The Everyday Solipsism Project

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When Laura Bates started the Everyday Sexism Project, the story goes that she did it provide women with an outlet to talk about whatever they wanted. The project itself specifically only asks them to relay stories about sexism. Unsurprisingly this resulted in a website full of nothing but sexual assault accounts, making it appear that sexism is rampant in society. Now, having carefully manufactured her facts, Laura is insisting we have to listen.

Laura most certainly should be allowed to holler, shout, blubber, whine, stomp her feet and carry on like a shrill harpy with a hashtag. But we don’t have to listen. There is an important difference between those two attitudes: One is right and one is stupid.

While freedom of speech offers people the important ability to speak their minds and convey their ideas it does not mean that anyone need be forced to listen. Having the right to an opinion does not make your opinion right.

Laura, and her ilk, believe that filling a website with unverified descriptions of events which may or may not have happened, perpetrated by unknown assailants, and relayed to us by anonymous internet users, equates to legitimate social research. It’s not her fault though. Feminist so-called scholars have long been allowed to corrode academia to the point where statistics can be created through citation alone, and subjective anecdotes are renamed “lived experience” then treated like scientific data.

Laura Bates can hardly be held accountable for her incompetence since, as Laura explained, she didn’t even know what feminism meant two years ago but is now, miraculously, considered one of its leaders. This isn’t a big problem since Laura is a professional actor. Well, she didn’t quite make it as an actor in film and television but she certainly hit it big with the new fourth wave feminists. Their standards are apparently lower.

Laurie Penny, for example, wrote an article for the NewStatesman this week which informed us how the Patriarchy feels about her haircut. And people took her seriously.

These two feminists, Laura and Laurie, should get together and have a chat.

Laura claims that women don’t want male attention but Laurie asserts in her byline that “choosing to behave consciously as if the sexual attention of men is not [her] top priority has made more of a difference to how [her] life has turned out than [she] ever imagined.”

The key words here are “as if.” Laurie seems to be admitting that male attention is, in fact, her top priority and she must struggle to act as if it is not. I’m not convinced that Laurie intended to reveal this to her readership but the truth is out. Meanwhile, Laura insists that women are bothered by sexual attention and every evil male gaze, catcall, or graze of the hand is an assault of great magnitude. Both of them rely on “lived experience” (anecdotal evidence) to validate their claims.

Laurie’s problem, aside from considering pick up artists (PUAs) to be men’s rights advocates (MRAs), is that she has “rubbish” hair and can’t grow it long. She copes with her misfortune by recognizing that women put so much time into managing and grooming their tresses it’s amazing they can still hold down an outside job. So when feminists, like Laura Bates, claim that women do nothing to draw male attention, we have Laurie Penny to set us straight on the matter.

It takes energy and money and attention. …The point is to look like the performance of femininity matters enough to you that you’re prepared to work at it.

The Everyday Sexism Project is a fact-fabrication project, pure and simple. It takes the feminist-despised cover of internet anonymity to solicit vitriolic and disparaging comments for which the users reasonably feel they will never be held accountable. According to feminists, there is only one difference between the descriptions offered as proof of sexism on Laura’s project and the negative response emails she’s received from those who oppose her narrative: Anonymity for women is empowering and should be trusted, but anonymity for men is malevolent and turns them into dangerous predators.

To make sure we don’t discount her as an invested party in the outcome of her project, Laura assures us that she only expected to get about twenty-five or fifty replies. From her friends. The astounding response “proves” to Laura that her current world view is the correct one. She knows this because “lived experience” (anecdotal evidence) trumps research in the modern world.

Given that Laura didn’t know anything about feminism prior to starting her “original” idea it is forgivable that she didn’t know her idea had already been thought of many times. It had, in fact, already received much mainstream attention up to, and including, the former leader of the UK “holler back” campaign also helped promote slutwalk as an award winning activist. It’s forgivable because Vicky Simister mysteriously disappeared from the “Everyday Sexism” scene a couple of months before Laura Bates launched her own #shoutback hashtag to replace her.

What is surprising is that the mainstream media went all Orwell on us and erased history to pretend that Laura Bates was a pioneer of an event that they’d already hailed as “new” two time before.

It’s something between a circus and silly place.

Back to Laurie Penny for proof of absurdity:

While mocking an MRA argument that biological psychology explains attraction to long, luscious hair as a sign of health and fertility, she tries to refute this logic while simultaneously sharing the sad story of her sister who lost her long luscious hair because she became ill. If that wasn’t enough, she then goes on to describe the ideal woman she thinks MRAs are looking for:

The “ideal woman,” who wakes up looking like an underwear model, who is satisfied with her role as housewife and helpmeet but remains passionate enough to hold a man’s interest, who looks “bangable” but never actually bangs, because that would make her a slut, is almost entirely fictional.

You read that correctly. Ms Penny thinks that men covet women who tease but won’t fuck them. Yes, Laurie, you have successfully created a fictional man who loves a cock-teasing piece of slime.

If we are generous and exclude Laurie Penny as an anomaly in a sea of otherwise coherent women, we are still faced with the generalizations about men that every other feminist makes. Is it wrong to generalize about all members of a gender based on a single person’s lived experience?

Apparently, it’s only wrong if you’re someone like Samantha Brick.

