Radfem 2013 and the MRAs

(861 Posts)
MooncupGoddess Mon 22-Apr-13 17:05:46

As many of you will remember, the Radfem 2012 conference in London was explicitly open only to born women and consequently attracted lots of condemnation and anger from people who saw this as transphobic. It was kicked out of its original venue at Conway Hall and went underground (very successfully in the end).

This year Radfem 2013 has not explicitly banned transwomen... but instead it's come under attack from Men's Rights Activists, who have staged a demo at the planned venue, the London Irish Centre, while making lots of unpleasant and ridiculous claims about how radical feminists want to murder small boys and the like. As a result the venue is threatening to cancel the booking.

www.mralondon.org/

bugbrennan.com/2013/04/20/statement-from-rad-fem-2013/

I have mixed feelings about the whole trans issue but have no hesitation in declaring the MRAs utter misogynist knobbers and am disappointed the London Irish Centre has seemingly caved into them.

BubblesOfBliss Wed 08-May-13 23:34:06

"I used that example because on the list of groups that was one on eo fo the groups." Not sure what this sentence means or why its here.

"Good to see, yet again, this 'everyone is against us' mentality surface." You'll have to explain what you mean - everyone against women? No I actually think patriarchy and its defenders are against women. Everyone against feminists? No I think patriarchy and its defenders are against feminists. How you came to form this sentence has no logical pathway I can glean.

"False/malicious accusations are as odious as the actual act" - so what would you prefer- to be violently raped, or to be accused of violently raping someone? (hint-remember if you violently rape someone you only have a 1 in 20 chance of doing time for it- being raped, you are most likely to be traumatised, have your confidence jolted, flashbacks, intimate relationships damaged, your options narrowed and it could take a lot of work to get on track -although being male you have a greater likelihood of being believed and getting a conviction than a woman and can't get pregnant, so its not quite like for like.)

"if not more so." mmmmmm......... I think I'd rather have words than physical violence myself. Very strange priorities there. Malevolent woman-hatred is starting to seep through your lack of empathy...

"The belief that someone can just shrug the accusation off, on being cleared, is absurd." I remember that woman who was set up by a tabloid to accuse the Hamiltons of rape. As far as I remember they got away with their reputations unscathed by it, the truth came out and everyone quickly put the woman in the stereotype box of 'some nutter' and moved on.

"With background checks on job applicants becoming ever more prevalent even accusations of quite mundane crimes could affect the individual unduly. The internet means you can't even move to a new town/area." You are starting to sound a bit too familiar with this process... hmm

"The basic premise is 'innocent until proven guilty', even Romans had this outlook, the burden of proof was on the accuser not the accused." Yup and it still is, and not just the burden of proof, but when the accuser is a woman the burden of sexist stereotypes which make her seem an unreliable witness is also upon her, working against her and in favour of the male accused.

"Again, you seem to assume to know too much of what I may believe. I used an example of an MRA activity I agree with and wasn't in agreement with whatever nonsense FeministDragon spouted." hmm Your posts are peppered generously with controlling turns of phrase and leak out a consistent misogynist perspective.....

"I didn't tell you what I believed, in detail, did I?" You don't need to - I can join the dots between all the attitudes leaking out of your posts.

BasilBabyEater Thu 09-May-13 08:45:31

"False/malicious accusations are as odious as the actual act"

What does that even mean?

AFAIC anyone who pretends that being falsely accused of rape is as bad as being raped, simply loses any credibility that they might once have had (not that Loz had any, but still). It just declares that you're a woman-hater.

Men who are accused of rape are overwhelmingly likely to be guilty; false allegations of rape amount to about 3 or 4%, if that. But those men are showered with sympathy, solidarity and support from everyone around them who kneejerk assume that the allegation are false and that this man is one of those terribly unlucky individuals who are the victims of women's lying, manipulative, generally evil nature. Even in the extremely unlikely event that the allegation makes it to court and then the even more unlikely event that the man is found guilty, there will be a core group of supporters who insist either that his victim is a lying slut, or that he did do it, but it's not actually rape, it's just bad sex. When they come out of prison, they usually find another woman willing to have a relationship with them.

