Some day soon I will detail some information about the kind of mansplaining douchebro I used to be in the not-too-distant past. It will have to suffice for now when I tell you that I have said just about everything that those who use the term “feminazi” feel comfortable saying (with the exception of rape threats and the use of the suffix ‘Nazi’, because I was an asshole, not a goddamn moron). As a result, I understand where they’re coming from, and because I managed to claw my way out (thanks to a lot of help from some of my fellow FTBorg), I know where the handholds are.
That being said, it’s also a constant source of shame to recognize my old self in asshattery like this:
Yes, someone has become so infuriated by his repeated rejection on a dating site (I am told it is OKCupid) that he has placed an MRA manifesto in place of a self-description:
I am no longer looking for any female companionship. Infact, I have abandoned the idea of women all together(2). Instead, I have decided to go my own way(3).
I am now officially a M.G.H.O.W(4) and a political activist for the Mens Rights Movement, known as a MRM.
I am actively standing to go on a marriage strike(5) and to fight the evil hate cult known as feminism(6), condeming all males for being.. male(7).
I know writing this won’t ever convince you to care(8) and you can simpley pass me off as “gay”(9) since I won’t bow down to your vagina(10), but I am informing you of this for one simple reason(11).
This is reality. Men are standing up(12). And a wave of indignation for the damage of the female species(13) has finally hit the tipping point. Men are bailing out of the system, and when we leave, the entire thing will collapse(14), and your world of shoes and purses will follow with it(15).
That’s right, you caused it “ladies”(16). I have had enough.
No more entitlements, no more free presents, no more chivalry(17).
Our fathers, brothers, and sons are tired of dieing for you while you cower in your house all day(18) demanding us men go and die for your freedoms(19).
1. Look at your monitor. Now look at me. Now back at your monitor. Now back at me. I’m on a rant!
2. The idea of women! Not just removing himself from the dating pool, but the very idea that women exist! Something tells me the reason he’s having a tough time is because he’s been trying to stick his dick in his ‘idea of women’ rather than, y’know, dealing with a real person.
3. Make sure you use lube and clear your browser history afterward.
4. Man Going His Own Way. I Google these things so you don’t have to.
5. “You hear me? All these wedding rings you’ve been offering me? I will now begin to REFUSE them! See how you like THEM apples, women who won’t sleep with me!”
6. A line which reminds me of one of my all-time favourite Jet Li movies.
7. Being a man isn’t the same as being a misogynist. Feminism is anti-misogyny, and if you think that makes it anti-male, then you hate men more than any feminist does.
9. Surprisingly, men who don’t sleep with women are not de facto gay. That’s not how that works.
10. Which is how all the feminist cult meeting start. The high priestess puts a camera on the end of a speculum, inserts it into her vulva, and the rest of us bow down and worship her vaginal canal. True story.
11. I have zero difficulty believing that any of the reasons this guy does anything are the definition of ‘simple’
12. “and we’re not putting down the seat afterwards! So DEAL with it!”
13. Saaaaaame species. Men and women are not different species. Between this and the “bow down to your vagina” comment, I think this guy might never have even met a woman before.
14. I smell Ayn Rand.
15. This is my favourite line. SHOES AND PURSES!
16. “By failing to adhere to my expectation of what it is that women are like (mostly an amalgamation of shoes, purses, and vaginas), I hereby ROB YOU of the title of ladies, and insert sarcastic scare quotes! Kneel before the awesome might of my sophistry!”
17. Chivalry, interestingly, is a fundamentally sexist concept that relies on an image of women as weak and requiring the aid of men.
18. “Sitting on the couch (that a MAN bought for you! Or better yet fashioned with his OWN BARE HANDS out of the carcass of a FREAKIN’ MOUNTAIN LION) and eating bon-bons!
19. Because women in the army (I assume that’s what he’s talking about) don’t exist. And also he serves in the army, fighting bravely for the freedom of women who won’t fuck him no matter HOW many pushups he did at basic.
