Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is It Really Up To Feminists To Create All Pushback?

 [TW/content note: Violence, misandry, rape culture]

In a post at Feminist Critics, ballgame writes of a actress producer who uses the word "hilarious" to describe the TV show "Snapped," a show where, according to her, women snap and kill their husbands. Ballgame contrasts the lack of a "firestorm" over this quote to the Big Deal that feminists made over Daniel Tosh's rape "joke" and incitement of rape against a female audience member.

He ends:

"Well, the article in Salon is pretty fresh, so maybe there will be some pushback about this.

I’m not holding my breath."

Like, I would suspect, many feminists, I don't think the TV show "Snapped" is "hilarious," and I think the actress's producer's quote describing it as such is reprehensible. 

So my thought is (aside from the fact that men are also raped, and so pushing back against Tosh's comment does actually affect men too), what exactly is stopping men and men's rights activists from writing about this incident and creating pushback of their own? Or, is engaging in those activities "women's work" that women and feminists are expected to shoulder while the men sit back and tell us how wrong we're doing gender stuff?

I mean, judging by some of the comments ballgame's post inspired, some MRAs seem 100% convinced that Amanda Marcotte and other feminists are single-handedly responsible for creating the Bumbling Dad/Husband narrative in the media and that, if one woman anywhere ever says that it's hilarious for men to die, then all women everywhere, and especially feminists, think it's hilarious when violence is inflicted upon men.

I mean, that level of irrationality can only be inspired by extreme stupidity, utter ignorance of feminism and feminists, or sheer hatred. And.... feminists would want to ally ourselves with that, why again?

It's as though, by not writing about misandry as much as misogyny, some people think that feminists are somehow more responsible for violence against men than are the actual people committing the violence against men.

So, here's the thing. Speaking only for myself, since you know, feminists aren't a monolithic hivemind, I have limited time and resources to devote to blogging. Nor does the world have a shortage of topics to write about with respect to gender and the ways in which society reinforces sexism and gender-based hatred against all people.

If I were to devote more of my time and energy to initiating efforts to condemn people who think violence against men is "hilarious," which I do condemn, it takes away from time I could be spending condemning people who think violence against women, rape, and homophobic jokes are trivial matters or entertaining. Or, relatedly, from countering anti-feminists who lie, attack, and generalize about feminism.

Unfortunately, from this set of circumstances, male entitlement is on full display as men's rights activists ignore or actively work against many of the issues that feminists center while nonetheless expecting feminists to, at the very least, devote just as much time critiquing the issues they find important as we do critiquing the issues we find important. And, when we do not do so, they assume the worst about our motives and suggest or outright state that not centering men, or even not knowing of and writing about every single incident of misandry that has ever occurred, is proof that we hate men and that we think it's so funny when men die, get kicked in the balls, have heart attacks, get drafted, and work in unsafe occupations.

Nevermind the fact that it's gender essentialist anti-feminists who often promote the most misandric narratives about male disposability and masculinity. Nevermind that it's often men who think they have a monopoly on what counts as funny and that what often counts as funny, to them, are jokes about getting hit in the balls. Nevermind the fact that it's often men and anti-feminists who push men into dangerous occupations and narratives of self-sacrificial heroism under the banner of alleged Authentic Manhood and force women out of those occupations and roles with harassment and gender policing.


The fixation, for many men's rights activists, is almost always centered on criticizing feminism.

So, back to ballgame's point. While we can repeat ad nauseum that we condemn violence against men, I hope it would be obvious why many feminists don't feel especially compelled to take on the additional work of initiating "firestorms" on behalf of men while those who purport to advocate for men seem to be most busy devoting their time and efforts to demolishing, ridiculing, discrediting, and maligning feminism.

For, it's also notable, and overlooked by ballgame, that even though a "firestorm" ensued about Tosh's commentary, those creating the pushback did have to endure a lot of reprehensible comments and threats in response. It's not like post-Toshgate everyone is now totally enlightened about rape culture and, welp, that's all settled so we can all now move on to other topics! The firestorm didn't just magically appear in the media with a blink of the feminist eye. Actual people put actual work into blogging, writing, tweeting, re-tweeting, re-posting, calling out, and critiquing- and these actual people received an incredible amount of pushback of their own for doing so.

