Motherfucker

9 Jul

I’ve had a few commenters balk at the suggestion (which I hadn’t made) that men can’t be feminists. I have yet to really weigh in on the subject because a) there are very few men who try to identify as feminists, and b) I never really gave a shit. That last one changed today.

I once discussed the idea of male feminists with a friend, and he agreed with my suggestion that men who call themselves feminists are a little weird. He’s as feminist as a dude can be without arousing my suspicion. What does that mean? He thinks a lot about gender issues, he recognizes male privilege and misogyny when he sees their manifestations, he’s open to discussing and considering anything having to do with gender (no matter how seemingly bizarre — Deuce’s Law arose out of a discussion with him), and he calls out the overtly and implicitly sexist behavior and assumptions of the people he talks to. He even asks people to reconsider their belief that there’s no harm in watching a little porn. He does not, however, call himself a feminist, nor does he try to tell me or anyone else what feminism is or should be about (though he’s not afraid to argue with me if he thinks I’m advancing something that doesn’t make sense). I’d call dudes like this cool.

Then there are the dudes who will agree with everything I say about the subject, deferring to any opinion I might express on gender issues because they’re not confident enough in their intellectual positions to be sure that any objections they may have aren’t arising from some sort of residual undetected male privilege (that’s fine — it’s vastly better than being a presumptuous boor). They make a point of discussing feminism and gender issues with people, and they are generally a benefit to the cause as they tend to be thoughtful dudes who people will listen to. These types may call themselves allies, sympathizers, or even feminists (though most of them, having read arguments that men cannot actually be feminists, would probably hesitate to appropriate that label). I’d call dudes like this allies of the movement.

I know a few dudes who are for the most part good guys who are sympathetic to the cause, but who will argue with me about some of my more radical opinions, not because my opinions don’t make sense, but because the implications of my opinions make them uncomfortable. I’d call dudes like this sympathizers.

There’s another type, though. There are dudes who call themselves feminists or feminist advocates and who argue vociferously for what they think are feminist causes, who attempt to place themselves at the center of the movement and to speak for women as “protectors.” I’d call dudes like this assholes.

Kyle Payne is an asshole. Feminists may sometimes overlook the little red flags in the writings of guys like Kyle Payne. We’re happy to have men on board, happy to have a few agents on the inside to help us out, because we know that there are some men who will never listen to us but might listen to a fellow dude. We overlook the warning signs and assume these guys are allies, taking whatever crumbs we can get from the beneficiaries of patriarchy, who we ultimately know we will need in order to succeed. I’m embarrassed to even type that.

I had Kyle Payne on my blogroll until today, when Genevieve, one of my frequent commenters, sent me an e-mail tipping me off to the fact that he’d been charged with possession of child pornography and sexual assault and has admitted to the assault. He was an RA at the school he went to, Buena Vista University, and apparently took advantage of a drunk girl, taking photos of himself assaulting her while she was passed out.  A college RA accused of taking advantage of a passed out girl? Shocking, I know. But this one was a FEMINIST ACTIVIST. He has a “radical feminist” blog. He’s been linked to by several of the radical feminist bloggers I respect most.

I’ll admit, I barely read half a post on his site before I linked to him. I’m busy, I’m lazy, and I fucked up. I was so excited to find a radical feminist blog written by a dude that I forgot to turn on my asshole meter. Now that I look back at his site, it’s tremendously obvious that he’s a self-important blowhard. If I was more careful, if I had read the fucking about page, I’d have noticed that he seems more concerned with aggrandizing himself than with women’s lives. His incessant references to himself as an “activist” and an “advocate” for women should have tipped me off to the fact that there was something beyond empathy motivating this guy. Had I noticed the tack he was taking, I might have picked up on the fact that he had ulterior motives or that there was something wrong with him. That he calls himself an advocate for women should have told me something about his attitude toward us. Fuck, if I had paid more attention I’d have seen that he’s a horrible writer, a trait I cannot abide. I’ll be more careful in the future.

Maybe the guy got into feminism as a result of his extreme guilt over doing something he knew was wrong. Maybe he’s like the gay preacher who rails against gays because he hates himself. I don’t really give a fuck. All I know is that I allowed myself to be taken in by a dude claiming to be an “advocate” for the feminist movement who turned out to be a fucking pervert, and that I’m now questioning the motives of every self-proclaimed male feminist in the world. This villainous motherfucker used one of the things I hold most dear in the world as a cover, as a tool, as a way to connive his way into women’s lives and as a way to wield power over vulnerable women. He used the name of a movement designed to free women from the abuses men perpetrate against us to control and manipulate women, and to deflect suspicion from himself because he’s a motherfucking miscreant who hurts women and uses images of women and children being hurt for sexual enjoyment. He used a position of authority to abuse a helpless woman, all while claiming to be a fucking advocate for purportedly helpless women. FUCK Kyle Payne and the horse he rode in on.

