Because one dose was not enough.
Joanna Schroeder posted her Daily Dot article on the Good Men Project. The comments are a thing to behold. We have Schroeder failing to understand on the basic level the criticisms about her article. She graces us with:
No, Ballgame, I don’t mention men’s issues.
I’m talking about feminist issues. We deserve to be in charge of our own movement. We’re capable, and it’s our story and our future. We deserve to be in the driver’s seat.
which has nothing to do with ballgame’s comment:
Speaking as an egalitarian feminist, Joanna, I have to adamantly disagree with your point.
You appear to be telling men within the feminist movement to either squelch the impulse to talk about the many gender-related issues that plague men — including the ways in which the women in the movement get it wrong about these issues — and instead to defer to those women and focus primarily on helping solve women’s problems. In other words, men in the feminist movement should embrace the traditionalist values of male stoicism and male chivalry. Sadly, you’re not alone in wanting this, and it characterizes what I see as a toxic tendency in modern feminism which I think of as “patriarchal feminism.”
Or, you’re telling men concerned about men’s issues to focus on those issues outside of the feminist movement … to go join a movement that’s focused on men’s … rights. Which really wouldn’t be such a terrible thing if it weren’t for the fact that so many female feminists have been trashing and vilifying the men (and women) who do just that.
Personally, I’m not enamored with either option. Having two separate movements for gender equality appears to lend itself too readily to all the mutual hostility and vilification that we’re seeing now. (And I suspect you yourself will stop short of encouraging men to become MRAs!) And a movement for “equality for women” is not a movement for actual equality given the many unique issues facing men that you and your compatriots have, to your credit, occasionally highlighted here at TGMP.
I’ve always admired the intelligence, fairness, and warmth of your posts, but now, I’m going to disagree with this particular post.
To be brief, when one labels a male feminist as an ‘ally,’ you regulate him to the back of the metaphorical bus. Why is he not simply a feminist?
I could go on, but I’m not sure it would make a difference.
Schroeder replies with:
I think men can be feminists. Many of us just have some scars from men who used that title to exploit and abuse women. Right now, I’m more comfortable with using the term pro-feminist or feminist ally. But Ariel calls himself a feminist, and I don’t think he’s wrong.
But “back of the bus” implies, and directly refers to, oppression and institutionalized racism. It’s not exactly a direct comparison for all of the reasons listed in the article.
I’m not telling men to be quiet and not have an opinion about LIFE. Just about feminism.
Please, have opinions and be an activist and do what you want and need to do that helps people. But women should be driving this movement.
Apparently fed up with having her views challenged, Schroeder decides to take her ball and go back home:
I’m going to say this one time, to be clear, and then I’m not responding to any more comments about this subject.
I’m not saying that men shouldn’t have opinions about life or issues that affect men (i.e. abuse survivors, fatherhood, pretty much anything else). Men deserve opinions and the right to speak and lead movements that affect their lives.
What I’m talking about is JUST feminism. Women deserve to be the leaders of OUR movement. Just as I believe any group deserves. Male survivor movements should be led by male survivors. Survivor voices matter most. Native American movements should be led by Native Americans. Native voices matter most.
In NO WAY does that mean men shouldn’t have opinions. But when it comes to our movement, our opinions matter most.
Attempting to say that I’m implying men shouldn’t have opinions in general is disingenuous and even an outright lie.
I’ve been clear about it, and I won’t address it again.
Honestly, what is wrong with you?
Let us recap what Schroeder stated in her article. She followed a blog exchange between a male friend of hers and a feminist. The pair argued about men’s role in the feminist movement. Schroeder decided to jump in 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.
She then stated:
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.
That implies that men in the feminist movement should not be allowed to speak about men’s issues on their own terms. It literally states that men’s primary focus should be, as ballgame explained, “to defer to those women and focus primarily on helping solve women’s problems.”
That explicitly tells men what opinions they can express. Yes, Schroeder did not specifically tell men they could not talk about men’s issues. Yet that is not a problem since most feminist men are not interested in talking about those issues anyway. It is a problem, however, for the feminist men who want to talk about women’s issues.
How can you ask someone to be your ally and treat you as their equal and then treat them and their opinions as second-class? How do you not get that this is the very antithesis of equality?
Schroeder talks about which voices matter most, yet fails to understand the nature of that argument. When talking about past wrongs, yes, the voices of those who experienced those wrongs should take precedence. When talking about equality, no voice should take precedence.
As I statement in the previous post, 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. Schroeder knows that, hence the doubling down.
Yet that silliness pales in comparison to Barry Deutsch’s comment. Deutsch, also known as Ampersand, shows up and inexplicably attacks ballgame:
“Speaking as an egalitarian feminist, Joanna” –
But you’re not an egalitarian or a feminist, Ballgame. You’re a passionate anti-feminist who, like Christina Hoff Sommers, finds it useful to falsely identify yourself as a feminist in order to claim false credibility for your anti-feminist ideology and your anti-feminist website.
How good could your beliefs or ideology possibly be when you constantly feel the need to hide them under a false “feminist” flag?
I do think there’s a place for men within feminism – but there’s no place for anti-feminists within feminism, whether it’s you or Christina Hoff Sommers. […] IMO, “feminism” as a whole refers to the millions of people who hold expressly feminist beliefs (and not just in a “pretending to be feminist makes it easier to get my anti-feminist views across” way).
Deutsch and the Feminist Critics bloggers (current and former) have quite the history. There is no love loss between then Deutsch and Daran, Hugh, ballgame, Tamen, or me. So I can understand why Deutsch express some anger at ballgame. I do not understand, however, what prompted that response in this case given that his most recent comments on FC have been polite.
Why attack ballgame for calling himself a feminist? And why so randomly? Why not wait until he actually stated something that was not very feminist?
The above comments from Schroeder and Deutsch are precisely why people do not want to call themselves feminists, and why most men think feminists hate them.
I realize Schroeder is a true believer (Deutsch less so). She genuinely believes what she says and writes, no matter how illogical and discriminatory. Like many feminists, she wanted to wrap it in clever snark to sell her point. But:
Please, please stop crossing that line.