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MumsnetGuestPosts (MNHQ) Thu 08-May-14 12:50:09

Guest post: Kirsty Wark on misogyny - are things getting worse for girls?

Tonight at 9.30pm, BBC2 airs Blurred Lines: The New Battle of the Sexes, which sets out to investigate whether misogyny is on the rise. In this guest post, presenter Kirsty Wark describes what she found, and considers the impact this new breed of sexism could have on the next generation.

Do have a read and post your thoughts - do you feel like we've gone backwards?

Kirsty Wark

Broadcaster and presenter of Blurred Lines

Posted on: Thu 08-May-14 12:50:09


Lead photo

Kirsty Wark investigates a new breed of misogyny

I am an optimist. I was optimistic in the 1970s that life was getting better for women. The Equal Pay Act in 1970 was followed five years later by the Sex Discrimination Act and I thought, naively, that the legislation would trigger the death of sexism, the end of sexual harassment and the bullying of women at work, controlling relationships, and domestic violence. In short, a revolution. And by the time that I had my children in at the beginning of the 90s I still had that optimism. Now they're in their early 20s, I'm not so sure.

Of course much has improved for women and girls - our lives are probably unrecognisable to our grandparents. There is no job we cannot do, no heights we cannot scale. And girls are doing brilliantly in the classroom. So why in the last few years does there seem to have been a tidal wave of openly hostile and aggressive behaviour towards women, from the online response to Professor Mary Beard's participation on Question Time last January, to young women at school being 'slut shamed' and touched up; from prostitutes being beaten up and killed on a video game, to some of our best known comedians thinking rape jokes are a great laugh? Last year it was even possible to buy a t-shirt proclaiming 'I'm feeling rapey.' Why has the conversation around women become so coarse? And – crucially – what does it mean for the next generation?

For a new BBC2 documentary – Blurred Lines: The New Battle of the Sexes - I set out to investigate. When looking at several examples of sexism and misogyny that had provoked outrage, in order to gauge their offensiveness, what was striking was that the 'pain threshold' was so different, among both men and women. And particularly with young people.

Of course much has improved for women and girls - our lives are probably unrecognisable to our grandparents. There is no job we cannot do, no heights we cannot scale. And girls are doing brilliantly in the classroom. So why in the last few years does there seem to have been a tidal wave of openly hostile and aggressive behaviour towards women?

Take the case of Stirling University men's hockey team singing a new, significantly more explicit, version of an old drinking song on a busy public bus at around nine o'clock at night. A video had been taken on a phone and posted on the internet. To give you flavour:

A lady came into the store one day asking for an orgasm. An orgasm she wanted – who gives a f* what she got…

A lady came into the store one day asking for a lady train. A lady train she wanted – a miscarriage she got…

When we spoke to students at Stirling University about it, one, Katie said "I think it's okay because obviously I know some of the guys and I know that they are not sexist", whereas another, Miriam, told me "this song isn't a one off, terrible song that a group of bad individuals have sung - this is a common example of every day occurrences that really highlight an underlying misogyny."

Offended or not, there was a common feeling that this sort of behaviour was "normal". And, as some students pointed out, if Family Guy, Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle can tell rape jokes, and the like, why shouldn't they? This split over whether humour renders misogyny harmless, or just acts as a cover for it, came up with schoolgirls that I spoke to too. Yaz, seventeen, told me she “would hear at least three [rape jokes] every day just walking down the corridors”.

Humour, of course, has always played an important role in breaking taboos. But with a resurgence of retro-sexist jokes and banter, I wanted to know whether it could have an impact. And when we probed the research the results were striking – suggesting (in the experiments at least) that when sexist men heard sexist jokes it reinforced their attitudes, and in the immediate aftermath they were more likely to act in a sexist way.

But it's not just sexist jokes that young people are facing. The internet, a thing of marvels in many ways, has seen an explosion in attacks on women and is the gateway to all kinds of content. It's also where the next generation are growing up. So where are the trusted guides to navigate this space? We spoke to teenage boys in a sex education class, and some of them admitted to watching porn. No surprise there, but the girls in the class worried that this would give the boys a pretty skewed view of healthy teenage sexual relationships – thinking they should be the "focus" of sex, and more "dominant". Some schoolgirls we spoke to even talked about being routinely groped. All attitudes feminists of the 70s campaigned to leave behind.

But I don't think this is simply about girls being victims – I think boys are under just as much pressure, and are just as confused about what their role is, particularly (and ironically) in the face of female success. Georgia, who’s fifteen and who co-founded the Campaign 4 Consent which lobbies for consent to be taught as part of the national curriculum, said something that really struck me – "it's hard to educate people about this because we're teenagers ourselves and it sounds preachy if we tell boys what they should be thinking - what we really need are role models, like adults and teachers who they admire, to come in and say why this is wrong. We need an entire attitude change and not just one person."

I'd really love parents and teenagers to watch the film together tonight, and have a genuine discussion about pop videos, rape jokes, computer games and porn… and talk about where they want to draw the line.

By Kirsty Wark

Twitter: @KirstyWark

MamaMary Thu 08-May-14 14:30:28

Thank you Kirsty - this conversation is so important and the more people that start it, the better.

I have observed a steep rise in sexism since I was a teenager in the 1990s. I hardly want to watch the programme as I know I'll get even more depressed. Yet at the same time I want EVERY one to watch it.

ManWithNoName Thu 08-May-14 15:49:07

When I look back to the 1970s, when I was a teenage boy at an all male boarding school, playing rugby, hanging around locker rooms and tour buses sometimes with older men open misogyny and sexist comments were pretty routine.

Compared to today the sorts of things men say to me when women are not around are quite similar to back when I was a teenager. I don't see any fundamental attitude shift has taken place among men about women since the 1970s.

What has changed is that men are more circumspect about expressing openly misogynist and sexists attitudes. They know it is wrong so they take more care about what they say and how they behave when women are around.

I think this led women to believe things had got better - it hadn't. It was just less obvious and less blatant.

However, men feel 'safer' to express the old 1970s attitudes on the internet where anonymity is guaranteed. Go to any internet forum on any subject and you will see routine attacks on women - not about what they say but just because they are women. Women in the public eye are fair game and the comments are often expressed in more or less extreme levels of sexual violence.

There is a kind of conditioning in society that makes misogyny 'normal' whereas racism or homophobia is not.

I don't have an answer or a solution. My conclusion is that a fair proportion of men basically hate and despise women. Its unfathomable.

I have two sons and me and my wife talk about these issues with them but to be honest the culture and attitudes expressed among teenage boys today is no different from 40 years ago - not worse and not better.

ManWithNoName Thu 08-May-14 15:58:22

Incidentally, I do wonder if the Financial Crisis has pushed us economically and socially back to the 1970s and hence attitudes to women have reverted.

The pay gap has opened up again and I just wonder if in a weird way men know women have less economic power and hence feel braver at expressing the old attitudes.

A woman who is desperate for a job or more generally dependant on a man (i.e. her boss or her husband/partner) economically is less likely to fight back.

I dont agree with you Kirsty. Women have not broken through the glass ceiling. Most women cannot 'do anything; and 'scale any height'. You are among a lucky few women that have.

WowOoo Thu 08-May-14 16:03:55

I'm interested in watching this and will read this thread after I've done so.

Thanks in advance to the BBC team and Kirsty Wark.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 16:29:17

I was born in 73 and grew up in the 70s and 80s and I think things have got worse.
Im glad Kirsty mentioned comedy because I think the misogyny in comedy has got worse and now seems to include disabilism as well as sexism.
My fave comedian is the late Dave Allen While other comics were cracking jokes about their mothers in law he was pointing out the hypocrisy and misogyny in the Catholic church.
His comedy was observational Having been brought up with Catholicism a lot of it resonated with me.

A lot of todays comedy is not only sexist and disabilist Its also classist too. Its lazy and spiteful. Apart from comics like Adam Hills who (much like Dave) has the intelligence and insight to be funny without being nasty)

I started high school in Sept 1984 In my first drama lesson my teacher asked me to speak sexily to him in front of the entire class. I was 11 years old No internet back then. And only a VERY limited amount of knowledge about what sexy was. So I just tried it in a breathy voice. He then told me it was about as sexy as a bag of washing confused To an 11 year old In front of an entire class who laughed. This was my first experience of misogyny. But ive heard much worse stories about things that have happened in more recent years so I stand by the fact that ,yes I believe things have got worse.

BuzzardBird Thu 08-May-14 17:26:34

The sad thing is Darkest is that some 11yr olds would know exactly how to be sexy these days, thanks to the porn available on their phones. Girls have no chance of respect when boys view them as something to stick their body parts into. sad

Greydog Thu 08-May-14 17:42:06

I agree with Darkest - I think things have got worse. Once I would never have thought this, but the last 15 years or so I've seen a increase in the "bloody women" attitude. I was a senior union person in a male dominated industry, and their attitude to women - recently - was appalling. You're a girlie - you know nothing - and sadly I'd never encountered it before.

Redoubtable Thu 08-May-14 18:36:34

"when sexist men heard sexist jokes it reinforced their attitudes, and in the immediate aftermath they were more likely to act in a sexist way"

I feel this is true and has always been so.
The misogynist, the man who is afraid of women and so must act with hatred towards a group that he perceives to have (sexual) power over him, must diminish and demean those women in order to neutralise their hold over him.

i.e. "I'm a man who wants women sexually; that gives them power over me; I feel afraid of this hold over me, so I must poke fun at women to reduce their power".

I dont know (though I may be wrong) that it is any worse now. The thought of my daughter entering puberty and starting to be addressed in the way that I was at that age horrifies me. The idea of her, literally, being manhandled leaves me gritting my teeth. Not in jealousy of her emerging attractiveness and sexuality but at the danger of abusive men now reducing her to a hole-to-fill.

Seth Godin talks about how the internet has allowed subgroups to form around interests that would have been edge-dwellers before.
In terms of creativity, this is the benefit of the internet as these groups coalesce and encourage each other to new heights.

Unfortunately the same is true for extreme sexism. Men who would not have dared to voice their true opinions, now have a 'gang' to normalise their abnormal ideas. And these gangs attract to them, the less socially adequate, emotionally literate men.

Time after time, it occurs to me that so many of their remarks would not be tolerated (even online) if the target was a different sub-group e.g. asian, jewish, catholic, isalmic, disabled.

NeilDiamondRocks Thu 08-May-14 18:43:33

It has definitely got worse, and it appalls me that so many men take part in this 'bonding' over misogyny and very VERY few raise their heads above the pulpit to tackle it. People speak of men not respecting is becoming increasingly difficult to respect men as their silence is deafening. I am sure I am not alone in feeling betrayed by men as a group. So many men seem to revel in degrading women, and I have to wonder what exactly has gone wrong with them?

It speaks volumes that I feel THANKFUL that I live in a country where I am not hidden away or married at 12, and that my husband is a good 'un who treats me like a human being and who hates men talking shit about women. Yes....THANKFUL to be treated like the human being I am. It is utterly ridiculous and I hate misogynists. HATE them!

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 18:48:50

Greydog and Buzzard todays Everyday Sexism twitter TL bears this out on the #grabbed hashtag there are young women talking about being groped at school and it now seems to be a regular occurrence. In all my 5 years at high school it only happened to me once and that was off school grounds.
Now its happening regularly in school corridors.

And this thing of women now being expected to shave their pubes. FGS There was a thread on another board where an Mner was suffering the pain of a Bartholins cyst and her husband had the gall to say to her "Well its because you don't shave"

Because womens pubic hair is seen as dirty while mens isn't.

NeilDiamondRocks Thu 08-May-14 19:07:01

The good thing though is that more and more women seem to be waking up to the fact that there is a nasty, insidious little group of people who hate them JUST because they are women. Whether they take action or not is up to them, but it may lead to discourse and open discussion (in RL, not just on forums like this).

MamaMary Thu 08-May-14 20:16:00

I hope Kirsty recognises the role internet porn has played in all of this.

BeeBawBabbity Thu 08-May-14 20:54:50

The boys in my 11 year old's class are already telling some of the girls they're too fat. I'm horrified that already, at such a young age, they feel its their place to pass comment on the girls' appearances. Especially when it doesn't please them.

I dont know whether this is learned at home, or a symptom of a society where women are still judged above all on their looks.

NeilDiamondRocks Thu 08-May-14 21:11:23

BeeBaw it is a combination I think. As a feminist, I make a point of making clear to my children - boys and girls - that they are NEVER to make personal comments, that boys and girls are equal NO exceptions....that human beings the world over are equal! I think the grotesque men we are sadly aware of, who hate women and with whom we are uncomfortable being part of society alongside us, have been shaped by parents and society. Plus a third strand...something is not quite right with their brains. Psychopathy?? I don't know.

My husband grew up in an abusive household...he saw his mother beaten by his dad. But he didn't think this was the norm....he sees his dad as a dysfunctional, pathetic, rubbish man. And he loves and cherishes his mum (and all the women in his life).

Misogyny has a grip on a certain KIND of men I think....but I am not sure what characteristics/background this entails as yet.

Kirsty and the BBC- thank you! so important to keep bringing this up for us bewildered parents and our DDs. It has been heartbreaking talking to daughters and parents for my forthcoming book about raising girls today how upset and worried they are about this topic. I will watch tonight with a box of tissues and light a candle for the girls out there tonight facing this horrible stuff.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 21:30:50

Beebaw the boys and some of the girls at school were constantly telling me I was fat. I was/still am quite booby and have the body to go with it. This was the 80s when Princess Diana was the most photographed woman in the world and in the papers every day.

My mum is Italian and would NOT allow me to shave my legs when I was in my teens. And Christ was I made to pay for it at school. I was bullied about it constantly. And the worst of it was by 2 girls in my drama group. Although a lot of boys did it too. The bullying over my legs went on for 2 full years. Gorilla was the nicest thing I was called.

BeeBawBabbity Thu 08-May-14 21:44:44

Agreed, Neil, a certain type of man (and woman). But if it is accepted behaviour in their environment maybe some of the good men just don't stop to consider the rights and wrongs. Not your dh, obviously. He sounds like a diamond (if not Neil Diamond!).

Also agree with Darkest, girls and women are of course influenced by society's messages too, and can be just as misogynistic as boys. Sounds like little has changed. I attended a girl's school in the 80's - Kirsty Wark's alma mater I believe- and was probably protected from negative comments from boys. But the girls could be mean!