Why do men need to be directly involved in feminist activism? Why do men need to participate in the formulation of feminist theory? Can a man be a “feminist” activist without some kind of hidden selfish agenda? Why do men need to be allowed to call themselves feminists? Why do I need to be forced to trust men’s motives (against my better judgment) when they want to be a part of the movement or fear being accused of exclusionism? Why can’t these motherfuckers let a movement exist without trying to insinuate themselves into a leadership role within it? Where do they get the idea that we need their goddamned advice?

Even the most well-meaning of men who call themselves feminists evince some pretty strange assumptions. Men know we need them to get on board with our cause in order to get anywhere, and they come to our discussions with that in mind. And it always shows. I don’t know how fair it is of me to expect men to completely do away with a lifetime of gender conditioning, but I frankly don’t want to hear men’s opinions on feminism until they’ve confronted or are at least willing to confront their own gender issues, and even then I don’t want to hear their opinions on what feminism’s goals should be. Men can learn from feminists, they can discuss things with us, they can disagree with us, and they can fight with us. What they can’t do is tell us what our movement is about or take a leadership role within it. I know that this is hard for some of these guys to deal with, but it’s a fact: we don’t need male leadership or guidance. Know what else we don’t need? Your fucking advocacy. An advocate speaks on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves. I can speak for myself, and I can do so with much more accuracy and style than Kyle Payne or any other dude.

Here’s what all this means: I’m not praising or associating with men who presume to call themselves feminists anymore, and I’m going to be looking at men who come to this site with a bit more jaundice in my eye. You can be down with my cause, you can think sexism sucks, you can do your part to combat it, but you can’t be a feminist. You don’t get to take on my movement’s label or represent me. Quit being such a presumptuous pud, shut your fucking mouth, and learn something, then go tell other men what you’ve learned. Argue with me if you want to, but only if you’re willing to consider the possibility that you might be wrong. If you aren’t, I’ll concede, but if you are, be ready to admit it or go fuck yourself. If you want to write a “feminist” blog, write one about how you are taking concrete measures to confront sexism in your daily life, write one about what you’ve learned from feminists, but don’t write one telling me what feminism is about, because you don’t know. If you want to do something to help out the cause, examine your own assumptions, think about what society has taught you about gender and about women, and change what you think needs changing, then be an example to other men. Treat women like human beings and tell other men they should, too. You can be a force for good, but you can’t be in charge, and you aren’t getting hired as a consultant. We don’t need your bullshit advice. Take it or leave it.

I suggest that Kyle Payne ought to get the fuck off the internet. He claims he cares about women, about the feminist movement, and about rape victims. That his blog continues to exist is an affront to all three. He ought to have the decency to disappear. If you want to tell him so, I got your back. I already did.

* See a few other takes on the case from Pisaquaririse, belledame, and Renegade Evolution.

** If you are on his blogroll and want off, you’ll have to tell him so. It took me four nasty comments to get him to remove me.


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48 Responses to “Motherfucker”

  1. Mary Tracy9 July 9, 2008 at 9:31 PM #

    If Robert Jensen turns out to be into porn, I TOO am going to commit seppuku. And I don’t even know what seppuku is, but I will find it out!

    I do think men can be feminists. If someone is trully interested in making the world a better place for everybody and ending injustice, then that person will inevitably step onto feminism sooner or later.

  2. Nine Deuce July 9, 2008 at 10:03 PM #

    Men can be allies, but I think it takes having experienced being a woman in a misogynistic society to make someone a feminist.

  3. belledame222 July 9, 2008 at 10:40 PM #

    Yeah, I…actually don’t disagree with much of that. Or, well. I don’t really mind if a man calls himself “feminist” as such. Especially if it’s like, you know, someone asks in casual conversation, and the answer is something like, “Sure, I’m a feminist. Who wouldn’t be for womens’ rights?” You say tomato, I say tomahto.

    and, y’know, I’m pretty aware you and I, for instance, already likely have widely different ideas of what means “feminism” in certain areas and, not gonna get into that right now, just–I don’t necessarily think the -term- “feminist” is necessarily that big a thing all by itself. What you’re laying out here is more about deeds than words, which makes more sense to me, in this instance at least.

