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"How Feminism Hurts Men"


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*Nods* we understand. They're excellent questions, though.

 

So here's a new thing (to me): several men have declared themselves to be feminists. Is this possible? Here's a link:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/11048972/Can-a-man-ever-truly-call-himself-a-feminist.html

 

 

I think it is, though obviously it would be incredibly difficult for most. I cannot put myself 100% in the head of everyone who's ever suffered some kind of discrimination. It depends on one's capacity for empathy, I think. It's said that women are naturally more empathic than men, so by default men are less empathic. Maybe that's being sexist? Is it sexist if it's biologically and statistically true?

 

All I know is I've met several women who have all the empathy of a concrete block, but I've met men who are completely and utterly able to put themselves in someone else's shoes.

 

And then, I've known even more men who genuinely believe themselves to be "equal opportunity", but when you present them with certain scenarios, they for the life of them can't see how "that thing" could be sexist or hurtful or frustrating to women. Genuinely. They're sincere. Their heart is 100% in the right place. They just don't "get it".

 

 

Having read the article I largely agree with the author, that I could not define myself as a feminist, because what a feminist is, exactly, seems to differ widely depending on who you ask. I am aware that inequality exists for women in many avenues of life, and am opposed to such - is that enough to qualify me as a feminist, a decent human being, or a clueless male who doesn't know what they're talking about? In any case, I'm happy to go on behaving as I am, without the need for the "feminist" label.

 

I'm genuinely interested Elgee in why you think empathy is the key to men being allowed to label themselves as feminists? I have never myself been the victim of genocide, or domestic violence, or homelessness and yet understand that these are social injustices that we must fight to set right. Do I have to have spent some time living on the streets for me to be a "legitimate" supporter (or indeed instigator) of strategies to end poverty? Similarly, do I have to be a woman to "legitimately" take action for equality campaigns?

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Hey Rey! Good to see you! How are the studies going?

 

I'm still undecided on the whole matter, just FYI. Anyone can of course call themselves anything (within the limits of the law), but it's another matter to BE something. And to BE something, you have to FEEL/EXPERIENCE that thing. If you're not a woman, how can you really feel what she's going through? Empathy springs to mind. Extrapolation might have something to do with it too.

 

A bit of an explanation of empathy, courtesy of Berkeley:

The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Contemporary researchers often differentiate between two types of empathy: “Affective empathy” refers to the sensations and feelings we get in response to others’ emotions; this can include mirroring what that person is feeling, or just feeling stressed when we detect another’s fear or anxiety. “Cognitive empathy,” sometimes called “perspective taking,” refers to our ability to identify and understand other peoples’ emotions. Studies suggest that people with autism spectrum disorders have a hard time empathizing.

Empathy seems to have deep roots in our brains and bodies, and in our evolutionary history. Elementary forms of empathy have been observed in our primate relatives, in dogs, and even in rats. Empathy has been associated with two different pathways in the brain, and scientists have speculated that some aspects of empathy can be traced to mirror neurons, cells in the brain that fire when we observe someone else perform an action in much the same way that they would fire if we performed that action ourselves. Research has also uncovered evidence of a genetic basis to empathy, though studies suggest that people can enhance (or restrict) their natural empathic abilities.

Having empathy doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll want to help someone in need, though it’s often a vital first step toward compassionate action.

 

 

I'm a woman who's experienced discrimination because of the fact that I'm a woman. I can therefore in a way empathise with the discrimination gay people feel, even though I'm not gay, but because I can extrapolate what they must feel, based on what I feel within the same set of parameters.

 

On the other hand, I cannot completely extrapolate what a man must feel if he gets kicked in the jewels. When Jacques Kallis therefore gets bowled in the box for the hundredth time, I can't prevent a giggle from escaping, whilst my male friends wince. I know it must hurt, and judging by their reactions, it must be bad. I simply can't empathise fully because I don't have a set of parameters. If anyone's ever swopped gender, maybe they can say exactly what the precise (or closest) female level of pain would be. Plus the emotions that go with it, because that's sometimes even more important.