Like I said, there's no shortage of gender issues to keep talking about. Nor is there a shortage of feminist critics. Nor is there a shortage of non-feminists who inform feminists and the world about the more important matters feminists should really be prioritizing instead of what we are prioritizing. (What there does seem to be a shortage of, however, are men who are effective in getting men's rights activists to actually do things that advance mens' rights).

Relatedly, I wasn't even aware of this "Snapped" incident until I read about it on Feminist Critics. I regularly read a handful of men's rights or purportedly "gender egalitarian" blogs and those are only the ones that aren't as horribly and explicitly misogynistic and/or anti-feminist as many MRA sites are.

Like myself, I would suspect that many women and feminists avoid other sites that might be talking about this incident precisely because, no matter how much we might care about men's issues, we're not going to subject ourselves to reading repeated misogynistic and anti-feminist rantings. So, another issue to consider is how the misogyny and anti-feminism of so many MRAs might be contributing to the relative lack of attention these incidents receive from feminists. It's unfair and unrealistic to expect us to be writing about issues we don't have knowledge of due to the fact that so many MRA forums are incredibly hostile toward women and feminists, and then to infer from that that we're hypocrites who hate men.

So, seriously, what about the menz and why aren't they initiating serious pushback about those who find it "hilarious" when men are killed? Why aren't they expected to do so to the extent that feminists are expected to do so? I mean, really, in what rational universe should it be a referendum on feminism, rather than on the men's rights movement, that no serious pushback has resulted from this incident?

What exactly does it accomplish for men with respect to the issue of male disposability and violence against men to further malign feminism, whether explicitly or implicitly, for the lack of pushback?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Journal Audit Finds Severe Flaws in Regnerus Study

An internal audit, scheduled to be published in the November issue of the journal in which the study was originally published, has found significant problems with the Regnerus study.

Social Science Research's editor James D. Wright assigned Darren E. Sherkat, a sociology professor and member of the editorial board, to conduct the audit:
"Among the problems Sherkat identified is the paper’s definition of 'lesbian mothers' and 'gay fathers'—an aspect that has been the focus of much of the public criticism. A woman could be identified as a 'lesbian mother' in the study if she had had a relationship with another woman at any point after having a child, regardless of the brevity of that relationship and whether or not the two women raised the child as a couple....
"Because of how the paper was written, Sherkat said, it would have been easy to miss Regnerus’s explanation of who qualified as 'lesbian mothers' and 'gay fathers.' If a reviewer were to skip ahead to the statistics in the table, it would be understandable, he said, to assume that the children described there were, in fact, raised by a gay or lesbian couple for a significant portion of their childhoods. In reality, only two respondents lived with a lesbian couple for their entire childhoods, and most did not live with lesbian or gay parents for long periods, if at all." [emphasis added]
 These facts, according to Sherkat, should have disqualified the study from publication. 

I highlighted the first portion of the second paragraph to re-iterate the question I asked in this post. Given that groups opposed to homosexuality and/or same-sex marriage are misusing this study, in part because of the way Regnerus erroneously categorized people as "gay" or "lesbian," what responsibility does he have to condemn the misuse and misinterpretation of his research?

Secondly, notice the other portion of the paragraph I highlighted. Since many opponents of same-sex marriage still do not seem to fully understand the critiques being rendered, and just how deeply flawed this study is, read that. Re-read it. Let it settle in awhile.

Only two adult children of people Regnerus categorized as having grown up in a "same-sex household" had lived with a lesbian couple for their entire childhood. Two.

Related: The Regnerus New Family Structures Study 

Cross-posted: Family Scholars Blog

Friday, July 27, 2012


 [TW/content note: violence, misogyny]

Because it's Friday, I'm lazy, and I thought the comment to be an incredible display of male privilege, this post's inspiration is primarily from an exchange at Shakesville, where Liss noted the latest round of gender essentialist narratives people have written about the Aurora shooting.

Riffing off of Hanna Rosin's piece, which I wrote about earlier this week, Bill Bennett conflates heroism and self-sacrifice with "traditional manhood" in writing about three men who took bullets so that others could live.

While yes, I do think these men are honorable and heroic, one commenter following the piece pointed out that several women also risked their lives to save other people. Hir point was that heroism and self-sacrifice isn't a "man thing," as Bennett argues, it is a thing that many humans do, no matter their gender.

