The boys club, or: How women have been, and still are, kept out of history

As I am writing this, I have just finished my first day at a seminar abroad, and I must say, the seminar started off on a frustrating and infuriating note for me. As we were listening to the first lecture this morning, which was supposed to be about Ricoeur, the lecturer, a male Professor from France, began with a brief sort of history slash back story of philosophers and great thinkers, among which Ricoeur was one (along with Derrida, Husserl, Foucault etc.). After talking about this and that philosopher he showed us a slide of all he had touched upon with their names and pictures, dates and such, and I couldn’t help thinking: There’s something wrong with this picture.
All the faces looking back at me from the screen, were Men. My anger and frustration was instant, I felt my pulse rising as the question boiled in my head; Why is there not a single woman pictured there?

Alas, I bit my tongue and let him continue on uninterrupted. I figured, maybe he will mention more, maybe he will say something. Or, maybe I am overreacting. But no, I am not, and I hate myself for even thinking that for a second, for going there, for almost forgiving yet again the erasure of women. Fuck that.

As the day went on, my frustration grew, but as a sign from the universe, it so happened that in the last section of the day, the group discussions, I was placed in the same group as the lecturer. I kept going back and forth for most of the discussion on whether or not I should now take the opportunity to ask him what he was thinking, why he decided to ignore female philosophers completely, and at the end of the discussion I raised my hand and spoke out. I said that I noticed that there were only men included in his presentation, that he didn’t mention a single woman, that while talking about this and that collaboration or link to Ricoeur he did not make a single connection to, say, Simone de Beauvoir, who, one could say, had similar thoughts on identity as did Ricoeur. Why was she left out?

The answer I got was, what I would call: a generic-non-reply-excuse. Basically, he said that he was not that familiar with her work (! How about reading up on it then?), that women at that time were not that encouraged to take part of the discourse (! Sure, but what about those who did?), that in France, Simone de Beauvoir is not that “popular” (! Ok, but we are not IN France, and you just gave a lecture about Ricoeur and how he was not that popular in France and had to go to America..), that the university at that time was very misogynist (! Obviously, still does not explain why you insist on keeping it that way..), and then another male lecturer chimed in trying to save the situation by saying: That was still not that long ago, and surely in a hundred years it will look different and more women will be included in the seminar then. And my honest response to that is: Well. No. Actually, things will in fact NOT look different then, unless we MAKE it different. If we keep excluding women, they will never be a part of the discourse. If we keep ignoring women, overlooking them, they will remain in the periphery.

Women have been written out of history for too long, it is not always that noticeable, it is not always complete or permanent, but it has happened, and still is happening. As Rebecca Solnit writes in one of the best books I’ve read this year, or probably my entire life, Men Explain Things to Me:

“Some women get erased a little at a time, some all at once. Some reappear. Every woman who appears wrestles with the forces that would have her disappear. She struggles with the forces that would tell her story for her, or write her out of the story, the genealogy, the rights of man, the rule of law. The ability to tell your own story, in words or images, is already a victory, already a revolt.”

By say, not including female philosophers at a lecture where you mention a dozen male philosophers, you are, whether consciously or not, keeping women out of the discourse. You are showing your students that great thinkers equals men. You are holding on to the misogynist rules that have kept women on the outside for centuries. The fact that you have not read up on any female philosophers is of course also part of the problem, in fact, I can almost be certain that when your teachers presented their lectures on great philosophers, they most likely also did not mention women. And so the story goes. So it spins. Round and round. And if we keep spinning like this, we will forever be too damn dizzy to notice what is wrong with the bloody picture.

Enough is enough, is enough. It’s time to write a new history.

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18 thoughts on “The boys club, or: How women have been, and still are, kept out of history

  1. And would you have the same complaints, if reviewing generals throughout history? Or perhaps some other field wherein little-to-no women existed? Or where no women did anything of merit? In these categories, would you promote their accomplishments, even if not on-par with the men?

    I’m all for equality, but equality means equality – not giving women preferential treatment. That behavior is exactly what promotes misogyny. And is it not stereotypically masculine to get angry and irrational?

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    • First of all, I am not talking about generals, or a field where no women have been present, or done nothing of merit.
      Second, nowhere did I say that women should have preferential treatment just for the sake of it.
      Third, being angry or showing any kind of emotion is not, as I see it, belonging to any one of the binary gender roles we have placed ourselves within. It is merely human.
      Fourth, why is it “irrational” to get upset regarding various injustices that we find in our lives?

      I agree that equality means equality, it means that for me as well. And that is why I find it very unequal and upsetting when only men are being regarded in a field where women have been both present and also influential. Especially when it is done in an environment that is supposed to promote intellectual growth, peer discussion and critical thinking.

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  2. A sound argument. But, is making extra effort simply to include women, biased? Well, I would say not, given the need to manage societies which, on their own, often become corrupt. But this begs a new question. Is the recognition of this in line with the concept of equality, which feminism promotes?

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    • Why would including women in a discourse where women are also present be considered “extra effort”? Why does it not occur as strange, to not include women instead? I think that equality is not just something that “happens”, it is something that we must actively work towards, and a way of working towards it is putting women back in our history, placing them in our present, where they have just as much a right to be as men.
      If in 2016 it is “difficult” for a Professor to include at least one woman when talking about several philosophers, then I think that there is something very biased going on.

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  3. Difficult, no. But if it merely did not occur to him to do so? That is a simple possibility; which for you to deny, would irrefutably be biased on your part. The pool of available philosophers is dominated by men; so a random sampling, in all possibility, would result in exclusively men.

    Best to pick and choose your battles, least you irritate those you seek to influence; few are capable of rational thought, much less so when pressed. But allow me to pose a question. Consider it not an attempt to undermine your beliefs, as I know the benefits of solidarity; rather consider it an attempt to refine the concepts.

    If society represses women, and women compose approximately 50% of society, are not women also responsible for that repression? Stating otherwise, that women are victims of “the patriarchy”, would suggest that though composing that 50%, women are nevertheless too weak to have prevented that patriarchy from coming into existence in the first place.

    Which further implies that women are genuinely weaker than men, and if that’s the case, they must be treated so. Does that not invalidate the cause of feminism entirely? I apologize if this causes discomfort, but seeking to influence society comes with the responsibility of doing so correctly. That is, unless you prefer the term “feminazi”.

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    • Of course, that is possible. But, my point is: if it did not occur to him as strange when he created his slides, when he saw the image of the dozen philosophers and the thought of: “Oh, they are all men, not one woman here, how interesting..” did not occur to him, well, does that not say something about the still misogynist context we are living in? Even if you are not actively keeping women out of the discourse, not even acknowledging their exclusion, is also part of the problem. Also: this was not a “random sampling”, he deliberately chose each of the philosopher’s that he mentioned, linking each of them in some ways (and in others, not really), to Ricoeur. Thus, in some ways by that logic, he deliberately also chose to exclude any female philosopher.

      And indeed, you have to pick your battles, but for me, this is a battle worth picking. This is not the first time something like this has happened, this is not the first time I have seen professors, colleagues etc. exclude women from a discourse. And every time I, or we, allow this to go on unnoticed, uncontested, we are also participating in the elimination of women from our history. For me, standing idly by, is also part of the problem. Keeping silent, will only further the silencing of women.

      It is so easy for us in 2016 to criticize the “olden days” when society as we know it today was formed. It is so easy to say that women back then should have done this and that. The problem with this is though, that we cannot fully comprehend the context of that time, we will never fully understand what exactly happened, and even if we did, we could never relate to it in an authentic way, we will never know the struggles that may or may not have been present back then. I am not saying that women are victims of the patriarchy, I rather think that we are all slaves to it. Patriarchy hurts not only women but also men. And since our societies as we know it are built upon patriarchy, it is difficult for us, even today, to rid ourselves of these types of beliefs, values, thoughts and norms. They are ingrained in us, they are to some extent invisible, subtle. And that is what is sad about what happened yesterday: He may or may not have excluded female philosophers from his presentation deliberately, either way, women are still kept outside the discourse due to different factors.

