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Jan 13 2009

Dispatch from the 100 Best Gender Studies Blogs department

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 93.7% of 21st century feminist time is wasted reassuring people that feminists don’t hate men.

I’ve also said this before and I’ll say it again: the link to a synopsis of the Twisty Worldview is right there in the sidebar; why will nobody ever read it? Why?

I issue these complaints because I just received an email from someone named Kelly who was pleased to inform me that I Blame the Patriarchy has been included on some list of “the best” gender studies blogs, and thoughtfully provided the link just in case my readers might find the list “interesting.” [1]

Whenever I am emailed by a complete stranger about something my readers might find interesting, it is a foregone conclusion that 1) my readers will not find it interesting, and 2) I am being tapped for some free advertising. Sometimes it’s a publisher offering me a review copy of some book I would never read in a million years, or a producer offering me a review copy of some movie I would never watch in a million years. Sometimes it’s a blogger who is excited to say he’s added me to his sexyfeminism blogroll, and maybe I could do the same for him, which of course I wouldn’t do in a million years. In all cases, the complete stranger can be relied upon to know nothing whatsoever about this blog or the people who read it.

Today’s email turned out to be a website promoting online college degrees. The website’s blog is titled, I kid you not, “Learn-gasm.” It publishes lists of “100 Best” single-issue blogs — fashion, history, etc. Learn-gasm then emails the lucky bloggers, apprises them of the great honor, and suggests that their readers would get a big bang out of this list. The idea being, presumably, that, once lured to the site by appealing to their pet interests, patriarchy-blamers would sign up in droves for online college courses.

I can see it now, the Rev. B. Dagger Lee earning her online degree in Christian Studies at the University of Phoenix.

Anyway, I was up with my 3 AM hot flash-cum-night-sweats and had nothing better to do after changing the sheets, so I clicked over to Learn-gasm’s “100 Best Gender Studies Blogs.” Sure enough, there was I Blame the Patriarchy, right after Feministing in the Feminism section.

Learn-gasm appears to have been written by a high school sophomore named Christina. Here’s how Christina describes Feministing:

“This blog was designed as a place for women to share their thoughts and feelings about issues that affect their lives.”

Deep.

And I Blame the Patriarchy?

“Here you’ll find gender issues explored from a distinctly anti-male, pro-feminist point of view.”

Look, I know this is just some cut-rate advertising ploy, and that there is plenty of shit on the web way worse than a list of gender study-ish blogs with meaningless descriptions, but I was cut to the quick, the quick, I tell you, by this latest blatant mischaracterization of my views.

It’s like Superglue, this loony idea that the spinster aunt — the aunt who merely yearns, swilling Scotch alone on her lime green recliner at spinster HQ, for women to assume fully human status in our cold, miserable world — promotes man-hating. I explain it all the time, and it’s right there in the sidebar, but I more or less constantly find myself correcting my detractors, pointing out that my antipathy is directed at male privilege, not at males themselves, either conceptually or personally [2]. Yet “Twisty hates men!” is the constant refrain. So why the ceaseless, deliberate misunderestimation?

Well, I’ll tell you.

In this crummy patriarchy set-up, where men dominate a sex class of women, any suggestion that women are actually human is perceived as an attack on the natural order. Which natural order consists of male authority and female submission. “Male,” in our culture, is the equivalent of and a synonym for authority. Therefore, “women are human,” a statement that challenges male authority, can only be understood to mean “I hate men.” And when a spinster aunt hates men, she’s just asking for it, you know? She proves that women suck, and invalidates all of feminism!

Incidentally, what kind of moron includes a supposedly “anti-male” blog on a list of 100 Best anything?

_______________________
[1] I have refrained from linkage on principle, but if your heart is set on a degree in Criminal Justice or Operations Management from an “accredited” internet college, don’t let me stand in your way; feel free to Google “bachelorsdegreeonline.”

[2] Of course I have no problem whatsoever directing antipathy toward individual men who exercise their privilege in revolting, tacky, exploitative, or violent ways.