So yeah… this is particularly painful for me to read not only because of the stupidity and various language errors, but because I can see myself bitterly ranting along much the same lines. It took a long time for me to stop “outsmarting” myself and realize that the problem wasn’t everyone else – the problem was my own fucked up expectations of what the world (and specifically women) owed me.
Also, letters like this are the reason I don’t take MRAs seriously, and while they will never elicit much more from me than mocking dismissal – y’all are silly! If a guy like this feels more welcome in your “movement” than he does among feminists, then y’all are fucking welcome to him. As far as the whole “marriage strike” goes, I hope that it is not too presumptuous to answer on behalf of straight women:
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I think I said this last time but its still true that there is something incredibly infectious about that man’s laugh 0.0 Someone call the CDC.
Oh noes! I shall immediately swoon upon my fainting couch in a macho manly man way, though no pearl-clutching (because the wimminz seized all those when they gathered up all their purses and shoes).
Perhaps he could have shortened it to “I’m gonna take my balls and go home!”
Man, I wish there were more information about that douchebro’s profile. He sounds so much what my wife’s ex must sound like at this point, that I kinda hope it is him. He deserves himself.
It’s a boilerplate MRA declaration of ….well trying to make involuntary solitude voluntary…. See it in the nooks and crannies these cave dwellers find their kind…
I absolutely LOVED the line,
” Men are standing up. And a wave of indignation for the damage of the female species has finally hit the tipping point.”
Oh really? Men are ‘finally’ standing up? Because we weren’t already standing up (and using our feet to keep teh wimmenz down and in their proper place)?
When I read this sort of stuff, I get angry because honestly how clueless do you have to be to write something like this, look at it and think, ‘yes, this is an accurate description of reality’? Then I get embarrassed because, like you, I used to think some of these things – I once did a report on a book called ‘Spreading misandry’ that I thought was just awesome. I still get embarrassed thinking about it.
Well, to be fair, he does have a point. Men now have to actually stand up to be total douches. They used to be able to do it while reclining on a LazyBoy.
The whole Ayn Rand “I’m withdrawing myself so society can collapse” thing – if guys like this go on strike, perhaps they can all move to some isolated area where they can wallow in narcissism and self-pity while the rest of the world just goes on without them. I tend to find most people who think that way have an immensely inflated view of what they contribute to society.
I found the video of Idi Amin picking his nose to be…interesting.
My cell just uses a blow up of one of those cross-sections found in the informational pamphlet in tampon boxes. Less discomfort for the HP.
Pffft. Reform churches. I’m part of an orthodox feminist sect. I have to wear a burqa just to attend.
Better than the tampon box, though not up to Ian’s standards: http://xkcd.com/631/
I hear those are uncomfortable! You should visit my temple sometime – we just pass around a goblet of wine (symbolic of menstrual blood – if the Christians can get away with stealing everyone else’s rituals, we can and should do the same to theirs!) and dance to Ani DiFranco songs.
If this guy was a cartoon super hero, even in his own mind, he would wear a swirling, oversized cape and his undoing would be monologuing.
Wait, I don’t get something.
He’s going to intentionally deprive himself of vagina (something of which he was presumably already deprived), in order to join a movement in which he will fight for his God-given right to vagina.
Am I interpreting something wrong here, or is that roughly the line of reasoning that is going through this bloke’s head? I mean, it’s not like he’s fighting for his right to be the breadwinner of a family he doesn’t have….
THIS. This is what always gets me about these men. What are they hoping to accomplish? Are they hoping that some woman will message them and be like “I’m so sorry I take back this whole feminism thing just please sleep with me”? Are they hoping that enough men will voluntarily stop having sex with women that women as an entire gender will finally see the light of day and right their wrongs? I don’t get it.
it’s nothing so rational as that. they’re simply taking their ball(s) and going home to pout.
the few that have thought about this any further than that are either 1)rambling about how sexbots will soon (soon! very soon!!) replace the need for women altogether, and then women will all be forced to go lesbian; or saying that as soon as civilization collapses, men will be able to go back to their proper lifestyle of rape and pillage, and won’t that show those useless feminists.
