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Aug 12 2011

Spinster aunt proposes Elk theory

You know how entire threads here at I Blame the Patriarchy regularly come and go without anyone invoking Nazis of any kind? Well, I’m going to advance a radical theory that is mine. The theory, which belongs to me, is that Godwin’s Law doesn’t seem to obtain all that often on this here blog anymore because the number of dude commenters is kept to a number at or below 3. That is my theory that is mine, it belongs to me, and I own it and what it is too. My theory that I have about why this theory can only belong to me is that this is the only site on the entire dudernet where there are less than 3 dudes.

152 comments

  1. Cootie Twoshoes

    If only my whole life could maintain the less-than-three-dudes ratio. It’s really quite nice.

  2. Vibrating_Liz

    I imagine there’s a scrapbooking forum somewhere and maybe a knitting blog or two with fewer dudes, and they’ll probably confirm your theory.

  3. Triste

    That’s because there’s nothing feminists like better* than calling out other feminists for offensive comparisons to other oppressed groups. Partly because such comparisons are generally dumb (particularly since the Patriarchy’s evils speak for themselves to anyone who bothers to pay attention) and partially because feminism is naturally a slightly suicidal movement, as all of it’s members were, during their childhood, taught that feminism is evil and should suck it.

    *Besides margaritas and tirelessly fighting against the largely ignored humanitarian crisis that is the Patriarchy. Other than that, though, it’s totally our favorite.

  4. Amrit

    Ha. Godwin’s Law pertains mostly to largely dude infiltrated sites. Here’s hoping that Elk theory holds. This blamer has been known to run around the room screaming when the Nazi Holocaust is used as metaphor.

  5. Tata

    Men’s professional beach volleyball is a great game. Why is women’s professional beach volleyball a gut-wrenching porntastic dilemma for female athletes?

  6. Josquin

    True, and funny!
    -This comment, which is mine alone, and which originated from me, or in fact within me, and therefore cannot be ascribed to any other commenters. This truth of this comment is contained in the total ownership of this comment by me, which is veracity. I, commenter, who alone can claim ownership of its truth. I hereby claim proprietary authority over this comment, and the correctness within which result from it being mine.
    -Okay, it’s not as funny as yours is, and I’m not drunk; I’m just paying homage to your gig, and I’m still smiling at your post.

  7. geogeek

    Did I miss the Elk? Shouldn’t it be a Brontosaurus Theory?

  8. buttercup

    You would be surprised at the number of dudes who hang out on knitting blogs. The largest site, Ravelry, has a good sized male contingent, many of whom are lauded simply for managing to do crafts while in possession of male genitals. There are also a high proportion of mansplainers.

  9. Michnele

    There’s always Ravelry — a knfitting and crochet social networking site. When I joined it, I was like, wow this place is kinda nice for just a knitting site. And of course it was because I’ve only ever seen one dude around there. It makes me want to join a knitting circle to get my weekly dose of gynergy, even if it’s completely apolitical.

  10. Yardshark

    Ravelry has lots of dudes, but most I’ve happened across are decent and not very mansplainy. (A high proportion of said dudes on Rav are gay, yes, but there are many fine hetero dudes who are properly meek and respectful on-board.) Casey himself sets a fine example as a matter of fact.

    @ Michnele – (we don’t really call them “circles” anymore, hmm) – are you assuming a knitting group would be apolitical? Or acknowledging that it may or may not be? Anyway, do try it. Highly recommended.

    You can also get plenty of politics, gender and otherwise, on Rav if you want to. Many groups there are devoted to things like that.

  11. buttercup

    Yardshark, you’re obviously not hanging out in the same parts of Ravelry that I am.

  12. JetGirl

    I wish I could write a comment that was thin at one end, then thick in the middle, then thin again at the other. But I am no Anne Elk. *sobs*

  13. phio gistic

    Tata, I was wondering the same thing this week. As far as I can tell dudeplanet wants women volleyball players to play naked and are doing their damnedest to make this dream come true within our lifetimes. Men’s volleyball on the other hand, is simply a fun sport.

  14. Fabulous Monster

    Spot on, Chris.

    AhHEMHEMHEM!

  15. speedbudget

    Hm, now that I think about it, the number of dudes in my life is exactly three: Dad, bro, Nigel. I think that anything above that becomes a critical mass of painful mansplaining.

    The Rule of Three, ya’ll. You heard it first on Savage Death Island.

  16. Cycles

    Today on “How to do it,” we’re going to show you how to do a feminist revolt. First, invest some money and make enough to buy all the media companies in the world. Then broadcast The Twisty Faster Show all the time, everywhere, and show people how to dismantle patriarchy. If some of them resist, you can quickly dispatch them to the bottom of the ocean or sequester them in a stiletto shoe recycling factory until their generation dies off and everybody is on board with post-patriarchy. Next up: how to stop global warming.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNfGyIW7aHM

  17. Ashley

    Maybe the unique situation of women, wherein the oppression we face doesn’t segregate us from our oppressors, creates discomfort with demonizing people who do oppressory things, and a bit more nuance in understanding those people and their motivations.

    Women are so cool.

  18. stacey

    [...] Ravelry, has a good sized male contingent, many of whom are lauded simply for managing to do crafts while in possession of male genitals.

    lolololol

    While I went to Craft University, I thanked my stars that the sole two boys in our first year both dropped out by January. Not that they weren’t nice fellows, but the extra care and attention they got from some of the female members of the class drove me right up the fucking wall.

  19. Cycles

    My corollary or alternate theory, which is mine, is that, being self-described feminists, we all pretty much agree with each other about basic tenets, so there’s no need to pull out the big guns and take fundamental disagreements to their “logical” conclusion (i.e. always the Nazis).

    If this were a blog of all-women feminists arguing about, say, frozen vs. on the rocks, some Godwinning might occur.

  20. buttercup

    Godwinning, really it’s Godlosing.

    Anne Elk. I forgot that. Hilarious!

  21. minervaK

    Not to thread hijack or anything, I just wanted to alert sister blamers to this really good defense of the “John Next Door” article:

    http://www.feminisms.org/3217/is-being-an-abolitionist-a-red-flag/

    Go give that woman some love.

  22. Yardshark

    @buttercup: obviously, yep. But the great thing about the Rav is that it’s big enough that you can customize your experience to suit. There are places there that would make me way too splodey, so I conveniently ignore them. I am too old to put up with that kind of shitte.

    Just so’s we all know, I am not one of those who lauds men for knitting etc. I accept men in our midst if they’re properly respectful of the crafts and of us. I hate that special treatment crap some give them, just like the over-praise men get for “babysitting” their own kids. Yechhh.

  23. laxsoppa

    I’d completely forgotten about the Hitler card (as I’ve come to know it) until this post. Realizing this made me happy!

    Perhaps the frequency with which this card is pulled in conversation is generally directly proportional to the participants’ lack of knowledge about oppression and abuse of power, because I haven’t seen it on other feminist blogs (or other blogs/forums run by even vaguely sentient beings) I follow, either.

  24. laxsoppa

    @stacey—”While I went to Craft University, I thanked my stars that the sole two boys in our first year both dropped out by January. Not that they weren’t nice fellows, but the extra care and attention they got from some of the female members of the class drove me right up the fucking wall.”

    Eww, I had the same experience at the beginning of some summer course a couple of years back when on our first day the course teacher told us “gals” to “take care” of our only male student. I called her on her assumption that not only degraded us lady students but also the guy, who later turned out to be a pretty cool and socially aware person for a dude. The teacher assumptions were, in a word, embarrassing, no matter how much she made it out to be just in jest.