 

But that just explains MY levels of empathy. I might be on the low scale, whilst others might be on a much higher scale. I think the higher they are on the scale, the better their chances of truely being able to "understand".

 

Of course, some people can say and do all the right things, despite not really feeling it, because they've "reasoned it out". Their motivation could be anything, really, from observing that society expects that and wanting to conform so they're liked, or because it's a good move politically, or to get laid. Does it really matter? Maybe the end justifies the means?

 

I'm in a philosophical mood :P

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And that brings me to the other celebrities who's photos were leaked. Do you really think only female celebrities send nudes to their partner? I know Jennifer Lawrence has a boyfriend; if she's sent him nudes, I'm pretty darn sure he's sent her some back. But, no male celebrities photos were leaked (unless there was a man in the same photo as a woman). It is because there are boys who feel like they have a right to these womens bodies.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/the-celebrity-hacking-leak-has-claimed-its-first-male-victim#48sm90b

 

And in other news, this was worth noticing:

 

http://hellogiggles.com/everyone-stop-read-jennifer-lawrences-powerful-response-stolen-photos

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Well, can't exactly say it makes me happier to see it's started affecting the guys too...

 

 

But J.Law is awesome as always.

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Being "old fashion" doesn't mean you don't hold women to an equal standard. Its means your a god damn GENTLEMAN! There is a difference between just being and man and being a gentleman. Its called "respect".

 

Just because some of the jaded feminists out there see it as an archaic mind set that perpetrates women as the weaker gender, doesn't make it true. I don't give a damn about your gender. I don't just hold the door for women. I hold the door for men too. I do it because its the right thing to do. Sure, I won't hit a woman, but again, that's not because I think they are weak. It's a personal choice. If a man hits a woman, I will beat that man within an inch of his life. That's how I was raised. That's the type of man I CHOOSE to be.

 

Equality isn't about the law. Its about perception.

 

I'm a man. And you know what? I'm a feminist. I believe women are every bit as capable as a man. I don't put up mental walls that separate the genders. We are all just people. Having a johnson doesn't make us instantly better or more adept in our field or more entitled to things in life. It doesn't give us the right to objectify women, or treat them any different than we want to be treated.  It just means we get to stand when we piss.

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I'm a woman who's experienced discrimination because of the fact that I'm a woman. I can therefore in a way empathise with the discrimination gay people feel, even though I'm not gay, but because I can extrapolate what they must feel, based on what I feel within the same set of parameters.

 

On the other hand, I cannot completely extrapolate what a man must feel if he gets kicked in the jewels. When Jacques Kallis therefore gets bowled in the box for the hundredth time, I can't prevent a giggle from escaping, whilst my male friends wince. I know it must hurt, and judging by their reactions, it must be bad. I simply can't empathise fully because I don't have a set of parameters. If anyone's ever swopped gender, maybe they can say exactly what the precise (or closest) female level of pain would be. Plus the emotions that go with it, because that's sometimes even more important.

 

But that just explains MY levels of empathy. I might be on the low scale, whilst others might be on a much higher scale. I think the higher they are on the scale, the better their chances of truely being able to "understand".

 

Of course, some people can say and do all the right things, despite not really feeling it, because they've "reasoned it out". Their motivation could be anything, really, from observing that society expects that and wanting to conform so they're liked, or because it's a good move politically, or to get laid. Does it really matter? Maybe the end justifies the means?

 

I'm in a philosophical mood :P

 

Hey Elgee, study is fine thanks, hope you are well!

 

I think in a more perfect world, one would have to truly believe in the cause they were fighting for - in feminism's case, however, I would say that given the desperate state of male-female inequality, the true "feminists" should not only be willing, but actively encouraging men to fight for "their" cause. My personal opinion.

