Click to go back to Part 1
I’d now like to explain what I think was meant by a quote Godless Cranium pulled from: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1993-05-08/news/1993128032_1_potential-rapists-campus-feminist-art
the selected text chosen by Godless was this:
Are nearly all male students at the University of Maryland “potential rapists”?
Women in a feminist art class here apparently believe so. About 10 of them plastered the campus with fliers last week listing the names of virtually every male student under the heading, “NOTICE: THESE MEN ARE POTENTIAL RAPISTS.”
While stating things in that manner is fairly tactless I should remind you all of the fallowing statistic from my original post. That depending on the country 6%-15% of men will admit to having raped a women. The citation can be found here: http://www.wcsap.org/sites/www.wcsap.org/files/uploads/webinars/SV%20on%20Campus/Repeat%20Rape.pdf The Research paper itself found 6.4% of men admit to raping a woman, but study cites the number between 6%-15% based on other studies.
So on average something like 10% of men are willing to rape a women, so I feel the following analogy is almost perfect:
Obviously “MONSTERS” is harsher language then I might like to use in the desire to be civil, but this the reality women live in. Men are dangerous, and to a level which is very significant to the lives of women. To the woman who doesn’t know me, there’s something like a 10% chance I’d be willing to rape her given the chance. Sure, I know I’m in the 90% that wouldn’t, but she can’t know that. So yes, to a person who doesn’t know me I am a potential rapist for all they know.
Plus, like I mentioned already, statistics back this horrifying number. Even at 6.4%, this means that 1 in 16 men are rapists. So yes, the average man isn’t a rapist, but the percent is high enough to warrant worry from every woman towards every man, given the sort of violence that could happen. And since most rapes are done by acquaintances, it doesn’t help to just know the guy: you really need to understand if he’s trustworthy and has a good track record relating to treatment of women if you want to be sure. Does the above infographic really lose much power if you change 10% to 6-15%?
Now to Godless Cranium’s last three points:
I also see a lack of viable solutions by modern feminism. I see a lot of people talking about the patriarchy or how women get paid less etc, but no solutions. If these issues are so problematic, then what are the solutions? That’s what I’m interested in.
I hope I’ve given you a few viable solutions feminists are applying to problems in the form of consent education, challenging social norms, and education (advertisement) of the sexism what still exists. Feminists need to change minds and that isn’t an easy task, particular when you’re running in opposition to the establishment. Though I think there are plenty of people pushing the goals of feminism, I’ve linked to many video’s on people speaking of their successes and difficulties. Feminism, like all movements, is made of many thousands of people each doing their small part, some bigger then others, and those people doing the more noticeable work are easier to point toward, but each person speaking for women, and men, pushing back against those social constructs which do harm, they are the feminists we always need to remember and encourage as they are the ones changing society. It’s a movement of the masses, not just a handful of key players.
And I personally think the very term ‘feminism’ should get thrown out. Why not use a term that is sex/gender neutral, such as:
equal rights movement
humanism (although the argument is usually that humanism already covers something else)
This common reply is pulled up all the time on feminists, but it ends up ignoring the problem that there is no guarantee you can make up for the loss of social capital, and I think this video by AngryFilmProduction on this topic is done well and in an amusing manner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBSK7oFZYes&list=UUHEe9OGJqObD02AzTrvp2wg
Here are 4 more serious posts about this topic. They are more thorough than I can be dealt with here:
And finally, the infamous “The Talk” episode where they laughed at a man having his genitals mutilated. Yep that’s sexism, and is tasteless and awful and just plain sick. It saddens me this happens at all, as it saddened other feminists. Sadly we live in a world where we still joke and threaten such things. Indeed in many parts of the world surgical genital mutilation is common (Though I will mention that only male genital mutilation tends to occur in North America, and that female genital mutilation is far, far worse overall then male circumcision. In North America it’s male circumcision, which has been show to do basically nothing beneficial in comparison to its harms. And feminists do talk about this and fight against it, also none of my male offspring shall have said surgery force onto them as babies as it was on me.
