Friday, November 10, 2006
Not a Victim
No, I'm not. I have a good life. Good job, great guy, and a fun hobby. I'm a lot of things, but oppressed isn't one of them.
So why do people think I have to be a victim to be a feminist? I don't get it. Just because I realize that sexism still exists (against both women and men) doesn't mean I think life sucks and I'm oppressed. It just means that I recognize it exists. It's a little hard not to notice when a guy walks up to me during a sound check and says, "Are you really the drummer? Really?" Um, no... I'm just the band's eye candy. And they let me tune the drums. Cuz that's hot.
What is so wrong with seeing people as individuals? Sure, there are gender differences. But we, as individuals, are a lot more than our gender stats. I can't help it if I have a natural urge to want to hit things. (Hey, at least I'm taking it out on the drums!) And just because most women don't play drums, does that mean I shouldn't? What do other women have to do with me?
Oh, right. We belong to the same "class". It's this class-analysis that is at the root of socialist, collectivist thinking. Excuse me while I opt out.
But hey, no whining. You offered to tune after the first set. Don't blame me!
A Psychotic Bitch on the edge of hormonal induced mass murder
A multiple personality version of the above.
A terribly abused woman seeking vengence on all men for the terible actions of one.
A Stalinist Leftist who is using feminism to push Lenins grand plan.
A princess who has gotten the first taste of the real world and is going to make people pay for losing the peak of princess priveleges
You don't fit the mold so you confuse them. By the way I may have missed one so please tell us if their are more standard boxes.
The question is why do women find it so hard to step away from Feminism? It is not a fair or rational thing & it is not personalised as one often sees described in contexts like this.
You views are your views Drumgurl & personally, I agree with them. But they are not Feminism or even close.
I have created a pro-men website and was wondering if you would consider listing it as an external link on your site. I will be happy to add a reciprocal link back to your site in return. Thankyou for your consideration.
It's alot of fun there!!! Come check us out!!
just an opinion.
I honestly don't even know what issues "feminists" can fight for these days while keeping a straight face. Enlighten me.
I'm a feminist (not sure what kind, but I lean toward radical) who largely disagrees with the gist of this post and the subsequent MRA comments and the stereotypes of feminists as hairy-legged-man-haters, and I too will not scream "YOU SEXIST PIG" at a guy for holding a door open for me.
I honestly don't even know what issues "feminists" can fight for these days while keeping a straight face. Enlighten me.
There's equal pay for equal work, the right to go out in public without being harassed, equal representation in all branches of government and in the media, the right to sign on for the military or any other traditionally male-centric field without being assaulted and harassed for it, the dissolution of binary gender roles, an end to homophobia, transphobia, racism, an end to FGM, the right to have a few too many at a party without being raped and then being blamed for it or accused of lying about it, punitive sentencing for "honor killings" and "crimes or passion," the right to not have your value as a human being based on your physical appearance . . . you know there are books you can read. They're at the library. Enlighten yourself.
I agree with compassionspeak.
that crock of shit is the reason we haven't come up yet.
honestly, i like your blog. but that's just not okay.
"I have a unique take on feminism and therefore life in general, my career etc... I look to the left and I see the stereotype of the man-hating lesbian in flannel and Doc Martens. I look to the right and I see women like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears who portray women as ditsy and unable to manage their own lives and success. Those are the options ladies, sign up now! Dyke or Ditz. Please politely put yourselves into one of the two groups so that society knows exactly how to deal with you.
I'm a feminist and I wear high heels. So what? I believe that women have the ability to take ownership and control of our lives, our bodies, our appearances, and the markets in which we profit. To me being a feminist means having the courage to stand up for myself as a human being, and for others who may not be able to do the same. It means having the power to choose how I dress, speak, act, and work, and doing it for myself, not the masses. I believe that the last leap for feminism is convincing women to simply stop entertaining any oppression. Just be, and the rest of the world will eventually catch on!"
feminism is about equality...no one is trying to make men servants here.
oh yes, and feminists believe that women are more than pieces of meat who can be used for sexual pleasure.