 

 

Sure, I won't hit a woman, but again, that's not because I think they are weak. It's a personal choice. If a man hits a woman, I will beat that man within an inch of his life. That's how I was raised. That's the type of man I CHOOSE to be.

 

While I absolutely agree with your point of view, and would behave the same way, it frustrates me that we men often don't realise/acknowledge the inconsistency we have here. You say that you won't hit a woman, not because they're weak, but just because. And you also say you'd beat a man "within an inch of his life" for hitting a woman. Why the difference in treatment?

 

Do you really think that women aren't weak? Or do you think deep-down that it is your duty to rescue the damsel in distress in your shining armour, because they are weaker, and therefore merit your protection?

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(Just to note I'm simply trying to delve deeper into the reasons we think things through. No condoning of violence towards anybody, and no offence intended.)

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Women on average are physically weaker there's not really any disputing that. We'd like Lu feel exactly the same way about a grown man who beats a child. Heck there even instances where it applies to other guys, I had a mate in school who just wasn't very well and had limited physical strength. Because of his health issues he got picked on a lot and I was very protective of him too.

Edited by The_Fnorrll_Reborn
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Very interesting indeed. I must say I'm shocked by some of those videos (the younger ones) - they would never be allowed in South Africa.

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I watched the whole thing. Ugh. They all stand out but the one with the woman and then the man hanging out of the trunk of the car was really shocking.

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To be honest men are sexualised in advertising as well. Sex sells. Underwear, aftershave, diet coke... It's not exactly uncommon. Men are half naked and portrayed as sex objects in main stream advertising as well. Not to mention the ridiculous "standard" sitcom formula on mainstream television these days where the father is always n ignorant, boorish, practically retarded oaf who stumbles into one situation after another despite the protests of his sensitive, intelligent and very long suffering wife.

 

That said some if the images that were not sexualised but blatantly sexist were shocking and disgusting. I have to say tho that I have never encountered those types of images in any of the main stream media that I have come across and would probably immediately stop reading anything in which I did, so I imagine those examples say more of the particular demographic that they are catering to and less of a general world view as a whole.

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I don't know, I've seen similar to several of those. Like when I was in Copenhagen in august, there was advertistment for a protein drink on alot of bus stops, big posters. There was different ones, but all had the same basic concept: Woman's butt in a tiny g-string and text like "why don't you look like this? Cause you don't drink *name of brand*". It was absolutely disgusting. It wasn't a picture of a fit, well-trained woman. It was a close-up of a sexy butt. Used to make women feel bad enough to buy their product. It's the most blatant one I've seen ever, but the fact that it was allowed to buy advertisement space for that on public places like bus stops made me feel horrible.

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Sure, but those types of advertisements apply to men as well. When I said it wasn't mainstream, I meant the ones showing men exerting overt physical dominance over women. Those are the ones that make my skin drawl and I assume are in certain magazines.

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High fashion magazines mostly; Vogue etc.

 

 

I know they apply to men as well, but there are more of them with women, and they are often even more explicit.

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When that is said though, I get seriously aggravated over i.e. calvin klein/tommy hilfiger ads. Talk about impossible body ideal.

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Well well, look at this gem:

 

BzQeKrTCUAA6aEe.png

 

Cause that's not sexist at all, nooo. "Pro" looking guy, silly blonde girl with her straw cup... Ugh. Well at least I know to stay far away from Asus.

 

(this makes me angry on another level too, considering I'm an avid Sims player, and deep into the community. Simmers spend way, WAY more than 5 dollars on their games, and most of those I know have custom buildt or expensive hardcore computers for their sims games. So I'm doubly offended. Great job, Asus.)

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Well well, look at this gem:

 

BzQeKrTCUAA6aEe.png

 

Cause that's not sexist at all, nooo. "Pro" looking guy, silly blonde girl with her straw cup... Ugh. Well at least I know to stay far away from Asus.