At least he’s good enough to advertise this straight up, so that women IMMEDIATELY know not to touch him with a 100-foot pole.
It’s the ones that seem normal on the surface until suddenly they explode into an expletive-ridden tirade about how “those bitches” are trying to “take away their rights” that freak me out. One minute you’re all “oh hi how are you” and then it’s “WHOA ABORT ABORT EXIT SITUATION IMMEDIATELY!!!”
There’s actually a horror story taking this to the extreme, called “The Screwfly Solution.” For reals. This shit is scary.
That is a fine if chilling story. I did read it a few years back and now it does remind me a little of MRAs, though written long long before that term arose. It is (in a nutshell) the fear of extreme misogyny run rampant from a woman’s point of view.
And for anyone who hasn’t read it yet don’t read the Wikia link given by Alukonis as it gives away the twist at the end. The story can be found here: http://lexal.net/scifi/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/sheldon/sheldon1.html
… I won’t bow down to your vagina…
Funny, that’s the only reason I would go on my knees before another human being.
I’ll have to go check tomorrow to see if all womankind are wearing black sacks and ashes for their terrible deprivation today.
I checked with the Head Priestess–we are. We’re positively mourning, mourning I tell you!
Surprisingly enough, I’d imagine Crommunism is slightly more popular among Teh Ladeez now that you’ve converted from Unreconstructed Douchebaggery to Reality-Based Feminism. Strange how us people who control access to a vagina tend to reserve its use for members of RBF.
“You won’t sleep with me so I won’t sleep with you”!! Well, OK then…
The fact that this guy reduces women to their vaginas should be enough to disqualify him from the dating pool. Oh, and I really don’t think women are the main driving force behind the military industrial complex.
And the gene pool.
… I won’t bow down to your vagina…
Foreplay is fun!
I know this well. Years ago, I used to hang out at the alt.support.shyness newsgroup.
One would think that this would be a newsgroup about people who were shy, had social anxiety & various other issues of social maladjustment (it certainly would have been why I originally looked into that newsgroup). Instead it was about guys who couldn’t get laid… you know, because of the evilness of women,… because it’s all women’s fault,… because of feminism,… etc..
To give you an idea of the feel of the place, when years after I stopped frequenting the place I heard about George Sodini killing a bunch of women in the 2009 Bridgeville LA Fitness shooting (see http://goo.gl/hpD6A ) my first thought was “is it one of the a.s.s. regulars? I hope it’s not one of the a.s.s. regulars!”.
Any woman who showed up would be mercilessly harassed for no other reason than being a woman (and then some would wonder why so few women would hang out there). A few posters had various themes. One was that western women (particularly American women) are particularly horrible (because of feminism) and that the only decent women (relatively speaking) were non-western women who had not been so contaminated by western societal norms. One or two idolized Marc Lepine as some sort of a self-martyred freedom fighter for oppressed men (see http://goo.gl/P3VGf ). One self-hating poster who went by Darkfalz was known for his constant advocacy of the rape of women (though I suspect, despite his hyperbolic rhetoric, that he might have been mostly harmless –he did tip a woman’s shopping cart once, though) and for his advocacy of Nazi ideals including those of “racial purity” (he probably would not even be considered “white”, himself as he’s half Asian –he actually had special hatred for Asian women claiming that they avoided Asian males choosing to get involved with Caucasians males instead).
To be fair, it was a minority of posters who would behave in this way but it was a very loud, trollish minority. Those who did not go along would be labeled “female apologists”.
This is why when seeing this blog post here and some recent Blaghag posts (see http://goo.gl/wCWpl ) my reaction was “I know these people” (my other reaction to the ‘Those boner-killing educated women’ Blaghag post was that Jen really shouldn’t even bother engaging with such ridiculous nonsense –anyone who takes it seriously is probably beyond reach, anyway).
