Friday, 30 October 2015

My summary of the Thunderf00t vs Laughing Witch controversy

So as many a YouTube denizen will know, there’s been yet another insane dust-up in the internet atheist community.

The central characters are YouTube science vlogger and atheist/skeptic juggernaut, Dr. Phil Mason, AKA Thunderf00t, and four relative pipsqueaks of hyper feminist bent going by the names Jenny McDermot, Laughing Witch, Hannibal the Victor 13 and Bewildered Ape.

As well as making videos on the wonders of science and his love of research, Dr. Mason has a longstanding habit of debunking bullshit, from creationism to Solar Freaking Roadways. His videos have attracted a massive following of ardent fans, with his channel boasting over 400k subscribers, and some 95 million video views. During the Atheism+ fiasco that split the community a few years back, he began taking a closer look at certain brands of feminism, and, well, he spotted bullshit.

Feminist icon and professional victim Anita Sarkeesian has become a perennial favorite target of his to take the piss out of. Her videos and public behavior are loaded with bullshit, and there’s significant overlap between fans of his skeptic videos and the saner elements of the gaming community, who’ve been undergoing a similar social justice onslaught to the one the atheist community is still struggling with, an onslaught spearheaded by Sarkeesian. Mason’s videos on Sarkeesian and other popular internet feminists are some of the most viewed on his channel.

Enter our four intrepid feminist dunces. They were not at all pleased at Mason’s targeting of Sarkeesian, arguing that his videos were largely responsible for the “waves” and “barrages” of harassment and hate the poor dear receives. After all, the mere act of criticizing Sarkeesian or her ideas acts as a literal call to action for one’s loyal evil minions to embark on campaigns of sustained abuse. Of course, the takeaway message from this would necessarily be that no criticism of her ideas should be allowed at all.

At first, their antics involved mild pokes at him in the form of videos spreading lies and misrepresentations of his positions. Next, Bewildered Ape, the only member of this “not exactly fantastic four” to have never shown his face, took it into his head to write Mason’s employer in hope of getting him fired. 

The accusation? Holocaust apologism and nazi sympathizing. For Mason, who lives and works in the Czech Republic, this was a bit of a problem, as like many European countries, the Czech Republic considers this type of speech to be a criminal offence. 

Of course, nothing came of it. Dr. Mason was not fired, as his employers apparently have IQs at least equivalent to that of Forrest Gump, possibly higher. Indeed, Mason made a video roundly scolding the Ape for such underhanded tactics, and indicating on no uncertain terms that further attempts would in no way jeopardize his employment nor his good standing in his field. You know, because they’re not retards. He also reminded Bewildered Ape that fraudulently making such allegations is a crime, and that taking internet disagreements and differences of opinion into meatspace sets a dangerous precedent that could potentially backfire.

Bewildered Ape shot back that his actions were “performance art”. I’m not joking. And the not so fantastic four retreated back to bitching and moaning on their mostly empty channels to people at least as crazy and intellectually challenged as they are. Hannibal the Victor uploaded a particularly lovely rant wherein he threatened Dr. Mason with physical harm and swore that it was now his life’s mission to utterly destroy him.

And then just this month, these feminist crusaders blatantly and publicly organized a letter writing campaign similar to the Ape’s erstwhile self-described performance art. 

This time, the letters were sent not only to Mason’s employer, but to the local police and various news outlets.

One has to wonder what kind of moral certitude is required for four gnats such as these to pit themselves against a goliath when they were well aware he had 400 times as many minions as they did, and when they seemed to genuinely believe Mason’s minions are capable of sinking to any level of depravity and atrocity.

If there was an award for self-destructive, deluded ideologue of the year, Laughing Witch put herself in the running. Over the course of several videos on her since-deleted channel, she was observed to have boasted that as a “boss” within a small business her husband owns, she’s untouchable. She can’t be fired. She was observed to have boasted, providing video evidence, that her email to Mason’s employer, the police and the media, was written under her real name. 

In other words, believing herself immune to the type of attack she was about to launch against a superior power, she doxxed herself. 

And in a follow up video, believing he’d been fired from his job, she gloated and celebrated it as a victory.

Mason’s response, on October 20th, was more circumspect than it might have been. In a video response to the campaign, he informed her that he had not been fired, and showed clips of her own videos that demonstrated her megalomaniacal levels of hubris, including the one in which she generously gave the internet all the information it needed to attack her—her real name. He also questioned the ethics of a woman who gives glowing online reviews to a company she co-owns and helps operate and negative reviews of other companies. And he warned her that her delusions of immunity were just that: delusional.

Oh the morbid deliciousness of it all. He deliberately and unerringly gave the internet everything it needed to detest her even more than it already did, and everything it required to exact revenge. And in a masterful demonstration of cynically preserving the moral high ground, he demanded a grovelling apology from her—not to him, but to the internet in general, which is populated by people who work in coffee shops and PR firms and insurance companies and software firms, and whose jobs are not as resilient to such attacks as his own.

Mean? Certainly. Intentional? Oh yes. But I have a hard time pitying Laughing Witch. 

Within hours of Mason’s video going up, Laughing Witch’s business’s Yelp page began to be flooded with bogus one-star reviews. Most were obviously fake, my personal favorite being, “I hired these guys to renovate my bathroom, and all they did was paint swastikas everywhere.” I’m not sure if Laughing Witch realizes what a courtesy that is—reviews that are obviously fake are easy to spot and remove, making the damage to a company temporary rather than permanent. They’re also easier for potential customers to spot and dismiss as pranks. 

Laughing Witch then deleted her channel, hoping to minimize the damage.

On the 24th of this month, Laughing Witch’s husband quietly uploaded a video to their business’s channel, narrated by him, and describing the situation in the most Sarkeesianesque terms. I shall paraphrase it thusly:

"My wife 'stumbled across' Thunderf00t, and [something something vague something that's not her fault because she dindu nothin other than just be a feminist online] and now there are dozens of misogynistic trolls posting 1-star reviews of our company on Yelp just because my wife 'stumbled across' this hateful evil guy and he decided to attack her for no good reason. Also, I was disabled in a work accident years ago, and the recession, and here's a picture of my dog with a sad face... My wife didn't do anything to provoke this, other than find herself in the evil Thunderf00t's line of sight. Please send us innocent victims your money, or these 14 employees will go hungry, because my wife came across Satan and Dick Cheney’s love child online and even though she was nothing but friendly to him he decided to destroy her life.”

They linked this video to an indiegogo fundraiser asking for 25,000 dollars to help them weather the damage that was incurred by this completely unprovoked and unjustified attack that was a result of Laughing Witch falling afoul of Thunderf00t for no reason whatsoever and by no action of her own. They have so far raised a little over $2000.

The next day, Laughing Witch created a new channel for the sole purpose of uploading the apology TF had demanded. She said she was sorry, and I believe she was. But not because she believed what she had done was wrong, or because she felt bad for the harm she might have caused TF (3 to 5 years in prison, if someone in power took her allegations seriously), but because the blowback from her actions had hurt her husband’s business and other people she cared about. There’s a huge difference between, “I wish I hadn’t done that because it could have hurt someone” and “I wish I hadn’t done that because it backfired and hurt me.”

