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Jul 29 2008

Blamers, coddle the dudes so I don’t have to

If you’re contemplating sending me an email about how my Dear god what about the men?! page is full of nothing but broken links, contemplate no more. Relieve your worried mind. Rest easy. I have been fully apprised.

If you are new to this blog: the “Dear god what about the men?!” page contains (now defunct, apparently) links to non-IBTP blog posts addressing what I Blame the Patriarchy disdains to address, namely, why the grumpy feminists don’t feel like giving men Good Conduct Medals for not being rapists. And stuff like that. I thought it might reduce the amount of comment space that is routinely wasted in explaining male privilege to callow male commenters.

As you know, feminists expend 90% of their feminist energy giving feminism lessons to dudes. The remaining 10% is spent giving feminism lessons to other feminists (there are some feminists who give 110%. You hear about them only infrequently, and only then because they’ve scared the shit out of everyone).

Anyway, because this blog isn’t for men, I never did much with the men-page, and I have little inclination to update it now. Oddly, it appears, judging from the number of concerned messages I’ve gotten regarding the broken links, that the need for such a thing exists. In the first place, as the one would-be male commenter who ever read the FAQ has pointed out in a recent email, reading the suggested whataboutthemen articles is apparently a prerequisite for posting on this blog, but the broken links are thwarting him. Poor would-be male commenter. Caught in the spinster aunt’s infinite recursion.

Also, apparently regular people believe they can use whataboutthemen literature to educate those of their dude friends who find their killjoy feminist ways tiresome. Who knows? Maybe they can. Thus I now do what I always do when readers need something from me that I am too lazy to deliver: I pass it along to the Blametariat.

Got a link to something that bothers to take men by the hand and coddle them with gentle reassurances into contemplating the cuckoo idea that women are human beings? Or maybe you’ve got your own eloquent spiel? Post it, chiquita! This will become the new “Dear god what about the men?!” page, and I can go back to the barn and brush my horse. Or, just blow this off. I wouldn’t blame you.

Since a popular suggestion is likely to be the excellent Finally, a Feminism 101 Blog, I’ll get it out of the way first. Happy dude-coddling.

47 comments

2 pings

  1. Deanna

    Shakes’ “Feminism 101″ series is a fantastic place to start: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2004/10/feminism-101.html.

  2. Dawn Coyote

    I love the xy site. Tons of resources there.

  3. Dawn Coyote

    A quickie primer, linked from this Huffpo article by Stan Goff on masculinity as conquest and how it will play out in the coming election.

  4. lawbitch

    Damn, I hate to coddle the dudes. But I’m nursing a cat bite today (long story), so I have some time to fill.

    A quick primer on male privilege:

    [link to Alas A Blog deleted on accounta the pornulational problems it raises. See below for more information. -- ED.]

    I’m not interested in hearing any arguments about any of these specific items. If a man can’t accept these points as women’s experience, then that man does not belong here.

  5. Jonathan

    Feel free to send the Dudes my way:

    http://themasculinemystique.blogspot.com/

    For the male allies of Twisty on this list (the ones who don’t need a WATM lesson) we should be stepping up to take the backlog of WATM Dudes off of their hands so that they can get back to more serious work.

    Speaking of which, I should make sure that, “women must explain their actions and existence to any man who requests it at any time” is added to my Male Privilege list.

  6. Elbow

    I don’t feel like I’ve advanced enough in my blaming to regularly comment here, but I recently started a blog that’s all about male coddling:

    http://wealthywhitemale.blogspot.com/

    Elbow, out.

  7. thebewilderness

    I was kinda tickled this morning when I saw this post and there were
    0, I mean zero, zed, comments. I was thinking it could stay that way forever for all of me.

  8. Famous Soviet Athlete

    I was kinda tickled this morning when I saw this post and there were
    0, I mean zero, zed, comments.

    I blame the WordPress Industrial Complex.

  9. TP

    You can send them to feministfred.com if you want. Let educating the clueless male supremacists be the sorry task of the less delusional of us. But first they should read two books – Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity and Refusing to be a Man by John Stoltenberg.

