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While I am only a visitor from Reddit on this website and I will likely not post on here again, I felt compelled to make an account and reply to your post. You sir, win the internet award for 3-20-13 for your outstanding writing, cogent points, and social awareness. One does not often see this quality of writing and thoughts combined into a singular document on internet sites, and for making me think at the end "oh man, I really enjoyed reading this", I thank you.

As an aside, you were dead-on with your points. Women frequently engage in behavior that, when mirrored in men, would be called out for sexist. One point I was discussing with the girl I currently am dating is that there needs to now be a "mens' rights movement" similar to what women have accomplished for their gender. We are all equals, but men seem to be content to sit back and let the outside world badger us into a box of "manliness" and double standards that negatively affect us based solely on our gender. That is not to say the reasons we were put here in the first place are not completely valid, but that does not mean we should stay there now that we have multiple generations that get it.

I think if want to push true equality, it must acknowledge that both sexes have unique hardships, it must encourage equality for both sexes, and it must be supported by both sexes.

I could go on for hours about the double-standards both men and women place on each other, but I'll stop here and just reiterate my thanks to you for giving me something enjoyable to read on the internet today.




I say that rather than focusing on women's rights or men's rights, we as a society need to put more of an emphasis on equality overall, and making a concerted effort to eliminate sexism from both directions at the same time. In doing so it would help with the issue of the historically oppressed group B from rising to a point in which group A is now oppressed, as either a byproduct of the increase in rights or as revenge for their oppression. While men are oppressed in ways that many people fail to notice, and are expected to act in certain ways and exhibit "manliness", a men's rights movement is not the answer. What is needed is an individual rights movement, to allow everyone equal opportunity to do what they want and be who they are, so long as it does not infringe on anyone else's rights. When the focus is on gaining rights for a single group then typically that group will end up either above the other group(s) or it will remain lower, resulting in continued discontentment. If men fight for equal rights, while not equal they may still receive additional rights, but these may come at the cost of women not having these rights, and so the cycle repeats.


The problem is that people have difficulty in recognizing sexism when it isn't pointed at them.


> One does not often see this quality of writing and thoughts combined into a singular document on internet sites

Maybe because you're a visitor from reddit.


It appears that you do not detect the irony in your own comment.


It appears that your attempt to be clever failed. I never said that all comments on hacker news were high quality. I only implied that most comments on reddit are not high quality.

Please learn to think.


You are in no position to imply anything. Please refrain from posting your uneducated opinion regarding websites you don't frequent.


Redditors got mad lol


What part of my "opinion" was "uneducated"?


The part where you assign a value of quality to "reddit". Would you had visited the website, you'd known that due to its number of users and (this is important) many subreddits, assigning a value to "reddit" instead of a specific subreddit is akin to assign a value to "the internet" when in reality you meant to degrade a specific forum/website.


I've been reading reddit for approximately 7 years, and I have multiple accounts on reddit that are in the 6 year club. I don't understand why you would assume that I don't read reddit based on the comment.

My assumption was that the original person I was replying to came to ycombinator from /r/programming. That is a good example of a subreddit where a vast majority of comments, even generally upvoted ones, are low quality. For a tech related subreddit that has higher quality comments, /r/netsec is maybe the best reddit has to offer.


While I generally abhor the talk about "privileged" groups, there doesn't need to be a "mens rights" movement. We dont need it. What we do need is to get on the bandwagon and propagate the "3rd wave feminism." The sub groups that are repressed/oppressed need the special exemptions, leniency, and attention. If you're worried about mens rights, get on board with 3rd wave feminism. It leaves the focus where it needs to be but also includes that ANYONE should be allowed to be whoever they want to be. Mens rights should be an after thought, tagged at the bottom in small print.


I'm glad to hear that your experience of 3rd wave feminism has been one that includes discussions of men's rights. Mine has been one which identifies any discussion of men's rights as "derailing" and "reactionary." So long as feminists (3rd wave or other wise) exclude discussions of men's rights from their group then there will always be a need for the MRM.


As another visitor from Reddit, I apologize for this comment.

While I agree with the original commenter that this case is overblown and shouldn't be called out as sexism, it flows from error and a reaction to a real problem. To suggest that we need a "men's rights movement" to counter this sort of error seems absurd. If this is the level of "hardship" that men are facing, they have little to complain about. Men should be more concerned about helping women, who continue to face significant sexism (and harassment) in the workplace at levels far in excess of what is faced by men.


Right. So statements like this are the crux of the whole issue, and shows the lack of insight into the matter that makes this so frustrating.

The idea that men do not have unique hardships in this new world culture and specifically American culture is wrong. It's just a short sighted and ignorant view. It's sexism, by the very definition of the word to lump entire genders as being homogeneous. The feminist movement fought against this exact kind of rhetoric you're espousing.

The entire idea that men are derided for even suggesting that men do have their own unique set of unfair social pressures and prejudices is the proof of that bias existing.

Some even acknowledge the bias and in a very sexist way state men should just get over their issues, and we should instead devote all our efforts to empowering women. Oh.

Comments like yours only show the truth of the idea that people think men can't be victims because they're men.

If there were not hard set cultural biases against men stating a rather simple idea that half the population might have unique adversities then this whole debate wouldn't exist. The backlash wouldn't happen, the blind opposition to a problem people seem to not even want to know about wouldn't happen.

For some reason people seem to think that the idea that men might be cultural victims as well implies that women now aren't; as if there is a pedestal for the persecuted that only has room for one.

Now, I expect full well to be attacked for saying something so innocuousness and easily apparent as this point.

I'm not being sexist because I've made zero claims about women, or compared women to anything, or even insinuated that in any way women are the root of this issue or even related. I've only talked about men, and how like all people have their own injustices levied against them.