Of course, the sincerity of this apology is undermined by the fundraiser video, in which Mason is described as “evil” and Laughing Witch as an innocent victim who just happened to stumble into his view. As one commenter on the debacle said, “it’s hard to trust the honesty of someone who’s waving a white flag when they’re still shooting at you…”

Since then, notoriously neutral and fair YouTube skeptic Agent of Doubt has revealed that a court judgment was levied a few months ago against LW’s company by a bank to the tune of about $25,000—what a coincidence! An update was quickly posted on the fundraiser’s page indicating that the company was already in trouble, and had filed for bankruptcy protection before any of this debacle started. Another update indicates that Laughing Witch and her husband have contacted their state senators and the FBI in hope of criminally prosecuting…….someone. 

Of course, Laughing Witch is not the only massive casualty in this debacle. The denizens of chan-life reportedly released Hannibal the Victor’s real name along with that of Jenny McDermot, and certain individuals intent on proving once and for all that no, Hannibal was not actually studying anthropology at an accredited institution of higher education, stumbled upon the uncomfortable news that he’s a sex offender fresh off the the registry, convicted by way of a police sting operation of attempting to procure a sex act from a minor. When his dox dropped in chanland, he deleted his channel and hasn’t been directly heard from since. 

Meanwhile, during the heat of the confrontation, Jenny Mcdermot, so outraged at the completely unprovoked attack on Laughing Witch who had done absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever, uploaded a video wherein she publicly engaged in criminal extortion, demanding that Mason somehow, someway, call off every single one of his 400k subscribers he doesn’t know from Adam, and anyone else who might be involved in the “cyber attack”, or else she’ll send letters portraying him as a nazi to pretty much every media outlet that has ever given Anita Sarkeesian any screentime. As an added twist, she then set conditions even more outside of his control—if her video got more than X upvotes or Y downvotes, she’d send the letters regardless of what he did or didn’t do. 

Oh the drama. Oh the stupidity. Oh the human carnage. 

It’s looking like the only member of the less than fantastic four who might emerge from this dust-up unscathed is Bewildered Ape, that master of performance art, who has never shown his face to the public.

Friday, 5 June 2015

A round-up of interviews and appearances

Unfortunately, I'm seriously lazy when it comes to self-promotion, and I don't tend to announce when I've done an interview with, say, The Young Turks, or on a given radio show. I thought it would be useful to make a post linking the many interviews and appearances I've done over the last year or two that are posted in places other than my channel.

I might not get them all, but hopefully I can remember most of them.

Spring of 2014, Edmonton AB:

Libertarian Party of Wisconsin annual convention (sorry about the sound quality):

My appearances at the Free State Project's Liberty Forum (New Hampshire):

My interview on Free Talk Live Radio at the New Hampshire Liberty forum (segment begins at 43 minutes):

Discussion of men, women, feminism and marriage on Unlock the Door Radio:

Interview with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks:

Interview with David Pakman:

KSUM (ZenMen) Men in Peril conference:

CAFE events:

Interview with Tommy Sotomayor:

Accent Overlords podcast:

Veemonro (Vee) podcast:

Talks with Stardusk (Thinking Ape TV):

Anyway, that's all I can think of for now. Just wanted to post a round-up of different stuff I've done that people might not be aware of.

Hugs, all. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015


Last Sunday, CityTV news reporter Shauna Hunt was pranked by several not so gentlemanly gentlemen who shouted “Fuck her right in the pussy!!!” into her mic as she was attempting to tape a segment. 
FHRITP is a bit of a fad lately, the modern day equivalent of “rabbit ears” or streaking across a football field. The entire thing began with this unfortunate gaffe during a live news broadcast in the US:
Anyway, this phenomenon has been a bit of a plague for on site reporters both male and female for the last year. However, according to typical media spin, it's being portrayed as sexual harassment against women, and a degrading of all things female, instead of as the goofy, sophomoric (and yes, inconvenient) potty-humor it is. 
What makes it funny is the fact that it's offensive. And if the above reporter had been talking about his morning bowel movement on a live broadcast, young men would be running up to reporters' mics and shouting "I pooped so much corn!!!" 
This isn't about sexism. It's about the thrill of shouting something completely inappropriate in a situation where it will be guaranteed to annoy.
It's silly, it's childish, it's unadulterated fun. It's every fantasy I've ever had, while sitting in a Ukrainian Catholic church listening to a eulogy that was more about berating the living for not attending church enough than it was about honoring the deceased, of standing up and yelling, "I have a butthole, and my butthole and I are outta here! WHO'S WITH ME?" (And yes, I have had such fantasies. Don't be judgy.)
Of course the tragedy of this entire debacle is that a somewhat innocent man was punished for the collective crimes of thousands of "FHRITP"ers. This man, Shawn Simoes, didn't even shout the verboten phrase, only explained to Ms. Hunt that he found it hilarious and that he respected it as a new instalment in a long series of pranks people pull when they're in the mood to channel Tourette Syndrome. And he got fired. From a very lucrative job. For defending a prank.
And yes, FHRITP is immature. That's the whole point of it. 
What it isn't is sexual harassment or degrading to women. If anything, it's mocking the hapless reporter who started it all by being completely, boneheadedly inept.
The Honey Badgers are not amused by the fact that this man has been fired. 
And we are, yet again, asking for your help. We'd like you to send us video clips of you saying, "I fucked her right in the pussy!" (totally deadpan, silly, shouting, melodramatically "I am Spartacus-esque", or all three) to us, so we can put together an "I am Spartacus"-esque montage to show solidarity for this man who somehow managed to become the whipping boy of the professionally outraged not even for shouting "FHRITP!" into a reporter's mic, but merely for saying he thinks it's funny. 
I'll update this post with suggestions for different variations on the line, such as, "A gentleman never kisses and tells. But yeah, totally fucked her right in the pussy."
And if any of you can enlist Milo Yiannopalous in this endeavor, I would be honored beyond belief if he saw his way to contributing a clip: "Fuck her right in the where? .....ewww...."
Upload clips to google drive and send the links to
Please help raise awareness for this injustice. Whether shouting "FHRITP!" is legal or not, this man did nothing illegal. And what he did do was arguably 100X more benign than Sharon Osbourne describing the actual castration of an actual human being as "quite fabulous" (and last I checked, she still has a job).
This is not a stand against censorship--it's about this man who has been collectively punished for crimes not his own, because he dared to say he found "FHRITP" amusing. 

Well, I find it amusing. I am Spartacus. Are you?

Monday, 11 May 2015

Hate male.

And no, that isn't a typo in the title. Men are some of my most ardent and vocal opponents, and are often the ones most likely to go out of their way to say mean things to me, rather than just about me.