  25. K.A.

    I actually did notice the same thing, but you might not like why I noticed. A certain commenter I will refer to as Chloe Brain was the last one to invoke Godwin’s Law here. Ahem.

    Make of it what you will.

  26. Anne

    The Hitler card is like the Honor Killing card; dudes deem what the biggest oppression is so any discussion of any other oppression can be squashed by comparison. I don’t have all my logical fallacies down, but it’s got to be one of them.

  27. Jill

    You know “Elk theory” really is a thing; it’s a theory that isn’t a theory so much as a statement of obviousity purporting to be a theory.

  28. Comrade PhysioProf

    Hitler used “less” with countable nouns.

  29. Bushfire

    I had to look up “Godwin’s law” to see what it was. Basically, a dude noticed people talk about Nazis all the time, and so he gets a Wikipedia page. We notice a global humanitarian crisis, and we get no Wikipedia page. We should have a TV channel. Or a country.

    IBTP.

  30. minervaK

    Mang, I am so totally behind on pop culture shit. Thank hell IBTP is here to bring me up to speed. I totally love Godwin’s theory (and am here to assert, based on the totality of my argumenting experience, that is it 100% true), and An(n) Elk is now my chosen Diety. All Hail An(n) Elk!!!

  31. minervaK

    Any Elk!

  32. minervaK

    Any Elk, Any Where!

  33. Kea

    And elks were the animals used by HankWank’s buddy to mansplain why men were Manly, and why women just lurved it. Perhaps we should follow the elks’ example, and stay in single sex groups for most of the year.

  34. ElkBallet

    Can I pretend the Elk theory is named after my blog? :)

    That’s because the only time people need to bring up slavery or Nazis or any genocides or any kind of horrible oppression is to explain to dudes trying to mansplain why the oppression of women is OK, as in:
    “I don’t see why it’s bad to present women as sexual objects.”
    “Would you say Nazi propaganda that portrayed jews/homosexuals/gypsies/etc… as not human/objects had OK consequences for the dehumanized group?”
    Luckily you don’t allow mansplainers on here who try to explain to us what REAL “feminists” already know about women not being dehumanized or being just a totally different species, etc…

  35. Jill

    “Perhaps we should follow the elks’ example, and stay in single sex groups for most of the year.”

    Done and done.

  36. Moonlight

    I’m sort of with geogeek/b>. Elk?? I had to google “elk theory,” which brought me here. Apparently I missed that episode.

  37. Comrade PhysioProf

    Hank Wanklington’s pinpoint oxford shirt is haunting.

  38. Frumious B.

    @Yardshark: are you purporting that gay men do not mansplain? I’m gonna call bullshit on that theory.

  39. Frumious B.

    Isn’t bringing up censorship in a porn discussion the equivalent of Godwin’s Law?

  40. AlienNumber

    K.A. – Q.E.D., sister. Q.E.D.!

  41. Julezyme

    Ooh! Can I stand on my soapbox for one moment about an Internet and real
    life peeve for which I have created, developed, articulated, and labeled a New Law?

    Ok. Thanks.

    Sero’s Law: Any argument about society or culture which used as a positive reference point the 1950s is automatically suspect.

    Sero’s Law Codicil: If said argument uses the phrases “but today” or “in today’s society” or any variant thereof, it is most probably utter tripe.

    Not surprisingly, the Blametariat is innocent of any Myth Of The Fifties* opining. Whew.

    (American expat in London here – reading and hearing a lot of this re the riots last week.)

  42. incognotter

    The Myth of The Fifties — ugh! I have had the 50s dudesplained to me too many times. As far as I can see it boils down to entitlement nostalgia that if said dude had lived in the 50s his whiteness and his college degree would have guaranteed him success. Today is a sad letdown by comparison. Poor dude.

    Also, the 50s were the time of “America’s innocence” by which dude means he and his friends would have been able to sneak around and do whatever they wanted, while laughing at the clueless nice people and while enjoying the safety and stability of the society they were hypocritically undermining.

    Nostalgia for the 50s is a red flag in my asshat detection system.

  43. speedbudget

    I love to point out that all that prosperity in the 50s happened with a super high tax rate on the rich and watch heads explode.

  44. Lovepug

    @Frumious B: Yes. Along with bringing up bonobos in a BDSM argument, and bringing up The Poor Muslim Women in a discussion about the wage gap.

    And I’m appalled to find that there is no Wikipedia page about Savage Death Island. Phil needs to get on top of that situation.

  45. tinfoil hattie

    “The Fifties. Great for white dudes.”

    (can be applied to any decade)

  46. ivyleaves

    Cycles:

    Today on “How to do it,” we’re going to show you how to do a feminist revolt. First, invest some money and make enough to buy all the media companies in the world. Then broadcast The Twisty Faster Show all the time, everywhere, and show people how to dismantle patriarchy. If some of them resist, you can quickly dispatch them to the bottom of the ocean or sequester them in a stiletto shoe recycling factory until their generation dies off and everybody is on board with post-patriarchy. Next up: how to stop global warming.

    My own unconscious prejudices made me assume you meant my generation of baby boomers, and I want to say (to you and everyone else): Don’t stereotype me, mang! In case that is not the generation you were referring to, I still say, don’t stereotype, and furthermore, don’t murder and imprison in order to spread a message of non-domination.

    (Since I turned 60 I have been shocked by the casual dismissal of people based upon age, or belonging to the baby boomer generation. No doubt I have done it myself many times in an unconscious exercise of “younger” privilege. This is an insidious prejudice that seems to go unchallenged everywhere, and I feel is a major contributor to swaying public opinion towards dismantling medicare and social security, among other things. In this case, it is assumed that everyone who would resist the message of this blog would be of a certain generation. We surely don’t need to fueling the fires of the generational warfare stew that appears to be brewing.

  47. anne

    Do people in countries other than the U.S. romanticize the fifties? Because Americans tend to forget it’s easy to be big shit when all your competitors – Japan, Germany, England, etc. – have just had the crap bombed out of them.

  48. Jezebella

    “Isn’t bringing up censorship in a porn discussion the equivalent of Godwin’s Law?”

    Frumious B, I salute you. You are a blaming genius. If it’s not the *exact* equivalent (and I’m sure someone will quibble), I love it anyway. Can we call this the Frumious B. Maxim?

    As in, “Hey, Chad, you’ve just FBM’d the porn conversation. Way to go, idiot.”

  49. sonia

    well, I’m sorry, but the combination of dad/Nigel is waaaay to frackin much for ME. even Dad, for a couple hours, sometimes is too mansplainy. thank god Nigel barely says anything.. I can’t even imagine having a brother in the mix.

    the rule of ONE is difficult for this girl. and sometimes it’s just hard to walk down the street with the high levels of fuckin dumbtarded parading around.

  50. sonia

    p.s. Baby boomers would be waaaaaaay easier to get on board than this current generation of makeup-shellacked news reporters and Rihanna fans. jesus.

  51. shopstewardess

    The 60+ or 65+ age group is the one in which women start to outnumber men, so the older a population gets the more female-centric it gets.

    Its no surprise that patriarchal commentators worry so much about greying demographics.

  52. laxsoppa

    @anne – “Do people in countries other than the U.S. romanticize the fifties?”