It is simply untrue to say that men suffer as when they are falsely accused of rape as women do when they are actually raped. People who say that, do so because they simply don't believe that women's suffering is anything like as important or worthy of concern, as that of men.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 09-May-13 08:56:37

Hi Laz

Would you prefer to be anally raped or to be falsely accused of rape?

And, since it's all false accusations that are as odious or more, Would you prefer to be badly beaten or falsely accused of beating someone? Would you prefer to be murdered or be falsely accused of murder?

Just to clarify too, in the UK criminal legal system the victim (of a mugging, assault, rape etc) is a witness, not the accuser. The Crown leads the prosecution and can do so without calling the victim as a witness.

LazarussLozenge Thu 09-May-13 20:14:35

I don't know about joining the dots, you lot would appear to be unable to find your own backsides with both hands.

Good to see you've all jumped on the 'rape bandwagon' despite it being quite clear I was referring to all types of crime.

As for which is best, being a rape victim or being the victim of a false accusation...

I find such talk contemptible, that anyone would come out with such crass comparisons leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

I doubt I ever had much credibility with you, your posts 'leak' a certain perspective also, but you can all rest assured you have lost a fair bit of credibility with myself.

Your comments also reveal why we MUST have organisations to stand for men's rights also. Strange really, as I never really saw much need for either group.

Men are not affected by false accusations? Rubbish. There was one lad, who even after being cleared and the name of his female accuser (who was subsequently found guilty of maliciously lying) released was beaten and chased from his home.

This is not a unique occurrence. Those accused of rape, in my experience (from reading papers and the like I hasten to add) are NOT regarded as you say. Nor are the victims.

Your view appears to be very woman-centric. Again we have 'only women can suffer' argument, because yet again you can only see things from your own blinkered position.

You seem to fight the weight of the 'patriarchy', whilst donning the bridal of the 'matriarchy'.

Resistance is futile.

LazarussLozenge Thu 09-May-13 20:17:06

Whoops, Bridle, not bridal... Freudian slip per chance.

LazarussLozenge Thu 09-May-13 20:28:39

Bubbles, I've removed your comparison.

'remember if you violently rape someone you only have a 1 in 20 chance of doing time for it- being raped, you are most likely to be traumatised, have your confidence jolted, flashbacks, intimate relationships damaged, your options narrowed and it could take a lot of work to get on track -although being male you have a greater likelihood of being believed and getting a conviction than a woman and can't get pregnant, so its not quite like for like.)'

I suppose you think a man falsely accused can just carry on normal jogging? Not looking over his shoulder for some vigilante looking to make a name for themselves?

Some false accusations occur after a one night stand or date... hardly conducive of encouraging further communications with women? Relationships, intimate or otherwise, can be damaged.

Obviously an accusation can narrow options also... taking a lot of work to get back to where you were.

Now then let's address the issue of 1 in 20 chance... is that really down to them being male or the simple fact that the prosecution hasn't convinced the judge/jury of the accused guilt?

Do you really want to live in a country that would jail you or carry out other sanctions on the mere possibility of you being guilty?

I guess that is all lost on you.

FloraFox Thu 09-May-13 20:51:27

Why don't you just fuck off? Genuine question.

MiniTheMinx Thu 09-May-13 21:00:06

I'm getting a bit pissed off with the massive generalisations Loz. "you, think, say, believe........." do I? who is you? feminists? All feminists? All women?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 09-May-13 21:02:40

Laz (Wed 08-May-13 20:15:09): False/malicious accusations are as odious as the actual act, if not more so.

Laz (Thu 09-May-13 20:28:39): As for which is best, being a rape victim or being the victim of a false accusation...

I find such talk contemptible, that anyone would come out with such crass comparisons leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

Contradict yourself much?

