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Issues of men
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Hekateras



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leohan, as far as I've seen it, the issue with discussing how to help men in a feminist setting is that it tackles the problem from the wrong side. The negative ways men are affected by the patriarchy should they step out of line are caused by the same systems and ways of thinking that negatively (and usually a lot more pervasisvely and violently) impact women.

So, nine times out of ten if not more, the answer to what to do against X male problem would be to do more for female problems because then male problems getting solved as well will follow, at least if you're going by radical feminism (i.e. the system itself needs to be dismantled rather than just women getting more power in that toxic system).

I saw a comment on a rape-and-murder article recently basically saying smugly that the guy will get raped in prison a lot. The author no doubt thought they were being protective of women that way, but that's not the case. This enforced binary of rape as punishment isn't feminist and it's damaging women as well as men, and making rape against males into a joke, one reinforces cultural differences in how men and women are seen.

So, for example, to "What can we do to get people to start taking male victims of rape seriosuly?", one would answer "Challenge gender roles that emphasise toxic femininity and hypermasculinity and make people believe rape of men isn't serious, challenge any instance where rape is considered okay or "justice" in ANY context, challenge stories in which narratives go out of their way to portray rapists as sympathetic. (I'm looking at you, Game of Thrones...)

Which are obviously all things one would be doing ANYWAY if one is at all interested in helping WOMEN, never mind men. Therefore, asking that question in a feminist setting is likely to get an unpleasant reaction, because it makes you sound like you're an ally who nevertheless isn't helping do all these things, if you still have to ask about how to make things better for men, too.

If I may, I'd like to make a comparison to an ecological concept to prove my point. In species conservation there is a concept called an 'umbrella species'. The idea there is that by protecting one species (that is usually large, complex, high up in the food chain and *depends* on a large number of other species to make up its biome and allow it to survive), one also protects all those other species it is dependent on. This 'umbrella species' is also often a 'flagship species' meaning that it's generally cute or attractive or otherwise well marketable. So when you ask citizens to donate to help save the blue whale, or the cute panda bear, you're actually getting them to help save their entire habitats.

In the context of feminism, women are this 'umbrella species' because they are the ones most adversely affected by a patriarchal society, while men are under that 'umbrella' of groups who would *also* be benefitted by better treatment of women.

For that reason, "help women more" is a very intuitive answer to "but what about the men?"
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Leohan



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1019

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mh... Gotta say, I'm getting some interesting conclusions here from everyone.

I figure that yeah, a good way to face some of the issues in which the Patriarchy affects men is by looking at the issues around them. The concept of "If you do or refuse to do X you are not a real man" might have a lot to do with the stereotypes put on homosexuals. The idea of all men as potential molesters might reflect on a generalized paranoia that's rooted elsewhere. Female-on-male rape being perceived as 'hilarious' and a non-issue can be discussed in a forum or conversation about rape, rather than an exclusively male space.

I think that it's less than ideal, but it's something. Hekateras has a point in that it's harder to be sorry for a group that's inherently privileged, so the best option would be to tackle the issues indirectly, right?


With that said, I think feminists should be more accepting of the help of males. As I said before, a lot of times when navigating forums or hearing speeches I've really gotten the vibe that even male allies should be just bystanders when dealing with the Patriarchy. And while not being a part of the problem is good indeed, I can safely say that being a part of the solution would be even better.
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Falkonn



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 307
Location: Beneath the pile of babies~

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been pondering sharing this for a while and decided to do it yesterday but haven't been back to post until now. The thing that bothers me is that I apparently can't talk to random women without them thinking that I'm looking to cheat on my wife or something. I was with my family and saw a couple of girls at a gas station while we were filling up. They were in gym clothes and I thought hey, I'll go give them my card because why not. They obviously care enough about themselves to work out so maybe they will want to better themselves/their heath in other ways too (I'm an acupuncture student doing my clinical time right now). My wife was like nope, don't do it. They will think you are hitting on them. I think a guy single/married/dating/whatever should be able to walk up to a girl single/married/dating/whatever and talk to them without the other person thinking the only reason they are talking to them is to have sex with them.
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Ennis



Joined: 09 Jun 2013
Posts: 816
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly I think going over to talk to anyone regardless of your gender or their gender at a petrol station is a bit weird, I don't think people generally go to those places expecting a stranger to come over and engage them. Especially one seemingly trying to sell them something. Also, consider that if you saw a bunch of ripped guys in muscle shirts if you would try to give them your card. I've read a lot of stuff about how women in public spaces are basically considered public property and don't get the expectation of privacy men do.