 

(this makes me angry on another level too, considering I'm an avid Sims player, and deep into the community. Simmers spend way, WAY more than 5 dollars on their games, and most of those I know have custom buildt or expensive hardcore computers for their sims games. So I'm doubly offended. Great job, Asus.)

 

I get what you're saying, but lets make sure that we aren't reading too much into things like this. I don't think that the girl has to be silly, nor do I think it means that girls can't be serious 'gamers'. 

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i woulldnt realy care if they put a girl in a bikini and tatooed "girls cant use computers" on her forehead; i woulld still use the computer since i know asus is a good brand as far as cheap-ish and long-lasting gaming laptops are concern.

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Jak, the point here isn't what YOU think, it's what Asus projects as their belief, ie that females are "lesser". They had the option of going with 2 boys, or 2 girls, or gender neutral, or swopping what they have, but they didn't.

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Jak, the point here isn't what YOU think, it's what Asus projects as their belief, ie that females are "lesser". They had the option of going with 2 boys, or 2 girls, or gender neutral, or swopping what they have, but they didn't.

 

:huh: You misinterpreted what I said. I said that I don't think that having a little stylized picture of a lady in the corner of that thing means anything. I don't think that it means ANYTHING about Asus at all. I was cautioning people not to read into things too much. With all due respect Mother, I respectfully state that to get huffy about this and to say that because of that little thing, you think that Asus thinks that females are lesser is... well... ridiculous.  :dry:

 

Yeah, they had the option of going with 2 boys and 2 girls or whatever, but so what if they didn't? The three Ta'veren of the Wheel of Time are three guys. Are they implying that girls can't save the world? :tongue:  No girls went on the quest to Mount Doom, does that mean Tolkien was sexist?  :dry: No, of course not.

 

You know what? If the roles had been switched and the picture of the guy was on the other side; I wouldn't care. 

Edited by Jak 0' the Shadows
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Jak, they have consioucly chosen to continue the trend of "fake nerd girl shaming". Girls are not welcome in the gaming community. Alot of girls choose to opt out of multiplayer games where you have a headset and speak to your fellow players, because of the harrasment they'll get. If they let fellow players knows they are girl, they'll get sexual harrasment, they'll be called out for every little mistake, and they won't get included with the "guys". I have several hardcore gamer girl friends, so I know alot from what they've told me about their and their friends experiences. It also ties into the "fake nerd girl" thing, where girls who are nerds/geeks/gamers is questioned on wether they are "legit". This isn't found much within the book genre, but is common within the comic book, manga, video game fangroups. Here's a good example:

 

enhanced-buzz-4021-1357318268-2.jpg

 

Here's another, spoilered for size:

 

 

 

 

enhanced-buzz-24439-1357234017-4.jpg

 

 

 

 

And, the fact is, that about 50% of all gamers are girls. I know hardcore gamer girls and boys who only play candy crush on their phones, and everything inbetween. But there is still a stereotype, especially within the male gamer community, that girls are not serious gamers or serious geeks. And Asus chooses to play on this to make gamer boys buy their computers. The man is shown as a typical gamer guy; white male, unshaved, headset, emotional about his game. The girl is shown as rather silly/stupid-looking, she's not even holding the mouse, she's just sitting looking at the computer with a cutesy expression. A big company chooses to fuel a bad stereotype to sell their computers. And that, is a problem.

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Well I wouldn't know about gamers cuz I'm not one. I didn't know any of that, so it looked to me like you were drawing an awful lot of conclusions from that image. :P But remember, when you say that the girl looked silly, that is an OPINION. That never entered MY mind when I looked at it.

 

The whole nerd thing though, that's shameful! I can't believe people act like that! Why would they be mad about finding a girl who likes the same comics or whatever that they like?!?? Doesn't make sense. That's terrible.

 

Of course if you made a comic about finding either a guy or a girl wearing a WoT shirt, the reaction would be the same both times: YOU'VE READ WHEEL OF TIME!?!?! YES!!!!!!!!! I FOUND SOMEONE!!!!!!!!!!! :P

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