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 21:45:39

So Martin Daubney thinks hoovering is asexual if a man has to do it Righty ho.

Ive said on other threads that the lads mag culture of the 90s didn't help.

wonderstuff Thu 08-May-14 21:49:31

Watching now. Making my stomach churn.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 21:53:15

if that Aussie comedian says NOTHING is off limits he would also be telling racist and homophobic jokes on stage no?

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 21:55:16

Oh grow a pair and stop whining! Everything that she showed she deliberately did not seek out the equivalent against men (is she practicing Misandry???) which is everywhere out there.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 21:58:10

Well that didn't take long did it!

MsVanRein Thu 08-May-14 22:01:46

Quite Darkest!

I'm watching and it's very interesting if a bit depressing.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:06:25

Very depressing how these women are whining, it's all me, me, me. Oh boo hoo! They don't look at the bigger picture where everyone is fare game and everyone has things sexual and non sexual said about them by both men AND WOMEN.

ladyblablah Thu 08-May-14 22:07:35

In this context, would it be wrong to say Rod Liddle is an enormous bellend?

teaandthorazine Thu 08-May-14 22:10:08

Which bigger picture would that be agooddad?

GoblinMarket Thu 08-May-14 22:11:12

ironic maybe blahblah but not wrong

ladyblablah Thu 08-May-14 22:11:18

Always so adept at getting the point agooddad ?

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:13:48

Geek misogyny in IT?? What a load of rubbish. You cant compare IT workers to computer games. Most IT men would welcome more women in the industry. They have traditionally not gone into it by choice. Even the government has tried to encourage more women in IT but they haven't flocked to it. DUH it's not misogeny it's a choice made by women. Why aren't women flooding into the military, or flooding into roles such as sewage maintenance workers? It's their own choice. Stop whining about your own choices!!

wonderstuff Thu 08-May-14 22:15:31

But that simply isn't trueAGoodDad no one is threatening to rape and murder men for supporting representation. No one is tweeting about the genitalia of the men appearing on Question Time. Female societies are not chanting songs on buses that are abusive to men. No one is suggesting that women who Hoover are asexual. Scantily clad men are not being used to sell female magazines and pop songs.

Women are not a minority group but we are a marginal presence in public life.

teaandthorazine Thu 08-May-14 22:17:03

Why so aggressive AGoodDad? Are you always this aggressive when talking to women about their lives and choices? I wonder...

MsVanRein Thu 08-May-14 22:20:04

I think the suggestion that we all need to 'grow a pair' says enough really about AGoodDad's attitude to women.

ManWithNoName Thu 08-May-14 22:20:14

AGoodDad - don't you find any of the programme disturbing?

My son plays online games. I am worried about the stuff that people write in the chat. I don't want him exposed to the sorts of things the female game player is exposed to. I don't want him copying it or joining in.

That said, the online world reflects the real world.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:24:51

Google "womens magazines" and go to images, you'll see hundreds of images of scantily clad, bikini's etc women in magazines edited by women. Uhhh men are doing this how???

Then google "male porn magazines" and you'll find the same but male porn for women. Playgirl etc.

This isn't a one way thing. Misandry is rife amongst women!

GoblinMarket Thu 08-May-14 22:26:02

horrific program horrific

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:26:03

I don't personally agree with any violence against men or women in games (yes there is also violence against men)

Hugely disturbing and upsetting but of utmost importance. Well done Kirsty and the BBC.

weasle Thu 08-May-14 22:28:28

Excellent post wonderstuff.

Depressing viewing but very important programme. I'm recording it for DH who is at work. Well done BBC and Kirsty Wark.

MsVanRein Thu 08-May-14 22:28:50

Feel ill watching footage of The Steubenville rape. Horrific, how disturbing.

teaandthorazine Thu 08-May-14 22:29:28

Sorry, what's your point?

Are you genuinely suggesting that the existence of Playgirl (which I have never, ever known any woman buy or be the slightest bit interested in btw) is the same as rape jokes commonplace in school classrooms and daily threats of violence towards women online?

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:31:03

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LackaDAISYcal Thu 08-May-14 22:32:54

I sincerely hope you don't have daughters AGoodDad sad
And yes there is violence against men, but it's violence from men against men, all bravado and punches; not assaulting them sexually with a penis. Show me a mainstream game with male rape and I will gladly admit I'm wrong.

This whole programme is shocking. My DS is nearly 12, and I was hoping to show him this programme, but he is too young. I've recorded it though and will show him in a few years time. I would be devastated if he felt this sort of thing was acceptable.

ladyblablah Thu 08-May-14 22:33:28

What was the actual reason given for no access to your child agooddad?

rabbitrisen Thu 08-May-14 22:34:35

I think that the internet has ironically made the problem worse.

Women are in internet groups talking about womens' stuff and issues.

Men are in men groups talking about goodness knows what.

It is all very well us feeling relatively cosy in our women groups, but it leaves the men, well... [generalisation, but you see where I am going with this]

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:35:34

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teaandthorazine Thu 08-May-14 22:36:05

Women are routinely crying rape, sexism and abuse just to get the upper hand in the workplace and places like the courts

I see from this and your posts on other threads that you're an MRA troll. How silly of me to engage.

rabbitrisen Thu 08-May-14 22:37:20

AGoodDad has got a good point about women not wandering into and branching out into traditional mens' jobs.

The term "glass ceiling" makes me feel like throwing up.

To women it has been about glass ceilings. It should be about the great outdoors and sky at least as much.

Ending a bit more encouraging - loved the look of that Robin Thicke pastiche, must look that up.

Will encourage DH to watch this later too. Strengthened my resolve to try my hardest to bring both my children up (one girl, one boy) to be respectful to others regardless of the contents of their pants and have enough self confidence to stand up to abuse of any kind. I will need all the luck in the world.

rabbitrisen Thu 08-May-14 22:37:53

oops. I too will stop, tea.

wonderstuff Thu 08-May-14 22:38:20

The women in the women's magazines are not sex objects, women consume far less porn men, there is no page 3 equivilant for example, it really doesn't cut both ways. If we treated black men or gay men in the way we treat women there would be outrage. I don't know why I'm engaging tbh.

I was born in 1979, we had a female PM, equality enshrined in law. I believed things would be different for me, and they are, I have had more opportunity than my mother. But I am very worried that my daughter will grow up in a world still far from equal, I fear she will encounter more sexism, more misogyny than I have.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:39:06

In many internet games the player can take on the character of a women and can go out and abuse men. Why was this not mentioned? Misandry again? Whine louder about women rights and ignore the fact that it's also men affected. There's a trend here.

ladyblablah Thu 08-May-14 22:40:02

I take back my interest agooddad. I literally don't care.

Great yet depressing programme.
I really liked the first bit about how people can look at the same thing can be watched and there can be such a massive disparity in how they morally view it.

I wonder if it's 'just' down to education.

Same here wonderstuff, a 1979 baby. My parents brought me up (and school to be fair) to think I could achieve anything I was able to do. I only really encountered sexism and sexual violence/aggression in university.

It seems like a different world. It is terrifying really, all those teenagers who learnt about sex from porn. sad

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 22:43:17

The only person whining here is you Agooddad.

And yes violence against men does happen although the vast majority of it is perpetrated by men. Men sort yourselves out will you.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:43:25

You could make a copy of the program with everything "against" women switched for the equivalent against men. The only reason it won't be taken seriously is because we don't have a continuous stream of men whining at us on a daily basis about it.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 22:45:03

Whine whine whine

ManWithNoName Thu 08-May-14 22:46:47

AGoodDad - I went on the internet in 1995 just 4 years after the WWW was created. I go in many chat rooms and post on many forums and in all that time I have never once had anyone threaten to rape me or abuse me in any way that had sexual overtones.

Women face it all the time. Yes there is misandry but its not even close the same scale as what women face day in day out both online and in the real world.

As I said earlier, men have always behaved in this way towards women. Its not new. Nearly everything on the programme I have witnessed in real life. heard men say things like the recordings on the programme.

You are a man, you must have had the same experience as me?

Surely you must think your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, female colleagues and female friends should not have to put up with every day online and in the real world?

The programme wasn't about us (men) and the problems we face. We should acknowledge that there is a major issue and it is us (men) who cause it.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:46:57

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EBearhug Thu 08-May-14 22:47:13

You cant compare IT workers to computer games. Most IT men would welcome more women in the industry. They have traditionally not gone into it by choice. Even the government has tried to encourage more women in IT but they haven't flocked to it. DUH it's not misogeny it's a choice made by women.

A lot of IT workers are gamers, there's a lot of cross-over.

And the reasons women "choose" not to go into it are cultural. The figures for women in IT are worse in cultures like the US, UK, western Europe, Australia than in Africa, south America, Asia, even the middle East.

Women "choose" not to go into IT because it does have an image of being a male career. The geek stereotype is primarily a male stereotype, rather than one a girls will easily identify with. It gets tiring, having to put with all the assumptions that you can't be the technical expert, because you're the woman in the meeting. You need stamina to stay with a techy career as a woman, having to fight harder for payrises and promotions and any recognition. You need a thick skin to put up with the sexist comments that you do still get from time to time, circulated "jokes" and so on (which are against most employers' codes of conduct). Even signs on the datacentre door saying, "caution, men working behind doors, floor tiles removed," makes you feel like you don't count, even though it's not intentional - the default is that it's men doing those sorts of jobs, not women like me. (To be fair on that one, they did change the signs within half an hour of me complaining, and I got a very nice apology.) In last year's Computer Weekly/Mortimer Spinks Women in technology survey, "64% of women have felt discriminated against in their job because of their gender."

It should be a good career for women - IT is the backbone of everything we do these days. It can be interesting, well-paid, flexible. There's a whole load of different roles in all sorts of industries. I have done work with local schools to encourage girls to consider it as a career - but I sometimes think I'm not doing them any favours by doing so.

Women choose not to work in IT and leave careers in IT in large part because of misogynistic attitudes and stereotypes. It is far from a level playing field.

Great post.

teaandthorazine Thu 08-May-14 22:49:52

A recent study showed that more women in the age range of 18 - 25 where abusive than men, bet they don't stop after 25. More maternal mothers abuse or kill their children than paternal fathers.

Links, please.

Because, agood dad, the courts (currently) focus on the best interests of the child, not on the needs or 'rights' of either parent.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:52:23

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AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:53:19

teaandthorazine do the research yourself, you'll find it true.

OutsSelf Thu 08-May-14 22:54:36

As a feminist, I think our core problem is the construction of masculinity. While men require distorted sexual appetites and are expected to depress their empathic qualities and eschew loving relationships in favour of jobs, power and status in order to realise themselves as male, we're actually not going to get anywhere. To my mind, misogyny is casual and not organised and is a side effect of ongoing male fascination with and anxiety about other men. Women are just another aspect of how that identity is created and buttressed; they can not bequeath men masculinity in the eyes of other men and only come into focus when they frustrate the desires of men to appear properly masculine in the eyes of other men. Until men sort out their relationships to one another, women will be in the cross fire. I think this is why we get the occasional aggrieved man railing against the unfairness of patriarchal expectations of them; it's a pity they do not realise that the feminists are fighting for them and not against them.

teaandthorazine Thu 08-May-14 22:56:06

No, I'd like you to provide the links to the studies you are quoting, please.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 22:56:09

Best interests of the child? They keep no record of whether the best needs have ever been met. A mother never has to go into court to prove from the start she is the better parent. A dad is assumed to need to do this even is the mother is abusive. That's Discrimination, not best interests of a child.

rabbitrisen Thu 08-May-14 22:56:13

EBearHug. Why dont they start up their own businesses in it?

ManWithNoName Thu 08-May-14 22:56:48

AGoodDad - I think you are getting way off the topic but we need to keep very firmly in mind that it is NOT the fault of women that men abuse them online and in the real world.

It really is the fault of men.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 23:01:40

AGooddad So you are saying that women choose men who abuse.
Blatant victim blaming..
I notice you don't blame the victim when you were posting about it being the other way around.
Very telling.

ManWithNoName Thu 08-May-14 23:02:30

OutsShelf - I think you are on to something there.

My own very unscientific observation is that misogynist sexist men try to recruit other men to their cause and often bully men who refuse to join them.

It speaks of insecurity.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:04:47

"teaandthorazine do the research yourself, you'll find it true" Don't bother. It's not true.

Between April 2001 & March 2012 93.6% of murders were committed by men. British Crime Survey. Not a feminist publication.

5% of the prison population is women. A third of them are in for shoplifting. The figures to say women of any age are more violent than men just don't add up. Men are more likely and quicker to report DV than women. Abusive men will regularly claim their partner committed DV.

Stop gaslighting women AGoodDad and start sorting out men's shit.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 23:05:20

ManWithNoName - "it is NOT the fault of women that men abuse them online and in the real world.

It really is the fault of men."

I disagree, so many women put themselves forward for this kind of abuse running after the "Lads lad" When they find it they complain that they did. They Also empower these men to do it to others as they think it's ok. I'm not saying its right for them to do it. But women are also fueling it. But judging men as a whole based on these few is wrong.

There is much sexism against men in countries such as the UK but it is ignored on the whole because men get on with it and don't publish hundreds of "pink" magazines full of "He abused me" rubbish and the media isn't flooded with it.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 23:07:26

AGoodDad you disgust me.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:08:07

Men abuse women because they feel entitled to. Because they want control them. Because they are violent. What are you going to do about the huge problem of male violence AGoodDad?

teaandthorazine Thu 08-May-14 23:10:10

scallops - I would imagine the fact that only 5% of the prison population is female is down to the Great Feminist Conspiracy?

Ain't that right, AGoodDad? Btw, niiiiice victim blaming in your last post. Women make men be violent towards them? Classy stuff, well done.

wonderstuff Thu 08-May-14 23:11:02

Definitely male identity is a big issue. I became much more aware of gender issues, of feminism when I started my family, my husband and I went from equal to having to deal with a whole bunch of stuff we hadn't had to before. Child care is 'women's work' in society, there is a totally different idea of 'mother' who can be at home or at work, married or single, we've redefined her and she has changed a lot in the last 30 years. A 'father' however is rarely the primary parent, he works full time, if he is single his contact with his children is minimal, which is a problem for men and women. Same with girls, they can be 'tomboys' we celebrate it. But boys? My son wanted to be a princess for a few months, my husband found it deeply uncomfortable. He didn't understand why, I think it's because really most men, even men who are not sexist, see feminine as inferior.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:13:59

Oh yes I love a Great Feminist Conspiracy teaandthorazine grin

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 23:14:36

Scallopsrgreat, It is fact that women committing the same crime as a man are treated more leniently. Thats why prisons aren't full of women.

