Feminism/Sexism and Gaming/Geek/Popular culture Catch All

kazooka wrote:

I've never been under the impression that the Men's Rights movement was a "young" thing. A lot of the most vociferous supporters seem to have gone through ugly divorces. Also, the reactionary politics and attitudes towards rape suggest an age range more appropriate for a Republican senatorial candidate rather than a college kid. Then again, I've never even met one of these people, so I guess I don't know who they are.

Well in my area, also Texas, men have a recent history of really getting boned when it comes to child custody, alimony, child support, parental rights, and adoptions. The norm was 60 percent of a man's salary, mother got full custody, father got alternating weekend visits, even with abuse or neglect it was a terribly expensive uphill battle for fathers to get primary custody away from ex wives. The law still is in most states that a father must raise a paternity dispute within 18 months of birth or will have to pay support on the child regardless of his lack of paternity.

These are the major areas I have seen father and men's rights advocates focusing on in my area, and in the nation at large. With over half of marriages ending in divorce, with over 80% of divorces filed by women, this is a substantial issue in the country.

Many states have especially gender biased rape and statutory rape laws, but also enforcement. The largest issue is the disparity among consenting minors and consenting minors with sex photos or tapes. The male is highly likely to be registered as an offender, tried as an adult. In states like New Jersey, among the strictest rape laws in the US affirmative and verbal consent is needed to engage in sex. A girl can throw herself at a male and he may still be guilty of rape. There is proprietorial bias when it comes to mutual intoxication and a presumption of aggression among males in most US states. IE two drunk or high people hook up at a party, neither one could consent, but rape is presumed on the part of the male.

KingGorilla: The fact that men do get treated unfairly in custody battles and sometimes other divorce matters is indeed a real problem. Unfortunately the Men's Rights movement as it exists on the internet seems to be less focusing on actual problems and more focusing on outright hating women, which is what people have been talking about when they talk about MRA.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has declared some MRA groups to be hate groups. Here's some examples: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informe...

More importantly, for some reasons many MRA's blame those "Unfair men's issues" on feminism. By some twisted logic they look at a society where the laws have been dictated by men with almost no exception, and conclude that the result is somehow caused by feminism.

I've yet to meet an MRA who actually accepts the idea behind Patriarchy, and understands that almost every issue they complain about with regards to "men's rights" are a result of the gender roles that feminism is fighting against.

Exactly. The laws favoring women in custody battles were almost certainly passed by majority-male legislatures (I don't know of any place in the USA where there is a majority-female legislator) and are being enforced by judges, the majority of which are still male. The reason why is the perception that women should raise the children and men are less essential to the process, which is one of the very things that feminists are trying to fight.

Demyx wrote:

The Southern Poverty Law Center has declared some MRA groups to be hate groups. Here's some examples: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informe...

...Wow, so this is something far, far uglier and more worrying than I thought. The More You Know.

Membership of the club seems to be in the mouth of the speaker, I find. As I said upthread, you need to pay an annual fee and you get a membership card to be a member of the NRA. If women can say that Ann Sinclair is not a feminist, even when she calls herself one (Wife of Mr Strauss-Khan). I get to say that those groups are not really concerned with areas of sex and gender inequality affecting men's lives.

Bill O'Reilly calls himself an environmentalist. Is he really?

Uh, I said MRA, not NRA. There are people who are members of both but that's not really the issue :p

I get that there are legitimate Men's and Father's Rights people who have nothing to do with those hate sites, but unfortunately those hate sites have kind of co-opted the term Men's Rights and that's what people are often talking about when they complain about MRAs.

That is the issue with self reporting groups, the variance is great.

I often wonder what Susan B. Anthony would say when a porn star or some teen pop go go dancer calls herself feminist. Or her reaction to the Republican counter-feminist movement by women (that is how Hitler got elected after all).

But I think most of us here know that those sites have as much to do with male gender equality and prejudicial issues, as most of what has been said about Birth Control or Gay Rights from the Catholic Church has to do with religious freedoms.

