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Rebecca Solnit: Feminism — The Men Arrive!

(Hooray! Uh-Oh!)

What do the prime minister of India, retired National Football League punter Chris Kluwe, and superstar comedian Aziz Ansari have in common? It’s not that they’ve all walked into a bar, though Ansari could probably figure out the punch line to that joke. They’ve all spoken up for feminism this year, part of an unprecedented wave of men actively engaging with what’s usually called “women’s issues,” though violence and discrimination against women are only women’s issues because they’re things done to women — mostly by men, so maybe they should always have been “men’s issues.”

The arrival of the guys signifies a sea change, part of an extraordinary year for feminism, in which the conversation has been transformed, as have some crucial laws, while new voices and constituencies joined in. There have always been men who agreed on the importance of those women’s issues, and some who spoke up, but never in such numbers or with such effect. And we need them. So consider this a watershed year for feminism.

Take the speech Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave on that country’s Independence Day. Usually it’s an occasion for boosterism and pride. Instead, he spoke powerfully of India’s horrendous rape problem. “Brothers and sisters, when we hear about the incidents of rape, we hang our heads in shame,” he said in Hindi. “I want to ask every parent that you have a daughter of 10 or 12 years age, you are always on the alert, every now and then you keep on asking where are you going, when would you come back… Parents ask their daughters hundreds of questions, but have any parents ever dared to ask their son as to where he is going, why he is going out, who his friends are? After all, a rapist is also somebody’s son. He also has parents.”

It was a remarkable thing to say, the result of a new discourse in that country in which many are now starting to blame perpetrators, not victims — to accept, as campus anti-rape activists here put it, that “rapists cause rape.” That act, in other words, is not caused by any of the everyday activities women have been blamed for when men assault them. That in itself represents a huge shift, especially when the analysis comes from the mouths of men.

The Obama administration, too, recently launched a campaign to get bystanders, particularly men, to reach out to protect potential victims of sexual assault under the rubric “It’s On Us.” Easy as it might be to critique that slogan as a tone-deaf gesture, it’s a landmark all the same, part of a larger response in this country to campus rape in particular.

And here’s what it all means: the winds of change have reached our largest weathervanes. The highest powers in the country have begun calling on men to take responsibility not only for their own conduct, but for that of the men around them, to be agents of change.

When X Doesn’t Equal Y

Feminism needs men. For one thing, the men who hate and despise women will be changed, if they change, by a culture in which doing horrible things to, or saying horrible things about, women will undermine rather than enhance a man’s standing with other men.

There are infinite varieties of men or at least about 3.5 billion different ones living on Earth now, Klansmen and human rights activists, drag queens and duck hunters. For the purposes of feminism, I’d like to delineate three big blurry categories. There are the allies, mentioned above (and below). There are the raging misogynists and haters in word and deed. You can see them in various places online where they thrive (and seem to have remarkable amounts of time on their hands): the Men’s Rights forums, for instance, where they endlessly stoke the flames of their resentment, and the guys on Twitter who barrage almost any outspoken woman with threats and insults. Take the recent threat not just to kill media analyst Anita Sarkeesian for daring to speak up about sexism in video games, but to launch a massacre of women at a speech she was to give at the University of Utah. Sarkeesian’s not the only one in that world to receive death threats. And don’t forget all the gamers who have gone down the rabbit hole of misogynist conspiracy theories under the hashtag #Gamergate.

Their position was recently attacked in a striking rant by avid gamer, former football player, outspoken queer rights advocate, and feminist Chris Kluwe. He told his gaming brethren, in one of his more polite passages: “Unfortunately, all you #Gamergaters keep defending this puerile filth, and so the only conclusion to draw is the logical one: That you support those misogynistic cretins in all their mouthbreathing glory. That you support the harassment of women in the video game industry (and in general). That you support the idiotic stereotype of the ‘gamer’ as a basement-dwelling sweatbeast that so many people have worked so hard to try and get rid of.”