      It is not that simple as you seem to put it, to ascribe women as being the “weaker sex” since they have not prevented patriarchy. If one understands the concept of power, how power works, how repression works, how resistance works, one may find that it is not as easy as saying that “A is strong and B is weak, therefore A has all the power”, it is not about that, there is so much more in play here. Power is omnipresent, it exists everywhere in different forms, it is not a solid state, power can be transferred, overthrown, and as Foucault would argue the most binding form of power is the one that is productive rather than repressive. In other words: When we as humans started to develop, it may have been in a female’s best interest to have a “strong” male by her side, ergo productive power. As in many cases in the animal kingdom; the bigger, badder is the “king”. However: humans have since evolved beyond our animal ancestors, yet still, the basis of our societies, of our foundation is still set in the same type of mindset as the “bigger, badder” logic, even if today, physical strength does not mean the exact same thing as it did or does for animals.

      Furthermore, saying something like: “Hey, well if 50% of the population are women, then why have they not prevented patriarchy?”, is for me, utterly naive, simplistic and shortsighted. The problem with this form of logic is that you cannot place all of the worlds’ women in the same box; Not all women think the same way, not all women actively feel repressed, and many of those who do, do not even think that they have a chance of doing anything about it. When the societies we live in, the structures we live in, have become so institutionalized, normalized, how would it be possible for all women to, at once, simultaneously, rise up and revolt? Cause that is what it would perhaps basically take in order to overthrow patriarchy in one swift move. But that will never happen. With feminism, small and bigger steps have been taken, but changing the norms that bind us takes time, a lot of time. As Rebecca also wrote, and if you have not read her book (Men explain things to me), I strongly recommend you do:

      “Feminism is an endeavor to change something very old, widespread, and deeply rooted in many, perhaps most, cultures around the world, innumerable institutions, and most households on Earth—and in our minds, where it all begins and ends. That so much change has been made in four or five decades is amazing; that everything is not permanantly, definitively, irrevocably changed is not a sign of failure. A woman goes walking down a thousand-mile road. Twenty minutes after she steps forth, they proclaim that she still has nine hundred ninety-nine miles to go and will never get anywhere.”

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  4. To one who is genuinely not prejudiced, the thought of being consistently inclusive might not occur. I for, example, care so extremely little about one’s sexual orientation, or race, that I treat minorities as I would majorities – exactly the same. That means I don’t go out of my way to be inclusive unless situationally appropriate. Also, I consider these problems vastly inferior to far larger issues in society.

    While mentioning it, did he include any LGTB philosophers? Did he offer the widest possible range of races? If not, why didn’t you mention that as well? And how, if seeking equality, do you excuse the bluntly sexist titles of “feminism” and “patriarchy”?

    But so, you say that we cannot understand the power dynamics throughout history, and thus can place little responsibility on the women involved in it’s formation. And presumably, you also include men in that lack of responsibility – though we grant the great evil a male title. Yet, now, you say we need to take responsibility, that we can understand and alter the present. Why does that not apply to the women of the past?

    These are among the basic issues that undermine feminism, that I’ve personally yet to see addressed. More worrying still, is that I’ve never seen a feminist fervently address the negative traits more common to females than to males.

    For example, anyone can openly say that the majority of violent crimes are committed by males – and no one will bat an eye. But to openly state that women more often leverage their sexuality, to financially take advantage of men, is off-limits. As is stating that women more-often utilize their sexuality in the workplace for advancement than men do. And I’ll be written off if I mention the, scientifically provable, mental instability caused by menstruation.

    Frankly, until feminism gets its own house in order, why should anyone take it seriously? Again, I promote solidarity, and being a primarily straight male, there is nothing I love more than strong women. But solving a problem requires acknowledging ugly truths.

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    • Fair enough, people may not on a regular basis go around thinking of being as inclusive as they perhaps want to or should be. Nevertheless, you are again comparing your personal life to a context that was an entirely different one; what I was commenting on happened in the context of academia, not a personal-hanging-out-with-my-friends-just-chatting context. There is a difference, and I am not saying that I wouldn’t have questioned this in any other context as well, I probably would, however, I expect, perhaps foolishly, that such matters should not be happening so frequently in an academic setting.

      You say there are other matters far more important in society and while that may be true, is that a sound argument to just ignore all the “small” issues we are faced with? Why can’t we be “fighting” more “fights” at once? Also, the issue that I was addressing, which is that of women’s silencing and exclusion in history, is arguably, not a “small issue”..

      And yes, as I wrote he mentioned for instance Foucault who was a gay man. But since he mostly focused on French and German philosophers he did not mention any other ethnicity, and again, that is not the point I was making. If I decided to make a point of including race then I would have done that, but the only point I was trying to make was in regards to gender; i.e. the lack of women in his presentation. You can always come with such arguments as soon as anyone says something, but I would rather stick to the point instead of trailing off somewhere else.

      I do not understand your reasoning when saying: “And how, if seeking equality, do you excuse the bluntly sexist titles of “feminism” and “patriarchy”?” What does that have to do with anything? Patriarchy is so called since the societies were based on the Patriarch, i.e. the male. And feminism is so called since it stems from a women’s movement for freedom and rights. It started off with equality between women and men, but it has evolved to include equality for all thus including race and sexual orientation etc. I do not understand why people have a hard time with the term feminism, but they are ok with the overall misogynist way in which language in general is structured. What the heck?

      Also, I did not say that women and men way back when, were not responsible, of course they were, all I said was that we cannot know what exactly happened, how things went down. Thus, we can argue back and forth about what should or should not have been done, but we will never get anywhere with this. The past is the past, we cannot change the past, but we can acknowledge it, learn from it, and thus apply what we learned on changing our future.

      I do not know what feminists you have been talking to, and just like people, all feminists are different. I am not speaking for all feminists, I have my own ideas and thoughts about it just like everyone else. And just like any other ideology, of course feminism may have its flaws, but it is interesting how you can pick on feminism for not being equal enough, or inclusive enough, or not as focused on all the issues you find interesting enough, but then if we look at for instance democracy or any other ideology, would you say that they are all perfectly flawless? Of course not! They are all, just like feminism, created by humans, and humans are flawed.

      Do you really want to get into an argument regarding female sexuality right now? Ok, let’s go..
      Women in patriarchal societies have not, still don’t really, own their own sexuality. Their bodies have become sexualized in different ways for different reasons, and sure some have thus figured out that hey if I am being sexualized anyway, how about playing that in my favor in some way. Plus: if a woman uses her sexuality in the workplace, is there not also a man (or other) involved there who condones and promotes that behavior? Why are you not lifting up that side of the story? The only way a woman (or a man, or whoever) can successfully use her sexuality at work, or otherwise, is if the “reciprocator” accepts and promotes such behavior, otherwise, it is useless and it will fail. Another plus: Men have and still do, in general, promote other like-minded men for job positions, this may thus also have had a major part in the fact that women have to use other “strategies” in order to get ahead. If you read Kanter’s study on gender and tokenism in organizations, you may understand how women, as a minority in certain/many workplaces, get assigned different stereotypical roles (like for instance a motherly type, sex object/eye candy etc.).
      Now, I am not condoning such behavior, I do not think that people in general should use their sexuality for other purposes than sex, but, I understand it. I understand why it happens. And of course, this hurts not only women but men as well. Also, this is as far as I have seen, not something that is not discussed or written about as you seem to claim, but again, we are living in different parts of the world so I do not know how the discourse is going where you are.