And so now ends my 5 part reply, thanks to those who took the time and got all the way through this beast. Now allow me to leave you with this humorous video on the history of circumcision in North America:
August 28th, 2014 at 8:55 am
i have been interested reading your five parts on feminism. this is stuff i have spent many years thinking about, and continue to.
i have different ideas about feminism- as we all do. i am a feminist through and through- no social stuff stopping me from confidently stating that. i have a lots of thoughts about feminist identity- my feminism is different from every other persons in the world- as is everyone else’s. how we do it is so different, for lots of reasons- which i will write about some on my blog soon.
i vote for stretching, making flexible and easy- the ways we do femininities and masculinities. the world would be a calmer place.
i will continue to enjoy being provoked to thought (on one of my favourite topics), by your blog. thanks.
August 27th, 2014 at 6:49 pm
Hey guys – just found out you’re following my blog (thefemaleimperative.com-unity). We are spanken brand new, so I’m thrilled to have already got the attention of like minds!!! Your blog is informative and “rational” – hard to find these days…. hopefully a growing collective effort can squash oppressive gender division and begin human unity.
August 27th, 2014 at 7:14 pm
You know that you main page links back to a Voice for Men under political activism… You do know that’s a glorified hate group right? You may know that, I just don’t like giving them anymore publicity.
Reading through your blog briefly, I’ve noticed quite a few troubling word choices, and while I think your taking an interesting tact you will need to address issue in your writing such as. Gender and Sex are not interchangeable terms. Your post at point are very inclusive, until you start talking about the two sexes as though we live in a pure sex binary.
I’d suggest working on your language choice so that you can be properly inclusive of the LGBTQA community, Gender queer folk (including agendered), intersex people and the like. You base message is very compatible with this notion, so you might as well start right.
Also all human minds are animal minds, I’d be very careful down this path you’ve chosen.
August 28th, 2014 at 1:43 am
I appreciate your interest and critique. When we speak of gender and sex, we are talking about body parts, not sexuality. The male ego divides us by our parts – not our sexual preferences – hence homophobes – flies in the face of the “natural order.” We’re addressing the male ego when we speak of these things. We have an ebook that explains this in detail.
Also, yes I’m absolutely aware of AVM and we list it so that our readers can familiarize themselves with the toxicity of the MRA movement. We feel our readers should be educated on the issues we’re debating. There’s nothing worse than an uneducated opinion. You’ll notice that we also have Drudge and Fox for the same reason.
Finally – the animal mind is the male ego; sensory motivated, materialistic, instinctive and emotion driven. Many on Earth have evolved past our animal mind roots into human mind “creational consciousness” – the unity of male and female and “consciousness” which has nothing to do with our bodies. We will not survive as a species if animal mind is allowed to continue its reign over the planet and humanity, which it has continued to achieve through gender division and dominance since the dawn of humanity.
Thanks again – you might want to check out our ebook for $5.00 and find out exactly what we’re talking about.
August 28th, 2014 at 3:40 am
I think I’ll pass, I don’t mean to be rude, but nothing you said matches what science I know, and the terminology is misused at least in the standard usage of the. You may be defining it for your own usage, but I’m not going to buy and read a book to decipher what you mean.
Like this is very much woo like and I can not fairly recommend something which so poorly uses technical terminology like this. like first no the animal in not equivlent to male mind or what ever your pushing. Animals are complex and often think in way very foreign to us humans.
Like you can define thing this way, but it sound like to fall into the trap of sex essentialist, and strictly speaking the sexes so very little mental difference, much of which can be explained away by societal norms, the way we teach our children and teens to act, and the expectations we put on people.
Perhaps I will read your book one day, but at the moment your poor use of already well defined language and unwillingness (so far) to explain what you mean (perhaps you go into it further after this I do not know).
It’s always best to set out to use language that. already exists if you can help it. But right now you might as well be saying waves and energy depak chopra style.
I do mean to be harsh, but only because you seem to want to start something big and right now I can’t trust you to be critical with your own ideas based on how your use language, and how what your saying does not match up with and sort of research I’m aware of.
August 28th, 2014 at 3:48 am
Also Gender as define by the oxford dictionary.
Gender: The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones):
Body parts are what help determine biological sex. Gender and biological sex are not interchangeable terms. and conflating them help to ignore transgender, and gender queer people.
I’m quite sure your using term as you have been is harmful, dismissive to many people. While it has been used in this conflated manner I don’t think that anyone should, plus then we have to come up with a new word to explain the cultural fixtures attached to biological sex.
August 27th, 2014 at 6:42 pm
Godless Cranium discredited him/herself with the statement, “I also see a lack of viable solutions by modern feminism.”