Try as a man reporting a women for abuse. They will either ignore it or as often happens, she just has to claim the man did something first and HE not her will be arrested and charged. Family and domestic law is a women playground. Feminists (Harman, May) in 2 successive governments have been running the home office. (who define police/court procedures for dealing with crimes) No surprises then that the stats show many womens crimes have been swept under the carpet. Harman was even trying to make it law that if a women killed a man using "I thought he wanted to harm me" as a defense would be valid.
I don't dispute the stats, but they are evidence of discrimination in the police and courts.

ladyblablah Thu 08-May-14 23:15:06

I put it it the floor that it would be very hard to be 'agooddad' with these cripplingly aggressive, misogynistic, sexist, entitled and disgusting views.

I'd say the courts saw right through you and good on them.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 23:15:14

<strokes cat like Blofeld>

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 23:15:27

" Women make men be violent towards them?" I never said this?

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:16:11

Nope they aren't. Women are generally giver harsher sentences than men for the same crime. They are also more likely to be in prison for first offences than men.

StephanieDA Thu 08-May-14 23:16:47

The biggest 'whiner' on here (to use his word) is agooddad. Yes, it's just as bad for men. It's awful the way men are continually threatened with graphic sexual abuse when they are on the t.v. or online. Terrible how the extreme sexual violence towards scantily-clad men is used as entertainment for women, just to sell games. Really bad how all these men get explicit threats of sexual violence and death on Twitter, and have the size and shape of their penises and what we'd like to do with them graphically described whenever they dare state a point of view on a public platform. Awful how they are displayed as meat in the newspapers every day, as if they are just sexual commodities for the entertainment of women. And how they get their penises grabbed in public and have to put up with women yelling 'Whoooar! Look at the cock on that!' whenever they go out. And all these bloody comedians continually making jokes about extreme sexual violence towards men. And the number of schoolboys facing all that unwanted sexual touching from the girls. Not to mention all the pop videos showing women in clothes surrounded by writhing pouting men in tiny g-strings. It's a shame Kirsty Walk didn't mention all that.

teaandthorazine Thu 08-May-14 23:18:09

No surprises then that the stats show many womens crimes have been swept under the carpet

Again, some actual evidence to back up your increasingly bonkers claims would fab, thanks.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:19:09

"Women make men be violent towards them?" I never said this?

Yes you did: "They Also empower these men to do it to others as they think it's ok."

teaandthorazine Thu 08-May-14 23:20:42

* They Also empower these men to do it to others as they think it's ok. I'm not saying its right for them to do it. But women are also fueling it.*

Which bit of this have I misunderstood?

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 23:21:38

Kirsty Wark doing the papers on Newsnight just now.

"Taxman to raid joint accounts The wife could lose money even if its the husband who is in arrears"

ManWithNoName Thu 08-May-14 23:21:42

AGoodDad - I really cannot accept that it is the fault of women that men abuse them. Oh and before you say it, yes I do know a man who was very seriously physically abused by his female partner. It still doesn't make any difference to the unavoidable fact that a significant numbers of men are perpetrating routine abuse of women online and in real life

Anyway, lets get back to the programme. Does anyone have any concrete suggestions as to how to improve things?

I think lessons at school about 'consent' and 'online abuse of women' and about 'real sexual relationships' would a good thing. It would at least give us a fighting chance that we can get our teenage children to think about the issues properly.

Thank you for a really interesting post.

I don't know how to judge if things are getting worse, but I certainly think the internet has had a huge impact in showing up how men and women expect to relate to each other. You see it on MN all the time. There's a certain sort of man who assumes that he deserves rather more time, consideration and respect than women do. It's hardly surprising, because we know that in real life, we tend to give men more time to speak. But it doesn't quite work when we're all on an anonymous forum, and these men get het up when suddenly they're forced to act on a level playing field.

I find it very revealing.

I'm also remembering the absurdity of F4J's whinings against Justine and MN as a whole, as I read this thread, and being stunned and amused anyone can accuse feminists of whining.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:24:00

"she just has to claim the man did something first and HE not her will be arrested and charged" I would laugh only it's so horrendous for women how untrue that statement is.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:26:10

I know the irony of calling us whining women when all he's done is whine himself and come out with unproven bullshit statements.

Ooh, brilliant, it's just up on iplayer. smile

And yes, it is ironic isn't it scallops.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 23:30:02

StephanieDA - The biggest 'whiner' on here (to use his word) is agooddad. Sure, go into Tesco and pull all the Pink mags that women love and you'll find women whining as a commercial commodity.

Many of the things you mention are women putting themselves in that position. Was Mylie Cyrus forced to do wrecking ball. I doubt it etc etc. Sort out the women amongst yourselves who sell themselves into what you see as wrong and stop blaming men for their actions.

I'm just pointing out that this is the problem with feminism and women today. There is whining everywhere about glass ceilings etc. So instead of whining a very one sided view, go out and start in the lowly jobs like sewage workers etc build the balance from the bottom up. Don't just whine because not enough women are getting the cream at the top when they aren't willing to do most of the bottom jobs etc.
Then if you want equality, give up the inequalities in your favor and be equal.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 23:31:06

Going back to the programme I TOTALLY agree with Germaine when she says sexual liberation for women hasn't happened.
In many cases women are too scared to say they like and want sex. Too nervous to say what they really want in bed. Because of the Madonna/whore dichotomy. The fear of slut shaming (still not sure I like that phrase for it)
Many women are putting up with uncomfortable unfulfilling sex. Because of fear of asking for what they want.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 23:32:56

Women aren't willing to do most of the bottom jobs? Ooh that has let me in nicely Back in a min grin

StephanieDA Thu 08-May-14 23:34:42

You really can't see the irony can you AGoodDad, coming into a serious debate about a shocking programme and telling us we're whining, and all this stuff is women's fault.
And thank you for telling me what I need to do if I 'want equality.'

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:35:16

"I'm just pointing out that this is the problem with feminism and women today." Imagine my surprise in a man telling us how we are doing feminism and even womanhood wrong. Because obviously how women behave can only be done with reference to men and their feelings.

We see you.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:37:28

I hate the phrase slut shaming too. It implies that some women are sluts. They aren't. Although I'm sure AGoodDad will have views on that <waits with baited breath>

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 23:37:41

Zero hours contracts most likely to be offered to women ,young people and those over 65.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:39:58

"when they aren't willing to do most of the bottom jobs etc." Hahaha. This is like a comedy show now except of course he is debating and lying about women's lived experiences. Not so funny when you are having to put up with the shit he is denying.

Darkesteyes Thu 08-May-14 23:41:39

scallop its MAJOR gaslighting Scary.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:43:53

It is.

wonderstuff Thu 08-May-14 23:46:25

How do we achieve sexual liberation? It's so deeply ingrained and from what the teenage girls were saying online porn is making it more difficult for girls. I do really like the idea of teaching consent. Wasn't there a case recently where a young man raped an unconscious woman and stated at trial he didn't think it was rape because she didn't say no?

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:46:58

Anyway I'll have to love you and leave tonight. I'm off to bed to concoct more great feminist conspiracies to catch up on the beauty sleep that clearly us wimmin need.

scallopsrgreat Thu 08-May-14 23:50:02

Sorry one last post. I think it's also about teaching boys that they aren't entitled to sex and women aren't here for their pleasure. Teaching them to respect women's boundaries.

EBearhug Thu 08-May-14 23:50:18

EBearHug. Why dont they start up their own businesses in it?

Some do, starting of course with Dame Steve Shirley in the '60s (great speaker - do go and hear her, if you get the chance.)

I've also known women contractors, but if you're in your own business in IT, you're likely to end up working for other companies, and may well be in their offices, even if you're not directly employed by them.

Not everyone wants to run their own business, though. It's not something that's ever particularly appealed to me. I like being part of a big organisation.

AGoodDad Thu 08-May-14 23:56:18

Scallopsrgreat - I am all for a women being equal to men, even on a sexual basis. I never use the term "slut" and would never label a woman for having or wanting sex. It's nature. I think many women make very bad choices though in the men and life they choose. There are many sexist men out there, often these are the "Lads lad" type that many women seem drawn to, why??
It is wrong to focus on a limited number of sexist men as if that was the entire male population. I'm not denying that there is sexism against women in many walks but you have to admit, feminism has gone to the opposite extreme and hardly stands for equality anymore.
I have been a bit of a devils advocate here but the reality is that there is much discrimination against men that is largely ignored and even suppressed by the feminist cry. After all if someone has been racist against you is it ok to be racist against them, NO. Why is it ok for feminism to ignore discrimination against men if equality is truly what they want?
I personally don't see or understand why feminism focuses so intently on jobs in the board room or promotion when it should be on the masses and getting them in equal jobs etc. Progression will then occur naturally rather than forcing a few to the top who haven't necessarily earned or deserve the role.
I don't agree with the violence against women or the sexual connotations where it is not sought. I personally do think that more should be done to reach equality but things need to be equal both ways.
In family law it is largely favorable towards women where children are involved. I have experience of this and while women want equality in the workplace they should be willing to give up their advantages in the Family, particularly in the family courts given that so many relationships with children do break up.

bunchoffives Fri 09-May-14 00:01:06

manwithnoname I think the best way to improve things would be to explicitly extend the definition and concept of prejudice to women.

There is a law against inciting hatred towards ethnic minorities, religious groups, races, disabled people - how about extending that to women?

Also, instead of specifically addressing misogyny in schools it might be better to teach treating all others with respect.

And enshrine in law the concept of something like 'grievous disrespect', where if a complainant can show that disrespect has caused serious harm then they can have recourse in law.

Not sure that would be workable without a lot of refining, but I'd love to have a way of getting rid of things like page 3 that just perpetuate the culture of women as slightly sub-human, and certainly as inferior.

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 00:06:44

bunchoffives - I think that just teaching respect for a fellow human and some responsibility for your actions but these seem to be values that are suppressed in modern schools and family. The "Do good" ways to never discipline etc are creating a nation of irresponsible and emotionally immature adults and regression is occurring.

bunchoffives Fri 09-May-14 00:24:26

AGoodDad - I'm not engaging in conversation with you even over the internet because of your previous posts.

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 00:35:58

bunchoffives - if you'd read my preavious posts you'd see that I mentioned I was being a bit of a "devils advocate" do you understand the concept?

Right, I've finished watching it. smile

It's brilliant, isn't it? I thought the girls they had on the show were so good, it was really heartening to see that because I don't know how I would have coped with some of the levels of misogyny they were getting.

bunch - strongly agree about redefinition. It is necessary, unfortunately.

What strikes me so strongly here is how much some men really want to make out that there are no social structures of privilege. Rod Liddle seemed completely ignorant of that. I don't know if it was the editing (though it didn't look that way), but didn't it completely go over his head when Wark pointed out that someone comparing him to a lesbian isn't just being rude to him (an individual), they're being rude - or discriminatory - to an entire class of women?

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 01:04:55

LRDtheFeministDragon - While I think most of the issues addressed are real and that discrimination or misogyny is all around us, the opposite being Misandry is almost as prevalent, just not exhibited in the same way.
We are blasted day after day with feminist propaganda in the media etc about how women are the underdogs, how men are evil and how women should be replacing men in the workplace that it has just become a noise or as I call it a "Whine" of "we hate men and want them to step aside".
If the feminist movement wants some credibility it should start but pushing for equality including giving up privileges where women have them above men. Then maybe feminism will have some credibility.

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 01:13:12

There is a law against inciting hatred towards ethnic minorities, religious groups, races, disabled people - how about extending that to women?

Equality for women and more where it suits us? Sounds like modern feminism.

How about extending that to women AND MEN?

Misandry does not exist.

EBearhug Fri 09-May-14 02:51:38

as I call it a "Whine" of "we hate men and want them to step aside".

I think you need your hearing or brain tested, because I haven't heard anyone say "we hate men" nor we "want them to step aside". I think what most people are saying is, "we want to be treated fairly and with respect." But you just go ahead and filter that through your bitterness.

CluelessCrapParent Fri 09-May-14 04:23:12

This is timely and I have been thinking about this a lot although wasn't crystallising it in a coherent way.

I also this this ties in with the raising number of singletons, and I blame the sexist, misogynistic culture and explosion of internet porn on this. Against the bombardment of this, you can see why men find it difficult to treat women with respect and how it warps their expectations of women in a relationship. The women, knowing this, are probably thinking (wisely) why would they engage in a relationship with a man with such views....makes it very hard for both sexes to meet in the middle.

antimatter Fri 09-May-14 05:56:13

ADoodDad you say "Most IT men would welcome more women in the industry."

Are you working in IT?

merrymouse Fri 09-May-14 06:48:00

I am very glad that the law is giving more equality to men in the area of maternity leave, and I hope that we will reach a stage where an employer is as likely to imagine that a man will take a few months off/a career break around the birth of his children as a woman and will be as likely to take a day off/leave on time to take care of child care issues. If men step up to the plate I think this will make the biggest difference to equality in the work place and at home.

Re: jokes and 'banter', surely the measure of whether a joke or song is sexist/racist/biggotted is whether the target finds it offensive. It wouldn't be up to the rugby club to decide that its OK to sing offensive songs about 'niggers' on the bus because they aren't really a bunch of racists.

merrymouse Fri 09-May-14 06:52:04

"How about extending that to women AND MEN?"

I wasn't on the netball team - is there a culture of women singing this kind of song? If it is a problem, obviously it should also be addressed.

teaandthorazine Fri 09-May-14 06:53:16

We are blasted day after day with feminist propaganda in the media etc about how women are the underdogs, how men are evil and how women should be replacing men in the workplace that it has just become a noise or as I call it a "Whine" of "we hate men and want them to step aside".


Who has said men are evil? Who has suggested that they should 'replace men'? Give me one example. Oh, hang on, you can't can you?

You live in a fantasy world, with your 'feminist propaganda' and your 'studies' and 'statistics', and when you're challenged on it you backpedal and say 'I was only playing devil's advocate'.

