August 20, 2010

"[M]en, like women, are bound by stereotypes, perpetuated in society and legitimized by law..."

"... that preclude opportunities for self-definition and coerce men into stifling identities. The Equal Protection Clause should not...  presumptively tolerate such burdens on a man’s right of self-definition."

Lawprof John M. Kang argues that the law of gender discrimination should not protect men merely as "collateral beneficiaries of the protection afforded women, but in their own right." The article is called "The Burdens of Manliness."

Kang denies that he's a throwback to the "the sensitive troglodyte yearnings of the 1980s Men’s Movement," and I hear echoes of criticisms he must have received on drafts of this article. I was already a law professor back then, and my school (Wisconsin) was a hotbed of feminism theory. My own orientation at that the time — and now — was to see gender roles as limiting freedom for everyone. I remember suggesting to one of the most prominent feminist lawprofs that I thought feminism would be better if it expanded more generally into concern about the burdens of gender roles, which men felt too, in interestingly different ways. Individual freedom for all could be the overarching goal.

The response was not, as I'd naively anticipated at the time, that I had a great idea or that it was at least an intriguing proposal that we could casually converse about for a minute or 2. No, not at all. I mean, I'm still alive. But there was pushback. Swift, sharp snapback. Men get nothing from feminism. They must give ground. Much ground. For all that they have taken from us, for all the crushing and raping. Never give them the hint of a glimmer of hope that there is anything more that they can get. This is for us.

But —I tried to defend my humble, untenured self — wouldn't more freedom for everyone be better? No! My elder laid down what was, she assured me, the lesson of long political experience: If men think there's anything in it for them, they will use their superior power to take more and more, and the subordination of women will worsen. We must all follow the same strategy: to demand that men give up power and wealth for the benefit of women.

As for the Men's Movement... remember "Iron John: A Book About Men"? Remember thinking it was important to hate Robert Bly?

And what are the burdens of manliness? Ironically — ironjohnically — men are made to feel unmanly for developing their set of grievances and whining and moaning about the unfairness of it. But please don't let that stop you from expressing yourself in the comments.

ADDED: By the way, during the same period, you'd get similar sharp pushback from lefties if you said you thought gay people had the right to marry each other.  That was viewed as a conservative position that would undermine the feminist critique of marriage as patriarchy. I also got an instant, angry response from a lefty feminist law professor when I said that the cause of gay rights might be advanced by scientific findings that homosexuality may have a biological cause. Back then, you see, homosexuality was supposed to be a choice, and scientists were condemned even for researching the matter. Today, of course, lefty lawprofs will get mad at you if you don't endorse gay marriage and the biological origin of homosexuality. Oh, how I wish I'd had a blog circa 1990! And I hope this post gives you a glimpse of why there is so much emotional energy behind my blogging.

85 comments:

miller said...

And this kind of writing and thinking is why I love reading this blog.

Oligonicella said...

Kind of the essence of equality. Both sexes get to wear shorts.

Expat(ish) said...

I remember thinking that I wanted to stay as far from Bly as possible.

My wife is a Ph.D. Sociologist and while I love her dearly, the doctrinaire gender stuff I had to get second hand from here was like a mental STD. (She runs a business now, so she's much better, thanks for asking.)

-XC

Skyler said...

"And what are the burdens of manliness?"

There aren't any. It's good to be a man. No drawbacks at all. We're stronger, have more endurance, can withstand pain, do better in math, music, cooking, and the arts. We are faster runners, taller, more assertive, and enjoy the company of women. You name it and men have dominated the field. We've even taken the traditional womanly crafts, such as needlework, and industrialized them to make it more efficient, cheaper and higher quality.

How could it get any better?

It's not that being a woman is bad. It's not. It's that being a man is very very good. Unless you go to divorce court. Then you're screwed.

YoungHegelian said...

How enlightening to have such a direct and honest exchange with your former professor!

The post-marxist left has since learned that being quite that blunt about their aims is just awful PR. Dissemblence is now part of their stock-in-trade.

It's like they're closet Straussians, or somethin'.

A.W. said...