Samantha caused a major hoopla when she accused women of being scathing bitches to each other. Ms. Brick published an article claiming that women hate her because of the male attention she receives. Samantha asserts that women are particularly vicious to each other and that they have a social problem.

This is Samantha Brick’s lived experience, but feminists lost no time expressing their lack of support for it.

According to psychologist Emma Kenny, a repetitive experience of negative responses is an indication that if everyone reacts to you in a negative way it’s probably something wrong with you instead of them.

Emma Kenny elaborated.

One of the big questions is; if, as a person, everywhere I go I am met with a certain reaction from people, for example that reaction is negative,…well if you just hear me out… If I get that reaction I have to in the end embrace the fact that actually it might be me that needs to change and not the society around me. The very fact that you are entertaining these relationships with people, you instantly have a paranoia.

Paranoia? Interesting she should say that. Paranoia is the base problem with the interpretation Everyday Sexism, Laura Bates, her predecessors, and feminists of all sorts, paint their descriptions with. All described events are coloured by their assumed motivations projected onto men.

Why is Samantha Brick delusional yet Laura Bates is not? The answer is simple: in Brick’s description women are the villains and we can’t have that. In the preferred narrative, men are the only aggressors.

When Samantha Brick explains, as the Everyday Sexism Project tries to assert, that her experiences absolutely happened even though they were spread out over the span of her life, now being 41, Emma responds “so what you’re actually saying then is is that this is a very minority of experiences… this doesn’t apply to the generic population, which is what you stated.”

Oh, really?

Where Samantha Brick is honest and acknowledges that her experiences didn’t happen all in one day, feminists are quite happy to make you think twenty or forty years worth of secretly harboured memories happened to them every day of their lives. It simply is not the case.

Samantha Brick is also not anonymous. She is prepared to face the multitude of women who attacked her, true to character, for telling them that they–women of all people!–ought to behave themselves in a more civil manner.

Half of the thousands of email responses Samantha received were from the very hateful women she sought to describe. The other half were from women who recognized the phenomenon Samantha outlined and thanked her for speaking out on their behalf. Who is listening to Samantha Brick? Certainly not the feminists.

So why does Laura Bates think the world now has to listen to her and the Everyday Solipsism Project? Has Laura Bates addressed Samantha Brick’s problems? Does Laura Bates not agree with Emma Kenny, the feminist psychologist, who thinks a woman who encounters daily negative experiences has a personal problem which she is projecting onto society?

Laurie Penny’s haircut will not be the answer to this problem.

Also posted on A Voice For Men

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Intersectionality is not just a word

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On December 23rd, Eleanor Robertson made a passionate plea in The GuardianIn defence of intersectionality – one of feminism’s most important tools”. She laments that many feminists revile intersectionality as meaningless and appeals to us to recognize the internal importance of the issue.

I agree. There is much to be learned.

Intersectionality is not just a word, it is a word with many letters. Some of those letters are privileged. They are over-represented not only in this word but within language as a general body. While the letters C and Y are acknowledged as oppressed members of the alphabet, as evidenced by their enhanced point value in Scrabble, there are many letters with only a singular occurrence in this word which struggle to be seen as uniquely disadvantaged.

The letters A and I share the distinct privilege of being, in and of themselves, an entire word. Yet we can see with intersectionality that the letter I occurs a whopping three times whilst the letter A struggles to be seen only once and, even then, doesn’t appear until the the word is over half finished… almost as if an afterthought. Obviously the situation is more complex than we thought. Just as white feminists are deemed by some to be advantaged they, like the letter A in this word, have their own unique battles that they fight to expose.

We all know that the letter Y is marginalized. Quite often it only appears tacked on to the end of words and not only does Y suffer from being consistently last, it has the multiple oppression factor of being placed in a suffix.

While we might feel sympathy for the Y at this point, intersectionality reveals more. C and Y’s oppression is alphabetically surpassed by letters such as J, K, Q, X and Z which, as you’ll note, are not even acknowledged in this word at all.
Scrabble has done a wonderful job recognizing the privilege that some letters have over others and, though it tries to counterbalance this injustice by increasing the point value of the most oppressed members of the alphabet, it hasn’t yet been able to address the source of the problem. Where these letters struggle to appear they are inevitably surrounded by the privileged which overshadow them. Consonants can often be seen ganging up in clusters and vowels diphthong, constantly drawing attention to themselves.

The dictionary, obviously, was written by men.

When we look at the segments of intersectionality we can begin to realize how each section is both burdened and dismissed. The root “sectional” must carry the weight that gives meaning to the word but it is nearly smothered by the prefix and suffix placement. “Inter” bears the unique responsibility of introducing the root and yet it is considered to be only a variation of the root and not a word unto itself. While “ity” is only given three letters, it has the onerous task of of transforming the entire word from an adjective into a noun and, as we have discussed, is treated very poorly in return.

The entire class of letters employed in suffixes experience a specific kind of exclusion that other letters will never understand. When “isms” started to proliferate and enjoy a certain kind of notoriety, pop culture struck it down in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

“Ism’s, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an ‘ism,’ he should believe in himself.”

I’m sure it is no coincidence that film was also written by a man.

The opponents of intersectionality argue that the theory is unproductive and reduces a whole being down to isolated parts. What those people fail to realize is that by breaking down the sectional pieces of identity we create an appreciation for the parts of the sum and increase the individual value of those multiple identities. While men are content to walk about acting like whole people, feminism has recognized that it is only in dissecting the whole and reducing it to miniscule components that can we appreciate the value of what has been lost.

