When women sexually abuse

Originally posted on April 11, 2013

Several years ago I read a book called Female Sexual Abuse of Children. Michele Elliot edited the book. As I recall, the book gave two different views of the issue: one professional, the other from the victims.

The book relied on a handful of testimonials — I believe four women and one man — to describe the ways women sexually abuse children. However, what they shared painted a picture far different from what people expect. These abusive women were not angels. The abuse was not pretty and harmless. These women were not victims of controlling men forcing them to act. These women were just as vicious, violent, and predatory as many male child rapists.

For obvious reasons, Elliott’s book prompted a great deal of backlash. Here is a dedicated sexual abuse researcher and a feminist writing about women committing child rape. Elliott recounts the responses people had to her findings in an interview. Continue reading

Feminism is for everyone except when it’s not

Originally posted on September 16, 2013

Every few weeks, a feminist writes an article bemoaning the lack of men calling themselves feminists. The feminist complains about men equating feminism with man-hating. She objects to men thinking that feminism is only about women and women’s concerns. Sure, the feminist says, feminism is concerned with addressing oppression against women. However, it is also about addressing men’s issues. Men, she reminds us, are also hurt by “patriarchy.” Feminism is not just about women’s grievances; it is for everyone.

Except when the men who believe that have the temerity to take feminists at their word. In the article The trouble with male allies, Meghan Murphy takes issue with male feminists: Continue reading

“Creep” shaming

There is a rule most boys learn by the time they reach high school: Be handsome. Be attractive. Don’t be unattractive.

When it comes to attracting the opposite sex, that rule is absolute. No matter how nice, how polite, or how respectful a man or boy behaves, his level of attraction plays the biggest role in whether the woman or girl will consider him likeable or creepy.

That reality poses a problem for feminists like Hugo Schwyzer. As he explains in a recent article:

What SNL played for laughs, many men (and some women) took – and still take – seriously: Some men can’t win with women, these people believe, no matter what they do or say. This attitude is best observed in the recent backlash against calling men “creepy.” […] Others argue that “creepiness” connotes something specific: male homeliness. […] I often hear something similar in my gender studies classes. […] Whenever the subject of sexual harassment or “creep-shaming” comes up in class, someone–almost always a man–makes the case that SNL was right: the only way for straight men to safely express sexual interest in women is to do so while following the skit’s three rules. With almost invariable bitterness, these young men complain that unless a guy has won striking good looks in the genetic lottery, he’s doomed to be rejected and seen as overstepping his boundaries, no matter what he does.

This eye-rolling response is nothing new for Schwyzer. He has previously expressed a disregard for men’s dating plights and condoned unfair suspicions about men by women. Schwyzer does not see this is a legitimate issue of unfairness on women’s part. Rather, he sees the “backlash” from men against being called creepy as “an unwillingness to accept [a woman’s right to decide whose attention she wants that has] given women unprecedented power to say ‘no’ to the lecherous and the predatory.”

Yet he provides no examples of anyone arguing anything remotely close to that straw man. Continue reading

It takes one to know one

Here is a thought: do not beat people who are already on the ground.

Not too long ago, someone created a Tumblr blog called Nice Guys of OkCupid. This blog featured profiles from OkCupid from so-called nice guys. These were men who could not get dates even though, they felt, they were the good guys. The blog is down now, probably because posting the profiles violated OkCupid’s terms of service and copyright, and also because doing things like this and this legally counts as character defamation.

While some of the comments from the profiles were hateful rants against women, plenty were simply justified complaints about not being able to find at date. Of course, some feminists do not see it that way. Hugo Schwyzer graces us with his opinion about these men:

What’s on offer isn’t just an opportunity to snort derisively at the socially awkward; it’s a chance to talk about the very real problem of male sexual entitlement. The great unifying theme of the curated profiles is indignation. These are young men who were told that if they were nice, then, as Laurie Penny puts it, they feel that women “must be obliged to have sex with them.” The subtext of virtually all of their profiles, the mournful and the bilious alike, is that these young men feel cheated. Raised to believe in a perverse social/sexual contract that promised access to women’s bodies in exchange for rote expressions of kindness, these boys have at least begun to learn that there is no Magic Sex Fairy. And while they’re still hopeful enough to put up a dating profile in the first place, the Nice Guys sabotage their chances of ever getting laid with their inability to conceal their own aggrieved self-righteousness.

One cannot call it self-righteousness if all the men are doing is repeating exactly what they have been told to do. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v81

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:

“Men in power, by and large, tend to represent men’s interests more than women’s interests”

This wonderful dose of illogic comes from David Futrelle. He decided to post Typhonblue’s tweets about men in power and the fallacy of assuming those men are concerned about men’s interests in general. Here is what Typhon wrote:

To which Futrelle responded:

When confronted with the simple fact that men hold the overwhelming majority of positions of power in the world – in government, business, culture, and pretty much everything else – MRAs like to pretend that the actual gender of those in power makes no difference because, well, the men in power are probably a bunch of manginas doing the dirty work of the women who really run the world. Or something like that.

Indeed, some MRAs have even managed to convince themselves that the very basic historical and sociological fact that men in power, by and large, tend to represent men’s interests more than women’s interests is some sort of locical fallacy – something that they’ve labeled  “The Frontman Fallacy.”

Let us have a look at that fallacy: Continue reading