Your arguments are ridiculous.

Footle Fri 09-May-14 07:48:04

My daughter is a teacher. She recently heard a 14 year old boy in class say to a girl "Shut up or I'll rape you". Followed by "it's ok Miss, she knows I'm joking. "

OwlCapone Fri 09-May-14 07:50:52

Misandry does not exist.


scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 07:53:23

I am all for a women being equal to men, even on a sexual basis. That's so big of you. Thanks for that. But it's OK I don't want women to be equal with men on a sexual basis as that would mean being equal in terms of rape and sexual assault. How about men just change their behaviour and stop raping and sexually assaulting women?

I have been a bit of a devils advocate here No, no you haven't. And here's the thing about being devils advocate. Permission denied

It is wrong to focus on a limited number of sexist men as if that was the entire male population. Apart from the fact no one has done that, it's not wrong to focus on patterns of behaviour.

I don't agree with the violence against women or the sexual connotations where it is not sought. So you do believe that some women deserve violence against them. What a lovely man you are.

I personally don't see or understand why feminism focuses so intently on jobs in the board room or promotion when it should be on the masses and getting them in equal jobs etc..Really did you miss the equal pay act? Yes feminists fought for that. For a long time. Men didn't just give up there privilege there. Remind me again what privileges women have over men?

In family law it is largely favorable towards women where children are involved. I have experience of this... Imagine my surprise that you have 'experience' of this. If you want 'equality' in family law then men need to show equality in terms of childcare prior to going to court. Only you see you already have equality in family law. In fact the courts bend over backwards to give abusive men access to their children. You just don't recognise it as equality as it, generally, actually reflects the amount of work women put into childcare. Men no longer own their children so actually have to show that they will care for them and look after them on a day to day basis. Yep that's the face of equality. Dreadful isn't it?

And I'm not sure why you have a problem with expanding hate crime to cover women? The programme clearly showed hatred towards women is alive and kicking. In fact you've shown it admirably on this thread. Maybe that's what you are worried about? You wouldn't be able to spout your misogyny without recourse. Hard innit.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 07:55:30

Nope it doesn't Owl. Made up term by men who are a little miffed they have to give up their privilege. A bit like reverse racism doesn't exist. Not if you recognise the power structures at play. But of course men like AGoodDad don't.

OwlCapone Fri 09-May-14 07:57:40

So what, off the top of my head, are the T shirts that say "boys are stupid, throw rocks at them"? Simple humour?

OwlCapone Fri 09-May-14 08:00:06

Clearly it is not as prevalent or "bad" as misogyny but to deny it exists at all is stupid.

Clearly there's nothing called as "reverse racism" because everyone has a race. The equivalent to that would be reverse sexism not misandry.

mousmous Fri 09-May-14 08:00:13

that programme was disturbing - in an enlightning way.

it makes me think more about how I want to raise my daughter and son.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 08:03:49

No. Did anyone say that was? But it isn't misandry. It's unpleasant. But it also goes against the current power structures. Women don't go around throwing rocks at men. There is no danger of that. Men as a class are not scared of women's violence. Men do go around throwing rocks at women though.

OwlCapone Fri 09-May-14 08:04:57

You seem to be missing the point. Misandry is a hatred of men. It is not the same as sexism.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 08:05:50

Reverse racism is a term used to in relation to supposed racism against whites. It doesn't exist. White people have privilege over people of colour.

OwlCapone Fri 09-May-14 08:08:11

Regardless, I would say there are actually a very tiny number of scenarios where sexism probably does apply to men - things like midwifery spring to mind. They are so small as to be inconsequential and do not apply in general every day life but it should never be denied that they exist.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 08:09:30

Women don't hate men. And you seem to be missing the point as your example doesn't seem to be showing any level of misandry. It's a slogan on a t-shirt that bears no relation to anything that happens in real life. Women getting angry and raging against their oppressors is not the same as oppressors hating those they oppress.

OwlCapone Fri 09-May-14 08:09:50

White people have privilege over people of colour.

I imagine that isn't true in countries which are virtually completely non-white. However, that is not reverse racism, it is simply racism.

OwlCapone Fri 09-May-14 08:11:57

Women don't hate men.

Really? You know that of all women do you? I would argue that men don't "hate" women.

This is precisely why I have hidden the entire feminism topic and never engage in these so called "debates". They are not debates and women are perfect creatures whenever do anything wrong. Which is bollocks.


scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 08:12:47

It's funny though how quickly everyone wants to remove the focus away from men's behaviour and back onto women's supposed behaviour.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 08:13:20


AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 08:24:45

LRDtheFeministDragon - Misandry does not exist. (You are proof that it does!)

antimatter - Are you working in IT? (Yes, and there aren't many women in IT but they would be welcomed)

merrymouse - " If men step up to the plate" Everyday there are thousands of men in court fighting for the right to "Step up" but are being denied that right by WOMEN and the feminist family law system.

merrymouse - "I am very glad that the law is giving more equality to men" so it's not equality then just more equality, women have been given "More equality" so what's the problem?

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 08:30:03

ScallopsAreGreat - "Women don't hate men." men don't hate women, there are a few who have no respect for women but if you think men hate women you're living in a dream world. Yes inequality is a form of oppressions then stand up for equality including where you have to give up superiority.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 08:32:30

What superiority is that?

teaandthorazine Fri 09-May-14 08:38:58

Owl - Can you expand on what you mean when you identify midwifery as a source of sexism?

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 08:39:41

Scallopsrgreat - Women committing crime are treated leniently. Women are automatically given parental responsibility over children, men aren't.
Women are automatically deemed to be the primary carer of children in separation and men have to fight years to prove they are worthy (even if the father was the primary carer)

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 08:47:57

No they aren't to all the above. Women do most of the childcare before splitting that's why they are generally resident carers. If men want to change that then give up some of your privilege power and status and start doing the unpaid work.

Women get parental responsibility automatically because they give birth. Not sure how that equates to superiority as women get penalised all the time for bearing children. Someone has to have parental responsibility and if you aren't willing to show the commitment to even turn up and register the birth of your child why should you get parental responsibility? Of course you can always apply for it retrospectively. Courts will almost certainly grant it (unless there is a history of abuse).

Women get harsher sentencing.

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 08:51:05

Scallopsrgreat - "It's funny though how quickly everyone wants to remove the focus away from men's behaviour and back onto women's supposed behavior." Yes because in your eyes equality only goes one way.

Not once have I said I support things the way they are. I have condemned inequality and abuse of women and only sought equality. I have raised the fact that inequality exists both ways and for that I have been attacked on here. Yes it does exist both ways and is not right both ways. There are many here who seem to want the big chip on their shoulder so they can whine on and on with their "Me me me poor me I'm a women" but refuse to acknowledge that equality should go both ways. Where is the real problem? If you keep crying out for equality where it suits you without being willing to acknowledge or give up where you have superiority, then you will never have equality or credibility.

I stand for equality, not only where it suits men but for both men and women. I'm sure the feminists on here will have an issue with that.

Meglet Fri 09-May-14 08:55:48

Can't think why agooddad has lost contact with his kids in a family court hmm.

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 08:57:36

Women get parental responsibility automatically because they give birth. Not sure how that equates to superiority as women get penalised all the time for bearing children. Someone has to have parental responsibility and if you aren't willing to show the commitment to even turn up and register the birth of your child why should you get parental responsibility? Of course you can always apply for it retrospectively. Courts will almost certainly grant it (unless there is a history of abuse).

I could argue then that "If women will show up and take responsibility for all jobs including the lowly ones" (I don't see the hoards of women trying or any evidence of it) then they will be more accepted in the higher ones.

If men turned up then we will give them rights (cant automatically have them like we women do) Like so many feminists you're so sexist it stinks. Don't expect equality unless you're willing to give equality.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 08:59:15

Men have more privilege and power than women. So yes equality does only go one way. Men have to start giving up that privilege and power.

And no you haven't condemned the abuse of women. You have said women collude in their own abuse. That isn't condemning. That isn't examining male behaviour and condemning it.

Again where do we have superiority. Because you just haven't provided any evidence of it

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 09:00:07

Wel exactly Meglet!

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 09:04:48

I could argue then that "If women will show up and take responsibility for all jobs including the lowly ones" (I don't see the hoards of women trying or any evidence of it) then they will be more accepted in the higher ones. You could argue that of course but it would be nonsensical. Most of the men in the board rooms haven't done the 'lowly jobs'. And women do most of the unpaid work. Women do most of the 'lowly jobs' too. For example 70% of the world's farmers are women.

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 09:06:59

Meglet - Can't think why agooddad has lost contact with his kids in a family court hmm.

Actually I raised two children on my own because their mother was a dead beat mother and has never contributed towards them. Not 1 penny. Despite raising 2 well behaved and respectful children on my own (and done a better job than most single mothers I've known) I lost contact with a child in a later relationship simply because the mother wanted it. She was allowed to lie and be abusive. She committed crimes which were ignored by the police and courts. She even abused my two children yet the courts favor women. Why? Because Misandry and inequality is rife in family law.
As I've said all along, I'd be happy for true equality yet every women on here has slammed me for that.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 09:10:31

You see your privilege and perceived superiority are shining through in that post. But this isn't about you. This is about the abuse of women by men and about how society upholds that.

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 09:21:12

Scallopsrgreat - You see your privilege and perceived superiority are shining through in that post. But this isn't about you. This is about the abuse of women by men and about how society upholds that.

Not once have I defended Misogyny, sexism or inequality, not once have I said there should be any form of superiority. They only person here who has defended any form of sexism is you. So who is the sexist here, YOU. Lie in the bed you make!

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 09:30:33

For example 70% of the world's farmers are women. - So much inequality, better get more men in there and make 30% lose their jobs!

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 09:34:49

Why 30%? I'd just like to have more than a 1% share of the world's wealth for doing 60% of the labour.

diege Fri 09-May-14 09:40:18

83% of (paid) domestic workers worldwide are women (ILO 2010) - sounds like they're taking pretty much all responsibility for doing these 'lowly' jobs at least...

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 09:43:39

So what you want is women to do more of the low paid jobs. And yet when they do yoybwant to make them unemployed from that to the advantage of men so denying that income too. And you call that equality?

ginmakesitallok Fri 09-May-14 09:45:22

Thought provoking programme. What I found really really sad was a Facebook post I came across this morning from a young woman, stating that it was rubbish, and was just ugly old women jealous of the attention being given to young pretty women. Was so sad that sexism and misogyny are culturally accepted now. (Oh and she also thinks that it's girls' mums' fault that they don't feel they can say no to serial advances from men.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 09:46:43

Oh and I haven't defended any form of sexism. Not unless you think the fact that women are the only ones who can give birth as sexist. You however have suggested that violence against women is deserved.

diege Fri 09-May-14 09:46:44

I think it's clear that equality is the last think AGoodDad (sic) wants...

AGoodDad Fri 09-May-14 09:46:47

For example 70% of the world's farmers are women.
83% of (paid) domestic workers worldwide are women

So you have these board rooms full up then, what are you complaining about?

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 09:48:07

Oh god thats so sad ginmakesitallok sad

Redoubtable Fri 09-May-14 09:48:29

Basic Psychology, no? That a member of an outgroup will identify with the values and prejudices of the more powerful mainstream (in order to reduce the perceived threat to themselves).

Happens all the time.

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 09:50:31

True colours shining through now AGoodDad (in case anyone had missed them before).

No women are doing the low paid jobs. The men are still in the boardrooms of those industries.

diege Fri 09-May-14 09:54:18

Hmmm, maybe because the 83% of women doing these jobs didn't actually have a portfolio of other jobs to choose from? That some of them they get paid less than a penny a day for doing the work? If you truly believe in equality AGoodDad you can surely see that there's something amiss here? confused

funnyossity Fri 09-May-14 09:54:47

I was particularly put out by the bus incident, (probably as I spend more time on public transport than the internet..) and the woman who thought it was all ok as she works behind a bar and knows what drunk males are like (I imagined her adding "bless them"!). When did it become precious to not want crude songs sung aggressively by a gang on the bus?confused

My guess is those privileged yobbos don't think people worthy of respect even use the bus. (Introducing diversionary class element, sorry..)

scallopsrgreat Fri 09-May-14 09:56:55

This is from the Wall Street Journal (that well known feminist publication). It states that women make up 40% of the workforce and own 1% of wealth. That is paid workforce obviously. There is an awful lot of labour that goes on that is unpaid and the majority is done by women.

It also shows the pay gap between the sexes.

BuzzardBird Fri 09-May-14 10:01:09

I'm pretty sure he just wrote a post without the misogynistic word 'whine' in it! I think he is turning! shock

diege Fri 09-May-14 10:12:01


Creeping Fri 09-May-14 10:44:17

If there is prejudice against men in the family courts, it is because some of the prejudices against women that hold them back in other areas of society, such as that they are the carers more than men, in this case work in their favour. They are patriarchal ideas about childrearing, of what women are supposed to be, and I suppose as an extension, of what men are supposed to be. They are NOT the result of misandry or a feminist plot.

Agooddad's conclusion that women should only expect equality when men are never the victims of a patriarchal society is of course idiotic. Or that they should shut up about inequality because there are a few male victims of patriarchal ideas too, is incredibly short sighted. Nothing will change if the fight for equality stops, not for women, not for men in the family courts.

Having said that, family courts should have the interest of the children as their priority. Men may have difficulty showing how they can be primary carers because their lives are not set up for it, while this may be easier for women because their lives are set up for it (patriarchal society at work here). In an ideal non-sexist world childrearing becomes the responsibility/joy/burden of both parents as a default (both work part-time, both take parental leave etc) instead of mainly the woman's, and it should become easier to show that a father will look after the children as well as a mother.

Sorry to go back in the thread, but just to explain:

Misandry does not exist.

It some possible world, it could exist, just as we could have lived in a world where white people were ruthlessly oppressed and we experienced black supremacy. However, we don't.

Since misogyny is the structural oppression of women, it can coexist with misandry, which would be the structural oppression of men. The two would cancel each other out.

Sexism towards men can and does exist, of course. But the wider context is of a society that is biased against women, and this wider context informs those instances of sexism.