    Yes, they do. In fact I was a bit surprised to see how widespread that particular brand of nostalgia is when I started following foreign media (incl. this blog), and a bit exasperated too. Dewy-eyed longing for bygone days (especially when the one longing didn’t even live through that time) is high on my list of warning signs for douchebaggery.

    @Frumious B. – Thank you for bringing the censorship/free speech fallacy to the table! If there isn’t a table of these conversational terrorism techniques most commonly used against feminism yet, there should be, accompanied with suggestions of how to counter them – there’s simply no sense for all of us to waste our energy on such useless battles, at least for long, in case someone still wants to engage with the haters and the mansplainers when there are perfectly good vodka tonics to be had.

  53. IBT

    Right out delusion– by the way, I love poop –l, or lying. Most of your commenters — by the way, I love poop –re m– by the way, I love poop –le. M– by the way, I love poop –le in — by the way, I love poop — skirt = m– by the way, I love poop –ole. M– by the way, I love poop –le in lippy = m– by the way, I love poop –le.

    This is the most p– by the way, I love poop –thetic “feminist” site on the net.

  54. angie

    I hit the jackpot with my 3 (Dad, brother, Nigel) as they are all engineers (electrical, environmental, civil), which means they don’t talk much. On the rare occasions that they *do* speak it is usually about how George Lucas *ruined* Star Wars with those abominable “prequels” — highly “tune-outable” stuff, IMO. So I strongly recommend engineers for other blamers as their 3 — nerdy, yes, but quiet & unassuming.

  55. Jill

    Quoth Frumious B: “Isn’t bringing up censorship in a porn discussion the equivalent of Godwin’s Law?”

    Nice blaming, girlfriend.

  56. Tanya

    Unfortunately, as an engineering student who attempted to learn engineering stuff at a very dudelioocentric university, I can assure you there are many douchey engineers. They are extremely mansplainy and treat you like some kind of freak for even being there. Hopefully things have gotten better since the nineties but it seems doubtful.

  57. Ottawa Gardener

    The knitting group reminds me of my life. Guy does something often in the female domain such as parenting, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and there is an expertise even triumph implied. Gal does it and the applause is luke warm. “Good for you gal” versus “Bravo guy.”

  58. nails

    Dudes doing lady things is treated as a triumph by women. A guy at my last job was pretty good at crochet, he used to make things for people who asked. All the dudes seemed to get a kick out of implying he was gay.

  59. A Ginva

    Godwin’s law seems to be a very American thing as far as I know. In France people don’t seem so obsessed with Hitler as they are in America – who systematically conjure it up as the empitome and essence of pure evil.

    Bringing up censorship in a porn discussion isn’t quite the equivalent of Godwin’s law: According to dudopedia, Godwin says:

    “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches


    You don’t need to wait for an online discussion about porn to grow longer for censorship to come up. It jumps out at your throat before you can even pronounce anything whatsoever.

  60. angie

    Tanya — good point. I’ve never actually seen them in their “natural habitat” (school, work or comic-cons). I’m sure they can be as douchey as any other man. But in the home/social setting as dad/brother/Nigel, they’re pretty much part of the furniture.

  61. Lidon

    I hit the jackpot with my 3 (Dad, brother, Nigel) as they are all engineers (electrical, environmental, civil), which means they don’t talk much. On the rare occasions that they *do* speak it is usually about how George Lucas *ruined* Star Wars with those abominable “prequels” — highly “tune-outable” stuff, IMO. So I strongly recommend engineers for other blamers as their 3 — nerdy, yes, but quiet & unassuming.

    Hmm. I dated a software engineer and he would never shut the fuck up.

  62. Jill

    Quoth A Ginva: “You don’t need to wait for an online discussion about porn to grow longer for censorship to come up.”

    Ha! It depends on what is meant by “longer.” Technically, since a discussion with one comment is longer than a discussion with no comments, any online discussion becomes “longer” with the very first comment.

    Censorship in pornography discussions is always invoked by liberal dudes and members of their funfeminist women’s auxiliary. Few radical feminists view violence against women as “free speech,” and as we know, pornography is violence.

  63. speedbudget

    You don’t need to be around all three men at once, you know.

    Although I do admit I hit the jackpot with my particular dad and Nigel. My brother, though. Oy vey, with the Fox News.

    PS – Can we enpoopulate IBT’s completely moronic and useless comment? I hate when the boys have a sad and have to spread it around to everyone else.

  64. Jill

    Whups, that one slipped through somehow. It’s funny how a dude can be completely unintelligible and yet manage to convey how much he loves poop.

  65. crickets

    Meh, I dunno about nerdy dudes, the ones I have met are usually seething with bitterness beneath the friendly surface veneer – “women never look at me they go for the loud bad boys oh life’s so unfair I think i’ll go and wank at Lara Croft” kind of shit. I am sure there are men who can act like human beings and think like human beings who also happen to be nerdy, but we all know about the nasty misogyny stamped through “nerdy dude subculture”.

  66. Ottawa Gardener

    @A Ginva: When I lived in Britain for many years, the second world war seemed pretty alive and well in their consciouness including invoking the Nazis.

    @everyone who mentioned censorship being the wrench in the works of pornography discussions: My husband is a prof and is always amazed by the number of women students who defend porn based on 1) that’s we all do anyway (really?) and 2) it’s censorship. Admittadely these are mostly very young women who perhaps are working through their funfem stage.

  67. Sylvie

    Who is Hank Wanklington? – that’s my cat’s name

  68. Mildred

    I have only two men in my life, Nigel and Nigel’s stepdad. I like it this way. The other day at the place I work as a pot-washer and sandwich maker (ultra menial) some dude old enough to be my dad made some joke that I should have to suck his dick if he gave me a ride home and the other two dudes I worked with had a good ol chuckle that he’s a “sexual predator” – HAR HAR HAR.
    Nope, I can’t accomodate more than the carefully selected two.

  69. Amos

    Analogizing racism and sexism is only useful if you are a liberal who thinks society’s problems are essentially prejudice and other bad attitudes. Hence no Godwinning amongst the radicals. Besides, those Nazis were a bunch of fucking amateurs compared to the patriarchy.

  70. Le Chat Noir

    Actually, the Nazis are the epitome of patriarchy which is why its so bizarre when I hear the term Feminazi, duh Hitler wasn’t a woman!

  71. Amrit

    Amos: You did not just violate the Elk theory to complain that the Nazis were amateurs, did you? I’m sorry if their performance failed to meet your high standards. I’ll pass that on to the one surviving female relative I have who managed to outlast the Holocaust having been raped and forcibly sterilized during the war. I’m sure she will find your characterization extremely comforting. Don’t bother to try to explain how the Holocaust was nothing in comparison to the P. Just don’t go there. It’s too ugly for a beautiful Synday afternoon.

  72. Amrit

    Sorry for that typo. I blame the iPhone. Sunday. Sunday. Sunday. Ah.

  73. Strix

    Stacey,

    Only feminist women are cool. It’s just as difficult hanging with anyone but.

  74. Jill

    We all know someone who has been raped; the rapist’s political affiliation is not a salient point to some, but it is to others, so we’ll just agree that rape is horrible under any circumstances and leave it at that for now.

  75. tinfoil hattie

    So, Mildred: We women seem to know he wasn’t making a “joke,” right? I wonder why the other two dudes thought it was so funny! (Note: I don’t really “wonder.”)

    Seething that you have to put up with that crap. Seething for all of us, in fact.

