Sigh. I've been deleted and blocked by yet another feminist page on Facebook....

(288 Posts)

...for daring to disagree with them on something they've posted.

Are they really so bloody-minded that they can't handle debate on their philosophies? I realise they get a lot of nasty trolling spam, but there's a world of difference between MRA nastiness and another feminist wanting to debate feminism!!

Is it just me?

Eyesunderarock Sun 16-Jun-13 22:47:13

You are making perfect sense to me, Annie.

NicholasTeakozy Mon 17-Jun-13 08:08:03

The Wipeout Misogyny page on Facebook was started by and is run by a man. A man who has admitted to using it to meet women, some of whom were made admins after sleeping with him. This blew up spectacularly and he had to ban them and admit why.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 17-Jun-13 08:54:06

Lizzylou, 'women are incapable of being funny' is a false equivalence, because women are not incapable of being funny but the internet is actually bursting with violent rape porn which men wank to.

Lizzylou Mon 17-Jun-13 09:08:28

Some women are incapable of being funny though, as are some men.
Just like not all men wank to violent rape porn.

Mugofteaforme Mon 17-Jun-13 10:06:46

Some women are incapable of being funny though, as are some men.
Just like not all men wank to violent rape porn.

I agree completly Lizzylou, but to some on these forums any porn is violent rape porn in that that they believe it's not truly consensual.

Startail.

Yes I worked in a London bar for many years and believe me the comments re: any women who dared to wear something revealing were far worse coming from the Women then from the Men, far worse.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 17-Jun-13 10:17:12

I do see what you're saying about the grammar, tunip, and it does get on my nerves too, but I think people can be really bad about questions. I'm sure it's not just feminism. But I resent the fact that when I started posting in this section, while some people were lovely others took all questioning as attack. I get irritated by would-be innocent 'so, tell me why rape is bad' questions from trolls, and stirry questions from pests, and sometimes I can't distinguish them from innocent questions from people who just want to debate. So I don't always answer.

I do think unless you are very sure someone is trolling or on the wind up, responding to questions with silence is better.

I'm fine with statements about men as a class. But four years ago I would not have known feminism was a class-based analysis. Yes, the onus is on me to educate myself. But I don't think I deserved the kicking I got for not knowing things.

annie - on the specific point of whether focusing purely on the harm men do is productive - yes, my impression is, it's hugely productive actually. There's a page that simply posts what punters say on online chat groups about the prostitutes they visit, and it is shockingly powerful. Should they dilute that impact with a load of men going on record to say 'prostitution is wrong' or 'I think this is really creepy and abusive'? I find that kinda patronizing to men actually. No-one would bother to make these websites if it weren't meant to be shocking!

mignonette Mon 17-Jun-13 10:20:40

Not all men wank to or look at any porn. My Nigel does not. And I would stake my children's lives on that statement.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 17-Jun-13 10:33:58

But men (as a class) look at porn. Right? We can all agree on this?

It's like when people get upset about 'all men are potential rapists'. All it means is, under UK law, rape is unconsensual penetration. All men who have penises could do it. It's the lowest common denominator that defines people who could commit rape.

Yet some people get really upset because they think what is being said is that men must and will rape. They think you've defined what a rapist is, not given the widest group of the population from which a rapist can emerge.

I don't know what the solution to the communication issue is. If we never acknowledge the class of people who are potential rapists, we're sort of talking as if it's a perpetrator-less crime. That way you end up with people who have my dad's attitude - he thinks rape is a 'woman's issue'. I find that extremely sad, really, because the result is that he has all these (frankly) horrible and disturbing ideas about what is 'real' rape, but he would never trouble to examine them because he is so convinced that rape is only an issue for women to worry about. He would never examine his own behaviour or the behaviour of men he knows, because he's convinced that he already knows men don't rape, it's only some ill-defined subsection of people he doesn't have to think about.

I think it really matters that we name the classes of people who do things, as well as the victims. I don't have any issue with people saying 'white people enslaved black people', because that has been true at various points in human history, and it has had a significant effect on the shape of the world. I don't feel the need to say 'yes, but black people enslaved other black people too, and there are trafficked women who are white, and, and ...', because I can see that someone wants to talk about a different issue from those.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 17-Jun-13 10:36:30

No, not all men do, and that is why I posted on this thread to try to point out that the feminists on the page Annie is pissed off with never said all men did.

