The Blame Game

I stumbled across an interesting post on a feminist blog. It concerned pro-feminist writer Jackson Katz who demands that males collectively take responsibility for violence committed against women. While the author attempts to add the caveat that he is not suggesting that males feel guilty about being male, based on his latter statements from the same quoted page, his caveat is clearly less than genuine.

However, it was the the conclusion the blogger reaches as to the reason why males, particularly those who support men’s rights, feel guilty that drew my attention:

As a side note: I have an intuition, one that I can’t back up without some more thought, that most of the entire men’s rights movement might be able to be traced back to defensiveness around feelings of guilt. Sometimes it seems as if there are two choices: Recognize the guilt and feel responsible, in the sense that Katz is talking about, or recognize the guilt and feel defensive. Allies do the former, and many MRA’s do the latter. Again, not something I can fully back up just yet, just a thought.

Actually, what is described is not guilt. Guilt implies that a person feels that he has done something wrong. While that may be true for pro-feminist males, what the majority of normal males are taught to feel is shame. Shame implies that there is something inherently wrong and that one should treat it as such. And in this instance the shame is directly linked with being male, .i.e. it is wrong, shameful and ultimately undesirable to be male. Granted, there is a lot of violence in our society and the majority of it is committed by males. However, the majority of the victims of the most violent and depraved crimes are also male. So the notion that violence against women is a more important issue, that women are more worthy of concern, more worthy of protection, can easily be translated by males as a sign of their inherent inferiority as potential people (one uses ‘potential people’ rather than ‘people’ because latter requires the acknowledgment that the overwhelming majority of males are not violent and do not condone it).

Taken in this regard, the defensiveness males displays is a natural reaction to being forced to accept responsibility for actions they have not individually committed. This would be akin to demanding anyone with the name Adolf or Saddam take responsibility for the actions of the two men best known by those names. The reason why this is the most applicable analogy is because males are not a collective group. Concepts about masculinity differ from culture to culture, nation to nation, racial group to racial group down to region to region. To demand that males collectively take responsibility for other males actions makes about as much sense as demanding American Muslims take responsibility for the actions of the terrorists who attacked this country six years ago. When this has been suggested, it has been rightfully challenged and dismissed as it has no bearing on the reality of the situation.

Such a demand would require a five-year-old boy to take responsibility for the murder of a woman in another state whom he has never met simply because he has a Y-chromosome. There is no direct rationale for this demand other than the notion that by virtue of his gender (an unchangeable and uncontrollable aspect of who he is) the boy is fundamentally at fault. Curiously, this notion does apply in the reverse. Despite the same FBI data mentioned by Katz demonstrating that women are the majority of child abusers and child murderers—both of which are the most cowardly and despicable acts anyone can commit—there is no demand for women to collectively take responsibility for those crimes. There is little demand for them to take individual responsibility either, but that is beside the point. The victims of these women are primarily male, typically small boys and usually the acts are quite violence and include sexualized violence, i.e. physical assaults to the boys’ genitals.

Again, at no point does anyone demand that women should be collectively responsible, feel ashamed or experience any kind of collective guilt. The violence, which is as common as the violence men commit, either gets ignored or diminished as an extension of male violence, i.e. the woman is the real victim; the beaten, battered, raped and/or murdered boy is not.

The conclusion reached by Katz and the blogger is an oversimplification of a rather complex problem. Male violence extends primarily towards male victims, not female victims. Our societies treat males as wholly disposable to the point that even when a little boy is brutally murdered, there is less outrage than if the victim had been an adult woman. This implied uselessness of males has a direct affect on them. When combined with negative stereotypes about males and masculinity, the notion that the very thing that makes them male (testosterone) produces nothing but violence, that they are oppressors and privileged, it is hardly surprising that males would be defensive when accused of an act they have not committed and met with the expectation to take responsibility for crimes committed by men they do not even know.


14 thoughts on “The Blame Game

  1. Guiltism is a pernicious tool of every special interest group. They all want the the perceived dominant group to accept collective guilt for any supposed oppression. This is done for the sole purpose of forcing the special interest group’s agenda down people’s throats. Women, Blacks, Hispanics, Jews – they all do it.