    Anyway, I agree that in general, people who put themselves at the -center- of someone else’s movement, make a career out of activism, that sort of thing, are already pretty suspect in my book, even if I obviously don’t automatically assume that they’re for fuckssake creepy rapists like Kyle here. -spits-

  4. belledame222 July 9, 2008 at 11:02 PM #

    As per Jensen–

    Look, I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise to anyone who knows who I am (hi, we haven’t been formally introduced, I don’t think, but anyway) that I can’t stand Robert Jensen. Honestly, though, for me it was never primarily about his being anti-porn per se, although yes, I disagree with the position which I’m not gonna get into right now; it’s always been precisely because he’s given me much the same skeevy vibe as Kyle here did even before I idly googled his name and found the link from Eleanor’s Trousers. “The gentleman doth protest too much.”

    And then, well, there’s this, from Payne’s blog (from a conference he attended -after- the story about the charges first broke, p.s., although before the actual guilty plea–still, he’s been acting like nothing changed this whole time and apparently continues to do so even now):

    ” “Bob Jensen made an important point to the group as our time together drew to a close: “Not everyone gets better.” This is certainly true of survivors of sexual violence, who are far too often met with frustration, even blame, from loved ones who simply cannot understand why they haven’t “put the pieces back together.” And I think it might be a fair statement regarding anyone doing anti-rape or anti-pornography work. It is the most heartbreaking experience for me as an advocate not to be able to tell a survivor that everything will be fine, that with the right amount of support and determination, she will be able to move on with her life, and in some sort of meaningful way, feel okay. The reality is that not everyone gets better, and whether we call it the “rape culture” or “porn culture,” we are living in a society that actively prevents healing from taking place.”

    ***

    and as I said elsewhere:

    Excuse the fuck out of me, but -who- appointed these dudes experts on which rape victims will and won’t -get better?- That shit’s fucking creepy even without the now revelation of,

    “Gee, Kyle, maybe they don’t get better because FUCKSTAINS LIKE YOU ABUSE THEM AND SHATTER THEIR TRUST ALL OVER AGAIN, YOU WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT.”

    and the thing is–but even without that, he got that from “Bob” Jensen, and well, again, who the hell asked him? Does he have counseling credentials too, now? Or–who is he speaking for, exactly, there, and what gives him the authority?

    For that matter–I don’t know; granted, I’m not anti-porn, but I still don’t understand how it’s not skeevy for someone like Jensen to show slideshows of porn (to women, too, I think?), yeah, okay, just so we all know how TERRIBLE it is, but…just not seeing any reason to not at least have a healthy suspicion that in fact yeah, he’s “into it.” I mean, look, literally, he IS into it; how much of that shit does he look at in his -research-? It’s really selfless of him to volunteer to do such a dirty job (someone has to!), I know, but…

    And, yeah, I know, I’m suspect, but honestly, I know at least one very radically anti-porn feminist woman who can’t stand Jensen’s ass, for the very reasons discussed here. -shrug- I find him creepy, is all.

  5. A.Y. Siu July 10, 2008 at 1:34 AM #

    I don’t understand why Robert Jensen is above suspicion.

  6. Nine Deuce July 10, 2008 at 1:37 AM #

    He’s not. I just don’t want to believe there’s no such thing as an honest feminist ally.

  7. Trin July 10, 2008 at 1:43 AM #

    Yeah, I…actually don’t disagree with much of that. Or, well. I don’t really mind if a man calls himself “feminist” as such. Especially if it’s like, you know, someone asks in casual conversation, and the answer is something like, “Sure, I’m a feminist. Who wouldn’t be for womens’ rights?”

    Yeah, that, pretty much. I guess it’s just that I’m a pretty, well, what gets called “liberal feminist,” if I’m anything a’tall, so I don’t go around wanting to find men who’ve Adamantly Rejected Patriarchy ™, who Don’t Act Like Those Other Unenlightened Guys. I think that perspective can lead to arrogance that gets destructive just like behaving without awareness of women’s issues does.

    I think it tends to be ARP’s that are either… eccentric, a la Jensen (personally he unnerves me too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has stashes, but then I’m not big on anti-porn feminisms in general, so I’m likely biased), or white knights hoping to Save The Women by understanding Dworkin better than they ever could, the poor wandering-wombed dearlings.