Look I am a white guy, who is also disabled, and has face severe discrimination due to that disability. There is prejudice, maybe even discrimination against white males, but its generally more like “the paper cuts of oppression.” Wrong, yes, but kind of in a different category than my mom having a boss who liked to call her his “sexretary.” (and thankfully it was only a joke, but that was bad enough).

So guys saying they are discriminated against as guys, yeah it’s a little whiney in my book. I mean of course exceptions exist, but they are just that: exceptional.

I mean I am expected to get the door and the paycheck. But I shouldn’t blink at a woman working in my office. Is that a double standard? Well yeah, and so what? Again paper cuts of oppression.

Which is not to denigrate claims when they do get serious, or to pretend the law should only apply one way, just that much of it comes off as whiney.

edutcher said...

Almost certainly the original concept of gender roles grew out of a necessary division of labor in human communities (however small) based on abilities (men were stronger (lifting, carrying), more aggressive (hunting, defending)) and unique capabilities (women were the only ones who had kids, wetnursed). To some degree, gender roles still have their place due to the lasting relevance of what caused them originally.

Feminism was a creature of the Left that grew in the 60s and, like the rest of the Leftist agenda, intended to turn society on its head and, particularly in the case of feminism, break up the family. Like all the other creatures of the Left, the straw man set up as the enemy (the rich, white people, etc.) is to be destroyed or, at least, rendered impotent and dissent is not tolerated. Those who do dissent are regarded as the enemy.

In a way, Ann, you are lucky you didn't suffer the fate of Larry Summers at Harvard.

PS I thought the men's movement was the weirdest thing I'd ever heard of. The original New Age, touchy-feely, Feel Good self-indulgent nonsense.

A.W. said...

i would add that it is monumentally stupid not to make laws protect both sides of an equation, just as strategy. if our culture is so dominated by males, and it certainly is dominated by white people, doesn't it help to have some buy in? Does it help to be able to say, "hey and you are benefiting, too." this mentor seems to think that men have no say on the subject of whether feminism succeeds.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

""[M]en, like women, are bound by stereotypes, perpetuated in society and legitimized by law...""

Do away with those, and you get this

Oligonicella said...

A.W. --

Do the men get he same parental leave?

The TrogloPundit said...

I feel aggrieved. I better go shoot and field dress some animal and cook it up on the grill. That'll make me feel better.

Wait, what? It's not hunting season? Damn feminism anyway!

Class factotum said...

to demand that men give up power and wealth for the benefit of women.

1. Wealth is not a zero-sum game. (I need to think about whether power is.)

2. Demanding this sort of thing rather than showing what's in it for the group that you are conceding has the power to give or not to give is always a good strategy.

Maguro said...

We must all follow the same strategy: to demand that men give up power and wealth for the benefit of women.

If nagging men until they give you something isn't a traditional female gender role, I don't know what the hell is.

MadisonMan said...

Maguro: totally.

mRed said...

I'm sorry. I am not worthy.

t-man/wurly/henry buck said...

OT - but check out the Drudge photo that makes it look like Obama has wings over the story: "White House: Obama is obviously Christian"

GMay said...

I just don't know how i could function in society without all these identities and gender roles requirements thrust upon me.

With a nod to Jack Nicholson: Academia needs an enema

Skyler said...

"If nagging men until they give you something isn't a traditional female gender role, I don't know what the hell is."

Ha!!! Maguro wins the thread!!!!!!!!

knox said...

Men get nothing from feminism. They must give ground. Much ground. For all that they have taken from us, for all the crushing and raping. Never give them the hint of a glimmer of hope that there is anything more that they can get. This is for us.

Sounds like my liberal friends over the years when they are trying to justify wealth redistribution: The rich are total assholes who exploit others. Fuck 'em. read: tax 'em.

knox said...

I remember suggesting to one of the most prominent feminist lawprofs that I thought feminism would be better if it expanded more generally into concern about the burdens of gender roles, which men felt too, in interestingly different ways. Individual freedom for all could be the overarching goal.

Yes, this was pretty brave.

Sofa King said...

It's too late.

dbp said...

"Men get nothing from feminism. They must give ground. Much ground. For all that they have taken from us, for all the crushing and raping. Never give them the hint of a glimmer of hope that there is anything more that they can get. This is for us."