  76. Claire K.

    Rule of three: so true! But I have two brothers to go with my father, so I had to become a lesbian.

  77. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Yarrgghh, sometimes even one is too many.

    No apologies necessary, Amrit, I kinda like Synday.

  78. comrade svilova

    Men are socialized to be P perpetuaters, but really it’s not a particular man’s biology but rather his behavior that dictates whether he will be obnoxious to spend time with. Of course other blamers should avoid dudes if that seems to be the best course of action to avoid dude nonsense. However, gender essentialism is a tool of the patriarchy, and embracing gender essentialism is not the answer. Of course, after a certain number of bad experiences one tends to cast upon dudes a jaundiced eye. That’s not the fault of the cautious woman. I know who to blame!

  79. Fictional Queen

    You don’t need to have bad personal experiences with men to be “cautious” with them!
    Personally,my eyes will stay jaundiced until the day I can skip around the streets middle of the night,all alone,like stupid dudes can.

  80. Fictional Queen

    Cookies for everyone!

  81. Sanoe SC

    “Because Americans tend to forget it’s easy to be big shit when all your competitors – Japan, Germany, England, etc. – have just had the crap bombed out of them.”

    Americans who think the 50s were awesome also tend to think bombing the crap out of other countries is awesome for just that reason.

  82. Cycles

    Ivyleaves: Nope, I didn’t say or mean any particular generation when I referred to the holdouts dying out. There are some people whose minds will never be changed, whether they’re 20 or 60.

    The post linked to another Monty Python sketch called “How To Do It”, where the hosts take credit for solving world problems by proposing ridiculously oversimplified and impossible “solutions” and then pat themselves on the back for fixing everything without actually doing anything.

    If our principles prevent us from fantasizing about dumping the recalcitrants in the ocean or forcing them to repurpose hateful footwear, how about this alternate solution: just start by figuring out a way to dismantle patriarchy, then start doing it, and then continue doing it until it’s complete, and do it without ocean-dumping or factory-enslavement. That’s a really fabulous idea, Cycles!

  83. stacey

    *pats Cycles on back*

  84. allhellsloose

    I have one dude in my life. My ten year old. He loves Monty Python (Holy Grail).

    Cycles, I love your fabulous idea.

  85. Mildred

    @ tinfoil hatty

    Same two dudes at work told me, a girl like me could make a lot of money in Amsterdam. In earnest, put forward like career advice.
    Oh, the life of the lowly plonguer.
    /personal anecdote.

    Seriously though Blamers, do you really have any men in your life you don’t have to make mental excuses for? They seem cool and decent but then it’s only a matter of time before they say something weird about abortion, or the way some lady is dressed. There is no man, regardless of how compassionate and intelligent he may be will ever understand feminism, and especially will never, ever understand the P. Except maybe Robert Jensen.
    This is why the rule of 3 is such a good one. There are certain characters we can’t or don’t want to cut out. The rule of three prunes away all dudely superflousness.

  86. Zrusilla

    I’m at 3: mon Nigel français, my son, and my son’s dad with whom I have limited contact. This leaves no room for my uberleftist mansplaining brother and other aging hipster douches of long acquaintance.

    I have three dear male friends for whom I have never had to make mental excuses. They are sufficiently outside of the norm that some degree of understanding has been shoved upon them. It does happen, but typically it involves some combination of factors that puts them in the F position in the P (being gay, being homeless and poor, having severe depression, being a political refugee or escapee of a fundamentalist home, etc) and the smarts and willingness to generalize from that.

  87. nails

    There is more than one dude as decent as robert jensen. They don’t fit in for the same types of reasons that none of us do, so everyone is alienated. They are the same guys that don’t actually speak up on places like IBTP because they respect the need for a woman friendly atmosphere. In a pretty big circle of dudes, the one that made me give up hope, there was a grand total of two. So it isn’t much, but they can have a shit load more influence than women can so it is nice that they exist.

  88. Vibrating_Liz

    It appears that as our online discussions here grow longer, the probability of invoking a personal anecdote that states or implies “Not My Various Nigels” approaches 1 (100%).

  89. Ashley

    Vibrating_Liz– That’s because after a bunch of comments about how much men suck, even the most patriarchy blaming among us can feel compelled to restate that people who currently have male privilege have a place in the movement to end patriarchy. Really, many of the comments about how much men suck are gender essentialist and anti-feminist anyway. I know that people sometimes use “men” as shorthand for “patriarchy,” but that’s intellectually lazy, as far as I’m concerned. Patriarchy sucks. Anyone who resists patriarchy is amazing. That’s all.

    Besides, talking about how much men suck centralizes the patriarchal male and not feminism in our discourse, and I think that Savage Death Island is really more of a utopian vision/margaritas kind of place.

  90. GMM

    “Really, many of the comments about how much men suck are gender essentialist and anti-feminist anyway. I know that people sometimes use ‘men’ as shorthand for ‘patriarchy,’ but that’s intellectually lazy, as far as I’m concerned.”

    Although I don’t think women should have to police themselves constantly to make sure they aren’t “male-bashing” when talking about feminist issues, and it should be understood that women are letting off steam/anger when we do use men as short-hand for patriarchy, in the end it does play into gender essentialists’ and MRA’s hands when we are being intellectually lazy this way.

    The men who do get what we’re saying will not make an issue of it or get offended. Or demand to be heard in a feminist/woman’s space. And seriously, the worst male-bashing I hear usually comes from men, but of course in the form of the “men can’t help it” argument (with “it” being rape/beatings/harrassment/murder, etc.)

  91. Rachel

    I have found some slight success characterizing my objection to porn as “given how porn is made, it’s like jerking off to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire.” At least it’s somewhat harder to call me a Nazi in response.

    As the years are passing, I find I have fewer and fewer dudes in my life in any capacity. Surely not coincidentally, my self-esteem has risen apace.

  92. AlienNumber

    Ashley, did you just call a bunch of people more feminist (or at least less Nigel-accommodating) than you ‘man-haters’ and also ‘almost as bad as men’ at the same time?

    There must be a prize/some sort of law for this kind of statement. Anybody?

    “me and my Nigel” is truly one of the more irritating and stupid refrains heard here on SDI. “me and my Nigel”-ing is what’s completely intellectually and other-types of lazy because guess what, you’re not special and/or lucky and your Nigel is not special either.

    In some very essential ways it is way easier to live in the Patriarchy by allying yourself with a Nigel (we call that heterosexual privilege. It’s real!).

    Finally, not to pick on your Nigel, but 9.99 chances out of 10 that he still wacks one off to porn, at least once in a while. Congratulations.

  93. yttik

    There’s another Elk Theory, right there. When in the course of feminist’s events, it takes approximately 5 minutes before somebody feels the need to clarify, apologize, call each other out, for being man hating, anti-men, or gender essentialist. It was actually a semi-feminist man who once said, “given all the horrors being discussed, what rational person wouldn’t hate men? I hate men.” Women need to deal with this fear/concern about being labeled haters. Until we take over the world and really do start dick ironing, we lack the power to oppress men with our alleged hatred.

    Ashley however, makes a good point: “..talking about how much men suck centralizes the patriarchal male and not feminism in our discourse..” Well said, you are absolutely right. Women need to focus and invest on lifting each other up. We spend entirely too much time either focusing on rotten men or else defending our own Nigels. To make matters worse, we tend to police and judge other women.

  94. Kali

    I know that people sometimes use “men” as shorthand for “patriarchy,” but that’s intellectually lazy, as far as I’m concerned.