Anyway, I don't think all girls/women think that a guy coming up to them is always going to hit on them, but if that's been their general experience with men approaching them in public, can you really blame them for being wary? If you haven't already I'd recommend reading Schrödinger’s Rapist. This is really one of those "the problem will be solved by focussing on the major problem (men with entitlement issues and rape culture)" kind of things.
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khan



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think taking an overly aggressive stance for feminists isnt always the most constructive. It leaves you open to idiotic straw feminist counters, it results in defensive stances (ie not as open to new ideas), and is often going to involve some 'our suffering is worse than yours', and unless youre a rural first nations woman (about the effed over by the present system as possible), you are not going to come out ahead. Big part of many religions/faith systems/world views is that there arent many things less productive than judging and comparing pain. Its like comparing stars; they are all very different up close, but from a distance they are just hits of light. Pain is like that, and as Sidartha would say, its universal. Following these priniciples could be sufficient alone to get the much needed cooperation.

Other tips: as I said in previous post, present things in their most universal sense initially, then get more specific. Everyone hopefully is against spouse/partner abuse, and in Canada afaik its roughly 80% against women, 20% vs men. Clearly a big issue for women, but literally ignoring it towards men isnt going to be as effective as pointing out that like all 'patriarchy' issues, its not a women-only issue. Men need to be reminded that this system isnt to their benefit as well to get the most investment from them.

In my opinion, a post as, well, militant as Hekateras is largely correct, but profoundly ineffective: its called preachingnto the choir. This style has become pretty endemic on the internet, in part because of forums and communities which discourage dissent, but are terrible at bringing in new people that arent already sharing their opinions.

That type of feminist literature though is more or less seen its day in terms of making a difference. If you talk about feminism that way (ie from a purely gynocentric perspective), the only men you could ever reach are either A, already a feminist, or B, one of those assholes that thinks talking prochoice will get them laid. B is often counterproductive, and not usually worth the hassle. What you DO achieve is driving away those men that might have been converted. Those jackasses that yell at women going to abortion clinics havent converted anyone this way, so i dont know why people think vinegar style civil rights stuff will work. The next phase of civil rights in the us i suspect is getting the only group not yet working with rights groups to join in. And shouting about privilege is never, ever going to make that happen.

Note, i am Canadian, your issues are not mine, and your world is not mine if you are an American. Its hardly a sociolist paradise, but it has different issues. Pure outsider commentary.
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Falkonn



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 307
Location: Beneath the pile of babies~

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's just it though Ennis. I would gladly walk up to a bunch of buff looking dudes in gym clothes at the gas station and say something along the lines of "You guys got a minute? I'm in the student clinic at ____ for acupuncture. If you know anyone that is looking for a little bit of help or has any questions about the medicine can you please have them give me a call?" I don't get out of the house much so I have to make the most of the time that I do get out. I talk to people in the lines at grocery stores, I leave my business cards inside the bill folder after signing at restaurants, I just go talk to people if I'm out and I think about it (and it doesn't look like I'm interrupting anything). In all honesty the fact that the people I was thinking about going and talking to were women had nothing to do with my interest in talking to them. I just wanted to give them my card to someone that looked like they were into being healthy/doing healthy things because they might also be interested in acupuncture.

It's not that I don't get the reason why women wouldn't want to be interrupted all the time at random places to talk to strangers. Or that I don't understand that women must be vigilant because there are actually guys out there looking to take advantage of them. I just dislike the fact that its assumed that since I'm male that the only reason I'd want to talk to a woman is because I want to have sex with her. Women aren't just walking vagina's and breasts, they are people that deserve our respect as fellow human beings (not that I think you guys don't already know this). The issue is that there really are people out there that only care about themselves and are looking at women like all they are is someone to hook up with or possibly worse. This all ends up going back to the idea that has been thrown down in this thread. What's the best way to get this to stop? To focus on the woman's side of things and hope that the man's side gets better at the same time since the patriarchal nature of our society (and most societies) has made it so that women get the worst side of it. =\
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3429
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leohan wrote:
With that said, I think feminists should be more accepting of the help of males.


There is a difference between helping and thinking you're helping.
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Midnight Tea



Joined: 15 Jul 2012
Posts: 202
Location: In the Haunted Lands

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sinfest actually has a decent example of "men's social issues" in its cast that we've not seen in a while. Forget Slick, Squig, Criminy, etc. one character really stands out:


Storytime Zombie

1. He tends to scare people without meaning to due to his alarming appearance.

2. People tend to assume a degree of hostility towards him. Even Tange was a bit standoffish towards him.

3. He is most definitely attracted to a woman (Fuchsia) but it's not necessarily sexual in nature. He just wants more stories.