If this represents feminism, then the rational response from a man's point of view is to oppose it. Lucky for all of us that the "angry feminist" type never represented more than a trivial fraction of American women.

Oligonicella said...

For all that they have taken from us

So Bill and Fred have to make up and pay back for what Clyde did? How's that fly legally?

c3 said...

feminism theory
Boy that phrase flicks an "off" switch in my head.

PS: I had a men's movement this morning. I found it meaningful.

Rich B said...

I enjoyed Skyler and Maguro's comments the most. Nature can be modified, not suppressed.

BTW, HL Mencken wrote a charming book on this subject, In Defense of Women. It's available for free on the Kindle.

Fred4Pres said...

Those pesky male female stereotypes. They are sooo stifling. You can fix that with an equal protection clause.

Yeah, right.

Anyone who has had any kids (preferably at least one of each gender) knows this is complete and utter bullshit. Now there is of course culture on being a man, which is what makes you a good man as opposed to a thug, but that is not the core of the differences of gender.

Here's a web site if you are born xy and are unsure on how to be a man. Because you need a road map and instructional information to get there.

Skyler said...

I remember in law school, another student asked me to contribute to the women's law club, whatever its real name is, I can't recall.

My reply was, why should I contribute my money for an organization that is intent on minimizing my own success?

She was quite taken aback and stammered that if women do well, then we're all better off. Hardly true, of course, but this is the logic of the legal community nowadays. I see no point in replacing a good old boy network with a good old girl network. They're both wrong.

Lem said...

Its like Ali was saying yesterday..

The reality is not one world.. in perfect harmony like that early coca cola commercial..

Its clash.. its warfare.. it works ;)

Scott M said...

And what are the burdens of manliness?

Two easy ones that are completely, utterly true 100% of the time.

1) Men have to register for selective service upon turning 18 or become a federal criminal.
2) In the hypothetical situation of a family faced with death, the man is still, decades after Titanic, expected to give his life that his wife and children may live.

Oh, and let us not forget the unending and completely inundating attacks presented to men/fathers/husbands daily in American broadcast advertising. That's quite a burden if only in the form a thousand cuts. What's worse, it's based on a false advertising premise that's almost two decades out of date.

Lynne said...

I remember suggesting to one of the most prominent feminist lawprofs that I thought feminism would be better if it expanded more generally into concern about the burdens of gender roles, which men felt too, in interestingly different ways. Individual freedom for all could be the overarching goal.

How nice to know that I agree with the Professor on this subject- if indeed this is still her view.

I believe we all exist on a continuum. Just as some of us are taller and some of us are shorter, some of us exhibit more 'traditional' gender qualities than others. There should be room for us all.

lucid said...

To think of gender roles only in terms of limitations is to misuderstand the growth and actualization of self. It is one of the fundamental misunderstandings of the sixties left, of which I was a member. The mistake is thinking that no limits is what we all wish for. Bob Dylan got past that idea fast.

Rigid role definitions or defintio that can't evolve and change are of course a problem. But that is only a small part of the story of how welive and make a meaningful life.

The main point is that it is in our gender identities and other formed identities that we find meaning and and a sense of self.

This is why the experience of doing something like getting married can be so self-transforming, affirming, growth-creating--because it gives us a set of meanings to define ourselves and our relationships within, and that let's us grow and deepen our experiences.

Freedom is always the space between four walls. Te walls give the space meaning. You can renovate and change the space but ou still need the walls.

This is one of the things that Nietzsche understood, living in a world in which all values had been called into question and in which God was dead. This is also what Kiekegaard understood in calling for passionate commitment to a chosen faith.

We need gender roles that have form and heft in order to create meaning and deep experiences in ourselves.

Ann Althouse said...

"How enlightening to have such a direct and honest exchange with your former professor!"

We were both professors and she was never my professor, but it could have been between professor and student. You're surprised only because you think such attitudes would have been kept confidential.

Dark Eden said...

And what are the burdens of manliness?
>>>

And another. The utter hostility of the family law courts. As a man you basically have no rights involving your children. You can see them, live with them, etc, basically on the whim of the mother. If she's okay with it, you can do it. if she isn't okay with it, you can't.

dbp said...