So while these men are worthy of admiration and respect, it's rude and reality-denying to invisibilize the many women who are also heroes and who perform heroic acts, including remaining silent about the women who acted heroically in Aurora, just because it doesn't fit into a conservatively-correct, gender-essentialist narrative.

It was then that another commenter chimed in with a bit of depressingly hilarious commentary:
"Heaven forbid that a white male might get a little recognition."
Because historically, you know, that's always been a very large problem for "white males." None of the hero narratives ever get to be about them.

In other news, the ever-abominable James Taranto tweeted: "I hope the girls whose boyfriends died to save them were worthy of the sacrifice."

You know what most mainstream commentators still aren't talking about or exploring? How the vast majority of these types of shootings are committed by men or teenaged boys.

So, look at that. Here's a really big opportunity people have to really center men and the poor "white male," and yet those who love centering him in all conversations, especially in service of their male supremacist narratives, are resoundingly silent.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

American College of Pediatricians Misuses Regnerus Study in Amicus Brief

Just as many LGBT people and allies feared, Regnerus' flawed study on parenting has just been misused in an Amicus Brief opposing equal rights for same-sex couples.

In California, Lambda Legal is representing a woman in a legal, same-sex marriage who was denied spousal benefits by her employer because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The case is currently before the 9th Circuit, where more background and the relevant briefs and filings can be found.

The American College of Pediatricians is a socially-conservative group that has self-published a variety of position papers opposing "the promotion of homosexuality in schools," touting the "considerable risks to children exposed to the homosexual lifestyle" in part because of an alleged increase risk of violence in same-sex households, and ironically, promoting the infliction of physical violence upon children for disciplinary purposes. The organization should not be confused with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In their Amicus Brief to the 9th Circuit, the American College of Pediatricians breathlessly reports (PDF):
"The court below did not have at its disposal access to the most current research on child outcomes for children raised by same-sex couples [sic]. A brand new study in the peer-reviewed journal Social Science Research uses a large random national sample to assess these outcomes.... It looked at 'social behaviors,health behaviors, and relationships' comparing child outcomes (as reported by the adult children rather than by those who raised them)  among various groups including married biological parents (labeled as IBF for “intact biological family') and children raised by same-sex couples [sic] (labeled LM for lesbian mothers [sic] and GF for gay fathers [sic])."
The organization then goes on to report the negative outcomes of children, in their erroneous words, "raised by two women." This reference is in service of their broader support of DOMA, and their argument that research shows that children raised by same-sex couples have "differences that do not bode well for children."

As I have written before, and has been widely reported and acknowledged, Regnerus' study is not not NOT about "same-sex parents" or "same-sex couples." It is, in Regnerus' own words, a study that compares:
"how the young-adult children of a parent who has had a same-sex romantic relationship fare on 40 different social, emotional, and relational outcome variables when compared with six other family-of-origin types." [emphasis added]
Note the difference. A parent who has ever had a same-sex relationship is not necessarily a parent who is part of a same-sex couple or who raised a child with a same-sex partner. It is inaccurate, therefore, for the College of Pediatricians to claim that the study is looking at children "raised by same-sex couples."

Unfortunately, Regnerus contributes to the confusion by, within the study, calling parents who have ever had a same-sex relationship while raising a child a "same-sex household," and calling such parents, no matter their actual sexual orientation "lesbian mothers" and "gay fathers." While he may not have been acting in bad faith, his inaccurate, imprecise, and- yes-  irresponsible labeling does lend itself quite easily to misuse and misinterpretation.

I know that some have argued that the best way to counter a flawed study is for a different study to come along and rebut it, but I hope people who argue that can understand how frustrating it is to have to sit tight and, in the meantime, monitor how political groups are mis-using this study. The Regnerus study is out there in the public forum now, and in a peer-reviewed journal. Groups, especially those with anti-equality agendas, are going to continue to cite it, misuse, and misinterpret it.

So, I'm left wondering, how many more of these posts am I, and other LGBT people and allies, going to have to write in clarification and rebuttal? Is it really my job, or the job of any other LGBT person, to make sure people are using studies fairly and honestly, or do researchers, organizations, adults in a purportedly civil society contributing to the public discourse have any ethical or moral responsibility to be fair and honest in their use of research?