  10. Agnieszka

    I’ve got nothing. The biggest lesson I learned from your blog is to stop wasting my time explaining feminism to men. I wasted years of my life trying to convince misogynist assholes that women are human. Some times they would briefly award me the prize of honorary human (unlike all the other ladies).

    When I was a teenager I assumed all women were feminists. My mom is, and I am, so it seemed pretty self-evident. I was so sure I didn’t even feel the need to discuss it. I was pretty shocked to meet women who weren’t, and I didn’t know how to explain to them something that seemed so self-evident.

    The shocked silence has passed, and the time-waster of talking to dudes has been tossed aside. Now I write for women and talk to women. I feel like I’m actually making a difference now, and some of the things I’m saying are sticking in the heads of the people I say them to.

  11. TP

    I totally agree with Agnieszka. Women shouldn’t waste their time trying to convert men to questioning everything they hold dear about their own exalted position. It is far more important to help all the women in the world who think male supremacy is natural, normal and unchangeable.

    I still figure that it’s up to me, since I have male parts, to talk to men about it. Since I know what it’s like to identify as a man, I understand how crippled men are and have the patience to explain things to them they might never choose to get. Somehow the sting is far less when you call a man a man-hater. Yeah, I’m a hairy-legged radical feminist man hater.

    See what I mean?

  12. L

    I was just thinking that I spend a lot of my blogging time talking to/yelling at/cussing about dudes who piss me off. Here’s some of my posts that I think the dudes should read before engaging in any feminist conversations at all, ever:

    I am not a “gatekeeper” of feminism just because you’re wrong about feminist theory and practice.

    Consider that women/feminists don’t want or need your help or advice, especially when none of them have asked you for it.

    How not to be a feminist ally, a list of 13 easy ways that you, too, can avoid being the ever oppressed oh so sad male feminist ally.

    As for links to others, these are some that I like:

    Feminist Allies on How to Spot a Faux Feminist Man

    Some stuff and lots of links about the masculinity crisis at Feminist.com

    An Uncongenial Post” by Tia at Unfogged about how male feminist allies do their thing.

    Mostly, I think dudes should shut up and truly listen for a long, long, longlong time before pushing the Blame button. They should ALWAYS reconsider whether their voices are actually necessary in this conversation or if they’re just commenting because they’re feeling defensive and angry and therefore counterproductive.

  13. panoptical

    I don’t know. I’d just as soon let men who want in on IBTP do their own homework. Then again, I’m bitter because I’ve spent my morning arguing with this guy and not surprisingly it feels *exactly* like banging my head against a wall.

    I wrote this after he made the claim that he didn’t see any evidence that the patriarchy exits:

    “There’s tons of evidence for the patriarchy. It’s overwhelming. I don’t even know where to start. Throughout all of human history, almost everyone who’s ever been in charge has been male. Kings, nobles, popes, priests, rabbis, imams, mullahs, prophets, messiahs, gods, emperors, pharoahs, senators, representatives, presidents, prime ministers, grand viziers, CEOs, etc etc etc etc. Can anyone honestly hold the opinion that these people haven’t spent all of human history setting things up to favor themselves? It doesn’t require any kind of covert conspiracy theory. When rich people are in power they set things up to favor rich people. When white people are in power they set things up to favor white people. When men are in power they set things up to favor men. And men have been in power for all of human history and men still are.

    And it’s not just political and religious and economic power. A man’s home is his castle, every man is king of his household. That’s why the nuclear family is the fundamental unit of the patriarchy – the father is in charge of the woman and the children. This doesn’t mean that every father goes to a secret meeting to receive instructions on how to oppress women. It just means that the concept of father as we understand it is parallel to the concept of king and of God (who is the father to all of us).

    The father/king/god isn’t in charge because there’s some magical group with spooky distance powers enforcing male authority. Rather, the patriarchy is the result – the observable end product – of countless instances of male, paternal authority. And we are awash in evidence that the end result of male authority is oppressive to women.”