      “Frankly, until feminism gets its own house in order, why should anyone take it seriously?”
      My honest response: Hahahaha! Are you serious? How about “until humans get their shit together, why should anyone care about anything?”, or just switch out feminism for democracy in your sentence, or whatever other ideology you want to use.. How is that sort of argument productive? If we think like that, we might as well just give up everything altogether. Like I said, you cannot really blame feminism for not being the most perfect and wonderful ideology ever, because it isn’t. However, this does not in my view, take away from the major role feminism has played in the liberation of women and for that matter, men as well. There is still a long, looong way to go, and perhaps we will never get there. That is the ugly truth. But that should not mean, we should not at least try.

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  5. Ah, fair. I agree that, in the context of academia, it should have been dealt with; educators have a much higher responsibility to society than others.
    I state that feminism is a minor issue, because genocidal dictatorships still exist. Everyone dies therein. And I wonder what the statistics are, regarding male-on-male crimes vs male-on-female crimes. I’m willing to place good money on far less occurrences directed toward females – which suggests society is indeed biased, in favor of women. Odd that feminism worries, instead, over lesser slights.

    But, more importantly, bias of any form is a problem resulting from the general ignorance, immaturity, and insanity of humanity as a whole. Why address a lesser issue, such as sexism, when addressing the greater would solve those lesser issues as well? I believe I can quickly find a photo of a naked, presumably starving child, eating feces out of a live cow’s anus – I’d say that’s a bit more important than being paid less or called names.

    People take issue with “feminism’s” terminology for the exact same reason to bring up the “misogynist way in which language in general is structured”. Replaced “misogyny”, with “misandry”, and you might see my point. Failing to notice this sort of biased behavior is exactly why feminism is often laughed at. Why do the behaviors that feminists demand others follow, not apply to them? And what about the “patriarchal” cultures that ended WWII? Were the men who put themselves through hell, for peace, bad people?

    But yes, we can learn from the past. And dismissing a point that compromises your stance, again, reveals bias. There’s simply no way to refute that nearly 50% of people throughout history have been female, and thus have, at least, a near-equal responsibility for the current situation. And I never suggested other culturally influential groups, such as democracies, were superior to your own. In fact, I think all of them are pathetic.

    So, again, on the subject of workplace sexuality, it seems you’re being overtly biased, and coming from the stance that women have no responsibility for their actions, and get a free hand in whatever they do – you obviously wouldn’t extend the same courtesy toward males. How do you expect to be treated as an equal, if you don’t take responsibility for your action?

    But, everyone promotes those with similar mindsets in the workplace; that’s how it works. Do you think that a woman who is a feminist, would promote a rapist in seeking equality? Your arguments are falling apart in the most basic ways.

    Put all your opinions together, and it seems you are behaving as negative example, which contributes to the alienation women. Embodying many of the negative stereotypes associated with aggressive, thoughtless men; only, you’re adding in the stereotypically traits of manipulations, associated with women.

    What if that’s the truth. Could you accept it, fix your own problems before you start harassing everyone around you for the smallest slight? Or, will you go on laughing, thinking yourself beyond question? That, if I guess correctly, would be in-line with the negative traits associated with a “patriarch”.

    Again, I have no interest in demeaning you, or feminism. I want solutions. Solutions require facing the aforementioned ugly truth. And the biggest secret humanity has, is that the overwhelming majority of us, through history, have been savages. That includes women. Denying that is sexist.

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    • Ok, well you see, you are agreeing with me then, and instead of taking what I wrote out of context next time, how about sticking to it, that way we can both get on with our lives ;] hah, no but seriously, I see that you like discussing these things, and so do I, so let’s keep going then!

      I will start by addressing this: “I state that feminism is a minor issue”. Minor, hm, really? You compare this to dictatorships etc. which of course are issues as well, I should know since I was born in a dictatorship, and my family fled from it. However. As you yourself stated before; women make up roughly half of the world’s population. HALF. Ergo: how can you claim that various dictatorships around the world (which all in all do not make up the majority or even half of the world’s leaderships) are bigger issues in total than the issue of HALF of the world’s population not being equal to the other half? It’s basic math at this point really. Also: Dictatorships have not been as “constant” as the patriarchy. Dictatorships were born from patriarchy, in patriarchy, they are a part of patriarchy. Feminism is against patriarchy, therefore, feminism is also against dictatorships. So you see, you have something in common with us “wacky” feminists after all..

      Your next point puzzles me, since I do not understand how you can think that feminism is NOT concerned with male-on-male violence. WE ARE! Feminism is NOT just about women, when will people get that?! Patriarchy and the binary gender roles we have assigned ourselves are causing problems for us all. Masculinity as we have constructed it, is a problem, because it promotes men to “act like men”; to be aggressive, assertive, take power, take whatever the fuck they want basically. And this same logic, this same aggressiveness and oppression of emotions (like crying for instance, many think that “boys don’t cry” or rather, shouldn’t cry. How fucking sad is that?! Crying is cathartic, everyone should get a good cry now and then just to get stuff out..) is BAD for EVERYONE! It hurts both women and men, I have already made this point earlier but I did perhaps not explain it fully since I assumed that you got it anyway. But ok, point is: feminism is against forcing men to act in certain ways, the whole macho-culture is not something we condone, we know damn well that it causes trouble in every corner, for us all. PLUS: Why would society be biased in favor of women for that? It is rather biased against women and not critical enough towards masculinity. Like you seem to be aware of, men-on-men violence happens a lot, as does men-on-women violence. So, tell me what do these things have in common? Correct answer is: Men are, in general terms in these examples, the perpetrators. Now again, do not get me wrong here, this is because of the way we teach men to behave, i.e. be masculine etc. as I have already explained above. SO: if feminism had its way, masculinity would be reformed into something else, something that didn’t tell young boys to “act like men”.

      Your whole argument in the second section again does unfortunately not make sense to me. Just because you think that world hunger for instance is a bigger issue than sexism, does not mean that solving world hunger would solve sexism as well, as you seem to think… How would that work? They are separate issues, however they are issues based inside the same context (the context of patriarchy), let me again quote Rebecca since she already poignantly formulated this:

      “How can I tell a story we already know too well? Her name was Africa. His was France. He colonized her, exploited her, silenced her, and even decades after it was supposed to have ended, still acted with a high hand in resolving her affairs in places like Côte d’Ivoire, a name she had been given because of her export products, not her own identity.
      Her name was Asia. His was Europe. Her name was silence. His was power. Her name was poverty. His was wealth. Her name was Her, but what was hers? His name was His, and he presumed everything was his, including her, and he thought be could take her without asking and without consequences. It was a very old story, though its outcome had been changing a little in recent decades. And this time around the consequences are shaking a lot of foundations, all of which clearly needed shaking.
      Who would ever write a fable as obvious, as heavy-handed as the story we’ve been given?

      His name was privilege, but hers was possibility. His was the same old story, but hers was a new one about the possibility of changing a story that remains unfinished, that includes all of us, that matters so much, that we will watch but also make and tell in the weeks, months, years, decades to come.”