(c) 2000 Sheridan Hill
I never thought I’d be the one to stick up for men’s rights. I've been a feminist since I was 14 and discovered that my 1967 Webster's Dictionary defined boy as "a male child," while girl was given as "not a boy." It started when he told me that men are afraid of women.
“Men afraid of women? No, it’s just the opposite,” I say, and run to the Web to collect gender statistics on crime and domestic abuse. In a matter of minutes, I will prove him wrong. But the facts that surface are hard to swallow. Half of spousal murders are committed by wives? No way. But there it is, a 1985 National Family Violence Survey of 6,000 cases, funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, conducted by Murray A. Straus and Richard J. Gelles at the University of New Hampshire.
Between 1975 and 1985, male-against-female domestic violence decreased, while women's violence against men increased. In Straus and Gelles' second study, in 1986, 1.8 million women suffered assaults from a husband or boyfriend, but two million men were assaulted by a wife or girlfriend.
Wait a minute. Women have good reason to fear men. We are afraid to leave our houses without the safety of deadbolts, a look in the back seat, automatic door locks and a purse-sized canister of mace like the one on my key chain. Some of us live with men who beat us black and blue. Many of the women in these studies must be fighting in self-defense.
No, says the National Family Violence Council: "The fact thatwomen had higher mean and median rates for severe violence suggests that female aggression is not merely a response to male aggression.”
For several days, I read online citations from Journal of the American Medical Association, studies from the Department of Justice, and “men’s issues” web pages, which are filled with testimonials from men who are or were abused by their spouses
A 1984 issue of the Justice Quarterly says that in domestic violence, women compensate for their size by using weapons. In 6,200 domestic abuse cases, 86 percent of women who assaulted men used weapons: guns, knives, boiling water, bricks, fireplace pokers and baseball bats. Only a quarter of men who assaulted women used weapons.
Mothers kill their children. After surveying murder cases in large urban counties in 1988, the U.S. Department of Justice reported that women made up more than half the defendants (55 percent) in cases involving parents killing their offspring. (1994-95 U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics Publications Catalog, publication #. NCJ 43498, “Murder in Families
In May, 2000, the Justice Department loudly announced the good news about domestic violence: in the years 1993 and 1998, the rate at which American women were attacked or threatened by loved ones (husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends) declined 21 percent. The Associated Press stories buried the statistics for men: the number of men who were attacked by wives or girlfriends remained stable, with 160,000 attacks both years.
The good news in the new Justice Department stats is this: Women may be attacking their men as much as ever, but they are apparently less successful at actually killing them: the number of men killed by wives or girlfriends declined 60 percent from 1976 through 1998, representing a steady 4% decline each year.
But the abuses committed -- and untold -- by women are widescale. Women are responsible for one-third of the sexual abuse of boys, according to the Dec. 2, 1998 Journal of the American Medical Association. Women pressure boys emotionally by saying something like, “If you don't do it, you're not a man, and I'll tell everyone."
Matt Vegh, a Canadian charter rights advocate, has spent two years assisting male victims of domestic violence in the provincial courtrooms of Ontario, Canada.
"Make absolutely no mistake," Vegh said. "Women can smoke dope, booze it up, throw a fist, wield a knife, use a gun, beat their spouse, and beat their kids. It is a type of violence that is ignored, condoned, and treated as frivolous by a justice system that survives by feeding on the one individual who is easily stereo-typed, lacks public sympathy, does not raise fear of reprisal in politicians, and often does not fight back."
Vegh recently took a month-long sabbatical to the Arizona mountains, where he mused that the most important service he offers his clients is not legal advice, but simply to believe in them. To listen. “These men are victimized by their spouses and then ridiculed by a justice system that denies what has happened to them,” he said. “They are stereotyped, labeled, and unheard by any authority. The human toll is staggering.”
As the weeks go by, I talk it over with three men friends, and am shocked to find that all of them were abused by either their mother or their wife.