But sexist is still the label that would be used for some reason because I dare to say that men are actually as susceptible to pain, and attack, and abuse from the culture that harbors them as women are. I dare to compare us, to them.

But no, stay silent, stick to your role. Be a man, you can't possibly be a victim.


I find false accusations, which in this case even lead to the accused loosing their jobs a serious hardship. Consider our societies view of men that are nice to children, most immediately think "pedophile", instead of nice guy. Just because we have to fight for true freedom of women, doesn't mean we shouldn't fight for the same when it comes to men. We need more men in social jobs, and we need a mens right movement to foster this, just as we need more women in IT. The real thing we need though is a unified movement that fights against discrimination of any kind without a label of a particular gender, race, religion or ideology.


How were the accusations false? It seems they were making jokes that made another human being uncomfortable and they took action. One of the two men involved even posted in this thread and admitted that they were making the jokes.


Mmm. Nothing gets the Men's Rights fanatics frothing like the suggestion that they aren't the most oppressed people of all time (OF. ALL. TIME.). So it might help ease their minds to acknowledge that there are a few significant scenarios in which there is actually gender bias that favors women. The worst one is probably child custody. Who says moms are automatically better single parents? I'd say the other bad one is the draft...we don't have one right now, and maybe now that women are allowed in combat, if we do have a draft again it won't only be men who are conscripted.

But yeah, aside from a few outlying examples, for the most part gender bias favors males, so the excessive whining of the Men's Rights movement is just a big steaming pile of Yeah...No.


While I completely agree with you that it is nonsense in suggesting that men are the most oppressed people of all time. Anyone who supports this is a moron. However, there is some truth in the arguments that people are suggest, if you will please hear me out:

Recently near me, there was a crime committed by a teacher. This teacher had been having an explicit relationship with pupils, namely in sending digital photos of themselves to students. When this teacher was caught, they were obviously stripped of their teaching and arrested (My country, like many others, has a system where personal relationships between students and teachers must be consensual and the student must be over 18, it is also frowned upon if they are in school together). When tried and convicted, this teacher got only a few years in prison. This teacher, as I'm sure you've guessed is a female. Now, what do you think the conviction would have been if that was a male teacher? Much higher than a few years I'm sure, additionally there would've been outrage, yet I only heard about it months after the conviction. Don't you see that there are inequalities in life, positive discrimination? I mean, there are laws that there must be X% of women in the boardroom, but I ask you- what if all male the applicants to the job are better than the female ones? Should then the business lose out on a great candidate because the laws force them to choose the worse one?

Look, I am not a Men's rights activist, I am not completely anti-feminism, I agree that 'the oppression' that many men see themselves under is merely a fallacy. However, it isn't as clear cut as you seem to think. Now, I hope I have suggested some things that would cause you to think, it is highly doubtful that I shall come to this site again, so If I cannot answer your reply then I am sorry, but hopefully my comment will start a discussion that will come to a valid and nonbiased conclusion. Thank you for reading this,

Jabba


I acknowledged that some gender bias does seem to swing in women's favor in my own comment. I acknowledged, as two examples, the way the family courts favor mothers in custody battles (not something I have evidence on--just an impression I have somehow acquired) and the fact that the US military, when it last had a draft (involuntary conscription) only took males and didn't ask females to sacrifice similarly for their country.

The legal system's tendency to give women lighter sentences for crimes may also be a good example of one of these rare issues. But you're acting like I said that there's no such thing as gender bias that favors women. And in fact I did not say that at all.

I also don't believe that there's such a thing as a hierarchy of struggle. Just because women haven't achieved the goal of being treated fairly and equally doesn't mean we have to set aside efforts to redress injustices directed at men. It's all important; it all affects people's lives; no injustice or bias should go unaddressed just because the person impacted sits at the apex of the current power pyramid, or just because there are others who are suffering more.

There ARE some activists who believe that you need to tease out the "relationality" of oppression and then pick which oppressor you have to fight first. A great example of this would be some of the Civil Rights debates that took place... did black women have to "sit down and shut up" about their situation and just support black men in the fight against race-based oppression? The Black Power movement was awfully dismissive of women's issues at times. Black women activists were told, "You have to be a revolutionary first, Sister second."

For me, I can see why some people think you have to pick and choose what to fight and when, but I personally couldn't look at someone who was suffering and just be like, "Yeah, fuck you, you're not suffering enough yet... we'll get to you."


"But yeah, aside from a few outlying examples,"

It's nost just a few outlying examples.

http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/uwekw/facts_and_...


>Mmm. Nothing gets the Men's Rights fanatics frothing like the suggestion that they aren't the most oppressed people of all time (OF. ALL. TIME.).

Speaking as a "Men's Right Fanatic" I don't give a hoot about the oppression olympics. I rarely ever see MRAs make this claim. On the other hand I see feminists making it all the time. Not all feminists, just the ones who thing that fighting sexism is about scoring points for their gender.


Hey, thanks for the compliment and kind words. I appreciate that.

However, I must emphatically and proudly express that I do not support the negation and devaluing of women's (as well as ethnic, [other] cultural, LGBT, etc.) rights by way of reactionary countering with a "men's rights" movement.

One of the most pressing reasons is that such a movement would likely result in a majority of white, heterosexual male adherents (at least here in the US). From a historical perspective alone, males of nearly all notable ethnicity have dominated the world stage in terms of rights, privileges, and power--and white, heterosexual males in particular. This undeniably central component of human history (especially as it leads to Western modernity) is a primary motivator on my part to refrain from supporting an ideological, social, or economic (read: material) crusade that would pose a serious threat to the hard-won and valiantly fought-for progress that has been made in the human condition over the past century+. It could be possible that a notable minority male demographic would join such a movement, but at least in the US, such calls for "men's rights" are typically laden with reactionary white men who feel somewhat despondent at figuring out how to navigate in a world that, at least in words, tries very hard to no longer privilege that genetic inheritance.