While male-dominated psychiatry has labelled multiple personality as a problematic disorder, feminism is fighting a slow but winning battle to recognize the value of compartmentalizing one’s personality. On a sheer pragmatic level, when you allow sisters of the feminist movement to expand their identities the number of supporters increases exponentially. Where there was previously only one feminist we now have four or five distinct personalities to contend with. While quantity doesn’t trump quality, it’s a good start.

While adapting to non-offensive language that acknowledges this explosion of split-personality rights has complicated communication at the moment, we should recognize that feminism is fixing that. It is obvious that the entire dictionary needs to be overhauled. This is just a difficult time of transition. When the marginalized letters like X, C, and K do stick together the results can be “exciting,” and ass can be “kicked.”

Some feel this vision to be quixotic. Feminists could argue that the word “quioxotic” proves their point. The word employs many oppressed letters and society giving a dismissive meaning to that noble word is both insensitive and, ultimately, corrosive to Social Justice.

Until the letter Q can be used on a daily basis without requiring the accompaniment of a vowel, language, and civilization itself, will continue to be ruled by Patriarchal control.

Eleanor Robertson concludes her article with a warning to the wise. “Far from being some bizarre esoteric theory, intersectionality is alive and kicking all around us, and not just in exclusive ivory tower gender studies clubs. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but there must be some reason pop feminism puts so much effort into repressing a concept that has huge theoretical explanatory power and enormous utility as an organising strategy.”

Intersectionality is gaining ground and the only choice is whether you are on the bus or off the bus. Let’s face it, language has been around for a very long time and the moment has arrived to try something new. Where men have dominated the formation, use, and privileging of some words over others, the elevation of some letters over their companions, and allowed oppressive conjugations, feminists ask us to take a bold but simple step to the side.

Binary thinking about sense and nonsense, right and wrong, meaning and gibberish, has forced linear limits on the accomplishments of large portions of the population. Feminists are determined to give those marginalized segments a voice and they aren’t about to let the dictionary stop them.

I think Reggie Watts summarized the issue best when he said

It’s not so much as so little as to do with what everything is. But it is within our self-interest to understand the topography of our lives unto ourselves. The future states that there is no time other than the collapsation of that sensation of the mirror of the memories in which we are living. Common knowledge, but important nonetheless.

As we face fear in these times – and fear is all around us – we also have anti-fear. It’s hard to imagine, or measure. The background radiation is simply too static to be able to be seen under the normal spectral analysis.

feature image by William Hoiles

Feminism vs Facts

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The end of 2013 is fast approaching and it’s that list-making time of year. Weighing in at number twenty three in iconic feminist moments was the release of an African-American woman named Marissa Alexander from jail while awaiting a retrial for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Given that women get lesser sentences for actually killing their target, this case is curious.

So, who is this feminist poster girl?

Feminists will tell you that Marissa is a battered woman “condemned” to 20 years in prison merely for firing a warning shot into the ceiling to prevent her abusive husband from beating her. They have campaigned relentlessly for her release. Radicalwomen.com joined the “Free Marissa Now” campaign pleading with us to “stop the legal lynching by Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws of an African American domestic violence survivor.” The Feminist Wire begged readers to sign a petition with the slogan “Justice for Marissa! Set her Free!” And the Free Marissa Now website boasts a number of feminist organizations that are supporting and funding her legal defence.

The feminist version of the story goes like this: Marissa found herself trapped in her home with a violent husband, who had a history of abuse, and against whom she had a restraining order. She had given birth just nine days before the altercation. When she escaped from the house and arrived at her car, she realized she had forgotten her keys. She then grabbed a gun (for which she had a permit) from the car and fired a warning shot at her estranged husband when he threatened to kill her and made a movement in her direction.

Marissa invoked Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” defence. She was denied that defence and found guilty by a jury in just over twelve minutes. This resulted in the mandatory minimum 20 year sentencing for gun crimes in that state.

Sounds like a travesty.

It also sounds like a hay wagon full of horse shit.

As it turns out, the feminists’ story lacks the following details: Marissa was not assaulted in her own home. Days after giving birth, she left her newborn in the hospital and drove to her estranged husband’s house. At the time, there were mutual restraining orders in place. Her husband was not home so Marissa parked her car in his garage and waited for his return. She eagerly showed him photos of her newborn on her cell phone and an argument arose when he noticed text messages between her and her ex-husband on the phone.

Marissa stormed out of the house and into the garage, where she grabbed a gun from her car and went back inside. Marissa claimed that the garage door was broken, forcing her to return after she had successfully left. Police found no evidence that the garage door was broken. She later claimed that she had left her keys behind.

The supposed “warning” shot was fired at head level and only ended up in the roof after ricocheting out of the other side of a wall. There were two children in the room standing next to her husband when Marissa fired the gun at his head.

Three months after being released on bail Marissa violated the no contact order, went back to her husband’s house and gave him a black eye. When police contacted her, Marissa claimed that she was never there but later confessed.

The “Stand Your Ground” defence places the burden of proof onto the accused to show that their life was in danger. By attempting to use that defence Marissa made her case harder to win. She also refused a plea bargain that would have only sentenced her to three years in jail. Marissa chose to take her chances in court despite enough evidence stacked against her – so much that a jury of her peers only needed twelve minutes to reach a guilty verdict.