Oligonicella said...

For all that they have taken from us

So Bill and Fred have to make up and pay back for what Clyde did? How's that fly legally?

Some years ago, I had a debate with a feminist about something like the reasons for patents. After I demolished her various rationales she came back with, "David, there are other ways of knowing things than facts and logic". I can't really argue with that.

HKatz said...

Individual freedom for all could be the overarching goal.
I like this point particularly.

The individual tends to get lost in these movements. While it can be necessary for the sake of making an efficient argument to talk about groups of people in general... a lot of times this group-level language stays rooted in people's thoughts too as their only way of thinking about society; all Men are the same, all Women are the same (or this group, or that group, proles vs. bourgeoise, blacks vs. whites): and that's already one of the default ways of thinking in human nature (us vs. them, mistrust of strangers, etc.)... but it's also a lazy way of thinking and not the only thinking we're capable of. It's also useful in justifying the easy dismissal of entire swaths of the population (it's much easier to hate/destroy/suppress people when you can't conceive of them as complex individuals, but instead as indistinguishable components of a homogenous group.)

Scott M said...

This is one of the things that Nietzsche understood, living in a world in which all values had been called into question and in which God was dead. This is also what Kiekegaard understood in calling for passionate commitment to a chosen faith.

"Apes don't read Nietzsche."
"Yes, they do, Otto. They just don't understand it."

Best Nietzsche quote ever...

virgil xenophon said...

I VERY MUCH miss "The Man Show." :)

former law student said...

Nowadays, feminists agree (or do they? I mean this is what they say for public consumption) that "the patriarchy hurts men, too.

Remember the parody book, Fire in the John, the Manly Man in the Age of Sissification, that scooped up Iron John's rival as well?

http://www.amazon.com/Fire-John-Alfred-Gingold/dp/0312074832

lemondog said...

Never give them the hint of a glimmer of hope that there is anything more that they can get. This is for us.

Grrr....**snarl**

Stalinism meet Feminism.

Thought marriage in Russia was dying out.

Is today Feminism and Gender Equality day?

rhhardin said...

Feminism is itself a restricted gender role.

Nag and demand from no man in particular, and never show satisfaction.

The original was send your man on quests and show him you're satisfied.

ricpic said...

Gender roles. The inference being that if there weren't gender roles the genders would...would what? meld into each other. But they wouldn't because they really are different, fundamentally so. I guess manning up means daring to put a feminist's nose out of whack by insisting on that: that there are no gender roles, only unalterable gender differences.

Fen said...

Men get nothing from feminism. They must give ground. Much ground. For all that they have taken from us, for all the crushing and raping. Never give them the hint of a glimmer of hope that there is anything more that they can get. This is for us.

Sharia is looking better every day.

Kirk Parker said...

c3,

Hey, you're poaching in Titus' territory!

traditionalguy said...

All social roles are perpetuated in society and legitimized by law. That is what makes life livable in relative security. When we have a place which is our role, then we can relax and enjoy a pursuit of happiness. Without social roles we live among uncertainty and a constant fear of betrayal. Trying to scare people out of their money with lies seems to have become the fastest growing role of a Scientific-Governmental Complex.

c3 said...

Hey, you're poaching in Titus' territory!

Sorry, couldn't resist (poaching that is, not Titus)

Richard Dolan said...

The 'gender roles' shtick sounds so dated. It's a topic that would benefit greatly from being given a rest. Not that the differences between 'he' and 'she' aren't eternally interesting. But, now that the society has internalized the anti-discrimination basics, lawyers looking to foster "opportunities for self-definition" through legal diktats doesn't sound all that promising. Getting a bureaucratized legal system involved is quite likely to generate something quite different from anything a normal person might describe as "opportunities for self-definition" (assuming normal people would ever talk that way).

q12345q6789 said...