BasilBabyEater Thu 09-May-13 21:15:13

What is really tiresome about Loz is that he doesn't actually understand most of the arguments people are making but that he's still fucking here, telling us all what we fucking believe, because he hasn't actually grasped what we do believe, because he's just not capable of following our arguments, but he's also not capable of understanding that he's not following our arguments IYSWIM - he has that in-built assurance that he obviously knows better than us therefore we are talking crap. It's so boring and it successfully de-rails an otherwise very interesting thread.

Also the other thing that's tiresome about him is his pretence that he knows nothing - oh no, not a single little thing - about Men's Rights Extremism and that it's only because of this thread and the narsty raging feminazis on it who have enabled him to see the light and understand that we need MRE to curb the malevolent females. Before this thread, he was a liberal who believed in equality and all that, but now - well, he can see why MRA's and MRE is necessary, he had no idea there was a coven of witches on the internet planning on butchering the baby boys and establishing the Matriarchiate.

hmm

It's all so fucking boring.

MiniTheMinx Thu 09-May-13 21:37:30

"an inbuilt assurance that he is right," I wonder why? wink

BubblesOfBliss Thu 09-May-13 21:47:41

wine flowers - you Flora Mini Sabrina Basil - all said what I wanted to say smile

LazarussLozenge Thu 09-May-13 22:12:40

Mini, it was quite a generalised assumption but I do appreciate that feminists may differ in opinion. I hope you accept my apologies, as I find your posts helpful (even if you're pulling me up for my errors and assumptions!)

Basil.

Believe or don't believe. My motives for coming on are perhaps purer than you think.

Until reading about them on this thread, I wasn't even aware of MRAs... yes, I know of Fathers4 Justice, they've been int he papers. I didn't know the term. I actually thought MRA/MREs were quite sad, and pointless at first. Surely a group as noble as feminists wouldn't need such opposition.

Flora, 'Why don't you just fuck off?'

Ladies first. wink (being a 'card carrying misogynist' has its advantages.)

BasilBabyEater Thu 09-May-13 22:21:54

LL, then I can only commiserate with you that you sound so tragically like one.

It must be very uncomfortable to find yourself in the same company as people you regarded as pathetic.

It would be as if I suddenly found I had masses in common with UKIP voters.

I'd be fucking mortified.

But I'll tell you what, I'd take a good long hard look at my core values and decide which side of the fence I was on. Because there's no way I'd have any fucking self-respect at all, if I ever found myself seeing the world through a UKIP lens and I'd know I'd somehow fucked up intellectually and needed to return to basics. I personally, would stop posting and start thinking.

BasilBabyEater Thu 09-May-13 22:29:18

Also LL a small pedantic point of order: MRE's are not an opposition to feminism.

Feminism has been responsible for the way we see the world actually changing.

In so many fields - anthropology, archeology, history, literature, sociology, art - feminism has simply changed the terms of the dialogue and helped us open up a new way of seeing the world. The research feminists have done, the evidence they produced, the arguments they posited - it's absolutely incredible what feminism achieved in such a short period of time.

MRE's OTOH are mostly incredibly stupid. Seriously, I'm not saying that just to be childlishly insulting, they are really very stupid. Their arguments are incredibly easy to tear down because they are not based in evidence or fact, just in kneejerk prejudice. They are simply not a worthy opposition, there is no intellectual basis to MRE - it is simply an attempt to put the genie back in the bottle and make sure the light feminism shone on stuff, gets put out and we return to darkness. To call that lot an opposition, is to dignify them with a status they absolutely haven't earned. They don't oppose feminism, they oppose common sense and humanity.

SigmundFraude Thu 09-May-13 22:53:43

'MRE's OTOH are mostly incredibly stupid. Seriously, I'm not saying that just to be childlishly insulting, they are really very stupid. Their arguments are incredibly easy to tear down because they are not based in evidence or fact, just in kneejerk prejudice. They are simply not a worthy opposition, there is no intellectual basis to MRE - it is simply an attempt to put the genie back in the bottle and make sure the light feminism shone on stuff, gets put out and we return to darkness. To call that lot an opposition, is to dignify them with a status they absolutely haven't earned. They don't oppose feminism, they oppose common sense and humanity.'