More abstractly, a "men's rights" movement would, I think, offer very little gain to humanity as a whole, and would threaten to destabilize and retard the advancement of human rights and greater gender and sexual equality in social relations. This would be a terrible regression to allow to happen. Even when people like Adria raise the red flag in a moment of haste that, I think, will later be reflected on as regrettable, it is still done (I hope) from a position of sincere concern for protecting those who are actual victims of bigoted, discriminatory behaviors.

On this particular issue, I am disheartened to see the fallout from her overreaction, especially as her actions have affected three children, their father, and (assuming she is present) their mother. One woman's dislike of a comment that she mistook for sexist antagonism (or some emotional reaction in the same vein (also: I'm not using 'emotional' in a pejorative sense here)) has now affected five lives. Moreover, in reading her blog post on the subject, it threads through a story of a person who has been hyper-traveling from conference to conference, is exhausted, has already dealt with a person on the same day making a completely inappropriate and objectifying joke/comment that is absolutely inexcusable, and then she basically takes it out on a couple of guys who said something which, given their own statements and the available evidence, bears every indication that she basically went in, guns blazing, to the wrong fight. What is most important is this: the guy who made a comment directly to her about looking under a [table] skirt and finding it "bare, just the way [he] liked it" DID NOT have a picture posted to Twitter and a massive call-to-the-carpet moment. She talked to him. She even told him the comment could be funny in a different venue (her own admission).

The evidence available leaves the distinctly bad taste that the punishment did not fit this crime, while a much more serious issue in which she actually spoke to the offender directly was apparently cause for discussing the comedic appropriateness of a shaved vulva at a tech conference.

Moreover, to go back toward the philosophical end of things, this brief quote from Wikipedia provides a decent enough look at exactly what is meant by the Marxist understanding of gendered disparities in social equality:

>Marxist feminism's foundation is laid by Friedrich Engels in his analysis of gender oppression ... a woman's subordination is not a result of her biological disposition but of social relations, and that men's efforts to achieve their demands for control of women's labor and sexual faculties have gradually solidified and become institutionalized in the nuclear family. Through a Marxist historical perspective, Engels analyzes the widespread social phenomena associated with female sexual morality, such as fixation on virginity and sexual purity, incrimination and violent punishment of women who commit adultery, and demands that women be submissive to their husbands. Ultimately, Engels traces these phenomena to the recent development of exclusive male control of private property and the attendant desire to ensure that their inheritance is passed only to their own offspring: chastity and fidelity are rewarded, says Engels, because they guarantee exclusive access to the sexual and reproductive faculty of women possessed by men from the property-owning class.[1]

We are, on even our worst days as a society, nowhere near a state of affairs in which that synopsis can swap the gendered pronouns and hold true.

I hope that provides a bit more context, as well as a decent enough grappling with why, given how much social inequality actually still exists to be eradicated, a "men's rights" movement is nothing that needs to be on the table.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxist_feminism


"However, I must emphatically and proudly express that I do not support the negation and devaluing of women's (as well as ethnic, [other] cultural, LGBT, etc.) rights by way of reactionary countering with a "men's rights" movement."

Then you don't support equality. Men have the same amount of gender equality issues (maybe even more) than women in Western countries.

"From a historical perspective alone"

History has no relevance to the fact tha men today have about the same mount of gender equality issues. In addition, just because the majority of rulers and people in power were men, that doesn't mean the majority of men were in power. In fact, rulers, politicians and CEOs constitute less than 0.1% of the population. You cannot prove anything about the average man by talking about an extremely tiny minority. Meanwhile in history men have been forced to fight bloody wars, work to death in horrible conditions etc.

"More abstractly, a "men's rights" movement would, I think, offer very little gain to humanity as a whole"

It would gain a huge amount of well-being. Such a movement is required so politicians will also try to fix gender equality issues that men face.

List here: http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/uwekw/facts_and_...


> Men have the same amount of gender equality issues (maybe even more) than women in Western countries.

FYI, when you stay stuff like that, you seem totally unhinged to people who have actual contact with the real world. That may sound harsh, but I ain't in this internet arguin' business to baby folks.

The "facts" you link to are pretty laughable. You seriously found a reputable source that says men are more likely to be raped than women? Amazing.

> Meanwhile in history men have been forced to fight bloody wars, work to death in horrible conditions etc.

I hate how women are always forcing men to go fight wars. Also, ugh, hard work sucks! The United Nations Development Programme tells us that

"Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn only 10 percent of the income and own only one percent of the property." (http://tinyurl.com/cy2dtzs)

You can argue with these facts and figures, question them--how they were compiled, what they really mean, etc.--but the vast preponderance of evidence, gathered by scholars and researchers (male and female) from many fields over many years, is going to contest your assertions.

And the worst part is...you probably have a handful of really good points buried in amongst all the nonsense. Like about how courts automatically seem to favor mothers in custody cases, like about the draft exempting women, etc. But how seriously is anyone going to take those genuine concerns when they can't be seen through the morass of much sillier claims?


"FYI, when you stay stuff like that, you seem totally unhinged to people who have actual contact with the real world. That may sound harsh, but I ain't in this internet arguin' business to baby folks."

Irrational argument.

"The "facts" you link to are pretty laughable. You seriously found a reputable source that says men are more likely to be raped than women? Amazing."

Irrational argument.

"I hate how women are always forcing men to go fight wars."

Gender equality problem exists regardless of the causes. Even if men forced other men to fight wars, that doesn't mean men were not forced to fight wars. The problem still exists.

Currently in my country only men have to take part in forced labor. I know, I did my share. Women do not have to do any forced labor. 60% of the voters in recent elections have been women, and they indirectly decide the laws.