45 comments

1 ping

  1. MLH

    You totally ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It drives me NUTS every time I mention to my husband terms such as equality, feminism, he goes “feminazi”
    I don’t hate men, I hate their system! Feminism is about equality!
    And it bothers me, (even more) when women say those things too!

    Although, I was wondering, if perhaps people equate the rejection of women that is machism with feminism. That feminism is hate of men just as machism is hate of women, you know? Perhaps that’s the problem? Terminology? Still, thanks for your post.

  2. Alex

    I think you answered your own question, Twisty. To Christina, the high school sophomore, all feminists are anti-male for the reasons you gave above. But IBTP has the proud honor of being distinctly anti-male.

  3. The Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    The long-term Secret Plan is to become the Director of Christian Studies at the Online Degree program of University of Phoenix.

    Then I will shrink the program to where it is small enough that I can ceremoniously drown it in my bathtub with my own two hallowed hands, and dismember it with my Japanese pull-saw (while Miss Patsy is away at work).

  4. Amananta

    Well I will be honest – I hate men. But the difference between someone like me hating men and men hating women is that men have actually done enough stupid, mean, abusive, nearly deadly crap to me that they deserve my hate. Women rarely do the same to men – in fact most women waste their entire lives taking care of all of men’s needs – and in return men hate them, murder them, abuse them, and enslave them.

    I’m okay with giving a little of that hate back.

  5. yttik

    “93.7% of 21st century feminist time is wasted reassuring people that feminists don’t hate men.”

    LOL, so very true!

    I like men, it’s the patriarchy that sucks.

    I’ve been cranky lately with all the men who declare themselves feminists and than proceed to act like wankers, usually lecturing me about women’s issues. But men are always welcome to become feminists. The first step is to double your workload and cut your wages in half.

  6. virago

    It’s hard not to hate men when the latest news in my town is the murder of some woman by her husband. After, he killed her (while their 3 year old daughter was in the house), he committed suicide. And of course, there was a long history of domestic violence. It’s all too common now, and men wonder why some women hate them? I know I can hear it now, “but not ALL MEN do this?” Well, guess what? There are more than enough men who do do this shit, and they make all of dude nation look bad.

  7. VibratingLiz

    Wait. Miss Patsy lets BDL have a Japanese pull-saw??

    I suspect some men are so convinced that we hate them because deep down they believe they deserve to be hated. Or they figure, ok, they hate us so much, so why the hell shouldn’t we hate them back? Projection, but it makes such perfect sense. When people hold these kinds of deep subconscious beliefs, it can be nearly impossible to convince them otherwise. But it says a lot more about them than it does about us.

  8. Jezebella

    MLH, how can a feminist possibly live in the same house as someone who calls feminists “feminazis”? This is not a rhetorical question. Because, seriously, there need to be negative consequences for men when they say stupid hateful shit.

  9. CLD

    It gets so tiring, seeing the eyeballs rolling and the “knowing” glances exchanged between co-workers and even friends whenever I bring up anything having to do with equality or feminism. For fuck’s sake, I wish they’d open their damn eyes and just try for once to listen and then to SEE what the hell I’m talking about before deciding I’m being hysterical and all up in that man-hating thing. IBTP.

    yttik: The first step is to double your workload and cut your wages in half. — This. I love it!

  10. MLH

    Well, Jezebella, that’s simple. We live in a patriarchy and when I found my husband I was a divorced mom of one. Even though I am college-educated and my hubby is not and I also have more work experience, I still make less $ than he. On top of being a female, I am also (gasp!) foreign-born and I refuse to change my citizenship. So, there you have it, I needed to be married in order to give my son the kind of life that he deserved. Also, to tell you the truth, my current hubby is much better than the last. He totally shares chores, cooks (every day) and is overall a great guy. Still, when it comes to feminism, I get the same reaction that I get from most people: feminism=man hate. It sucks.

  11. yttik

    Wear the feminazi label with pride. I aspire to be a feminazi, I just don’t have enough energy or the wardrobe to pull it off yet.