In the past, researchers have spoken up instances of their research being misused and/or misinterpreted for political purposes.

In this case, would it be the responsible course of action for Regnerus to acknowledge and denounce this misuse/misinterpretation of his research, especially given its admitted flaws?

[Cross-posted: Family Scholars Blog]

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lady Astronauts

Just because American astronaut and physicist Sally Ride has been in news and blogs a lot after she passed away, I'd like to bring your attention to a book I reviewed a few years ago about The Mercury 13. 

In it, Martha Ackmann recounts the thirteen female pilots who, in 1959, underwent much of the same astronaut testing that was done on male pilots, did very well in the testing, and in some aspects outperformed the men, only to have NASA shut down the testing because the leadership and politicians saw no point in allowing women in space.

Testifying in support of the discriminatory status quo, astronaut John Glenn, who wasn't even aware of the testing, mansplained:
"I think this gets back to the way our social order is organized, really. It is just a fact. The men go off and fight the wars and fly the airplanes and come back and help design and build and test them. The fact that women are not in this field is a fact of our social order. It may be undesirable."
Because of stereotyped-based resistance such as this, Sally Ride, the first American woman to enter space, did not do so until 1983.

[La la la a bunch of empty space. I hate the new blogger interface!]

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rosin: "Onslaught" of Women in Lucrative Careers Explains Why Men Died in Aurora

 [TW/content note: violence]

I've read several dozen articles about the Colorado shooting, but Hanna Rosin's in Slate is the grossest so far.

In it, Rosin somehow links the "man crisis" to this incident:
"The families in Aurora, like the families in most once-prosperous middle-class American towns, no longer look like they did. After a series of recessions, the men aren’t working as steadily, and far fewer people are married. Several women were at the midnight showing with infants and toddlers, presumably because there was no one else at home to watch them. The woman who took her 6-year-old to the movie–the 6-year-old who died–was living with her own father, the girl’s grandfather. Jonathan Blunk has an ex-wife and two children in Nevada. His ex, Chantel, was also speaking on the morning shows. On the Today show interview, Jansen Young, the girlfriend Blunk saved, mentioned that Jonathan was thinking about re-enlisting in the Navy. She attributed that to his undying heroism, but it may also have to do with the fact that he, like a few guys in the theater, was working at Target and surely not making enough money to support one family, much less two. Young, meanwhile, had just finished getting her veterinarian degree, becoming the latest in an onslaught of women who have taken over that lucrative profession, which was not very long ago dominated by men.

None of these life details are meant to detract from the men's heroism. They are only meant to make it more poignant, and even beautiful. As I’ve traveled to different middle-class towns that are struggling after the recession to report my book The End of Men, I’ve found a strained and touching effort to redefine the roles of men. They are often not the breadwinners because in that slice of America, women are often financially better off than the men....
Throwing your body in front of your girlfriend when people all around you are getting shot is an instinct that's basic, and deeper. It’s the same reason these Batman and Spider-Man franchises endure: Because whatever else is fading away, women still seem to want their superhero, and men still seem to want to be him." [emphasis added; link removed to Amazon listing of Rosen's book. Because really, isn't the important thing here how people can make a buck off this tragedy, promote their books, and improve their Amazon ranking?]
Er...  what?

The framing of "the men" (which men? all men? some men?) as deeply and essentially heroic and "the women" (which women? all women? some women?) as deeply and essentially frail victims in want and need of male protection, along with the article's title ""In the Aurora Theater the Men Protected the Women. What Does that Mean?", invisibilizes the reality that these types of mass shootings are almost always committed by members of the "hero class" - men.

It also invisibilizes the reality that women, too, often have "basic" and "deep" heroic instincts to protect and defend others, and that self-sacrifice has, also, long been defined as essential to womanhood. (Not many people, women and men, come out winning when it comes those who tell us what Real Men and Real Women are like.)

Notice too Rosin's word choice in describing one of the female victims who had just gotten her veterinarian degree as representing part of the "onslaught" of women who "have taken over" a profession that once belonged to men.


Yes, really. She said onslaught.

The only time that word can accurately be used, a word that by the way means "a violent attack," about the Aurora incident is to describe the actions of the man who engaged in the violent attack.