Stand Your Ground did not apply to Marissa’s case since she was able to leave the house safely and not only returned but, upon her return, escalated a non-deadly altercation into a deadly confrontation by bringing a gun into the conflict. There was no evidence of bruising or violence to Marissa’s body when police arrested her. The 911 call was placed by her husband who fled the house with his two children and called police to have them remove Marissa from his home.

The prosecutor in the case, Angela Corey, is known for her staunch victim’s advocate stance. Corey has confronted the misrepresentation of Marissa Alexander’s case in the media numerous times explaining that she has a duty to the main victims in this crime: two young children. But no one wants to hear what Angela Corey has to say because it doesn’t make for a good feminist campaign.

Unsurprisingly, when given the choice, feminists are more worried about a black woman than they are about two black children. Of course part of their battle cry is that Marissa won’t be with her own children while incarcerated, and they were forced to choose between the custodial children of a woman and the custodial children of a man. It’s easy to see the complicated scales of equality feminism at work here.

Not being the ones to let facts get in the way of a good campaign, feminists have compared Marissa Alexander’s Stand Your Ground case to that of George Zimmerman and the Trayvon Martin shooting. Their bone of contention is that a white man got away with murdering a black kid under Stand Your Ground, but a black woman was unsuccessful with that same defence even though she didn’t kill anyone.

First of all, George Zimmerman is Hispanic. Secondly, Zimmerman did not use the Stand Your Ground defence in his trial. His lawyers wisely advised Zimmerman that he stood a better chance of acquittal if he kept the burden of proof on the state. Third, they were both shooting at black people.

To help us understand the case better, Melissa Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC, wrote an open letter to prosecutor Angela Corey. It starts like this:

Dear Angela Corey,

It’s me, Melissa.

Angela, there are few times in life that we get second chances to right our wrongs. Well Angela, this is yours.

You have been called a fierce victim’s advocate, so it is way past time that you start acting like it.

Dear Melissa Harris-Perry,

It’s me, Diana.

Melissa, there are few times in life that we get second chances to realize that we acted like complete cunts. Well, Melissa, this is yours.

You have been called an educated woman and it’s way past time that you start acting like it.

As the host of a television show, which has much greater access to the facts of the case than I do, I’m looking forward the explanation of how it only took me two minutes with Google to find out the details of the case that seem to have eluded you.

Since, Melissa, you obviously care about abuse victims, I suggest you remember that two young children watched a psychopathic woman aim and fire a gun at their father’s head. This woman, who you are so passionately defending, has shown herself to be incapable of staying away from the home of a man who allegedly beats her even when restraining orders are in place and her bail conditions stipulated “no contact.”

Since you are trying to educate us about domestic violence, Melissa, I am left wondering why you left out the part explaining how Marissa kept finding herself driving to her abuser’s house. Usually battered wives are “stuck” there because they live with their spouse and the “domestic” part of the violence references their own home, creating the sticky part of “stuck”.

Finally, I am greatly intrigued by your response to the detail that Marissa’s “warning shot” hit the wall at adult head level. You explained with exasperation that “Marissa is three inches shorter than [her husband].” Being rather tall, I had no idea that the ceiling is located in a different place for short people.

Thank you, Melissa, for this enlightening example of how a feminist brain functions.

Sincerely,
Diana

Also posted on A Voice For Men

Feminists: more equal than others

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Like a general assembly of Orwellian swine, feminists have gathered together to justify their creed that “some animals are more equal than others.” As in the tale of Animal Farm, the changes to the legal system happened incrementally and with only a few grumbled objections, which were dealt with swiftly in retribution. As a society, we now find ourselves staring with astonishment at the writing on the wall and wondering how the pigs have managed to get away with this blatant corruption of equality before the law.

The legal system for criminal court was founded on a few, basic principles or cornerstones:

1) the presumption of innocence;
2) the burden of proof is on the Crown;
3) proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; and
4) proof is made during a fair and public hearing.

Overall, these building blocks remain intact for most criminal proceedings with one exception: crimes against women.

Thanks to feminism, we have re-created a Star Chamber reserved only for men. In this chamber, accusers are anonymous, guilt is assumed, false confessions may be extracted, and those who escape are ostracized regardless of legal innocence. To find oneself in the star chamber requires one simple accident of birth: you have a penis.

Violent crimes have now been segregated into two types: violence, and violence against women. The explanation for this separation is that feminists feel women are more vulnerable than men and require a unique status in court that serves to ‘enhance’ their equality with men.

In 2000, feminist scholar Sara Hinchliffe, described her concerns with this demand for special treatment of women by the courts.

The debate about equality raises serious problems for conceptions of women as freely choosing, rational agents. If a different standard is required by which to judge women because they are unequal, then social inequality may be formalized in law. The fact that battered woman syndrome has become an acceptable defense to murder in the United States is one contemporary example. If women are not susceptible to the same assumption of equality and rationality as men then women may be excluded from the presumption that they are capable actors.

In cases of rape or sexual assault, the disturbing changes to the legal system are thus:

  1. The presumption of guilt;
  2. A shift of the burden of proof onto the accused;
  3. Removal of mens rea or “guilty intent” as a requirement for conviction;
  4. Rape shield laws that interfere with public hearings and defence rights.