The whole concept that AW discusses of speaking up for mens' rights (yes, even white mens' rights) as being whiny and "less-than-manly" is why mens' rights are a shambles now. This is not about holding a door open for someone. Please. That's a strawman, here.
This is about inequities being written or otherwise enforced in the Law. This is about egregious abuses of culture and education to subvert self-esteem and learning ability.
This is about "White Knights" building their own self-worth and status out of the wreckage of other men's lives.
Maybe we come from different generations.
But, take a good look at where "men" as a group are headed. The trend lines are bad, man.
And what are the causes of this?
It has reasons. And "guys" aren't supposed to care because we're stoic, right? Stoic to the end, eh? Great. Well, played, guys.
Boys are being programmed (by men and women) to not question these things, because to question these things is "unmanly".
Fuck. That. Shit.

(This is *NOT* about misogyny as a strategy. That is a poison as well. This is about opening our eyes to the world as it is, not the cartoon we *think* we're living.)
P.S. "The Man Show" actually sucked most of the time. It was a ridiculous (and actually pretty hateful) characterization of what "Men" were. Plus, it wasn't as funny as you probably remember.

Richard Fagin said...

No whining and moaning is necessary. After Western civilization dies as a result of not defending itself, because it's a patriarchal, bigoted, inequitable travesty incapable of improvement, Sharia law imposed in its place will take care of things. Women voicing opinions will merely be stoned to death. The rest will just suffer genital mutilation and lose their driving privilges.

And if that scenario doesn't seem quite right, men can just refuse to maintain and repair the 21st century technological civilization that they, for the most part, have built. Then women will be free to fix it for themselves, completely unfettered by any stereotype. Good luck with that, all you political science, education, history, English and psychology majors.

pst314 said...

"Stalinism meet Feminism"

And some of those UWM feminists were Stalinists.

pst314 said...

Come to think of it, Betty Friedan was a communist.

Doug said...

'ironjohnically' - this is the brilliance, the genius of Althouse. I feel as though I am smarter, hipper, and more clever just for reading it.

Bruce Hayden said...

And another. The utter hostility of the family law courts. As a man you basically have no rights involving your children. You can see them, live with them, etc, basically on the whim of the mother. If she's okay with it, you can do it. if she isn't okay with it, you can't.

Agree 100%. Was the principle care giver until the divorce, but the mother, of course, got primary custody.

Add in the line from the song - she got the gold mine, and he got the shaft.

Courts are so worried about providing inter-gender wealth transfers to the distaff sex, that actual paternity is, in many cases, now irrelevant as to being hit with child support.

That reminds me of a Day by Day cartoon a couple of years ago, where one of the characters, Sam, was served in a paternity suit. She showed up in court and convinced the judge that she couldn't be the father by flashing the judge with her substantial (it is a cartoon) breasts.

It was funny because the reality is not. Esp. in CA at the time, women would go through the phone book guessing at who might be the father. They would all get served, and the guy too unschooled to get an attorney would fail to show, and get a default judgment for child support against him. And the justification for nailing a guy for the next 18 years to pay for someone else's kids? It was supposedly better for society if someone supported those kids, in the style their mother would like, than if no one did.

Bruce Hayden said...

Another instance of fairly gross sexual discrimination these days - K-12, and, in particular, K-6 or so, are run by women, for the girls. Recesses are reduced if not eliminated. Hands on learning is given up in favor of collaborative learning. And less and less effort seems to being made to address the innate sexual differences that are even manifest at those ages.

Pogo said...

The child whines
life is unfair;
what is
should not be so.

Blame is apportioned,
maps rearranged,
winners chosen,
losers shunned.

Utopia promised,
but hell delivered,
only misery remains.
"Bad luck," they say.

virgil xenophon said...

q12345q6789/

The entire point of "The Man Show" was indeed to be in as much humorously bad taste and drooling boorishness as possible in contra-distinction to the overbearing seriousness of "intellectual" "feminazis" (yes, Rush was TOTALLY on tgt) cum proto neo-Stalinists in academia and other leftist grievance-mongers in the vast fever swamps of the professional left. Nirvana for the show's producers was to be as inventively crass and shallow as possible every living second on-air. In this they usually wonderously succeeded. And your point is?

The Crack Emcee said...

Skyler,

"Why should I contribute my money for an organization that is intent on minimizing my own success?"