This inapt word choice of Rosin's, which she chose to describe, not an actual violent attack, but the act of women entering into a profession, suggests that women, with their uppity rights and career choices are actually violent aggressors against "the men," usurping man's station in life.

As though People Now Have It Coming because women have attacked men and stolen their lucrative careers, and now, well... now the only way "the men" know how to be men these days is for them to Protect Their Women. Nevermind the fact that women and girls died in this attack, so there's an interesting question, what does that mean? Is Rosin saying that, geez, men have exactly one role left in life and some of them can't even do that right?

And, pssssssst, [whispering] even though we pretend to be all independent and liberated, what we really want is a man to be our hero. Even if we're gay, I guess. And even if we want to be the superheroes. Yay for the lady monolith! (After all, this article is in Slate's special, confessional, segregated-from-the-regular-news "XX Factor: What Women Really Think" section!)

The subtext? And all of this is due to feminism and women's empowerment, of course.

And then she ends with something something mumble this incident is exactly why people are so into superhero movies featuring men. (I guess Rosin missed The Hunger Games boat?)

It's truly a reprehensible article, and a great example of that American tendency of making tragic incidents mean whatever the hell "pundits" want them to mean.

It's time for people who care so very much about this "man crisis" to start thinking of ways to make men feel okay with women's progress without (a) suggesting that women's progress is "unfair" to men and (b) suggesting that the only way left to be a Real Man is to throw oneself in front of bullets so other people can live.

If this generation of "the men" are truly unable to grow up (which I don't believe, but many "man crisis" proponents do) it's because of people like Rosin who coddle them with the entitlement to believe they've been Big-Time Wronged by women's increased entry into the workforce.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people." -NCAA President Mark Emmert

[TW/Content note: Sexual abuse, rape culture]

The NCAA has imposed a series of unprecedented penalties on Penn State due to the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. The penalties include a $60 million fine, the loss of all victories from 1998-2011 (which removes Joe Paterno from his spot as winningest college football coach), the loss of 20 scholarships per year for 4 years, and 5 years' probation.


Friday, July 20, 2012

On Tosh-gate

[TW/Content note: Rape culture]

"[The fierce debate that erupted online and in the press over Tosh’s rape joke and incitement of rape against a female audience member is really just] a fight between comedians and feminists, which are natural enemies. Because stereotypically speaking, feminists can’t take a joke." -Louis CK, "comedian"

Let me fix that for him:

The fierce debate that erupted online and in the press over Tosh's rape joke and incitement of rape against a female audience member is really just a fight between those who have the privilege of not having to think about rape from the perspective of victims and/or are too lazy and entitled to do so, and those who actually think about rape and rape culture from the perspective of victims or who have actually been raped.

I'm really just too disgusted by these entitled men, Louis CK and Daniel Tosh, to write anything more about them. These types always imagine themselves to be the Big Objective Deciders of what is and isn't truly funny in the world, and rather than sincerely thinking about how their words impact other people, they intellectually regress into toddler-hood and turn criticism into a referendum on whether or not feminists and women can ever just get a sense of humor, be funny, or take a joke. As though the problem is, primarily, not their words and choices, but PC Gone Too Far and women's/feminists' hypersensitivity.

Why Louis CK, a man who just started thinking about rape culture like 5 minutes ago, has been given a platform on Jon Stewart's show to opine upon the situation in front of a national audience and women, especially, those who write about, talk, and think about rape culture every single day from non-perpetrators' perspectives have not, is, in itself, evidence that mainstream narratives continue to marginalize the voices and perspectives of those who think about rape culture from the perspective of victims and privilege the voices of those who engage in silencing "feminists ain't funny har har har" narratives.

It is, in short, a perpetuation of rape culture.

I highly recommend Liss at Shakesville's writing on the situation.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Conversation About Boy Scouts

Over at Family Scholars Blog, David Blankenhorn proposes the following, with respect to the Boys Scouts' recent announcement that they would not change their policy prohibiting gay Scout leaders and troops:

"When I spoke to several Scout leaders about this topic several years ago, I suggested that they consider changing their policy to say something along the lines of, the Boy Scouts as an organization does not involve itself in the sexual lives of boys, will not permit Scouts or Scout leaders to act out sexually in any way under the aegis of Scouting, and rejects in general the idea of bringing topics of sexual expression into the organization, whether heterosexual or homosexual."