If that is your view, then you must find their swelling numbers, and the fact that people are frequently agreeing that they have a point (including the media), and also they are starting to filter (positively) into the public arena, REALLY excruciating.

BasilBabyEater Thu 09-May-13 22:57:49

No SF not really, in a world where the Fail is the biggest circulating mid-market tabloid and the Sun still the biggest circulating down-market one, I'm quite used to being surrounded by idiots.

grin

MiniTheMinx Thu 09-May-13 23:25:58

In a world where we don't have a free press, it doesn't surprise me that we have yet more single issue identity politics to contend with. The backlash against women is quite well timed is it not? what does it coincide with? it coincides with the unpalletable realisation that the western world is now what is termed a mature economy, ie in decline. Of course it's time for the corporate/political nexus to spew out anti-women, anti-immigrant propaganda via the corporate owned press. Its predictable. Started with baking cupcakes, ends with closing every refuge and insisting that our meagre wages must be paid to our husband, whilst George picks our pockets for CB, and IDS insists that benefits will now be paid to just one member of the family through UC. Ensure that women are the scapegoats for dealing with disenfranchised men. Its almost like women hating is the opiate that quietens down the men when they might actually get uppity with the slave owners.

SigmundFraude Fri 10-May-13 08:07:40

The 'idiots' always end up ruling the world. Look what happened to the Romans, idiotic brute force prevails and society collapses.

BubblesOfBliss Fri 10-May-13 08:51:19

Mini out of interest, do you think that men who are attached to dominance and male entitlement can be turned around to communist thinking by perceiving themselves as oppressed by an elite class?

I'm not being critical, just wondering what process you think it could take, because I believe that dominant/entitled men prefer to picture themselves in the 'wild west' as some kind of gambler in life, hoping to strike it rich as an alpha with all the trappings but until then perceiving themselves as 'the lone wolf', supposedly living for adventure, frequenting dives, paying for 'hos' and meeting 'characters' along the way. The security and equality of a communist society would really kill their boners for dominance and being 'in it to win it'.

BubblesOfBliss Fri 10-May-13 09:08:02

Another thing - I think they cannot bear to perceive their actual oppressor - the reality would make them feel weak and small in the face of a virtually unsurmountable task to overthrow the oppressor class- especially since this task would require perceiving themselves in the degraded position of being part of the slave class and relinquishing any sense of 'right' over women. Its would be a double whammy - not only feeling weak and degraded by seeing the elite partying on the back of their own oppression, but having to relinquish the one thing that makes them feel strong in life- dominance over women. Its a hard sell Mini

MiniTheMinx Fri 10-May-13 12:42:14

I read the Ben Barker piece with interest, thank you. I agree with much of what he has to say. There is a great deal of denial from men on the left, completely overlooking Marx's earlier writings, where he set out quite clearly that the nuclear family and the class relations between men and women needed to be revolutionised.

I agree, even radical men who acknowledge their oppression are loath to give up their one remaining power, that over women. Better to deny it exists than to participate knowingly. Its something that the capitalist class knows only too well.

I believe that the dominance is conditioned, it is not a biological fact. In order to achieve the emancipation of ALL people, it will require ALL people to engage with the struggle. If we are going to be able to build alliances and reconcile the differences in order to end our subjugation it will require an over throw of male dominance, but to do that we need to challenge the way that men think. It is the way they think that must be challenged, this can not be done sitting in separate rooms! We can only do this by engaging with them. So I think it essential that women start to take up prominent roles on the left alongside men.

If capitalist relations lead to the oppression of working people, male and female, we will not find allies in the elite, only within the working class. By doing so, we are already beginning to lay the foundations for a classless society and the emancipation of women.