    And the next time some man accuses you of hating men, explain that it isn’t true or those brownies he’s eating would be full of horse laxatives. This always gives them pause…

    I’m kidding of course. I don’t even squish spiders.

  12. TP

    Aren’t men trained from birth to hate other men, too? That’s the whole point of the patriarchal hierarchy – killing every other man between you and the top of the shit pile. Then as a reward, you get to shit all over all of the men under you. Then, and only then, will you know how to love your fellow man.

    As has been said in many different ways already, men assume all women hate men anyway, so why should feminists get a pass just because they refuse to deny it? What is a woman to a man but someone who will never be able to rise above him? Look out below!

    I wonder if more men would understand feminism if they started from the position that they hate other men themselves, and can understand women’s oppression by recognizing their own feelings of oppression. But no – a normal dude would immediately leap to the common conclusion that women oppress men more than any other agent, since they refuse to give them all the pussy that they want. There’s no hope!

  13. Kali

    “93.7% of 21st century feminist time is wasted reassuring people that feminists don’t hate men.”

    Exactly! Which is why, several years ago, I decided not to waste another second on doing this. I am perfectly happy with people assuming that I am a man-hater. Anyway, men as a class have given women as a class plenty of reasons to hate men. They have no right to complain now.

  14. Claire (CJ)

    I hate a lot of men, and I have no problem saying that to anyone who will listen. I’d even say I hate most men, most of the time.

    If men don’t want to be hated, perhaps they should behave better. Shrug.

    CJ.

  15. Spiders

    Yeah people talk about feminist man- hatred as if it actually constitutes a REAL threat to men. It don’t.
    Men seem to hate each other up to a point, but the understanding that male soldarity is vital to patriarchy seems to direct a lot of their behaviour.

    “Feminazi” is just so fucking offensive on so many levels. Comparing human rights advocates to white supremacist genocide-perpetrators?
    Fuck that. The dude does not get to wear the “I’m an overall great guy” badge if he’s gonna use shitty terms like that.

    lmao@yttik “And the next time some man accuses you of hating men, explain that it isn’t true or those brownies he’s eating would be full of horse laxatives.”
    Ah, I needed to read that so much. Thanks for the laughs.

  16. Hedgepig

    The suffix “-nazi” nowadays seems to be used to describe someone who holds a viewpoint srongly, stridently expresses it, and is a bit grumpy and/or bossy. The genocidal association seems to have faded somewhat.
    We may have Seinfeld to thank for this usage. Which is possibly slightly ironic.

  17. Panic

    The suffix “-nazi” nowadays seems to be used to describe someone who holds a viewpoint srongly, stridently expresses it, and is a bit grumpy and/or bossy.

    I’d agree with the first two points, but it seems to me that someone becomes a -nazi when it’s believed they have no right to 1 and 2.

    You got it good, ladies, why are you complaining so much? Must be a feminazi. Who the hell are you to tell me about serial commas, Grammar Nazi? The customer is always right, you Soup Nazi! I don’t think you should be killing all those Jews, Nazi.

    Yes?

  18. Alderson Warm-Fork

    “I suspect some men are so convinced that we hate them because deep down they believe they deserve to be hated…Aren’t men trained from birth to hate other men, too?”

    I’ve just started reading the dialectic of sex by Shulamith Firestone, which is awesome. She takes Freud’s ‘oedipus conflict’ idea and sort of reverses it by basically suggesting that the male child is right to begin with, but must be perverted in order to fit into society.

    More specifically, she says that to begin with all children do the natural, reasonable thing, and love their mothers (or whichever parent nurtures and is kind to them) and fear/hate their fathers (or whichever parent controls them, disciplines them, holds and expresses power). But during the ‘Oedipal conflict’ phase this has to changed (but only for boys) – they have to learn to identify with their father and love the exercise of power, and hate their mother/women to distinguish themselves from her, because this is required to access wider (patriarchal) society.

    So basically, male children have to completely reversed from a natural and non-aggressive mentality to one which defends the aggressor and hates the weak. Which is such a horrible idea, but so obvious.