But on a crazy note, I tend to inform myself a bit. I lack the delusion to think that Gloria Steinman will somehow slap an apron on me and take off my shoes, give my degree to my wife, and impregnate me with some bizarre male butt baby. I do however think that the fact that vasectomy was not part of the ACA family planning mandate stinks of gender bias.

A porn star or "teen pop go go dancer" can absolutely be feminist. I'm not sure what the problem is there.

Those sites may not have much to do with men's rights, but if you see people talking about MRAs on the internet they probably do mean sites like that. I'm not saying it's a good thing. I'm saying that's probably what the Giant Bomb commenter was talking about, which is how this conversation started in the first place.

I didn't ask you, I asked Susan B Anthony; let her answer before you pipe in. That is just rude.

Well, Susan B. Anthony doesn't have internet access, so I'm asking you if you think those sorts of women can't be feminists while she's waiting for the Comcast guy.

Demyx wrote:

I'm saying that's probably what the Giant Bomb commenter was talking about, which is how this conversation started in the first place.

Since it was in a thread about the issues women face in an industry, I'd say almost certainly.

The irony that the one cited, legit-seeming male issue would be best addressed by elevating women in the workplace should be lost on no one.

Incidentally, feminism is a school of thought, and as a school of thought, it doesn't exactly have Rules like a karate class. I sometimes say I have an existentialist view, doesn't mean I'm congruent with Camus. It's silly and bizarre to think that way.

KingGorilla wrote:

I do however think that the fact that vasectomy was not part of the ACA family planning mandate stinks of gender bias.

I can't speak to that. As a Canadian, my vasectomy was covered by our wonderful health care system. However, I have to ask where that gender bias would be from... I mean surely not putting vasectomies on a family planning mandate being an issue of gender bias would suggest that somehow it's not covered because it's for men? Does that sound likely, given that it is almost CERTAIN that the people involved in deciding if it should be covered are mostly men? Or perhaps it's for purely financial reasons.. (i.e. the cost benefit analysis indicated that any bad press from it would not be enough to offset the savings from it not being covered?)

Edited: All men to mostly men.. although it's likely to be all men.

Eh, vasectomy not being part of it sounds more like oversight than anything else. A single example isn't really evidence of bias.

Demyx wrote:

Well, Susan B. Anthony doesn't have internet access, so I'm asking you if you think those sorts of women can't be feminists while she's waiting for the Comcast guy.

Of course they CAN be feminists but how many people would take them seriously? And since every single feminist doesn't look at situations the same way, I'm sure there would be a few of them that might scoff at a porn star standing up for the rights of women. Porn stars (men and women) do what some people would consider incredibly degrading "work". I myself would have a hard time (taking both men and women in the porn industry) because I don't believe that their job speaks well for the rights of women or men. Personal opinion of course.

Good thing being a feminist isn't really about what other people think of you.

The list of official feminists will be determined by a government committee...of men.

SixteenBlue wrote:

Eh, vasectomy not being part of it sounds more like oversight than anything else. A single example isn't really evidence of bias.

Actually, this makes more sense as a feminist issue. Surgical birth control is far and away the most reliable, and vasectomy is much lower-risk than tubal ligation. (Or other forms of contraception like hormones or IUDs.) To bias people away from it as a form of birth control does practical harm to women who are driven to riskier and less reliable techniques. And IMO the reason is rooted in patriarchal attitudes toward masculinity, not The Woman keeping The Man down.

Similarly, prejudicial treatment of mothers in custody cases is rooted in notions like mother-as-nurturer and man-as-breadwinner that are fundamentally patriarchal.

I think KG is right that men do sometimes get raw deals in our society. But the source of those raw deals is the Patriarchy, and the advocates of true "men's rights" in that sense...are feminists.

The Conformist wrote:

Of course they CAN be feminists but how many people would take them seriously? And since every single feminist doesn't look at situations the same way, I'm sure there would be a few of them that might scoff at a porn star standing up for the rights of women. Porn stars (men and women) do what some people would consider incredibly degrading "work". I myself would have a hard time (taking both men and women in the porn industry) because I don't believe that their job speaks well for the rights of women or men. Personal opinion of course.