    Eh. I don’t know. I do know Payne seems like a class-A ass.

  8. belledame222 July 10, 2008 at 1:47 AM #

    I think there are honest feminist allies. I just don’t think Jensen is one of ‘em. Or, well, I think he’s honestly creepy. Your Mileage May Vary.

  9. Trin July 10, 2008 at 1:54 AM #

    “I mean, look, literally, he IS into it; how much of that shit does he look at in his -research-? It’s really selfless of him to volunteer to do such a dirty job (someone has to!), I know, but…”

    Yeah, that. But then we’d have to say things like that Dworkin was “into it,” too, as she’d do a lot of looking at it until she felt overwhelmed with emotion, and then write about it (cf that one article where she said she can’t look at a phone without thinking of violent nonconsensual penetration, because of how looking at so much porn wormed its way into her mind.)

    And while I do have my suspicions of and sometimes violent disagreements with her analysis of pornography, as those who’ve read me surely know, but I really don’t think of her as someone who’s actually looking at it for some hidden secret shh shh shameful sexual arousal factor.

    I do sometimes think that, well, as I saw somewhere in a discusssion of our culture’s weird duality about sexualizing youth: loving kidlike-looking models and plastering them everywhere while at the same time (rightly) reviling pedophiles:

    “the flip side of revulsion is fascination.”

    So yeah, I do sometimes feel like people get… swallowed up by porn as their Great Enemy. But I’m not sure that *every* seeming fascination with it on the part of people who don’t like it is actually being aroused sexually.

  10. Nine Deuce July 10, 2008 at 2:02 AM #

    I agree with Trin, but I’m definitely a little more wary of Jensen than I probably was even yesterday.

  11. Genevieve July 10, 2008 at 2:12 AM #

    I do think men can be feminists…this guy obviously isn’t one of them. I agree with the idea that men who try to take over the movement are bad. Most of the feminist men I know will take a backseat to the women around them in their activism.

    I can’t give this example with my feminism, because I am a woman and I have lived the experience of being female, but…I’m also anti-racist, pro-LGBT rights, and an ally to fat activists. But I’m not going to speak for people of color or fat people or gay people. When it comes to anti-racist, pro-gay, or pro-fat activism, I’ll let the people with the experience take the lead. Even though I have the white straight-ish thin privilege.

    Which should be the place of men in feminism.

  12. Nine Deuce July 10, 2008 at 2:16 AM #

    Men can be supportive of feminism and work to further feminist causes, but the ones that are more invested in it than I am worry me. There seems to be something wrong with these types, and they don’t get the main points of feminism if they think we need them to run shit for us. I’m with you on how to participate in a movement that promotes the well-being of a group you don’t belong to: support, speak out, but let the people who’ve been there direct things.

  13. RenegadeEvolution July 10, 2008 at 4:40 AM #

    we agree on two things…my problem with a lot of male feminists is how they always seem to be telling women what to do and how to view things, even as they assert they are not, or that they are not really speaking to or for women.

  14. Maggie Hays July 10, 2008 at 7:19 AM #

    As I said before: What kind of male ally can we trust? Or more exactly: Should we trust any male who says he is an “ally”? I think we should be extremely careful of male allies in the future, as some of them might not be genuine ones (as in the example of Kyle).

    What have we fucking done to men (anti-porn or pro-porn) for them to fucking treat us that way?

    When male “allies” are like this, all they should do is GET THE FUCK OUT OF OUR MOVEMENT!!!

    Men can be allies, but I think it takes having experienced being a woman in a misogynistic society to make someone a feminist.

    True.

    my problem with a lot of male feminists is how they always seem to be telling women what to do and how to view things

    Males outside of feminism also do that. Male who love porn and men who hate all sorts of feminisms also do that: telling women what to do and how to view things… My ex-boyfriends (especially the abusive ones) also did just that: telling me what to do and how to view things…

    If so, what will be left? :( I mean I do believe that masculinity is a social construct but… it is so deeply entrenched… Male supremacy is so deeply entrenched in society…

    I think that case has made me somehow pessimistic about men (at least at the moment)…

  15. Debi Crow July 10, 2008 at 7:22 AM #

    Exactly RE, that’s exactly what they do. For myself, I used to think that men cannot be feminists but can be allies, but I am beginning to change even that idea. In all honesty, I want men to be no part of any feminist movement I am involved in. They prove time and time again that they can’t be trusted/have ulterior motives/whatever, so why the fuck to we keep saying it’s okay to hang around with them?