      Do you understand what she is saying here? That a child is starving in Africa, or that a woman is raped in India, or no, make that in all the damn countries in the world! Is a “by-product” of patriarchy. Patriarchy precedes our societies as we know them, it precedes capitalism, it precedes democracy. Just try to imagine: if we had done things differently from the start, don’t you think that things perhaps could have looked differently now? Just because we decided to build our societies in certain ways, with certain norms, don’t you think that other forms of societies, other forms of norms could yield different results?
      Also: Your way of belittling sexism and waving it off as a small issue by claiming it is only about getting paid less or called names, is not just ridiculous, it is plain right dumb. Sexism exists in basically everything. When we say we want equality, that is not just getting paid the same for the same work; it is having the same rights, not being treated as inferior or any less, not being oppressed in any way shape or form. Not being afraid of walking alone at night, not being afraid of saying no or not being “nice enough” to strangers since you never know what they might do to you. Not having to deal with constant depictions of pornographic images and ads of women (or men) everywhere you turn, not being objectified, reduced to your looks, reduced to your body. Being recognized as an individual, as a whole damn person. And many, many, so many other issues that women in general are faced with, that you do not seem to have the slightest grasp of. Which is sad.

      Furthermore; I do not understand why being hung up on a term like feminism so much, instead of focusing on the meaning behind it. Comparing this to what I said about language is not the same thing, sorry but it is not. You are talking about one word, one term, I am talking about the structures of languages, i.e. the entirety of language. How is that the same thing, how is that comparable? I’m sorry but I do not see it. Also, if the term annoys you so much, then call yourself something else, you can still fight for equality and employ the general ideas of feminism without calling yourself a feminist. Even if I do not understand why one word would make one lose respect for an entire ideology, the importance for me is that we all strive for equality. That’s all.

      Regarding: “And what about the “patriarchal” cultures that ended WWII? Were the men who put themselves through hell, for peace, bad people?” Again you kind of jumped to something else here, but if I did not make this clear already let me state it again for this example: WWII happened in the context of patriarchy, all countries/societies involved in WWII were and still are, based on patriarchy. I am not understanding why you would even ask such a question about the men who died for peace, why the hell would I say they were bad people? I don’t follow this logic at all, I’m afraid..

      Again, just because 50% of the population are women, does not mean that they have had 50% of the chance, right, opportunity, and most importantly, power, to change the already set social order that we live in. You mentioned dictatorships earlier and I think that is a good example to use here as well. You see dictatorships often work like this, simply put: One crazy person at the top, surrounded by some more crazy people with guns below and then the majority of the people under that are the oppressed ones who have no power, i.e. it takes just a few to oppress the masses. in other words: The number of people involved in any given situation, be it dictatorship, be it female populations vs male, does not necessarily lead to power, or rights, or chances, or opportunities to change something that is skewed. Again, if you read up on Foucault and his stance on power, you might get a better understanding of what I am saying and of how such things actually work. Power is not just about numbers, it is about more than that.

      I must say you are either twisting my words on purpose, or you are misunderstanding them: I never said that women are not responsible for their own actions. I was only trying to provide you with a bigger picture, another side of the story. I understand that as a man, in another context, with other lived experiences, you have your perspective of course. The same goes for me, and there are always two sides to a coin, so when you started going off about women “taking advantage of their sexuality” in the workplace, well, I had to of course try to explain to you that it is not just that simple. Those actions and behaviors must come from somewhere, right? And they do. The whole system we live in is crooked, as we both at least seem to agree on, and thus, it produces crooked dispositions for us to behave in. It condones crooked actions, and so forth.. But then again, it depends on what philosophy you apply, for instance I might be deterministic, thinking that there are only these structures that we live in, where we have no real “chance” of agency. However, I do not really believe in that, while I do agree that there are structures, I also think that there is agency. And both the structures and the agency influence each other, in a never-ending spiral. Thus: If you just look at one person who is and forever has been, living in a certain system, it is easy to judge that persons actions right off the bat without blinking. However, if you take a second to view the system the person is living in, then you might perhaps get a better understanding, at least, of the persons actions in said system. Like I said, I did not condone such behavior, BUT, I understand it, and I can understand why it happens, and again, it is both a woman’s responsibility if she uses her sexuality in that way, and also a man’s (or whatnot) responsibility if he wants to condone such behavior. Men can also refuse a woman’s advances, you know, you are not just “animals” who cannot control yourselves.

      And yes, it might be true that people in general may tend to promote like-minded people, but you see now you are doing what you criticized me for doing: You are taking the responsibility of male bosses from promoting women away, saying that it is not their fault that they promote other men instead. So, you tell me, how is that fair and unbiased? ;]
      And again, geez “Do you think that a woman who is a feminist, would promote a rapist in seeking equality? Your arguments are falling apart in the most basic ways.” This is like tomato-potato, really two VERY different things. Are you seriously comparing a man not wanting to promote a woman, to be the same issue as a woman not wanting to promote a rapist? Really? What the heck happened there? What kind of logic is this? I do not even know where to begin to reply to this because it is just silly. Please try sticking to the point, and stop comparing things that are way the heck far away from each other.

      I do not understand what point you are trying to make next, however I can respond to: “fix your own problems before you start harassing everyone around you for the smallest slight”. First of all, I did not harass anyone, so thanks for that. Second of all, I could say the same thing about you ;] I thought I already made this point: All people are flawed, including me. I know damn well that I can be a hypocrite sometimes, just like everybody else, I am not denying that. However, my ideas about feminism and the importance of it are still standing firmly planted in my mind. I know that the world is full of issues, not just regarding gender and equality, but, I also know that I cannot fight for all of them, no person can. So we must all choose which fights we feel are “worth it”, and for me, equality is one of them.

      Now the last thing you write, is finally something I can agree with. I would also love solutions, but I am not sure we will ever find the “perfect” solution. We may perhaps find solutions that are just less shitty than the ones we have. Hopefully.
      Also, I am not denying that women also can be, have been, still are, people who are capable of doing tremendous harm, acting like monsters, killing, stealing, cheating, etc. etc. I have never said that I think women are outside the sphere of humanity, we are also people, you know. And people are, at the end of the day, idiots, to put it lightly. We do not deserve this planet, but while we are here, we could perhaps at least try not destroying it completely. Just for once.

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  6. Em, no. Women being treated unequally comes in various degrees. In the first-world, the degrees are meaningless in comparison to occurrences within a dictatorship – wherein everyone, not just women, are mistreated. Therefore, in a dictatorship, the pursuits of feminism are superseded by the general needs of society.

    And I never said I wasn’t a feminist.. though I suppose I’m not. Again, like other cultures hoping to promote equality, I look down on feminists. Not primarily because of their focus on female rights, or because of their contributors being primarily female, but because they’re incompetent.

    People will begin thinking feminists aren’t biased toward women, when they change their name, or stop complaining about people’s “sexist” vocabulary. Such a minuscule, easily fixed problem, left unremedied, suggests feminists incompetent to address even the simplest of social issues.

    To address your claims of male violence. Irrefutable. But, again, to not simultaneously mention the common, immoral, social manipulations of women, implies bias against men. Violence, and the chaos it spawns, is certainly a detriment to society. As is the psychological manipulations more common to women – it certainly adds to the troubles which push men to ill acts.

    But no, solving the hunger crisis will likely only have a temporarily positive effect on society, as with feminism. The larger issue I speak of is the rampant insanity dominating humanity. Solve that, and the rest immediately falls into place. That insanity, feminism does not lack.

    Your story, again, displays the rampant sexism dominating feminism. She is perfect, he is bad. She is irresponsible for her actions, he is. He is a rapist, she was innocently picking flowers. Of course, any male utilizing gender terms thusly would be immediately vilified. Do you think those countries were utopia before then? Have they improved their lot since then?

    Your immediately following points, walking safely, treated as a whole person, and such, are universal issues. Why pursue them under a sexist moniker? And the reason people take issue with that moniker, is because feminists are the one’s whom most remind us of how vastly important gender-equal vocabulary is. Can’t say this, can’t say that, have to say it this way.