In any case, a.s.s. is the reason I do not see the m.r.a. types as harmless kooks. This is not to say that many, or even most mra types, might not be exactly that. However, the hatred is there and sometimes it takes fruit and when it does you have a monster in your hands (like Lepine & Sodini).
I hear that one a lot from certain Asian male friends. We white women are too racist to date Asian guys, he says. And Asian women don’t want to date Asian guys either. He does OKCupid etc, but is never satisfied, even when he gets dates.
I say “Simon, perhaps if you didn’t make dead hooker jokes or mock your female co-workers’ choices of music, or pretend that your female friends are not actually women (so that he can treat them as human, I guess), then maybe things would go better for you,” but he doesn’t seem to hear me.
As an Asian, he certainly groks the privileges that white people have, but he does not seem to get how he is acting like a vagina-entitled asshole to women. He thinks that it’s “the ladies” with all the power simply because the ones he is sexually interested in are protecting themselves from someone who is acting like an ass.
Sometimes I wonder why I still interact with him (remotely – he lives in New York, and I live in BC) given the anti-woman backwash that occasionally floats my way, but then he posts some cool tech or science stuff on FB and I keep him for another day.
I don’t think he is entirely irredeemable, but I sure wish he would listen.
There’s no way to say this without appearing incredibly smug but I met the love of my life through OK Cupid, and one of the reasons she even bothered to look at me twice is because guys like this were my competition. So thanks buddy, you’ll never know how grateful I am to guys like you, and boy, are there a lot of you.
I am amazed that idiots like that even publish their own inadequacy so loudly.
If you are an arsehole like that – do you really have to make it public?
One more idiot removed from the gene pool, great.
Poor women. What will they do now?
They’ll just have to suffer, Ace. Just like he wants, they’ll all wither away without the feel of his no-doubt 2 feet of manhood or the mansion he totally lives in with his giant pool and absolutely no mom there with him. And he can totally do whatever he wants with no women to boss him around everyday. Like, he can fart and stuff, and only wear his underwear while walking around.
Well, I suppose there is nothing left to us women but to pick up the shattered pieces of our lives and try to move on.
Gah. I remember being a bit reactionary against “misandry,” but I was never that bad. I never generalized from my ex-wife to all women, in particular. >.>
“You can’t fire me, I quit!”
Crommunist – loved this post. You have a way of cutting through to the point with your writing…this is an enviable talent.
PS. Off topic: Your new profile pic cracked me up for some reason…you seem to have this weird look on your face – as if just as the pic was snapped you noticed a shambling zombie stumble into your line of vision…a combination of “what the fuck?” and dawning horror.
Or maybe I’ve had to many glasses of Johnny Walker Black tonight…
The emotion strikes me as more comparable to the famous Dave Silverman “Are You Serious” face, but I’m not the best judge of these things.
A few years back I was reading some Dan Savage. Now while its entertaining and he’s often informative, I usually can’t remember much about the columns after I read them – they’re usually read mainly for entertainment.
But once he dedicated a whole column to the Lonley Guys. It really stuck with me, so much so that I kept a copy of it on my computer – mostly because this one particular piece stood out for me:
Its just sad to see a guy get so wrapped up in anger and hate, knowing he will probably spend a good chunk of his life alone and closed off from the world, than accept the fact he’s alone and should try to find happiness wherever he can.
OK, you just made me realize that the whole Men Going Their Own Way thing is a typical internet flounce. It has all the characteristics:
1. I’m leaving
2. I’m leaving because you weren’t nice enough to me
3. You’ll be sorry
4. Announcing 1-3 dramatically as if anyone should care
5. Not really leaving
Yeah, so from now on, they’ll be MFTOW to me.
This is also the typical behaviour of 5-8 year old kids who feel that someone was just SOOOO unfair to them.
I wonder if there are MRA examples of the related “and you’ll be all SO sorry if I suddenly have an accident and die” thoughts, too.
I can also see something of my past self in this. It’s disturbing, and yet utterly hilarious. “You don’t want to touch my penis? Fine, you CAN’T touch my penis!”