Someone then tweeted at Kluwe, “Go fuck yourself you stupid cunt. Gamergate is not hating on women.” To which I’d like to append a variation on Lewis’s Law (“all comments on feminism justify feminism”): the plethora of men attacking women and anyone who stands up for women in order to prove that women are not under attack and feminism has no basis in reality are apparently unaware that they’re handily proving the opposite.

There are so many rape and death threats these days. In Sarkeesian’s case, the University of Utah declined to take the threat of a massacre at the school seriously (despite the fact that weapons could legally be brought into the lecture hall), because she gets death threats all the time and as a result, she had to cancel her own lecture.

So there are the allies and the haters. And then there are a slew of men who may mean well, but enter the conversation about feminism with factually challenged assertions that someone — usually, in my experience, a woman — will spend a lot of time trying to rectify. They may be why Elizabeth Sims started a website called The Womansplainer, “for men who have better things to do than educate themselves about feminism.”

Other times they try to refocus anything said about women’s woes on men’s woes. Reading men commenting online about campus rape, for example, you’d think that unconscious but malicious young women regularly impaled themselves on innocent bystanders for the purpose of getting them in trouble. Forbes recently ran, and then scrambled to delete, a tirade by a former president of an MIT fraternity titled “Drunk Female Guests Are the Gravest Threat to Fraternities.”

Sometimes, men insist “fairness” means admitting that men suffer from women just as women do from men, or even that they suffer more. You might as well argue that white people suffer from racism exactly as much as black people, or that there are no hierarchies of privilege and degrees of oppression in this world.

It’s true, for example, that women do commit domestic violence, but the consequences are drastically dissimilar in both numbers or severity. As I wrote in Men Explain Things to Me, domestic violence is “the number-one cause of injury to American women; of the two million injured annually, more than half a million of those injuries require medical attention while about 145,000 require overnight hospitalizations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and you don’t want to know about the dentistry needed afterward. Spouses are also the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the U.S.” Pregnant women are not, however, a leading cause of death for spouses of pregnant women. There’s just no equivalency.

Not all men get this, but some do (and that might make a nice hashtag). Late this summer, for instance, I saw stand-up comic Aziz Ansari perform in a routine focused on sexual harassment. “Creepy dudes are everywhere,” he said, while describing a woman who had to take refuge in a pet store for an hour to shake off a guy following her. He pointed out that men never have to deal with women whipping out their genitals and masturbating at them in public or harassing them in other similarly grotesque ways. “Women just don’t do that shit!” he exclaimed. (He credits his girlfriend with turning him into a feminist.)

The comedians Nato Green, W. Kamau Bell, and Louis C.K. are among the other feminist stand-up comics now speaking out, and Jon Stewart has had some fine feminist moments. It’s great that men are not only in the conversation, but an increasingly witty part of it as well.

The uproar over last week’s news that three women say they were brutally assaulted by popular Canadian radio personality Jian Ghomeshi has been an interesting test case for the discourse. People of both genders have taken both sides, though those defending him have often reverted to the recurrent stereotype of the vindictively lying woman. This might, however, have been undermined by the five more women who then came forward to testify to similarly horrific experiences.

Ideas are equipment to address and sometimes adjust reality. Seeing a host of new feminist ideas deployed in this case is a sign of how much ground those ideas have gained in the last year or so. During that time, I’ve watched several good men do the work of rethinking much of what they’ve been taught and reach new conclusions.

The Obsession About False Rape Accusations: A Handy Pullout Section

Of course, the old ideas are out in force, too. Pretty much every time someone raises the subject of rape in my hearing (or online reading), a man pops up to raise the “issue” of “false rape accusations.” Seriously, it’s almost inevitably the first thing out of some guy’s mouth; men appear obsessed with the subject, and it often becomes a convenient way of changing the focus from widespread female victims to exceedingly rare male victims. As a result, I’ve assembled this handy pullout guide to the subject in the hope that I never have to address it again.

