Do feminists believe its their right to abuse men and not acknowledge it?

22 06 2010

On of the things I am trying  to do with this blog is to encourage men who have suffered abuse that they are not alone. I am trying to set up that there is evidence and enough research done to acknowledge the need that men do need help in this area. And I’m trying to bring this hidden issue out into the light of society.

One of the areas I try hard not to do is to make it a women hating or feminist hating blog. I truly believe in true equality between gender, with a recognizance that there are  biological differences.

Theres a discussion on Toy Soldiers at the moment. For the most part I enjoy reading this blog. The articles are well written, the subject is to the point. It really saddens me about the issues the author has raised and the viral comments and ignorant gender biased tirades made by some militant feminist commentators. There are 3 male commentators who are talking about their experience of being raped by a women…2 while they were children.

Take this comment that was made in regards to their experience.

Christina79

Saurs, your last comment is a complete disgrace to feminists everywhere just from sheer idiocy and lack of research. In most educated western nations, rape is defined as; “The forceful penetration of an orifice with a penis or other objects”. Simple logic dictates very few rapists are female from its definition.

Women cannot rape men through normal vaginal intercourse, but men can. In addition men have the advantage through rape culture. Statistics point out that 99% of men are rapists anyway. Women raping men are near nonexistent compared to men raping females, and shouldn’t be given any attention until the problem is reduced to near even levels, if it should ever be addressed at all. Its a victimless crime really. Men do not suffer the same emotional trauma from a forced sexual encounter as women do. (They don’t possess the same emotional depth as women.) Men who were raped(LOL) should count their blessings and be grateful since its more than they deserved.

This comment was made by a self confessing feminist. Note her words, that she doubts that male abuse shouldn’t really be addressed any way. The question I need to ask is if this rant by this person indicative of the philosophy behind the department of women under the premier in the NSW government office and why they refuse to act and even acknowledge that there is an issue of male abuse by women and won’t do any thing to help stamp it out?

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33 responses

24 06 2010
Eagle32

It’s funny, feminists like her complain about men barging into women’s safe spaces to make it all about them. But here she is barging into a safe site for male abuse survivors and not only throwing one of her ilk under the bus but flagerantly dismissing the experiences of the commentators who have stepped up to defend themselves. And she also has the nerve to say “Misogynist Rights Network”.

She’s a perfect example of someone who has been given leeway to say whatever she wants and the worst that could happen is a light reminder to watch her manners, taking this kid gloves experience into a place where people have contarian opinons, serious negative experiences, and expecting her words to sting without consequences.

The most sickening thing is she really believes she’s right all the way and everyone is a part of the “Misogynast Rights Network”.

I hope feminists out there take a good look at her and speak out against her actions. Otherwise, they’re only letting idelogues like this intruder make their movement increasingly irrelevant whether they deny it or not.

And they wonder why people don’t like feminists.

24 06 2010
craig

You made some good points Eagle.

It’s hard enough for guys to own up to how they are feeling and what they went through without being trashed again.

When guys talk about abuse…we don’t mean a rare verbal outburst…or a one off never to happen again slap.

We are talking about an experience that threatens to destroy our very existence. It’s something that destroys our inner being, plays around with our identity and our self esteem.

When I told my pastor that my now ex would threaten to stab me with a knife, punch me, destroy my personal belongings and continually put me down…. He laughed at me saying… He didn’t think it was as bad as that and that as a man I needed to suck it up.

That really hits home big time. Its an experience that fucks you up big time and having no safe place to go drives you to the pits of despair.

Abuse is not a gender issue. Nor should be the expectations and offer of helpful resources from
society towards victims differ because of gender

28 06 2010
Kristen

It’s very sad to hear this. Abuse by women does not fit into the accepted paradigm, which is that abuse is caused/perpetuated by patriarchalism in society. In general, I would say there’s a lot of truth in that– but that’s no reason to ignore the anomalies and treat abused boys and men like they deserved it! This bit about men having less emotional depth than women is pure nonsense anyway. Men and women are both fully human. In trying to raise the status of women, we must not be guilty of treating men as less than human.

30 06 2010
Craig Benno

I would like to know what type of Patriarchalism is considered to be the root of abuse in society? Certainly current research is showing that male victims of domestic abuse are around 40% of victims. A paper published in Canada in 2004 showed that within hetrosexual relationships 8% of women had suffered DV and 7 % of men had suffered DV. These stats are fairly consistent through out America and UK and there are no markers to say that Australia is any different.

Indeed if researchers in Australia believe we have a differrent rate of abuse, its no longer tolerable that our researchers use any research stats from overseas in regards to abuse and a new Australian wide specific research needs to be done to specifically address the problem in Australia. This would be a great idea to do anyway.

I would say that in trying to raise the status of women, society must not be guilty of treating men as less then equal.

28 06 2010
Kristen

The fact that women can be abusive is abundantly clear to me. I have a family member who was abused by a woman who was her friend. This abusive woman also abused her own spouse. The spouse was ashamed to admit it.