That's kind of the formulation I came to after my divorce. My current configuration is straight out of the feminist playbook. "Oh, there's laws - that weren't voted on - to enforce this kind of unfairness, eh?" That was it for me: if I'm the (unacknowledged) enemy, then women can love, support, and defend their own damn selves - including from me. That's how I treat men (who are at least honest enough to let you know, to your face, when they don't like you and will attack) so now I see women the same way I do any dude getting froggy: fair game.

I know some will say "All women aren't like that" but I haven't met one - not one - in my post-divorce personal interactions who isn't indoctrinated to accept NewAge/feminist ideology as the way things should be, or a goal to be attained, at men's expense. They won't say it as openly as Ann's colleague, but it's there in the other things they say and do. It's a cultural meme, and it's disgusting.

There are exceptions, of course, but I've learned to respect the innate decency of men - how they will fight for what's right and/or good - including ephemeral things like respect and honor. Things women give short shrift to - or could give a damn about - as they focus on what material things they think, as goddesses, they deserve. Things, more than likely, men created.

Well, Daddy's Little Princess is getting a wake-up call if she messes with me. I, too, used to look askance at rappers "talking shit", but no more. Once the feminist message sinks in, they're almost the only men who make sense, as "Men". They recognize what's up and give no quarter - just as Ann's feminist did - which is the only reasonable position to take. (Of course, that's greeted with shock in this feminized world, keeping the BS going to corral the rubes for a posse.)

Anyway, I still think I'm a nice guy, and still have the capacity for love and fairness - I just ain't getting ganked again by anyone, male or female.

lemondog said...

The child whines
life is unfair;
what is
should not be so.


Child imitating whining parents.

I have a relative who frequently comments "Blah, blah, blah, and it's not fair."

**Yawn**

c3 said...

But, take a good look at where "men" as a group are headed. The trend lines are bad, man.

A warning from nature

Trooper York said...

"Men get nothing from feminism."

That's not true.

We get something to laugh at.

Feminism is the Snookie of ism's.

q12345q6789 said...

@virgil xenophon:
I'm not bein' snarky here; but I think my point was pretty clear.

Boorish? Check. I get that was built into the show's premise. And it was successful at it.

Funny? Yeah, in the beginning. Sheerly for the outlandish and over-the-top novelty of it on TV. But that joke got old fast. And then they just kept beating the pulp out of it. (Midgets' in Diapers! lololol)
My larger point, though, was that the "Man Show" perpetrated every negative stereotype about men and then set out to repeat those same stereotypes for all us young men to consume. I was ~18 when it came out. And I was counted among it's legion of fans. But, looking back - it just seems to have made two men a whole lot of money and just reinforced a bunch of bullsh*t that the rest of us guys have to still live with: Being a man is about being an obnoxious boor, a lazy drunk, having no emotions other that a sort of desperate and depraved horniness (that is *separate* from real sex with women), stupidity as a virtue...
It didn't beat back any "left-wing academics" critiques - it was exhibit A in their arguments.
(BTW: The "End Womens' Suffrage" Sketch at Venice Beach still makes me chuckle)

Trooper York said...

In fact all Feminists are academic Snookies from the Jersey Shore.

Arrogant, opinionated and stupid. Just not tanned.

Last night Snookie said:
“Men are all douche bags. They are just horrible. I hate them. They are why lesbianism is on the rise in America today!”

Catharine MacKinnon couldn’t said it any better!

Trooper York said...

You can learn everything you need to know about America and our Society from reality TV.

q12345q6789 said...

RE: above post: "Man Show": I even think it would have been better if they had just named it: "Jimmy and Adam's A**Holes Show". At least that way, the broad brush wouldn't have gotten used.

Skyler said...

I've never watched the "man show." It looked far too stupid just from the name alone.

wv: milph, mothers I'd like to phone home

Pogo said...

"In fact all Feminists are academic Snookies from the Jersey Shore.
Arrogant, opinionated and stupid. Just not tanned.
"

Damn, Trooper; best thing I've read in a week.

roesch-voltaire said...