Rape is so common in our culture it’s fair to call it an epidemic. After all, what else could you call something that impacts nearly one in five women (and one in 71 men) directly and, as a threat, virtually all women, that is so pervasive it modifies how we live and think and move through the world for most of our lives? Actual instances in which women have untruthfully claimed a rape occurred simply to malign some guy are extremely uncommon. The most reliable studies suggest that about 2% of reported rapes are false, which means that 98% are real. Even that statistic doesn’t mean that 2% are false rape accusations, because saying you were raped if you weren’t isn’t the same thing as claiming a specific person raped you when he didn’t. (No one sifts for the category of false rape accusation per se, by the way.) Still, those stats don’t stop men from bringing the subject up again and again and again. And again.

Here’s what such accusations sound like in translation:

Her: There’s an epidemic afflicting my people!

Him: I’m worried about this incredibly rare disease I heard about (but didn’t research) that could possibly afflict a member of my tribe!

Or maybe it sounds like this:

Her: Your tribe does horrible things to mine, which is well documented.

Him: Your tribe is full of malicious liars. I don’t really have evidence of that, but my feelings are more rational than your facts.

Keep in mind, by the way, when you consider those figures on rape, that most of them are not reported. Of the rapes that are, most are not prosecuted. Of those that are prosecuted, the great majority fail to achieve convictions. Bringing rape charges is generally not a fun and effective way either to seek revenge or justice, and falsely reporting a crime is itself a crime, something the police do not generally look kindly upon.

Hundreds of thousands of rape kits collected by the police in this country were, we now know, never sent to crime labs for testing and a few years back, various cities — New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and St. Louis — were exposed for not even bothering to file police reports on tens of thousands of rape claims. This should help convince you that the system does not work that well for rape victims. And remember who the police are: an increasingly militarized, mostly male group with high rates of domestic violence and some notable rape charges of their own recently. In other words, they’re not always the most sympathetic people for women — particularly nonwhite women, sex workers, transgendered women, and other marginalized groups — to talk to about male sexual misconduct.

People also often wonder why colleges adjudicate rape cases themselves rather than report them to the police, particularly since many of them don’t do it well. The reasons are numerous, including the fact that campuses are required under Title IX (a 1972 amendment to the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act) to ensure equal access to education for everyone. Sexual assault undermines that equality under the law. Then there’s the fact that the criminal justice system is broken when it comes to sexual violence and that many rape survivors regard dealing with the legal system as a second round of violation and humiliation. Sometimes charges are dropped simply because the victim can’t endure the process any longer.

And now, back to those false rape accusations. In the new hardcover edition of Men Explain Things to Me, I added this footnote: “False accusations of rape are a reality, and a relatively rare one, though the stories of those convicted falsely are terrible. A British study by the Crown Prosecution Service released in 2013 noted that there were 5,651 prosecutions for rape in the period studied, versus only 35 prosecutions for false allegations of rape (or more than 160 rapes for every false allegation, well under 1%). And a 2000 U.S. Department of Justice report cited these estimates for the United States: 322,230 rapes annually, resulting in 55,424 reports to police, 26,271 arrests, and 7,007 convictions — or slightly more than 2% of rapes counted and 12% of rapes reported resulted in jail sentences.”

In other words, reporting a rape is not likely to get someone jailed, and though perhaps 2% of rape charges are false, only slightly more than 2% of all charges result in convictions. (Some estimates go as high as 3%.) In other words, there are an awful lot of unpunished rapists out there. And most rapists, when accused or charged, do not admit to committing rape. Which means we have a host of rapists who are also liars out there, and that maybe the lies that abound are by men who have raped, not women who have not been raped.

Of course false-rape allegations have happened. My friend Astra Taylor points out that the most dramatic examples in this country were when white men falsely accused black men of assaulting white women. Which means that if you want to be indignant on the subject, you’ll need to summon up a more complicated picture of how power, blame, and mendacity actually work. There have been incidents — the infamous Scottsboro Boys gang-rape case of the 1930s, for example — where white women were also pressured by the authorities to lie in order to incriminate black men. In the Scottsboro case, one of the accusers, 17-year-old Ruby Bates, later recanted and told the truth, despite the threats against her.

Then there’s the Central Park jogger case of 1989 in which the police coerced false confessions and the judicial system (including a woman prosecutor) convicted and jailed five innocent African-American and Latino teens. The white victim, who had been beaten nearly to death, had no memory of the incident and was not a witness against them. In 2002, the real assailant confessed and the five were exonerated. Convicting the innocent tends to result from corruption and misconduct in the justice system, not just a lone accuser. Of course, there are exceptions. My point is: they are rare.