Sometimes abuse is caused by a pattern of abuse that passes through generations and is not gender-specific. The abusive woman I am speaking of, was abused by her own mother as a child. It’s really too bad when men and boys who are abused can’t find validation and support. Saying “I’m a man abused by a woman” is NOT saying “Therefore there is no such thing as patriarchalism.”

30 06 2010
Craig Benno

Hi Kristen.
I don’t think abuse is gender specific. By denying that women abuse men, we are perpetuating the cycle of abuse by not granting help for any abusers.

4 07 2010
Eagle32

Kristen, may I ask a question?

Why do you believe there is some truth in that abuse is caused/perpetuated by patriarchalism in society?

Doesn’t patriarchy imply an organization in which the father is the supreme authority in all matters? If that is the case, what about the abuse passed down from the mother to the woman you mention? How does “Role Of The Father” fit into it?

I really have trouble swallowing this truth because it shifts the blame and agency from the woman on to some outside force.

Like you say, abuse is passed down from generation to generation and it is not gender-specific. So maybe patriarchy isn’t exactly getting its hands dirty in this arena. Going by this definition that “Patriarchy does it” absolves women of agency and responsibility for their actions.

We never do this with men. When they’re found guilty in a court of law of abuse, it’s jail time unless they know their way around the law. Male pedophiles, we ostracize them. Males who people think are spending too much time with kids, ostracize them. Domestic violence from a male, lock him up.

Female pedophiles, domestic violence from a wife to a husband, child abuse and assault on a boy from a woman? Something’s wrong, we must find out what happened to make her this way. And if a man reports domestic violence to the police, he must’ve caused it. Cuff him.

You see the blatant double-standards here? What does something where the father is deemed arbitrator of all things have to do with it?

I really need to know because this sounds like absolption of women’s agency when something as nebulous as “Patriarchy” is brought into any discussion towards female abusers. And it is the reason why feminism isn’t for me. For really personal reasons from my past that have to do with bullying from both genders. That is all I’ll say.

4 07 2010
Kristen

Ok, I’ll try to answer this. What I said was “abuse by women does not fit into the paradigm” that abuse is caused/perpetuated by patriarchy in society. And so abuse by women is ignored. It doesn’t fit the paradigm; it’s an anomaly, and what people generally do when an anomaly doesn’t fit their paradigm, is ignore the anomaly.

Clearly, then, there is a second paradigm that needs to be brought into this mix. The paradigm I suggest is that abuse perpetuates abuse; that both men and women abuse because they themselves were abused– by women, or by men. In this paradigm, gender doesn’t matter.

But that doesn’t mean we should decide the first paradigm– that patriarchy perpetuates abuse– should just be thrown out. By “patriarchy” I mean the underlying male supremacy that has existed in most cultures, including our own, since humanity began– patriarchy that is in a process of being removed from modern Western cultures, but this process is by no means complete. Certainly there are men who are raised to believe that women “belong” to men. This is especially true in most expressions of fundamentalist/evangelical Christianity today. It is also manifestly true in Islam and Hinduism. The book “Why Does He Do That?” is by a formerly abusive man who explains his own thought processes and attitudes: that he was, as a male, entitled to submission and obedience from his wife, who was there to meet his every need. When she didn’t respond as he wanted her to, he abused her.;

We can’t close our eyes to these facts and pretend they aren’t a real force in our society. We need two paradigms, not one; we need to understand cycles of abuse as well as the attitudes of patriarchy– but denying the existence and power of patriarchy will not make it go away.

4 07 2010
Kristen

To make myself more clear, all of my posts have been focused on abuse in general, not specifically on abuse by females. When speaking only of abuse by females, clearly the “patriarchy” paradigm does not apply.

4 07 2010
Eagle32

Then maybe it’s time we pay more attention to the second paradigm, whatever it is. Because, frankly, it’s being shoved aside. And feminism is responsible partially for this in my opinon with their acceptance of extreme ideals that have found their place in the media and their continuance of looking the other way, saying “That’s not feminism.” I’m talking about all those extremists who were influential in swinging the pendulum so far it has cut innocent people in half and now we’re stuck on the paradigm of “Patriarchy”.

You may acknowledge that there is a second paradigm, but you’re a minority. Hardly anyone acknowledges it. The media and society have accepted the one paradigm where sexism means “Men against women”, attention and resources devoted to domestic violence and sexual assault against women only. The tide is turning, of course, where we’re finally seeing some acceptance of male abuse from female perpetuators but, overall, male victims still have very little places and people to accept them. Worse is male abuse is still treated as a joke, no big deal, or nothing compared to female abuse.

Yes, I will say that feminism is responsible. It didn’t cause it as this underlying attitude has been around long before it. However, there have been extremist feminists like Andrea Dworkin and Maralyn French who believed in some pretty far out things. Maralyn French still blames all men, ALL MEN, for oppression of women. You want an article on that, I’ll link it to you. Some extremist writings are still accepted since the overall attitude is “Feminism isn’t a monolith”. We’re not in the past anymore and things have changed. There is a second paradigm and men and boys are reaching rock bottom, fatherhood is treated with less respect, etc, etc. But we refuse to accept it. And so does certain strands of feminism and the overall movement continue to give them a voice by saying “That’s not feminism” while saying “Feminism isn’t a monolith” when confronted with it.

