I am done..I finished everything..I’m free..I can sleep..for one hour before class
I’m pretty sure this is an accurate representation of how I’ll be in the morning
*still not done with the meta-analysis, and I’ve got an essay to complete and stats homework*
Stranger than Paradise - Tilda Swinton and Tim Walker for W Magazine.
So I just ran into a porn blog called Cut Pride which is essentially a circumfetishist porn blog celebrating and highlighting circumcised men (that’s fine although I far from advocate for the procedure) , but it has to have some of THE MOST disturbing descriptions for their pictures …
"delicious looking cock with a prominent brown circumcision scar encircling it"
"one perfect looking circularly scarred, circumcised prick"
"Michael Turchin. Handsome male model, fiance of Lance Bass & a nice Jewish boy with a nice ritually circumcised penis."
Um WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK ? Who even says that ?!
“My feelings about men are the result of my experience. I have little sympathy for them. Like a Jew just released from Dachau, I watch the handsome young Nazi soldier fall writhing to the ground with a bullet in his stomach and I look briefly and walk on. I don’t even need to shrug. I simply don’t care. What he was, as a person, I mean, what his shames and yearnings were, simply don’t matter.” — Marilyn French; The Woman’s Room."I claim that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own genuine affection and desire." — Robin Morgan (Editor of Ms. magazine.)"I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig." — Andrea DworkinUnder patriarchy, every woman’s son is her potential betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman.” — Andrea Dworkin"The institution of sexual intercourse is anti-feminist" — Ti-Grace Atkinson"You grow up with your father holding you down and covering your mouth so another man can make a horrible searing pain between your legs." — Catherine MacKinnon (Prominent legal feminist scholar; University of Michigan, & Yale.)"The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race." — Sally Miller Gearhart, in The Future - If There Is One - Is Female."All patriarchists exalt the home and family as sacred, demanding it remain inviolate from prying eyes. Men want privacy for their violations of women… All women learn in childhood that women as a sex are men’s prey." — Marilyn French"All men are good for is ****ing, and running over with a truck". Statement made by A University of Maine Feminist Administrator"The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist" (National NOW Times, January, 1988)."In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them" (Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist and assistant professor of education at Wellesley College, and associate director of the school’s Center for Research on Woman)”
So there’s this……………….
My favorite definition for bisexuality so far is the one popularized by (the wonderful) bisexual activist Robyn Ochs. Ochs says, “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted—romantically and/or sexually—to people of more than one sex, and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
This is by far the broadest and most enabling definition of bisexuality that I’ve found to date. Its strength is in the way it enables anyone who wants to identify as bisexual to do so. (In other words, it reassures people.)
In a world in which bisexuality is usually very narrowly defined, many people who experience bisexual desire, and want to identify as bi, often feel afraid to start (or keep) identifying as such, as they feel as though they “don’t qualify.” The role that an enabling definition for bisexuality can fulfill to counter these feelings of internalized biphobia is invaluable—and I feel that Ochs’s definition does just that. It reassures people that they are “allowed” to identify as bisexual if they wish to do so.
Men’s rights? But men have all the rights! What rights do women have that men don’t?
This is the ultimate comeback against any mention of a “Men’s Rights Movement”.
Third-wave feminists, who in the Western world (and certainly on this website) mostly complain about how men sit on trains and the social stigma of drinking Dr. Pepper, love to mock any men’s issues they see as trivial.
Furthermore, they seem to believe that there are no examples of institutional discrimination against men. It makes sense to complain about trivial women’s issues, you see, because they are underpinned by an overall power-dynamic of female oppression. Because men don’t have this background of systematic injustice, their trivial issues are meaningless.
I’ve previously listed some examples of institutional discrimination, with sources, but anti-MRAs seem to find that hard to read. To make it easy for them, I’m going to mention four rights which men are missing, and which justify the name “Men’s Rights Activist.”
The Right to Autonomy
The infamous ‘draft’.
This is a long-standing problem. Men have been sent out to be slaughtered in their millions throughout history, simply because they were men, and that was their duty to society. Often they had no legal choice, and would be imprisoned or executed for refusing, and more recently they have faced intense societal pressure and been shamed as a coward if they said no.