The false-rape-allegation obsession apparently arises from a number of things, including the delusion that they are common and the enduring slander that women are naturally duplicitous, manipulative, and unreliable. The constant mention of the issue suggests that there’s a weird kind of male confidence that comes from a sense of having more credibility than women. And now that’s changing. Maybe by confidence I mean entitlement. Maybe what these guys are saying is: men are finally going to be held accountable and that frightens them. Maybe it’s good for them to be frightened or at least accountable.

What Makes a Planet Inhabitable

The situation as it has long existed needs to be described bluntly. Let’s just say that a significant number of men hate women, whether it’s the stranger harassed in the street, the Twitter user threatened into silence online, or the wife who’s beaten. Some men believe they are entitled to humiliate, punish, silence, violate, and even annihilate women. As a consequence, women face a startling amount of everyday violence and an atmosphere of menace, as well as a host of smaller insults and aggressions meant to keep us down. It’s not surprising, then, that the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies some men’s rights groups as hate groups.

In this context, consider what we mean by rape culture. It’s hate. Those sports-team and fraternity rapes, the ones that sometimes result in young men swapping phone videos that they never seem to recognize as evidence of felonies, are predicated on the idea that violating the rights, dignity, and body of another human being is a cool thing to do. Such group acts are based on a predatory-monster notion of what masculinity is, one to which many men don’t subscribe but that affects us all. It’s also a problem that men are capable of rectifying in ways women are not.

And maybe this is the answer to the guy in Alaska who asked me last June what feminism had in it for him. Remembering that conversation now, I can’t help but think of the slogan that John Lennon and Yoko Ono began to circulate in the Vietnam era: “War is over (if you want it).” It was always assumed to be about the Vietnam War and was revived in the years of George W. Bush’s wars, but it could mean any kind of war or every kind of war, including the ones that live in our own hearts and minds.

Hate is an exhausting pursuit with no real victories, and enemies are not a good thing to have. The mind of a rapist must not be a pleasant place to inhabit, and men who can’t hear or recognize the humanity of half the population are missing something. If only the war were over! But, guy in Alaska, it would be nice if you could care about the well-being of others without reference to whether it confers advantages on you, too, especially since you have a lot of the advantages we aspire to, like being able to walk around without worrying about being a target.

The other evening, I left a talk on what makes a planet inhabitable — temperature, atmosphere, distance from a star — by an astrophysicist I know. I’d thought about asking a young man who was a friend of a friend of mine to accompany me to my car in the very dark park outside the California Academy of Sciences, but the astrophysicist and I fell to talking and walked to the car together without even questioning the necessity of it, and then I drove her to her car.

A couple of weeks earlier, I joined Emma Sulkowicz and a group of young women who were carrying a mattress between classes at Columbia University. You may already know that Sulkowicz is an art major who reported being raped and received nothing that resembled justice either from the campus authorities or the New York Police Department. In response, she is bearing witness to her plight with a performance-art piece that consists of carrying a dorm-room mattress with her whenever she’s on campus, wherever she’s going.

The media response has been tremendous. A documentary film team was along that day and the middle-aged camerawoman remarked to me that, if campus consent standards had existed when she was young, if the right of women to say no and the obligation of men to respect women’s decisions had been recognized, her life would have been utterly different. I thought about it for a moment and realized: so would mine. So much of my energy between the ages of 12 and 30 was given over just to surviving predatory men. The revelation that humiliation, harm, and maybe even death was liable to be inflicted on me by complete strangers and casual acquaintances because of my gender and that I had to be on watch all the time to avoid such a fate — well, that’s part of what made me a feminist.

I care passionately about the inhabitability of our planet from an environmental perspective, but until it’s fully inhabitable by women who can walk freely down the street without the constant fear of trouble and danger, we will labor under practical and psychological burdens that impair our full powers. Which is why, as someone who thinks climate is the most important thing in the world right now, I’m still writing about feminism and women’s rights. And celebrating the men who have made changing the world slightly more possible or are now part of the great changes underway.