If there are still men out there raised to think they’re entitled, then tackle those individual men. At the same time, maybe you can start accepting the fact that not all men have it easy. And start thinking hard about who you give a voice to in your movement.

Until then, it’s not for me. These extremists are toxic people and I don’t want to be around toxic people nor do I want anyone to acknwoledge their existence in the movement.

4 07 2010
Eagle32

Note: I’m not saying we should ignore the “Patriarchal” paradigm. Only that the times have changed and yet we still give all the attention to the “Partirachal” paradigm without considering the second one. The former draws attention, gets the funding and sympathy votes. The other draws snickers, paranoia of funds being diverted from women’s issues, disbelife, and baseless assumptions towards the male victim (“He must’ve wanted it.”, “He must’ve done something to maker her that way”).

5 07 2010
Kristen

Eagle, I agree with you. Except I wouldn’t say in a blanket way, “feminism is responsible,” because as you say, there are different kinds and degrees of feminism.

5 07 2010
Eagle32

Then how else should I say it?

“Different kinds and degress of feminism” is no longer a valid excuse, in my opinion to let these extremists muck things up. And boy have they ever.
You know Andrea Dworkin and Maralyn French are still revered? The same people who have blamed men, one saying pretty nasty things about heterosexual relationships while the other continues to blame all men for oppression of women. Even in 2006 at the time the person was interviewed?
Their writings still have a home in academia.
Do we really want to continue to accept this in today’s day and age? I don’t. I want balance of attention, not this sexist notion that sexism should be about women the eternal victims of men. Ironic, the academic definition of sexism being sexist.
Other than that, you’re pretty egalitarian and are willing to recognize the other paradigm. The next step is we need to take it to the next level.

5 07 2010
Kristen

Eagle, I’m a Christian egalitarian woman. I have the word ‘feminist” used against me by Christians who believe the sexes should “complement” one another– but what they mean by that is that the woman should support her husband’s “leadership” (which actually means “rule”) in the home over her and the children, that she should ignore any calling she might feel to lead or teach in the Church because God doesn’t allow women to have any such role– stay in the kitchen and nursury, please!– and that if she really loved God she’d quit her job, give up birth control and devote her life to pleasing her husband and having as many children as possible. This type of Christian believes that “feminism” is at the root of everything wrong with society today.” I look at history and see that “feminism” was originally about women getting the vote. “Feminism” was originally about changing the laws that said a man was free to beat his wife as long as the stick he used was no thicker than his thumb. “Feminism” was originally about a woman getting to have the title to the property she inherited from her parents, in her own name rather than automatically transferred to her husband’s property, so that if he squandered her inheritance, she died penniless. It used to be said, “in the eyes of the law, there is no difference between a married woman and a dead one.”

Now I visit a website for men who have also been abused. I can read that you and others on this site are sympathetic to abused women, because you know what it feels like. That’s wonderful! But without “feminism” it would not be against the law for women to be abused by their husbands, as long as they used a thin enough stick!

“Feminism” is not the problem. Part of the problem is the reinterpretation of what “feminism” means by radical groups. Part of the problem is that (largely due to societal patriarchy), there is an idea that men cannot be abused by women because men are in charge and would simply stop the woman (this is a deep-seated attitude that most people are completely unaware they still imbibe). And part of the problem is the use of only one paradigm. But “feminism” in and of itself, is not the problem.

6 07 2010
Craig Benno

I have been away the last 10 days and haven’t had the opportunity to reply to this discussion.

Kirsten. I also am a Christian and come from a eglartarian stance also. I am also against the “Term” “Christian Feminist” and think the term within Christian Circles is counterproductive for the following reasons.

1) Christianity is about equality for all, the Apostle Paul says that in Christ there is no Male, Female, Slave or Free, Jew or Gentile. Feminism is not about equality for all.

Its an interesting subject about the vote. When you look at the history of the vote in England and Australia you will find that the discrimination of the vote was more to do with a class system then what it did with gender.

Using Australia as an example. In 1843 it became legal for a select group of men to be allowed to vote in Australia. Yet it was only 10% of the adult male population that were allowed to vote and it was based on their land holdings. The fight for the commoner to vote had first started in 1645 in England some 198 years earlier.

Yet it took another 60 years for men and women to be totally free to vote. SA allowed women over 21 to vote in 1894 and there were 3 women who stood for election into the SA parliament at this time.

Yet it was still illegal for most men and women to vote at this time in Tasmania.

It was in the federal election of 1902 that all white males and females in Australia over the age of 21 were allowed the vote. It took another 44 years for coloured people to be able to vote in Australia.