    Ya, the WWII reference was out of place and unfleshed. Leave it for now, the table’s full.
    So, again, your next point [regarding population percentage] proves that you think women are, actually, inequal to men – and that you are motivated by sexist bias toward women. Further, if women aren’t responsible for their role in history, then men aren’t for their own. Inwhich case, the term “patriarchy” proves feminism’s sexist blame-placing.

    Your next point furthers this pattern, wherein you make exceptions for women, yet place the responsibility on men. Add your earlier statements to these and this results. “Women must do what men force them to do, and if men fall victim to women’s immorality, its men’s responsibility.”

    As for the example, merely utilizing exaggeration to prove a point. Not promoting a woman exclusively because she’s a woman, is certainly sexist. Unless the male and female being chosen between are even on all accounts except their gender. Then, one can easily generate an argument in favor of men, due to their general superiority in physicality – which is required of any action.

    My point, on ordering one’s own house first, is simple. Women contribute negatively to society, just as men do. Less physically violent? Certainly. Less psychologically violent? Perhaps. In any case, it does not matter; no tutor deserves their rank without being stronger than those they seek to influence. Feminism needs to first fix the behaviors of women, before those of society. Or simply change their moniker, and primarily seek equality rather than focusing on women’s progress.

    Em, again, your statement on women’s negative actions are compromised by your consistent indicators of severe bias. A person can say anything they want, and it can mean nothing. For example: I hate women.

    Yet I don’t. Despite being raised by a female sociopath, being consistently courted by women whom were in relationships, past relationships with extremely manipulative women [and a FTM, who also possessed those traits], witnessing ceaseless and immoral social manipulations by women.

    The reason I’m not sexist is simple: I see through every dividing factor that people possess, to look at their minds. The main focus of Feminism, on the other hand, is gender – contrary to their statement of pursuing equality.

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    • Of course it comes in various degrees, how have I not made this clear already? I was just responding to your claim of “solving “bigger” issues, and then the other “smaller” ones such as feminism and equality will follow.” I do not agree with this, that was my point.

      And wow, talk about generalizing and demeaning an entire group of diverse people. So, I guess you have spoken to every feminist out there, and all of them are plain right stupid, right? Ok, well sure… What if I said that all men are evil, how would that sound to you? Wouldn’t that be an outrageous thing to claim? Of course it would! But still, you feel that you know so much about feminism, and feminists, that you can just brush them all off as incompetent. Well, good for you then. Kudos.

      Why does feminism have to be called something else? I honestly do not understand how you incessantly keep coming back to this. If you read up on feminism and see where it comes from, how it has evolved, then you would perhaps understand why the name is not only suitable and appropriate, but also carries with it a symbolism that is necessary to remember. As I said, this whole thing started from women’s rights movements: WOMEN started this, and like you said, it has mostly been women throughout history who have kept fighting the good fight, and along the way, men have also followed. If you ask a man instead who calls himself a feminist, perhaps you can get another perspective more suited for you, ask them why they do not go on a rant because of the term feminism.

      “Such a minuscule, easily fixed problem” What? Seriously, what? If such a thing really was easily fixed, it would have been fixed by now. But, as we have learned from history, it is rather not a minuscule, nor an easily fixed problem. It is rooted into our heteronormative matrix, and changing this, bringing about anything to disrupt the order, to push the boundaries, takes a lot of time, and a lot of effort, not just from individuals but from societies, groups, collectives. Just because you perhaps do not talk in a “sexist” way (or so you think), does not mean that hey, problem fixed, check! What’s next?! It does not work that way, it is not that simple.

      Again when talking about male violence, you seem to want to cling to the strategy of talking about one thing and then just throwing another thing in. That has been a problem I find, in this whole discussion. When I talk about one subject, I do not necessarily mean that any other subject is not also influencing, or important or such, but I would rather stick to one point at a time. It’s kind of like this I feel: Whenever we feminists or people in general want to talk about issues that others call “women’s issues”, there is always someone, very often a man but not always, who comes out of the woodwork yelling “But what about men?!?!”. Well, what about men? If I am talking about a certain issue that relates to women, of course men are most likely also in some ways involved in that, however, why can I not focus on women, and just women, when making one point, and then sticking to men when talking about something else, or even the same thing? So now, for instance when we talk about male violence, you as a man probably feel a bit threatened or such cause you do not want to be associated with such men, of course, therefore you start grabbing for another option, and start yelling: “Yeah, well what about women?!?!” Well, when talking about male violence, why can we not stick to that, instead of dragging “manipulations of women” into the mix? You cannot seriously be saying that the majority, or even half of the man-on-woman violence, is due to the fact that the woman “manipulated” the man into being violent towards her. If this is what you think, then perhaps you should think again and ponder the term victim-blaming, which is a very common discourse, a very common thing to do in rape culture. If a man hits another man, is it the beaten man’s fault, automatically? Do you just assume that the beaten man somehow must have “triggered” the man who hit him? No, you probably don’t. So why assume that a woman is always or often at fault when she is subjected to male violence?

      Again, I have not said, nor would I ever say that women are flawless beings, that women are not also immoral or can do horrible things, I am not defending women per se, claiming they are never at fault, that they are not responsible for any actions etc etc. Nor would I ever say that all men are evil, that all issues and troubles of society is because men do this and that. Of course we are all living in this world together, we all influence each other, affect our own and other’s actions.

      “The larger issue I speak of is the rampant insanity dominating humanity. Solve that, and the rest immediately falls into place.” Well why didn’t you say so! I honestly do not think this issue will ever be solved, the only way of solving it is basically letting humanity destroy itself, and hope that any other being that perhaps could grow out of the wreck, is a better version of us. That is my personal opinion, but it has nothing to do with feminism, cause I am not only a feminist, I am also a pessimistic realist.

      I would argue that some of those issues may well be universal, but they are not equally spread out there over the “gender-barrier”. Just a very easy example is for instance, I think it was Jackson Katz, who did an experiment while going around to colleges talking to students. So he started by asking the male students: What are some of the things that you do, actively in your day to day lives, in order to prevent from being sexually harassed/assaulted? The reaction was basically silence; the male students could not think of one example. Then, he asked the same thing to the female students, and there, he got a completely different response; all of them could easily think of several examples of how they tried actively in their lives to prevent themselves from being sexually harassed and assaulted, for instance: not walking alone at night, not wearing too revealing clothing, not doing this and not doing that. This is like I said, just a very simple, but very clear example that shows how some issues, are indeed very related to gender, how they are not “universal” or individual in the sense that you seem to think. I would also recommend that you check out this interesting Ted talk by Jackson, who is a man and a feminist by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElJxUVJ8blw
      But perhaps, you have already talked to him since you find him incompetent, like all of us feminists. Right?

      Ok seriously, how can you incessantly keep twisting my words like that? I have talked about the concept of power for what feels like eons now, and you keep ignoring it and pointing at things that I have not claimed, or meant, or mean. Regarding population percentage and how our world is structured, power plays a bigger part than the numbers. The end. I will not continue on trying to make you understand something that you do not seem to want to understand. Like I said, read up on power if you are really interested, otherwise, forget it and move on. And again, you are clinging to a lie; I have never said that women aren’t responsible, I keep saying this and you keep ignoring it. Read it again and again and get it through your head so I do not have to keep repeating myself. Thanks.

      “Women must do what men force them to do, and if men fall victim to women’s immorality, its men’s responsibility.” This is again, just twisting my words. Kind of manipulating, don’t you think? I thought you were against manipulations, but oh well. Hypocrisy is a part of humanity I guess, so I won’t blame you…even though you are a man (Hint hint, that was sarcasm, so you do not need to start twisting and ranting on about it..).