—–

Rebecca Solnit is the author of 17 books, including an expanded hardcover version of her paperback indie bestseller Men Explain Things to Me and a newly released anthology of her essays about places from Detroit to Kyoto to the Arctic, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.

Copyright 2014 Rebecca Solnit

Reprinted by permission of TomDispatch

45 comments on “Rebecca Solnit: Feminism — The Men Arrive!

  1. Joshx45
    March 21, 2019

    I am all for women’s rights and equality, and their right to safety, to determine their own expression of femininity, to live as they choose and to not have that dictated by a man or anyone else.

    By the same token, I am for men’s rights and equality, their right to safety, to determine their own expression of masculinity, to live as they choose and not have that dictated by a woman or anyone else.

    Of these two, which do you think most people care more about?
    To me as a man, you don’t have any say in how I choose to be one, and I don’t have any say in how you choose to live your life as a woman.

    You have no obliged duties to me. Anything you choose to do for me, I should be grateful for it.

    I have no obligation to you either. Anything I do, I do by choice, not your expectations of me. Telling us to man up? Asking us to express emotions, and then shaming us when we do? I’m out.

    Violence against women? Horrible. I detest these men.

    Here’s some names to Google, Rebecca: Lavinia Woodward, Vanessa George, Jordan Worth, Moira Hyndley, Rose West, Aileen Wournos, Joanne Dennehy.
    Just a sample.

    As I say, I am all for you to live in a safer world of fair treatment and respect. Just realise it isn’t a one sided situation. If you want guys like me to get on board, then please recognise that men are not even mostly bad and perpetrators, and that women aren’t entirely good and always victims.

    We are tired of being blamed for everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ronald Baker
    March 13, 2015

    Reblogged this on Unchain The Tree.

    Like

  3. dutchindianprincess
    December 16, 2014

    Reblogged this on Dutch Indian Princess and commented:
    I could not love this post any more. Glad someone finally wrote about this issue. Feminism needs men.

    Like

  4. MixIC
    November 27, 2014

    Reblogged this on Mixic.

    Like

  5. trendtoppings
    November 26, 2014

    Nicee!

    Like

  6. gssrg
    November 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on gssrg.

    Like

  7. ardensta
    November 18, 2014

    Veri powerful

    Liked by 1 person

  8. zangramarsh
    November 17, 2014

    Ok, Anita is not the best example for “threats” because reddit tech nerds did some digging both on twitter and other sources that have sent harassment/threats and found evidence that the accounts were fakes. I would link the thread, but it was deleted by moderators for whatever reason they please.
    Specifically in relation to the cancelled lecture, http://www.avoiceformen.com/allnews/anita-sarkeesian-feminism-online-harrassment-2/ it was found by the FBI to be a moot threat, no worse than the death/bomb that men’s rights advocates at another college.

    Say what you will, but I find anything related to Anita trustworthy.

    Like

  9. carmeng8
    November 17, 2014

    Reblogged this on carmeng8.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. wilsoner
    November 14, 2014

    It certainly is time to join together to protect the rights of both men and women—and doing so together makes us stronger. Thank you.
    You may want to be aware, though, that the aforementioned Gamergate feminist talk canceled was at Utah State University, which is completely separate from the University of Utah. And while university officials could have been more understanding, they also certainly were not trying trying to condone potential violence against their guest. Just thought you’d like the facts!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. initiationtolove
    November 14, 2014

    Reblogged this on S3xy Holistic Life.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. azuraq1
    November 13, 2014

    Thanks for this essay with well-researched facts!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. superphoenix
    November 13, 2014

    Reblogged this on Superphoenix and commented:
    A must read!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. hmalapanis
    November 12, 2014

    I wouldn’t have thought it possible to enjoy reading an essay about rape and the routine subjugation of women, but there it is. This was a great read. Loved the well-researched facts, the calm tone (no raging or cursing, just delivering a message), and the sincere tribute to men who are adding their voices to the feminist movement. Thank you for this.