Female feminists will typically write articles and blog posts, or make videos, trashing me behind my back (*coughSaelPalanicough*), but it's more typically men who will send me emails or PMs, or make videos and then send them to me. Why, it's almost like male and female feminists fall well within traditional gender norms when it comes to aggressive behavior!

Anyway, I don't get many threats (I think most of my opponents know by now that I'm pretty impervious to them), but I do occasionally open my inbox to find something like this (received today), with the subject line "Your anti-feminist views":

...really suck and serve to demonstrate your complete ignorance about women's rights or lack of, throughout history, up to and including now!
 Your ugliness and inability to look feminine is likely your reason for hating women!  You certainly look male, so go ahead and epouse your sick, ignorant views.

"D" is for Don, by the way (as per the name provided in the email meta-data or whatever it's called). So either this is a man, or someone pretending to be a man.

Anyway, I'm not going to pick apart his many erudite, relevant and cogent arguments that don't reek of sexism at all. I just thought it would be good for a laugh to post an example of some of the stuff I find in my inbox every once in a while.

Cheers, all.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

No More Angry Mothers?

First, some caveats. I'm a bit of a fence-sitter when it comes to abortion rights. That is, I would never exercise my right to abortion (other than, perhaps, in the case of life-threatening complication or catastrophic birth defect such as anencephaly). At the same time, I'm not about to impose my views on abortion onto other women, or wider society, in the form of a legislated ban.

So here I am on Mother's Day, reading the following, by feminist theologian Kristine Holmgren...

...and I'm also of two minds regarding its message.

In a perfect world, no woman would be faced with the difficulties involved in the necessary decisions following an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy. In a perfect world, the only children conceived would be wanted, and the only children born would also be wanted.

By both parents.

I recall the day I told my ex we were unexpectedly pregnant. I was 30. He was pushing 50. Neither of us could have conceived (ahem) of such a thing happening. We took precautions. Every. single. time.

He turned to stare blankly at his computer monitor for a moment, and then unleashed a diatribe of frustration that began with the words, "Great! JUST FUCKING GREAT!" I'm sure you all can imagine the monologue that followed, given our ages, the ages of our two kids (both in school full time), and the fact that we were supporting the entire household on less than $30k/year.

Don't get me wrong. He didn't blame me or accuse me. But he wasn't going to conceal his outpouring of anger, frustration, grief, despair, worry, terror. And I didn't hold it against him. I felt the exact same things he was feeling. In particular, "how the hell are we going to afford another kid?" I'm sure he could see all those same fears in my face when I broke the news.

After shouting his piece, he stormed out of the house. I let him go so he could be alone with himself and collect his thoughts.

When he came back a couple hours later, he had flowers. To the best of my memory, this was the only time he'd ever bought me flowers (without my daughter talking him into it) in our entire 15 years of marriage. I'm not a "bouquet of flowers style of sentimentality" kind of woman, and never have been. But I think maybe the situation had so untethered him from any sense of normalcy that such a mundane and cliche gesture was comforting.

He apologized for shouting. He apologized for not being supportive, for not being steady. Told me we'd figure it out and make it work somehow. He knew me well enough to understand that abortion would not have been an option, even if I hadn't been weeks past the deadline before discovering I was pregnant, and I knew him well enough to understand that abortion wouldn't be what he wanted, either. We both knew from the moment the words "I'm pregnant" left my mouth, what we were going to do about it.

I hugged him and told him it was okay, that I didn't expect him to be a stone, and (good Canadian that I am) apologized to him for whatever vagaries of the universe caused the contraceptive sponge to fail at exactly the wrong moment on exactly the wrong day.

And make it work, we did, even though it was difficult.

My youngest, we'll call him Bubba (because that was one of the many nicknames we gave him growing up) knows he wasn't planned. What he's never heard or been allowed to believe for even one second was that he was an accident, or unwanted, or "my final mistake" (the heartbreaking "endearment" Holmgren's mother applied to her as she was growing up).

I recall an episode of Roseanne from ages ago, where the couple's youngest (DJ) tells his mom that his sisters said he was an accident, and he asks her if this is true. Roseanne pauses for a moment, and then replies, "You were a surprise." When asked what the difference is, she elaborates, "An accident is something unexpected that happens to you that you didn't want. A surprise is something you never realized you wanted until it happens to you."

Would that all mothers could see their children this way. As I've said in the past, given the availability of birth control and abortion, there's no such thing as accidental motherhood. Each child born is a decision made by the woman who brings it into the world. And the ability to bring forth a life created by the union of two microscopic cells is a power that should be respected--it is both a burden and a privilege.

So too is the power to shape that life once we have chosen to bring it forth.

And here lies the rub, and what the author of the HuffPo article seems unwilling to face. That even if we had no power to decide whether or not to bring a child forth, we DO have the power to treat that child with love, kindness, respect and dignity, or with resentment, anger and a cold, selfish withholding. We have the power to give that child the best life we can manage, or to give them the worst of ourselves. We have the power to treat that child like an accident, or like a surprise.

Women have this power, with or without the Pill, with or without accessible abortion. Because it's not a power we hold over circumstances or our practical ability to make whatever decision we deem best for us--it's a power we have over ourselves. We have the power to take our anger at our own mistakes, whatever they were, or our resentment at the vagaries of the universe, out on the little human persons who were created, through no fault of their own, as a result. And we have the power to transcend that selfishness and resentment and celebrate the wonder and joy that can, if we let it, be an emergent property of such surprises.

What Kristine Holmgren doesn't understand is that being angry at an innocent child because it unwittingly became a consequence of your own actions is a choice. She doesn't want to say her mother was a bad person for that cruel and dehumanizing nickname "my final mistake". She wants to say her mother's anger was justified by circumstance, if nothing else, and it may well have been.

But her mother's use of her as an outlet for that anger, as the whipping boy strapped to a post in order to spare herself, or as a more accessible and tangible target than "the vagaries of the universe", is not in any way noble or righteous or acceptable. It's not okay. It's the hallmark of a profoundly selfish and cruel human being. It's a transfer of blame: "MY decisions led to you, and that ruined my life. Therefore, despite your innocence, this is all YOUR fault."

And somehow, somehow, Holmgren believes that cheap birth control and accessible abortion will change this? How, when the problem lies not in these women's options or lack of them, but in the women themselves?

I'd like to thank Holmgren for writing an article that made me actually think about motherhood on Mother's Day. An article that describes mothers as they actually are--good, bad, loving, cold, kind, angry.

But I wonder at her naiveté that she could absolve her own mother, and so many other mothers, of the sin of punishing an innocent for the sins of others, or the remorseless caprices of nature.

Mother's Day should not be a day to pedestalize the biological ability to bring a baby into the world, nor a day to gloss over the many ways in which even the most dedicated of us fail our children, in favor of mindless worship of, and devotion to the sacred womb. It should be a day for us to see and acknowledge both the burden and the gift of the power nature has given us, rather than to demand gifts as compensation for a burden most of us these days had every right and ability to decline.