While it is true that there was resisistance to the women’s suffergate movement in England and Australia, this same resistance came from those who fought against the common male in England and Australia from voting also.

2.) My second point as to why I’m against the term “Christian Feminism” is that it detracts from the Christian Call to stand against inequality in all areas of life, in regards to sociatol position, gender, health and race.

Take our treatment of aboriginal people, where it has only been recent times that laws repealing white / black bars in hotels were introduced. War medals were not automatically given to our coloured service men / women… one such family this year on application to the government for their service medals found that their uncle had been awarded the VC.

3.) You make some good points regarding women and property, beatings etc. the same laws that allowed this was also the same laws that prevented coloured people from owning property. It allowed property owners to beat their coloured workers. And at one time the “church” had declared that the Australian Aboriginees had no souls, therefore they were the same as animals and could be shot on sight.

4.) The fourth area of concern I have about “Christian Feminism” is that it detracts from the Christian call for treating all with dignity and respect. I am in danger of making sweeping comments here… Take the way the church in general responds to divorce, disability, sexual orientation, enviromental issues, refugee’s, homelessness, abuse etc.

6 07 2010
Eagle32

Kristen, your statement here:

““Feminism” is not the problem. Part of the problem is the reinterpretation of what “feminism” means by radical groups. Part of the problem is that (largely due to societal patriarchy), there is an idea that men cannot be abused by women because men are in charge and would simply stop the woman (this is a deep-seated attitude that most people are completely unaware they still imbibe). And part of the problem is the use of only one paradigm. But “feminism” in and of itself, is not the problem.”

Means we part ways completley. Because, frankly, this means you’re basically excusing people like Maralyn French and Andrea Dworkin for their part in making the environment what it is today. “Reinterpretation by radical groups”? And women like them AREN’T radical? You actually think it’s a radical interpretation when Andrea Dworkin dismisses heterosexual relationships? Where Maralyn French creates a character who has the gall to say “All men are rapists and that’s all they are.” and it’s called one of the bravest things a charcter could ever say in those times? Also, as I’ve stated many times, Maralyn French STILL blamed men for oppression of women. Not some system of gender enforcement, MEN! Do you read me? ALL MEN! Like me. Who has been through some pretty traumuatic experiences. I’ve read the interview she did with The Guardian and it disgusted me so much to the point of tears.

You want proof. Here it is:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/jun/16/fiction.gender

Now why would I want to spend company in a movement that allowed people like her a voice? And still allows her work to influence new generations of feminists?

Let me counterpoint your little theory on “(largely due to societal patriarchy)”. I was bullied and abused by girls and women in addition to boys and men. They weren’t influenced by anything except their own attitudes and assumptions towards me and took glee in the ridicule. None of them had a gun pointed to their head by “Patriarchy”.

I’m trying my best not to really explode here because the statement you made triggered me. So, if that’s what you think, then sorry, feminism isn’t for me.

6 07 2010
Kristen

Guys,

Obviously my presence here is only causing upset. I’m not in agreement with radical feminism. I am in agreement that men are not being treated right when they are abused by women.

You want me to abandon the term “feminism” because of certain branches or waves of feminism. I disagree. Since this makes me unwelcome here, I will bow out, apologizing for any hard feelings I have caused.

My definition of “feminism” is “the radical idea that women are human.” I’m sure you’ve heard the quote before. Feminism actually has many different branches, and most of them are not in agreement with the man-hating variety.

I am in favor of full equality between men and women of all races, creeds, faiths and colors. I am also American, which may account for some of our differences in word use. But since the way I use the word is a very common way of using it, I suggest that you might find more “feminists” who are very sympathetic to your position if you stopped blaming all of us for the behavior of a few.

I wish you well.

6 07 2010
Kristen

Just pausing to clarify my earlier words. What I meant to say is that I believe that men are not being treated right by society after they have been abused by women. Just thought I’d better make that more clear.

Oh– and I’m not going to stop calling myself a Christian either, even though some Christians’ words and actions make the word abhorrent to many. Painting everyone in a group with the same brush is a bad idea, as you yourselves have experienced as men, right?

Sorry– I just had to say that. I am truly sorry to have triggered anyone– I myself was bullied very badly as a child by both boys and girls, too. I know how it feels.

I wish you all success in raising consciousness about female abuse of males. It’s something that needs to be done.

6 07 2010
Craig Benno

Hi Kirsten.

As the blog author I welcome your imput. I believe you have been stating your case well and in a way that hasn’t been deningrating. Obviously I am an Australian and talking about mostly about what is happening in one part of Australia.

I have a deep Christian Faith myself. I deliberately decided not to make this blog a faith based blog, rather to have it as a sight that is representing what is happening in this country.

I replied to you about some of the things you said about the vote, and Christian Feminism and explained why I didn’t like the term, clearly stating that I thought scripture made the case that all are equal.

I’m wondering why you didn’t want to engage in what I said?