As for 'but some women are incapable of being funny', yes indeed. But there is no difference between men and women in this area. Whereas the watching of violent porn is almost entirely a men thing not a women thing. That is the point.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 17-Jun-13 10:45:45

'incapable' means a different thing anyway.

Lizzylou Mon 17-Jun-13 10:59:00

So does that mean that because all men are "capable" of watching violent porn that it is OK to say that they do or even that most men do?
The example I gave obviously wasn't great, but the truth is sweeping generalisations aren't helpful in any situation.
And if someone is objecting to or seeking clarification about a statement how does it help to just shut them down by deleting and blocking?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 17-Jun-13 11:04:18

Brilliant post (10:33), Malenky.

Lizzylou Mon 17-Jun-13 11:11:16

Sorry, I hadn't seen your post before I posted Malensky, v slow computer here at work.

I guess having 2 sons, a husband (not called Nigel) and 3 brothers making those statements invokes an emotional, defensive response from me.

Mugofteaforme Mon 17-Jun-13 11:12:01

"It's like when people get upset about 'all men are potential rapists'. All it means is, under UK law, rape is unconsensual penetration. All men who have penises could do it. It's the lowest common denominator that defines people who could commit rape. "

Yes, but it's open to interpretation and is thus inflammatory.

Equally

All women have the potential to leave a good husband for a rich man then take the children to a remote part of the uk such that the husband can't easily get access

Obviously the sensualism of the statement outweighs all likelihood of occurence. This is clearly wrong!

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 17-Jun-13 11:41:12

No, I get where you're coming from lizzy. I have two brothers and a DH and many lovely male friends.

But I would say that saying 'all men are potential rapists' or 'men watch porn' (not 'all men watch porn which is a generalization that'd make me furious), are simply class descriptions.

If people misinterpret, that's a pity, and I think the response annie got was wrong. But IMO it's not the phrasing that should be changed, it's the response when someone doesn't understand what it means.

Someone simply needs to explain as tunip did that feminism is about class analysis and that we're talking about men as a class. I don't see how anyone can carry out class analysis without talking about men as a class, so there is IMO little point in trying to change the wording.

'Most men don't rape but some do' does not mean the same as 'men as a class rape', does it? That's the point. The first statement implies there is something that we can distinguish, that sets apart men who rape from men who don't. IMO that demonizes people. All that distinguishes a rapist from anyone else, is the fact he has raped someone. There is no need to make any other more specific statement and it's quite insulting to do so.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 17-Jun-13 11:45:11

'All women have the potential to leave a good husband for a rich man then take the children to a remote part of the uk such that the husband can't easily get access'

That is a totally different statement, though.

Not all women are married.
Not all women have children.
Not all women are able to leave their houses - there are women who are too terrified to go.
Not all women have the money to travel.

However, all men who have penises are potential rapists. This is simply because rape is defined the way it is defined.

If I said 'All men have the potential to drag a woman into a dark alley and rape her', that would be an unacceptable generalization, because many men would not be physically capable of doing that.

But a man who has a functioning penis is capable of rape.

Is it not more offensive to men to suggest there is something other, that only affects men, that makes them decide to rape? confused I don't believe my DH has anything other than his penis that could possibly make him a potential rapist. I find the idea really upsetting. I am aware this is also a 'not my Nigel' argument, but surely it's a better one than 'not my Nigel, he's not got male-evil-gene and a penis'?

AutumnMadness Mon 17-Jun-13 11:49:33

Hmmmm, interesting discussion. Is it helpful to treat all men as potential rapists? I am not sure. On one hand, most (99.999%? But I imagine it is possible for a woman to commit sexual assault and some do) rapists are men, and it would be helpful for each man to reflect on his attitudes, thoughts and behaviour. On the other hand, I certainly find it hard to think about my father, husband and son as "potential rapists". The same as I would find it hard to think of myself as a "potential burglar, murderer, tobacco company executive, etc.". It smacks to me of original sin doctrine and the feeling of personal worthlessness and pollution it brings. And I don't think that low self-esteem is a way to raise citizens. I would rather my son thought of himself as a fundamentally good person who knows what rape is and who would never imagine committing it, even though technically he is of course capable of it in the same way as he is capable of murder. This is different from him thinking "I am a potential rapist and the only thing that it stopping me is my feminist outlook." I don't want him to identify with rape at all. Rape should be an inconceivably horrid act, the same as murder. But this should not preclude reflexivity, in the same way that not identifying myself as a "potential murderer" does not preclude me in examining the effect my consumption practices have on the lives of other people and the environment.

