Monday, August 17, 2009

Odds 'N Ends

1. Feminists Like Men More than Non-Feminists Do

No matter how untrue, some memes never die. I'm referring to, of course, asinine stereotypes about feminists. Anti-feminists like to perpetuate the idea that all feminists are ugly, man-hating, lesbian bull-dykes. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being ugly or lesbian, many feminists actually do take issue with the man-hating label. The "man-hating" stereotype continues mostly because it benefits anti-feminists. It makes Men Opposed to Feminism feel not like the victimizers they are, but like victims.

Because feminism often takes men out of the centered norm they've been comfortable sitting for hundreds (thousands?) of years, some men undoubtedly do feel somewhat "attacked" by feminism and/or feminists. Yet, by accusing feminists of hating men, they are able to single-handedly shift the focus, once again, back onto men. Nothing a feminist or a woman says about her experience in the world can be valid, the story goes, she's just saying those things because She Hates Men.

Yet, what if Real Scientific evidence found that feminists don't really hate men?

Via the f word blog, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Houston (n=488) found that feminists reported less hostility towards men than non-feminists. And:

"Our work finds that, indeed, non-feminists believe in traditional gender roles such as men being breadwinners and women being caregivers. At the same time, these non-feminists actually appear to resent the confines of the traditional roles they advocate, which presents a paradox for women and men in traditional heterosexual relationships.... Traditional women have more investment in traditional gender roles in which they are both dependent on men and frustrated and subordinated by male dominance."

I am eagerly awaiting a response from the Ladies Against Feminism. Come on ladies, tell us how you really feel about the gents.

2. Leaving Out Important Details

Previously, I wrote about mass murderer George Sodini's misogyny and that his entitlement towards the bodies of women seemingly justified, at least in his mind, targeting random women to murder. In light of the fact that his rampage was a gender-based hate crime, I found the focus of this Salt Lake City Tribute headline to be... strange:

"Diary of madman conveys racial hatred"


Yet, most of his diary conveyed a hatred of, resentment of, and entitlement to women- you know, the members of the class he murdered. It is in these small details that violence against women that is based on their womanhood is marginalized. It feeds into the larger narrative that says violence against women is not actually widespread, unlike Bad Things like racial hatred. Yes, racism is bad and pervasive, but in the context of an anti-woman hate crime, is it appropriate to take the focus off the fact that this guy really hated women and instead highlight his somewhat less relevant racial hatred?

It's sort of like the headline is telling us that Sodini's misogyny, by itself, wasn't enough to tip him into Bad Guy territory. Like, it had to assure us all that he had racial hatred, the evilness of which speaks for itself.

3. Set-Asides For Gay Businesses?

Chicago's only openly-gay Alderman tom Tunney re-opened a debate as to whether the city should establish contract set-asides for businesses owned by LGBT people.

While my mind isn't made up on this issue, I lean towards opposing this new set-aside. For one, the city, like many throughout the nation, already has a construction contract set-aside for businesses owned by minorities and women. Thus, as Tunney has acknowledged, "the perception is this would only enhance gay white males." I think that's a valid point, yet that perception is flawed because it overlooks transgender people. Currently, there is no set-aside for transgender men or women, per se. Moreso than gay white men, I think it's reasonable to assume that transgender people on average might have more issues as far as access to credit, business loans, and contracts go.

But, that's just an assumption. So, I think the city's taking the right step in looking into research regarding "quantifiable discrimination in terms of access to credit and financial issues."

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