7 07 2010
Kristen

Craig, I have engaged what you said. I disagree with your definition of a “feminist” as someone who doesn’t believe that all are equal. I am running up against a perception here that a “feminist” is someone who hates men and believes women are superior. I challenged this, and was told by Eagle that Dworkin and French speak for all feminists. That is, in my mind, the same thing as saying that American right-wing fundamentalist Christians speak for all Christians.

Many feminists nowadays don’t even know who Dworkin and French are. In fact, I didn’t until just recently.

It’s impossible to carry on a conversation when the only course open to me is to accept a definition I don’t agree with and cease identifying with the group being so defined– or leave the conversation. It is no different from those blogs I have visited (and ceased to visit) where the only definition of “Christian” was “right-wing fundamentalist.” I could either stop calling myself a Christian, or leave the conversation. The same two options are offered to me now. I can either stop calling myself a feminist, or leave the conversation– because there is only one definition of feminist allowed.

I do not choose to accept the definition of feminism which is the only option here. I do not choose to accept that calling myself a “feminist” means Dworkin and French speak for me. Therefore, I can’t continue the conversation.

Sorry. I still wish you all the best– but I don’t think you’re being fair to the wide range of feminism that actually exists.

7 07 2010
Eagle32

Kristen, I mean no personal disrespect. You’re a great eglitarian.

I just have a problem with feminism because, in the past, it has accepted people like French and Dworkin. Otherwise, they would’ve spoken out against them. No one did. You say they don’t speak for you, then feminists in the past should’ve done the same thing and dismissed their views.

No one did. I believe in actions speaking louder then words. All I’ve heard are feminists saying they don’t speak for them. Yet, in the past, they certainly were allowed to and have influenced new generations of feminists.

I don’t want you to not use “Feminism” or identify yourself as a “Feminist”. I just want feminism to own up to who they’ve accepted in the past that have had an adverse affect.

7 07 2010
Craig Benno

Hi Kirsten.

In our dialog I haven’t taken into consideration the heading of this post. So your right in that you have identified yourself as a feminist and stand against male abuse. In saying so your making my heading redundant.

In your aligning yourself with feminism you made a statement about the right for women to vote (which I am totally all for) and so you are aligning yourself with the historical beginnings of feminism. If this is so, you need to acknowledge that historically the womens movement to vote wasn’t a movement of total rights for all women to vote, rather it was more to do with allowing certain classes of women to vote.

I find it interesting that white feminism only started to accept black women as equals when black feminism took hold in the later 1970’s.

Take this excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism

The Combahee River Collective argued in 1974 that the liberation of black women entails freedom for all people, since it would require the end of racism, sexism, and class oppression.[79] One of the theories that evolved out of this movement was Alice Walker’s womanism. It emerged after the early feminist movements that were led specifically by white women who advocated social changes such as woman’s suffrage. These movements were largely white middle-class movements and had generally ignored oppression based on racism and classism.

The early sufferage movement was a class movement which in its self denied the right for the lower classes to vote…and during the early 19th century while the upper classes of women were allowed the vote, it was still denied to over 1/2 the population of both men and women.

Its also interesting that the American feminist movement did not promote equality for voting for Native American Women, or other ethnic races such as Black American and Purtorican. .. It was the civil liberties movement which actually fought for the right for equality between the races as well as sex and not as is often claimed “Feminism”.

I’m interested in the form of Feminism that you hold to and its historical roots to which it forms its base?

If your version of feminism is that women are equal to men in all things, while recognising a difference in biolological function I applaud and agree totally with you in this, but would say this is a Biblical Christian stance to take and not a feminist one, as it is the Gospel message that actually promotes true equality between all genders, races and societal positions.

In saying this, I do acknowledge that the church hasn’t a good track record in this regard in many sectors…yet again you will find it has been more active through the civil liberties movement aka Martin Luther King in the 19th century, William Wilberforce in the 18th who spear headed the anti slavery movement etc in striving for equality for all more then what feminism has historically done and stood for.

8 07 2010
Kristen

Craig and Eagle, I’m going to unabashedly copy what a person wrote on a message board I belong to, in response to the question: “What is Feminism”? There are basically three waves of feminism. Here’s a description:

Okay, I’m going to define very, very crudely what constitutes the 3 waves of feminism. However, keep in mind what Sierra said – every feminist defines feminism for themselves, so there is no official party line to tow. A self-identified secondwaver may very well hold opinions I’ll ascribe to thirdwavers, and a self-identified thirdwaver may well be sex-negative when it comes to prostitution. The second and third wave are very intertwined, since one pretty much grew out of the other.

The first wave were basically the suffragettes at the turn of the century who fought – and won – the vote, as well as several other achievements for women’s rights.

The second wave were the feminists in the Sixties and Seventies and the stereotypical image embedded in popcultural conscioussness is based on them.

The third wave of feminism started somewhen in the late Nineties and extends to the present.

Now, as for the differences…

The third wave basically arose to deal with what they saw as failures of the second, while keeping the basics. Thirdwave feminism is much more concerned with interesecting areas of discrimination, meaning they not only address sexism, but also study how for example race and class affect gender relations. They are as a result much more closely aligned with civil and gay rights groups.

