposability, War at 3:36 am by HughRistik

In Part 1 of this series, I observed the tendency of feminists to throw around the term “oppression” without defining it, or explaining why only women are “oppressed,” but never men. Yet I have encountered a few feminists who do believe that men can suffer gender oppression. In this post, I will discuss a differing feminist view.
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4 January, 2007

Tools of the Patriarchy

Posted in Q Grrl, Rape Culture, Richard Jeffrey Newman, Survivors and Survival at 2:40 pm by Daran

I said:

Here’s where I think feminists have a point: Women are constantly being told “watch out, you’re at risk”. Men don’t get that message, despite the fact that we’re the ones at most risk. Consequently, women fear violence more than men, and it curtails their behaviour in a way that men’s aren’t.

Of course, it’s the feminists doing most of the fearmongering…

Snowe:

That has not been my experience at all. All the wacky “advice” about how to prevent stranger rape and abduction has come from my very conservative family.

“Most” was a baseless, and hence Odious Comparison, and I withdraw it. I should have said “some”. As Robert said, it comes in variable formats. Here are some feminist birds in your garden:

Maia worries that a newborn girl might be victimised some day. She worries that a newborn boy might become a victimiser, but it never occurs to her to worry that he might be victimised, even though the risk to him is higher than for a girl. Not content with scaring her own readers, she posts the same on Alas. Q Grrl posts rape stats higher even than found by Koss, twenty years ago. The incidence of female rape has fallen in America by a third since then. Richard Jeffrey Newman says that “women, as a class, have to worry about being raped and sexually assaulted in a way, and to a degree, that men as a class do not”. Not merely that they worry more, (which is true), but that they have to.

Your very conservative family may have given you wacky advice, but at least they don’t blame other people for their own fearmongery.

So what’s the real situation for men and women? The National Violence Against Women Survey, a study which didn’t survey prisons, nor the homeless, nor others living in institutions where these attacks are most common, still found one male rape victim for every three females raped during the survey year. (Thanks to David for reminding me of this) When you take this undercounting into consideration the ratio is probably closer to 1:2 or even 1:1. Then consider that men are much more likely to face non-sexual violance and about 20 times more likely to be murdered.

But Richard is still right about men. They don’t have to worry, and neither do women. Rape is a truly crap thing to happen to anyone, but it only one of many crap things that happen to everybody at some point in their lives our lives. But you can recover from it. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s not even close.

So don’t listen to the wacky advice; take sensible precautions instead. Then go out and enjoy yourself. Enjoy your female privilege which is your relative immunity to violence. (I don’t begrudge you that. I object to feminist denial of it, but I woudn’t want women to face more violence, just to make it eeequal.) Then, if your taste runs to men, go out and find some nice ones, and have yourself a good time with them.

Do all of this in the certain knowledge that at some point in your life, and probably more than once, something really, really crappy is going to happen. It probably won’t be rape, but it will be something. Be prepared for that, but don’t worry about it, because whether it’s rape or something else, you will be able to deal with it when it happens.

Are Men Oppressed? Part 1 – Double Standards

Posted in Feminist Criticism, Feminist Issues, Gender Issues at 4:56 am by HughRistik

I’ve always been confused the notion of “oppression” ever since I started hearing the term. When I was growing up and getting bullied, I was hearing how girls have all the problems. It seemed that just about anything bad that happened to women could be considered “oppression,” no matter how minor. Men were never said to be “oppressed” no matter what bad things happened to them.
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