A Dose of Stupid v99

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

Why men don’t get a say in feminism

Imagine it is 1942. The United States finally enters World War II following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Allied forces are glad to have the extra troops and full military support of the burgeoning world power. The United States and Britain decide to create a Combined Chiefs of Staff to manage the western war front. President Roosevelt approves the charter and the CSS is formed. It combined the British Chiefs of Staff Committee and the American Joint Chiefs of Staff.

However, the British quickly remind the Americans that they do not get a say in military decisions. Since the British and the rest of Europe bore the brunt of Germany’s assault, the Americans can only be allies. They get a seat a the table. They get to supply war materials. They get to fight on the front lines. They even get to die. But they do not get to make decisions. The British tell the Americans that they must be willing to let the American voice be the supporting player, not the lead.

How long do you think Roosevelt would have participated in that kind of arrangement?

Now imagine you are man. You are concerned about women’s issues. You find the feminist movement insightful, empowering, and useful. You support every feminist policy put before you. You support every feminist position put in front of you. You follow every feminist mantra about “checking your privilege” and shutting down “rape culture.” After all, you support feminism. You want to participate. And yet you are met with this:

A few months ago, I watched in horror as a friend of mine engaged in a debate with a feminist blogger about the role of men in feminism.

“That’s not what I believe feminism is about,” my friend tweeted, when he was asked to stop trying to assert what women need.

A sound screeched through my head like brakes on a train, headed for disaster. My friend is a man, and the feminist blogger is a woman.

I DM’d my friend, trying to stop him from walking into a disaster of his own making.

“Hey, I know you mean well, but you don’t have any place telling a woman what feminism is supposed to look like.”

He didn’t DM back. Instead, my phone rang.

“Wait, do you really believe that? That men don’t get a say in feminism?”

Yeah, I believe that. And I’m going to tell you why.

Joanna Schroeder, the author of the article, went on to explain why: women have had it bad and men are still in power, therefore men should have no say in feminism. At best:

I think the primary focus of men in our movement should be to speak to other men, and engage them in gaining equality for women, as well as working to support the efforts to change outdated ideals of masculinity, which include domination and violence. […] So how do we invite men into our movement without handing over the reigns? Anne Theriault, of The Belle Jar, explains, “If you want to be a good feminist man, you need to learn to be challenged. You need to learn to feel uncomfortable. Above all, you need to shut up and listen.”

This is an excellent example of why people think feminists hate men. Feminists claim they want to promote equality, yet they do not want men to have an equal voice in their movement. Men can be allies, but they cannot participate. They can listen, but they cannot speak. They can agree with a feminist’s opinion, but they cannot have one of their own.

Telling men to shut up and listen is not a great way to create allies. It is, however, a great way to prove your movement is not about equality.

Schroeder shows this when she argued:

[…]women’s lives and futures were entirely in the hands of men. For a large part of recorded history, we were somebody’s property. Even when we were given the right to vote in the U.S. in 1920, it was because the men in power decided we should be allowed. Pause for a moment and consider that. When we were finally considered true citizens of this nation, it was because the men––the bosses, the owners––decided that we could.

We will set aside the troublesome historical fact that the vast majority of men had their lives decided for them as well, often by women. We will set aside that men were considered somebody’s property as well, and that most men were not able to vote for decades after the ratification of the United States Constitution. We will also set aside that most social changes in this nation occurred because those in power decided those changes should happen.

What Schroeder argues is that since men silenced women in the past, feminists should be allowed to silence men in the present. The silencing will stop once feminists believe women have achieved full equality.

The problem is that is not true equality. That is just blind revenge.

True equality means setting aside those grudges. There is nothing wrong with wanting people to listen to your story and understand how you feel. There is, however, something wrong with using that story to stick it to other people. You must learn to move past that if you want true equality.

I realize that is not easy. No one said it would be. Yet that is the nature of equality.

You treat people the same way. They get the same rights, the same privileges, the same voice.

That is why men should have a say in feminism. Feminism is supposed to be about equality, so there should never be a point where any man or boy is told to “shut the fuck up and listen.” That is not how you treat people equally.

That is how you oppress them.

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13 thoughts on “A Dose of Stupid v99

  1. Pingback: A Dose of Stupid v99 | Manosphere.com

  2. Okay TS while I’ve been finding myself disagreeing with her lately I’ll give her some leeway on this one. Now taking in mind her position on men and feminism I asked the following.

    I can actually appreciate the fact that she is being direct and honest on what she thinks about feminism and how it should operate. She’s saying upfront that women’s voices should take the lead and I’m fine with that because of one thing….she doesn’t also turn around and say that feminism is the ONLY way to equality or that men MUST align with feminism.
    I’ve run across a fair amount of feminists who do put those things together to create a double bind where men are expected to join a movement that by name and definition will limit their voice in order to address topics and issues where their voices need to take the lead.
    But I wonder something.

    Is there room for a guy to decide NOT to align with feminism without his choice to not do so being taken in bad faith. IE can a guy decide not to align with feminism without it being assumed that that must mean he is against equality?

    To which she replied:

    I think so, Danny. I don’t think all men should be feminists. Or even pro-feminist. I think everyone has the right to decide what to do, as long as they aren’t hurting others. If you don’t want to be a part of it, that’s totally fine.