Not only is there no lack of possible strategies in confronting gender injustice, as you point out, but the description ‘modern’ feminism is utterly meaningless. The much maligned term ‘modern’ is not one any feminist school of thought i am aware of uses to describe itself.
Godless Cranium belies a complete lack of familiarity with historical and contemporary feminist thought. Whom does s/he mean? Radical feminism of the 70s ala Andrea Dworking, or Marxist feminism ala Silvia Federici, sex-positive feminism ala Annie Sprinkle, post-structuralist feminism ala the ubiquitous Judith Butler …
You lose me a bit when you lump ritual genital mutilation of the vulva & vagina together with the ‘mere’ surgical removal of the preputium from the penis. Linking the two phenomena as if they were equally invasive, or have even remotely the same connotation feels to me like the classical ‘me too’ reaction many people express when faced with injustice against others. (Example: Black says, ‘i get passed over for jobs because i am black.’ White retorts, ‘i went to a disco where there were no other white people, and everone stared at me.’) It isn’t the same.
Otherwise, good response, though i would save my breath to cool my soup in Cranium’s case, and argue with someone with more … shall we say … academic rigor?
ps. T’anks for the follah on me blogue!
August 27th, 2014 at 6:53 pm
“Linking the two phenomena as if they were equally invasive”
Ya agreed I was just quickly skipping over that one as I wasn’t in the mood to deal with it, but it is a major talking point (and unsurprisingly utterly wrong one) coming out from the current MRA lie factory. Any way I’m going to go back in and tweak that with a couple of words in brackets.
August 27th, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Also I’d disagree that this post was well worth my time. While I’m responding to Godless Cranium, I almost compiled a (fairly) huge amount of readily accessible resources for myself and others to use.
And these arguments are so common that they need to be addressed on some level. Not all time time, but definitely some of the time.
August 27th, 2014 at 7:08 pm
There is something to be said for that.
August 27th, 2014 at 5:23 pm
Thanks for writing this series. I really appreciate your commitment to feminism and your willingness to stand up for its principles. I’d also like to add that many of the gains made to make workplaces more compatible with personal life, such as family leave, flextime, and doing some work from home, were proposed and championed by feminists, but are a benefit to all workers, not just women.
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August 27th, 2014 at 7:21 am
I have a major problem with that poster. So much so that I went back and read all five parts to make sure I wasn’t talking out of my ass.
For the most part, I agreed with much of what you said.
I also consider myself a feminist, but I had a major problem with the #yesallwomen movement, and that poster illustrates it.
A *lot* of #yesallwomen seemed to carry the message: Women should be afraid of men.
I found this counteractive to what feminism is supposed to be: empowering. I even discussed it with a few women, most of whom shared the sentiment “I didn’t know I was supposed to be afraid of men until that all started.”
Women shouldn’t be living in a constant state of apprehension with every man they meet. That’s fear mongering. Let’s say that I pull up statistics on how more likely you are to get in fatal accidents riding in a car than an airplane. Should you now be afraid every time you get in a car?
That’s not to say that awareness isn’t important, it is, but that poster seems to carry the message “stay away from men because there’s a chance they’ll rape you.”
Furthermore, it’s vilifying men and widening the divide in our culture. Now, #notallmen was a stupid, tactless, ill conceived counter measure, but it wasn’t surprising. Men suddenly found themselves being lumped in a group of fiendish, violent sex offenders. Spreading the idea that every man is a potential rapist is not a positive message that will fix things. Hell, every person you meet ever is a potential murderer, but we don’t instill a fear of people in everyone. We try to create caution, but the impression that poster gives is way too heavy handed.
It’s like saying “Hey, women are weak and get taken advantage of. Be afraid, girls, be very afraid.”
Why isn’t there more of a movement to tell women they aren’t weak and helpless? It’s almost like a congratulations to rapists and abusers. “Good job, guys, you put ’em in their place. Now they know to walk with tails between their legs.”
I think their needs to be a shift promoting strength rather than instilling fear. I just feel like this kind of stuff is only going to create more of an “us” and “them” mentality we don’t need.
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August 27th, 2014 at 2:29 pm
While I totally agree that this poster makes women into victims, I’d argue that it does an even greater disservice to men. Posters like these are why there are sites like Women Against Feminism, where women are holding up signs proclaiming that they are “not a victim” and they “love men.” You’re exactly right to say that it polarizes the sexes creating an “us” and a “them.” These statistics are alarming, and men need to be just as aware of them as women, but using them as a means of separation is wrong and goes against everything feminism stands for.