    And yet I can’t help but feel like I’m just wasting my time.

  14. TP

    The patriarchy doesn’t exist? Where did this guy get his last name from? What sex is represented best in every position of power and authority you can quantify, outside of maybe schoolteachers?

    Men who want to comment here should do their own homework, which is why Twisty put up this page. But I feel the pain of anyone who can’t explain the obvious to an idiot in deep denial.

  15. Bushfire

    OMG, I wouldn’t bother with people who say “the patriarchy doesn’t exist”. Last time I heard that was when someone started a Facebook group at my uni as a discussion about why we shouldn’t print rape jokes in the school newspaper. In popped some doods complaining that we were all whiny and obsessed with political correctness, and some who joined just to inform us that there is no such thing as patriarchy. As if. No matter how many good points you make, research you cite, facts you give, personal stories and anecdotes you tell, they just don’t get that women are not being treated like people. When someone can’t understand something so obvious, it’s time to move on.

  16. Gayle

    panoptical,

    You and Nine Deuce have the patience of saints.

  17. Nine Deuce

    Thanks, Gayle. But I have to say that I’m tired, and that I think attempting to ‘splain things to these dudes might have been ill-advised. But what in the world are we to do? I mean, I hold out some kind of hope that things can change, which is why I have a blog in the first place. So I try to plant seeds here and there, but it’s hard to tell which ones to bother with and which ones to tell to go fuck themselves. I want to wash my hands of it, but I have had at least two dudes (who had partners) tell me they decided to stop using porn because of my helping them to get something, so how can I? It does irritate me that they need it explained to them, but… UGH!

  18. Twisty

    As I have often remarked, a human being should not require extensive hand-holding to come to the conclusion that women are human beings. Dudes are free — freer than I’ll ever be — to discern the difference between right and wrong, freedom and slavery, art and porn, love and sex, sex and porn, privilege and oppression, all without looking to overworked feminists for the right answers. Dudely philosophy is already chockfull-o-the tools necessary to come to evolved conclusions, regardless of the extent of feminist intervention. Patriarchy spawned me, for example, and I certainly know what the fuck time it is. Screw any fucking jagoff who can’t figure this shit out for hisself after 10 minutes of drunken introspection. Jesus fucking christ.

  19. TP

    I think, at the very start of my learning about feminism, during a discussion about whether it would be ethical for a man to help women start a burlesque show*, Twisty gave me about ten minutes of feminist insight before she just shut it down and moved on.

    Five or six years later and I’m still trying to get somethings right, though I know of and don’t dispute the fundamentals any more. But the thing is, as Twisty says, you don’t need to actually waste your precious time explaining anything to someone who refuses to get it.

    I especially implore anyone I care about to never argue with a dude about his privilege. I really can’t think of anything more futile than arguing privilege with a man who is heavily invested in being a man and thinks that’s what you like about him.

    The self delusion of men about masculinity is infinite and inarguable. Fuck ‘em all.

    *Could I have been any more offensive? I’m such a schmuck!

  20. tigtog

    Thanks for the shout-out for the Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog, Twisty.

    I don’t aim to coddle the Dudes too much, my aim is far more to debunk some of the more outrageous claims about feminism that get thrown around with gay abandon, and I have a very strict comments policy. It consistently amazes me though, the number of people who can come to FF101 and read the sidebar to find the suggestions page, and then ask a thoroughly stupid question that does nothing more than demonstrate that they personally are far too special a snowflake to actually read the FAQs (as repeatedly requested in the intro pages) and ask their stupid question on the appropriate thread.

    I’m sure they wonder why they don’t get published, but as they apparently are also far too precious to read Comments Policies they will have to live on in ignorance.

    Bah. Humbug. Bah.

  21. Twisty

    Oh, Tigtog, I didn’t mean to suggest that Feminism 101 “coddles” dudes, but I can certainly see how it reads that way, since I use that exact phrase about 27 times in the post. Please excuse my unfortunate choice of words.