    Like

  15. swankycounsellor
    November 11, 2014

    Reblogged this on swankycounsellor's Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. naughtyproffesori
    November 10, 2014

    Like it or not Bollywood is the mother of all problems

    Like

  17. jnewworld
    November 10, 2014

    Reblogged this on jnewworld's Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Professor Mayhem
    November 9, 2014

    Reblogged this on Slightly Left of Centre.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. firestormomega
    November 8, 2014

    The issues spoken of here have nothing necessarily to do with feminism. This is about the treatment of women and their rights. Feminism… or radical feminism whichever you choose has been an abysmal failure and reaped havoc on American culture. Feminism has given the world female brutes, betrayed prostitutes, sent America back 50 years on abortion, and turn children into neurotics or psychosis. Just starters…

    Liked by 1 person

    • katherinejlegry
      November 8, 2014

      Yeay!!!! Long live the Female brutes and betrayed Prostitutes! Thank the angels for powerful women who cause you fear and trembling!!!!!! woot!

      Like

      • firestormomega
        November 12, 2014

        A little confused… are we not, my dear? Thank feminism. In the coming ‘matriarch society’, you will regain your senses and self-esteem. http://firestormomega.wordpress.com/

        Like

        • katherinejlegry
          November 13, 2014

          No, I’m not confused, Firstormomega. I was just being brusque juxtaposed against your condescending attitude towards women on this site. I am not your “dear” for example. I have a name. Feminists are not ruining women or society. We are helping it evolve and heal. You are confused and perhaps un-open to what the author is actually speaking about. She wrote inclusively and well mannered which has made many commenting pleased that she did not cuss and that she was observing male rape and abuse as well. She wrote like that in order to appeal to us and provide understanding to male and females alike regarding where we relate and how men are also victims of abuses but how their numbers are not as high as women. So part of the problem when women need to talk about rape and sexual harassment in order to change the laws and stop allowing the minimizing of the crimes and our voices, is that men silence the conversation by taking it over with their own needs…saying they are victims of mothers and women (and rape too) so that they still get the most voice, the most say in how we are to behave. We have to be the nice ones not the loud ones to be sensitive to our abusers feelings so that they can become sensitive to ours, essentially. But men always get to be loud when they want and they are not expected to be nice.

          I do not begrudge religious people who agree upon traditional marriages, but I do not need you to tell me what to do with my womb, how to feel about abortion or how to serve men and the family. It’s none of your business.

          I think fear causes you to say feminists are brutes. I think you don’t understand what prostitution really does to women or why all of them do it and how various their reasons and I don’t like how you shame them by speaking of them as if you need to teach and preach them to the “light”.

          The author is speaking yes, about the treatment of women. She is also teaching how we can speak on the matter and how men do not need to feel threatened about the growth and development of their fellow humans who happen to be female. Feminism is gender equality not unisex. It doesn’t have to be more “masculine” to be feminist although it can be.

          By assuming I have no self esteem because I am of feminist nature, is belittling. You are not reaching towards understanding. You are oppressive. You are not equalizing because you are not willing to listen. To validate my experience regardless of your personal convictions. You want to fit me into a box so you know how to relate to me. And your sexist language suggests that you are not willing to get to know women on a real level. You put them down or you elevate them to “goddess”. Yes, I looked briefly at your site before giving a “woot!” to my sisterhood in my first comment to you.

          A matriarchal society is not what I am asking for or wanting. I am interesting in equality.

          I am in full possession of my senses. I am even someone who has studied some of the Confucius you say has oppressed the women of China. The way you rule in tone is actually not unlike that strict system, accepting you are discouraged by China’s abortion practices. They do commit many human rights atrocities but they have a complicated, ancient history coming out of feudal wars and became very over populated so I find the way you speak of them exceedingly over simplified and condescending as well.

          You can have your idea of a utopia and a sense of spiritual family order, but you do not need to “slut shame” or vilianize feminism. Maybe you haven’t encountered a wide enough expression of what it is and have only saturated yourself in the slander. And maybe you encountered a few “militant” sounding women or “man-hating” ones legitimately, and maybe that is coloring your entire world view. However, I will defend their boundaries and acknowledge their pain and support their evolving journey, as well as I will hope you stop badgering them on sites like this.