In response, I said:
"I support the Boy Scout’s right to define their own membership, even though I disagree with how they do so and even though I think it’s (yes, I’m going there) bigoted and heterosupremacist. 
I go back and forth about whether progressives should abandon institutions like the Boy Scouts (and many religious organizations) and create better ones than those that continue to entrench privilege, or whether we should remain and instead try to reform these flawed institutions. 
It’s a tough call for me, but I do come down on letting private associations form their own rules and membership policies. 
I also think your proposal is a good start to the conversation. (I really would have loved to have been a fly on the wall, listening to the committee that recently issued this decision, and heard whether something like this was put forth). 
With respect to this provision of your proposal: 
'and rejects in general the idea of bringing topics of sexual expression into the organization, whether heterosexual or homosexual.' 
I wonder, is it common for Boy Scout leaders to talk about marriage, being married, and having a wife? Is it common for boys in this organization to talk about girls and having crushes on them? 
I’m wary of the above-quoted provision of your proposal, because I contend that a gay scout doing the exact same thing that heterosexuals do all the time (while often taking for granted the ability to do so without being accused of 'throwing their sexualities in everyone’s faces') would be quickly accused of 'talking about sexual expression' were he to mention his husband, partner, or boyfriend. 
And, if there truly were no double standard in enforcing that provision and all mention of partners/sex/marriage were prohibited, I think it’s a bit… reality-denying. Just think, all to avoid acknowledging the reality that gay people really exist in the real world, the provision would, instead, silence people of all orientations from talking about topics related to sex, sexual orientation, or sexual expression. 
Talk about 'political correctness' (the conservative, anti-gay kind that caters to people unable to handle the reality of homosexuality) silencing people. Wow!"
What do you all think?

If the Boy Scouts instituted a Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, would that be a good, workable, or moral compromise to the issue of Gays In The Boys Scouts? Should we, progressives, just abandon this institution if it refuses to allow gay scouts and leaders? 

Or, do you see some other alternative?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Her Daughters, or Theirs?

From a review, in Smithsonian magazine, of the book Marie Curie and Her Daughters:
"As Emling [the author of the biography] writes, 'Marie's research always took precedence,' and 'Eve, in particular, came close to neglect when her girls were quite little." Still there seemed to be no shortage of love among the three women, especially once Marie's husband, Pierre, died....
Her sacrifices on behalf of science, Emling seems to say, were worth it; her daughters thrived, after all, and the world, because of Curie's tenacity and ingenuity, became a less mysterious place." 
A couple of things here.

First, the review frames this new book as though it's mostly about how Marie Curie reconciled her family life with her scientific career. I doubt any books have been written that explore how Pierre, also a scientist and the girls' father, reconciled his family life with his scientific career.

Indeed, the onus of Eve's alleged closeness to "neglect" is placed primarily upon Marie and her scientific career. For, rather than referring to Pierre as Eve's father, or a co-parent with Marie who could have assisted in staving off their child's neglect, he is referred to as "Marie's husband." As though he played no role of import in bringing her into the world and raising her.

Opponents of same-sex marriage and supporters of the so-called "traditional family" talk a lot about the importance of every child having a mother and a father but the narrative I cite that burdens solely women with the responsibilities of child-rearing, which is pretty pervasive, says pretty loudly that fathers actually aren't all that important to kids.

What's most important, this narratives likewise suggests, are husbands- breadwinners- as though a man's most important contribution to a family are monetary. At the same time, it's also obvious that the "breadwinner" role can be filled  by someone of any gender. And, putting those two thoughts together seems to cause many men distress these days. (But don't worry, they will blame feminism for this, rather than the purveyors of the narratives telling them that their only value to their families is their paycheck.)

Secondly, going back to the book review, notice how Curie's sacrifices, involving pursuing her professional ambitions, are said to seem "worth it" only because her daughters turned out okay and she won 2 Nobel prizes.

No pressure ladies! LOLZ.

I mean, really. Whether or not a man's child-rearing sacrifices seem "worth it" is just not something I've often seen said about men.

Just file this one away in the Women Can't Win series.