If you chose, you could express this by saying 'well, there is sexism against men and sexism against women, but the sexism against women is more damaging and we know more people are killed by male violence than female violence, we know more women live in poverty than men, we know women earn less, etc. etc.' Or you could say 'there is misogyny and there is sexism against men; misandry does not exist'. To me, the latter is simply a lot more meaningful and useful, although the former isn't particularly difficult to accept either.

'Since misogyny is the structural oppression of women, it cannot coexist with misandry, which would be the structural oppression of men. The two would cancel each other out.'


ManWithNoName Fri 09-May-14 11:15:37

LackaDAISYcal - I was going to show my DSs it too but on a bit late for a 12 - 14 yr old on a school day. That said I also thought the images and language were pretty strong. Not sure I actually wanted them to see it now.

The Grand Theft Auto segment was the most shocking part. My DSs asked for that game a few years ago - I said no and never. I had heard about it but never seen clips from it.

In recent months I have heard my Ds talking about girls in ways I don't like. Talking about their body shapes and to be frank talking about girls in ways that suggest they are entitled to sex with them. Its only talk but I know they are getting it from school (boys with older brothers etc.) and internet. Music videos too.

DW and me pick them up on it and talk to them and make them think about what they are saying but it is relentless.

Our DSs go to a 'nice' private school too and achieving reasonable grades. Its not about social class, background and intelligence. It crosses all boundaries and starts at quite a young age. Probably younger than many parents realise.

Its not just the boys. Girls play up to it, feel pressured, go along with it, accommodate it. There are two sides to the coin.

funty Fri 09-May-14 11:17:03

I found a lot of the program depressing and disturbing and thank god I am not a young girl growing up now. It was the first time I have seen footage of what is actually in Grand Theft Auto and it made me feel physically sick.It has prompted me to come on here for the first time in a while to be reassured hopefully. Why on earth it is legal to design and sell a 'game' where you can run over, punch and stamp on women after having sex with them? Is this really 'entertainment'? I am horrified that it sells so massively well as it makes me think it is not as stated earlier, a small isolated group of people who think this is normal. I am also very worried as a parent of boys what kind of message it is giving their developing minds. I would never buy them a game like this but know they will be exposed to at some point as friends' parents seem to think it's OK. Why would anyone buy that for their children? I feel like I'm unusual in wanting to protect my boys from these horrific images. I know there were more shocking real life examples but my point is that these are illegal and the games are not. Please tell me I'm not the crazy person here!

manwith -yeah, that bit with Rod Liddle claiming it was about social class made me furious!

funty - no, me too. I found a lot of the imagery really hard to deal with. I don't watch music videos so I guess I'm insulated from all of that and I think I'll happily stay that way!

Creeping Fri 09-May-14 11:25:25

I feel exactly the same, funty. If it was any minority group that was used for entertainment like these prostitutes are in GTA it would not be allowed. Shocking.

ManWithNoName Fri 09-May-14 11:31:34

LRD - it really isn't about social class. I cant quiet remember what Rod Liddle said but I picked up there was a bit of a sort of undertone in the Loaded magazine segment that it was really something to do with a subculture among 'working class lads'.

Well upper middle class educated lads are pretty much my social group and its there in that group too.

I did find the programme generally very hard to watch but not surprising.

Yep, I got that bit too. I thought it was fucking rude, TBH.

Especially when Stirling university was one of their examples of misogyny and I'd hazard a guess they're not all salt of the earth working class lads.

funnyossity Fri 09-May-14 11:33:43

GTA has been an issue in my house, funty. I have now said never even when DS is 18. There is an awful feeling of futility in what I do though. I am the exception. I particularly loathe the parent who said "well I trust my son not to become a killer" thus painting me as the parent of an untrustworthy, easily-led simpleton, thanks for that!

I never dreamt that peer pressure would be so vile for my kids.

rabbitrisen Fri 09-May-14 11:35:00

I presume it is a given that the family courts are biased towards women?

Yet now that there is paternity leave as well as maternity leave, that shouldnt be so any more?

funnyossity Fri 09-May-14 11:39:18

My experience is that it's not at all about social class.

funty Fri 09-May-14 11:41:05

Futility is exactly my feeling funniosity. One of my children told me the other boys in his class said I was a 'horrible mother' because I refused to let them have 18 rated games. They were in PRIMARY school at the time!!

rabbitrisen Fri 09-May-14 11:53:57

Peer pressure has a lot more influence over our children than we realise, when we give birth to them!

When my kids came home form school and said the immortal phrase "all the kids have x y z", I used to tell them to give me a list of who exactly.

Most times, it was say 6 out of 30.
It opened their eyes too. It taught them to really look at things or situations, rather than go by what they first thought that they were seeing.

ManWithNoName Fri 09-May-14 11:54:49

funny - I get that feeling of futility too.

I catch myself thinking there was stuff like this going on when I was at school and I turned out all right. Some of my male teachers were openly misogynist and sexist. It was the 1970s after all. Life on Mars was really quite an accurate portrayal but we all were supposed to laugh at that weren't we?

Are we just panicking about something we can't do anything about, didn't we all experience this ourselves when we were teenagers? I think lads groped girls at parties when I was at university and the rugby crowd sang crude songs. Its just we didn't have the internet.

Is it just we hear about it more so it seems worse but nothing really changed? I don't know. I think the programme highlighted the problem but a follow up talking about possible solutions might be good.

funnyossity Fri 09-May-14 12:00:54

sadly, rabbit there are more than enough "weathermaker" kids in primary with access to GTA.

Now at upper secondary I am in a minority of parents that is just about me and the attendees of the local evangelical, (occasionally gay-bashing) church. I'm not chuffed.

FragileBrittleStar Fri 09-May-14 12:04:31

I watched the program and thought it was interesting and provoked debate. I am concerned that the focus is on misogyny-rather than sexism in society in general. I understand the argument that society reflects the views of the current patriarchy status- but many of the attitudes that perpetuate sexist treatment are also perpetuated by women. Calling women sluts is not just a male preserve , valuing women on the basis of looks etc ditto,

StephanieDA Fri 09-May-14 12:14:27

Peer pressure has a huge influence on shaping children, and it's natural that it does because the peer group is our child's present and future - we parents are their past.
But what gets forgotten is the power of the culture on children; culture influences parents, the peer group, everyone, and it's cultural values that are imbibed unconsciously.
We have a very visible sexist culture (as noted by the UN report) and I think we parents should be supporting No More Page 3 and Child Eyes and taking action ourselves, like turning over newspapers which display sexualised images of women on their front covers (I always put a stack of Sun newspapers behind the lads mags whenever I go into Tesco).
I have 3 boys (young men) and a teenage girl, and they do all seem to take the piss out of this cultural view of women, as I try to, and they think I'm pretty cool for marching up to lads mags displays and turning them round etc.
This is just for parents who feel helpless - there are lots of little actions we can all take in the world, it makes me feel better, and our children are watching.

slug Fri 09-May-14 12:53:18

Am pissing myself laughing at AGoodDad's description of the welcoming non-sexist culture in IT.

When I did my Computing MSc degree I came top of the class. The second and third candidates were also women. I also came top of all of the computing candidates in the University. When I graduated and was presented with the academic prizes that went with being good at what I do, the men in my graduating group complained that I got these awards because of "political correctness" Nothing to do with the fact that I easily outperformed them in every single assessment. Even as they were queuing up for me to help them with their assignments they were complaining that I must be sleeping with the Dean. The sub text of this is, computing is a man's job. Any female that does well is either a freak or has a man helping her.

Every job I have had in IT I've had to deal with overt and nasty misogyny. From rape jokes and being treated dismissively to outright aggression and sabotage. Just yesterday I had a junior member of staff explain to me in a very patronising way, in words of one syllable, how one of our systems works. I'm not his boss, I'm his boss' boss. I wrote the fecking system. But he couldn't see past the breasts to acknowledge that a woman might be able not only to understand, but also to function perfectly well in a career that they see as the exclusive province of men.

It's not an unusual experience for women. It's one of the reasons that, despite government efforts to get more girls into STEM subjects the reality of the workplace is it's a difficult and at times dangerous place to be.

Ev1lEdna Fri 09-May-14 13:05:05

I think the programme highlighted the problem but a follow up talking about possible solutions might be good.

I would have liked to se the programme go into more depth. At the very least I would have liked a 3 part programme, there were areas which were fascinating, like showing how casual sexism and sexist humour/banter (urgh) can extend into other spheres of life where I would have liked more depth. I would have liked to see more sections with young people and I agree with you, a programme discussing solutions, perhaps with more input from Germaine Greer and others would make a successful conclusion to a trio of programmes.

I thought the programme was good and as someone who has been reading about and looking into this kind of issue for a while it touched on the problems, I imagine for people less aware of life online or less inclined to read about problems facing women it was an excellent introduction.

I have two boys, I think about how best to bring them up often, to prevent the normalising (for them) of casual sexism and misogyny or at least give them the tools to query it and not take it as gospel. At times it seems insurmountable when the imagery and language around us is so heavily imbued with the idea of women as objects or inferiors. I would appreciate a dialogue amongst women in a programme like this about how to tackle this issue because working against societal and peer pressure at the moment is an uphill struggle and isn't given much discussion time.

Ev1lEdna Fri 09-May-14 13:08:22

* Just yesterday I had a junior member of staff explain to me in a very patronising way, in words of one syllable, how one of our systems works. I'm not his boss, I'm his boss' boss. I wrote the fecking system. But he couldn't see past the breasts to acknowledge that a woman might be able not only to understand, but also to function perfectly well in a career that they see as the exclusive province of men.*

That makes me so angry on your behalf; the casual dismissal of your authority both in position and in skill based purely on your gender. It is worrying that such an attitude is continuing in the next generation.

tiktok Fri 09-May-14 13:21:54

I thought the programme last night was very good.

I saw comedian Brendan Burns a few years ago, in a comedy club. He was absolutely vile. DH and I almost walked out but we were bang in the middle of the audience, and well....I suppose we didn't want to draw attention to ourselves. He was berating individuals in the audience for not laughing at his women-hating material (he also had an equally horrible routine about child abuse). I get it that shocking people is his schtick. I get it that he is a persona. I get it that he believes the essence of comedy is to shock and that's why people laugh. I think he's wrong, and he came over as a total arse - 'if something's not funny, then nothing's funny'...WTF?? The researcher on the programme who explained that exposure to sexist, women-hating comedy makes men with a tendency to this mindset actually more likely to find it validates it and it validates them.

I felt angry for the woman who could not even play video games without putting up with sexist, hateful shitty comments.

Why should women have to put up with being made to feel scared and targetted , or even just uncomfortable?

I've been on trains with loud groups of men singing sexist songs. It's horrible. I do think parents and teachers have a role here, in guiding boys as well as girls, in modelling what's acceptable and encouraging resistance.

I hope Kirsty will return and make more programmes.

DawnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 09-May-14 13:48:08

Hi there,

A few posters have asked us to link to our We Believe You campaign on rape myths following some rather, ahem, unhelpful posts upthread.

Here it is: We believe you

I'm really interested in the way this thread has turned (for some) into an attack on the premise of the programme.

I wonder whether sites set up to discuss the real problems faced by men (just one example being the difficulties faced by many when leaving the armed forces) get trolled by feminists arguing that these men are just 'whining' and are actually to blame for the 'choices' that have led them to their current situation?

I suspect not.

So why does the type of programme begin discussed here attract such ire, I wonder?

stickygotstuck Fri 09-May-14 14:17:40

why does the type of programme begin discussed here attract such ire, I wonder? A very good point Buffy.

I watched the program in horror last night. My own conclusions -

- Agree with PPs that things have got worse since my 70's childhood.
- I also had never seen images of Grand Theft Auto, and it was worse that I could ever have imagined, truly shocking that such young boys play it
- Totally agree with humour making things seem more acceptable. People hide behind it often
- I am more resolved than ever (if that's even possible) to bring DD up in a non sexist way. And I will continue to point out sexism to her, and anybody displaying sexist views in front of her. Even if she is 5 and if even if they are 'mild' sexist comments from my own in-laws!

But I was also heartened at the girls and young women interviewed towards the end: strong, confident girls and women who are standing up against mysoginy,and letting everyone know that actually, no, it's not just banter, it's NOT OK.

For now and to avoid total despair, I am chosing to believe the Internet will end up biting all the women-haters in the ass [hopeful naïve emoticon]

Darkesteyes Fri 09-May-14 14:17:45

"If women will show up and take responsibility for all jobs including the lowly ones"

"Agooddad" you are talking utter bullshit. I put up a link on this thread about how women are more likely to be given zero hour contracts and you obviously haven't bothered to read it because you want to continue seeing what you want to see. There are many more women in jobs like care work earning minimum wage than there are men.

I put up a link about this upthead.

You however have yet to put up any links to prove your spurious claims.

bunchoffives Fri 09-May-14 14:31:01

Please stop engaging with GoodDad's posts. His arguments are idiotic - no evidence, contradictory, incoherent and undeveloped/immature. There are obviously some personal issues fuelling his sexist views. But there's no need to let them derail this discussion.

Sticky - I too have renewed my own commitment to have a zero tolerance approach to any form of sexism.

Slug - can I ask, did you sack the mansplainer?

Re: video games. Ds keeps asking for GTA5. I keep saying no. He says all his friends play it. I don't believe they all do, but I know a couple have it.

They are 9 and 10 years old, fgs.

slug Fri 09-May-14 14:45:16

bunchoffives. The mansplainers never last very long. They either wake up to the fact that they are going to have to have a woman in charge and deal with it in a mature manner or they leave fairly quickly of their own volition.

rabbitrisen Fri 09-May-14 14:53:27

bunch - but why has he been allowed to stay?

funny - you keep going. It is hard to swim against the tide, but totally worth it. And the kids thank you too in the end

slug - I am surprised at that.
I am left wondering, from that and other threads, whether there are big geographical differences. Are you in the UK?

bunchoffives Fri 09-May-14 15:01:07

I'm not sure I'd be that patient slug. What do the other men make of the newbies attempts to 'educate' you?

grimbletart Fri 09-May-14 15:17:49

As an old gimmer who spent most of her schooldays in the 1950s and entered the job market in the early 60s life was worse for girls in some respects e.g. of having to kick over the traces and upset a lot of people to do the job you wanted if it was one that was deemed unsuited for "young ladies".