          And stop trying to tell women which words to use in order to be a lady.

          I am not going to look again at the link you provided, but I thank you for responding, because it bothered me so much when you tried to undermine the author. I appreciate being able to tell you why… so maybe you can adjust your need to force your opinions. Maybe read for a while before you have to counter everything.

          And I was hoping to have this clarification of my feelings… once you took the proverbial bait.
          Which all anti-feminists do… with beautiful feminists. Because of beauty you are angry, Not reverent. That’s how I felt when reading your comment… and looking at your blog.

          And I felt like you took this space over so that the article which expresses how I feel… as a woman… can not lend me the support I first felt… because you only attack in your offer. Attacks on my “self esteem” which you actually claim to be uplifting if only I’d follow like a sheep.

          I am me and you are you. Peace brother.

          Like

          • firestormomega
            November 14, 2014

            Sorry Dear, thought you were just confused. Feminism has confused and psychologically scarred many women. Queen Victoria said it best; “unsex themselves”… cut many of you off from your self and you become neither heterosexual nor homosexual. What it does to your mind… my sympathy. It is not why I am here. You get sympathy from Earth Goddesses. I am here to burn away decaying culture to make way for Beauty. Feminists are welcome as ladies as long as they leave the feminism at home. This is the dawning of the ‘Matriarch Society’.

            Like

            • katherinejlegry
              November 15, 2014

              Why would you feel the need to call me “dear” after I explained to you that that is not how I want to be addressed by you? I know it’s so you can feel above me, but it really just makes you low.

              Um… lots of things scar and damage women. You can not honesty single out feminists with any amount of truth.

              Queen Victoria and the Victorian age was full of corsets and and clothing that bound women, making it difficult to breath and work. They were created for the specific purpose of making woman an ornament as well as into an elevated mystique so that the woman was viewed as unearthly or what you see as classically feminine. To quote her to me is to be silly with me. I don’t want to play your silly game.

              In terms of heterosexual and homosexual… feminism has lesbians in it and bisexuals and heterosexuals and men that are homosexual and men that are heterosexual and transgendered people because feminism is about backing equality for genders. There are some feminists who divide themselves from one another because they do not want to be associated with transgender or lesbian groups etc. There are a lot of reasons for the debate and reasons for boundaries in order to feel safe when speaking on women’s issues. All of these voices are acceptable, they just don’t always work together. Sometimes they fight because of homophobic and bigoted views and sometimes they argue because they have a much more narrow mission statement. None of these people is destroying the world. Wars over oil are doing that, and those are perpetuated in large part by men. So just because your world feels more fragile due to feminists, the real world is becoming strong for them. Diversity is strength. Women of all natures are strong.

              Leave feminism at home? Then how about you leave Jesus at home to and shut up about abortion.

              Like

              • firestormomega
                November 17, 2014

                Dear, is a term of affection. I have genuine sympathy for you. You seem confused. Do you have questions of me? I am atheist transitioning into spirituality. The Goddess and Scholar Christina Hoff Sommers killed and dissected feminism over twenty years ago! Please, get up to date. Feminism is nothing but a Zombie that continues to eat the minds of young women. Women were meant for much more than any feminist could imagine. I am no longer here to convince. The future is set.

                Like

                • katherinejlegry
                  November 18, 2014

                  I don’t want to be called “dear” so knock it off. I know what terms of affection are. You call me confused because of rejection, but I’m clear. You call me confused because I don’t agree with you, but I am clear. You call me confused because you don’t listen, but I am clear.

                  Your spiritual quest sounds fantastical and imaginary but whatever floats your boat, fella.

                  Feminism is not a world religion. It’s not supposed to supplant everything like your odd goddess matriarchy where women dress up like Queen Victoria.

                  But ok… so you think you can see the future. Which means you and I aren’t really talking. What we are doing, is showing how you needed to harass women on this page in order to squelch our voices. You needed to be the most important. Not the religion you spout, but you. The angel of feminist-doom…

                  So I’m not trying to convince you either. That was never my agenda. I already knew where you stood. You are like other religious men who tell women how to behave as wives and mothers and ladies and servants when you’re not calling them whores. I just don’t think you deserve to be louder than the author… or me, so this has all been a matter of principle.