    This fucker was featured in the Carnival Against Pornography and Prostitution (which I hosted) and I am LIVID about that – I hope he gets all that’s coming to him. And for the record, I don’t trust Jensen either – Don’t trust any of them.

  16. uberfrau July 10, 2008 at 7:49 AM #

    My worst housemate experience was with a self identified male feminist, who was also, remarkably, a victim advocate. Not only did he constantly warn my very smart friends against the dangers of date rape-but he would give them his cell phone number in case anything happened-this creeped out everyone. He also never cleaned, because he was “more politically active” than I was, and more committed to “the cause” and made noises about the need to ” reclaim his space”. I told him that feminism began at the cleaning of the toilet.

  17. allecto July 10, 2008 at 10:16 AM #

    Ha! I write a post about men being FUCKING DANGEROUS. And I get bitten in the bum because, predictably, one of the men on my blog roll is FUCKING DANGEROUS.

    This isn’t funny at all really. It is awful. I feel terrible for that girl and for the abused children. And I feel guilty for not knowing. For being stupid and trusting when I know I should just be angry and suspicious.

  18. pload July 10, 2008 at 10:43 AM #

    It is in no man’s best self-interest to be a supportive of womens’ rights. That doesn’t mean that there are men who are willing to overlook their own self-interest because they believe that inequality is morally wrong and should be corrected. But self-interest is an incredibly powerful motivator and its opposition to womens rights has to taint the involvement of any man. When push comes to shove, what will win out? Often it is self-interest.

    Also, as Nine said, it is impossible to fully understand what women go through without actually suffering the oppression of the Patriarchy. Men, especially white men, wouldn’t know oppression if it bit them in their glorious wang. Personally, I’ve never felt particularly oppressed in my life. I empathize with my female friends who suffer because of their gender and the shit they have to put up with makes me furious, but when I go to bed at night, I don’t have to worry about waking up in the morning and dealing with yet one more day of the same crap.

  19. RenegadeEvolution July 10, 2008 at 12:12 PM #

    Debi- No one is going to blame you for including the guy in the carnival…after all, he talks a great game and did whole lot to cover up and bury his abusive deeds. And I won’t even get into my opinions of Jensen.

    Maggie- There is validity in the statement that all men do this, but for some reason, when men claim to be feminist or feminist allies, especially of Kyle’s ilk, it seems somehow…worse…to me.

    The good news is: Now, when you google Kyle Payne, you get a lot of our posts about the truth of him pretty high up in the listings. As Agent Mulder said: “The truth is out there”. And if we keep talking the truth about him, this will only continue.

  20. Genevieve July 10, 2008 at 3:34 PM #

    Uberfrau–
    Good for you for telling the guy off. That sort of bullshit would really piss me off. For any guy to call himself a feminist he should at least try to understand women.

  21. Level Best July 10, 2008 at 4:39 PM #

    You know, one undercurrent of him being an “official male feminist” (trademark) that I really resent is that so many women who HAVE experienced the full gamut of suffering from sexism all their lives and come to feminism as a result would have much less credibility to most folks because he is privileged, educated, and looks good on paper. I don’t need to listen to any more men at this point for enlightenment and/or validation; no, I just don’t need that. But men can pick up “cred” very easily and probably make a career of sorts out of being nobly feminist. Pfah. Yech. I’ll read Nine Deuce, allecto, and many other women, thanks very much, not the menz.

  22. Evo July 10, 2008 at 7:16 PM #

    Motherfucker, indeed. He needs to get punched in the dick on an hourly basis.

  23. Mary Tracy9 July 10, 2008 at 8:15 PM #

    I hope this doesn’t make me sound like a total beetch, but… aren’t we being slightly intransigent? This sweeping generalizations of the “all men” and “all women” kind reek of gender essentialism to me. It’s true that women as a group have it worse than men as a group, but that doesn’t mean that every single woman has it worse than every single man. There are a lot of women out there who have every invested interest in the patriarchy living forever. And I’m equally sure that there’s a (small) number of men who have been focked up by the patriarchy and who would like to see it gone. I mean, we don’t know Jensen’s personal life details, do we? He makes a strong case against masculinity, and he bases it on the same grounds feminist use to reject femininity and all gender determinism.
    As for “self interest”, I wouldn’t be so sure that it’s in no man’s self interest to fight the feminist cause. As I said, that man could have been personally hurt by the patriarchy. OR he might have made it his life goal to become a better person, which would invariably lead him to feminism.
    Or maybe it’s me. I’ve had so many conversations with women who are unwilling to give feminist ideas even a remote chance and I’m up to believing anything.