I might opt to talk to a room full of men rather than women. I very much believe that the social relations btw men and women are derived from the material base, that they are culturally/socially conditioned, perpetuating and solidifying the existence of that inequality and that working class men actually suffer as a result, any benefits are strictly cultural, strictly at variance with the actual facts, men wages undermined, the breakdown of families, the maintenance of children who he might not see, the fact that women are increasingly saying no thanks, for one night only, like it or lump it, yep you can rape me, shame me, watch my exploitation but you can't keep the wolf from the door and I don't respect you either.

The existing relations are not natural, any gains made by women are not at the expense of men & we need men to wake up to this fact, they won't do it without prompting. They won't do it if they perceive that they are being denigrated. Imagine the furore if men actually realised that rather than them benefiting most by the subordination of their women to them, that instead OTHER men actually derived even greater benefit from her exploitation under capitalism.

BubblesOfBliss Fri 10-May-13 13:14:26

"I believe that the dominance is conditioned, it is not a biological fact."
Totally in agreement with you here Mini

"In order to achieve the emancipation of ALL people, it will require ALL people to engage with the struggle." By this you mean it will require 'all oppressed people' to engage in the struggle? Or do you think oppressors need to engage too-(not nit-picking just wanting to clarify to understand)?

"If we are going to be able to build alliances and reconcile the differences in order to end our subjugation it will require an over throw of male dominance, but to do that we need to challenge the way that men think."
I agree with this.
"this can not be done sitting in separate rooms!"
This I feel has glossed over and missed out a vital step in challenging the way men think. I would suggest that challenging how men think requires:
1) Knowing what the general commonalities are in what men think
2) Knowing the general commonalities in what women think
3) Knowing how these differ from one-another
4) Forming a coherent understanding of the first three and how they fit into a wider context of sex/class relations
5) Challenging in oneself as a woman the conditioning to not challenge the way men think
6) Breaking through the barriers that prevent women from challenging the way men think.
7) Challenging the way men think.

I strongly believe that the first 3 genuinely require 'sitting in separate rooms' for a bit. 4 & 5 are greatly helped by sitting in separate rooms for a bit longer, but for 6 & 7 you are required to actually engage and interact and cannot be done by sitting in separate rooms.

"So I think it essential that women start to take up prominent roles on the left alongside men. " Which is indeed happening - trade unions have increasingly greater numbers of women members in prominent positions.

"If capitalist relations lead to the oppression of working people, male and female, we will not find allies in the elite, only within the working class." I think this is not so clear cut. Take Tony Benn for example, a toff who got wind of his own oppressive privilege and turned left.

"By doing so, we are already beginning to lay the foundations for a classless society and the emancipation of women." I feel this is a bit more complex.

"I might opt to talk to a room full of men rather than women."
As long as they give you a platform to speak and don't talk straight over you.... Chances are - it will go in one ear, past a closed mind and out the other, since it is 'vagina talking' - your words might find more fertile ground in a woman-only, woman-led space.

The existing relations are not natural, any gains made by women are not "at the expense of men & we need men to wake up to this fact, they won't do it without prompting."

Yes

"They won't do it if they perceive that they are being denigrated."
But perhaps they perceive anything but their superiority over women as a form of denigration.....

"Imagine the furore if men actually realised that rather than them benefiting most by the subordination of their women to them, that instead OTHER men actually derived even greater benefit from her exploitation under capitalism."
I'm sure they'd rather not think about that.

LazarussLozenge Fri 10-May-13 14:24:08

'BasilBabyEater Thu 09-May-13 22:21:54

It must be very uncomfortable to find yourself in the same company as people you regarded as pathetic.'

Not really. I only started viewing you as such when daft rape comparisons were started.

BubblesOfBliss Fri 10-May-13 14:33:48

"Not really. I only started viewing you as such when daft rape comparisons were started."

Lazarus that is a rubbish retort - even for you.....
I feel blush for you. I hope you are young enough to look cute while coming out with playground come-backs like that - if you are over 25 that is seriously....just....eeee

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