Happy Mother's Day, all.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Some thoughts about my appearance on The Agenda

So last Monday, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on privilege and political correctness. Next day, I found myself in CBC studios in downtown Edmonton, mic on lapel, earpiece in, doing my best to stare for a solid hour into the merciless and unblinking eye of a TV camera. 

For anyone who's never done a live remote TV interview, it's a disconcerting experience. All you have to anchor you is what you can hear coming in the one ear, and the black abyss of the camera lens. You can't see who you're talking to. You have no nonverbal cues to go on. A lot of the time, if there are several people involved, it's hard to keep track of who is speaking at all.

Anyway, the focus of the topic was on white privilege, rather than gender privilege. I wouldn't qualify myself as an expert on issues of privilege and race, other than to acknowledge that the intellectual concept of privilege is a much more appropriate and effective model when applied to issues of race, class and sexual/gender orientation than it is in describing the relationship between men and women, and that race can amplify the more complicated effects of some of the gender stereotypes of men and women.

This was a point I managed to at least convey to the other panelists, even if it mostly just bounced off the forcefield generated by their feminism-infested university educations.

At one point, Desmond Cole, a black freelance journalist who's been outspoken about racism, even admitted (once I brought up the fact), that there are problems, like "driving while black", that black women will likely never experience, yet he still felt that he, as a man, had more privilege than a similarly situated woman.

Being the only panelist not in studio, and considering the focus of the topic (race), I wasn't about to go off on any diatribes about the male privilege fallacy except where opportunities clearly presented themselves. And given that three of the panelists have the full-on SJW mindset, while the fourth was a moderate sympathetic to the other three (though with concerns about the unpleasant places the "privilege discussion" might inevitably lead), well, I wasn't necessarily interested in being dogpiled by people I couldn't even see.

I spent a lot of time biting my tongue.

At some point in the discussion, one of the women on the panel asked the men if they felt they'd ever been targeted by some negative prejudgment because they were a man. To my disappointment, the answer across the board was "no". For Desmond, it was all about him being a black man. Jonathan Kay (a white secular Jew) even went so far as to say that a well-dressed white man practically has to punch someone in the nose (I have to assume that by "someone" he meant "another man") before there's going to be any real problem.

These two men simply did not feel that any of the disadvantages and problems they might face, or the negative prejudgments of other people, could possibly derive from their maleness.

I wasn't particularly surprised by this, and because the conversation was primarily about white privilege I allowed them to maintain the illusion that because they aren't aware (let alone hyperaware) of something, it doesn't really exist, though this blog post will largely focus on that. Likewise, I would like to point out that just because you perceive something is rampant and pervasive doesn't mean it does exist.

As an example of the latter, I will copy and paste here a portion of one of my comments under the Youtube video of the episode, where I refer to the very white-looking First Nations woman's lived experience of "the scowl" she typically receives when people recognize her as First Nations:

Maybe, as she mentioned, in the summer this would be more common?
Then again, she may have a hyperawareness that leads her to perceive things that aren't actually there? 
I remember one time I was standing at the dairy counter at the store, trying to do math in my head regarding the price per gram of cheddar cheese so I could get the best deal. This can be annoying when Kraft sells in 904 grams, 700 grams and 450 grams while Black Diamond sells in 750 grams and 400 grams. Dude, it's a lot of math to do in your head when you're pinching pennies.
So I glance up with this enormous scowl on my face and notice a man kind of checking out my butt. He looked up and noticed me scowling into the middle distance but unfortunately in his direction, spun on his heel and hightailed it out of there. It took me a moment to realize he thought I was scowling because he was looking at my butt, and when I did, I kind of wanted to chase after him and tell him, "No! It's okay! I have a butt. I like that men think it's nice to look at! You weren't being rude or gross, you were just discreetly checking out my butt in these jeans I bought primarily because they make my butt look good, and that's okay! I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the cheese!" Alas, it was too late.
Anyway, Jonathan Kay mentioned that as a white person, his first thought when he gets a scowl is "what did I say or do?" For some people who are visible minorities or women, that's the last stop on the train of thought--the first assumption is "I'm being judged based on my identity." The reality is, both questions are good to ask, because sometimes a scowl is about prejudice, sometimes it's based on something you did or said, and sometimes it's just about freaking cheese.

It's entirely possible that having grown up in an urban neighborhood with many First Nations people (and yes, I know how very hostile and judgmental people (not just whites) can be with aboriginal people in Canada, particularly in cities), and being considered one of them during her childhood, if not by looks then by association, she developed a hyperawareness of racist attitudes that caused racism to be the go-to assumption whenever anyone looks at her funny, even now that she's a well-dressed lawyer who could pass for white. To her, particularly because her legal advocacy is so focused on aboriginal issues, it's always about racism, and never about the freaking cheese. It may even be the case that because the racism is, in her mind, inevitable, she's giving off all kinds of prickly nonverbal cues that are actually causing some of the scowls that she's attributing to racism.

On the other hand, there is clear evidence (of the empirical, statistical sort) that men and boys face many challenges and negative prejudgments that women and girls will be much less likely (if at all) to face. Just because most men don't feel this is the case does not make it stop existing.

While men are disproportionately represented in positions of authority (usually through self-selection--you can't vote for a woman who doesn't run, after all), they are also disproportionately represented in positions of marginalization: victims of child abuse (particularly the most extreme forms), youth excluded from school, the unsheltered homeless, those injured or killed on the job, victims of murder and aggravated assault, victims of state violence (such as police shootings), and victims of gender bias in the criminal justice and family court systems.

When men and boys suffer harms or injustices, we take it less seriously than when women and girls suffer them. When men or boys commit harms or injustices, we take it more seriously than when women and girls commit them. This is true across cultures. And the entire model of "male privilege" cooked up in feminist academia only tells us we are entirely justified in feeling that way, because the male privilege model presupposes that men don't and can't suffer genuine harms or injustices because they are men, while all harms and injustices women suffer, even if men suffer them in equal or greater proportions, are suffered by women because they are women.

As a case in point, we could look at the current attention being given to online harassment of women.

The popular narrative is that women are targeted for abuse, harassment and threats online because they are women (or sometimes, because they are women with opinions). However, research indicates that men in the public eye receive as much, if not more, abuse, harassment and threats. There were some differences. Women were more likely to receive rape threats, while men were more likely to receive threats of murder against themselves or their families. And there's certainly a conversation to be had there as to why people attempting to upset a man would threaten to kill his family, while people attempting to upset a woman would threaten to rape her, but still. This is a problem suffered at least as much by men as by women, and yet the narrative in the mainstream is that this is a problem women suffer because they are women, and therefore a feminist issue. That the internet is a uniquely unsafe environment for women.

This can only cause many women to harbor unwarranted fears about speaking their mind online, while simultaneously erasing or minimizing the experiences of male victims of online abuse.

While Jonathan Kay may have asserted that a well-dressed white man needs to punch [some other guy] in the nose before getting into trouble, a whole host of social experiments easily searchable on Youtube involving altercations between men and women demonstrate that he's very much mistaken. Time and again, bystanders will step in, sometimes violently, to protect a woman whose boyfriend is menacing her. On the other hand, a woman can physically assault her boyfriend for hours and hundreds of people, including an off-duty cop, will walk right on by.