[Cross-posted: Family Scholars Blog]

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Further Observations on People Who Hate Men

[Content note: Child abuse, assault, suicide]

In the past few weeks, I've read the following sports-related articles:

1) An investigative report at Penn State:
 "...[F]aulted the 'culture of reverence' surrounding Penn State’s football program for leading to the Sandusky scandal. The school’s athletic department in the past several decades was perceived as an 'island' allowed to operate by its own rules, according to the report."
To recap, a man was able to hurt boys because (mostly) other men looked the other way so as to not harm the reputation of a Very Important all-male sports team and administrative staff.

2) Former NFL star Junior Seau's brain is going to be studied. Seau recently committed suicide, an act some speculate is partly due to the severe hits and concussions he received during his football career. His death is one of several high-profile suicides of former NFL players.

3) A teenage boy was paralyzed after another boy checked him during a hockey game. Checking is allowed in the boys' game but not the girls' game. From the article, the mother of a male, teenage hockey player writes:
"For 10 years [the violence] has set my nerves on edge. It is generated by parents who bang their hands on the glass and yell at their sons to Take him out! and by coaches who scream at their players to Take the body! and by everyone who shouts at the refs to Let them play the game! It is generated by refs who are so fed up with the madness that they lose control of the game, allowing teenage boys pumped up with adrenaline to get away with what they can: slashing, throwing elbows, taking runs from behind. The first time I heard a dad scream, 'Kill that kid!' in reference to Cade, he was a Mite. Six years old. I turned to look at the man and said to him, 'That kid's my son.' He rolled his eyes and walked away.
The message was clear: You don't get it."
I haven't had much to say this week, but these stories I've read have made me think, again, about the way so many know-nothings and ignorers of feminism claim that it's primarily feminists who the Big Bad Man-Haters of the world.

To such people, I say no.

It's patriarchy, defined as those who enforce and celebrate gender binary roles, who hate men.

Anti-feminists, especially those of the Title-9-Hating-Phyllis-Schlafly ilk, further claim that because feminists hate men we therefore hate sports like football because these sports are very "male" or "masculine."

Again, I say no.

You will also notice that it is often anti-feminists who are the biggest cheerleaders of the toxic model of alleged Real Manhood demonstrated by the above stories. The scripts the men and boys in these stories are acting out are models of "masculinity" representing how a society conflates physical and sexual aggression with masculinity, men, and manhood and then entitles, condones, and celebrates men and boys for engaging in these behaviors.

Make no mistake.

What many feminists hate about "macho" sports is the way the accoutrements of that culture encourage and teach men to violate the boundaries of women and other men, and how the acceptance of those violations often leak into other areas of society.

It's the rare feminist you will hear yelling, "Yeah, KILL HIM!" at a pee-wee football game.

That honor is usually reserved for the anti-feminist in the crowd who, out of the other side of hir mouth, is telling everyone how much feminists hate men.

Sadly, they don't get it.

The way feminism is so widely maligned, discredited, and loathed, I don't think they ever will.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Today's Deep Thought: On the "Color-Blind"

Whenever white people say, "I don't even see race," it seems like what they really mean is, "I don't even see racism."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Scholars Critique Regnerus Study

A group of 200 scholars has signed a critique of the Mark Regnerus New Family Structure Study.

If you remember, this study used a sketchy method for categorizing parents as "gay" and "lesbian," and households as "same-sex households." Rather than asking respondents if they were raised by two parents of the same sex, the study asked respondents if one of their parents had ever had a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex while the respondent was under the age of 18 and living with the parent. Incredibly, regardless of the duration or commitment-level of the parents' same-sex relationship, those who responded yes were categorized as having been raised in a same-sex household by gay or lesbian parents.

The above-cited statement signed by scholars makes note of this methodology in addition to several other substantive critiques.

If you follow the link to Family Scholars Blog, where Barry Deutsch posted about the critique, you will notice that Maggie Gallagher has shown up in the comment section with a very problematic interpretation of the statement.

Rather than addressing the merits or substance of the critique, she simply asks "Why the attacks?" while also suggesting that the critique was motivated by ideology rather than for a sincere concern about the scientific merits of the study.

It's really unfortunate, but sadly characteristic, that her comment fails to seriously engage the very legitimate critiques that folks have made about the Regnerus study, instead appearing to choose to engage in the propagandistic meme that "marriage defenders" are being forever victimized by the mean, defamatory, bullying same-sex marriage advocates.