  24. Maggie Hays July 10, 2008 at 11:21 PM #

    Hold on, I was so upset by this whole thing that I think I’ve been missing a crucially important point here:

    I think we should keep in mind that Kyle Payne WAS (in spite of all his claims to “support radical feminism” ) secretly PRO-PORNOGRAPHY.

    As I read from that story, he used pornography. He also probably used child porn. He sexually assaulted a woman and made pornography of her. All this clearly shows a secret porn-sick mind while pretending to be a “pro-feminist”.

    Now, in all this, again I can find a strong link between porn and sexual coercion I’d been researching about:

    http://www.againstpornography.org/effectsandharms.html

    Of course, Kyle ain’t the only porn user who coerced a woman (or women/girls) into sex. There are so many of them out there! And most of those porn-using sexual abusing men aren’t into any kind of feminism at all.

    Yeah, that’s right. Radical feminism is certainly NOT the problem here,’cause men can choose to benefit from male privilege and deceive women in so many areas of life & society anyway.

    Socialization to masculinity and the use of pornography (woman-hatred propaganda that is so awfully condoned) ARE the problems, the key factors for abusive behavior.

    I still believe that we have to be very careful of male allies in the future though, try to find a way of making sure they are genuine or something like that. But how can we?

    Male supremacy is so deeply entrenched that I’m being skeptical here… and pessimistic for now…

  25. psych July 11, 2008 at 3:12 AM #

    Oh my God! Check out this site: http://www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org

    There’s a petition to:
    1) Get rid of sex offender registries and make it illegal (with “strong penalties”) to publicly state that someone is a sex offender.
    2) Ensure that sex offenders may only be committed for a short period.
    3) Stop the “vilification and demonization” of sex offenders.
    4) Decriminalize statutory rape committed by teenagers.
    5) Make death penalty and life imprisonment for sex offenses illegal (does that ever actually happen?).
    6) “Support broad sex education for children.” Not quite sure what exactly they mean by “broad,” but I can’t imagine it’s anything appropriate. They previously defined children as being “before the age of puberty.”
    7) Research and provide information about sex offenders.
    8) Abolish measures that make it difficult for sex offenders to “find a decent job.”

    Guess who is on the list of signatories for this petition. Go on, guess. Bet you can do it.

  26. RenegadeEvolution July 11, 2008 at 5:03 AM #

    ND & Debi: If you’re willing, I’d like to hear more about the issues you have with Robert Jensen. I mean, I have my own reasons for not liking the guy, and I figure they are probably different than your own, but I’m curious to hear them.

    This jerk Kyle, well, he messed a whole lot of shit up for everyone. As I before, I may not agree with you all often, but the fact that he used feminism, specifically anti-porn radical feminism and his stint as a rape crisis advocate as “cover” really irks me for some reason…that may seem weird, but yeah, it pisses me off big time.

  27. justin July 11, 2008 at 6:04 AM #

    it seems like a big part of the problem, is guys who speak a bit too loudly about this kind of thing. (like the pastor who rails against gays only to be caught in a gay relationship) men are not persuaded to treat women with respect by having other guys say a bunch of stuff to them. men are persuaded to be less assholic by having good behavior modeled, and by having bad behavior go without reinforcement. i can’t tell you how many sexist comments and jokes have fallen dead in my presence. if a man’s not getting a laugh, he’s gonna shut the hell up.

    i do disagree slightly with the spirit of this post though. i guess the pendulum’s been so far on the male end for so long, that the only way to end up in the middle is to swing it back the other way, but i (as a man who has not experienced sexual prejudice or fear of victimization) would love to see a feminist movement with a mixed-gender leadership. i would love to see a movement for racial equality with a variety of races in leadership. just as a male-only leadership is skewed, so, i believe, is a female-only leadership.

  28. Mary Sunshine July 11, 2008 at 1:02 PM #

    Justin,

    Get a grip.

    Women don’t need any male leaders in feminism.

    Feminism has never had any male “leaders” and never will. It has way more than plenty arrogant little male interferers and critics like you.