And even in areas of extreme societal apathy caused by racism, such as the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women issue that is finally getting some attention, well, I have to wonder if Mr. Kay, or even First Nations lawyer Katherine Hensel, are aware of (or if they are, care a great deal about) the larger numbers of missing and murdered aboriginal men.

It's clear to me that men are the targets of social apathy, at best, and of blanket presumptions of malevolence at worst.

I would hope that if Desmond Cole ever reads this blog post, he might consider the following, which is a paraphrased amalgam of dozens of comments and blog posts by men of many different ethnicities that I have read over the last several years.

When I walk down the street, I find myself imagining that female strangers view me with suspicion and fear. This phenomenon is what American writer and activist John Doe described as "gender consciousness": how men experience reality through their own eyes, and through the eyes of a society where women fear strange men. 

Now let's add the part that so many men add to these types of discussions:

This is why I consider the possible fear that a woman walking ahead of me on the sidewalk might be feeling, and out of courtesy to her, I cross the street until I'm well past her. Sometimes I will turn an earlier corner and take a different route home so that she won't be afraid I'm following her or mean to attack her. I know that, as a woman, she may be feeling very vulnerable even just walking at night. I believe these little things are the least a man can do to put a woman at ease.

And now, let's rewrite this paragraph:

This is why I consider the possible fear that a white person walking ahead of me on the sidewalk might be feeling, and out of courtesy to him, I cross the street until I'm well past him. Sometimes I will turn an earlier corner and take a different route home so that he won't be afraid I'm following him or mean to rob him. I know that, as a white person, he may be feeling very vulnerable even just walking at night in a mixed race neighborhood. I believe these little things are the least a black person can do to put a white person at ease.
And all of a sudden, the squick factor is right there, for everyone to see.

The men who write these types of comments and blog posts don't feel targeted by negative stereotypes of men, even as they are hyperaware of them and even as they self-police their own behavior to compensate. Black men would be rightly disgusted by the expectation that they should have to go out of their way to cross a street or take a different route home to accommodate the racist prejudices of white people. Yet millions of men of diverse ethnicities not only think it's okay to cross the street to accommodate the sexist prejudices of women (and many men), they actually believe it's the least they can do. Hey, it's what any decent man (black, white, whatever) would do.

If men do not feel targeted as men by the exact same negative stereotypes Desmond complains about when they apply to blacks, perhaps it's because so much of the targeting is self-inflicted? Or because there is no social consensus that these prejudices are morally wrong, let alone a glimmer of consensus that expecting men to bend over backwards to accommodate the sexist prejudices of society (particularly women) just might be, oh, I don't know... unjust?

Mr. Cole, if you're reading, I think it bears mentioning, since race is a huge factor in how a person gets treated every step of the way in the criminal system, and I assume you would consider this unjust and racist: the gender gap in the criminal system is actually larger than the gap between blacks and whites. When committing identical offences under identical circumstances, men are:

  • more likely to be stopped
  • when stopped, more likely to be arrested
  • when arrested, more likely to be charged with a crime
  • when charged, charged with a more serious crime on average
  • when charged, more likely to be prosecuted
  • when prosecuted, more likely to be convicted
  • when convicted, more likely to be sentenced to custody
  • when sentenced to custody, will serve a 60% longer sentence on average
These differences actually skew wider as the severity of the crime goes up. That is, the gender gap in conviction and sentencing for capital murder is wider than that for shoplifting. In fact, the gender gap in the criminal system is so profound that black women are, on average, treated more gently than are white men.

Yet you, despite acknowledging that the ubiquitous phenomenon of "driving while black" is actually "driving while black and male", you do not feel targeted as a male by negative prejudices and assumptions. You and Jonathan could not conceive of a situation in which negative stereotypes of men might put you at a disadvantage compared to women. 

Any reasonable person would consider the above bullet-point list, if it were comparing blacks to whites, to be an indication of pervasive negative attitudes about blacks, yet you seem blissfully content with being targeted as a man because you don't feel you are--you've conceptualized any and all prejudice you suffer as pertaining to race alone when in reality it's a combination of your race and your sex. In fact, against all empirical evidence, you feel uniformly privileged by your maleness, because you've been told you are, over and over and over, even as the statistical evidence shows many of your complaints about how you are treated as a black person are problems common to men of all races (even whites!) and then exacerbated and amplified by the fact that you're black.

And more than simply ignoring those prejudices about men and the disadvantages disproportionately suffered by men, you have a moral duty, as a man, to acknowledge all this privilege you have, and go out of your way to be sensitive to women's feelings of marginalization, despite women in the western world doing better than men on nearly every single metric you would use to impute privilege on whites and disadvantage on blacks. And you don't even feel targeted by any of that.

Or this.  Stop blackspreading. It's a space issue.

Or this.  Blacks need to be reminded not to rape.

Or this.  Name the problem: black violence.

Or this.  Stop hogging the sidewalk, black people.

Or this.  Can blacks be taught not to rape?

Or this.  The entire black cultural identity needs to change so you all will stop shooting people.

Or this.  Look, black people, we know you've got your own serious problems, but they can best be solved by working for our benefit rather than your own. 

Or this.  Whites, do your part for society: Kill a black person. Then put on a play about how awesome it is to hate blacks for middle school students. 

Or this.  Blacks are unnecessary wastes of skin, but we'll probably keep them around because we're cool like that.

If ANY of this shit I linked to was said or done about black people (or any other minority), you would be fuming, Desmond. But because men dominate in the top 10% of society, and you are blissfully unaware that they also dominate the bottom 30% (in most, if not all, cultures), you've bought into the whole "male privilege" schtick that allows people to justify talking about you and every other man on the planet in this way.

White privilege and male privilege are NOT the same. They just aren't. They emerged through entirely different biological and cultural evolutionary mechanisms, and there is simply no way they can be treated as remotely identical. Yet there are feminists out there who have asserted that the experience of a field slave in Alabama in the 1700s was no different to the experience of the plantation owner's wife, whose pointed finger could get that slave whipped, or worse. There were feminists in the freaking mid-1800s who are now portrayed as the valiant heroines of women's suffrage in grade school textbooks, who claimed that if black men got the vote before women did, lord only knows what white women would suffer at the hands of those predacious and dangerous black men, and that black women would suffer a worse oppression under their own men than any slave suffered under slavery. 

Tell me how that last part was all about blackness, and in no way about maleness.

The higher up in society you go today, the whiter things look, and the lower down you go, the more black they look. Men, on the other hand, dominate both the tippy top and the wider bottom, while at the same time, in nearly every western country, women have better access than men to health care, housing, social spending and benefits, education, charity, their own children, government programs to mitigate poverty and social safety nets, and live longer, healthier, happier, safer and more balanced lives, than men.

While you, and not your black mother, and certainly not some white dude's mom, are getting stopped and frisked for no other reason than that you are black and male, the bias against men (particularly minority men) in the justice system leads to wildly skewed prison populations that lead people to believe those stop and frisk policies should disproportionately target men, particularly minority men.