Also, I came to this post expecting some misogyny to giggle at, and instead I got misogyny to giggle at and a free Kung Fu movie! Wooo!
As a woman (and therefore a representative for all women according to Clowny McButthurt here), I want to know if he’ll release a signed, witnessed, notarised, legally binding version of this manifesto?
One less arse
wit to bother my opposite-sex loving sisters, one less wankstain to tell me and my dyke sisters how we can be fucked straight by the right cock.
Hopefully they’ll all “go their own way”. That would be lovely.
That Jennifer Lawrence gif kills me every single time.
I think this might be the first time I’ve heard of somebody “going Galt” from women.
Seems like it’d work about as well for him as I’d expect it to work the way Rand envisioned it (i.e. not very).
It’s kind of sad. Under other circumstances the same guy might have gotten the hell over himself and y’know changed for the better. But getting dragged into the whole MGTOW thing, all he gets is reinforcement and encouragement for attitudes that aren’t healthy. At all.
Still, from experience it’s not so much ‘Men Going Their Own Way’ as it is ‘Men Loudly Declaring That They’re Going Their Own Way Any Day Now, Just You Wait And See, Right After You Read My 10 Page Manifesto On Why Women Suck’
It’s stunning, for a man who claims to be swearing off women and going his own way, how much he clearly is seeking attention and even sympathy from women. “See!? I don’t need you anymore! I… Hey! Look at me! I said I don’t need you anymore! I’m just going to start ignoring you… Hey, pay attention!”
This and most flounces always remind me of the breakup scene in The Jerk… “And this lamp, and that’s all I need!!!”
I’m never quite sure what to do with men who think I care if they go on a dating/marriage strike. I don’t. Some random guy (or a random GROUP of guys) decide not to date anyone, including me? Meh. If nothing else, the feeling semi-goes the other way; while I haven’t sworn off men in general, I have sworn off men who would write this kind of screed. I would rather, in all honesty, remain single for the rest of my life if men like that were the only option. I know that this may come as a surprise to men who write that kind of thing, but being in a romantic relationship is not my One True Goal (irritatingly, they aren’t surprised when men like Isaac Newton never marry–assuming they know that Isaac Newton never married–but a woman who doesn’t get married?! She has no worth!). Hell, I don’t even need to be in a relationship with a man to reproduce; if men bow out of the dating scene to a degree that there aren’t enough men to date, I can go buy sperm if I want to have a baby.
So, I guess my response is this:
Thank you for sharing. Well, not really, because I don’t actually care.
Oh! And if you decide to import some woman from an impoverished area because you think she can’t leave you no matter what you do, I’ll be standing behind the domestic violence shelters that she can escape to.
Sounds like someone’s “Real Doll” finally came in!
But as a single la-dee I will be very, very sad that he’s abandoned the idea of women altogether. Really. (*snerk*)
Of course, he will continue to have the comfort of Mother Fist and her five daughters.
“You can’t not hire me, I quit!”
This is my favourite line. SHOES AND PURSES!
I like it to. It has a nice “DWARFS AND PYGMIES”feel to it. Still, I think that I speak for the majority of women when I say that we’re willing to take that risk.
I just don’t get this kind of loathing for women. When I was in high school (over a decade ago, I’m starting to feel old) I was very socially awkward and got rejected plenty of times. In fact it wasn’t until my junior year that I finally had a serious relationship, but I had been trying probably since middle school. All those years of rejection didn’t make me hate women or blame them at all. It did drag on my self-esteem, which was already pretty low. But nowhere in those years can I recall blaming women or hating them. If anything, I was way too hard on myself, thinking things like I didn’t even deserve a girlfriend – I was quite a downer back then, haha. So rejection by itself causing this sort of behavior seems unlikely. I think these types of men must have deep-seated issues that go beyond that, and perhaps the rejection is just a catalyst? But I just can’t wrap my head around this kind of hate, which is probably a good thing.
I really wish I knew what the joke was in the ‘Laughing man’ clip. I hate being the guy that couldn’t hear the joke and seeing everyone else peeing their pants with laughter.