I would take them seriously.

Yes, there are some feminists who would not, but that doesn't mean that the porn star isn't a feminist.

Engaging in degrading work doesn't mean your opinion suddenly does not matter. If you think porn is degrading to everybody, that's a valid opinion, but the primary reason why porn is considered anti-feminist or misogynistic is because people make it that way.

Some women actually enjoy making porn. Some female porn stars see that a lot of mainstream porn is misogynistic and aim to make porn that isn't, porn where women are treated respectfully, porn that is not just a man's fantasy but also a woman's. That is not the way a lot of women would choose to be feminist, but it's still valid.

Gay porn might even be the most feminist porn of all, on multiple levels.

... I don't even know if I'm joking anymore.

I only watch gay porn.

clover wrote:

Good thing being a feminist isn't really about what other people think of you.

So many +1s I've run out.

Also, what's degrading about porn other than the society that looks down its nose at it? It would be staggeringly hypocritical of me to criticise anyone who appeared in porn. I say Yay for all those people who provide a service to us all.

Also, more broadly, lets not marginalise the voices of those whose lives we find distasteful (for whatever reason)

Ooops double post

The Conformist wrote:

Of course they CAN be feminists but how many people would take them seriously? And since every single feminist doesn't look at situations the same way, I'm sure there would be a few of them that might scoff at a garbage collector standing up for the rights of women. Garbage collectors (men and women) do what some people would consider incredibly degrading "work". Personal opinion of course.

I can see where such an ad might not sit right with you, but thankfully PETA doesn't speak for all animal rights folks any more than the NRA does for all gun owners, or NOW or Planned Parenthood does for all feminists.

The Conformist wrote:

I could be wrong, but never in the history of porn watching has a man or woman watched a porn video and thought to themselves "I really respect that woman/man's intelligence in choosing such a productive and dignified carrer". Not saying that the men and women in the port industry aren't intelligent, just that the choice may not be the wisest if you are going to speak out on feminism.

You know what's interesting, though? I think (and I literally mean think, I can't be certain and am not pretending I am) you and many others have seen porn with both a man and a woman. And, on reflection of what choices have brought those people to doing porn, probably thought of things like lack of self-respect, desperation, parental issues, etc in the case of the woman. In the case of the man, on the other hand, I imagine it's "he's just kinda... doing porn. Cuz he's a dude." Not that you would think highly of the guy, just probably not associate so many reasons as to why the guy in the porn is a damaged human being.

So there is something to be said for people who think they're fighting that paradigm. If they're effective or not is a whole other matter, though.

The Conformist wrote:

fighting for the right (in my opinion) as a man or woman to be treated with respect, dignity and equality and then waking up in the morning and shooting a porn that has you hog tied to a inflatable purple dinosour while taking one up the kiester is a tad (hypocritical)different than running a morning garbage route in slacks.

They're just jobs. As long as the people involved are engaging in the gamut of professional possibilities where everyone concedes to the activities performed, why would there be a difference? What makes that hypocritical?

I have to ask, since this has bugged me for a while:

What's so undignified about capturing yourself on film and then selling it? Is it because some of you may consider sex as a degrading act? I've always been taught that it was a beautiful activity, and one of the most blessings God has given to us. Is it selectively degrading for women to engage in sex, but not for men?

LarryC wrote:

I have to ask, since this has bugged me for a while:

What's so undignified about capturing yourself on film and then selling it? Is it because sex is a degrading act? I've always been taught that it was a beautiful activity, and one of the most blessings God has given to us.

I was just going to make a post like this.

There's nothing undignified or worthy of disrespect about consensual, safe sex, no matter how kinky.

LarryC wrote:

I have to ask, since this has bugged me for a while:

What's so undignified about capturing yourself on film and then selling it? Is it because some of you may consider sex as a degrading act? I've always been taught that it was a beautiful activity, and one of the most blessings God has given to us.

I think the basic notion is that you're taking something private and/or sacred (depending on your view) and making it public for cheap attention to an end of degrading the act itself. While that certainly can't apply to every case, I believe that's the general complaint by people on one level or another.