                  Like

            • katherinejlegry
              November 15, 2014

              An earth goddess matriarchal new order as dictated by a man? Seriously? And the earth goddess calls us dear ladies? Um LOL. No thank you.

              Like

              • firestormomega
                November 17, 2014

                It is only for reasonable women… Women who do not jump to conclusions. Feminism has made your intellect weak… I’m sorry. The future I speak of exalts women. Feminine Purity– http://wp.me/p5dsyj-j

                Like

                • katherinejlegry
                  November 18, 2014

                  Thank you Mike. I completely understand and feel relieved by your decision, as I’d hoped it would end before this point, truth be told. I appreciate the forum and your open minded moderation very much and am happy to have discovered the variety of articles posted on Vox Populi. The article by Rebecca Solnit came to my attention at a time I truly needed her empathetic voice, and never has a title of “hooray” and “uh-oh” ever seemed more apropos. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Michael Simms
                    November 18, 2014

                    Thank you, Katherine. I agree with you about Solnit’s essay. She’s right that open-minded men and women need to work together on the big issues. Domestic abuse, fairness in the workplace, reproductive rights, child-care, and body-image delusions are not “women’s issues”, they are human issues.

                    Like

                    • katherinejlegry
                      November 18, 2014

                      Absolutely they are human issues. I however am interested in how men will be taking over the dialogue as their prioritize their abuses and seem to “allow” women equality only when first recognized. On a basic social and diplomatic, legal, and human rights level, we need to make neutral those things you’ve listed and address them in fairness. But we are not starting out on equal ground in the first place and so “women’s issues” should be granted a respectful hearing, with a validation of those experiences as they are told truthfully as only each individual woman can express. Our voices are minimized constantly as we are requested to consider the human race’s feelings before our own. I have been considering everyone’s feelings and I have been listening and understanding the cycles of domestic violence that cause victims to become abusers and how each can use blame to obstruct healing or understanding. Reproductive rights, as in anybodies right over my own body, simply is not up for debate. This is not about belief. My womb is nobodys business. Childcare is important. Parents need help. Equal pay for women has yet to be seen. Thank you so much for listening to my perspective and helping all of the humans.

                      Liked by 1 person

  20. raissaoui
    November 8, 2014

    Reblogged this on thatobsessedgirl.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. saffyo
    November 8, 2014

    Very powerful and interesting. I’m glad there are an increasing number of men who are speaking out about the injustices of women. I also loved the speach Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. iput van chulun
    November 8, 2014

    Reblogged this on saifudinahmad22 and commented:
    ~☆

    Liked by 1 person

  23. kevinthemusicguy
    November 7, 2014

    I enjoyed reading this piece, it was very well thought out and helped me to realize that I’m glad most Fems are accepting of Male Allies. I felt this way because there were a lot blogs and memes made saying “behave this way, not that way”. I realize now that those posts are directed towards the men who mansplain how Feminism “should work (better for them)”.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Stuart M. Perkins
    November 7, 2014

    Very powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. ginalazenby
    November 7, 2014

    Reblogged this on woman-at-large and commented:
    A really interesting read about how the Feminist movement is evolving and the high profile male figures speaking out about injustices to women …. excellent

    Liked by 1 person

  26. theshadowflowerninja
    November 7, 2014

    A very nice piece with a lot of very good points. Our two favorite would be the mentioning of needing more men to become feminists and the mentioning of the fact that man can be and are raped. Most things we tend to read on this subject do not mention these things at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Tandi
    November 7, 2014

    Thank you for this powerful piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. lanljw
    November 6, 2014

    Reblogged this on lanljw.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Rain, Rain
    November 6, 2014

    Hooray at last.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. katherinejlegry
    November 6, 2014

    Reblogged this on SKINNY NECK.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. tjshivamsingh
    November 6, 2014

    Like my too

    Liked by 1 person

  32. razzakbergan
    November 6, 2014

    cool

    Liked by 1 person

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