      “Then, one can easily generate an argument in favor of men, due to their general superiority in physicality – which is required of any action.” What exactly do you mean by this? Are you saying that a man and a woman with completely equal merits, automatically makes the man superior still, just because he in general is physically stronger? Are you kidding me? We are not cavemen any more, not all jobs, or tasks, or situations require physical strength. What has that got to do with anything?

      “Feminism needs to first fix the behaviors of women, before those of society.” Hm ok I see your point, but can you see the biased nature of it? Like I have tried to explain, feminism is NOT JUST ABOUT WOMEN. So, it is not just the duty of women to change their behavior, but it is the responsibility of ALL living in a society to strive for equality and change their ways, be it behaviors that are repressing women, or those that repress men, all of them! And again, I have never said that feminism is flawless or that it is a perfect ideology, of course it has its flaws, of course there are different types of feminism some of which are more radical than others. But how can you just throw it all away as rubbish because of that? Well, sure if you are just incredibly cynical and think the world should just end already, then none of this matters anyway so why even bother discussing these things?

      “A person can say anything they want, and it can mean nothing.” Of course, but then, what is the point? Why would I spend time and effort writing this, if I do not mean anything. I could just as well have ignored your initial comment and gone on with my life.

      I think it is rather ironic, that you can say something like: “The reason I’m not sexist is simple: I see through every dividing factor that people possess, to look at their minds.” When just before you wrote a bit about your upbringing and lived experiences, and you go on thinking that the fact that you were for instance raised by a female sociopath, has had no influence whatsoever in your life, has not biased you in any way. If you honestly think that you are a completely unbiased person (which I interpret your “ability of seeing through every dividing factor..” etc means), you are incredibly naive. I do not believe that any person is unbiased. Never. Never ever ever. Because we cannot be. We all experience the world through our subjective selves, I will never experience the world through your eyes, and you will never experience it through mine. That makes us biased. Now of course, bias is a matter of context, degree, subject and so on, some people may be more or less biased towards some things and so on. But no one, not one single person living in this world, is unbiased, is able to be truly, utterly, in all its essence, objective. Never going to happen.

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  7. If you mean to state that, solving the larger issue of humanity’s pervasive insanity, would not solve sexism – you are incorrect. Sexism is a derivative of immaturity, insanity, and stupidity: the differences between the sexes are only relevant in lesser minds, whom are motivated primarily by instinct.

    Have feminists accomplished their goals? Or, rather, have they done more to alienate themselves from society, creating the martyrdom that emboldens them? Again, personal experience dictates my opinion – that was admitted. I like to think I look far and wide, as you do.

    That personal experience has shown, with little exception, that the feminists I’ve met are both bullheaded and biased, as well as generally dismissed as.. sadly, braty, princess-complex holding females – and the feeble males that placate their manipulative behaviors in pursuit of the holy vagina.

    Perhaps there are groups that take them seriously, outside of feminists themselves, and similar groups whom place primary concern on lesser matters. I haven’t seen those groups. And, believe it or not, I’ve met plenty of women whom laugh at feminists. Oddly, these women tend to be genuinely self-possessed, embodying competence.

    Again, don’t misinterpret me as being sexist. The feminists I’ve met have simply been ineffective in pursuit of their goals, and thus muddying the waters for greater workers – getting in the way. Again, a stereotype commonly associated with women.

    Further, while I insist that sexism is a relatively minor issue, I acknowledge the need to address it specifically. But to treat it of remotely primary importance is a misuse of energy motivated by bias, signifying lack of comprehension of society, and thus lack of qualification to make influence.

    As I’ve said repeatedly, the problem with feminism’s vocabulary is of their own creation. They’ve consistently promoted the utilization of gender-neutral verbiage. I genuinely don’t give the slightest fuck about verbiage, so long as it accurately portrays an idea.

    My problem is that feminists often imagine themselves exceptions to their own rules – this subject just one of many examples. Which, again, propagates the negative female stereotypes, fomenting sexism. Which further splits society, leaving those working toward genuine equality with more problems to deal with.

    But yes, it is a -relatively- simple problem. Insanity spawns prejudice. As long as the source remains, though progress is made, the potential of reoccurrence remains. And feminism’s positive impact is accompanied by the aforementioned issues; which are avoidable if feminism would solve its own problems first.

    If you review the conversation briefly, you may notice that, on the subject of male violence, I agreed with you. Is that changing the topic? And simply stating the fact that being manipulated taxes a man, is not saying that they lack responsibility. If I were to interpret you similarly, I could say the you imagine female manipulations justified.

    And while you’ve yet to directly state that women are faultless, you nevertheless focus on the evils of the “patriarchy” under the banned of “feminism”. You don’t, first, keep your own house in order. You dismiss the massive factor of population percentage, etc, etc. We’re talking about changing humanity, yet you deal in it as if mistakes don’t lead to gargantuan costs.

    So, your underlying view of society is that’s they’re all hopeless. Yet you’re a feminist. This reinforces the perceptive that you’re just biased towards women, and would see that bias fulfilled through any means – given that you see no positive outcome from addressing the real problems of society as a whole.

    I always laugh at the complaints of having to watch out for predators. We all have to, women just coincidentally are more vulnerable to them. Again, this complaint shows bias. Not men’s fault you have vaginas, and are less physically capable of defending yourselves.

    Think about it this way. Let’s say, as a man that can safely mix with both criminals and military personnel, I am in the middle of a metropolis, at night. I see a dark alley, I see drunks and druggies floating around it. Do I walk down that alley? No, I do not. Do I walk down it, with money in my hand, loudly declaring how much cash I have? No.

    When I see the problem before me, I avoid it. And those the majority of those drunks and druggies are male, I don’t think to myself – “fucking men, ruining everything”. What I think is – “fucking lunatics comprising society, ruining everything.” So, I see the problem as shared by all. Your complaints however, suggest otherwise.

    Ah, but in refusing to address the issue of population percentage, are you not motivated by a desire to ignore a factor which obviously compromises your stance? And as I recently stated, you did not specifically say that women are irresponsible. But your other statements reveal your underlying perceptions. I repeat simply so that it’s truly addressed.

    Ah, and now you prove your bias without being aware of it. Let me rephrase the question then. You are in a position to choose between two women, for a task. They are equal in all subjects except physical fitness. Which do you choose? Again, do recall that -all- activities demand physicality.

    Indeed. The responsibility of all. Yet, in the same breath, you say it is not the responsibility of women. And I do not entirely dismiss feminism – it has certainly contributed positively to society as a whole, as well as to sexism. But that doesn’t excuse the consistently repetition of it’s same old mistakes. Which, again, need not exist, if it took responsibility for itself before harassing others.

    And you would do this for the same reason anyone else does. It make you comfortable. You imagine yourself solving problems relevant to your life. I find that when one’s deepest held beliefs are shown to be faulty, they defend them all the stronger – in hopes of maintaining that comfort. Which is good. Bad to lie to ourselves though.

    Hmhmhm. I extend you a branch of understanding, and you try to slap me with it? I knowingly gave you the false method of invalidating my perspectives – interesting how you reacted. I was also raised by my loving, nurturing grandmother, whom carefully undid my mother’s abuse – over the course of 15 years. Her name is tattooed over my heart.

    I also had numerous older, female confidants, withwhom I shared my problems in the hardest time of my life. And, in most of my jobs, at least one woman out-shown the men in their work-ethic and integrity – working alongside me better than the men.

    Interestingly, in the work environment, those women, at least one a fervent feminist, often became “subservient” to me; not because I’m male, but because I work hard, smart, and sacrifice for my team. More interestingly, males are often far less comfortable in enacting the aforementioned workplace behaviors. But then, I can’t truly hold that opinion – I’m biased.