    The patriarchy did not drop out of the sky. It was created by men to benefit men at the cost of women and children. The idea that the “patriarchy” is entirely separate from “men” is intellectually dishonest.

  95. Ashley

    AlienNumber, I didn’t say any of the things you put in quotes, and I didn’t mention any specific guy at all. I said that people with male privilege have a place in the feminist movement. If you disagree, I’d be really interested in your plan for ending patriarchy. I’m serious about that. What is the concrete next step you’d suggest in actually ending patriarchy? My plan (transforming institutions/reallocating resources and power) is definitely all sorts of imperfect, but at least I have one. I figure if you don’t have a plan, patriarchy will not end, because, you know, when has anyone ever accomplished some incredibly difficult thing without being intentional about it? If your plan is “insist that patriarchy is intractable, and isolate yourself from almost everyone,” I don’t think it will work.

    Kali–I’d argue that women probably also created the patriarchy. They most certainly assist in sustaining it now, so it seems logical. There are lots of cool things about people who manage to survive oppression, but being innocent of taking part in oppressive systems is not one of those cool things.

  96. Fictional Queen

    I never understood the seperation of patriarchy from men,either.It’s like when people seperate religion from people etc.I guess if they actually grasp feminism,men can get in the movement too,but seperating them from patriarchy doesn’t make sense to me.
    Do women have any other choice than assisting in sustaining it?If they did,then I’d agree women created patriarchy too.

  97. AlienNumber

    Ashley, yes sorry, it was GMM who took it there. But calling feminists who blame men for various evils “intellectually lazy” because they should blame the P instead is akin to calling feminists man-haters, don’t you think. It’s men who produce and watch porn, it’s men who patronize prostituted women and children, it’s men who don’t do their fair-share of child-rearing and house-work, it’s men who rape, it’s men who actively sexually harass working women at work and on the streets, it’s men who. Whatever, you get the point. Looking for the men unicorns who don’t actively “suck” so we can succeed in ending the Patriarchy – and defending them on this blog – is not exactly Patriarchy- ending activity.

    Oppression cannot happen without the consent of the oppressed, that’s for sure, but anyone who is blaming oppression on the fact that the oppress consent is majorly missing the point.

    My plan for ending the Patriarchy, as ill-defined as it is now does not involve a lot of men, or even 3, that’s for sure. It involves a lot of resource redistribution. I’m not actually a separatist, believe it or not, because I don’t believe that there’s anything about male humans that makes them biologically incapable of acting like humans.

    More on the topic of ending the Patriarchy later though. In the meantime, can people quit it with “me and my Nigel” for goodness’ sake.

  98. tinfoil hattie

    Good goddess in freaking heaven, women did NOT “create” patriarchy.

    I need to go lie down with a cold towel on my head.

    And some “me and my Nigel-ing” here is personal anecdotes, which people who are familiar with one another tend to slip into sometimes. I tend to be somewhat forgiving of it, and I am speaking only for ME.

    That said, I think 99.99% of dudes are patriarchal asswipes.

  99. Citizen Taqueau

    “Oppression cannot happen without the consent of the oppressed”

    AlienNumber, this makes no sense at all. Please elaborate.

    If you are paraphrasing that much-abused phrase attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt about “feeling inferior,” ample research into the effects of oppressive cultural messages on members of the targeted groups seems to belie that notion. Oppression is nonconsensual. Full stop. Attributing submission to consent is pretty much the opposite of blaming the Patriarchy.

  100. Fictional Queen

    That’s what I meant to say too…that oppression is so horrible because it leaves no other choice for the oppressed than to “consent” to it!

  101. Bushfire

    Seriously though Blamers, do you really have any men in your life you don’t have to make mental excuses for? They seem cool and decent but then it’s only a matter of time before they say something weird about abortion, or the way some lady is dressed

    Excellent blaming! I do have some male friends, but yes, now that I think of it, I do have to make mental excuses for them.

  102. AlienNumber

    Oppression cannot happen without the consent on the oppressed, on such a large scale, in the sense that the powerful don’t actually stand around with machine guns and/or whack us over the head if we don’t comply with their demented requests. We internalize the oppression (with the help of the media who is not lazy at all about spreading the pro-patriarchy propaganda 24/7) and we act in ways that perpetuate the status quo and benefit the oppressor for the large part without the powerful even so much as lifting a finger or directly threatening us. They don’t even need to withhold food from us, because we “choose” to starve ourselves! (cause we’re prettier that way. Etc)

    “Consent” is of course liberally used as a term here, but then again actual consent doesn’t seem to exist in the Patriarchy for women (see Jill’s post a few before the current one).

  103. Citizen Taqueau

    Ah, I see. “Consent” is a cruel joke.

  104. Ashley

    AlienNumber/Tinfoil Hattie–

    Yes, a lot of men do patriarchal things that suck, especially in the category of physical violence. But there are men who actively devote their lives to ending patriarchy, and there are women like Phyllis Schlafly and mothers who iron their daughters’ breasts. In my own life experience, women have policed patriarchal boundaries just as much as men, if not more, and women against patriarchy have been almost as unicorny as men against patriarchy. Women were my teachers throughout elementary school, for example, and they did a great job of indoctrinating a new generation. I also think that patriarchy is kind of a unique oppression, because it really directly and violently punishes men and boys quite a bit, where most oppressions pretty much just leave the privileged with relative benefits (and losses on an absolute level that they generally don’t recognize). My hope is that that opens the door for men’s investment in feminist work.

  105. GMM

    @AlienNumber
    Ewww, I didn’t want it to sound that way at all, I’m sorry. I spent a good deal of my teens getting caught up in thinking I had to explain to men that I didn’t hate them, that feminism is totally beneficial to them. And explaining to other women that being feminist doesn’t mean you hate men. I thought this was productive behavior, that people just had a misunderstanding of what feminism means. And then it finally hit me that I spent the majority of my time and energy doing this.

    I do think saying things like men’s asshole behaivor is due to testosterone/biology gives men a way out of taking full responsibility for their actions. I occasionaly hear this argument by women on feminist blogs and I do think it’s what asshole men want us to do. I don’t think women are responsible for creating patriarchy. Violence is its backbone, it’s what we are threatened with if we don’t hold up our end of the deal, freedom in exchange for ‘protection.’ The very blatant threat of violence is in place and is carried out for most women across the globe. For Western women it might not be as obvious anymore, and over time social ostracism and beating a woman down psychologically worked pretty efficiently in the place of open violence. But the threat is always there.

  106. Embee

    “For Western women it might not be as obvious anymore.”

    I respectfully disagree.

    I literally just spent an hour recounting the lifetime of grotesque behaviors I have experienced at the hands of lecherous men (from the age of 13 until my present 36) to my counselor. I was surprised to realize that, although I think of myself as a powerful, independent, tax attorney, Ironman triathlete, single mom who takes no shit from anyone, the truth is that I have been treated like a “vagina with ‘yes’ permanently stamped on it” (paraphrasing Aunt Twisty) my entire fucking life. It wasn’t subtle, it wasn’t anywhere close to being socially appropriate. And yet I overlooked it the way women in cultures where stoning and burka-wearing is the norm think THAT is normal.