However, in one respect it was much better. Girls did not, in the main, give a flying whotsit what boys thought about them i.e. our attitude, at least in my school from the girls was, "if he likes me ok, if he criticises me or tries to pressure me into something I don't want to do then he just fuck off". We didn't see ourselves as feeling we had to comply - an attitude that probably came from having to fight day in day out to be taken seriously and not just as potential breeding fodder in a frilly apron.

I do believe that not only the internet and lads' mag attitudes but also girls and women's mags celeb and body obsession is really feeding what is going on - setting up impossible and unobtainable ideals and forever harking on about being appealing to men. And boys and men play into that attitude too in that it encourages them to think they are the centre of some bloody universe where girls exist as pale moons revolving around their powerful sun.

Not to derail the thread but this story on BBC sport today shows a girl with the right attitude - not that every girl should be weightlifter, although that has its upsides dealing with aggravating teenage boys grin - but her views i.e.

"It doesn't matter what people think about you," says Tiler, fresh from winning a gold and two silver medals at the European Youth Championships in Poland. "If you enjoy something in life, just do it."

That was the attitude we had at school and our careers as we fought for equal rights, the equal pay act etc. and it carried over in our attitude to men. Very much "we're here, we're human too, we deserve to be treated as equal and if you don't like it sunshine, shove over".

Where has that attitude among some girls gone?

Please don't see this as victim blaming. It's not. Obviously the priority is to change male attitudes. But there is nothing like water off a duck's back for entitled males to realise that they are wasting their time being sexist and misogynist as, frankly, we couldn't give a damn about those sorts of men. They can stay girlfriendless and wifeless. Who wants them?

rabbitrisen Fri 09-May-14 15:46:21

I do believe that not only the internet and lads' mag attitudes but also girls and women's mags celeb and body obsession is really feeding what is going on - setting up impossible and unobtainable ideal

I think that you can add the beauty industry into that too.

rabbitrisen Fri 09-May-14 15:47:54

And the advertisers.

I too am totally of the, leave them girlfriendless and wifeless group.

slug Fri 09-May-14 16:42:01

I used to teach 6th formers. I have a fine line in raised eyebrow and slightly patronising put down.

AveryJessup Fri 09-May-14 16:54:52

Kirsty Wark made a good point when she noted that this 'new' misogyny is perhaps a reaction to the rise of women in society and the fact that women are fighting more to work in traditionally male-dominated roles, to be visible and to be taken seriously. That's fits my experiences. Some men feel threatened by the encroach of women, even in the most mild way, into 'their' areas and aren't comfortable in mixed-gender environments.

I read a study some time ago that showed people's perceptions of gender equality. Generally, men thought that women had achieved equality when they made up 30% of a work group. When it went to 50-50 they felt that women were too dominant. Which is hilarious because 50-50 is what society really is.

This sense of being taken over or diminished by the rise of women is at the root of all this MRA paranoia and fear, I think. It is not socially acceptable anymore - thank Christ - for men to be openly sexist and derogatory in the workplace a la Mad Men and so this sentiment is driven underground and surfaces on the internet, mostly anonymously. Hence women on any public forum being subjected to abuse and harassment in order to silence them.

The rape threats always puzzle me to be honest. I don't know why these male trolls use that threat so much e.g. a pp whose relative taught at a school and overheard a 14-year old say to a girl 'shut up or I'll rape you'.

Men can be and are raped too after all. Why don't these girls just throw it back at them? Rape threats are not to be encouraged of course (!!) but I do find it odd in popular culture that jokes about women being raped are 10 a penny while the mere mention of men being raped is still taboo. Maybe MN-ers need to break that taboo...

Oi, AGoodDad - I bet you're secretly gagging for it!! That's why you're hanging around a women's internet site, just begging us to teach you a lesson. Why don't a gang of ten of us MN-ers come round to your place and give you a good seeing to with a dildo, tear your ass in two... phwoar... ooh you'd love that. We'd soon show you what misandry really looks like...phwoar... etc etc.

Shudder. I feel slightly sick now...

bunchoffives Fri 09-May-14 17:51:22

Avery grin

I thought Germaine's frank acknowledgement that the culture of sexism hasn't changed that much refreshing.

While there is equality of pay and opportunities enshrined in law, cultural sexism lags very much behind.

But culture in this instance stems from vested corporate interests in media, music, tv, films etc, where sexism is really about cheap labour and high sales and profit.

Why is misogyny still acceptable when racism or homophobia is not?

Would the Thicke video have been sold and aired if it had been all black naked women with a white man?

Would the Thicke video have been sold and aired if it had been all black naked women with a white man?

Sadly, yes I think it would. See Lilly Allen controversy.

Now if it were semi naked black men dancing around one white man, I think there would be an outcry. Racism and homophobia would kick in big time.

bunchoffives Fri 09-May-14 18:17:15

Yes that's a better hypothesis. wink

NeilDiamondRocks Fri 09-May-14 18:31:00

It was just good to see this documentary aired on a mainstream channel....that alone gives me hope that maybe we are turning a corner and addressing this issue and that more women (and men) are seeing misogyny in everyday life. Interesting that the women interviewed came across as intelligent, thoughtful and insightful, whereas two of the men (Liddle and the Loaded guy) came across as rather silly mansplainers.

It was depressing as a whole, but also so uplifting to see so many eloquent and determined young women who are prepared to work hard to make changes.

vesuvia Fri 09-May-14 18:50:30

Thanks to Kirsty Wark and her team for making this programme.

Some of the points from the programme that particularly caught my attention and my thoughts on them:

Online misogyny does not need anonymity. There are plenty of examples, e.g. on Facebook, where the misogynist's real name and work place can be easily seen. Online misogyny occurs because the misogynists and sexists gain encouragement and re-enforcement of their views and behaviour, in an environment where there are inadequate sanctions against misogynists.

The Steubenville rape case was a very low point in American history (but sadly it could also happen in many other societies). I hope for the day when such behaviour would be impossible.

According to many comedians, rape jokes are fair game because no subject should be off-limits to comedians. Can anyone explain to me, why do any comedians and their fans find rape jokes funny or even acceptable? All the rape jokes I've heard only minimise, excuse and normalise the behaviour of rapists and rape apologists. If rape is just another joke category, why is it that the vast majority of rape jokes are about the rape of women and girls and not about the rape of men and boys? I'm not suggesting that there should be any jokes about the rape of men or boys, but why is society not awash with them, if nothing is supposedly off limits in comedy?

It was interesting to learn that studies have found that sexist jokes make sexist men more sexist because it socially reinforces and validates their sexist behaviour.

Rod Liddle says that women should just "man up" because men get abuse online too. He and his fellow men are almost always abused because of their opinions. Women are abused, very often initially with sexual insults or threats, just because they are women, irrespective of their opinion. Then, if the reader doesn't like the woman's opinion, that will also be attacked. If a woman receives rape or death threats from misogynists online, and she does "man up", her actions are not going to stop the online misogynists repeating the abuse on the next woman. How and why should a woman "man up" to deal with something that men don't have to deal with?

A cook in a TV cookery show was described as a whore, and a gymnast in a sports event was described as a slag and a slut. Why? Because misogynists can get away with it?

I admire the young people who organised Campaign4Consent asking the UK Government for better relationship and sex education in schools.

FairPhyllis Fri 09-May-14 19:20:22

I thought it was a very good programme - congratulations to everyone involved in making it.

I think as feminists what we urgently need is to find a way of countering the post-modern "oh it's ironic humour" BS the programme identified. We've got to the point now that whenever I hear someone use the word 'banter', what they're almost invariably describing is actually some form of bullying insidiously wrapped up in "humour," whether that's sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.

Well said, thanks to Kirsty and her team. thanks

I think the anonymity issue is interesting. I think it's as much feeling you're outside the norms of written culture and spoken culture that does it. I mean, we're getting more clued up but it's very recently that laws on what you can and can't say on the net became widely known and it must have been strange for lawyers working out what count as libel or slander, or abuse. I think in a context like that (as a big generalization) people who're accustomed to feel confident speaking are going to see it as freedom to say whatever they like, whereas people who've experience of being shouted at or shouted down are going to get more of the same. That's often credited to anonymity, but I agree, it's not really that.


'Banter' for me conjure up images of immature sexist twits, I'm afraid. I think it's tied in to class privilege, too - seems to be a term that has a big association with undergraduates and/or posh stereotypes.

FairPhyllis Fri 09-May-14 19:34:39

OTOH, use of the word 'banter' is quite useful to me in that it's like a massive siren going "Awooga! This person is likely a giant cock!"

Rod Liddell and Martin Daubney didn't come across well at all, quelle surprise.

I think the campaign about education on consent is a good one, I can't believe schools don't teach about it already.

I am getting more and more disappointed with men as a group. Why aren't the non-sexist ones standing up and loudly saying this stuff isn't OK? Why are we fighting this by ourselves?

FairPhyllis Fri 09-May-14 19:40:40

Another thing I thought after seeing the programme: is the internet/modern culture also liberating other prejudices in the same way? Or is there something special about the way misogyny is currently snowballing?

I don't feel as though we are experiencing quite the same tidal wave of online racism/homophobia as we are of misogyny. But I may not be as attuned to racism and homophobia because they don't affect me personally - does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I think maybe part of it is that we become desensitized to one wave of misogynistic expression, just as another one comes along.

vesuvia Fri 09-May-14 20:00:28

Online sexism and misogyny are not just "pixels on a screen", in a similar way to how "The Bible" or "The Communist Manifesto" are not just words in a book. It's the ideas, attitudes and actions that words generate that count, not their delivery mechanism, although it is worth noting that more people will read pixels on a screen than read words in a book.

Online sexism and online misogyny have real consequences in the real word. The internet takes sexism and misogyny from the real world, adds to it and returns it to our lives.

Absolutely agree with that, vesuvia. Especially about the number of people who read it.

I am so sick of the way both 'banter' and the internet are sold as exciting, transgressive spaces where you can just speak out and be heard. Ok, very nice, easy if you already have privilege.

I actually think this is a way in which MN is amazing, in that it shocks me when I venture elsewhere and suddenly find the place is full of men expecting twice as much attention as anyone else.

NeilDiamondRocks Fri 09-May-14 20:36:51

Fair, I too feel disappointed by men's silence...and contemptuous, if I am honest. They HAVE to notice misogyny, yet very, very few raise their heads above the parapet and challenge it. I think they are cowardly and care more about ingratiating themselves to ignorant, sexist men than standing up for innocent women. Yes, I am VERY disappointed with men as a group. They are not as brave or as strong as they like to think they are.

I don't think they always do notice. sad

Yes, some men ignore, but if we had the magic bullet to make people see misogyny ... wow. That'd be huge.

No, I don't think lots of them notice either. DH is one of the most genuinely kind men you could meet, always kind and fair to everyone. And I still have to point out stuff to him. A consequence of 40 odd years not having to notice.

Worse though are the men who don't notice and then become angry when it is pointed out to them.

NeilDiamondRocks Fri 09-May-14 20:46:53

You are probably right, LRD. My magic bullet was having my first child...I thought about the life my daughter would be living. Yet you get men with children (like that utter fool AGoodDad) who has children yet remain completely ignorant?? I just seems to obvious to me now that I am always quite surprised other people don't see it.

NeilDiamondRocks Fri 09-May-14 20:48:49

Yes Buffy...that's it. They don't HAVE to notice!!

It always feels obvious to me too. But I know that I also did the whole 'ooh porn, well empowering' idiocy, so I can't judge. And I know what buffy means that there are blind spots DH has - just as there will be some I have, and I can't know what they are.

I thought this documentary was so good because it really helped show up those issues without coming across as judgemental.

FairPhyllis Fri 09-May-14 20:58:47

It's socialisation. Women are socialised to be the ones who think about other people's needs, "notice" things, empathise, and try to fix stuff. Men generally aren't. That is why they "don't notice sexism".

But they can and should rise above their socialisation.

Yes - and you know what else? I've just been chatting with someone, and she told me that apparently, from the 1930s in English law, lawyers have personalised the individual you're meant to imagine when you try to think about what a person might 'reasonably' think and do. And surprise surprise, that default person is a man.

I know it's a tiny thing in some ways, but it really hit home to me, that fact. If even in our legal system, we're imagining that the default 'reasonable' point of view is one we can associate with a man, how are we ever going to stop men assuming that if they think something is acceptable 'banter', we're allowed to say it's not?

rabbitrisen Fri 09-May-14 21:02:56

I do wonder if "free speech" is partly to blame.
I cant remember where that originated from, but it became a widely accepted "ideal".
Which seems to have backfired spectacularly.

Darkesteyes Fri 09-May-14 21:07:55

I was on the Vagenda webchat on this board earlier in the week . Its not just lads mags and womens mags it is also the diet industry mags (Slimming World and Weight Watchers etc) I have experience of the pressures put on women while dieting which I mentioned in that webchat.

Pick up any diet industry mag and find any interview with a woman who has lost weight and I GUARANTEE you, one of the questions will always be "What does your husband think" And the diet industry mags are getting away with it because they are hiding under the banner of health.

Oh, I didn't see that! Was it good?

I admit I don't really 'get' Vagenda but maybe I'm not the right demographic for them.

vesuvia Fri 09-May-14 21:15:12

LRDtheFeministDragon wrote - "the individual you're meant to imagine when you try to think about what a person might 'reasonably' think and do. And surprise surprise, that default person is a man."

He is "the man on the Clapham omnibus".

Yes! That's it.

(This is one of the moments where I wonder if my different internet personae are coinciding. grin)

Darkesteyes Fri 09-May-14 21:28:20

Watching the vid of them on the OP they covered the pressures on older women as well. Im just glad that a mirror is being held up to the way media treat women.

ManWithNoName Fri 09-May-14 21:36:34

FairPhyllis/NeilDiamond - I'll give you an answer to this:

"I am getting more and more disappointed with men as a group. Why aren't the non-sexist ones standing up and loudly saying this stuff isn't OK? Why are we fighting this by ourselves?"

I see sexist and frankly gross misogyny on a variety of forums every day. The sort of thing that was highlighted in last nights programme. On political and economics forums I often visit the level of abuse directed at women politicians and other significant female public figures is extreme. It happens on virtually every forum I visit - except MN of course. Anyway, on occasions I have had a go at both the people posting and complained to the blogger or operator of the forum. Not often but I have done it. Nothing happens.