"Also, ugh, hard work sucks! The United Nations Development Programme tells us that"

Actually, that claim is unfounded. If you try to follow the trail of sources, you cannot find the original calculation. In addition, your argument has no revelance, because I talked about the past, not the present in the sentence.

"But how seriously is anyone going to take those genuine concerns when they can't be seen through the morass of much sillier claims?"

I'm not a politician, so I try to argue on the basis of what I believe to be true.


I do, in fact, support equality for everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, etc. However, you are very selectively choosing facts to draw a picture in which men "have the same amount of gender equality issues (maybe even more) than women".

Sorry, but you are severely mistaken regarding the relevance of history. It is of primary relevance, because without properly understanding how we arrived at this point in history, you couldn't possibly evaluate the actual scale of gender disparities in social relations.

The percentage of male rulers as a total percentage of the human population is not a valid metric. When you study history, and the impact of rulers, you evaluate their impact on the subject population, the society and culture, as well as the world around them. History, because it is ever so relevant, shows a rather stable trend in which one can chart the increases in social inequalities in favor of one gender at the expense of another, or of one (or more) ethnicities at the expense of others, etc. So far, we are looking at about a century of social justice being established to improve the standing of women in relation to their historical subjection by men.

Once you have an adequate grounding in history, you can then start thinking philosophically through how best to proceed without retarding equality. While there are, of course, contemporary social imbalances and inequalities where men are concerned, what we do not need is more gendered lines being drawn in the sand. Moreover, we do not have a social structure in which men's labor and sexual faculties are institutionalized in a form that is under female control, which would be a huge red flag that the pendulum has swung too far.

One can advance equality and be vigilant against sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry and discriminatory behaviors without resorting to more of this us vs. them bullshit that "men's rights" evokes. But understanding the root causes of inequalities--as opposed to merely pointing out instances of what appears to be inequality--is where the real work lies. Not a masculinism cult that establishes its identity as the negation of feminism.

In sum, a "men's rights" movement is not going to increase equality, because it is only going to codify more gendered division in the social fabric. If you're really interested in enhancing equality as a social good, you would do better to champion the cause of equality that is blind to biological and socioeconomic factors, and works instead to specifically eschew attempting to define equality as inversion of a movement whose existence required the specificity of gender because history had only ever concerned itself with the rights of man.


>But understanding the root causes of inequalities--as opposed to merely pointing out instances of what appears to be inequality--is where the real work lies.

No, the real work is in removing inequalities. Talking about "root causes" of inequalities is only a method by which one denigrates the actual fight against inequality itself. There are countless deep and abiding inequalities which one can argue back and forth indefinitely about their origins, and this is especially true in questions of gendered inequality. Is this, that, or the other thing responsible? Here's an idea: who gives a shit? I no longer do.

For example, take the issue which finally broke my ability to take feminism: male rape victimization. Where does the purposeful ignoring of male rape victims come from? Feminists (when they admit that male rape victims exist in substantial quantities and deserve to be mentioned) would argue that the gender system produced by the Patriarchy refuses to recognize men as potential victims because that would feminize them and weaken their social position. Men's Rights Activists would argue that it is because our society systematically refuses to recognize male victimhood, period. I think the latter is a better position to take. The simplest explanation is best, and the solution is far clearer: stop that.

>If you're really interested in enhancing equality as a social good, you would do better to champion the cause of equality that is blind to biological and socioeconomic factors

There are issues that require a specificity of gender because they affect a specific gender. Discussing the development of a growth mindset in mathematics does require some discussion of gender because women and girls are much less likely to be encouraged to develop a growth mindset. Discussing rape certainly requires discussion of gender, since rape is considered as a gendered crime and the sex of the perpetrator and victim hugely affect how it is perceived. Discussion of virtually every single issue that the MRM touches upon requires a discussion of gender since they are about gender. When cops choose to apply different standards to men and women, you have to look at gender. Paternity fraud requires that one look at sex in order to be discussed because it only directly affects one. There are times and places where pretending that everything is solved is the optimal solution to a given problem; there are also times and places where it is not.

The idea that one should ignore socioeconomic and biological factors in championing the cause of equality is systematically wrong. Sometimes people suffer specifically because they are men. Sometimes they suffer specifically because they are women. You have to discuss this or you might as well not discuss anything at all.


"However, you are very selectively choosing facts to draw a picture in which men "have the same amount of gender equality issues (maybe even more) than women"."

I'm not, really. Feminist discourse is based on the claim that women have more gender issues. They never really argue for that position. I've linked a list of gender equality issues (though my primary source is unfortunately not in English).

Here's a book on the subject if you're interested: http://granum.uta.fi/granum/kirjanTiedot.php?tuote_id=18450

"It is of primary relevance, because without properly understanding how we arrived at this point in history, you couldn't possibly evaluate the actual scale of gender disparities in social relations."

Yes you can. We can look at metrics for gender issues: e.g. do women get paid less or more (they get paid the same per hour), do women get raped more than men (not in USA), is the majority of violence made against women (it's about 50:50). It doesn't matter if women were discriminated against more in the past, if empirical evidence shows that they're not.

"what we do not need is more gendered lines being drawn in the sand."

Agree. Many men's rights activists agree on that point, and are against gender roles that hurt both men and women.

"Moreover, we do not have a social structure in which men's labor and sexual faculties are institutionalized in a form that is under female control, which would be a huge red flag that the pendulum has swung too far."

Your sentence implies that men's labor and sexual faculties are under male control, that's not true. Women decide who wins the elctions - majority of voters are women: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20231337

"One can advance equality and be vigilant against sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry and discriminatory behaviors without resorting to more of this us vs. them bullshit that "men's rights" evokes."

That would argue that we only need men's rights movement, not a women's rights movement. Since the women's rights movement doesn't concern men's rights, we need a men's rights movement.