    Maybe because from the age of 13 I had an adult family friend fondling me and discussing the shape of my ass with his “buddy.” Pillar of the community so he MUST be behaving right? And that little rape when I was 15? Shoulda gone to the movies, not that party! No wonder by the time I was 20 I was willing to submit myself to marriage to an Airborne Ranger – surely then I’d be safe from all those creeps. Oh, except guess what? He was one, too. Security came at the low, low price of my complete compliance. And my story is heartbreakingly common. Come on. You know me: I’m your cousin, your childhood friend, maybe YOU.

    It IS obvious that western women are treated like an inferior class, but since we have been brainwashed to be “grateful” for being allowed some basic rights (to work and own property) we overlook these facts: (1) the government gets to tell us what to do with our own bodies, (2) a man will be paid more for doing the same work, (3) irrespective of earning power within the couple, the woman will bear the responsibility for all domestic issues (housekeeping, cooking, shopping, childcare) even when the man participates. Additionally, there is literally no acceptable female form, and every woman’s appearance is subject to public debate (Hilary Clinton–too masculine, Sarah Palin–too sexy, Bachman–weird eyes).

    But because we’re not killed for educating ourselves and speaking our minds we think our oppression is subtle. Such standards.

    IBTP

  107. Jill

    Embee, that is some nice blaming. I couldn’t agree more, and I get so sick of trying to explain what you just said in 2 paragraphs that I rarely even try anymore. When there’s assholes like LiberalDude Richard fucking Dawkins bashing Western feminists because FGM or whatever cancels out all our “minor” oppressions, a person’s lobe just wants to explode all over the place. But you’ve given me a nice shot in the arm, so thanks.

  108. Embee

    Jill,

    You are most welcome for the shot in the arm. It is reasonable (if not strictly rational) that we give up discussing oppression when we must “compete with” (utterly patriarchical, capitalist concept) genital mutilation. I mean, gads, if someone isn’t slicing your labia STFU already. I am, incidentally, very happy to have intact labia and clitoris, notwithstanding the lack of desire to use them in any sense other than elimination.

    Incidentally, you and your site have saved my soul, so the thanks are mine.

  109. Kea

    Embee, to some extent it is debatable whether or not we are killed for being educated. If we use our education in a subservient manner all seems OK, but I promise that if you step out of line, the thumbscrews are taken out of the drawer.

  110. Linden

    Ashley — Were black slaves responsible for their slavery? Didn’t they outnumber their oppressors and could have overpowered them simply with sheer numbers? Because there were white abolitionists, didn’t that mean there was no such thing as white privilege?

    Men don’t “participate” more in feminism because they rightly perceive it is not to their advantage. Patriarchy may not distribute all its goodies evenly among all men, but it does promise all men that they are superior with respect to all women, and having an oppressed class to piss down upon is enough to keep them in the game.

  111. AlienNumber

    In my own life experience, women have policed patriarchal boundaries just as much as men, if not more, and women against patriarchy have been almost as unicorny as men against patriarchy. Women were my teachers throughout elementary school, for example, and they did a great job of indoctrinating a new generation. I also think that patriarchy is kind of a unique oppression, because it really directly and violently punishes men and boys quite a bit, where most oppressions pretty much just leave the privileged with relative benefits (and losses on an absolute level that they generally don’t recognize). My hope is that that opens the door for men’s investment in feminist work.

    Jesus on a jet stick, this is some of the most anti-feminist crap coming from under the fingertips of a female that I’ve yet read on this site.

    It is demonstrably true that women who are feminists are way more numerous and not unicorny by any means than males who are pro-feminist. I won’t even touch the “dear god what about the menz” and the (right-wing) women-hating that’s going on above. [Because it's time to take a breather from this horizontal hostility thing going on here and shut the ole piehole already too.] But dear stick on a Jesus!

  112. AlienNumber

    Oh and it’s as obvious for Western women as for any other women.

  113. Margaret

    We could be killed for being educated – see Marc Lepine. That happens often enough to make the news now and then. What doesn’t make the news is the depressingly common tactic of ‘taking women out’ of the educational stream through rape. The serial rapists on college campuses come to mind here. Nothing ever seems to happen to them. But the women they traumatized? Their education is suffering, even if they do manage to continue. Nothing is the same for them again.

  114. tinfoil hattie

    Ironman triathlete,

    EMBEE! (swoons)

    Not to mention, great blaming. Thank you.

    I am in awe of the power and strength it takes to become an Ironperson triathlete. IBTP that even strong, powerful, kickass women such as yourself get told after then 2.4 mi swim, 112 mi. bike ride, and 26.2 mi. marathon: “EMBEE! YOU! ARE AN IRONMAN!”

    But I digress.

    Ashley: Please, stop with the “But what about the men? They, too, suffer under patriarchy.” There are hundreds of other blogs for that.

  115. allhellsloose

    Re oppression: “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Audre Lorde

    Embee I too love your blaming and it behoves everyone to bear in mind that Western dudes like Dickie Dawkins will always evoke the counter argument that we western women should be grateful for our ‘freedoms’.

  116. Fictional Queen

    Well I’m not a Western woman and dudes who say stupid shit like that don’t give a shit about either Western women,or non-Western women.

  117. Ashley

    Linden– I’m not saying that male privilege doesn’t exist! Of course it does! I’m also not blaming women for their own oppression (though I am blaming Phyllis Schlafly for oppressing me–not resisting patriarchy at every moment is different from promoting it). That said, white supremacy/slavery in America and patriarchy have some important differences. Not in the severity of oppression–both are horrendous. Just in the way things are carried out. I’d argue that white people generally face fewer daily consequences for resisting racism, and have fewer daily opportunities to do so. and Tinfoil Hattie, I’m not pointing that out to be all “teh menz!” because I agree that feminism is fundamentally about ending the oppression of women. I just point it out because I think it’s relevant to the strategies we use to end patriarchy. As Embee points out, patriarchy is a global humanitarian crisis, and I’d like to figure out how to end it.

  118. Mildred

    @ embee

    But we do have female genital mutilation in the “West” (I feel funny saying the west to mean the white English speaking world because I come from Australia and that is most certainly not situated in the West)

    – Its just called Labioplasty. And if you look it meets the World health organisations criteria of Female Genital Mutilation — “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”
    In England if someone procures such a procedure for a woman/girl or even encourages it they are liable for criminal prosecution.
    So in the “West” we’re all obsessed with consent and free choice and all that malarky and its all fine and well to get Labioplasty if someone is over 18 and freely chooses it – that old chestnut. They never think that maybe “traditional” practitioners of FGM think that they’re doing it for the good of girls and women, giving them the best chance of finding a husband and thus setting them up for life, and I’m sure a cut vagina is more aesthetically pleasing to them too, just like the pre-adolescent looking vulvas of pornstars are to dudes. The only difference between FGM and Labioplasty is cultural aesthetic preferences.

    Bring that one up next time some liberal dude mentions FGM.

  119. Embee

    @ tinfoil hattie – it does grate that a woman is called Ironman, but I fear if they called us Ironwomen we’d have to wear pink, and I am not sure which is worse.

    @ Mildred – you are depressingly right. But don’t forget about anal bleaching! http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/03/18/there-is-no-reason-to-bleach-your-butthole/

    Not surprisingly, I heard about this procedure from a man (before I stopped speaking to them) who thought it was a great idea.

    And bikini waxing goes right up there alongside genital mutilation. Sadly, many young women in the United States do it regularly, only they “choose” it because if they don’t, their crotch might not be smooth enough to be deemed an “acceptable” woman. First world women (a nod to those down under) may have more rights than women in the third world, but we are paying for it by being mind-fucked into compliance with obscene standards for our physical appearance and conduct.