They accuse the secondwavers of being feminism only for white, upper middle class women, marginalizing the experiences of poor women and women of color.

So, in essence, secondwavers fought the patriarchy. Thirdwavers on the other hand fight the kyriarchy (from the word “kyrios”, “Master”), which encompasses all the ways in which humans are systematically devalued and dominated – sexism, racism, classim, homophobia, disablism etc. – of which the patriarchy is only a part.

Now, among feminists there’s also a divide between “sex-positive” feminists (usually thirdwavers), who believe sex, and making money from sex (i.e. porn and prostitution), can be empowering and is not inherently degrading to women and anti-pornography feminists, mostly radical feminists, who think women in the sex industry have internalized and are supporting rape culture. It’s a very complicated issue, more here.

Feminists also argue about gender differences. Some think gender roles are a mere social construct, a false gender binary that harms us all. Others think the “feminine” and the “masculine” are real, and that the feminine traits have long been derided and marginalized by the patriarchy and need to be reclaimed. Sometimes this goes along with believing that the “masculine” is naturally aggressive and even evil. Some fall somewhere in the middle, arguing there are slight neurological differences that have been amplified and distorted by social conditioning, so it’s impossible to tell what exactly these differences are. Again, very complicated.

The list goes on. Feminism is no cohesive ideology and, really, I know no feminist that believes the same as another.

So, given that synopsis–
Craig, your post contains most of the attitudes of third-wave feminism, including a critique of the racism of first-wave feminism. Eagle’s posts and yours both criticize second-wave feminism because of its excesses– but both of you seem to want to re-define third-wave feminism as not being feminism at all. Third-wave feminists do identify themselves as feminists, however.

I think of “Christian feminism” as another subset of feminism that embraces many of the ideas of third-wave feminism but rejects some of its ideas that are considered unbiblical, such as porn being “empowering” for women. Christian feminism is rooted in the valiant struggles of Christian women in the 1800s to advance Christian causes such as the Abolition of slavery, while also seeking for themselves greater opportunities to minister and spread the gospel. Christian feminists in the US today, tend to avoid identifying themselves as feminists because of the way feminism is villified by right-wing, patriarchal fundamentalists. But I don’t see any point, myself, in not acknowledging our roots and the courageous Christian women who came before us, who suffered in the cause of Christ simply because they felt calls on their lives to do more than be confined to the home and to housework.

I don’t know the state of third-wave feminism, or of Christian feminism, in Australia or New Zealand. But I do know that most third-wave feminists in the US are sympathetic to the sufferings of men and boys under abusive wives and mothers.

8 07 2010
Kristen

Caveat to the above: many “radical” feminists do have little sympathy for men, even though they self-identify as third-wave. But they are by no means the only voices in modern feminism.

8 07 2010
Eagle32

“Eagle’s posts and yours both criticize second-wave feminism because of its excesses– but both of you seem to want to re-define third-wave feminism as not being feminism at all. Third-wave feminists do identify themselves as feminists, however. ”

I repeat, nowhere in my comments did I want to redefine third-wave feminists. All I’m asking is for you third wavers to acknowledge, once and for all, that the second wave of feminism is partially responsible for the mess we are in right now. That wave accepted some pretty disgusting, far out ideas and gave them a voice in the movement. You think “Patriarchy” is the only thing causing men to be abused by women, wives and mothers? No, it’s because of the acceptance of extreme, anti-male assumptions passed of as viable theories without so much as a hint of protest from anyone in the second wave. Now, we have the media and society accepting male abuse because, well, they can’t be abused can they. They have all the power, they’re a priveledged class. Where do you think the origins of these assumptions were pulled from?

If you can’t see the connection between hateful statements like “All men are rapists and that’s all they are” from the second wave and today’s times, I don’t know what else to say.

8 07 2010
Craig Benno

Hi Kirsten.

Great attempt of a synopsis of a difficult topic.

I disagree with you about feminism as a movement being involved in the 18th century against slavery though. Indeed you will find those same Christian women during that time standing alongside side Christian men united against this particular problem.There is no historical evidence to even suggest this was a feminist / suffragist issue at the time.

I have no problems with Christians claiming this as their heritige, though to do so one also has to grapple with the other side of the coin regarding this same heritige of Christendom that wasn’t against slavery…… the feministic movement lays claims to roots both in the north and the south before, during and after the civil war…

I’m wondering also if you would like to engage with what you said regarding feminism and the vote and my own synopsis of the history regarding who could vote.

8 07 2010
Craig Benno

Hi Eagle.

I find it difficult to accept / understand the precept that any one who calls themselves a feminist today is part of a 1st, 2nd or 3rd wave feminist movement. Rather the modern feminist movement is what it is because of the 3 major waves that is recorded in history.

Kirsten.

While you might say we live in an era of 3rd wave feminisn, the truth is that the majority of western world governmental programs regarding women are based on what you call 2nd wave feminism. Therefore it has to be said that its the 2nd wave of feminism that is considered to be the modern driving factor of feminism.

