This is why men can’t be feminists:

This is a comment left on  A Room of our Own: A Feminist/ Womanist Network in response to my paper for the Women’s Spaces and Feminist Politics; yesterday, today and tomorrow conference.

This is why men can’t be feminists: because they write patronising drivel:

Dear Author:

I was looking for an email address on your website to contact the owner of this site and the lady who made this speech. I am a 25 year old male, and a women’s studies grad at UcLa. I originally chose this major because it seemed like an easier gateway entering law school, but it actually ended up being one of the best decisions I have ever made. I totally respect and understand your desire to have a forum only for women, but what I found out through my 4 years of study was that men, especially young women, often feel disinterested in feminism and misogyny because they get this “we hate men” vibe. When I first started at ucla, a lot of young women raised an eyebrow at me in classes and didn’t know what my intentions were in terms of why I chose this major. But the truth is that there are a lot of men who are absolutely interested in healthy discussions about feminism and gender problems. I believe that it is absolutely essential for men to be involved in order to make positive changes. If only women talk about these problems and men are left out of the circle, it’s only repeating what has been going on for the last 3-4 decades. I hope that you offer men the opportunity to discuss these issues in a healthy and supportive environment, and I apologize for any abuse you have endured from men online. Thanks for your time and best of luck to you.

Yeah, that “we hate men” vibe is such a problem for feminists what with the whole insisting rapists be held criminally liable and fathers financially responsible for their children. Seriously, if this what 4 years of Women’s Studies taught this dude, we’re fucked.

Mansplainers Arrive!

I haven’t read Rebecca Solnit’s new book but it’s on my wish list because her essay on what is now known as mansplaining is absolutely bloody brilliant. I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t experienced mansplaining at some point. The utter arrogance of men who think they know more about absolutely everything than women never ceases to amaze me – one prolific mansplaining, abusive dickwad on Mumsnet swears blind that women are totally over-reacting to child birth with their use of the word trauma because he’s seen his wife give birth twice and she was fine. This level of fucknuggetry is hardly strange or surprising.

These comments have been submitted to my blog in the past few days, whilst they aren’t as abusive as Larry is on MN, they aren’t exactly an example of men respecting women’s boundaries and intelligence.

First:

Madame – I have never heard of The Good Men Project nor what it is they represent, but it is quite obvious that you disapprove of it. The open letter seemed critical of Mr. Rodger and his thought “process” (?), as well as the acts he committed. Maybe calling him a “good man” meant that there was nothing unusual about his appearance (just going by the photos) which would make any of us fear him. I would also hope that any male virgin at the age of 22 would not feel the pressures to do such a thing.

 Second:

I have spent the last hour or so reading your blog and while there was much I felt I would like to comment on I realised that I would not be allowed enter the discussion due to my gender. So failing being able to engage in discussion on these topics I would like to comment on your comment policy, to you alone if not to your readers.

I encourage you to open your mind and challenge your views regarding the shutting down of challenging discussion. Challenging our views is what makes us wise, how can you learn new things unless you are willing to admit you may have been ignorant?

I refer to a quote from one of history’s great leaders

“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”
― Marcus Aurelius

i urge you to revise your comment policy to increase the legitimacy of your writing as it stands your blog reeks of disillusionment unless you are prepared to engage in meaningful discussion and contemplate that you may be wrong on some issues.

Thanks for reading, you can email me if you wish to discuss.

My first reaction to these comments was to snigger at the total lack of self-awareness, but, like Solnit states in her canonical article, men’s disrespect of women’s intelligence isn’t just some dude on the internet whinging about being denied the right to comment on a women’s blog. It’s about the systemic silencing, derailing and gaslighting of women. It’s about ignoring women’s knowledge and taking credit for their work.

How to spot a dumbass man:

When they try to post this crap on your blog:

Human rights not female rights. Quit abusing men! BTW, its not ok call men radical like its bad when your agenda is radical. Work on enjoying men, not attacking them. Women are as abusive as men, make a wold that peaceful, not. I notice you have no objections to misandry but you wont allow Misogyny. that’s about what I expect. As a good person I wont allow either. Men can be good, can you? I’ve seem plenty of women abuse men….

We need to stop using the word rape because it hurts men’s feelings.

At least, that is what Oliver Wright is claiming in a nasty piece of click bait in the Independent* today. We need to stop using the word rape because it confuses the menz and gives them sad feelings.  So, we need to replace it with “non-consensual sex” so rapists don’t feel upset about being labelled rapists. Because it’s the sad feelings of men that we need to work on in order to deal with low rape convictions. Not the systemic nature of sexual violence and rape. Or, the fact that the Metro can list anal rape as “bad sexual etiquette”. Or, the fact that the media prints rape myths on a daily basis as truth. Or, the fact that police use rape myths in their annual Christmas “don’t be stupid enough to get yourself raped” campaigns despite the ONLY risk factor for being raped is being in the presence of a rapist.

Suggesting that the best way to deal with low rape convictions is to change the term is a simplistic answer to a complex problem by someone who has clearly not bothered to do any research into rape, male violence and the criminal justice system. A quick phone call to any number of third sector organisations, Alison Saunders who is the current director of  public prosecutions, or, you know, Rape Crisis would have been more than enough to learn why this suggestion is so incredibly harmful. Frankly, reducing rape to a “unpleasant crime” shows just how little Wright understands the issue.

The basic problem with Wright’s article can be summed up by his concluding paragraphs:

The attrition rate for rape cases at early stages in the criminal-justice process shows that too many are getting filtered out early – mainly because police and prosecutors don’t think that there is any chance of getting a conviction. But with a less emotive charge, that could change.

Because the truth is this: it is not the term rape that is important, it is getting justice for the victims of the crime – whatever it is called.

Changing the name of rape to a “less emotive” one doesn’t change the fact that rape is the one crime that the vast majority of people believe victims bring on themselves. It doesn’t change the fact that many men, and a lot more men commit rape than are ever convicted, are rapists. A generous study on this issue puts rapists at 1 in every 60 men. This does not include street and sexual harassment.

We don’t need to change the word rape. We need to stop men raping. Changing language won’t deal with the number of men who are rapists. If anything, it will just give rapists more wiggle room to whine about how they didn’t understand consent as if it’s difficult to know that a woman saying no or freezing doesn’t want to have sex.

Frankly, if we’re going for simplistic ways to end rape, I’d vote for a law which bans men from having any kind of sexual contact until they can prove that they aren’t too stupid to understand consent.

* Clean link.

 

And men, I am no longer publishing comments by you on this blog so don’t waste your time writing rape apologist bullshit on here. I don’t want to hear how you’re not a rapist because you misunderstood. You’re a rapist because you made the choice to rape someone.

Men who need cookies are not feminist allies.

Everyday Sexism are running a hashtag tonight called #EverydayAllies about the men who stand up for feminism.

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 20.43.33

I get what they are trying to do, but, come on. Men who actually give a shit about sexism and misogyny don’t need a freaking hashtag.

And those men who do, aren’t allies. They are in it for the blow jobs and cookies and we need to ignore their shit. We don’t need to be giving them a hashtag. We don’t need to be wasting our time on crap like this. We should be directed our energy at other women: praising their work. Celebrating their accomplishments.

Feminism needs to be by women for women and about women. Anything less is just replicating the very same patriarchal structures. FFS giving men cookies for not being an asshole isn’t feminism. It’s expecting them to act like humans: not assholes. Which isn’t really a very high standard to hold them to. Most 5 year olds get it.

Let’s hear about #AwesomeFeminists not men who are in it for a blow job.