  120. GMM

    Embee, I couldn’t agree with you more. The point I was trying to make was that on paper, yeah, there are no actual machine guns pointed to our heads as AlienNumber said. On the surface you can arugue that women can vote and own property and get an education in the West and there are laws against on the books against rape and murder. This gets thrown in my face all the time (just dealt with some idiot who asked why The Handmaid’s Tale is being discussed in Feminist Studies when women in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are going through REAL oppression). I’ve been the victim of domestic violence and had the cops and family treat me like I was the one with the problem because I had too much ‘attitude’ with the person who beat me. Have friend after friend who are survivors of sexual abuse from a trusted friend/authority figure. Deal with blatant harrassment at work and lost my job when I complained. So women in the ‘free’ world deal with violence that is used to keep us in line all the time, both subtle and blatant. I would say it’s more blatant and over the top in a lot of developing countries in that there are actual laws where women can be beaten with impunity and rape isn’t even illegal, but that doesn’t mean that the same tactics aren’t used against us. The laws are on the books for the most part in Western countries, they just aren’t enforced so they’re pretty much worthless.

    I think too many beatings to the head are making it difficult for me to get my point across accurately, so maybe I should just shut up for a while.

  121. allhellsloose

    GMM but I think you are interesting and articulate. Your intellectect is clearly high so please keep talking.

  122. susanw

    “Seriously though Blamers, do you really have any men in your life you don’t have to make mental excuses for?”

    I have no men in my life except those with whom I work. I rather like some of them, but no, I have to make silent excuses for all of them constantly to keep from screaming and losing my job. Can’t get away from it. IBTP

  123. Kea

    I have no men in my life either, except for the gazillions of internet armchair Einsteins, and I have no intention of making excuses for them.

  124. tinfoil hattie

    Don’t believe ‘em, GMM. There is nothing wrong with YOU.

    Embee: Well, you’re right – but the “female” Ironman is, of course, called “IronGIRL” – as you no doubt know already!\

    I blame, I blame, I blame.

  125. cin17

    allhellsloose, yes! And those freedoms they allow us, the ones we should be so grateful for, are not a testament of our humanity, they are simply a way for the dickie dawsons to tally that they are better than those other non-anglo dudes. They, our “enlightened” dickie d’s, treat their property better. Heck (chuckle chuckle) they even let us think we’re not their property. Wink wink. Nudge nudge.

    And, oh geez, but I liked the “pleas” and thought it rather clever. (please/pleas)

    And, lastly, I have far too many y beasts in my life to make excuses for all of them. I reserve the excuse-making for the under 10 (and over 80) set. The rest are on their own.

  126. Frumious B.

    Oh Embee, my goodness but I hate it when some woman who has a job and owns property talks about how she hates feminists b/c men won’t buy her dinner or open the door. Oh my paws and whiskers and obstreperal lobe.

  127. AlienNumber

    Phyllis Schlafly is a woman too. Focusing on her role in the promotion of the global humanitarian crisis that is the Patriarchy, while also looking for men-unicorns and decrying how the patriarchy punishes boys and men, strikes me as profoundly anti-feminist.

    Even Andrea Dworkin – who barely escaped death at the hands of a right-wing women mob – finds some time to express some sympathy for Phyllis and those other women too (in only the 3rd best book of all time, “Right-Wing Women”).

    “Facing the true nature of male power over women also means that one must destroy that power or accommodate it.” No male privilege in this Revolution.

  128. Linda

    Whether in your offline life or in your blog life, three is still way way too many.

  129. quixote

    re the being grateful for small favors. I’m not a historian, but I seem to remember reading screeds from the early 1800s in the US which made the same points for slaves. They (the slaves) should be glad they were slaves in a nice, civilized, Christian country instead of in barbaric Africa where they could get killed. (Which would never happen to them here, of course. Unless they deserved it.) Hell, I remember that sort of thing a few decades ago coming out of white South Africa.

    It’s a strange argument to make. I mean, at what point do you decide that the death of rights has gone far enough? If slicing is the worst that happens, so everything else is okay, then what happens when someone starts people farms? The really bad ones sell critical organs, so the ones that sell only a leg here and an arm there are something to be grateful for?

    The obstreperal lobe and all the other little lobes are spread all over the room after trying to think that one through.

    IBTP

  130. Julezyme

    Ok, sorry to do this, but I’m going to wave my Nigel in the air like a big ole Trophy Nigel for a second, not merely to congratulate self or Nigel, but as proof that being raised by a feminist-indoctrinating mother and a steadyintake of IBTP does work.
    Mon Nige: “Oh, don’t get your upper lip waxed! I love your catfish whiskers!”
    Mon Nige: “Well, you might think you need to lose weight, but I think you’re beautiful and i love you just as you are.”
    Mon Nige: “I’m glad you don’t wear a lot of make-up or stupid outfits.”
    Mon Nige: “Why do the Kardashians talk like that??”
    Mon Nige: “I’m so glad my new office doesn’t gave that macho dick-waving atmosphere, and people can have nice, constructive discussions. But we do need to get more women researchers.”
    Non Nige, after appreciating my frilly underpants: “How do I look?!”

  131. speedbudget

    You could always be an Iron Nun.

    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/at-80-the-iron-nun-prepares-for-her-next-triathlon-2105577

  132. Lurker Lyn

    Thanks for the quality blaming mixed with anecdotal situations y’all. I’ve been in a major funk all week since seeing my parents and realising how much they police my gender. The most frustrating thing is that they love me and have never done anything overt so it’s really hard to confront them, but things like the frequent emphasis on the importance of “making an effort” really get to me.

  133. shopstewardess

    Lurker Lyn: the non-blaming world divides into people who tell young women that they need to make an effort with their looks, and the people who say looks don’t matter and it’s all about personality.

    Oh thanks, Ma, now I can fail at that too.

  134. Vibrating_Liz

    Julezyme, if that’s a parody of typical NMNing, it’s pretty hilarious. If not, well, oy.

  135. Citizen Taqueau

    Mon Nige: “Why do the Kardashians talk like that??”

    Making fun of empornulated women is not a feminist activity.

  136. Kali

    But there are men who actively devote their lives to ending patriarchy, and there are women like Phyllis Schlafly and mothers who iron their daughters’ breasts.

    The patriarchy hands women a platter of sophie’s choices and then blames them for choosing at all. Rape or breast-ironing? FGM/foot-binding or rejection by men who control your chances of survival? Of course, the fault is not of the men who force these choices upon women, but of the women who face and make these choices. Let’s ignore all those men in search of the elusive male feminist. And whom to blame for the patriarchy? There’s always Phyllis Schafly.

  137. Ashley

    AlienNumber–

    I’m gonna shut up after this, but it sounds like where we differ is in our idea of what patriarchy is. I think of it as an ideology and a set of actions associated with that ideology. So, not something that is attached to a particular identity. And you think of it more as something that is inherently done by men to women, like slavery. That would create a lot of differences in how we’d approach interpersonal interactions, and also some differences in how we’d approach feminist activism. But, it seems like it wouldn’t make any feminist collaboration impossible. We could build coalitions on a lot of concrete policy suggestions, particularly with regard to men’s physical violence against women. And since getting even those sorts of changes we can agree on will take approximately twelve lifetimes and anything else is theoretical anyway, it makes sense to me to focus on those sorts of projects.