And statistically, more than half of the bias you'll experience as a black man if you're ever arrested, which will cause you to be more likely to end up incarcerated and for a longer period, exists because you're male, Desmond.

And then the powers that be will turn around and use the result of these prejudices (the ~95% male prison population) and the portrait of masculinity it paints, to justify the profiling that, while experienced more often by minority men, applies to all men.

And the real kicker is, if you ever did start to feel targeted by this sexism the way you do by racism, and you wanted to do something about it, Canadian Human Rights bodies won't do one damn thing about it, and hate speech laws don't apply.

Because it's not actually against the law in Canada to discriminate against men. Because you men are already protected by all that sweet, sweet "male privilege".

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Response to a semi-reasonable feminist

Today, a (more reasonable than typical) feminist in a comment thread on YouTube asked me what I think of this article. My response is simply too long to relegate to a comment thread, so I'm putting it here.

So without further ado, let's get stuck into it:

1) "Women's integration in the workforce after World War II translated into massive macroeconomic gains. Given that ladies make up approximately half of the workforce, their integration had huge positive ripple effects in all industries. And we shouldn't stop there: Incorporating even more women in the workforce can help keep our economy vibrant."

Post WWII, women's wages began to steadily rise relative to men's, while men's wages in adjusted dollars stagnated or fell relative to what they had previously been. Housing prices increased, inflation went through the roof, and worst of all, the tax burden on individuals and families has gone up year by year. Personal consumer debt has also steadily increased, and most of that increase has been debt owing on depreciable assets (furniture, cars and even groceries--not houses or business loans). 

I see that the study linked discusses these "gains" in terms of raw GDP, rather than adjusted GDP. The raw GDP does not take into account the economic health of individuals or families, but rather the overall productivity of economies. Progressives have made much of the increasing gap between the very rich and everyone else in the US and elsewhere, and the emergence of a new oligarchy (think The 1%). Yet none of them seem able to grasp what doubling the available labor pool might have done to drive up competition for jobs, drive wages downward, and simultaneously inflate people's reliance on consumer goods and services (such as day care and fast food) provided by the very corporations that are paying workers less in adjusted wages than ever. 

To these types of bean counters, the poisonous, rotten beans are worth as much as the healthy, nutritious ones. Considering that every car accident, every diagnosis of cancer, every divorce, every war and every prison built and staffed to house a growing number of criminals boosts the GDP, increasing numbers of economists are starting to realize that GDP in isolation cannot be used as an indicator of economic prosperity. Every woman on WIC boosts the GDP. Every new layer of bureaucracy constructed to separate working people from their money boosts the GDP. Heck, I'm sure the "GDP" of the average cotton plantation in the 1820s was pretty healthy, but that doesn't mean the majority of its "citizens" were in a good place, does it?

It's called the "broken window fallacy". Google it.

Women's increased participation in the workforce has brought economic "gains". But gains for whom? For families? Is the average, working class family better off now than in 1950? Do they have less debt? Do they enjoy more leisure time? 

So how, exactly, has this state of affairs economically affected individual men? Other than driving their wages down, while increasing their reliance on consumer goods and services, and their tax burden, that is? 

And no, I'm not arguing that women should not have every right to work. Nor am I advocating a return to the "good old days". But idiots using the raw GDP to paint a rosy picture about women and work that seems WAY too easily swallowed by the very same people who most object to the ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor... well, that beggars belief. And lets not forget about the legions of poor women, many of them women of color, many of them easily exploitable foreign workers, who often work for less than minimum wage looking after the houses and children of those luckier, educated women who have "benefitted" from feminism. 

More than this, polls have shown that about 2/3 of working women would rather work less than more, and a large number wouldn't work at all if they had a choice. But many don't have that choice. In fact, the ones least likely to have that choice are the ones furthest removed from the experience of the ivory tower academics who write these studies and influence public policy. The reason these women often feel that way is because they don't have careers. They have jobs. They went from making sandwiches at home for people they love to making sandwiches at Subway for chump change and never seeing their families because 99% of working class people now need two incomes just to get by.

Well done, feminism!

2) It's a well-known fact that women highly respect a guy who's willing to do his share around the house. Judging by the number of gawk-worthy "porn for women" slideshows, ladies are turned on when their partners reveal a little more of their domestic side. But what about men? What do they stand to gain? 

It's a well-known fact that women SAY they highly respect a guy who's willing to do his share around the house, and that they're turned on by men who do the dishes.

Unfortunately, research reveals otherwise. Research also reveals that economically egalitarian marriages, even in highly egalitarian societies, have a higher rate of divorce. About 2/3 of divorces across the board, from Sweden to Iran, are initiated by women. 

Whether feminist women are better in bed, well, it's entirely likely that they are. But a sample size of less than 600 isn't anything conclusive, and there's no indication in the Science Daily article regarding response rates or margins of error (or even effect size). 

They found that having a feminist partner was linked to healthier heterosexual relationships for women.  Men with feminist partners also reported both more stable relationships and greater sexual satisfaction. According to these results, feminism does not predict poor romantic relationships, in fact quite the opposite.
How much healthier and more stable? How much greater satisfaction? How much the opposite? 2%? 50%? 200%? What was the feminist status of each couple as a whole? Was it more likely that either both partners were feminist, or both not? Because that might have a lot to do with relationship stability, no? What other variables were controlled for? Unfortunately, if a person wants to find out any of that, they have to fork over some cash...

I have read some hideous reports in the mainstream media regarding the "findings" of feminist advocacy researchers. Here's a criticism of a recent one that was all over the news, reported by people who hadn't even read it as if it was the final word on the subject.

3) In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to treat women and men differently under the law. The case, Craig v. Boren, was filled by a plaintiff in Oklahoma over its gender-specific drinking age policy, which prohibited men from drinking before age 21, but allowed women to drink when as young as 18. This implied that men are inherently more reckless and women are more responsible. After the law was struck down, the drinking age became 21 for all. According to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the ruling determined much more than just Oklahoma's drinking age. It determined that the "familiar stereotype: the active boy, aggressive and assertive; the passive girl, docile and submissive" was "not fit to be written into law." So the next time you're drinking, raise a glass in honor of RBG.

Did the law lower the drinking age for men? Nope. It raised it for women, as having a different drinking age for men and women violated equal treatment under the constitution. So no, this decision did nothing to counter the idea that men are inherently reckless. It could be argued that the decision might have enshrined in law that women are equally as reckless as men, but only a decision to lower the male drinking age to 18 would have been an assertion that men are not reckless.

More than this, it's altogether possible that at that time, in the context of a culture like that in Oklahoma, young women WERE more socially responsible, on average, than young men, at least regarding certain harmful or dangerous behaviors, in part due to the enculturation of gender roles. 

