Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More Fan Mail

Well, this didn't take long.

In response to my "Answering Fan Mail" blog, I got the following private message from an entirely different person, in reaction to it.

Here is the content of the second private message, in its entirety:

I read your answer to your so-called "fan mail."  Men don't have answers, fuckwad!!!!  Their is no fucking need for a mens movment your so-called fucking issues are just the result of patriarchy!!!!  Look up patriarchy, fuckwad!!!!  Educate yourself!!!!  All men need is feminsm, you fucking turd!!!  All anyone needs if feminism!!!!

Okay then, let's talk about patriarchy for a minute.

In my opinion, the so-called "Patriarchal Theory" is inherently flawed because it only looks at sexism from the point of view of women and the history of sexism against women.  I've discovered, since I started talking and writing about sexism and men's issues and gender equality, that most women who identify themselves as feminist often seem unaware that sexism against men exists at all, much less that it is just as harmful as sexism against women and they are absolutely not aware at all how often sexism against men takes very different forms as sexism against women.

Some feminists even go so far as to claim that there is no such thing as anti-male sexism because men are privileged.  This, by the way, is an example of the logical fallacy known as "Circular Reasoning."  It goes like this:
Question:  How do you know men are privileged?
Answer:  Because they aren't subject to sexism.
Question:  How do you know men aren't subject to sexism?
Answer:  Because they are privileged. 

A large number of feminists have told me in discussion that anti-male sexism, when they acknowledge that such a thing exists at all, is actually just a side-effect of anti-female sexism.  That is, the oppression of men is enabled by men against themselves as a part of the institutionalized oppression of women.

As I said, this is just another example of sexism only being viewed through the female perspective, because you could just as easily say that sexism against women is a product of sexism against men, which would be just as valid a statement.

The problem with Patriarchal Theory (not to mention some of the more repugnantly misogynistic pro-male, anti-female reactions to it) is the assumption that one gender and only one gender is solely and wholly responsible for sexism with little to no input from the other gender.  This is complete and utter nonsense.  Sexist actions and sexist attitudes are held, maintained, "justified" (yes, I know, just go with it), and promoted by members of both gender, and whether male or female, the promoters of these sexist attitudes are simply shitty human beings.

The truth is, most of what is labelled "sexism" in today's society affects both men and women, but in completely and totally different ways.  And because the effects that the two genders are subjected to are different, men and women both tend to look at the other gender, see that they are not being affected in the same exact way they are being affected, and thus say, "This affects men/women and only men/women, thus women/men are privileged", when the truth is, both genders are being oppressed, and both genders are enjoying privilege, but the oppression and privilege bear no resemblance to each other.

So if both sides are affected equally (if differently) by sexism, why in the world would be ever call such a situation "Patriarchy?"

Well, let's look at it a little more closely.

The most common and pervasive form of sexism in American society is the idea that women are precious, but incompetent and men are competent, but utterly disposable.

  • This idea conveys many privileges to women.  For example, when women as a whole are suffering some form of crisis (such as domestic violence against women or the breast cancer epidemic) the society as a whole mobilizes to do something about it.
  • This idea conveys many privileges to men.  For example, men are automatically taken more seriously in business environments, and are seen as more credible when consulted as experts in their field.  Men are seen as strong, dependable, and stable, and are always turned to when it comes time to get things done.
  • This idea hurts women in many ways.  For example, women are often not taken as seriously as men in business environments, a fact that can hurt their professional careers.  Their credibility as experts in their field is seen as lesser than that of men.  Women are often made to feel as if they are being infantilized or emotionally unstable.
  • This idea hurts men in many ways.  For example, a man's life is seen as less valuable than a woman's life (sing along with me now, "women and children first", or the fact that thousands of news stories have been published with the headline "X number of women killed in this horrific event" when the fact is the number of people killed was X women and 2X men).

So you can see how both men and women benefit from this basic form of sexism and both sides are harmed by it, but in completely different fashions.  This does not mean the idea is any less sexist, it just means that the sexism is not unidirectional.

Now, I can hear you out there saying, "But men hold all the power, and because men hold all the power, its a patriarchy!"