Women, by contrast, benefited from the privilege of protection whilst facing almost none of the risk. Complaining that ‘not being allowed to be massacred’ is solely discrimination against women is therefore ridiculous. More men than women throughout history have died because of institutional sexism. If you still think women are the real victims here, because they were banned from fighting, read this post.
If you mention this, feminists will respond that this is all ancient history. Though clearly evidence that the patriarchy doesn’t always favour men, and that this can be enforced by institutional bodies (see here and here for why it doesn’t matter if the leaders are male), they say it’s irrelevant today. We’ve moved on. This is fascinating, because these feminists will usually refer to women not having had the vote, or access to abortion, and in many of their countries these issues are even more ancient than the draft.
It’s also not true. In some countries, the draft has stopped. In others, it is still very much alive. US-based MRAs point out that, in their country, a gender-specific draft still targets men to this day. Their critics will then mention that this draft is inactive, and so no actual harm comes about. This is largely irrelevant to our point. Not having to sign up is still a right that American women hold over American men.
When we remember that the US isn’t the only country in the world, the problem becomes more significant. Forced military service, ranging from 4 months to 38, is active in about 21 countries. In all of these countries, the male requirement is higher than the female one. In all but one, the female requirement in non-existent. I spell it out here, if you’re interested. Many of these countries are European, or considered a part of the developed world.
The right to say “no” is one women have and men do not.
The Right to their Body
Circumcision may be the world’s most widely performed procedure. Almost always done for reasons of aesthetics or religion, and carrying almost zero medical benefits, it is inflicted upon young males who are unable to (and unwilling to) consent to it. It is fortunately rare in Europe, but it is still legal, and the practice is commonplace in North America and Australasia.
These are countries which strictly ban female genital mutilation, no matter how mild, and yet permit almost any male genital mutilation. Whilst it may be the case that some FGM is worse than some MGM, even FGM which is less severe would be covered by the ban. We do not tolerate anybody cutting the genitals of young girls, even for the strongest religious and aesthetic reasons. There is a strong double-standard here. This post debunks many myths about circumcision.
The right to say “no” is one girls have and boys do not.
The Right to Justice
We frequently talk about black men being racially profiled. We accept that they are stereotyped and unfairly targeted for being black, but recently it has become understood that they are also being targeted as men. If anything, their maleness is a bigger factor in the profiling.
Court sentencing is undeniably harsher on men, as this study shows. Here the discrimination at every level is spelt out, demonstrating that everybody from police officers to judges disproportionately assume the guilt of men, leading to men making up almost the entirety of the prison population. For ‘gendered’ crimes, such as rape and domestic violence, the trend is worse. Men are not given a fair trial. They are seen as criminals, aggressive and amoral, simply because of their gender.
Even law-makers are in on the act. In this recent post I pointed out that Russia reserves the toughest punishments for men alone, something that happens de facto in other countries anyway. This article suggests that the UK take a similar, if less black-and-white, approach. Again, this problem is most acute with rape and domestic violence. The wording of many laws about partner violence strongly prejudices against the male as aggressor, often leading to his arrest even if the fight was mutual.
Here I searched for rape laws which acknowledged that women could rape, and found few. If a man and women are both equally unable to consent, under many jurisdictions the man would be arrested for rape. Here and here examples are given which point out the institutional double standard.
These laws also fail to acknowledge male victims, which leads us to the other side of this point. Whilst courts are more likely to convict male defendants, everything else remaining equal, they also show less mercy to those whose victims are female. Criminals with male victims receive lighter sentences, as shown in the first links, and so men do not even have to be accused of a crime to experience this lack of justice. They merely need to be the victim of one.
The right to a fair trial, whether as prosecution or defence, is one women have and men do not.
Feminists make abortion a major concern, but in many Western nations female reproductive rights have not been under serious threat for a very long time. Even if they were, this would not be an advantage men hold over women, because the reproductive rights of men have been non-existent. If a woman wants to abort the baby, that is her right, and the father has no say. If she wants to keep the baby, that is her right. She can force a man into fatherhood, even if they had agreed not to have a baby and the condom was just faulty.