The biggest feminist organizations do not accept me as a member because of my gender. Their organization discriminates on the basis of gender. That's not equality. I cannot take part in the women's rights movement because of my gender. That's why we need a men's rights movement - so that men's gender equality problems are also taken care of. Currently 90% of the gender equality resources in politics is used for women's rights. That number should be 50%.

"In sum, a "men's rights" movement is not going to increase equality, because it is only going to codify more gendered division in the social fabric."

You make the implicit claim that men's rights movement is for gender roles. That's not true. In addition, you can use your own argument against women's rights movement, as it 'codifices a gendered division'.

"If you're really interested in enhancing equality as a social good,"

I'm really interestd in equality, and men's rights is the most important movement in recent years. Almost nobody used to talk about gender equality issues concerning men. In recent years, after the men's rights movement was formed, there have been small mentions of men's rights in official statements in the country I live in. Without a men's rights movement all the gender equality policy would say would be about women. Therefore, it's pretty clear that the men's rights movement increases equality.

I cannot link sources because they're not in English, but it used to be that only representatives from women's rights organizations were given representation in the official gender equality council of my country. They only talked about women's rights. Now a few seats have been given to the representatives of the men's rights movement.


>do women get raped more than men (not in USA)

This is very wrong.

The link you provide in the original comment is for violent crimes (including rape), not for rape alone. There is little doubt that women are more likely to be raped in the US than men.

Here's a relevant study from the Bureau of Justice Statistics: http://bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1146

"Overall, an estimated 91% of the victims of rape and sexual assault were female."


http://nplusonemag.com/raise-the-crime-rate

"In January, prodded in part by outrage over a series of articles in the New York Review of Books, the Justice Department finally released an estimate of the prevalence of sexual abuse in penitentiaries. The reliance on filed complaints appeared to understate the problem. For 2008, for example, the government had previously tallied 935 confirmed instances of sexual abuse. After asking around, and performing some calculations, the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year. The Justice Department now seems to be saying that prison rape accounted for the majority of all rapes committed in the US in 2008, likely making the United States the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women."


Going from a tally of 935 to 216000 is a revolution in DOJ's thinking. It implies that an active suppression of the truth was abandoned.


For rapes outside of prison, yes.

Rapes inside of prison are almost all male on male, and there is evidence suggesting that the numbers of such are comparable to and may exceed rapes outside of prison. So it is not impossible that the majority of rape victims in the USA are men.


True, however, the vast majority of rapes of women are by men, and the vast majority of rapes of men are by men.

It's not like the issue of men being raped is predominantly due to women, whereas the issue of women being raped is predominantly due to men.

I also wonder if all the 'alpha male' bullshit might actually be a detrimental influence on prison rape, since it so clearly reinforces and mimics the sort of hierarchy that exists among men in prisons.


Yes, men perform the vast majority of the rapes. Also most sexual abuse. Nobody doubts that.


But not most relationship abuse. http://moxymag.com/2011/03/man-beater/


The NCVS uses a funny definition of rape.

""Rape" is defined as forced sexual intercourse in which the victim may be either male or female and the offender may be of a different sex or the same sex as the victim. Victims must be at least 12 years old; victims less than age 12 are excluded from all estimates. Includes attempts and threats to commit rape."

You'd think this would include a woman raping a man with her vagina, right? Wrong. Check it: http://bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=31

"Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal or oral penetration by the offender(s)."


>"Overall, an estimated 91% of the victims of rape and sexual assault were female." //

It may not change the ratio but of course one must remember that is "victims of rape and sexual assaults that were reported and recorded as such".

The study linked, (text version http://bjs.gov/content/pub/ascii/SOO.TXT) says only a third of the rapes reported to them were reported to police and in my cursory glance I couldn't see how many of those reported led to a conviction and how many led to a dismissal of charges, etc..

However I did notice this:

"In 1994 victims reported about 1 rape/sexual assault victimization of a female victim for every 270 females in the general population; for males, the rate was substantially lower, with about 1 rape/sexual assault of a male victim for every 5,000 male residents age 12 or older."

It's often joked on certain forums, eg reddit, that men who're incarcerated are likely to suffer rape (I'd guess women do too but the jokes are always concerning men it seems). I wonder how true that is and how well these figures reflect those crimes.


Men are less likely to report sexual assault and rape against them than women are, for a number of reasons. One being that rape is defined as being penetrated against your will, and not being made to penetrate against your will.

Any study that counts convictions, or even complaints, it going to underestimate male victimhood.

You need to look at victim surveys to have any hope of estimating how many man are raped, and how many women rape.

See my other post in this thread for details on that.


Women are 50% of rape victims, and 40% of rapists. That is in the general population and excludes prison rape. If you included that, men would be the majority of victims.

These figures are from the CDC's 2010 NISVS (National Intimiate Partner Sexual Violence Survey), although you won't find it in the executive summary. You have to look at the data tables. Here is a link to the NISVS: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/specialreports.h...

The executive summary tells the usual story of rape being a male on female crime. There are 2 problems here. One is that they define rape as being penetrated against your will, and not being forced to penetrate (what a female rapist would do to a man). This erases female on male rape.

However, they did ask men if they had been forced to penetrate in the prior 12 months, and 1.1% of men surveyed reported that they had, and 80% of those had been attacked by a woman. 1.1% of women reported that they had been penetrated against their will in the prior 12 months, and 98% of those reported a male attacker.

So we have 50% of victims are male and 50% female. Of the 50% of male victims, 80%, or 40% of total victims, were raped by a woman.

So women are 40% of rapists. Here is a image of the data tables from the NISVS, with the relevant figured circled: http://imgur.com/a/aw0eU

And here is a link to show the number crunching on the CDC's data tables in more detail: http://www.genderratic.com/p/836/manufacturing-female-victim...