It might also interest you to know that the average age of onset of puberty has historically been measured in terms of average age of menarche in girls, and the average age of a notable spike in injuries in boys. While testosterone does not promote aggression (a once-commonly accepted correlation that has been quite thoroughly been debunked), it does correlate with a decreased aversion to risk. Given that testosterone spikes during puberty, and young men enter a phase of their lives when they hurt themselves plenty without adding in booze, and that boys both enter and finish this phase later than girls on average... well, it seems to me that different drinking ages (and driving ages) might make a certain sense. 

Insurance companies are fully aware that young men present the highest liability when it comes to insuring drivers (which is why they pay more than any other class of people). Some of this will be due to culture, and some to biology. It seems clear to me that Oklahoma wasn't willing to bet the farm on the idea that 18 year old boys with driver's licenses were responsible enough to drink alcohol, so no, it didn't really change society's view of men one iota. 

While I would call the decision fair and egalitarian, I can't argue that it benefitted males. And if a legal precedent that changed absolutely nothing for males, and that in the provided link doesn't even hint that said case was pursued by a feminist man or a feminist attorney, is the best this article can come up with as far as helping men in the legal sense, well...

A better example of an actual self-identified feminist, who actually headed the National Organization for Women at one time, who has actively pursued the equal rights of men under the law, would be Karen Decrow. She actually won a case of paternal responsibility on behalf of a defendant who claimed the woman intentionally went off birth control and got pregnant against his express wishes. She won her case on the argument that women making unilateral reproductive decisions should not expect men to finance those unilateral decisions. The decision was overturned on appeal, and the dude got stuck with child support.

I will take a single Karen Decrow, even though she ultimately failed, over 1000 Craig v. Borens any day. 

4) Over the course of their lengthy legal careers, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband joined forces only once, to advocate for single men. The case, Moritz v. Commissioner, challenged the fact that not all men could request dependent care deductions. Although tax deductions were given to women, widowers and divorced men, single males slipped through the cracks. Ending this discriminatory policy was one of Ginsburg's many victories using the 14th Amendment to end the enshrinement of gender discrimination into law.

Amazing. A law that was enshrined by feminists to protect women was actually exploited by a feminist to help men. It's like finding a unicorn. 

Although the following might have something to do with Ginsburg's decision to take on the case:

The taxpayer, Charles E. Moritz, appeals from a decision of the Tax Court holding that he was not entitled to a deduction for expenses in 1968 for the care of his dependent invalid mother. [emphasis mine]

Helping Moritz directly benefitted his dependent invalid mother. Helping this man helped a woman, and a particularly vulnerable one who was entirely dependent on him, at that...

I have challenged feminists in the past to show me a single advocacy effort on the part of feminists to not only advocate for the rights or liberties of men, but to do so within a context where such advocacy doesn't just not benefit women, but actually disadvantages them relative to their current status.

That is, don't show me a feminist who lobbies against male circumcision, because a world of intact men doesn't change one thing for women (other than making their sex lives better and causing Astroglide's quarterly profits to plummet). Show me a sincere effort toward fairness and equity that actually hits women right where it hurts--in their privilege.

Karen Decrow, who does not appear in your Mic article, would be one such feminist, who at least tried to advocate a concept of justice for men that didn't amount to, "well, okay, but only if it also benefits women, or at least doesn't actually harm them." 

5) Last time I checked, men enjoy sex, and many of them enjoy having sex with women. The sexual revolution affected women as well as men: It gave women the ability to pursue sexual activities much more freely, which naturally altered sexual dynamics in this country.

Of course it altered the sexual dynamics in the country. It essentially ended the association of marriage (you know, long term monogamy) and access to sex. What most feminists don't seem to realize is that this has indeed been a boon (at least in the short term) for women, and for the most attractive 20% or so of men, but for the average man, sex (at least outside of marriage) didn't become that much easier to come by than it was 70 years ago. 

Being a slut is still easy, and being a stud is still about as difficult as it ever was. 

On online dating sites, women still receive many more initial messages than men do, and women have some seriously high standards as to what kind of men they consider datable and fuckable. Unrealistically high standards, considering they deem 80% of men as "below average".

On the other hand, feminist lobbyists, organizations and groups have turned attempting to get sex into a veritable minefield for men. Groups like Hollaback have redefined "good morning" and "have a nice evening" as "street harassment" (at least when such sentiments are made by minority unattractive men). Campus feminists and powerful women such as Russlyn Ali and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand have helped eliminate due process and reverse burden of proof in sexual misconduct cases on campuses so booze-soaked that it's likely huge numbers of both women and men who engage in sex have little to no memory of what happened, and when research shows that across the board, women are twice as likely as men to describe their experiences of casual sex as negative. At some universities now, sexual misconduct policies regarding consent lie in direct conflict with policies on harassment--that is, men must obtain verbal consent for sex in order to avoid a misconduct charge, but even asking for consent can qualify as sexual harassment, based entirely on the woman's level of internal reciprocity. 

And further:

And birth control is not just about sex: It's also about reproductive control. Most men enjoy determining the spacing of each child.
Dash certainly does. "I've been able to make smarter, more thoughtful decisions about how to time my career, my being a parent and my other obligations because of the flexibility and freedom afforded to me by having easy access to birth control," he said. "It let me hold off on becoming a dad until I had gotten closer to being a man worthy of being one."
Birth control is exactly that. It's not birth prevention, it's birth control. And it is largely in women's hands. In fact, the sole non-permanent means of birth control at men's disposal is one that's been around since the 1800s. And, incidentally, one which feminists of the day actively attempted to keep OUT of the hands of men.

Dash is living at the mercy of his partner. It is not he who gets to choose how to space his children--that is entirely up to his partner and her many, many invisible options regarding contraception. Options that he not only cannot see with his own eyes to determine she's using them properly, but which he has no legal right to confirm through other means (such as asking her doctor) that she is using at all. A man cannot prevent himself from being fertile. He can prevent himself from impregnating a woman ONLY if he insists on using a condom and spermicide every single time he has sex (and even then, it's no guarantee, as condoms are one of the least effective forms of birth control of all).

Since women gained access to contraception and abortion, and men began to be held financially accountable for illegitimate children, the rate of "accidental" pregnancy and out of wedlock birth has only increased. Hmmm....

So, women have over 20 different ways to control their own fertility. Men have abstinence, condoms and trust. 

And if you're going to chastise me for suggesting women can't be trusted with this, I'll direct you here. Because women can't be trusted with this.

6) Although the burdens of pregnancy and childbirth biologically fall on women, men bear the consequences of children too. Because the expansion of reproductive rights affects their personal lives, they are a central part of the conversation. Anil Dash believes that liberating women ultimately gives men more freedom.
Really? Dash can insist his wife get an abortion, if she wants the baby and he doesn't? Dash can insist his wife bring the pregnancy to term, if he wants the baby and she doesn't?

No? So how does abortion make Dash more liberated? How does abortion give Dash more choices?

How about this. Can Dash, if he doesn't want the child and his wife does... can he say, "well, I didn't want or agree to have this baby, so I shouldn't be held financially responsible for it"?