You’ll note that these changes reduce to rubble all four cornerstones of criminal law.

Hinchliffe goes on to elucidate the dangers of allowing feminism to infantalize women in the eyes of the law. “Under the guise of a set of reforms presented as defending the interests of rape victims, we are seeing the undermining of hard-fought civil liberties.”

In an article for The Independent, Hinchliffe warns that “the radical British feminists Lorraine Kelly and Jill Radford claim that the law’s distinction between rape and sex is problematic since it ‘suggests that clear distinctions can be drawn between violence and non-violence and thereby between abusive and ‘normal’ men’.” The radicals were no longer fringe and their suspicion or criminalization of normal, heterosexual activities had gained influence with policy-makers.

The women founding these changes to how the law treats rape unabashedly declared all heterosexual sex to be rapey; an act to which no rational woman would consent when in her right mind.

As journalist, Nathalie Rothschild pointed out in a 2011 Spiked-online article, “It is curious that self-described feminists are propounding such a paternalistic view of women as unable to make their own minds up, as too weak and silly to say ‘no’ to men, and as putting themselves at risk by drinking and flirting and potentially knocking out their critical faculties, leading them to wake up in a strange bed without having first given their ‘active consent’.”

Not only have modern women been utterly stripped of their adulthood by feminists, we let it happen. We put on our ‘fuck me’ boots and proudly slutwalked the path to perpetual victimhood.

Like Animal Farm, after the revolution had been won and the rules of a just society were written on the wall for all to see, every time the animals looked up another rule had been altered which catered to the whims of the pigs, who became the ruling class. Feminists are now the ruling class, adding their brackets to the end of our civil liberties.

No animal shall sleep in a bed (with sheets)
No animal shall consume alcohol (to excess)
No animal shall kill another (without cause)

And now we’ve reached the day where we stare at the side of the barn and all the rules are gone, replaced simply with “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Only women get special funding for shelters, schooling, and business ventures. Only women are deemed not responsible for their actions when drunk, or not guilty of murder when under emotional stress. Women are given lesser criminal sentences when found guilty of a crime, and special treatment when they claim victimization. We no longer seek to maintain a safe, productive community; we have mandated that the world be made safe “for women” and cater to demands that we elevate women to positions of power merely to prove our morality.

As Hinchliff points out,

Demands to increase the conviction rate in rape cases (in other words to lock more men up on less evidence) through a more inquisitorial approach to rape trials are becoming commonplace. New precedents are being set, which call into question the central idea of equality before the law for men and women.

Feminism has corrupted the law, but there are two courts we face in society: the legal system and the court of public opinion. As important as it is for society to restore equality to our civil rights, we must also deal with the vigilante mobs that back up the feminist ideology.

Cases in which men have been murdered or have committed suicide after false rape allegations were made do not even employ the court system in the accusations. Where feminists declare “rape myths” deflower the reputation of women who have been assaulted, the reality is much more gruesome. Men are at high risk because of feminist “rape myth myths”. In fact, despite the sob story they bleat in our faces every day, society is so keen to protect and defend women that the vigilante court of public opinion is not content to let the legal system deal with accusations at all. White knights abound, eager to do the bidding of their fair maidens.

The world is not a safe place for men.

As Warren Farrell so wisely noted, “Men’s greatest weakness is their façade of strength, and women’s greatest strength is their façade of weakness.” Where women have used their feigned weakness to warp the justice system and manipulate men into proxy violence, men must now overcome their weakness and use what strength they have to fight for their own rights.

In Animal Farm, Boxer is the dedicated and loyal workhorse who represents the feminist vision of a “good man.” This is what women tell men they should aspire to and, like the pigs of Animal Farm, they enjoy the profits from the fruits of your labour. And when you collapse or become of no use to them they’ll sell you to the knacker’s yard for a case of whisky.

While lawyers and academics embolden themselves to take on the dominant swine who have corrupted our equality and justice, we need not sit by silently and wait to be rescued. Where Boxer adopted the motto “I will work harder” and “Napoleon is always right,” we can choose our own mantra.

Men’s rights are human rights.
Also posted on A Voice For Men

Is Maureen Dowd necessary?

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I really don’t think that she is.

I understand that she is not literally disposable but I don’t think we need her writing in a prestigious publication like The New York Times, and here is why.

In 2005 Maureen had a book published entitled “Are Men Necessary?” In 2013 she had an article published in The Globe and Mail entitled “Maureen Dowd: Men have not only stopped evolving – they’re devolving” which started “Are men necessary? No.”

After eight years all Maureen has come up with is one more word.

Good authors like to remind people that they’ve written something else when people want to talk about eight year old projects. Bad authors like to remind people what they wrote eight years ago. The fact that Maureen has nothing new to offer us has been noticed before.

Maureen’s main focus is to write silly sentences. She’s not so much interested in what those sentences say when put together. For example, she claims that men are “devolving” because they are acting like women. That she just claimed women are lower on the evolutionary scale does not concern Maureen because she’s in it for the sentences. Apparently her editors don’t care if those sentences link together either.

The one thing we can glean from Maureen’s ramblings is that she doesn’t understand evolution. After all, she is just an entertainer using old material.