I’d be really interested to hear the story of how you clawed your way out.
Why do these type of men totally lack self-awareness? What bothers me the most, or quite a lot, is the fact that these guys aren’t just mad they’re not getting laid… they’re mad they’re not getting laid by the hottest fucking chick in the room. They don’t even realize all the “vagina” they’re overlooking because they feel so damn entitled to Victoria Secret models, never looking in the mirror to see how below par THEY are.
Our culture sends totally conflicting messages to little girls and little boys. Little boys watch movies about the fat, obnoxious guy getting the hot girl, and little girls watch movies about Prince Charming. This is so counterproductive! Boys think it’s okay to be a slob (i.e. their self), while girls are told not to settle because they’re all princesses. Both sexes have incompatible desires: both are expecting the other to be super-human with little expected of their self… we all just want to be accepted! But we won’t settle for less than perfect from our partner.
Fairy tales for girls and fantasies of nerds need to stop informing us of what to expect or hope for in relationships. The nerd doesn’t always (or mostly) get the hottie, and the girl isn’t always rescued by Prince Charming. We should expect more out of ourselves and try to be the kind of person someone would want to be with, not try to withhold our alleged awesomeness until the rest of the world shapes up. Newsflash: it’s not their loss; it’s yours.
Really? You think girls are raised to have low expectations of their own physical requirements to get and keep a man? Because the girl who gets Prince Charming is a beautiful, sweet-tempered princess. That’s actually a pretty high-standard to meet. I don’t think the message to girls is: you’re perfect as you are and Prince Charming will totally come along and make your life perfect without you doing anything.
Meanwhile, girls still see those movies and tv shows that show beautiful, successful women married to/marrying slobby manboys who whine when they have to be grown ups.
It would be quite pleasant if guys like this actually did go their own way, ditch the chivalry and treat women with the equanimity they extend to other men. However, what I suspect will happen is that this guy will continue to harass women and generally act like a jerk around them.
This guy should listen to the song by the Smiths, “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby.” Maybe this guy’ first step is to realize that he’s a gigantic dick and that ditching his attitude of entitlement might do him a big favor.
As a woman, are remarks like this dood’z supposed to be distressing to me?
Because I just find them funny and feel a weird sense of gratitute towards these guys for removing themselves from the equation.
I’ve not commented on any FTB site before, and I really don’t know why I am now; it isn’t really my thing. But this post made me a bit introspective and I felt I needed to say something.
In two weeks time I will be 40. I have never had a girlfriend, but not through lack of trying. I have always been a bit socially awkward and introverted, and over time, the rejections made me stop trying. I have not even asked someone out in ten years. You can probably extrapolate on a whole bunch of things I’ve never done, and go ahead and make references to certain comedic Steve Carrell films… 🙂
Has this made me bitter? Not a bit. Do I get lonely? Of course. Anyone who tells you that you can’t miss what you’ve never had doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
It seems to to me that this guy, who finds himself dateless and desperate would have me believe that a situation like mine is the “fault” of women in general and the “fault” of women who reject me in particular. Or the “fault” of some nebulous man-hating cabal turning women against me. Balderdash. How can it be someone’s fault that they don’t find me physically attractive, or like my personality, or share my interests?
I’ve made changes in my life, lost weight, tried to work on my social skills and in the meantime, basically I have gotten on with life. If I never find love, or companionship – well that is how life goes. Will I have some regrets if it never happens? Sure. But so far I don’t think I’ve led an empty life, and I’m sure however many years I have left will not be either.
But this guy is going to end up living a sad, lonely unfulfilled life. He seems to think that marriage or sex or something is what he needs, and that women are conspiring to stand in his way. Don’t believe for a minute that he is “done” with women. He will still be obsessed, he won’t address his attitude or flaws, and he will end up bitter and regretful. And for that waste of time and energy, he has both my scorn and pity.
Man, I don’t know if I’m more impressed this guy takes himself seriously or that you’re introspective enough to admit you used to follow similar trains of thought.
Good on ya, Crom.