Earlier I said there were 2 problems with the executive summary. The second one is that the CDC looked at lifetime victimization, and prior 12 months victimization. Their figures for men as victims of rape (when you include being made to penetrate) are much lower than for women. In the executive summary, they use the lifetime stats to show women as the overwhelming majority of victims, and don't mention the prior 12 month numbers.

Why the disparity between lifetime victimization and prior 12 month? Lifetime stats will tend to underestimate the problem, because, over time, people tend to erase their memory of traumatic events as a survival mechanism.

From the analysis I linked above:

>Researchers into the field of traumatic memory recovery note that the longer the period of time a person is asked recall a traumatic event, the less likely they are to remember it. How this works is that surveys that ask about a traumatic event in the last six months get less false negatives than those that ask about a traumatic event in the last twelve months which, itself, gets considerably fewer false negatives than lifetime prevalence.

> For men this effect is even more pronounced.

>

> 16% of men with documented cases of sexual abuse considered their early childhood experiences sexual abuse, compared with 64% of women with documented cases of sexual abuse. These gender differences may reflect inadequate measurement techniques or an unwillingness on the part of men to disclose this information (Widom and Morris 1997).

>

>Only 16% of men with documented case histories of child sexual abuse disclosed that abuse on a survey intended to capture child sexual abuse. Sixteen percent of men compared to sixty-four percent of women.

>

>That amounts to a disclosure rate of child sexual abuse four times higher in women than in men.

>

>Is it any wonder that the CDC’s 2010 survey (correcting for their mis-categorization of female-on-male rape) found that 18.3% of women and 6.2% of men were victimized over their lifetimes?


There already is a 'men's movement', and like feminism, it has nutbar crazies that everyone sees and detractors use to paint the movement as a bunch of crazies.

More abstractly, a "men's rights" movement would, I think, offer very little gain to humanity as a whole, and would threaten to destabilize and retard the advancement of human rights and greater gender and sexual equality in social relations.

There are a number of things that need to come from men, about men, for men. One example is the fight against the social stigma for men showing emotion in public. Others are questioning the factors of masculinity, which media seems to paint as aggressive warrior-types and downplay mere assertiveness or mature responses. Another is the mocking of prison rape as a complete joke, or even tacitly approving it as part of the punishment process, this needs to change. Other things like 'mothering takes a lifetime, fathering takes seconds' are a joke, but they also play to stereotypes we have that need breaking.

The context is important - "don't forget about men, they have issues that also need addressing" is indeed doomed to fail if it's genesis is reactionary against feminism, but it can be quite constructive if it's done in the mindset of "while we're working on women's problems, let's also work on men's". Unfortunately, there's a lot more chaff in the voices of the men's movement, but there are still significant issues that should be looked at. It's not a zero sum game - the conditions for both genders can be improved at the same time.


This is a different perspective, much of which I completely agree with. Enhancing the recognition and appreciation of [non-colossal-assholish-douchbaggy] masculinity ought to be accepted and supported.

Males showing emotion in public? Check.

Seriously tackling and solving the sexual and physical assault that is endemic to the US prison system? Absolutely check+. The US prison system is systemically atrocious and I find it sickening. I find it more sickening that people can know about it and even entertain the notion that it is 'part of the punishment process'. That is disgusting.

Male denigration in terms of family law and the ways in which men are the victims of sexism as it relates to parenting is also unacceptable.

It was the point of advocating a reactionary movement that appears to define itself as the negation of (and, in places, the victim of) feminism that I cannot support in any way. Hope that clarifies a bit better.


"This is a different perspective, much of which I completely agree with. Enhancing the recognition and appreciation of [non-colossal-assholish-douchbaggy] masculinity ought to be accepted and supported."

Different from what? And I could equally argue that we need to enhance the recognition and appreciation of [non-collossal-assholish-douchebaggy] femininity, Adria Richards being a case in point.

"Seriously tackling and solving the sexual and physical assault that is endemic to the US prison system? Absolutely check+. The US prison system is systemically atrocious and I find it sickening. I find it more sickening that people can know about it and even entertain the notion that it is 'part of the punishment process'. That is disgusting."

Agreed, just look above. If one even cites statistics showing that -gasp- men get raped too people look at you funny and ask when you're going to go back to talking about women.

"Male denigration in terms of family law and the ways in which men are the victims of sexism as it relates to parenting is also unacceptable."

Glad to hear it.

"It was the point of advocating a reactionary movement that appears to define itself as the negation of (and, in places, the victim of) feminism that I cannot support in any way. Hope that clarifies a bit better."

The term "MRA" means someone who advocates in favour of men's rights. If you care about men being raped in prison then I've got news for you: You're an MRA. That's where the implied association and definition ends. You're also, I assume, a political activist. The nazis were political activists too, but noone says that because of your political activism you "appear to define yourself as a nazi." Many MRAs are anti-feminist, many aren't. It would appear that you're one of the "aren't."

The term "Feminism" is much less well defined. It might shock you to learn that many feminists have come out against the issues you mentioned being addressed and have even argued that they don't exist. I'm glad to hear you don't think this way and think that men's issues and anti-male sexism are no more acceptable than anti-female sexism but many feminists disagree and they appear to define the movement just as much as you appear to define it.

I'm not an anti-feminist, the word means too many things for me to say I stand firmly against it, but there's at least as many feminists that are worthy of criticism as there are MRAs.


But when you heard men's rights you immediately assumed the reactionary label would apply. That is a problem.


No, it's not a problem.

And please, for your own sake and everyone else's, do not assume to have the slightest capability to say what I "immediately assumed" when I "heard men's rights". You haven't the faintest idea.

The comments made by the original commenter who incorrectly thought my comments leaned his way injected more unnecessary division into an already sensitive subject.