Devolution is a concept used by people who think “that evolution must mean ‘progress’ to ‘more advanced’ organisms.” The term is mostly used by creationists. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach promoted the theory believing that Adam and Eve both existed, were white, and other ethnicities were a devolution. In his classification of how the various ethnic groups devolved he said “I have allotted the first place to the Caucasian because this stock displays the most beautiful race of men.”

When Maureen does write something intelligent, it’s a good idea to make sure she hasn’t plagiarized it. Despite winning a Pulitzer Prize for writing about Bill Clinton’s blowjob (apparently Pulitzer needs to worry about their standards as well) she hasn’t learned how to credit other writers for their work.

Maureen is either lazy, sloppy, dishonest, or a genuine cunt. Why pick just one?

For those who have low standards and like to cling to the predictable, Maureen Dowd is definitely your woman. Her tactic of belittling men by calling them “girly” is her standard recipe for cheap laughs. She was criticized by Ann Bartow for this tired routine in 2006 and yet here she is trying to tell us it’s still funny in 2013.

I have a theory about Maureen Dowd that explains her columns.

I suspect that Maureen has all of her old articles on a computer program and doesn’t actually write them any more. The computer picks out words and phrases reassembles them for her, then she slaps today’s date on it. That also explains why her articles don’t quite make sense. Garbage in, garbage out.

Maureen Dowd is a bot.

In case you think I’m exaggerating, here are some passages from “Are Men Necessary?” written in 2005 and the comparison passage from her Globe and Mail article in 2013. Let’s play a game called “I don’t see the difference, do you? ”

“[Manly discourse] was, unlike the feminine chatter in the parlor, thought to be impersonal, unemotional, forthright and reasonable.

For centuries, it was widely believed that women’s physical makeup made them emotionally unfit to be leaders.
Dowd, Maureen. Are Men Necessary?. (New York: Berkley Books, 2005), 79

compared to

For centuries, it was widely thought that women were biologically unsuited to hold leadership positions.

Power was best wielded by men, theorists felt, because men were impersonal, unemotional, forthright and reasonable.
Maureen Dowd: Men have not only stopped evolving – they’re devolving”, 2013

You’ll note that the only real change was that she (or the computer program) flipped the order of the sentences and used a thesaurus to alter a couple of words.

Aristotle observed that women’s minds should be kept free from exertion because “children evidently draw on the mother who carries them in her womb, just as plants draw on the soil.” Darwin said that while the female spent her energy forming her ova, the male spent “much force in fierce contests with his rivals.”
Dowd, Maureen. Are Men Necessary?. (New York: Berkley Books, 2005), 80

compared to

Aristotle wrote that women’s minds should be kept free from exertion because “children evidently draw on the mother who carries them in her womb, just as plants draw on the soil.” Darwin observed that while the female spent her energy forming her ova, the male spent “much force in fierce contests with his rivals.”
Maureen Dowd: Men have not only stopped evolving – they’re devolving”, 2013

She (or the bot) merely changed “observed” to “wrote” and “said” to “observed”.

Even as late as 1970, Dr. Edgar F. Berman, Hubert Humphrey’s personal physician and an official on a national policy-making committee of the Democratic Party, declared that his “scientific position” was that “women are different physically, physiologically and psychically.”

“If doctors do not know that there is such a thing as premenstrual tension,” he huffed, “they’d better go back to medical school.”
Dowd, Maureen. Are Men Necessary?. (New York: Berkley Books, 2005), 80

compared to

Even as late as 1970, after the social revolution of the 60s, Dr. Edgar F. Berman, Hubert Humphrey’s personal physician and an official on a national policy-making committee of the Democratic Party, declared that his “scientific position” was that “women are different physically, physiologically and psychically.” “If doctors do not know that there is such a thing as premenstrual tension,” he said, huffily, “they’d better go back to medical school.”
Maureen Dowd: Men have not only stopped evolving – they’re devolving”, 2013

The Maureenbot added “after the social revolution of the 60s” and turned “he huffed” into “he said huffily”.

When his words caused a furor among women and he was forced to resign, he ruefully observed: “Pandora’s box is no tender trap.”
But at long last, the tables have turned.
Dowd, Maureen. Are Men Necessary?. (New York: Berkley Books, 2005), 80

compared to

He stuck to his guns even after his remarks caused such a furor that he had to resign. He left his job with this parting shot: “Pandora’s box is no tender trap.”
But the tables have finally turned.
Maureen Dowd: Men have not only stopped evolving – they’re devolving”, 2013

The bot got clever here substituting the “forced” part from the original with “stuck to his guns” but loved the last sentence too much to change it. Are bots capable of “love”?

Now it is unstable male temperament that is causing alarm…
Men are engaging in shrewish, scolding, clawing, vengeful, sneaky, vain behaviour that is anything but reasonable and impersonal. Women are affected by lunar tides only once a month; men have raging hormones every day.”
Dowd, Maureen. Are Men Necessary?. (New York: Berkley Books, 2005), 80-1

compared to

Now it is unstable male temperament that is causing alarm.
Male politicians are engaging in sneaky, catty, weepy, ditzy, shrewish behaviour that is anything but reasonable and impersonal.
Women are affected by lunar tides only once a month, after all. Men have raging hormones every day…
Maureen Dowd: Men have not only stopped evolving – they’re devolving”, 2013

The bot kept “shrewish” and “catty”, changed three adjectives, and dropped one. I guess six adjectives became passé in the last near decade.