  29. Mary Sunshine July 11, 2008 at 1:21 PM #

    Another thing:

    I agree totally with JusticeWalks on this one:

    http://walkwithjustice.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/meaningless-distinctions/

    The point is, that this guy is a rapist, not whether or not he “identified” as a feminist.

    If women want to be so optimistic (and, I think, gullible) as to invest any degree of trust in a male because he says he is a “feminist”, then they’ll have to learn, won’t they?

    All this brouhaha proves is that most women are so heavily invested in the concept of “some good men” that they are willing to entirely distort their perspective of what is the far greater violation of women, namely, rape.

    Once again, it makes the desire for male “goodness” and the pre-eminence of that desire amongst most females, more important than what actually *happens* to females.

    If the facts of this case point to anything, they underscore that males of *any* sort are not to be trusted in matters of sexual assault.

    Apologists for the male of the species will just have to get over it.

  30. Maggie Hays July 11, 2008 at 2:22 PM #

    The guy was into porn, that’s a fact! HE WAS USING PORNOGRAPHY. Just like so many of them out there who aren’t into feminism. And some do rape women.

  31. L July 11, 2008 at 3:23 PM #

    i do disagree slightly with the spirit of this post though. i guess the pendulum’s been so far on the male end for so long, that the only way to end up in the middle is to swing it back the other way, but i (as a man who has not experienced sexual prejudice or fear of victimization) would love to see a feminist movement with a mixed-gender leadership.

    Good job missing the point, justin. No offense, but Kyle Payne? This whole thing? These are reasons that a mixed-gender leadership ideal for feminist movement won’t get very far. When the dudes who make all these loud, sweeping gestures in support of feminist activism and then go and HURT the very women they claim to be supporting — well, I don’t want guys like that in charge of my movement. And Kyle’s not the only one of these guys. I’ve posted frequently about dudes who talk the talk but just cannot walk the walk — and the same thing goes: I don’t want them telling me what to do, ever, because they don’t have my best interests in mind. And how could they? As pload says, it is in no man’s best interests to be supportive of feminist activism.

    I think dudes should be part of the feminist movement, no doubt. They will all eventually have to be, at some point. But I don’t want them leading. They can hang around at the margins being supportive, but their place will never and should never be the center or the front of the movement. If they want a movement all to themselves, they can begin an anti-masculinist movement or something — they just shouldn’t be co-opting feminist principles for their own idiotic and oppressive desires.

  32. Genevieve July 11, 2008 at 5:02 PM #

    Maggie–
    Yeah, he was into porn. But I’d take the average porn-watching male who admits to being such any day over a hypocrite like this guy who claims to be anti-porn and an ally of women who are anti-porn and then watches illegal, non-consensual child pornography and assaults a woman.

    At least with Dude #1 you know who you’re getting, take him or leave him.

  33. Nine Deuce July 11, 2008 at 8:58 PM #

    Ren – I’m not sure for now how I feel about Jensen. I’m going to need to think about that one a bit more. I’d like to hear from you and Debi on him.

    As to Kyle Payne, I think I’m bothered by the guy for the same reason. I’m fairly enraged by it, which I suppose is obvious in this and the following post.

  34. RenegadeEvolution July 11, 2008 at 9:55 PM #

    I’m pondering a post on Male Feminists…if I do it, i will talk about jensen. I Figure it will be up by tomorrow, so feel free to stop by if you want.

    And there is a whole lot to be bothered by with Kyle Payne in general.

  35. Maggie Hays July 11, 2008 at 10:25 PM #

    Maggie- There is validity in the statement that all men do this

    There is. . .

    Maggie–
    Yeah, he was into porn. But I’d take the average porn-watching male who admits to being such any day over a hypocrite like this guy who claims to be anti-porn and an ally of women who are anti-porn and then watches illegal, non-consensual child pornography and assaults a woman.

    At least with Dude #1 you know who you’re getting, take him or leave him.

    That still doesn’t excuse the so many other porn using males who coerce women into sex. I’m not saying all porn users coerce but many do, or are, at least, somehow “pushy” in bed. I know that from experience.

    But, yeah, Genevieve, at least with dude #1, you know what he’s up to.

    Though I’d be more skeptical & suspicious of men who say they’re allies, I guess I wouldn’t write ‘em off (yet). I’d want proof.

    But, hey, as I said in this thread:

    “I still believe that we have to be very careful of male allies in the future though, try to find a way of making sure they are genuine or something like that. But how can we?”