I agree with Ann Althouse that we all share burdens in our various gender roles, but individual freedoms have been struggled for and not simply given--say the right to vote for example, or the right to attend a university, or on a more ordinary level my wife's demand that I wash the dishes more often because we both work full-time .So yes I think early feminism had a certain militancy to it, and Robert Bly was one reaction to support men's identity. Today it seems to me feminist still concentrate on promoting more opportunity for women by creating awareness of imbalances in say the STEM classes, and as a result the medical profession now has about %50 women enrolled, and the undergraduate student body in some schools is %60 women. But these efforts seem less shrill than the Sixties. Now has this feminist action limited my freedom, or the new male students enrolled in the STEM classes? I am not sure, but I do know women seem to enjoy the new job prospects, and the freedom to marry for reasons other economic security as they can provide for themselves. I know more men who take leaves of absence to care for newborns. I know a woman solider in Iraq who loves her job. So in some ways, I would argue that more freedom for everybody has resulted from the feminist movement.That said, I think there are troubling signs of too many men not exerting their will to take advantage of what is available for them. In the near future the question might be how do we encourage the men?

q12345q6789 said...

>>That said, I think there are troubling signs of too many men not exerting their will to take advantage of what is available for them.
THIS.
>> In the *present* the question might be how do we encourage the men?
FIXED.

(srry 4 my 4chan-izms)

Freeman Hunt said...

A mere ten years ago a gay friend told me that gay marriage was absurd. Marriage was for straights, and gay people weren't gay so that they could pretend to be straight.

I should phone him now to see what he thinks. He hasn't spoken to me since he found out I voted for Bush in 2004.

knox said...

This "pushback" aspect of this story reminds me of years ago, when my sister was in a book group (she lived in DC at the time) and she suggested they read "A Return to Modesty." She said the reaction was violently against even considering it. Some were mad at her for even suggesting it.


[ I had major problems with that book, but it at least had a unique and unusual viewpoint re: feminism and sexuality]

deborah said...

Here, guys, maybe this will help.

The Man's Prayer:

I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Green_Show

AST said...

I think everybody deals with discrimination of some sort or other, for looks, personality, social skills, friendships, etc.

The big lie about civil rights was that they would make life easy, but every white kid has heard the aphorism that life isn't fair. In spite, of all our laws and movements, there's a minimum of unfairness that will never go away, simply because we're human.

I think we'd do better to promote more simple virtues for everybody, rather than polarizing ourselves and cultivating rancor.

c3 said...

And the connection to a previous post (via Wikipedia)

In February, 2008, Bly was named Minnesota's first poet laureate.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh, how I wish I'd had a blog circa 1990! And I hope this post gives you a glimpse of why there is so much emotional energy behind my blogging.

You mean, back in the days when taking a contrarian position might have actually been a reasonable thing to do?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

and the undergraduate student body in some schools is %60 women

Do you think this would still be the case if schools and colleges placed less emphasis on rote memorization and more on critical thinking?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So in some ways, I would argue that more freedom for everybody has resulted from the feminist movement.That said, I think there are troubling signs of too many men not exerting their will to take advantage of what is available for them. In the near future the question might be how do we encourage the men?

Perhaps like the natives we so quickly wiped out, we are also becoming a matriarchal society.

The problem with feminism, is that it promised humanism but focused on nurturing a gender war of a different flavor.

Any gender-ism (or any other "ism") that isn't subordinate to an overarching humanism sows the seeds of its own irrelevance/demise.

deborah said...

Ritmo,
"The problem with feminism, is that it promised humanism but focused on nurturing a gender war of a different flavor."

At the beginning of the 'revolution,' some fights, such as equal pay for equal work did need to be played out.

Currently, we still have the situation where women do the majority of housework and childcare after work.

On the other hand, we have sit-coms and commercials where men are constantly made to look like doofs, loosers, and incompetents. Haha, not.

So the next stage is to actually work out a balance of equitable involvment with the children, so dad isn't this guy that disappears when he comes home, whild mom engages the kids. I know this is being solved in more and more families, but it will take time.

Skyler said...

The choice/biology dichotomy of homosexuality was pretty strong a long time ago. It depended on the day of the week as to which one must be defended at all costs by leftists.

Kev said...

Oh, how I wish I'd had a blog circa 1990!

I don't think your photos would have looked quite so nice on the black-and-white Mac Classic that I had in 1990. (And there was that problem of my not having email until 1997. Would you have mailed your blog to your readers in those days? It would take weeks--and lots of stamps--for a typical Althouse comment thread to play out.)