Feminists should use these statistics to encourage men to join the fight; they should encourage men not to be the 10 percent. Like the Real Men Don’t Buy Girls campaign. That sends a positive message while spreading a truth: there are men who buy girls, and there are men who are willing to stand up to it and acknowledge that it’s not okay.
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August 27th, 2014 at 6:33 pm
Oh I understand it isn’t good marketing, all I was saying is that when feminist (particularly inexperienced feminists) say thinks like “men are potential rapists.” That is almost always what they mean by it.
For publicity and changing minds? That poster is not the correct direction, but if you’ve been reading all the way through my posts it’s a kind of a wake up call. I’ve attempted to reminded for men that ya there is a problem, and because in this instance I have provided plenty of context. The poster itself shouldn’t be as highly inflammatory to readers. Though this falsely assumes most of them will actually take the time to read, the whole thing and not jump to conclusions.
August 29th, 2014 at 8:40 am
Yep I’ve decided that the inclusion of that poster was overall a mistake. It labels all men as the problem, which is not what I originally intended, but consequences are consequences…
August 29th, 2014 at 3:05 pm
But it is such a perfect example of what’s wrong with feminism. Thanks for sharing it! As a feminist, I sometimes forget how combatant other feminists can be, and I find myself confused as to why people view us as so radical. I feel frustrated by ads like this because I think feminism or humanism should be all about inclusion, not division.
August 29th, 2014 at 7:44 pm
Combativeness in not strange particularly for those feminist dealing with MRA’s. It’s easy to be combative if you have people actively producing bullshit (MRA’s actively lie and spread those lie around. Particularity quote from out of no where.) But yes that post was a poor choice, however, this is only one part out of 5. I’m noticing that tendency people have of pinpoint focusing on that not thing that pisses them off and not letting it go. I’m still debating if I should edit the post some. We’ll see.
August 27th, 2014 at 6:48 pm
I don’t disagree, I’m not suggesting we use that poster for anything other then make the point that rape is a very real problem and a disturbingly high amount of men are rapists. So as much as it shows that women are victim’s of male violence or women have to “fear” or take precautions around men. It isn’t a narrative we have to push forward, but it is a reality we exist with in. So we need to walk time line of examining the truth and trying to change thing to what we want to see.
This post is mostly about what I see to be the truth, I’m sure I’ll be able to talk more about actual strategy in future posts.
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August 28th, 2014 at 2:00 am
I read the rest of the post. I just think the poster is highly inflammatory, as you said. The poster was created to be provocative, and since you included it in your post, it was a trigger for discussion.
August 27th, 2014 at 3:26 am
This has been a great and informative series of posts. I was wondering if at some point you could put up some materials on feminism that would be helpful to someone who isn’t familiar with the terminology or who hasn’t taken a women’s issues class in undergrad.
I’ve tried conducting my own research into this, but I’m running into all sorts of information. It’s tough trying to grasp feminism while simultaneously sorting through mountains of allegations and data.
Still, great posts!
August 27th, 2014 at 3:50 am
And here you go. http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Feminism_101
Ya if can be difficult, but you can always trying in word into Google for their strict definitions, and ask for feminist definitions. Always be on the look out for MRA affiliated groups. They have a tendency of not fact checking and passing around false quotes and figures pulled directly out of someone ass, and disseminated as fact.
I don’t really know exactly how to explain how best to determine if any site is a good source of information. Look at and fallow citations. If your not getting back to primary sources. It’s highly suspect. look for books on the subject, or send e-mail to local professors or women studies programs. If your not knowledgeable about something be very critical about all the information you pull in and hold judgement until you can look at all the information you’ve concerted so far and then start drawing conclusions about it. In this post series I’m given you no shortage of research material. Even a textbook chapter. Do some digging and come to your own conclusions. Use the search function found on many sites.
And of course ask questions here. I’m no expert, but I am knowledgeable.
August 27th, 2014 at 4:02 am
Okay. I feel like an idiot for not having found this site. *facepalm* Added to favorites, and thanks!