  19. Adam Myerson

    My degree is from UMass-Amherst, and I took many Women’s Studies classes there and at Smith College, where naturally I was the conspicuous dude in a room full of women. Whether I should have been there in the first place or not might have merited a semester’s worth of debate.

    You are by far the best Women’s Studies professor I have ever had.

  20. Hedgepig

    Panic: “someone becomes a -nazi when it’s believed they have no right to (a strongly held and expressed viewpoint)”

    Yes, good point. It implies someone’s taken a belief to an irrational extreme. Perfect for invalidating someone’s position.

  21. PhysioProf

    “This blog was designed as a place for women to share their thoughts and feelings about issues that affect their lives.”

    For some reason, I can’t stop laughing every time I read that sentence. It’s like a parody of a high-school book report written by a tenth-grader who has read only the title of the book.

  22. Jan

    From TP: “I wonder if more men would understand feminism if they started from the position that they hate other men themselves, and can understand women’s oppression by recognizing their own feelings of oppression.”

    You would think so. From Kiltmen.com:

    “Imagine a society in which the people have been divided into two groups. Every day, the people in Group A are given freedom of choice in a particular matter of personal concern. Every day, the people in Group B are denied that choice. Individuals in Group B who attempt to exercise this choice are subjected to harassment, denied employment, and face various forms of social ostracism and persecution.”

    Imagine! And guess who are the objects of this oppression according to Kiltmen? Dudes, of course! Because they have to wear pants! So clearly they can understand the concept of oppression. Particularly when it impinges upon their right to allow their dangly bits to hang free.

  23. Elaine Vigneault

    Boo hoo, someone thinks you hate men. Who the fuck cares? Are you actually doing anything substantially good for women or feminism by bitching about it? Somehow I doubt it.

  24. Twisty

    Fuck off, Elaine Vigneault. I’m not in the mood.

  25. thebewilderness

    If I recall correctly, it was Rush Limbaugh who named women who refuse to behave like doormats ‘feminazis’. It sorta pissed me off at the time, but when I consider that the source is a man who is consistently and persistently wrong about everything, what can you do but shrug.
    I shrug a lot.

  26. kel

    I think a lot of feminists are so afraid of being called anti-male that they end up anti-female.
    A quick for instance:
    Instead of blaming the men who go to strip clubs they go on marches and end up shouting at the women themselves for letting the side down.

    In fact, if someone like you does feminism at men and women equally, you get called “anti-male” because there is nowhere else to go.

    If I write anything without the “but some men are okay” disclaimer, all my male friends take it personally.

    Goes to show how often the world is about them.

  27. Dawn Coyote

    It seems to me that the accusation that “feminists hate men” is a kind of projection similar to that of the philanderer who is insanely jealous.

  28. TwissB

    -nazi belongs in the same trashbag as -police, as in “thought-police”

    And now for something completely different – but Twisty did mention it above: exploitative. Why the extraneous syllable? We don’t speak of exploitatation (or orientatation either). The basic word is exploit, so the extensions must be exploitive and exploitation. Jan Raymond (name-dropping) and I carried on a running battle over this until she forced me to accede to a draw because she found exploitative cited ahead of exploitive in Webster’s. I’ve decided to attribute the offending entry to the little known fact that Noah had a habit of stuttering.

  29. VibratingLiz

    Possibly for the same reason we say exploitation instead of exploition?

  30. Twisty

    “Why the extraneous syllable?”

    Another of the many mysteries that makes the English language so adorably weird. Although it’s really not that mysterious. It is analagous to a Latin construction wherein the suffix –ativus was appended to verbs to form an adjective meaning “having the attribute of [whatever]“. In English the –ative suffix is appended to certain verbs as though they were Latin present stems (even though they’re not), e.g.figure, figurative. Thus (via the French verb exploiter): exploit, exploitative: having the attribute of exploitation.

    No, I didn’t just pull this out of my ass. Chief weapon of the spinster aunt: the OED.

  31. speedbudget

    Kel said:
    “If I write anything without the “but some men are okay” disclaimer, all my male friends take it personally.

    Goes to show how often the world is about them.”