8 07 2010
Kristen

Quite frankly, I never intended to be drawn into a long, involved conversation regarding the nature of feminism. Also, quite frankly, I find the accusatory nature of Eagle’s posts to be quite off-putting.

As I have tried to several times already, I’m going to wish you well and end this conversation here. I do not consider myself an expert on the history of feminism and do not feel qualified to expound upon it in detail. I simply feel that taking an us-them stance with regards to large numbers of women who might like to be part of your “us” if you didn’t keep insisting they were “them,” is counter-productive to your cause.

Thanks for your time.

9 07 2010
Eagle32

Well, all I can say is if you’re prepared to call yourself a label that has both the good and the bad associated with it, then don’t be surprised for people who have experienced the bad to call you out even though you’re not a part of the “Extreme” segment.

Feminism has it’s good sides and bad sides. I agree with what you’ve posted about the different waves of feminism. I don’t hate women. I don’t hate all feminists.

However, my beef with feminists is when they refuse to acknowledge the extreme views the second wave accepted in the name of equality. I’m not putting them in an “Us Vs Them” category. All I’m asking for is ackowledgement. Yet, it seems, asking for ackowledgement means I’m anti-feminist. Even though I agree with the original goals of feminism.

So, I don’t know what else to say except I’m sorry you feel that way about me being accusatory.

9 07 2010
Eagle32

Also, Kristen, calling abuse a part of the patriarchal structure only leaves out people like me who have been bullied by both genders. So, forgive me if I found it insulting.

13 07 2010
Eagle32

Kristen,

In regards to your assumption of me labeling women who might by sympathetic to the cause.

Do you believe all women are feminists? It’s pretty presumptious of you to speak for all the supposed large numbers of women as if they all adhere to your ideology. You keep insisting that feminism isn’t a monolith. Well, neither are women as a group. Some also disagree with what feminism has become and the path it took during the 2nd wave.

Feminism is not every single woman on this planet. There are women who are well aware of abused men and boys. Yet, they don’t find feminism as an appropriate support system. In your view, then they’re just not women. Am I correct?

14 07 2010
Kristen

Eagle, I was speaking of feminists when talking about feminists. Not all women.

There are feminists who are sympathetic to the plight of abused men. There are feminists who do acknowledge and distance themselves from extreme views. These are the ones I was talking about. But you seem determined to read stuff into my words that I never said.

I can’t help but feel your posts are accusatory when they continue in this tone.

I am not going to answer any more questions. Please leave me alone. I was still lurking here and reading with sympathy, but I’m done. I won’t be coming back so please don’t address anything else to me.

17 07 2010
Jane

Hi, first of all, my support to the author of this blog, I do hear you and I do believe you.

Second, I am, yes a Radical Feminist…I also am very opposed to Patriarchy, particularly the male-andro nuclear centric version.

Third, I was abused and raped by a woman, my mother. I grew up HORRIBLY, RITUALLY ABUSED, even unto childhood…

so, as a Radical Feminist who has gone head to head against several Feminists on this issue, pertaining to female abuse and violence, I think I do have some relevant things to say here, on several key areas. Not based on Opinion, but based on living through the Hell of both female abuse AND tons of male abuse, including rape by a man. I lived a life of Whoredom/concubinage because of the RA and sexual abuse by my mother and religion also had a lot to do with both the development of AND the reinforcement of–especially fundamentalist Patriarchal religion, of All three faiths, Christian, a brief period with Islam, and Judaism [married to a Jew now, who is abusive, psychologically, however I am disabled and in student loan debt and not able to leave, So…],

I speak from the voice of experience, wrestling with demons, walking through this hell with God, and trying to piece back, what little fragments [altars, split] of Soul I have left.

The Bible is clear, that patriarchy Does eventually lead to both females eating their young/being abusive AND also turning misogynist, from the development-dialectic of Patriarchy–both in Old Testament, and in New Testament. Old Testament, when God gives the outline of the result of societal disobedience and in NT, in Romans…when those who have knowledge of God turn Him into ‘image of man’, beast, bird, etc….there in both accounts, is a dialectic at work, what God calls,

Iniquity.

So, Yes, the ROOT of it, is Patriarchy, man as ‘god’, as ruler…over woman. The Word of God asserts this fact. So, you cannot confront female abuse without confronting patriarchy and male supremacy beliefs–which are tied into race nationalism and the whole Pyramid structure, a.k.a. Egypt. How I know this,

because as a child, born in D.C., no joke, I know a bit about the pyramid, masonry, paganism, occult, etc., and how all that, tied into my entire childhood-life and the spiritual forces at work there. Without going into detail, there is no doubt in my mind, that the root source of Patriarchy, hate of woman, is Satan himself…the result, is that women will internalize that hatred and become like the one that hates all women, WHY? Because,

WOMAN, is the carrier of Life, the seed, Eve, the Mother of all Living. To create the Wound, then USE that Wound, to destroy All of humanity, this is where the ‘goddess’ beliefs tie in.