  138. Lurker Lyn

    @shopstewardess damned either way, as usual.

    It grates especially because you know that it refers to looks without ever having to say it – yet I’m sure that if I pointed out that they didn’t make much of an effort to learn French, quitting after only a couple of months despite it being their dream to move there, I’d be rude and cruel and it wouldn’t be the same for me anyway because I’m so clever, yadda yadda yadda.

    I gave her my copy of The Women’s Room.

  139. stacey

    @Ashley – so doesn’t ideology usually become identity? Don’t people usually cling to an ideology, however, wrong, because they identify so strongly with it? The two are intrinsically linked. That’s why it will take twelve lifetimes to change patriarchal mores – it completely defines those who hold its privilege.

  140. Kali

    I’m gonna shut up after this, but it sounds like where we differ is in our idea of what patriarchy is. I think of it as an ideology and a set of actions associated with that ideology. So, not something that is attached to a particular identity. And you think of it more as something that is inherently done by men to women, like slavery.

    In that case, slavery is an ideology too. An ideology of white dominance and black submission. Just like patriarchy is an ideology of male dominance and female submission.

  141. Kali

    Not so incidently, sexual slavery is an important aspect of the patriarchy.

  142. TotallyDorkin

    I’m inventing a law. It’s called the White Feminist Law. It states that as a thread on a predominantly white feminist blog grows longer, the probability of comparisons between the enslavement of Africans in the US and the treatment of women in a patriarchy approaches 1.

    making comparisons between sexism and racism is not constructive because in doing so we erase the experiences of women who suffer under both ideologies. You can only compare the two as two distinct phenomena if you assume that they don’t interact to create a whole myriad of oppressions experienced by women of color everywhere.

  143. Linden

    And I’m inventing a law — the Putting Women’s Oppression Last Law. Useful parallels between sexism and racism and their common origin in ideologies of dominance and submission may not be drawn because feminists must always consider every other sort of oppression before, in addition to, or instead of speaking about women’s oppression, even though most people who advance theories of the origins and issues of racism usually don’t return the favor by taking women’s experiences into account, and even though most of the work in analyzing how racism and sexism intersect was done by feminists in the first place.

  144. ivyleaves

    I can’t think of patriarchy as an ideology, like socialism or something. It is so ancient and so pervasive and so non-explicit that it is part and parcel of ALL ideologies. As a baby becomes a human it is given a language, that language is already imbued with patriarchy and the language controls what you can even think about. One of the most powerful things accomplished by feminists in the ’70s was the focus on how language was oppressive to women, exemplified by the title of Ms. Magazine. To me, patriarchy is embodied in all of us, and oppressors are on a varied continuum, ending with rich, white, male adults.

  145. Kali

    making comparisons between sexism and racism is not constructive because in doing so we erase the experiences of women who suffer under both ideologies. You can only compare the two as two distinct phenomena if you assume that they don’t interact to create a whole myriad of oppressions experienced by women of color everywhere.

    You have it upside down. Two distinct phenomena can overlap and still be distinct, unless one is arguing that it is only the intersection that matters. In that case, you are erasing the experiences of women whose oppression lies outside that intersection, the experiences of sexism outside of racism. Your argument amounts to saying that the only sexist oppression is that which is experienced together with racist oppression.

  146. AlienNumber

    Well, Ashley is obviously not getting sexism, so I highly doubt she’s getting racism. Here I am busy defending Phyllis because she’s a woman, but oh boi this Ashley “what about the men” Ashley is really getting to me. I’m running out of defenses!

    Apologies for failing another Commentariat rule (that of in -fighting.)

    “Let’s focus a lot of our energy on finding men allies because the patriarchy hurts men too! And our men-unicorns’ male privilege could come in handy when dismantling the Patriarchy”

    Yuck!
    Can we name this the Ashley stage of feminism? Although I don’t remember personally going through it. But I did go through the “I’m a bisexual” stage when I was coming out, even though it was perfectly clear to me that my romantic business with men was over before it had even started. “If I can find a man who is like a woman – emotionally, intellectually, physically, with zero male privilege” I said “I’m totally bisexual.” I wasn’t even kidding. Well, you can imagine the kind of luck I had with finding that kind of man, or even half-a-man like that. Thank you, Patriarchy, for sending me on that Holy Grail quest. It was a wonderful waste of my time!

    Luckily I am a quick study. As I trust Ashley is too, if only she’d believe us when we say that there are no men feminists, not even men at the Ashley-stage-of-feminism.

    Okay. I’m done.

  147. GMM

    I don’t know, if I end up sounding like Richard Dawkins writing “Dear Muslima II” then I must really be doing something wrong(!)

    I wasn’t making a comparison to chastise the uppity wimmin who don’t know how good they got it, what I was attempting to do was say patriarchy is based solely on violence and that it can exist without the help of women. And that if you look at countries that don’t have any pretense of democracy it’s absolutely undeniable. I’ve come across some radfems who say they don’t believe the creation of patriarchy could be as simple as men’s physical strength and violence, but it is. Really. It is.

    Thank you for your comments allhellsloose & tinfoil hattie. It is intimidating posting here sometimes because I am a high school drop out and feel kind of out of place with all the excellent writers/blamers. And the head beating is a true story, have to see a physical therapist twice a week. IBTP.

  148. Linda

    Slavery is not in itself an ideology, but a practice; racism is the ideology, used to justify the practice.

    @Julezyme

    Sorry but there is nothing exceptional about a nigel who benevolently grants his approval for you to not engage in harmful and costly beauty performance in order to comply with patriarchal requirements; or who upholds the madonna/whore dichotomy and exploits divisions between you and other women who aren’t “his” women, by ridiculing those women to you; or who is willing to feminize himself for laughs.

  149. Jill

    Last night I saw Kim Kardashian guest judging on “Project Runway” during a midnight TV hotflash, and she spoke English just fine.

    I don’t know if Julezyme is pulling our leg or what with her “trophy Nigel,” but in case there are any young proto-blamers reading who may be confused, what she describes is certainly not extraordinary feminist-dude behavior. See Linda, above. Trust me, it’s no feat of enlightenment to prance around in women’s underwear. I’ve known a couple of real dickwads who got off on that shit.

    On the other hand, if Julezyme is being serious, you can hardly blame her for touting what she apparently views as her good fortune. Standards are set so low for dude behavior, people think they should get a high school named after them merely for going 10 minutes without looking at porn or flapping the covers after they fart.

  150. comrade svilova

    Seriously though Blamers, do you really have any men in your life you don’t have to make mental excuses for? They seem cool and decent but then it’s only a matter of time before they say something weird about abortion, or the way some lady is dressed

    I have almost no women in my life for whom I don’t have to make excuses.

    That said, switching from the Not My Nigel team to Team Lesbian has made my life much, much richer. I would rather make excuses for a proto-blamer who doesn’t
    t quite get it but groks the basic concept of sexism than spend my time making excuses for a Nigel who rejects the basic idea that sexism exists.

  151. Linda

    Yeah what is with that forcing women to endure their farts shit, and taking so much pleasure in that? I swear the bastards will try to get themselves inside us any way they can.

    Julezyme, if you’re still reading, this quote might do the trick:

    “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off”

    Gloria Steinem, I think.

  152. Mildred

    Sometimes I like the racism/sexism comparison. Think about it, if ALL prostitutes were say, Chinese people, people, maybe liberal ‘enlightened’ liberal type people, would probably come to think that prostitution was a deeply racist industry.

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