Well... I might be willing to concede that if it was true that the ultimate source of sexism was social power, as if sexist ideals were created and imposed on all of us proles by the Great Gray Monolithic Overlords who rule our society, rather than bubbling up from below.  You see, to me, its quite obvious that the sexist attitudes that still flourish in our society come from the past.  Basic biological differences forced on us by our species evolutionary history, have led to vastly different gender expectations for both men and women.

I've spoken about this before.

Back when leaving the home meant the possibility of being eaten by a leopard, the reason men went out to hunt and gather firewood and women stayed home and cared for the kids was simple mathematics.  The tribe could survive losing men, but losing women could lead to the extinction of the entire human species.  Because of this, over the last hundred thousand years, these expectations have become cemented into place and become what we call "enforced gender roles."  Not only that, these enforced gender roles have been expanded more and more until, thousands of years later, they have become monsters with lives of their own that dictate what is expected from men and women, even today in our supposedly "enlightened" society.

Again, why would you call a society produced by such history "Patriarchy?"  Or even "Matriarchy" for that matter?  Why not just call it what it is:  a sexist remnant of our primitive origins?

If you can concede the truth (that while men being in positions of power might be a symptom of sexism, it is not inherently the cause of sexism), then why are you naming your sexism-related worldview "Patriarchy" because of it?  Doing so is just another aspect of general sexism.  For example, compare the so-called "glass ceiling" with the so-called "glass floor."  Yes, it is true that 75% of all billionaires, corporate CEOs, and generally rich and powerful people in the world are male, but it is also true that almost 80% of all homeless people are male.  Why is feminism only concerned with one half of this equation and conveniently forgetting hte other half of it?  Men exist in abundance at both the top and bottom of society, but apparently the top and only the top is a problem.


Well, I've had an idea about that, actually.  The way I see it, there are two characteristics that are generally inherent in most men (not all, but most, I think) that would explain what we are seeing when we look at both the glass ceiling and the glass floor.  The first factor is the fact that men tend to be greater risk-takers.  Its in our hormonal makeup.  Men are biologically programmed to take more and bigger risks than women.  When one gender is driven to take risks while the other isn't, naturally the gender who receives the biggest rewards for doing so (not to mention suffers the harshest punishments) would be the gender who takes the most risks.

The second characteristic is that men are more genetically variable than women are (its because we have differential chromosomes -- we're XY, rather than XX -- and is not necessarily a good thing).  This results in there being more outliers on the human average who are male than female outliers.  This would, theoretically at least mean that more men would show up at both the top and bottom of the scale than would women.

Lo and behold, this is precisely what we see when we take a look at the average performances of men and women in general.  Now, I'm sure that enforced gender roles play a part in it all too, but just saying "enforced gender roles" leaves out a whole lot of other factors.

So, to sum it all up, since sexism affects both genders equally, but differently, calling it "Patriarchy" is nothing but a continuation of the sexism.  Male power might be a part of it, but its hardly the majority part, and thus naming it after male power is just stupid.

So, there you have it.  "Patriarchy" is a stupid concept that has no relationship with reality.

To be honest, I'm also sort of mystified why you would suggest that the solution to all the problems faced by men in our society can be solved by feminism, because feminism has such a glowing track record when it comes to dealing with men's issues.

(That was sarcasm, in case you missed it.)

The truth, as I have already shown, is that feminism is actually fighting against men being able to do anything about the problems they face as men, both politically (in terms of counter-activism and legislation) and socially (in terms of the outright vitriol spewed on anyone who even raises the idea that men have issues in the first place) and who take any chance they can get to disrupt anything being done (such as the when the Toronto Conference on Men's Health, a discussion on how to deal with the problem of the skyrocketing suicide rate among men and boys, was disrupted by an angry mob of female students when one of them yanked the fire-alarm).

Let's not even go into the fact that a lot of the feminists I've talked to (and I've talked to many of them) have, at least at first, refused to even accept that such a thing as sexism against men even exists.

You seriously want us to go to these people for help with our issues?

No thank you.  I think we'd prefer to handle things on our own.

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