I feel really strongly about this particular character more generally because the undead are my favorite type of supernatural being and because I resemble the guy quite a bit in real life. Testosterone pretty much did a number on my body against my will.

(What really strikes me is that between Storytime and my OC in my avatar, I have an undead representation of both my real life struggle and my escapist fantasy self. I can't say I'm anything but really pleased by that.)


Ultimately, Storytime is a victim of the same system that the Sisterhood fights, to a varying degree depending on what he did to get into Hell to begin with. What's my point? My point is that feminism doesn't need "male allies" because we're all pretty much in this together. You're either in denial of that or not. If you are in denial of it, there's not much you can do to help regardless of your support or antipathy. All that's really required is for you to be aware of what your own problems are, but also respect that others may need your help even more whether you yet have a solution for your own or not.
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Leohan



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1019

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Leohan wrote:
With that said, I think feminists should be more accepting of the help of males.


There is a difference between helping and thinking you're helping.

True enough. Why are you saying this now, though?

Also MT: Oh, that's true! Hadn't realized that parallel. I don't think that it might have been intentional, but interesting analysis right there.
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khan



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Storytime was also very curious about Saph and the devil's strip club. Hes not exactly coldblooded, despite being dead.

Hes also experiencing difficulty generally due to a combination of a severe intellectual disadvantage, colossal social ineptitude and an unwholesome appearance. Really though, these things arent his fault, so its not too fair holding them against him.

I dont see any classic signals of high testosterone in Storytime's appearance. He looks like a clod, which is more high growth horomone based. High testosterone during youth results in a short lean person (any fat will strongly favour the gut region, tending to be high in the unhealthy, intramuscular fat), as testosterone stunts growth and improves protein synhesis. High growth horomone creates more tissue in general, and can increase hight until growth shuts down. It usually will make a big looking person thats physically not strong. If such individuals are very active, they can end up reasonably strong, but they will tend to look like the old 'heel' wrestlers. The archtypal example of this is Maurice Tillet... reading about him makes me sad.
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Leohan



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1019

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khan wrote:
Storytime was also very curious about Saph and the devil's strip club. Hes not exactly coldblooded, despite being dead.

Won't attribute it to that, directly, but there is this question I've been asking myself nearly since his initial appearance.

...What did Storytime do or what happened to him as a mortal, so that he wound up in hell?

I have the theory that being a lost soul changes you, somehow. Perhaps he's not the same man, or he somehow regressed. Don't have enough evidence, of course... But the lost souls have always given me an impression of innocence, which should of course not be the case considering where they are.
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Midnight Tea



Joined: 15 Jul 2012
Posts: 202
Location: In the Haunted Lands

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Zoroastrianism, the precursor to most Judaist faiths, the fires of judgment actually cleanse you of your sins. It hurts a hell of a lot more if you're a sinner but you come out of it innocent and pure again. This outlook appears in a few other faiths, such as some forms of Buddhism that allows for Hell.

And yeah -- whatever the case, testosterone or growth hormone or whatever, it definitely fucked up both me and Storytime that way.


Now if there was a plot where Storytime's fixation on Fuchsia (and maybe devil girls as a whole) caused him to especially want stories about being a devil girl and it consumed him to the point of madness in his sadder or lonelier moments... well. Yeah. Then I'll know somehow I'm psychically projecting myself across the aether.
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khan



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leohan wrote:
khan wrote:
Storytime was also very curious about Saph and the devil's strip club. Hes not exactly coldblooded, despite being dead.

Won't attribute it to that, directly, but there is this question I've been asking myself nearly since his initial appearance.

...What did Storytime do or what happened to him as a mortal, so that he wound up in hell?

I have the theory that being a lost soul changes you, somehow. Perhaps he's not the same man, or he somehow regressed. Don't have enough evidence, of course... But the lost souls have always given me an impression of innocence, which should of course not be the case considering where they are.


Good point, who knows how long Blue literally was torturing his (...do souls have genders? I guess it depends on your beliefs) soul before he left hell.

i have also wonder if hes not truly an individual, but something of an amalgamation of souls.

Either way, his present behaviour is largely innocent, in the 'inexperienced' sense.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 9551

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

feminist critical theory gets kind of bizarre when applied to sinfest's fantasy metaphysic
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Midnight Tea



Joined: 15 Jul 2012
Posts: 202
Location: In the Haunted Lands

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
feminist critical theory gets kind of bizarre when applied to sinfest's fantasy metaphysic

Feminist critical theory gets kind of bizarre in general, it's why it's hard for the movement to form a concrete platform with widely agreed-upon goals. It's also part of why it's fun to talk and think about though.
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