Great post and all that.
Also, that is an amazing Jet Li movie. I first saw it when my buddy picked up a copy bearing the title “The Evil Colt.” Too bad about the abandoned sequel, though perhaps that now simply adds to the movie’s charm.
I forwarded this to my female friends so we could all think about what we’ve done so these tragedies don’t keep happening.
I think we’ve all grown as people, now.
I wonder if this isn’t an MRAs way of playing “hard to get”. What other reason would there be for announcing to what he recognizes is an entirely apathetic audience that he’s flouncing, if not because he thinks that will finally rake in the pussy?
if they were actually going their own way, they’d GO. They never actually GO away, so there’s another motivation here.
I don’t wonder at all. I’ve been this guy. That’s exactly what it is. If you don’t care about something, you don’t make a big showy announcement about not caring about it. I’ve never in my life joined a “I am apathetic to Big Bang Theory” club – I just don’t watch. This is a pre-jection, where he’s back-justifying his lack of success by saying “well I didn’t want you anyway!” Give him 6 months, he’ll have “fallen in love” at least 6 times since writing this. I’ve sworn off women more times than I can remember.
Ok, I have to ask, because I’m getting sucked into a conversation with an MRA who insists that because prostate cancer is less well funded than breast cancer, men are being oppressed.
Back when you could have related to the guy you are quoting in your post, would a reasonable and level headed conversation have been worth the effort on the other person’s part? If someone carefully breaks down how an argument is illogical without insulting or mocking, would it have meant anything, or should I put the conversation out of its misery and tell the guy to shove it?
:S I’m the wrong guy to ask for input on this. Breast cancer IS much better funded than prostate cancer, and a lot of that is based on sympathy for one and not the other. It’s WAY too complicated a situation to boil down to “and therefore feminism is bad”, but there’s definitely something to the argument that women with breast cancer are much more sympathy-arousing than prostate cancer patients. “Pink ribboning” is a real problem in the cancer world, just as cancer is a real problem in the world of disease research funding. We get way too big a slice of the pie. However, it no more follows that men are oppressed by breast cancer than it does that people with heart disease are “oppressed” by cancer patients. It’s reflective of a victim-blaming construct of who “deserves” to get sick that has no real relationship to feminist topics at all.
You have to decide what you’re trying to get out of the conversation. When it stops being amusing, and you feel as though there’s nothing to learn, then you really have to ask yourself why you’re continuing to bother with a complete stranger.
Right, I don’t believe it’s a non-issue. Prostate cancer is underfunded compared to breast cancer. I don’t buy ridiculous crap with pink ribbons and I don’t think “awareness” is a relevant issue to breast cancer. These are all valid concerns, in the same way that men not having equal child custody rights or not being recognized as possible victims of domestic violence and rape are valid issues but none of these constitute “oppression” which is what this guy keeps trotting out. Saying that something isn’t fair and isn’t right doesn’t prove oppression and conflating the two either dilutes the word “oppression” down to something meaningless because then everyone is being simultaneously oppressed, or it constitutes cherry picking. That is the point I’ve been trying to get at.
Indeed, and yet it never seems to stop people from misusing it all over the place. Men are simultaneously overrepresented (in terms of who is studied in RCTs) and underrepresented (in terms of rates of participation in health care, particularly preventive care) in the realm of health care. To say that men are oppressed MIGHT be correct in the sense that patriarchial culture harms men and women both (although I dare say not even close to equally), but feminism is a REACTION to patriarchy, not the author thereof.
Sometimes you have to learn when to give up. Some people simply won’t learn, and most of the time even those who WILL learn won’t do it in the course of a single conversation. See if you can establish some common ground, leave him with some questions, and walk away.
Thanks, I think that’s good advice. Knowing when to step away is always challenging for me 🙂 For the record, this is going on in a conversation about the wage gap, so I think I’m dealing with someone who really isn’t interested in the actual topic, to start with. Prostate cancer has nothing to do with how much I earn at my job, you know?
Unless you work at a prostate factory.