    You are right on, girl. I can’t talk about gang-raping sodomites in Darfur without having some guy get all “you hate me! you hate men!” on me. You see, the world IS all about them, in their world view. Why wouldn’t it be? They are the oppressors, the ones running the show.

    You know what my response is? “If you think I’m talking about you, that is just pathetic, and you should maybe do some introspection to consider why you are identifying with this particular example of woman-hating slug. Perhaps it’s because you ARE a woman-hating slug. In which case, I can’t help you.”

  32. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    i think CLD hit the nail on the head when she pointed out that man-hating is equated with hysteria. If a guy (or the patriarchy as a whole) can personalize (opposite of politicize?) the issue, it instantly trivializes it. Your real issues become just another neurosis when your feminism is reduced to man-hating. It’s equivalent to confronting sexist behavior and being asked, “What? You on the rag or something?”

    And any man in my household who called me a feminazi would find himself eating some of those oh-so-very-special brownies… if only I cooked.

  33. KMTBERRY

    THis thread roolz! I have been happily calling myself a FEMINAZI for many years (practucally ever since Rush shit the term from his lips) because it was an instant,I dunno, reclamation-type word for me.

    But perahps I claimed, or re-claimed it, without enough thought.

    Even in the case of “grammar police”, I think the speaker is subtly jesting at theirself; but with FEMINAZI, I am NOT jesting at myself, so it doesn’t work the same way at all.

    Although, I suppose that by going for the over-the-top-ness of FEMINAZI, I might be trying to soften the term feminist with HUMOR!! Cause the term FEMINIST is SO SCARY!!!

    I think I might have to drop the Feminazi!!

  34. K

    Wow, Jan, those Kiltmen folks have a LOT to say about how cool it is to be a man wearing a kilt and how non-girly it is!

    Personally, I am pro-men-in-skirts of any form. My favority Harry Potter moment is the wizard who is trying to fit in by wearing Muggle clothes, is informed that he is wearing a nightgown meant for a Muggle woman, and refuses to give it up because he “likes a pleasant breeze ’round the privates.”

  35. Anna Belle

    My husband does this. I know, I know…what did I expect?

    I’m about sick to death of explaining to him how feminism is about transforming the world for inclusion, not exclusion. He grew up working class, so assumes that he’s subject to the same oppression as me and, in typical American male fashion, identifies heavily with black cultural narratives. Yet I see the white male privilege written large in so much that he does.

  36. Chai Latte

    Man-hating? Really? I wonder how that came about. Us blamers totally hate on the craptastic things that men DO, or gender-based stupidity that impedes our chances of realizing our potential.

    But..but…there are DECENT guys out there, who respect teh wimminz!

    DURR. But this blog isn’t ABOUT them. Which, as others have pointed out, is probably the issue.

    Reminds me of the past summer at the movie theatre. Remember? Strictly menfold–I mean EVERY damn movie was a guy film. Then “Sex and the City” came out. WELL. The menz were so shocked to see a film NOT about them that some even deliberately voted to lower its ratings on IMDB.com!

    As for ‘feminazi’…my Nigel used that word in front of me ONLY once. He was describing an evil, man-hatin’ math teacher he once had. I told him I didn’t care for the word, he gave me the “Well it’s TRUE” line of BS. I told him on no uncertain terms not to say it again, least of all in front of me.

    Me: “You have a fucking MASTERS, Nigel! Is that REALLY the best word you can come up with??!”

    I never heard it again. XD

  37. Jan

    K, yes they certainly are passionate fellows. I only wish that, since they can see having different standards for Group A and Group B creates oppression, they’d come to the conclusion perhaps we should ditch those standards rather than they should become super macho manly kilt wearing men.

    It also goes to what CLD said that these guys can be all passionate about Trouser Tyranny (their words) and I bet could talk about it in public without all the eye rolling dismissal stuff. The MRA’s sure seem to get plenty of sympathy for their cause from the general public. Whatever men’s issue a man wants to discuss it will never cause folks to go, oh there he goes with all that man stuff again. He must be one of those men.

  38. madeleine

    Twisty! Who kicked the word ‘figura’ out of the Latin Language?