If I complained every time I saw sexist comments or offensive misogyny on the internet in a blog or forum I would be doing nothing else all day. It is that relentless and widespread. I have never seen a woman stick her head above the parapet and complain on a forum. Vey few men do.

Truth is most people just want to get on with enjoying the forum and let the sexist idiots talk to themselves. I do that too.

Darkesteyes Fri 09-May-14 21:56:25

Great post grimbletart.

grimbletart Fri 09-May-14 22:39:43

Thanks Darkesteyes. Sometimes I feel despair for today's young women.The shit they face. I especially feel it when I read the thread on schools teaching about masturbation, anal sex etc. It illustrates what a different and difficult world girls now inhabit. I thank the lord the only thing we had to worry about at school was algebra and bloody Virgil. And yet we managed to grow up without being prudes or repressed.

I am really glad my generation had a proper childhood and glad I am now officially a crone grin

I honestly believe the most useful things today's parents can do is 1) teach their sons to bloody well behave themselves and 2) to teach their daughters to do what they hell they want and that what boys think of them does not matter one iota.

3TeensAargh Fri 09-May-14 22:55:37

I agree grimbletart. I'm fairly ancient myself and thankfully freed from the tyranny of constantly worrying what people think of me. The world is slow to change so I think we need to teach our girls steely resilience - 'Whether you approve of me does not matter, but whether I approve of you does'. Also I would like to see women really coming together to do business in a different way using our emotional intelligence and team spirit. If men won't let us succeed in a man's world, stuff them. Let's create a parallel world of our own.

OutsSelf Fri 09-May-14 23:11:15

I think there is a degree to which people don't recognise their own privilege - I don't notice my privilege as a white person because many experience seems natural to me. I do try to notice it and can obviously see its effects - I work in Universities and they are very white particularly in regards to faculty. But at the moment it operates, it's often hard to perceive. So I'm hoping that there is a degree to which this is the case for men.

That said, I have a special sort of rage for the, "I'll support you in this (but not be active myself)" bullshit that loads of selfstyled liberal men give out to their female friends and family. If you claim right on principles but not act because it basically makes you a supporter of patriarchy because as patriarchy entails a specific relationship between men and women, men have to be part of the change.

Having said that, I just want to point out that patriarchy hails us all to identify with its values, meaning that within a patriarchal system men and women equally can be guilty of misogyny. I know lots of misogynistic women, who are gulity of victim blaming, who say shit about women being bitches, who hold women to different standards for childcare, who tell my DD she should be gentle or kind where they don't expect it of DS, who unfailingly comment on my / DD' s clothes and appearance though manage to ask DS what he's been up to/ thinks of the weather. A thousand tiny cuts, really, from women who would not in any way consciously identify as misogynist. Which is not to say that women are responsible for the patriarchy and certainly they are less empowered to change it. But we are all subjects of it and being female does not mean you are incapable of misogyny. Misogyny persists in individuals who identify with its values, male or female.

Darkesteyes Fri 09-May-14 23:11:35

grimble I think things were better when I was growing up too I put some examples upthread of why i think this. I wouldn't want to be a young woman now.

alreadytaken Sat 10-May-14 09:47:28

sports clubs have always sung filthy misogynist songs. I remember finding a song book at niversity and finding it difficult to believe that my normal boyfriend sang that rubbish. He did, peer pressure does ensure that this behaviour continues.

Several things have changed. Women can and do now compete with men for higher paid jobs so are more of a threat. Those who can't compete feel resentent. Porn is far more freely available, seen at a younger age and is much more explicit and violent than when I was young. The internet does allow those who hold minority views to come togather and have their prejudices reinforced. Young women dont generally seem to have the same confidence we had in ourselves when young and seem to accet being judged on their appearance far more readily.

I was hoping to find on mumsnet action to deal with this. Women have a lot of purchasing power and if we make it clear that we will not buy into misogny it will become less prevalent. So, for example, refuse to buy from anywhere that used poor advertising, refuse to buy Grand Theft Auto or have it in your home, complain to the parents of others who allow their child to have it.

hollyisalovelyname Sat 10-May-14 09:50:46

Great news in Ireland
Minister for Justice
Chief State Solicitor
Acting head of our police force
DPP ( I think)
and one other can't remember.

FairPhyllis Sat 10-May-14 10:42:21


Truth is most people just want to get on with enjoying the forum and let the sexist idiots talk to themselves. I do that too.

OK, but then you shouldn't kid yourself that you're not part of the problem too. If you choose to use those sites and contribute to their content, community and ad revenue without confronting the culture of the site, or only confronting it when it's at its most egregiously awful, you are just another man who passively tolerates misogyny when it suits you.

Why would a reasonable human being even want to hang out on those sites if they contain so much misogyny? Would you hang out on any other site that contained offensive material?

I guess the question is, if you find it so offensive, why don't you boycott those sites? My guess is because you think that whatever small pleasure you get out of those forums is more important than women.

If you want to count yourself as a feminist ally you need to acknowledge that by using those sites you've made a choice that is about prioritising your wants (to read some people spouting off about politics) over passively supporting woman-hating cultures on the internet which fuel RL contempt and violence against women. Feminist allies are people who walk the walk and make some sacrifices in their lives for the sake of creating a culture in which women are treated with the respect they merit.

What's at stake here is nothing less than a culture in which women are people. You say your sons are already feeling entitled to women's bodies. That's because in a tiny way they already think we are not fully human.

funnyossity Sat 10-May-14 14:28:16

alreadytaken I would not complain to a parent about what they have in their home. They are not my friends but members of a community with different values to me. I don't complain about the preaching at the evangelical church either. I do discuss it with my own children.

Did you dump the singing jock? I could more easily have done that as it is within a personal circle.

ManWithNoName Sat 10-May-14 17:12:55

FairPhyllis - fair enough but then again I never see women (and really mean never) standing up against it on internet forums. There are mainstream sites so not like places only men frequent or specifically 'male' interest.

It is so overwhelming and constant that I think we all tolerate or ignore it for the sake of sanity and being able to get through life on a daily basis.

Should I really be expected to complain about every single sexist comment I see on every single site?

Imagine if people did just that. Would solve many problems.

FairPhyllis Sat 10-May-14 18:04:04

Yes. Exactly that. Or, more simply, boycott the forum. I don't go on sites where I know I will encounter that culture. If all men like you who think they are allies actually stood up against that culture, it would crumble.

I think one of the most important parts of the documentary was the description of the studies which showed that misogynist men feel validated by others saying misogynistic things and then go on to feel less inhibited about doing sexist things in everyday life. They will also feel validated by the silence of men like you. Your silence is complicit here.

And saying 'oh but the women don't stand up against it either' is a frankly ridiculous and victim-blaming way of justifying yourself. Not all women are feminists. Or perhaps they have learned that even the allegedly "non-sexist" men won't back them up on this, so they don't bother?

Recognising one's own sexism is a painful process. But frankly I expect men who want to be allies to recognise it in themselves, deal with the pain of it and then do something constructive to help women instead of getting pissy about being asked to confront painful truths about themselves.

It doesn't seem like very much to ask when women are the ones getting raped, assaulted, murdered and abused on a daily basis.

ManWithNoName Sat 10-May-14 18:10:39

FairPhyllis - these are mainstream and very well known forums with tens of thousand of members. I would have to boycott hugely popular areas of the internet. I don't want to do that any more than you do

I don't like it but what you are suggesting is unrealistic.

Its like the young woman in the programme who likes gaming. From what she said, it seems she puts up with it for the sake of doing what she likes doing. It doesn't mean she likes or agrees with it. Same with me.

NeilDiamondRocks Sat 10-May-14 18:54:16

Ok so stay on the forums and challenge it when you see it. I go on mainstream forums and I challenge misogyny wherever I see it. Men don't like it and they have tried to silence me again and again but they are wasting their time. I cannot imagine ever being or ever wanting to be the kind of cowardly person who sits back watching while women get pounded. But it seems a lot of men have no problem doing that just.

ManWithNoName Sat 10-May-14 19:06:48

I'm talking maybe 20 - 30 comments a day. I just don't have the time or energy for that. As I said, I have sometimes had a real go at people about sexist misogynist comments. Maybe I should do it more often.

I tell you what. Next time I see it on a particular blog I go on I will make a stand and have a real battle. Just to see what happens. I don't think it will make the slightest bit of difference. The men who do it really don't care and they will not change their mind because I tell them to. I suspect I will be ignored. Most people just want to enjoy the blog - 'like I do'.

I often see racist comments too FWIW.

Well I guess you face a stark choice then Man: Do your best to step up and challenge where you can and accept the discomfort and inconvenience or hand in your feminist ally credentials.

It's really that simple. While men like you don't really want to be inconvenienced by misogyny and racism so think "meh" and ignore it, it will continue. It just will.

rabbitrisen Sat 10-May-14 19:30:46

See this is what I dont like.
Here we have a man[presumably] who is willing to do his bit, or more than his bit, and he is still being berated.
Give him 6 months, more like 3 nowadays, and he will have disappeared off of here, just like all the others.

ManWithNoName Sat 10-May-14 19:47:11

rabbit - I've been here for years and years.

I'm not going anywhere soon. grin

I know my answer is inadequate and I knew I would be berated but its understandable given the nature of the issue at hand.

Not berated. Crikey. Minority point of view expressed. Probably seems like berating (beration?) because it's a view not often put forward confidently. Men who claim to think of women as equals should express their distaste when other men are sexist or misogynistic.

Man as an experiment, why not set up a new account on some of your mainstream places with a female sounding name. Then stand up for yourself. See how it feels to be guilty of expressing an opinion while female.

ManWithNoName Sat 10-May-14 20:09:44

Buffy - generally it isn't female posters (or female sounding posters) that get attacked. Its female politicians, female public figures that get really disgusting comments made about them. You know the sort of thing that was said about Mary Beard.

It would be better to keep my name and take people to task as a man and say I am a man and then people know I am not a woman. I think it would have more impact than people thinking I was 'one of them feminazis' to quote a fairly common insult.

Yes, I agree that it has more impact when a man speaks out against sexism. I guess my point is that it's simple for you to choose to speak out or choose to ignore it when you're tired, or fed up, or just want to relax without constant activism smile. But women can't choose to ignore it. I thought you might find yourself more empathetic with our frustration with your "meh" if you got a little taste. Not berating you though, because you haven't said anything twatty. Just not tiptoeing around your delicate manly feelings as a proper lady ought. wink

NeilDiamondRocks Sat 10-May-14 20:36:45

As an experiment I gave myself a male name on a forum once, and as usual challenged misogyny if I saw it there. It took the other posters no time at all to tell me I was obviously a woman and wasn't fooling anyone. That just reinforced my opinion that men hardly ever speak out and it is so rare for one to go against the grain and challenge other men, that men (quite rightly in this case) don't believe it is real.

funnyperson Sun 11-May-14 04:32:55

Rape jokes are scary and have always been scary.
I prefer it if men don't swear and make those sort of jokes in front of women.

But I can say that because I'm old

My DD has to laugh it off otherwise she isn't seen to be cool. It makes my skin crawl and I get even more scared for her and her friends. That said, her college at university is much more aware and protective of the girls than mine was. There is a safe room to run to, with the morning after pill etc on site. That said, they need to be. Making girls drink till they are easily raped is fairly standard these days, it wasn't so widespread and routine when I was young even in the rugby club. At a younger age, the boys in the boys school all made a bee-line for the girls especially to have under-age sex. Mobile phone pictures of trophies were routine. The police and society are so blase in this country that the chances of an allegation being made let alone a conviction are small.

I think society has changed and changed for the worse. But this change hasn't happened suddenly.

ThePriory Sun 11-May-14 10:06:47

What I would like to know is precisely why there is so much sexual hatred of women by men. It's so prevalent both online, and also in RL, men shouting abuse at women just for walking along the street that sort of thing. Online it is far more graphic and vitriolic.

It is so childish, it's like a 2 year old who's hatred towards his own parents sometimes is so intense it's terrifying, but passes. I mean, these men don't hate women all the time, "Oh I'm only joking" but when it comes out, it is so intense and so childish, and so real, and so intent on causing hurt for their own pleasure/gain, it's terrifying.

I don't buy the argument that men are threatened by women being able to do high paid jobs like them. It's far deeper and more 'base' than that, like a primitive fear/disturbance. On the program can't remember exactly but something was said like - "men want women sexually, and that power that the woman has over him makes him feel out of control, so he has to redress that power balance by laughing at or belittling the women" or indeed use money to redress that balance.

The whole program was highly thought-provoking, well documented and interesting.

EBearhug Sun 11-May-14 12:36:29

Isn't it all part of Germaine Greer's statement about, "women have very little idea of how much men hate them", which they did cover in the programme? Although that still doesn't answer your question why.

DonkeySkin Sun 11-May-14 15:14:02

What I would like to know is precisely why there is so much sexual hatred of women by men.

This is what frustrates me about most liberal critiques of sexism/misogyny, which I'm assuming is the kind of critique this show advanced (I'm Australian and haven't seen it). Liberal feminists are good at pointing out the problems with patriarchy but they shy away from analysing the roots of the system. This leaves many women with a heightened awareness of sexism but doesn't actually give us strategies for eliminating sexism at its base.

So it always seems to spring back in new, horrible forms - you know, we finally get rid of a woman-hating conservative religious ideology that propagandises the message that female bodies are dirty and inferior and deserving of hatred and violence, and this is replaced by a woman-hating porn culture that propagandises the message that female bodies are dirty and inferior and deserving of hatred and violence...

At base, the male hatred and fear of women springs from their desire to control our sexual and reproductive biology. In almost every known human society, people who cannot bear children have constructed elaborate material and ideological systems to control people who can bear children, which they justify by categorising women and girls as less than fully human, as defective and deficient beings, as an exploitable resource that exists only to fulfil the functions for which they value us (sex and babies), and as appropriate targets for their rage and disgust to whom anything can be done, if they feel like doing it.

I wish every critique of specific cultural manifestations of sexism came with a little pointer to the root of all sexism - 'This is because men consistently construct women as the sub-human sex class, so they can control our sexual and reproductive biology. Chew on that for a moment.'

ManWithNoName Sun 11-May-14 16:56:11

EBearhug - Germain Greer was/is right.

I told a female friend a few years ago in a sort of matter of fact way that 'some men hate women'.