    Dudes never read my FAQ, either. I laugh about it 27 times every day when I hit the delete button in my moderation queue.

  22. tigtog

    No worries, I didn’t think you personally meant to suggest it, I just thought others (specifically the Clueless Squad seeking Dude Coddling) might read it that way. *shudder*

  23. Betty Boondoggle

    FWIW, I have a policy of engaging dude/trolls on various blogs, not for the benefit of the dude, but for the audience.

    Back when I was a lurker and a far less informed proto-feminist, there were multiple times where I’d see some misogynstic drivel and either not see how to refute it or agree with it, because there was no refutation readily available.

    I think of that every time a dude/troll invades a feminist space with lies, misinformation and bigotry.

    I don’t respond to them to educate them, but to show lurking proto-feminists that these things are easily refutable.

  24. buggle

    Ack! Please don’t link to amptoons here- alas a blog sold his site out to pornographers who make money anytime someone goes to that website!

    Please read here to find out the details of what happened- I am so horrified to see feminist sites still linking to this asshole!

    http://womensspace.wordpress.com/2006/10/08/alas-a-blog-reviews-hardcore-pornography-websites-did-everybody-but-me-already-know-this/

  25. kage

    That’s so true, Betty.

    I’ve been trawling feminist blogs for around three years and have only ever made about half a dozen comments, but learn a lot from troll arguments. I now blame regularly and loudly IRL and often hear myself paraphrasing the witty and wise responses of the wickedly funny women I read online.

    I’ve also given up dude coddling, but in my experience gently refuting dudes in public sometimes encourages women to talk to me in private. Thanks to feminist blogs I now have the words and concepts to name the uneasy feelings these women talk about. I’ve also recommended a few blogs here and there.

    There must be millions of little CR chats going on like this every day. It certainly makes my mediocre job just that little bit more rewarding.

  26. lawbitch

    Vomit on Alas! Thanks, buggle, for that info. I missed it somehow.

    I’d remove my post if I could. Twisty, would you please be so kind as to remove the link to the pornsick weasel? I hate hypocritical pornsick weasels!

  27. mir

    The only dude I can coddle re: feminism is the one that sprung from me very own loins* sixteen years ago. He gets my sage advice of “Women are human. Don’t be a shithead.”

    To the rest of them: Whatever, guy. Ask yer dad.

    *Sorry about the “loins” thing, it’s the handiest term that came to mind.

  28. delphyne

    Andrea said it best:

    “I want a 24 hour truce during which there is no rape”

    http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/WarZoneChaptIIIE.html

    (only one man in the audience threatened her physically after she gave that speech)

    And if men want to know what they can *do* (as they never seem to be able to get their brains to give them the answer to that one), how about stopping fucking women whilst we still live in a patriarchy, because as everybody knows in patriarchy there can be no true consent to intercourse. Even if they don’t follow it through, the little explosions that suggestion will set off in their heads should give them a few ideas about sexism, male privilege, entitlement, rape culture and their own particular place in it.

  29. Lara

    Why yes, Twisty et al., I DO have a “what about teh menz?” post:

    http://rychousmama.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/not-my-nigel/

    And if you want good reading by a male feminist ally, read Richard Leader at Adonis Mirror.

  30. Twisty

    Lawbitch et al,

    I am aware of the pornulational controversy surrounding Amp’s blog,and am agin dudes using porn to pay the rent, but his male privilege checklist is still a decent bit of male-coddling feminism. So the link stays.

  31. lawbitch

    Thanks, Twisty. It is clear and well written. A good start for absolute novices.

  32. Boreoboreo

    The List of 50 Male Privileges is just fantastic. I think I found the link here originally. Really worth reading, so that you actually know what they are too. Ah lists, we need ‘em now and then.

  33. Eurosabra

    Just want to chime in in favor of TP’s excellent blog, as I am probably one of the few from the relatively-unthinking-thinking-dude community to peruse it.