  39. Twisty

    “Twisty! Who kicked the word ‘figura’ out of the Latin Language?”

    I was unclear. Figurare (to shape) is, as you correctly point out, a Latin verb, but it is not one to which the –ativus suffix is appended in the original Latin (at least, I can’t find it in my dictionary). According to the OED, the construction to which I allude is uncommon in Latin, but more common in English via French words of Latin origin (in this case figurer, to appear). I would double-check this for you, but my Latin grammar is on the top shelf of my book case, and I am too lazy to haul out the ladder.

    Note that every time a word is appropriated by a new language, its literal meaning changes a bit. “Having the attribute of shape” would be the inelegant translation of the non-word figurativus, but in English, figurative morphs into several pretty cool, esoteric definitions, the most common of which — “metaphorical, not literal” — is something of a whimsical departure from “having the attribute of shape.”

    I could go on and on.

  40. Ron Sullivan

    Why the extraneous syllable?

    Because everything not prohibitated is compulsorary.

    The one that just gets on my nerves is “orientated” and I could go on about how “oriented” is a perfectly good existing word but really, it’s mostly just that it gets on my nerves.

    What else gets on my nerves is people getting it wrong, especially getting me wrong. Doesn’t matter how they get me wrong; it’s just irritating. [Swat!]

  41. Hedgepig

    I wanted to bring up “orientated” but I stopped myself, because I’m a very good self-policer, but seeing as Ron Sullivan’s now introduced it into evidence I believe I can continue with that line of inquiry without having myself thrown out of court. ‘Scuse the mixed law and order metaphors – comes from watching too much Special Naked Female Corpse Unit (which reminds me, has anyone else noticed that whenever a child is raped on that show they all nod knowingly and say “It’s usually the father” and then immediately exonerate the father so the perp is actually never ultimately revealed to be the father??)

    What was I talking about? Oh, oriented/orientated. I’ve always favoured “orientated” because I’m not American and do not wish to sound like one (not that there’s anything wrong with Americans sounding like Americans, it’s just that I’m not one so I don’t want to sound like one). The other problem with “oriented” is that it sounds as if I’m trying to become oriental, or at least trying to face east. The latter being, I believe, its original meaning, but it doesn’t seem to fit with the modern meaning of the word.

    I shouldn’t have had that second coffee this morning.

  42. shermanvolvo

    I find that if I have to preface a conversation with “and for the record I don’t hate men” then that conversation is not worth having.

  43. orlando

    Violet Socks’ “Who Hates Who?” post is excellent on this topic, and can be found in her archives. Basically, the many extraordinary acts of hatred perpetrated by men against women are never called hate, leading the counter-acusations to be a wee bit lacking in the perspective Violet so amiably provides.

    Hedgepig, that ain’t the half of it; have you ever noticed the number of dramas that have carried plotlines where a young person reveals how they have been sexually abused and the ‘twist’ turns out to be that they are lying? When anyone who has worked in any area associated with the field of child sexual abuse knows that this almost NEVER happens in real life.

    On the suffix -nazi: I think it carries the further implication that the person is being controlling or dictatorial. Because of course demanding that someone deal fairly and respectfully with women is an outrageous imposition, comperable only with fascism. That one provokes a particular knashing of teeth in me.

  44. zooeyibz

    Reminds me of the past summer at the movie theatre. Remember? Strictly menfold–I mean EVERY damn movie was a guy film. Then “Sex and the City” came out. WELL. The menz were so shocked to see a film NOT about them that some even deliberately voted to lower its ratings on IMDB.com!

    The SATC film was NOT about men?

  45. Twisty

    “The SATC film was NOT about men?”

    Ha!

  1. BadMormon » the main technique for dismissing women but beautifully deconstructed by Ms. Twisty

    [...] Dispatch from the 100 Best Gender Studies Blogs department at I Blame The Patriarchy. This entry was posted on Friday, January 16th, 2009 and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. « Ah, clean, easy points about how fucked Evo Psychology, as presented by people with penises, is. Thanks! [...]

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