No? Then how does the right of a woman to choose or not choose motherhood increase a man's rights or choices regarding the burdens of parenthood. Whatever her decision is, he is forced to, in the words of Nathaniel from Last of the Mohicans, "live by another's leave." Living by another's leave is not freedom.

I'm pro choice. But I'm pro choice for everyone, and like Karen Decrow, I do not believe men should be held financially responsible for decisions only women have any right to make.

Choice for women only "liberates" the men who would have made the same choice as the woman. 

7) Did you know that until recently, the FBI's definition of rape was as old-fashioned as the horse and buggy? That is, until feminist activists decided to change that. Thanks to the "Rape Is Rape" campaign launched by the Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. magazine, more than 160,000 emails were sent to the FBI pressuring it to change its archaic definition of rape. The old definition, "carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will," hadn't been changed since 1921. It meant that many types of sexual assaults, including the rape of men, weren't counted as part of the bureau's annual Uniform Crime Report.

The vast majority of feminists seem to believe rape is almost entirely male perpetrated, and that male victims outside of prison are few and far between. 

The old definition of rape pertained only to forcible penetration of a vagina with a penis. It did not apply to penetration with objects, or oral or anal penetration of women. I can very much see why the old definition is inadequate. But this does not mean that feminists pushing for these changes intended them to include the largest cohort of male victims outside of prison--male victims of female perpetrators. After all, most feminists don't seem to think such victims are remotely common. Look at their poster campaigns.

Very inclusive to male victims... of male perpetrators. No mention of the approximately 20% of college aged men who report they've been forced or coerced into unwanted sexual intercourse by a woman.


No depiction of the 15-40% of women who have self-reported having engaged in sexual aggression to get sex from an unwilling man.


And don't even get me started on feminist Mary P Koss, who consulted on the definitions for the CDC's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, and who says this:

We acknowledge the inappropriateness of female verbal coercion and the legitimacy of male perceptions that they have had unwanted sex. Although men may sometimes sexually penetrate women when ambivalent about their own desires [emphasis mine], these acts fail to meet legal definitions of rape that are based on penetration of the body of the victim....
...We worked diligently to develop item wording that captured men’s sense of pressure to have sex and draw their responses into an appropriate category of coercion instead of to rape items. 

This feminist works for the CDC. She is responsible for helping to conceal millions of male victims of rape, and millions of female perpetrators, each year.

The wording of the new FBI definition is ambiguous enough that it is unclear from a straight reading whether male victims who were forced to penetrate female perpetrators are included. In fact, a colleague of mine wrote repeated emails for months asking for confirmation as to whether the definition did include such situations before finally receiving a response that yes it does, but perhaps, given the ambiguity, there needs to be some outreach to police organizations in order to make it clearer to them that yes, a man being "made to penetrate" counts as rape. My suspicion is that the question didn't really occur to them until it was asked, and that's why it took so long for them to answer it.

One thing the new definition DOES do, unambiguously, is classify a metric shit-ton of things that didn't used to be considered rape as rape. Picture two inexperienced teenagers getting hot and heavy, and the guy tries to round third base. The tip of his finger penetrates her vagina for just a moment, before she tells him she's not ready to go that far. Within nanoseconds, he backs off and apologizes, but it's too late. He's technically a rapist under the new FBI definition. 

Now you might think that feminists really were interested in including male victims of the most common form of rape outside of prison--men raped by women. But given Koss's assertions, and given the standard feminist claim that nearly all rapes are committed by men, and given the CDC's response as outlined here (which amounts to "but it's just different"), I highly doubt that the intentions of feminists were to help the majority of sexually assaulted men.

For clarification, this was their argument in large part:

To explain, in NISVS we define rape as “any completed or attempted unwanted vaginal (for women), oral, or anal penetration through the use of physical force (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threats to physically harm and includes times when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.”We defined sexual violence other than rape to include being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, and non-contact unwanted sexual experiences.

Made to penetrate is defined as including “times when the victim was made to, or there was an attempt to make them, sexually penetrate someone without the victim’s consent because the victim was physically forced (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threatened with physical harm, or when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.”

The difference between “rape” and “being made to penetrate” is that in the definition of rape the victim is penetrated; “made to penetrate” by definition refers to cases where the victim penetrated someone else.

While there are multiple definitions of rape and sexual violence used in the field, CDC, with the help of experts in the field, has developed these specific definitions of rape and other forms of sexual violence (such as made to penetrate, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, and non-contact unwanted sexual experiences). We use these definitions to help guide our analytical decisions.

In other words, people can't assert that men are raped by women nearly as frequently as women are raped by men because we decided to call someone forcing a woman into sexual intercourse rape and someone forcing a man into sexual intercourse something other than rape. See? It all makes perfect sense!

There are other issues with the math used to attempt to estimate the percentage of perpetrators that are female--the primary one being that the CDC declined to reveal the gender of the perpetrator for any of the previous-year stats. They claimed it is inappropriate to combine the previous year numbers of male victims with the lifetime data on perpetrator gender, and I agree. I agree because all available evidence on the psychology of male victims of sexual abuse indicates the percentage of female perpetrators reported would be much higher over the prior 12 months than over a lifetime.

I'll leave it up to others to see if they can't wrestle that particular bit of information out of the CDC.

Now I'm going to bring your attention to Murray Straus. He's the first researcher to ask the same questions of both men and women on a domestic violence survey in the US (and hence the first researcher to find gender symmetry in domestic violence). When asked why he performed that study, he claimed that at the time he was a feminist. He believed in the "patriarchal terrorism" or Duluth model of domestic violence--you know. The feminist model. When people raised questions about his previous research, that had asked women only about their victimization and men only about their perpetration, he took up the challenge. He says that at the time, he believed it would be a slam dunk for "patriarchal terrorism". He was fully confident his findings would remain the same. He believed wholeheartedly that he would find, as before, that men hit women and women only ever hit in self defence. 

Of course, what he discovered was something entirely different, and he has made it a mission to change attitudes toward domestic violence treatment and prevention based on those findings.

Feminists also have a model regarding rape culture and sexual violence. As evidenced by those poster campaigns, it is a model based on male sexual aggression. Every feminist I have spoken to has reacted with incredulity and extreme resistance to the idea that women are just as capable of sexual aggression and coercion as men, and at similar rates of prevalence. 

Basically, what I'm saying is, what is the purpose of the feminist push to change the definition? As far as I can tell, it was to further protect women and, to a lesser degree, men who are victims of male perpetrators by expanding the definition of what is considered rape. They have never really been capable of acknowledging the vast numbers of men victimized by women (and who will be on the hook for child support even if they were raped at age 14 by an adult woman!), or the significant portion of the female population who admit not to thinking they might just maybe do it if the situation presented itself and no one would know (like that bogus 1 in 3 study), but to having actually engaged in the behavior.

In other words, I'm guessing that, like Straus, it never occurred to them that what they were doing might result in helping male victims of female perpetrators, because, like Straus did, they don't really believe male victims of female perpetrators exist. 

Anyway, I'll probably get to the next 7 or 8 items in a week or so. This post is long enough already.