In all the cultures that worshiped the ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’ of Patriarchy, the end result was sacrificing and abusing Children, Prostitution and Trafficking children and women into Sex Slavery, Gendercide against men of the opposing ‘culture/race’, and using women, who turned to the goddesses, to hunt for the souls, see Isaiah, Jeremiah. It’s also, a form of justice/retribution, when a society rejects God and embraces other ‘gods’, including Materialism, Power, Greed, Lust.

Fact is, all in all, men do abuse women far more–However, the More Patriarchal a society becomes the MORE, MEN ARE ABUSED BY ‘MEN’ AND THEN BY WOMEN, particularly Mothers,

Jesus said, Love grows cold because of iniquity.

We see the Same parallel in action with the relation between man and Mother Earth, she is raped for gold, silver [which ties into slavery/sex slavery, all the way from Egypt, fact, look at the Banks today, the huge ones, all holders of Gold], she is raped for oil, she is exploited, ripped, pillaged, and then,

like a woman, her love grows cold, and she repays with Desolation.

So, sad to say, a lot of what we are seeing today with the increase and it Will get worse, of female violence, females becoming like MEN, against not only men but other Women, including their own daughters, is the result, of Years of misogyny, it can only bear one fruit,

misandry.

This is Why, in Greek and Roman societies, males lusted for males [and don’t think the correlation in the male worship of churchianity isn’t related, it sure is], and why weak males, were made into Eunuchs. A good example, well two in fact, of the fruit of Patriarchy, misogyny, is in Afghanistan and in the Congo,

where women have so little human status, where animals including dogs have more value to men than girls, little Boys are now the targets of male violence. Women, mothers will either abuse the boys or not care, if their boys are taken by male gangs, boys made into ‘toys’ for men, to be raped, forced to dance, many of them killed. Kill the soul of woman, you have then, little boys to take her place…its like a consuming fire,

it will just keep going until it consumes all. Same with the Congo, a nation, 80% CHRISTIAN, that has raped/gang raped their own, including three year old girls, shot them in the Vagina, disembowel them, all in the name of God and Male supremacy,

now, they are turning their hate to other MEN. Until, one day, that society will cease to exist–a.k.a., SODOM AND GOMORRAH.

To confront the abuse we must Look in the Mirror, the Image, that image of the Beast, which I believe, is the human, under the fall, and the ‘self righteousness’ that humanity thinks they have, either under the leaven of Herod OR the leaven of Pharisee, religion,

good and evil. [good, the mask of evil, equals religion]

Another thing, is that we also must look and confront the dynamics of Class Power, and Hierarchy, because it really has to do with Power, and the abuse of that Power,

and how Powerlessness, that misery, if there is no Justice, will drive itself into revolt–

that revolt, will turn into vengeance, the Toxin, then in turn, rather than becoming Free from that toxin,

it will turn into the very monster, it had always hated…why revolutions do NOT work.

Because the Root, is never axed, that tree, the reason…

‘the Lie, you will be as the ‘gods’

yep, like the gods alright, killing, stealing, destroying…hating Life, hating the Life source,

and it started with,

I will put enmity between you and the Woman, between her seed and your seed…the Lord God said to the Serpent,

that Tree, God said, IF you take, you shall SURELY DIE,

well, the abuse, is not the Feminists,

it is the seeing the tip of that tree, and yes, we are Surely Dying,

Jesus said, in the End Days, woe to those who have children and give suck–Why did HE say that? Because LIFE is going to be dying, Life is going to be hated,

not the ability to ‘produce life’, because Jesus said, they will marry and be given in marriage, the one lie of love, lust, eros, will continue–of course it will,

it doesn’t take Good to create LIFE, Rape can create a life–Hate can create a Life,

it takes LOVE, TO NURTURE LIFE,

the hate of LOVE, the hate of WOMAN, THE DEMONIZATION OF ALL WOMEN–BEGINNING WITH THE DEMONIZATION OF ‘EVE’, ADAM SAID, GOD IT’S THAT ‘WOMAN’ YOU GAVE ME–THE FRUIT OF THAT TREE–HATE OF HER,

and SHE BELIEVED A LIE–

and LOVE, DIED…IN THAT FAMILY, A BROTHER KILLS A BROTHER,

the SIN had begun, the ABUSE, HAD BEGUN in PHYSICAL HARM,

[caps for emphasis btw]

in the End, the Elements will burn up, Mother Earth will have had enough–already SHE is spewing the black oil, the Blood of so many, men AND women, from the Waters,

Women are being butchered everywhere

and Women are becoming, butchers….just like in Romans,

Sodom and Gommorah

trying to Preserve a Patriarchy will not save anyone, nor change, trying to equalize via women and goddesses will not save anyone, nor change,

LOVE, will.

The Tree of Life,

as long as we hold on to the demonizations–we ALL lose. and LIFE, will DIE. Iniquity will fill up, and LOVE will also, Die.

Jane

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