It was overtly apparent that the thread was about to get hijacked by tangential bullshit that would derail the actual issue(s) under discussion--which did not include men's rights advocacy or its adherents and there varied motivations.

When I decided to reply, I was responding to the content posted at the time--content that made it perfectly clear 'the reactionary label' fit like a glove.


Whether or not Adria overreacted is irrelevant. If the problem is these guys got fired, then be mad at the company NOT someone who likely has to deal with sexist bullshit day in and day out in a male dominated and sexualized industry.Okay, so she overreacted, big deal, people overreact every day. On the other hand, look at the response - thousands of comments here and at reddit and on twitter posting her real life address, calling for her to be raped or cut, etc. Extreme and vicious misogyny. The original incident may have been a "false positive" as you say (still if the conference organizers thought she was wrong, they could have said eh, we don't think it's a big deal, same with the company HR folks), the response has been 100% vicious and violent misogyny.


> Whether or not Adria overreacted is irrelevant

How is it? Is attempting to publicly humiliate someone and get them fired now preferred over politely asking them to stop?

> NOT someone who likely has to deal with sexist bullshit day in and day out in a male dominated and sexualized industry.

"Society is male dominated, therefore it's acceptable to publicly humiliate someone and get them fired over dongle jokes".

> thousands of comments here and at reddit and on twitter posting her real life address, calling for her to be raped or cut, etc. Extreme and vicious misogyny.

I haven't personally seen any of this; it's mostly just people disagreeing with her behavior.

Rule #1 of the internet: there are trolls.

> The original incident may have been a "false positive" as you say

Wait, do you seriously think that publicly humiliating someone and getting them fired over a dongle joke is not a problem?

> the response has been 100% vicious and violent misogyny.

You mean "100% of the troll posts I looked at were troll posts".

By the way, misogyny is the hatred of women in general. A hateful post is not necessarily misogyny just because it's directed at a woman. Eg. I can hate Sarah Palin and post about how I hope she gets eaten by a grue, but that's not misogyny.


More shouting people down by saying any disagreement is racist, sexist, etc. So sick of this from the first year liberal arts student crowd.

100% fascist thoughts.

If you don't agree with me, you're not only wrong, you're evil. Disgusting that you would even go there.


No sane person, including myself, who vehemently disagrees with Adria's actions is engaging in or supporting threatening Adria at all, calling her obscene names, etc.

Please do not lump us in with the 'extreme and vicious misogyny', for which I am not the only one who has zero tolerance of it and offers it no support at all.

Adria's overreaction and characterization of this event as sexism is very relevant. I understand that she may have 'to deal with sexist bullshit day in and day out in a male dominated' world, and I specifically go to bat for that. But this situation was not sexism, and it is relevant and important to make that clear.

Because a bunch of assholes are using this as a platform to spout misogynistic bullshit and threats does not mean others cannot or should not speak out.

And the fact that I spoke out, along with plenty of others, without being even obliquely misogynist means the response has not been '100% vicious and violent misogyny.'

I don't support that shit in any way, and I won't even hesitate to say that kind of reaction is fucked up. It is exactly why I am a philosophical Marxist who takes the subjugation of women to the material power of men very seriously.

Also, it's not for the conference organizers to say she was wrong. You don't deal with people being uncomfortable about a situation, as an organizer, by saying, "Hey, sorry, but that's not a big deal. Why don't you just go sit down and not worry about it?" You are obligated to deal with it, and the PyCon staff did exactly what they should have done.

The men's comments were inappropriate and wrong for the place and time. Adria's response was even more inappropriate and wrong for the situation.

Threatening Adria's person, calling her names, pillorying her with misogynistic hate speech is completely unacceptable and fucking wrong.


I take it back. You clearly would not fit in over at /r/mensrights... which says only good things about you. :)

I can't judge what happened at this convention--wasn't there, don't know what all was overheard, or what people may have said during an interview with managers that might have led to a firing... nor do I know if the firing was indeed some kind of appeasement gesture that really was massively unjust to the guys. So I'll leave it to those more familiar with the events and people to determine whether or not this was a justified firing.

As an aside, and possibly an irrelevant one...in my experience, which I know doesn't count as evidence towards anything, people get away with making crude jokes at the expense of others most of the time. It's rare to see people held accountable for their poor judgment. You've got to be pretty confident of your own untouchability to make off-color jokes in a professional environment when you're surrounded by people you don't know. Maybe these guys didn't do anything like that, and, if so, what happened to them is quite bad. Even if it was just a misunderstanding (they didn't think they were making crude remarks; if they'd had the chance to talk it over with the person who reported them, she'd have seen that she had misheard them and would agree they were blameless), it'd be quite sad that one of the guys got fired because of it. On the other hand, I'd like to live in a world where people don't feel smugly confident that they can do or say whatever they want and the rest of us will hunch our shoulders and take it.


"However, I must emphatically and proudly express that I do not support the negation and devaluing of women's (as well as ethnic, [other] cultural, LGBT, etc.) rights by way of reactionary countering with a "men's rights" movement."

As GLBT, I really have to politely disagree here. Trans men especially tend to take a lot of shit from women who think they've committed some sort of cardinal sin for being who they are (it's usually phrased as them trying to make some sort of male power grab, or whatever). Women should have rights, but men should have them too. That's what equality ought to entail. Currently, we've made some significant progress not just in recognizing the need for women's rights, but actively forcing a change in the status quo. It's still politically incorrect to even recognize that men are discriminated against in some areas, and that's really disheartening to me.

True gender equality would HELP the GLBT cause because we need lesbians to not take crap for not being feminine "enough" and gay men to not take crap for not being "masculine" enough. Sex discrimination against men is actually a huge issue, but it's so politically incorrect to address it. If you're a man, and GLBT, you can kind of get double whammied by it since you have to deal with the GLBT part and then also the discrimination against men when you're already severely disadvantaged. If you're a woman, you have a lot of social support dedicated to you (domestic violence shelters, lots of other assistance), at least compared to men.