  36. Lara July 12, 2008 at 1:18 PM #

    It wasn’t enough that they could rape us at parties. It wasn’t enough that they could rape us because they’re athletes or celebrities. It wasn’t enough that they could rape us in our homes. It wasn’t enough that they could rape us and videotape the rape to share with other rapist assholes and call it “porn.” It wasn’t enough that they could rape us just about anywhere in public and get away with it. No. They also have to rape us when they are male “feminists” and rape crisis counselors.
    Fuck men.

  37. Lara July 12, 2008 at 1:33 PM #

    Shut up, Justin.

  38. Genevieve July 12, 2008 at 2:51 PM #

    Maggie–
    Of course coercion is always wrong. I never meant to imply there was any excuse for it. No matter what else you do with your life, if you coerce a woman (or a man, for that matter) into having sex…you’re an asshole. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  39. Maggie Hays July 12, 2008 at 6:32 PM #

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    No misunderstanding. Don’t worry, I don’t believe you’ve ever implied there was any excuse for it. Everything’s alright, Genevieve. :)

  40. Imaginary November 27, 2009 at 4:33 PM #

    I think at the present time, it would be wise to stay away from men who call themselves feminists. Men run everything; they don’t need the name “feminist”.

    And I completely agree with you on being forced to trust men for fear of being called exclusionary. I have no reason to trust men, yet I have to otherwise I’ll hurt their pwecious widdew feewings.

  41. GXB January 27, 2010 at 6:21 PM #

    Hmm. A few cents here, this is meant to be a humble opinion rather than a lecture, but I find it hard to communicate tone when writing.

    I’ve been grappling with the question of when to believe privileged people want to help an oppressed group, particularly as I am sufficiently attached to ideas of “we should all be fair, and we should try not to be ignorant” to frequently try and speak up for other groups of people. I’ve done this badly sometimes, as evidenced by having been burned, and have now been convinced merely to point people in the right direction. I’m not an economist: I don’t believe self-interest supersedes everything.

    So, among the guys I know well, there are several I also could trust, and when I complain of sexism they try to see my perspective and talk about it. If any of them were to start talking frequently about feminism on their own, I might ask them why but I would believe their answers. (One of them was probably more aware than I of society’s misogyny before I opened my eyes properly.) I guess my more optimistic view is: if you know a man well in person, that doesn’t make it sure you can trust him or anything, but it means that you can judge him by his actions and you’ll probably know if he’s true to his words. Support is a good thing, but that means loudly declaiming feminist issues is not as good a sign of a male ally as is listening to what one feminist has to say. When they have listened and learned, they tend to try to stop the misogyny most immediately around them (you know, other guys’ jokes and so on). Women, too, may talk of feminism and then act out misogyny (e.g. I’ve had to choke down the impulse to say “bitch” after a confrontation with a rude woman, or to assume that a woman is brainless because her titillating dress or manner makes me uncomfortable).

    So I’m throwing opinions into the mix, and what I take away from other comments is that most of us won’t claim that no men are truly sympathetic to our cause–just don’t expect us to wait around for them.

  42. Immir March 20, 2010 at 5:55 AM #

    I like Justin’s post: “but i (as a man who has not experienced sexual prejudice or fear of victimization) would love to see a feminist movement with a mixed-gender leadership. i would love to see a movement for racial equality with a variety of races in leadership”

    I would like to see men involved, that would make my heart soar. As Juston said- a racial movement should involve all, not just the opressed, and I think feminism should be for all. It might just be some time before we find genuine male contributors.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Feministe » “Advocate” Turns Abuser - July 10, 2008

    [...] Belledame has info on how those in the area can attend Payne’s sentencing. Apparently, he has decided to have an open sentencing, and anyone who wants to speak can. In other words: if you can, go! Ren has links to more people who are writing about the case. They include Eleanor Trousers, who has been writing about the story since February, Jeff Fecke who writes about the case at Shakesville from the perspective of a (genuine) feminist ally, Purtek, Buried Alive, and Nine Deuce. [...]

  2. “Advocate” Turns Abuser : The Curvature - July 10, 2008

    [...] Belledame has info on how those in the area can attend Payne’s sentencing. Apparently, he has decided to have an open sentencing, and anyone who wants to speak can. In other words: if you can, go! Ren has links to more people who are writing about the case. They include Eleanor Trousers, who has been writing about the story since February, Jeff Fecke who writes about the case at Shakesville from the perspective of a (genuine) feminist ally, Purtek, Buried Alive, and Nine Deuce. [...]

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