  34. delphyne

    There’s a copy of the male privilege checklist at this link, Twisty:

    http://colours.mahost.org/org/maleprivilege.html

    So nobody needs to support pornographers and their marketing by clicking on a link to Amptoons.

    If Peggy McIntosh who wrote the White Privilege Checklist, who Deutsch got the idea for his checklist from, linked to white supremacist organisations, would anybody be keen to promote her work? I think it sends out a very peculiar message to men – “Stop oppressing us, stop raping us, but here’s a link to a guy who made his money by selling out his feminist blog to pornographers – the women used in his porn don’t matter as long as we make sure you chaps are educated”

  35. Twisty

    Criminy, how could I have omitted feministfred?

  36. Twisty

    Delphyne, I know, but — not to put too fine a point on it — the version in the link you provide contains numerous links to Alas, too.

    Only semi-related: correct if wrong, but a blog owner only collects $$$ when a reader actually clicks on an ad, right?

  37. lawbitch

    It’s my understanding that the male privilege list has been a work in progress and that the link provided contains the most recent version.

    I think you’re correct, Twisty. As long as we don’t click on the porn link, I don’t think that we’re providing any income for the blog owner.

  38. delphyne

    It does indeed link to him, but it’s still better than linking directly to his site. My advice would be not to give his checklist any coverage at all given his anti-woman behaviour that does not fit in with any feminism I’ve heard of, but it’s your call.

    I’m not quite sure how it works but being at Amptoons helps the porn sites he advertises there, by boosting their ratings on search engines through the popularity of his blog. So any clicks or links across to him help the pornographers. It is a benefit to them.

    Ampersand could have taken his blog elsewhere once he had sold his web domain, but he chose to stay there and help support the pornography being sold on the website. There’s a reason why his blog stays there and the obvious answer is $$$$$$. Why give him that support?

    Also apparently back in the day on the Ms Boards Ampersand asked the women there to come up with the ideas for the list which he then collated and passed off as his own. That’s one of the reasons it’s a work in progress because you never know when a woman might come up with a new idea for it.

    We could always create our own male privilege checklist here. We wouldn’t be stealing anybody’s idea because Ampersand already ripped off Peggy McIntosh with his list.

  39. Amananta

    This is all I got – http://amananta.wordpress.com/2007/08/21/feminism-101/

    Although I would call it less of a coddle and more of a verbal smack upside the head.

  40. thebewilderness

    The interesting thing about the dood feminists like Amp is that he ripped off a woman’s work put his name on it then ripped off some other women’s words to enhance the work. What a dood, eh?
    And a porn sockpuppet as well. Criminy.

  41. Igor

    “I think you’re correct, Twisty. As long as we don’t click on the porn link, I don’t think that we’re providing any income for the blog owner.”

    It’s not about clicks at all. It’s about links existing, period. It’s funny, but it was men who spread this sort of misinformation when the news about Amptoons came out and everyone believed them just because they were men — er, feminist men.

  42. Gayle

    “Only semi-related: correct if wrong, but a blog owner only collects $$$ when a reader actually clicks on an ad, right?”

    I have no idea how Amp himself gets paid, but the pornographers who bought his site bought it specifically for his incoming links. Links that came from feminist sites, no less:

    “The idea behind the outgoing porn link is that Google ranks websites based on “authority”. The more your site is linked to by other sites – especially from already established, high-authority sites – the higher its perceived “authority” on a subject; hence the higher your site will be ranked on Google for various search phrases.

    So what these “SEO’s” (search engine optimizers) do, is they buy links from high authority sites to try to raise the authority of their new/low-ranked/spam sites. And as internet profit goes, porn sells like nothing else.

    When it comes to porn, you don’t need anything resembling content, you just need A) naked women; and B) for people to actually choose your site over the millions and millions of others. Which is why someone would attach a monetary value to links from a site like Ampersand’s, which obviously has a high authority, having been linked to over and over again by other respected sites.