    So to her credit at least she does not believe in the catch 22 that men must be feminists and if they are its a sign that they are against equality.

    To me it seems like she is saying that IF a guy decides to engage in feminism then his voice should take a back seat to women’s voices. As long they aren’t trying to hold my choice to not be a feminist against me as evidence of being against equality then I’m fine.

    (Although I think it should be noted that you don’t see too many MRAs going around saying that women who align with them should do so on the condition that they don’t get a say in the MRM.)

  3. It was never about equality, it is about power, it has always been about power. Equality is just a way to convince people to give women more power.

    They don’t want equality, never did, they want female privilege and male privilege without responsibility.

  4. “I think so, Danny. I don’t think all men should be feminists. Or even pro-feminist. I think everyone has the right to decide what to do, as long as they aren’t hurting others. If you don’t want to be a part of it, that’s totally fine.”

    Yet, Danny, what if that man becomes a Mens Rights Advocate?

    Joanna has made it clear her opinions on MRAs. So I’d have to wonder if she really would keep to this response.

  5. “Joanna has made it clear her opinions on MRAs.”

    And it’s no wonder why she holds that opinion. The MRM is egalitarian and Schroeder is making it clear that that is not the kind of gender movement she wants to belong to or can even countenance.

  6. Pingback: A Second Dose of Stupid v99 | Toy Soldiers

  7. Danny, I saw your comment and read Schroeder’s response. I see your point, but I disagree because I am sure Schroeder would argue that feminism is about equality, not just women’s issues. You cannot promote equality by treating someone unequally. Telling men their voices should take a back seat to women’s while claiming to want men and women to be treated equally is at best double-think and at worst blatant sexism. Feminists cannot have it both ways. They cannot demand that women’s voices be treated equally and then treat men’s voices as second-class.

    More so, as ballgame noted, most feminists reject men’s attempts to talk about men’s issues on their own terms. So if men heed Schroeder’s position and decide to go off on their own and talk about their issues, they will be attacked by feminists for doing so. This is hypocrisy.

    Now the pure irony is that Schroeder posted this on what she calls a men’s issue blog. The Good Men Project is supposed to be a place where men’s voices, according to Schroeder, take precedence. Yet not only are there more women posting articles about men than men, but virtually all of them are from a feminist perspective. So she does not even abide by her own rule. It is laughable.

  8. Now the pure irony is that Schroeder posted this on what she calls a men’s issue blog. The Good Men Project is supposed to be a place where men’s voices, according to Schroeder, take precedence. Yet not only are there more women posting articles about men than men, but virtually all of them are from a feminist perspective. So she does not even abide by her own rule. It is laughable.

    I guess this is the most damning point about her stance on “who should (be allowed to) talk about issues”.

    Also, I don’t really see how a person can support of a movement without having an opinion about what that movement is about. “I won’t say what I think your principles are, but I fully support them” – sorry, this doesn’t make any logical sense to me. At least, it becomes obvious that that person’s support has nothing to do at all with any values the movement embraces.

  9. “For a large part of recorded history, we were somebody’s property”

    Not true There is not a shred of evidence that men could own women, outside of slavery which applied to both sexes.

    “Even when we were given the right to vote in the U.S. in 1920, it was because the men in power decided we should be allowed”

    It’s almost like we don’t live in an anti-woman patriarchy, isn’t it?

    “Men can be allies, but they cannot participate”

    Separate but equal, in other words. And that always works out well!

  10. Also, I don’t really see how a person can support of a movement without having an opinion about what that movement is about. “I won’t say what I think your principles are, but I fully support them” – sorry, this doesn’t make any logical sense to me. At least, it becomes obvious that that person’s support has nothing to do at all with any values the movement embraces.
    Not that they can’t have an opinion but that their opinion isn’t worth much. Yes I know that doesn’t sound much better but there is a difference.

  11. Not that they can’t have an opinion but that their opinion isn’t worth much. Yes I know that doesn’t sound much better but there is a difference.

    I agree, however, one can argue it demands on the meaning. The way Ampersand explains it would follow the latter, i.e. a man can have an opinion about feminism but it is not worth much. Schroeder’s position follows the former, i.e. a man cannot have an opinion about feminism. She did, when asked, add the caveat that men did not have to become feminists and that one does not need to be a feminist to be a good man. Yet her prior writings suggests that she does not think non-feminist men can be good men, so there is much conflict in her positions. Even the title change shows this. It went from “Why men don’t get a say in feminism” to “Men: We Do Want Your Help in the Feminist Movement!”

  12. Not that they can’t have an opinion but that their opinion isn’t worth much. Yes I know that doesn’t sound much better but there is a difference.

    You are absolutely correct. Really following and believing Schroeder’s “advice” not to voice opinions on feminism when one is a man still leads to some kinda sorta paradoxes: As a man, you cannot even publicly agree with Joanna, as doing so implies voicing an opinion on feminism.

    Thinking about it: As a man, you also wouldn’t be allowed to deny that feminism is about “purging humanity from the power of the abhorrent Y-chromosome”, as that would be disagreeing with some radfems …

    Telling people to blindly approve of what those in authority are saying has been an ongoing thing for centuries now; people have become good at working their way around these dictates, and in the 21st century, people who believe in using these restrictions look exceedingly silly.

  13. Feminism is a political ideology and, as such, is absolutely entitled to be analyzed and/or criticised.

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