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    • Well you only said in your previous post that the larger issue you were referring to was that of the insanity of humanity, so yes on that I would agree that if we somehow could evolve from ruining everything in out path to living in peace and equality, then of course sexism would be solved as well as all other, or at least many, major issues we are dealing with.

      Feminism has accomplished some goals yes, but as I have already said several times, change takes time. Like the quote from Rebecca’s book: feminism is an endeavor to change something very vast, and just because everything does not change over night, just because we take small steps forward, and perhaps are even pushed back a few steps sometimes, does not mean that we should just give up and stop fighting. Feminism is after all, a very recent idea, if looking at the whole history of humanity. So the changes that have been enforced and influenced by feminism are actually quite big accomplishments.
      And just like all other ideas and ideologies, feminism evolves, and it needs time to evolve. What started with only a few women fighting for their right to vote, has morphed into thousands of women and men who all fight for other issues of repression an inequality.

      You can call a feminist bullheaded and biased, but aren’t you the same? I mean you commented on a blogpost that was about one thing, and eventually you seemed to agree to the original issue but since then you have just been adding more and more wood to the fire, and you do not seem to want to just let the fire be and understand that we are different, we have different perspectives and I will never see things like you, just like you will never see them through my eyes. That is just the way it is.

      Just because the few feminists you have actually met have not accomplished their goals is not, in my eyes, a solid argument for dismissing them all as incompetent. How is that fair, or reasonable? The goals they have had may take hundreds of years to accomplish, and you just dismiss them cause they have not managed to fix them in five minutes. Well sure if you want to think like that, that is your decision, but how productive is that, really?

      Among all feminists, I am sure that there are those who think of themselves as exceptions to their own rules. The same kind of people or way of thinking can however be found in every other ideology as well. Cause people are people, and as we seem to have agreed, they are insane.

      Since patriarchy is the blood that runs through each and every vein of society, it is quite difficult to imagine what our world would look like without it. It is deeply ingrained in us, perhaps that is why you still seem to be blinded by it and refuse to understand how this may have affected our current situations and societies. People are beings of habit, we live in certain structures, and we come to be around those structures, we institutionalize, we habitualize, and then, we do not even see or realize the things that are socially constructed, since they just seem ”natural” to us. But that does not mean that things cannot change, it just means that the changes will take a lot of time and a lot of effort from most likely a lot of people, for it to have any effect. So stop going on about feminism getting their own house in order, cause trust me, we are working on it. Just give us some time.

      Hm.
      “I always laugh at the complaints of having to watch out for predators. We all have to, women just coincidentally are more vulnerable to them. Again, this complaint shows bias. Not men’s fault you have vaginas, and are less physically capable of defending yourselves.”
      This whole section frightens me, are you serious right now? You want to claim that rape culture is not real? You want to blame the victims? You want to take all the responsibility from the so called ”predators”? (Which again makes it sound like some kind of monster jumping out from the bushes, but indeed, it is not a monster but a human being, and in most cases, sadly, a male human being).
      The word ”coincidentally” is extremely misplaced here. We are not ”coincidentally” more vulnerable to male violence, rather, masculinity and male violence, along with the good old patriarchy has painted us out to be vulnerable. Since women were not even seen as people before, but the properties of men, men could thus do whatever they wanted to them. This old, old, old notion still exists today, in some form or another. So don’t you dare say that it is because of ”coincidences”, because you should know damn well that it isn’t.
      And just because females happen to have a vagina does NOT mean that it should be ok for a male to rape, or that it in any way legitimizes a rape. Just because females are generally, but not always, less physically strong, does again NOT give males a right to rape them. How the fuck dare you refuse all responsibility of men’s rape and blame it on vaginas and strength?!

      If you think that the average rapes occur in dark alleys full of drunkards and druggies where a woman chooses to walk alone for the hell of it. You are sadly mistaken. Most rapes occur in the comfort of homes, most rapists are someone that the victim knows in some way. Again, you seem to have this notion of wild predators lurking in the shadows raping women. That is not the case. It is regular, ordinary men, who do the raping. And it does not generally happen because the woman was ”asking for it”, it happens cause some men still have the notion of women being their property. This is a notion that feminism wants to abolish.

      Your question regarding choosing one over the other for a job position still does not make any sense to me, because I would not place any value on the physical fitness of one woman over the other for a job that wouldn’t require her needing to lift heavy things all the time or do other activities that could be physically challenging. Just sitting by a computer for instance, does not take a physically fit person to do… even if all activities demand some sort of effort, it does not mean that they demand physical fitness, i.e. it does not demand that a person regularly goes to a gym for instance or is more muscular than others. There are by the ways also jobs that could require a person being slim and small, so if you had to choose between a big man and a small woman, choosing the one that according to you is most physically fit, would perhaps be a bad move… This question is useless to discuss in such a hypothetical way, since it all depends on the job description and the candidates.

      It is nice to hear that you had a nurturing grandmother, however I do not believe that all things can be ”undone”, if you want to believe that, it’s your belief. I think that all our experiences form us, and even though we may experience trauma and eventually ”get over it”, that trauma still has played a part in shaping who we are. But that is just my perspective, you do not have to agree.

      You can have any opinion you want, but that does not mean you are not biased. Those are two different things. We are all biased towards this or that, depending on our perspectives. But being biased is not necessarily something negative, it all depends on the degree, context etc. So I do not understand what your issue is with this simple statement: all people are biased.

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  8. My experience dictates that the universe is composed of “self-consistent, noncontradicting” laws which are in no way influenced by our perceptions of what those laws may be. Add this to the fact that minds grow and change, and I feel it likely that mature and sane people all arrive at near-same conclusions about life.

    If we’re all invariably unable to understand each other to meaningful degrees, then pursuing equality is irrelevant, as some of people’s perspectives will be more accurate. Some of them will be better able to manage those who cannot. Therefore, following your line of reasoning to it’s end – inequality exists, it cannot be otherwise, and there is class best suited to rule.

    But I do not dismiss feminism because it isn’t immediately effective. I dismiss it because it does not attend to its own matters –first–. As I would anyone attempting to instruct on matters they don’t understand. That’s just irresponsible, and contrary to the notion that feminism genuinely seek equality – rather than just throwing a tantrum.

    And no, I am not simple-minded enough to be influenced by society so dramatically. My perspectives are driven by basic, and thorough reasoning, not any desire to subjugate those whom don’t require it. And whether, you like it or not, many, many people need to be subjugated – that requirement has nothing to do with the “patriarchy”.

    Here, again, you are hypocritically guilty of inferring meanings that did not exist. Why was I defending “rape culture”? I was pointing out the ridiculous reasoning behind complaining about women having to take care of themselves. Again, predators target everyone; expecting to be miraculously exempt is childish – and conforms to negative female stereotypes of dependency.

    Women just, coincidentally, are more vulnerable to them, and have more of what they desire. It would be like a rich person complaining about “theft culture”. Criminals are criminals. They’re motivated by insanity, stupidity, immorality, desperation, etc, etc. All things that are not primarily motivated by sexism.
    It seems that your perspectives are motivated by the stereotypical vilification of imagined male-thinking. What would suggest, at all, that I believe in the notion of “might makes right”? I’m talking to you, after all; discussing a subject to find the best course of action.

    Again, you’re drawing connections where none existed. In the example of the alley, I suggested the notion of being robbed. But, I suppose, if you are looking for reasons to “win the argument” rather than deepen your understanding, this a perfectly viable method of accomplishing that.

    Ok, well, your refusal to answer a simple question furthers my perspective that you’re simply avoiding being proven wrong, so as to attempt “winning”. A healthier person has less risk of injuries and sickness that would interfere with their work – and can work much longer and harder. If you simply did not consider this, I’d say you have little work-experience, and are unqualified to comment.