She can then force him to pay child support which, as this post points out, is no small matter. Consent to sex is not consent to a child, feminists say. For men it is. If the condom breaks, and your sexual partner decides to stay pregnant without even informing you, she can still make you pay for the child’s upbringing. Even if she poked holes in the condom, even if she steals some of your sperm and impregnates herself, you have no choice. A woman you hate can have your child, she can force you into fatherhood, and you are powerless. In some cases, female rapists have not only been allowed to have their victim’s child, but they have then billed them for child support.
I am not saying that unwilling fathers should be allowed to order women to abort. The way our bodies work means that the uterus-bearer gets to make that decision. However, women still have a right that men do not, and men suffer at this double standard. I’m not saying that it isn’t a necessary evil, or that there is a better solution, but it’s still an evil. The point of this post was simply to show that women have rights that men do not (descriptive), not to say whether or not this should be the case (normative). A natural privilege, such as the majority race having more representation in the media of their country, is still a privilege.
This post, from a woman’s perspective, underlines the power imbalance here. Women have more legal rights, and the medical industry puts a lot more effort into producing female birth control options. Even after the baby is born, child support laws discriminate against men who never wanted the child, and they are socially exiled as “deadbeat dads”. Women who change their mind about having a child, and abort it, are never branded “deadbeat mums”.
The issue of paternity fraud makes child support an even nastier problem for men. On the opposite side, fathers who do want their children are also given a raw deal. Custody courts, like the courts already mentioned, favour women.
The right to say “no”, or “yes”, is one women have and men do not.
I’ve mentioned that abortion has been freely available for years, and that even if it wasn’t that wouldn’t be a right men held over women. In another recent post, I have reviewed evidence that the “wage gap” is a result of women’s choices, not institutional misogyny. With this is mind, I struggle to list examples of the de jure systematic oppression of women in modern Western societies. The feminists I work alongside complain rightly about media representation, rape culture, and other social issues which negatively impact women. I respect that these problems don’t have to be institutional to be valid. Men, too, have many issues to do with society and the media rather than the government.
However, it is feminists who invented that comeback. “What rights do women have that men don’t?” They imply that complaints about men’s suffering are only valid if that suffering is enshrined in law. This makes their attacks on train-etiquette and Dr. Pepper seem hypocritical, and it also leaves them exposed to their own attack. Let’s flip it around. In this society, “what rights do men have that women don’t?” It’s not an easy question to answer, and all the feminists we’ve asked to meet their own criterion have failed.
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t care whether or not their suffering is down to actual rights: if they are suffering, I will empathise. However, they are the ones bringing this argument up. One wonders why.
Vulnerability is Gendered
“When one begins to question the normative status of the male newborn alteration in the West, and when one thinks of female alteration as including even a hygienically administered “nick,” one begins to see that these two practices, dramatically separated in the public imagination, actually have significant areas of overlap.” - Dena Davis, Bioethicist
Given these overlaps, why have the two been treated differently? Alongside the difference in harm and misperceptions about the contrasting settings and ages at which the procedures take place, the double standard stems from two further factors: sexism and ethnocentrism.
Male bodies are constructed as resistant to harm or even in need of being tested by painful ordeals, whereas female bodies are seen as highly vulnerable and in need of protection. In other words, vulnerability is gendered. And little girls are more readily seen as victims than little boys.
Along with the serious harm that both FGC and MGC can cause, both occur without the consent of the child, and irreversibly violate the child’ human right to physical integrity. In so doing, FGC and MGC both prioritise the cultural or religious beliefs of parents over their child’s right to self-determination and an open future.
Both have also sought to shape bodies and control sexual desire. FGC seeks to contain women’s sexuality within marriage and reproduction by aiming to reduce sexual pleasure, while the Jewish sage Maimonides and the Victorians advocated MGC to reduce lust and masturbation. Legal scholars Marie Fox and Michael Thomson have argued that MGC is “a gendering practice tied to masculinity and the management of male sexuality” that “parallels the ways in which feminist scholars have argued that female genital cutting serves to fix gender in women”.
The consequence of this, say Fox and Thomson, is that patriarchy often allows men’s experiences to remain unquestioned.
Familiarity also creates comfort, and since MGC has been practised in the West for millennia and been routine in English-speaking countries for a century, we’re desensitised. By contrast, since FGC is geographically or culturally remote, it’s more liable to be seen as barbaric.
Excerpts from Like FGM, cut foreskins should be a feminist issue.