    Woe betide the White Man for he is found guilty at birth by the nature of his birth. Guiltism is truly the 8th Deadly Sin.

  2. Guilt, hnh? He has to be blind and illetrate to have missed what motivates most MRAs – rage. Men rage at having their children taken away, at having to support their whores even after the sex has stopped, at being subject to a bigotted legal system, at working longer hours , earning more and spending and then being called contributing less to homelife, at doing the dirtiest and most dangerous work in society and sustaining the overwhelming majority of industrial injuries all to be told all about how menstruation and pregancy and childbirth are such a burden and so dangerous. That’s the kind of rage that drives MRAs and men’s movement blogs. That lazy ididot could have just taken five minutes to look at MenNewsdaily, for instance. Half-witted liar. As for guilt, maybe that is what what motivates many of the pseudo-feminsts sites – no, that would require a conscience.

  3. Katz and your blogger are typical hate mongers: Men who hate themselves and all other men. What I find worse, more disgusting is that I live in an area, Ontario, where public funds pay Katz to preach hatred of males. Males who are not considered human enough to receive basic rights.

    Here in Ontario, public funds pay Katz to preach hate, yet males are not human enough to have Victim’s services: Victim’s services are female ONLY in Ontario.

    Also, because victim’s services are female only, all women have immense power to change the system. All Ontario women-taxpayers put money in their purse every month so that male victims can be hurt: All Ontario women-taxpayers have automatic admittance to power that no male has. All women in Ontario have rights that no male has.

    Women, all Ontario women, share a very real responsibility for harming innocent males. YET! Yet, there is no blame and no shame and nothing is said to women.

    Plus, when I complained to the London Free-Press about Katz being paid to preach hate, I was loudly told that I hate women! I apparently hate women for daring to say hatred of men is wrong! Women can change that! Women can easily change that, they refuse to do so.

    As for MRA’s! Twenty-five years ago when we lone fathers were fighting for our children’s lives, fighting a government of massive discrimination against lone fathers and our children, we got the same ‘they must hate women,’ ‘they’re just jealous of women.’ garbage. We got the self-same hate dumped onto us. Let us face reality here, these men hate themselves and hate us for DARING to be born male. The women who support them hate all males and in the very same breath DEMAND that hatred of males is not hate and so they do not hate males!

  4. All men should condemn violence perpetrated against women, and all women should condemn the way feminism manipulates women into a victim mentality that is used to create mistrust and division between the sexes.

  5. “All men should condemn violence perpetrated against women”

    Why? Should all men condemn violence perpetrated against men as well? I’m not saying I endorse violence against women, but why the sweeping Ex Cathedraesque statement? Are women in today’s world entitled as a whole to greater protections than men? Doesn’t equal rights demand the balance of equal responsibility and equal risk?

  6. I agree with jonolan. By condemning violence against women, one is led to believe that violence against men is somehow more legitimate.

    Further, in making such as statement, the average listener might impute that most of men’s violence is directed toward women, when the truth is not only (a) that most of men’s violence is directed toward other men but (b) that most of women’s violence is directed toward men.

  7. When is anyone going to call on women to denounce and repent of their viololence against men and boys? Is there going to be any soul-searching over the White Feather? What about all the physical and emotional abuse women commit against men’s children? Sound of crickets chirping……

    Actually the only ones who denoounce this violence typically are women, as in a truly heinous case here in western Washington where a foster mother stuck her insulin needles into the eyes of a girl in her care, among many other sorts of equally horrible abuse. The discussion took place on a comement thred in a local paper. the women were on fire, and the men equivocated.

  8. Apologies for the lack of clarity –
    All persons should condemn those who are violent towards others.

    I merely used the subject matter of the post to draw attention to my main point;- that all women should condemn feminism for ruining relations between the sexes.

    Of course I don’t buy into the ‘all abusers are men’ myth that feminists like to perpetuate!

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