August 27th, 2014 at 4:05 am
No problem, however, getting to the research habit, that is just looking up everything on the fly because internet’s everywhere and you don’t know everything. It’s such a good habit so long as you don’t let it control your every waking moment. It’s helped me be a better human, and I’m much better about not disseminating misinformation because I do all these little research missions.
Plus then you get good at finding the good stuff and eliminating the trash. 🙂
August 29th, 2014 at 5:32 am
This isn’t actually right. First of all, I really question their method of getting respondents when their SD for age is greater than 6 years and closer to 10 than 6, when 20% of people in the study are considered non traditional students as they are over 30, it makes the idea of a representative sample seem ridiculous. Do you believe the students of U Mass in 2002 were 20% non traditional? It seems unlikely. For self reported data to be taken seriously, it has to be somewhat representative, as opposed to representative of people who will stop to fill out a form for 4 dollars.
For the sake of argument, we’ll ignore that your source on your figure is a 10 year old article from an obscure journal using sketchy data with an undergrad published by a pay for play .com called springer publishing. Let’s just ignore all that. Let’s play make believe and say those numbers are in some way reliable. I’ll even spot the fact they lump “attempted rapists” in with rapists
The reason you are doing something wrong is you are taking a minority behavior within a group and assigning it to the larger group.
Doing so is the nature of prejudice. Some prejudice is fine, like if a behavior approaches half, or being as likely as not. Like it’s OK to say that you shouldn’t approach guys in Africa toting AK-47s because about half of the time you’ll end up dead or kidnapped. That’s fine. 6.4% is half of half of half of half. You can’t stick the majority with that label. It’s inappropriate to therefore attribute the label of “possible rapist”
We wouldn’t do that to any other group besides men, and something is either logically relevant or not. If someone were to do a study and find that 6.4% of black students stole, and someone put a plaque up with all the names of black students as “Possible thieves” there would be a massive backlash.
THIS is why women all over the nation are rejecting the title “feminist” because it comes with this kind of man hating Stormfront worthy anti-logic. Between this sort of blatant man hating rhetoric and the whole “women don’t know what’s good for them so I’m going to tell them how to feel” shtick no wonder women are saying they don’t need feminism. So maybe 1 in 16 men might be a rapist, but 1 in 21 men (reported by the NY times on a report prepared by the CDC) have been forced to penetrate a woman in some way, so we might as well put the names of all the women on the plaque as well
August 29th, 2014 at 8:37 am
Fair enough, you make a good point still had to call feminists Nazi’s though you had a decent argument why degrade it with that ad hominum?
The point feminists normally make is not all men are horrible but that there is a very serious problem. You are putting words in my mouth, but I will grant it isn’t much of a stretch. I will remove the argument from my usage.
However the study does not indicate what rates forced penetration was forced by women and what percent was forced penetration into men. Though this annoys me to great ends that this isn’t considered rape by the CDC.
Is an interesting read. I’d read the full report however gives much better info (obviously). Like it finds over three quarters of rape victim’s are raped before the age of 25. With 42% being minors.
The the study is not looking at the sexes of perpetrators, so drawing conclusions about the sex of perpetrators from it are not possible.
Though the point still remain that we need feminism, women are still getting assaulted and victimized more then men at staggering rate the CDC report find that about 6% men are raped (sexes of perpetrators is not clear in this study and does not include men incarcerated in prison) and about 20% of women are raped (not including attempted penetration for both). And that’s before we move into broader issues of gender roles wage gap and job opportunities. So yes I reject the anti-feminist sentiments you plaster through your comment. Since most feminist, are not trying to make men look bad, but rather point out the significant difference in abuse women face compared to men. Not to mention that men are by most often the perpetrators of violence both against men and women. You can’t tell me there isn’t a serious problem that needs addressing.
Thank you for correcting me, however. I was bound to screw something up in the this post series. And this was probably the bit I was most unsure of.
August 29th, 2014 at 8:46 am
Oh that’s what’s bugging me, your saying that I’m labeling the majority of men a rapist. I can see how you came to that conclusion, but your wrong on that one. I think that 6-15% pf men will rape at least one person in his life time, and that those numbers should and do affect the behavior of women.
Also the whole women against feminism is because this argument. It’s because people don’t understand what feminism is. Most comment from that movement and one like it show more misconception then actual concern. (also this argument is not even close to being the crux of why I’m a feminist, and it not popularly used in the movement, so no this is not why women against feminism exists.