    So yes, he absolutely, positively built a site that achieved a monetary value based largely on feminist support and based on that value, sold it to porn spammers.”

    http://www.womensspace.org/phpBB2/2006/10/12/pimp-my-domain-for-dummies-not-mysterious/

    Sorry about the messy link. I don’t have my HTML cheat sheet on me here at work and I seem to screw up links without it.

  43. Twisty

    Thanks for clearing up that mystery, folks. Delinking now.

  44. Rich

    “So what these “SEO’s” (search engine optimizers) do,”

    Strictly speaking, the person or party that bought Amptoons isn’t a SEO or anything close to a SEO. (Which is a thirdparty consultant who tries to increase someone else’s web presence: they don’t buy crap for themselves). The “Buyer” in this case is more accurately described as an “affiliate” who makes money by referring others to websites and gets paid if someone signs up for a service through that path.

    This is a minor point, but the “it’s an SEO” thing was a rhetorical weapon used in the debate over the sale that gave defenders of Deutsch masculine power (“no big deal that a SEO is helping one porno guy beat other porno guys at the racket!”) of a sort over those who didn’t have access to that rhetoric, borrowed from TECH DOODS who really didn’t even have a clue what they were talking about!

    It’s really unclear HOW exactly these people are making money off the website (they seem really bad at it actually, so bad as to convince some women that Barry Deutsch sold the website to “himself” and the porn links are actually his and the story about the random business deal giving him cash money was a bunch of baloney.)

  45. Gayle

    Hey Rich,

    I chose that particular comment because I think it gives the clearest explanation of how search optimization works. Admittedly, “SEO” sounds overly technical. The “SEO” for my company was a 19 year old intern. She got other, larger sites from companies in our industry to link to us (by offering to link to them in return) and our Google ranking shot way up for a while, just below the paid positions.

    That was a year or two ago and I’ve noticed it doesn’t work so well anymore. (We have sunk back down, darn it!) Probably because just about every company does it now.

  46. MariaS

    kage: “I’ve been trawling feminist blogs for around three years and have only ever made about half a dozen comments, but learn a lot from troll arguments. I now blame regularly and loudly IRL and often hear myself paraphrasing the witty and wise responses of the wickedly funny women I read online.”

    Me too, feminist blogs and their trolls give me invaluable tools to recognise and cut through bullshit and silencing tactics. Never again will I be sidetracked into appeasement, no more “but I don’t hate men, that wasn’t what I meant all, and oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you, look, let me find a nicer way to say this.”

    Dude-coddling links:

    “Are you a manarchist?” –
    http://www.anarcha.org/sallydarity/AreyouaManarchist.htm

    “How not to be an asshole: a guide for men” – it boils down to STFU. This does not appear to be archived at the current Pandagon location unfortunately. (The post itself is awesome, but I remember being blown away by the comment thread too, by hundreds of women describing the common fear/vigilance that is second nature to us as women out in the world – we are cautious because it has been drummed into us to take care, but also because we know that really are men out there who rape and kill women.)
    http://web.archive.org/web/20070716111952/http://pandagon.net/2007/04/13/how-to-not-be-an-asshole-a-guide-for-men/

    “Occasionally, conversations with my man are instructive”
    http://ilykadamen.blogspot.com/2007/03/occasionally-conversations-with-my-man.html

    Book recommendation -
    The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy, by Allan G Johnson. Much of it counters common anti-feminist arguments. I also like the way that his starting point is the patriarchy, and then goes on to discuss feminism’s challenge to it. He does a good job of clearly elucidating the difference and relationships between individuals and systems/societies:

    “Patriarchy is not simply another way of saying “men”. Patriarchy is a kind of society, and a society is more than a collection of people. As such, “patriarchy” doesn’t refer to me or any other man or collection of men, but to a kind of society in which men and women participate … A society is patriarchal to the degree that it promotes male privilege by being male dominated, male identified, and male centered. It is also organized around an obsession with control and involves as one of its aspects the oppression of women.”

    Book details:
    http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/1780_reg_print.html
    First chapter downloadable in pdf format:
    http://www.temple.edu/tempress/chapters_1100/1339_ch1.pdf

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