Beth said...

r-v at 4:02 - good post.

former law student said...

On the other hand, we have sit-coms and commercials where men are constantly made to look like doofs, loosers, and incompetents. Haha, not.

Who watches sitcoms?

Women and children.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So the next stage is to actually work out a balance of equitable involvment with the children, so dad isn't this guy that disappears when he comes home, whild mom engages the kids. I know this is being solved in more and more families...

You mean, like in my own for instance?

The thing I always resented most after leaving my parents' home was to realize that no matter how much wimmin would talk about being treated well and getting guys to be a part of an equitable deal, these were issues that had to do more with their own upbringing and what they grew up not knowing how to expect than anything to do with the catch-all, homogenized concept called "society".

Whenever I hear women talking about how hard "society" makes things for them, I think to myself, "Indeed. And that is why you will never play a significant role in shaping it."

People see the world not as it is, but as they are.

deborah said...

fls:


We'd have to look it up, but I'd guess it's pretty much a 30-30-30 split, depending on the type of show. But, anymore, I may be speaking too broadly. I'm mainly thinking of shows like 'Home Improvement' and 'Everyone Loves Raymond' and commercials like the one where the family walks into the hotel room with massive, noisy construction going on outside the window, and the wife says very sarcastically, 'Great job, Harry.' Stuff like that is quite prevalent. But I'm not much of a sit-com person, so I don't know how they are now. I'll bet there's a study about it.

deborah said...

Ritmo,
Things will take a while, as in never, to straighten out. There are women not being fairly promoted and/or paid. There's a ton of BS over the Larry Summers remark, when it's actually true that men are in the very top tier of math ability (although statistically there would also be a few women). Women are judged much more harshly on their looks than men. Men are expected to kill the bunny that got mangled in the mower blades. Be careful out there. ;)

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Yeah, well, there is a sense in which marriage if it involves exclusive male sexual commitment is contrary to people behaving according to their own true natures as opposed to according to stereotype. But it's not particularly as any feminist I've heard of says. Males naturally want to have lots of sex with girls who are willing to take care of the children produced all or mostly by themselves, which sex males can't have if they can only have sex with one female or sex that necessitates male commitment of resources. Females, and more especially young females, tend to decide whom to love by copying other females, especially young females. But what is impressive, what scenester girls want and thus what a male needs to make the right impression and maintain popularity is not per se lots of girls sleeping with him, but lots of girls feeling and thinking for themselves sleeping with him. So if a male is the real deal, the sort girls naturally want, yeah he will be okay with girls coming to him from imitation. But if they don't become themselves and stop being conformists, ROARRRR!, he will attempt to punish them into obedience.

A great male, seeing he deserves to attract with piety, naturally wants to be emotionally loving—holy and possessed of togetherness feeling—for girls he sleeps with. But if a girl is reprehensible in the sense in the sense that she resists being forced to be herself, let there be no false pity, it is right that she be punished into obedience. An exception, I'm inclined to think, would be the female one loves most. I guess somehow it seems appropriate that if the girl one loves most doesn't love one enough to be herself just to be nice to one, one doesn't deserve her true self (and pity gets a little closer to the compelling region with a girl one loves most).

Anyway, when a female is behaving according to her own true nature instead of according to stereotypes, it's typically because a male has used (clean, appropriate, non-violent) force to make her so. Notwithstanding a monstrous vile depravity can and often is used by males to wrongly and immorally dominate girls, there is a kind of clean helpless feeling a girl can naturally enjoy, at least if it is associated with a male actually (cleanly) wanting her helpless (as opposed to his just wanting her to feel that way).

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Woops, though I hinted it, I forgot to say that the way males can rightly punish females is by not having emotionally loving feelings for them. That's why some people can plausibly get confused and think males dominating is more of a marriage thing. A male has to be willing to emotionally love before he can punish by withholding such love, and with most males, they probably wouldn't be willing to feel emotional love with mere mistresses, so it's not like they can punish by withholding that. I think in males emotional love has real biological effects on genetic recombination that are beneficial to the female, and doesn't have to do with producing vanity, self-esteem, etc., like some feminists, etc., might say.