I’ll spare you the rest of the article, which is entirely just a copy of 2005’s Chapter Two: Why Pandora’s Box Is No Tender Trap”. Ultimately, the point here is that The Globe and Mail should sue Maureen Dowd for fraud. They paid her for an article “special to The Globe and Mail” and she gave them something already published elsewhere for which she’d already been paid.

To show this isn’t a single transgression, the next article Maureen submitted, “Why the Y?” in The New York Times on November 24th, is barely a rewrite of 2005’s Chapter Four: Why The Well-hung Y Is Wilting, Even As The X Is Excelling. The New York Times needs to fire Maureen Dowd on the grounds that we’ve already read the book.

So, is Maureen Dowd necessary when we’ve got a perfectly good bot doing her job for her?

No.

Maureen is so unnecessary that I debated whether or not to bother writing about her this week. Given her history, I could save my notes, publish it eight weeks or eight years from now, and it would still be just as relevant. At least, this time, Dowd only copy/pasted herself.

Also posted on A Voice For Men

Is rape different?

censored2
Freedom of speech seems to be a broadly misunderstood concept.

When you believe in freedom of speech and fight to protect it you are not just defending yourself, you are fighting for the right of other people to say things you don’t agree with. A person who supports censorship can not claim to support freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is one of the human rights granted to citizens in progressive countries. We consider it important. As such, it was shocking to see feminists@law rallying a protest to the London School of Economics (LSE) Department of Law’s recent debate called “Is Rape Different?” It should concern academia that feminist lawyers don’t support free speech. They seem to hold myths about freedom.

The October 30th, 2013 debate was led by Helen Reece, based on an article she wrote concerning deeply flawed rape myth studies and other feminist rhetoric which currently informs the law. LSE’s event description explains the subject thus:

Rape is a heinous crime, and many people believe the conduct and outcome of rape cases insufficiently reflect this heinousness. As a result, rape complainants are treated differently; distinct rules of evidence have been developed; and measures to tackle rape myths are in place. But is all this helpful? Rape is a serious crime but is it a special crime, demanding special treatment? Do our rule of law and fairness pay a price? In this first debate in LSE Department of Law’s ‘Debating Law’ series, LSE academic Helen Reece leads a debate on whether or not rape is in this sense special.

The speakers who questioned rape as a special sort of crime were Helen Reece, reader of Law at LSE, and Barbara Hewson, barrister in Hardwicke Chambers. In favour of rape as a uniquely vile crime were Jennifer Temkin, professor at City Law School, and Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for CPS North West.

You’ll notice that both sides of the debate had two equally qualified representatives.

The protest now taking place is quite clear in the reason for complaint: people are talking about Reece and Hewson and no one is talking about Temkin and Afzal. The short story — the feminists feel they lost the debate. We all know what happens when a feminist feels bad: The world must stop and do something to fix it.

Specifically, on November 14th, feminists@law declared

We deplore LSE Law’s decision to give a platform to Reece and Hewson’s dangerous and unsupported views and its failure to engage responsibly with the public on such an important and sensitive issue as rape.

They mulled over all the possible courses of action to compensate for the fact that “their views received significantly less media attention” and came up with a solution.

With such a wide audience, we believe there is an onus on the LSE Law Department to ensure that the ideas that are being disseminated do not feed dangerous stereotypes about women being responsible for the sexual violence perpetuated against them.
We invite readers to add their names in support of this statement, using the ‘Add Comment’ function below.

Normally, when a university lecture or event is protested it is a singular speaker who the protesters claim are disseminating “hate speech”. This was not a lecture, it was a debate in which four competing points of view were given equal time. Even Jay-Z seems to understand free speech better than feminist lawyers. “We change people through conversation, not through censorship.”

It’s a sad state of affairs when a rapper would make a better lawyer than a feminist trained in law.

One of the criticisms leveled against LSE by Sarah Keenan and Yvette Russell on criticallegalthinking.com is that LSE defended the debate. It was Barbara Hewson’s presentation that got the most media coverage and LSE failed to apologize for inviting her.

“The @LSELaw account responded defensively to criticism of its decision to host Hewson insisting that she was only one of four panellists and that her views were balanced by the opposing arguments of Temkin and Afzal, and urging critics and the wider public to download the podcast, watch the video and ‘make up your own mind’”

The other complaint was that LSE highly publicized the debate and intentionally chose a controversial subject to get a bigger response from the public. It seems like, for once, feminists were hoping nobody would listen to them. We must put these complaints in context. The feminist point of view was equally given a chance to convince the public that rape is different from other crimes. If they’d used this opportunity better or gotten a better result they would not be, right now, complaining about the publicity.

After creating a twitstorm about the debate the feminists also criticized LSE for using twitter.

I can’t think of a single speaker who agrees to a debate and hopes nobody listens to it or hears about it later. If anything, this farcical reaction is a great chance to learn about which people we don’t want to hire when organizing events.

The emphatic rejection of any discussion about rape and rape laws that feminists cling to is based on the premise that women need to know that they will be believed when they report a rape. In Hewson’s spiked-online.com reply she takes the time to remind these lawyers about how the law works.

This [victimization] ideology dominates official thinking about rape and sexual abuse to a point where the police actively solicit allegations with the promise, ‘You will be believed’. This militates against the idea that allegations need to be investigated.