    Again, you reinforce the idea that people are inalterably separated by inherent traits. And thus, equality is an impossibility, and thus your purposes are entirely biased. I’ll attempt a metaphor. Two mathematicians look at a simple formula. 1 + 1 = ___.

    One says the solution is 2, the other says the solution is “pickle”. Is one right? Is one wrong? Is it bias that informs the correct choice? Is it reasoning that informs the second?

    We understand the universe through thorough reasoning, not through guesswork. To imply that everyone is irrevocably biased is tantamount to saying that no one is capable of basic reasoning. Inwhich case, you again state that equality is an impossibility, and prove your bias.

    Not your “different perspective”. Your “unfair, preferential treatment of women”.

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    • Sure that is a valid belief to have, however not all see the world like you do. Not everyone thinks there is any real objectivity out there, that reality is mind-independent, some would claim that the world is dependent on our perceptions of it. And it is not a matter of being a ”mature” or ”sane” person, there exists different ontological and epistemological beliefs that philosophers have been pondering for thousands of years. But we are all entitled to our own observations and experiences of course, however, again brushing everyone else’s ideas about the world as being immature or insane, seems rather strange. Wouldn’t you think?

      I did not say that equality is possible. The cynic in me believes that it is not, that we will never be able to live in a world that is equal for all. However, that does not mean that I cannot still try to fight for some kind of equality when I see various injustices in my life. Otherwise, what would be the point of living? If I only relied on the cynical, rather ”Nietzschian” view of the world, then I might as well give up life altogether. Why even bother?

      Feminism does attend to its own matters, however as I said, this is a rather new ideology, and all us feminists do not have meetings where we gather around to discuss our common agendas. It does not work like that. There are several different branches of feminism; liberal feminism (seeking equality between women and men), socialist feminism (more marxist, also with sub-branches like material feminism), cultural feminism (re-privileging feminine values), radical feminism (basically thinks men are not needed, let me just point out that I do not agree with this notion what so ever and I do not think that many feminists would ascribe themselves as radical), postructuralist feminism (interested in power-relations) and so on and so forth. So. You tell me then, if for instance you have only or most encountered radical feminists in your life, do you really think that you would have got a fair view of what feminism is about? No, of course not. It’s kind of like me saying that all muslims are evil just because a minority of people who are using islam for their own gain and terrorizing others are what I unfortunately read and see mostly in the media. It is a very skewed image.

      “I am not simple-minded enough to be influenced by society so dramatically” I must admit that made the social constructivist in me laugh. ”basic and thorough reasoning” would then imply that you believe there is some form of biological factor to the way you view the world, and that you are in fact also capable of reason because of it, which is fine, however it is not a universal ”truth”, and indeed not something that I agree with.
      We apparently are residing in very different paradigms, since I do not believe one bit that you are not (or that you can even begin to understand just how much) dramatically influenced by society. We are all influenced by it; we are the society. It is not an entity that exists in our periphery, we are the ones who make up society, who live in it, who influence it and get influenced by it. But of course not all share this philosophy, and you apparently do not, which is fine, but this does explain why we cannot seem to agree on much. We are viewing the world from two different ontological lenses.

      The reasoning in your text sounded a lot like defending rape-culture. That you came up with an example of walking in a dangerous alley with drunkards etc. being robbed, and tried to compare this to how rape actually works, is just plain inaccurate. There is no comparison here. Most rapes do not occur in dark alleys or similar settings by ”predators” as you keep writing. The majority of the people who rape other people are ordinary men, not predators. Again, this does not mean that all men rape, but please stop trying to make out this image of a predator as if those who rape or attack others are not human. They are.
      And again ”Women just, coincidentally, are more vulnerable to them, and have more of what they desire.”
      Just think a minute about this. It almost seems like you assume that only men desire women, that it doesn’t go both ways (or other ways). I am pretty sure that you know that there are women who desire men as well. So then, why would there not exist a fairly equal amount of female rapists out there? And if you again want to wave the flag of ”physical strength” here, consider this: Women are just as capable as men to work out and get buff, however, if considering the norms of our societies, you would notice that women are not as encouraged or pressured to be physically strong, as men are. So you see, all of these things are interconnected. Men do not make up the majority of all rapists simply cause ”women are more vulnerable”, it is because of a number of different factors combined such as; patriarchal base in society which dictates that men = subject, woman = object, dualistic perspectives of what masculinity versus femininity is and should be, different norms, values, beliefs, pressures regarding gender, and so on and so forth. It is not just one thing that dictates this, we are all interconnected in multiple, highly complex ways. Just because A, does not necessarily always mean simply B. There is always a bigger pictures. Just because something looks one way, does not necessarily mean that it is like that. For instance, many things that we take for granted we think are ”natural”. However, when it comes to the social aspect of our lives, everything is constructed, nothing is ”natural”. That is my belief at least.

      ”Criminals are criminals” What exactly does that mean? It sounds like you think some people just have a ”criminal gene”, that they grow up being criminals and have no other options, that nothing could change their course of action.
      “They’re motivated by insanity, stupidity, immorality, desperation, etc” Ok then, so what is insanity, what is stupidity, what is immorality, what is desperation? Are all of these ”states-of-being” something objectively true for all? Are they all stable, that is, is a person always ascribed as being ”immoral” throughout their life, something they are ”born with”? If your reasoning goes something like this: some people are just criminals/insane/immoral etc, just because they are born that way, or just because some other reason, I would have to disagree with you. Any person can become a criminal. It is a matter of several different factors (like personality (which is not biological), previous experience, situation, time and timing, etc.) coming together and in perhaps one instant, one second, influencing a person to do something that they perhaps would not think they were even capable of doing. I think we are all capable of doing just about anything to and for each other, so in my mind, criminals are not just criminals.

      I am not refusing to answer a simple question. I am refusing to answer a rhetorical question that I cannot answer truthfully, since it all depends on the context, on the time, situation, it depends on who the candidates are, what the job is and so on and so forth, and you have not given me any of this information, and even if you had, I could only hypothesize about what I would do, but I could never know for sure if that would be the case. I cannot say that I would do this or that, cause I do not know what I would do in any given situation. I can only imagine and hope I do something in a certain matter, but I can never know for sure. Thus, I cannot provide you with an answer. If you think that you could answer something like this, and be fully honest, I would say that you do not even seem to be conscious of your dishonesty. How can you know for sure what you would do in such a situation, independent of any context, independent of any time. As if, we all act in a certain way in situation A, and no matter when the situation occurs, we will always make the same decision. That is ridiculous in my view.

      “you reinforce the idea that people are inalterably separated by inherent traits.”
      Bingo, that is exactly what I do. Since I believe that gender for instance, like everything else, is constructed. Now again, this is part of the philosophy that I employ, however I understand that you do not see things this way, and that’s fine. See them however you wish.

      To answer your question regarding the 1+1 example. I would say that I cannot in the truest sense call any of them ”right” or ”wrong”, cause what exactly is right, and what exactly is wrong. Is right, always right? Is wrong? Just because we have come up with the arbitrary system of numbers, 1 does not mean anything without the meaning we ascribe to it. It is just a symbol. So, in that case, the answer might as well be pickle :]

      “We understand the universe through thorough reasoning, not through guesswork.” Again, sure, if you believe that people are reasonable beings. Also, not really, guesswork I believe has been a very big part in the development of our thinking, our understanding of things. For instance, way back when, when we thought the world was flat, that was because it appeared so and we assumed (or guessed) that that was the case. We were wrong. We have since been wrong many many times, much due to guesswork and our notions of reason, not to forget the deceitfulness of appearances.

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