How not to conduct an interview

One of the first rules of journalism is to know about your subject before interviewing them. No journalist wants to appear ignorant of the basic facts about a person, particularly when that information is easily acquired.

Another important rule is to respect the subject. Obviously this will not apply to everyone. Sometimes a journalist may need to be confrontational. In most cases, however, there is no need to badger the subject. Respect garners better interviews than disrespect.

Those two basic rules escaped the hosts of an Australian morning talk show: Continue reading

Phallic Affect, or Why Men’s Rights Activists Have Feelings

Youtuber TL;DR released a video recently concerning an intriguing paper called Phallic Affect, or Why Men’s Rights Activists Have Feelings. A one Jonathan A. Allan wrote the paper. Allan is the Canada research chair in Queer Theory and Associate Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies and English and Creative Writing at Brandon University. He is the author of works such as Virgin Envy: The Cultural (In)Significance of the Hymen and Reading from Behind: A Cultural Analysis of the Anus. He is also the vice-president of the American Men’s Studies Association.

Given such stellar credentials, it is not surprising that a substantial portion of Allan’s work focuses on criticizing masculinity as bad or toxic. In his paper Phallic Affect, Allan argues that men’s rights activists have co-oped the language of feminists in regards to the personal is political. Feminists contend that a woman’s feelings on a matter are important and validate her concerns, even if the evidence suggests her concerns are unwarranted. This usually manifests as “the personal is political” or “listen and believe” or “feels equal reals”.

Allan, however, does not think the men’s rights movement has any legitimate grievances. Continue reading

Feminist proves MRAs have a point by trying to disprove that point: Part 2

This is a continuation of my previous post about Suzzanah Weiss’s article in which she explains where men’s rights activists go wrong in their arguments by ironically proving their arguments. Here we go:

2. Fathers Are as Important as Mothers

Another common men’s rights issue is child custody and, more generally, men’s ability to play as active a role in the family as women do.

Feminists totally agree with this as well. Everyone should have a choice regarding what role they play in the family, and their a/gender shouldn’t factor into that.

That is an interesting position given that feminists either ignore or oppose efforts to increase father’s roles in their children’s lives. For example, the National Organization for Women opposes shared parenting laws, claiming that they give abusive men access to their victims.

Feminist organizations pushed for government-funded family programs that often exclude fathers as potential beneficiaries. Family courts routinely grant custody to mothers, even in cases in which the fathers are the primary caregivers. Child support laws appear gender neutral, yet they are applied primarily to fathers. Noncustodial fathers often receive limited contact with their children, which is subject to change at the mother’s request. Yet rather than supporting fathers in their attempt to address this bias, feminists claim that the bias is a myth concocted by bitter men and sexist men’s rights activists.

In fact, having more equal households benefits people of all a/genders. In relationships between men and women, for example, women whose male partners are helping out around the house are more able to prioritize their careers.

That has nothing to do with recognizing the roles fathers play in their children’s lives. Rather, it prioritizes women’s desires over fathers’ importance. It also assumes that men do nothing in their homes or that want they do matters less than what women do.

But men’s smaller role in the household is also not evidence that they’re oppressed.

The argument about oppression does not come from men’s role in the household, but how they are treated when it comes to custody issues. Men are held financially responsible, yet treated as physically negligible regardless of the clear importance to their children’s lives. When both parents agree to a particular arrangement, say that the father will work and the mother will stay home with the children, this equal decision is flipped on men during separations or divorces and used against them. Now they can be shut out of their children’s lives, lose a significant among of their pay check, and face mounting legal bills because of the “sacrifices” the woman made to stay at home. Continue reading

Feminist proves MRAs have a point by trying to disprove that point

Everyday Feminism is precisely what is wrong with modern feminism. The writers for the site are typically so misinformed and uninformed that it is shocking they are able to construct complete sentences containing any information. The site is a view into a Fortress of Solitude-size echo chamber, complete with backpatting, groupthink,  and flat-out lies. Yet it is the condescending tone found in many article that often results in the site’s best idiotic material.

Enter Suzannah Weiss. She wrote an article titled “4 MRA Arguments That Actually Have a Point – And Where They Go Wrong“. One already knows it will be a trainwreck of ideological nonsense just from the title. The most impressive part about the article is how blind Weiss is to the nature of her own statements. As one reads through the article, she contradicts herself within one or two sentences. A simple proofread would have caught this. One would expect an editor to catch it as well. Yet Weiss readily disproves her own arguments against men’s rights activists so frequently I can only assume she typed it and posted it immediately.

The article is fairly long, so I will break it into parts in order to address them fully. Let us begin: Continue reading

Teen boys challenge Clementine Ford, she goes ballistic on Twitter

An unnamed high school invited feminist commentator Clementine Ford to speak to the students. Ford is notable for her negative comments about men. She also tends to get into arguments across social media involving a number of issues.

As such, it came as no surprise that when the teen boys did not accept Ford’s positions she took to Twitter to rage about it:

Keep in mind that these are teenagers. While some of them were probably trying to get a rise out of Ford, given the intensity of her response and her reputation, none of this is shocking. And of course, Ford felt the need to that there is “a group more  arrogant and yet conversely less intelligent than 15 year old boys”.

It continued: Continue reading

Feminist teacher “triggered” by male student’s paper

In its simplest definition, a “trigger” is a stimulus — a smell, sound, or sight — that initiates feelings of trauma. The stimulus could be anything from a color to a song. It is not clear how the brain forms these connections, however, it appears to be linked with sensory experiences. The trigger works in various ways, sometimes needing only something similar to the sensory experience or something similar to situation in which the experience occurred.

For example, a person who was in a car accident may experience a triggering response to the song that was playing on the radio when the accident happened. It may even extend to the musician or similar sounding music. However, a person may experience a trigger response due to a situation. For example, getting into a car or simply seeing one might cause the person anxiety.

The reason the above explanation was necessary is because there has been an abuse of the word “trigger”. Far too many people use it to mean that something made them uncomfortable or reminded them of a negative experience. That is not a trigger.

Why bring this up? I do so because a feminist teacher claimed she was “triggered” by a male student’s paper criticizing “rape culture”. According to the anonymous blog post, the teacher decided to educate her male students on the theory of “rape culture”. Many of the male students rejected the theory, yet one student’s rejection stood out: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v304

Advocates, survivors say stigmas keep male victims from reporting sexual assaults — Social stigmas and a lack of understanding fuels the underreporting of sexual assaults among male victims, police and victim advocates said at a campus forum Thursday. Zac Palmer told about a dozen people at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln he didn’t realize what his longtime partner did to him was sexual assault. He only later came to terms with it, and then last summer, he was sexually assaulted by someone else while at a party with friends, he said.

Chicago Archdiocese pays $3.15 million to settle abuse suits — The Archdiocese of Chicago will pay $3.15 million to settle lawsuits brought by three men who allege they were sexually abused by a notorious former pastor of a West Side Catholic church more than a decade ago, the plaintiffs’ attorney said Wednesday. The accusers, all identified in court papers as John Doe, said former priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack sexually abused them more than once during their participation in an after-school program called S.A.F.E. at Our Lady of the Westside Catholic School.

Court hears boy got himself expelled from seminary so that sex abuse by priest would stop — A catholic priest repeatedly sexually abused a young boy in his care “breaching that trust in a spectacular and horrific way,” a court heard. The boy was just 13 and 14 years old when Father Michael Higginbottom allegedly began seriously abusing him at a seminary in West Lancashire, according to prosecutors. Continue reading