And saying that most men dream about buggering animals smacks of "heathens killing babies and drinking their blood".

Saying all this, I do not deny the usefulness of a class-based discussion. But it does often beg for contextualisation. Yes, white people enslaved black people. However, there are loads of white people, living outside the Americas and Western Europe, who had nothing to do with it. They were busy enslaving other, non-African, people or being enslaved themselves.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 17-Jun-13 11:53:08

tort - sorry, I missed your post, but thank you.

autumn - I think it is helpful, though, precisely because we (men and women) find it hard to think of ourselves and our loved ones that way.

I don't think all rapists do it because they are fundamentally not good people. I think a lot of rapists do it because they have not been taught to identify what they do as rape.

I think if you went back a hundred years, you would find many men and women who believed it was perfectly ok for a man to say sternly to his wife 'now, I want to have sex, stop being silly and let me'. Because it was legal and many people felt it was a woman's duty in marriage. Were those husbands being deliberately cruel? Almost certainly not. Were the women who agreed it was their duty and their daughters' duty being cruel to themselves? Again, probably not.

But we now would take a different view.

Given that most rape is not committed by strangers who violently overpower women, I think this is really important.

AutumnMadness Mon 17-Jun-13 11:57:33

I also do not understand the focus on the penis. That makes rape a bodily, sexual act. But to me rape is not about sex. It's about power. And a penis is certainly not necessary. One only has to read "Democratic Republic" of Congo news . . .

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 17-Jun-13 11:59:35

I don't think rape is about sex either. But under UK law, people who have penises can rape and people who don't, can't.

I don't really understand why penises would make rape about sex?

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 17-Jun-13 12:00:41

Sorry, annie, realizing this may be wandering off your point and into the discussion you were trying to have ... I'll stop if you'd rather.

AutumnMadness Mon 17-Jun-13 12:08:46

*Drakonchik", yes, I agree. But can we really just look at things and label people outside the historical context? Yes, men in the past thought nothing of demanding that their wives perform marital duties (i.e. rape in marriage). But most women probably not thought much of it either and even instructed their daughters to just bear it for the sake of marriage, children, whatever . . . I struggle in labeling my husband and son as potential rapists because of what was accepted as normality in the past.

But I do feel that we are disagreeing while agreeing at the same time. I do understand that marital rape actually happens left, right and centre in our own world today. I do understand the need for constant reflexivity and gods know my husband gets lectured on feminist issues all the time. At the same time, I struggle translating "physical capability" to rape into a situation when the "potential rapist" becomes a part of what a man IS, his essence, his identity. It de-humanises and individualises men too much (paradoxically at the same time) for me. It draws the attention away from patriarchy as a system in which we all, not just men, think and act. If all men are potential rapist, then all women are potential accessories to rape.

AutumnMadness Mon 17-Jun-13 12:15:24

UK law is, to me, hopelessly inadequate when it comes to rape. I would struggle to use it in place of a basic assumption of what rape is.

A penis makes, to me, rape about sex because a penis is genitals, a sexual organ, part of a human being. And it is really not necessary for rape. Rape is not about a penis. It's really more about what's in a person's head.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 17-Jun-13 12:17:54

I didn't label people outside the historical context. confused

I was arguing precisely that point.

It's not as simple as 'some men are evil and rape people because they are evil'. I find that very hard to accept, because I think it is basically sexist.

My husband is a potential rapist in that he has a penis. It has nothing to do with what was accepted as normal in the past.

However, my statement 'men as a class rape' is important for us to make, because we know that otherwise, some men and women will not examine their own situations. We ourselves won't. That is the part of the argument where it becomes useful to compare our society to the past. We have to realize that we all have blind spots (we as a society). We all need to analyse how we live.

I really don't see any alternative to this way of looking at men and women, other than to assume there is gendered evil in the world, and that is a horrible assumption.

AutumnMadness Mon 17-Jun-13 12:18:18

I guess UK law defines penetration by an object other than a penis as sexual assault. Shall we broaden the discussion to include the women who experienced sexual assault as defined by UK law? It seems a bit unfair to exclude them.

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