I believe that women and men BOTH should have rights. I don't understand why this is such a problem with the majority of the feminist movement. (I have met some absolutely lovely and rational feminists, but most of them are over the age of 50. I'm not really sure what's happened to this generation of them, but for the most part, it's been really...not good.)

I also really hope that same-sex marriage will help the men's rights movement (as well as the women's rights movement!). As an egalitarian, I'm all for the courts coming to realize that brain breaking moment in a lesbian divorce where they can't just give the kids and all the money to the female, because there are two of them. Perhaps a concrete inability to rotely perform sex discrimination because there aren't different sexes to take up their traditional "roles" will force the legal system to look into itself and realize the magnitude of the discrimination against men that they've been perpetuating.


TL;DR: You and I don't disagree at all in substance. Excellent points. We are on the same page. I just don't think we need a men's rights movement to further draw gendered lines across the social fabric. I'd rather see a federated organization that fights to improve humanity and its social institutions, obliterating inequalities and disparities. This, while making no claim (and vigilantly remaining blind) to sexual, gender, ethnic, or other material identities.

---

I, too, consider myself to be an egalitarian where the material conditions and social relations of people are at stake. I've made a number of attempts at clarifications, all the while making it explicitly clear that I'm supportive of and advocating for completely eliminating gender inequalities. I'm either doing a poor job of explaining that, or others are doing a poor job of reading my many clarifications.

To put it bluntly, there's no way I could respond to every men's rights comment with a clear and considered explanation of the positives and negatives, as well as an accounting of the pitfalls and errors made. The topic itself is tangential, distracting, and derailing from the issues raised by the event at Pycon, specifically in relation to how the offending men's actions are being erroneously and unfairly contextualized and framed as 'sexist' by the wider tech community.

I did not want to just sweep gender inequalities under the rug where male-identifying persons are concerned, as if it doesn't exist. I wanted to focus attention, instead, on the nuances of properly identifying sexism apart from inappropriate comments in a given situation, and the ways in which it leads to gender disparities in social relations in general.[1]

At first, I ignored the men's rights issues out of a desire to not deviate from the issues I raised, and interest in engaging with those who were replying to the points I brought up. I did not want to kick off a side-thread on men's rights. I wanted to avoid seeing the conversation turn into an us vs them argument. I hoped we could actually discuss the need to correct the reactionary labeling of impolite and inappropriate comments and behaviors as automatically sexist, when so many times it is simply impolite and inappropriate. Even at the worst end of the non-sexist spectrum, someone might deal with an asshole, and I think it's far more productive to the tech community and society at large if everyone could actually tell (and advocate) the difference between someone being an asshole and someone being a sexist asshole.

[I'm not saying my reaction was right; I'm trying to contextualize it within my personal quirks and goals so it's understood.]

By the time a couple hours passed, the men's rights derailment was already well underway, with quite a few reactionary posts following the first that were increasingly divisive, and substantially less constructive to the actual thread. More notably, the discussion consistently conveyed a less erudite, misinformed, and poorly rendered assessment and presentation of incredibly disconnected, questionable, exaggerated, and falsely attributed or incomplete evidence--all conflated to advance a flimsy premise that 'men have it as bad as (and often worse than) women'. Much of what was argued at the time I decided to comment (specifically the one to which you've responded) could not be taken seriously as presented.

So, I had choices. I could dig in, evaluate the evidence & reasoning presented, explain why much of it had to be disregarded as non-causal/incomplete/misattributed/exaggerated/etc., do the philosophically correct and helpful thing by improving their arguments for them so I wasn't just responding to the weakest, most hastily cobbled together rant ... or I could just not engage, and try to bring the focus back to where it should be. I could give in slightly and add some clarifications that would elucidate my intentions and meaning, while making it plain I was not interested in seeing the conversation devolve into a circular exchange of pointless tu quoque; indulging countless iterations of "if a man did x, women would sell their mothers into slavery to claw his eyes out and publicly shame him"; 20 more comments brow-beating people about male-victimizing sexual assault endemic to the US's deplorable prison system; etc. Those are three of the choices I recall considering at the time.

Fundamentally, my goal was to protect the conversation from becoming a cesspool of what was already starting to increase in vitriol and volume on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and other endpoints--preserving and encouraging a space where the tech community, male/female/trans, could constructively grapple with a problem we need to make right for everyone so we don't keep fucking each other up every time we get in the same damn room (to enjoy and participate in the same damn event/hobby/pasttime/passion/etc., no less!).

[1]: A sometimes less-helpful feature of my personality, made habit by philosophical study and debate, I maintain a very strong aversion to changing the subject, lest one damage one's own argument, lose one's audience, or make it impossible to logically conclude a line of thought. It's a quirk that is not well suited to internet threads, I think.


"However, I must emphatically and proudly express that I do not support the negation and devaluing of women's (as well as ethnic, [other] cultural, LGBT, etc.) rights by way of reactionary countering with a "men's rights" movement."

Another redditor I'm afraid. Who ever said that fighting for men's rights comes at the expense of women's (or anyone else's)?

I also find it quite offensive for you to put scare quotes around men's rights like that. If you're genuinely committed to equality you'd do well to read up on the human rights issues which you, as a man, are much more likely to face than the female collegues you mentioned earlier. Men in the MRM (white or otherwise) aren't despondant due to disappearing privilege, they're dispondant due to an assumption of privilege (much of which never really existed) and a willful ignorence of ongoing oppression on the part of society around them. Ignorence even from other men who proclaim their support for social justice.

The identification of gender as an equivalent of class is horribly flawed and a hopelessly blunt tool for examining an infinitely nuanced and a very two sided issue.




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