“My life would have to be in danger before I would hit a woman,” says my friend Al. "I took a lot of scratches and bruises from my wife over the years because she knew I wouldn’t hit her back. But it will affect me for the rest of my life. It demoralizes you. It makes you almost dysfunctional with the opposite sex. People don’t understand; it’s not a matter of being more powerful.” Al never sought counseling to heal from spousal abuse because, “It’s shameful to talk about being beat up by a woman.”
I understand why women might be angry. We are beaten, too. Our mothers and our grandmothers and our great-grandmothers have lost hundreds of years skulking in the shadows, laboring quietly and longing desperately for the glance that says, “You are my equal”; looking and working our best and waiting patiently for the promotion, the hand up, the acknowledgement of a job well done, the camaraderie for chrissake.
But my feminist ideals are crumbling against the gender truths of the new millinneum. Boys are shorted in school, too. In Atlantic Magazine (May, 2000), Christina Hoff Sommers refutes the landmark studies of the past three decades and demands that boys, not girls, are the emotional and academic underdogs. Hoff says that data from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics, and university studies show that” girls get better grades, have higher educational aspirations, outnumber boys in student government, honor societies, on school newspapers, and in debating boys.
Girls read more books, outperform boys on tests for artistic and musical ability. On the other hand, more boys than girls are suspended from school. More are held back and more drop out. Boys are three times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. More boys than girls are involved in crime, alcohol, and drugs. Girls attempt suicide more often than boys, but it is boys who more often succeed. In 1997, a typical year, 4,483 young people aged five to twenty-four committed suicide: 701 females and 3,782 males.
“A boy today, through no fault of his own, finds himself implicated in the social crime of shortchanging girls. Yet the allegedly silenced and neglected girl sitting next to him is likely to be the superior student. She is probably more articulate, more mature, more engaged, and more well-balanced. At the same time, he is uncomfortably aware that he is considered to be a member of the favored and dominant gender.”
Mary Matalin was right when she wrote in a 1993 Newsweek column: “We are not victims; our daughters are not infants; our sons are not brutes; our men are not monstrous pigs.” If women hate the idea that only men can be strong, we’d better reject the myth that only women can be gentle. If we aspire to leadership, it’s time we take responsibility for our own capacity to abuse and victimize others.
As for me, I am weary of the gender war. Besides, men don’t look so scary as as they did when I was in my 20s and 30s. Today, they just look like people walking down the street.
I think that in a lot of cases we have no choice but to think of things along the lines of class and gender: of course we are more than the statistic we represent, but when we are trying to analyze the world and our culture, these things need to be taken into consideration. Class differences (sad as this may be) do indeed make a difference in the way women (and men) approach the world and their lives.
You don't have to be a victim to be a feminist, obviously; nor do you have to victimize yourself to realize that sexism exists. Awareness is often enough; activism is even better.
Is feminism nothing else bullying?
Check out my blog at http://euginic.blogspot.com/ and feel free to leave a comment.
I ask you, who defines beauty? Who tells you that stilettos are sexy? Who woke up one day and said "I will be powerful if I stick on a pair of stilts"? Consider where these ideas came from. You may think that it is beauty you are claiming to attain, while promoting yourself as a feminist. But, ask where these beliefs stemmed from? It is only when we realize where our generally held beliefs came from that we can truly change women's place in society. I think the rest of your message is a powerful one, and I agree with you. I agree that feminism has its place and that what I percieve to be a kind of "anti-feminism" (concurrent to a kind of "anti-intellectual" movement) is disturbing. Although we have attained a kind of legal equality, we have not attained a social one (as one suggested on this blog), nor a cultural one. The flight continues ladies, and I don't need to appologize for being dissapointed, or enraged, or quiet or loud, or butch or femme, or lesbian or strait, or male or female, or masculine or feminine. Neither do you. I am a feminist, and regardless of the unnessisary sterotyping and "unti-feminist" propoganda I have been witness to, I refuse to back down from that definition of myself (I have many others...as do we all).
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