She was visibly shocked. being a SAHM with a nice decent husband with a well paid job living in a nice leafy suburb she apparently had no idea.

Not all men hate women obviously and to be honest the men that don't hate women have really no idea why other men hate women either.

Its true though that some men do hate women. I had a male boss that hated women. It was irrational. He had a supportive wife that loved him unconditionally had frankly had helped him further his career far beyond his actual ability. He was clearly frightened of my wife even though I was a junior employee. He was literally sick with fear at having to attend the birth of his son. He flew the full North - South length of the USA to visit a well known lap dancing club in New York and denigrated and under paid or got rid of every women that worked for him.

I have no explanation.

FairPhyllis Sun 11-May-14 17:39:08

Man isn't being berated here. But I am unapologetically pointing out the contrast between his actions and his proclaimed feminism. I realise that not everyone is used to women being unapologetic for challenging actions that prop up misogyny.

God forbid that a man should have to feel momentarily uncomfortable about or accountable for the way he behaves.

What Man has demonstrated is that even men who want to think they are allies are reluctant to stand up for women when it might inconvenience them. That is part of the problem.

Man I really hope you can get past your discomfort here and turn it into action, because we need men to speak up against misogyny even if it isn't always easy for them to do that. And we need them to do it in numbers. Your voices speak louder than ours do atm.

This is the world that your wife and all your female relatives and friends have to live in. Aren't you interested in doing something about it for their sakes? They don't get to switch off being a woman in the way that men can miraculously switch off their feminism when it suits them.

NeilDiamondRocks Sun 11-May-14 18:24:07

I agree with really doesn't take much to stand up and challenge misogyny. I do it all the time and I STILL enjoy the forums etc. It is a compulsion I feel though, and I suppose that is the difference.

Also, just because it has more impact when men speak up for women, that doesn't mean they deserve special praise when they do so. Some of us are not falling over ourselves congratulating Man on being a feminist ally because it is something ALL decent people should do. David Schwimmer, Patrick Stewart, Ryan Gosling...all famous men who speak out AND act on behalf of women. But they are no better than all the MILLIONS of women who very day act for women so shouldn't be treated as though they are.

ManWithNoName Sun 11-May-14 18:36:52

FairPhyllis - I am not uncomfortable.

I agree men should speak up more but as I said, it is so prevalent on the internet its impossible to attack every single post I see expressing sexism or misogyny.

I think the programme was vey good but offered no solutions. Without saying it I think the programme highlighted the issue and then quietly shoved it in the drawer marked 'too difficult to deal with'.

I think everybody should make a stand but in reality do many women (or men) really do that? No not really.

If you are a SAHM you actually benefit if another woman suffers from discrimination at work and she loses out because of a sexist manager who promotes your DP/DH to a better job and he gets a bigger pay rise as a result How often and how badly does a SAHM really suffer from misogyny if her day is taken up with childcare, home making and interacting with other SAHMs, nursery, schools?

Truth is society as a whole really doesn't care that much as long as it doesn't affect them personally. Most women are complicit in their silence just like most men.

NeilDiamondRocks Sun 11-May-14 19:20:22

Women are trying to survive within a is MEN who benefit the most from women's oppression so they want to see it continue. The two are ENTIRELY different, and now because of your last sentence, I don't believe you are a feminist ally at all.

ManWithNoName Sun 11-May-14 19:44:25

NeilDiamond - just trying to be honest and a realist.

I think we should all do more about sexism and misogyny, even if it seems hopeless, which is how I really feel. I'm quite old so I suppose it seems to me not much as changed in the last 50 years. Maybe superficially it has, but deep down - not that much.

Anyway, I agreed to do my bit up thread - which I will.

FairPhyllis Sun 11-May-14 19:50:30

If you need someone to explain exactly how a woman who finds that the burden of child rearing, domestic labour, possible future exclusion from the paid workforce and life-long impact on earning power and retirement savings has fallen primarily on her and not her male partner suffers from structural sexist oppression even if she chooses that life for herself ... then it sounds like you don't really get it to be honest.

ManWithNoName Sun 11-May-14 20:07:33

Phyllis - lets not argue. I watched the programme and am happy to agree that like most men I didnt take a very active part in fighting misogyny and sexism. I do something but not enough.

On the other hand my DW has been impacted very badly by the issues you listed in your last post so I have at least some appreciation of it.

Out of the thousands of women on MN only a few dozen have posted on this thread. It kind of points to what I have been saying.

Do that many women really care enough to be bothered to do anything about these issues or is it just a few very active campaigners?

noblegiraffe Sun 11-May-14 20:35:59

Man have you ever seen what happens when a woman stands up against sexism on an internet forum?

I've done it. And quite frankly the vile sexual comments made against me for sticking my head above the parapet would certainly put me off doing it again. Look at the vile sexual abuse women get for having any opinion that a bloke chooses to disagree with on social media, let alone ones that specifically criticise men and their behaviour, and you wonder why they might keep quiet?

Kimbojj Sun 11-May-14 20:37:27

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Reporting as spam.

man - I think it's fairly normal to find that people don't all post - it's not the best index of how much people care or how active they are.

If you look at the number of people who signed, say, Criado-Perez's petition, and compare to the numbers of MNers who posted on threads about it, you might think people don't care. Same with the current campaign about Name Equality on marriage certificates.

But then, quite a lot of people simply want to sign a petition, or write to their MP, or whatever, without getting into a debate they've had often before.

NeilDiamondRocks Sun 11-May-14 20:45:35

Man, do you really believe that women don't care about equality because few post on the feminist board?? REALLY????

NeilDiamondRocks Sun 11-May-14 20:46:35

Sorry LRD x-post.

noblegiraffe Sun 11-May-14 20:47:18

"Instead of facing implicit bias or stereotype threat, I had the privilege of implicit endorsement. For instance, whenever I attended technical meetings, people would assume that I knew what I was doing (regardless of whether I did or not) and treat me accordingly. If I stared at someone in silence and nodded as they were talking, they would assume that I understood, not that I was clueless. Nobody ever talked down to me, and I always got the benefit of the doubt in technical settings."

"One trite retort is “Well, your friend should've been tougher and not given up so easily. If she wanted it badly enough, she should've tried again, even knowing that she might face resistance.” These sorts of remarks aggravate me. Writing code for a living isn't like being a Navy SEAL sharpshooter. Programming is seriously not that demanding, so you shouldn't need to be a tough-as-nails superhero to enter this profession."

Interesting post on silent privilege and why there aren't more women in IT here:

I've not had a chance to watch the programme yet, but it's interesting how you deploy language man. You talk of being 'honest' and a 'realist' but do you acknowledge that one man's honesty and realism is another woman's how things look from a position of privilege? This assumption of a single rational perspective on reality is a very androcentric invention.

And solutions? We've posted one here, which we all seem broadly in agreement with: that men who disagree with sexism should stand up and make their distaste known, rather than giving sexists the tacit approval of silence. You don't like that solution, because it's inconveniences you and you'd rather just enjoy your nice, welcoming corners of the internet in peace. So you demand another one. Presumably one that doesn't involve much effort or sacrifice from men?

Such is your prerogative, but it's ours to call out this hypocrisy if we see it as such. Really, all you'd have to say is 'yes, I agree that men should challenge sexists and I'm going to try and find a way to do more of this challenging myself'. We're really not expecting you to design yourself a costume and patrol the internet day and night.

Oh, do watch it, it's so good!

I think the language issue is a really interesting one. I'm aware language choices often aren't deliberate, but to me 'I'm being a realist' is slightly manipulative, isn't it? It's pre-empting any discussion of what's 'real' for the assumption that we'd all have agreed with the speaker anyway.

I'm just speculating, but something I have noticed happening in some feminist spaces is that, instead of women all posting (that is, using sheer force of numbers to make an argument, which manwith points out would be one way of showing how many people care), you get a more collaborative effect. So you get a few women tag-teaming to discuss an issue, and as one group get tired of arguing, or get called away, others who have been lurking start to comment instead.

I think it's quite effective actually.

I will, I have been watching intellectual stuff like Bones and Agents of SHIELD instead just haven't had the time yet.


NeilDiamondRocks Sun 11-May-14 21:33:15

Yes, when Man (a man) tried to tell me he was being a 'realist' I knew he was deluded. Good hearted, probably, but deluded. Manspslaining at its pitiable worst!!

<deletes long, earnest and possibly even dull explanation of how functionalist perspectives entrench privilege>

It plays up to a stereotype, doesn't it? Women are all airy-fairy and shielded from the harsh realities of life, so men occasionally need to tell them how things are ...

buffy, I'd quite like to hear that ...

<ponders what Man's Hero costume might look like>

NeilDiamondRocks Sun 11-May-14 21:41:13

I think blue pants outside red tights. With white shirt and a big M for MANSPLAIN!

EBearhug Sun 11-May-14 21:46:01

Oh, do post it, Buffy.

FairPhyllis Sun 11-May-14 21:57:20

Really do recommend the programme. As I think a pp said it could easily have been a 3-parter and gone into things in even more depth.

Yes I and others did suggest a solution to Man that didn't involve wearing spandex and a cape but apparently that wasn't a real solution because it would involve some kind of sacrifice.

Apparently there is going to be a documentary on the porn industry on BBC3 this week presented by the oldest of the 3 children on Outnumbered hmm. Although it does sound like he concludes it has been damaging for young people.

It went "poof", sorry sad.

Essence: functionalism is a perspective that assumes a single, knowable, external reality and that we're all basically working towards consensus. But that one, basic, knowable reality is really just how the world looks if you're standing on the viewing platform of the powerful. If you're down the ladder, it looks different. And consensus is just what the powerful think is best.

And now, I must leave this discussion. Those episodes of Bones won't watch themselves you know, and I reckon Angel is falling for that Bones. No spoilers, please

Plus I always over-identify with socially inept female leads grin

noblegiraffe Sun 11-May-14 22:04:38

The oldest of the 3 children on Outnumbered is the son of a porn star and porn director so his view on the industry might be quite interesting.

Oh, right. I can follow that, I think.

Go enjoy Bones. I love the first few seasons. smile

MamaMary Sun 11-May-14 22:11:50

Oh, I heard him on Saturday Live on Radio 4. He seemed quite sensible. One thing he said that struck me was that young men call women vile names, on twitter etc, and think women like being called these sexist names because women appear to enjoy it in porn.

MamaMary Sun 11-May-14 22:12:41

I heard Tyger Drew-Honey, that is.

ezinma Mon 12-May-14 15:49:32

I was at a talk last year given by a man, describing how he'd engaged in the profeminist movement at university. He's disabled, and initially thought this qualified him to understand the oppression and discrimination faced by women.

When he started challenging sexism among his peers, he was met with insults: he must be pussy-whipped, or a pansy, or trying to get laid. He was no longer listened to, or taken seriously. Quickly, he went from being marginalised within his peer group to being excluded from it altogether. 'Jokes' about him being sodomised and raped appeared on social media. It somehow became acceptable to mimic his disability.

He realised this was only a part of the reaction that women face when they stand up for themselves. And before he confronted it, he could never have imagined it was so violent and so total.

Spiritedwolf Tue 13-May-14 15:58:49

I caught a repeat of the programme last night. I thought it addressed the problem very well in the time available, though like others I'd love to know what the solutions are.

The forums that a previous poster mentioned do sound absolutely awful. If you think its bad as a man who recognises the sexism, think how awful it must be for the women it is directed act. Many forums have a comments policy which bans discriminatory and offensive comments, and often mention sexism and racism specifically to cover themselves. If the forums you go onto have such a comments policy, then report each and every instance of sexism you see in the threads you are reading. If they don't, then challenge the site's owners on why they allow such comments. If they refuse to create and enforce such a policy, find out who their web host is and see if they have a policy against discriminatory behaviour and report them. Or look at their advertisers and ask them why they are associated with such a site. There are plenty of forums out there which do have and enforce a basic 'no racism, sexism, homophobia etc' policy. Its not hard.

Can you imagine what it does to female participation in politics and public life when they see other women attacked as Mary Beard was? Yes, some women learn to cope with it, but why should they have to? What about all the other women who would be great political commentators, politicians, etc if they weren't put off by the vicious sexualised abuse they see others getting?

Challenge it or you become part of the silent majority who appear to endorse it and make it harder for others to speak up, the bystander effect. Every onlooker not acting increases the pressure on the next person not to break the consensus.

Spiritedwolf Tue 13-May-14 16:03:43

Some forums have the ability to like/dislike or rate comments. Use it wisely! smile

ManWithNoName Tue 13-May-14 17:59:09

Spiritedwolf - I wrote to the person who operates the particular blog I am thinking of and said almost exactly your words:

"Can you imagine what it does to female participation in politics and public life when they see other women attacked..."

It was well before the events surrounding Mary Beard that occurred more recently.

I think that a campaign to ask bloggers and operators of forums to adopt a no sexism, no racism and no homophobia policy is a good idea.

It would be easy to enforce - just a policy of deleting any comments immediately that break that policy. Posters who do it would not need to be banned that just gives them the oxygen of notoriety. A simple and consistent deletion policy would eventually reduce its incidence.

WowOoo Thu 15-May-14 11:16:33

I still haven't managed to watch this or read all of this thread.

Something I've noticed is that when my husband speaks if one of his friends say something misogynistic/ sexist they all acknowledge it. If it comes from me, I wonder if they wouldn't listen so well.

Thanks to MNetters for opening our eyes flowers

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 22-May-14 20:35:06

Just posting to say I care about this, as aparently the number of people posting indicates how much women care about sexism.

UtterFool Sun 25-May-14 19:48:09

He realised this was only a part of the reaction that women face when they stand up for themselves. And before he confronted it, he could never have imagined it was so violent and so total.

I think the reaction you get is largely dependent on where you are and how you call stuff out. At work I will happily call some of my colleagues 'fing neanderthals' and this generally results in confused silence and bewilderment. Im pretty senior though so am not sure how this influences the reaction.

Elsewhere I might be accused of being gay but can give as good as I get. I've never had any violent responses to date but being Chinese I've had a lot worse.

I can't say I fully understand what my wife and daughters go through but we're on holiday this week in a very isolated part of the UK. There are no foreigners here at all and at the pub last night, I stopped the bloody pool ball. It's always disconcerting when half the pub stops because you're an oddity!

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