Luke Gittos, Law Editor, followed up on Spiked with an article on November 20th entitled “We must be free to question rape laws”.

The discussion around issues related to rape is now so rife with intellectual bigotry and dishonesty that it is hard to know where to begin dissecting it. It is no underestimation to say that a portion of those contributing to this debate are engaged in a wilful distortion of the truth and a cowardly drive to close down any challenge to their false consensus.

This wilful distortion of the truth is one of the issues to which Helen Reece is attempting to bring attention. The rape myth surveys that she de-constructed in her initial article were all peer reviewed. That such shoddy academic work can not only pass peer review but become incorporated into decisions about legal reform is reason for alarm. The need for freedom of speech in academia is best proven by the existence of unsupported feminist rhetoric as the accepted worldview.

Academic studies require peer review and RMA surveys have not been properly scrutinized because the manipulated results adhere to popular myths about rape myths. If we are to let these studies influence the legal system, as they demand we do, Helen presents important concerns to be addressed about the research being submitted as fact.

While Jennifer Temkin despaired in the LSE debate that “it beggars belief” we are discussing whether or not rape is different, what’s really astounding is that we are stuck explaining the importance of free speech to a bunch of lawyers. These outraged feminists are highly educated in the very topic at hand and they just don’t seem interested in either truth or justice.

Is rape different? Watch the debate.

Also posted on A Voice For Men

The myth of rape myths

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom
Are we are all living in a world of mythical delusion? Is the world that you subjectively experience so far removed from reality that you can’t be trusted to sit on a jury? This is the question that vexed Helen Reece, a Reader in Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Feminist discourse asserts that “rape myths” are rampant in society to the effect that they disable the average person from being able to either understand or ascertain the seriousness of the crime of rape. According to feminists, the public is so deeply immersed in “rape culture” or “rape supportive attitudes” that we have trouble recognizing when a crime has been committed. This suggestion is a serious accusation and Helen is a very serious woman willing to tackle this question with logic instead of just agreeing for the sake of getting along.

In July, 2013, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies published a summary article of Helen Reece’s paper entitled “Rape Myths: Is Elite Opinion Right and Popular Opinion Wrong?” In the article Helen Reece presents a challenge to how feminists are corrupting logic, law, and language.

The claim that rape myths are widespread may be challenged on three grounds: first, some of the attitudes are not myths; secondly, not all the myths are about rape; thirdly, there is little evidence that the rape myths are widespread. To a troubling extent, we are in the process of creating myths about myths, or ‘myth myths’.

While the feminist rhetoric currently shaping the existing “rape myth” studies have had significant influence upon the court system thus far, feminists simultaneously declare that their efforts have had no impact on a “rape supportive” society. By denying their results feminists are able to avoid responsibility for the negative impact that their changes may have caused and to decry anyone, like Helen Reece, who questions the reasonableness of feminist demands upon the legal system as a comprehensive institution that also has a duty to protect the accused.

When the Rape Myth Attitude (RMA) surveys were administered they did not yield the high results expected so researchers decided to “expediate” their process of proving “rape culture” by manipulating the questions. It was their assumption that people taking the test were recognizing the politically correct answers and responding in the presumed “correct” manner, thereby skewing the results. To make the test results match their expectations, RMA surveys made their questions more ambiguous and bell curved the results.

Helen points out that “This is as fallacious as making the driving test practically impossible to pass, then treating the resulting failure rate as evidence of appalling driving.” While bell curves can be useful at times they are particularly problematic in determining “the awfulness of people’s attitudes.”

Academic studies require peer review and RMA surveys have not been properly scrutinized because the manipulated results adhere to popular myths about rape myths. If we are to let these studies influence the legal system, as they demand we do, Helen presents important concerns to be addressed about the research being submitted as fact.

A specific point of RMA survey questioning involves asking people if a woman inviting a man to have coffee means sex. Not only is the wording a key element to the absurdity of this question it begs the question of what normal, every day people use as an indication of sexual receptivity.

Helen suggests that the more people who respond to state that asking someone to have coffee with you is a sign of sexual interest, the more weight it gives to the social norm of an invitation of coffee being a legitimate pickup line.

Surely Skepchick would agree.

The media attention given to “elevatorgate” and Rebecca Watson’s insistence that a man asking her to have coffee with him was sexual harassment, lends to the credibility that asking someone to have coffee with you is an understood euphemism for wanting to fuck. The public should now agree that coffee invitations are, in fact, a sexual invitation. Interestingly, the only people who agreed with Watson were the feminists, seeking to demonize the man who offered the coffee.

The public rejection of this feminist notion, that coffee equals sex, indicates that feminists are more likely to believe this rape myth than anyone else and they have projected their own absurd ideas onto the general public.

Despite the effort to make consent appear black and white, Helen argues that signs of consent in the real world are very messy and that considering the context around a person’s actions is much more important to legal analysis than we are being asked to believe. Due to a lack of proper research in what consent looks like when it goes right and exclusive focus on what it is like when it goes wrong, she feels that “participant’s answers should be treated with respect: the best evidence we have of how women show consent to sex is how people say women show consent to sex.”

Context is everything.

One of Helen’s concerns with feminist methodology in “rape myth” research is the removal of the requirement that rape myths needed to be “demonstrably false.” Without this stipulation we end up with “the oxymoronic ‘true myth’.” This is a case where something is oddly declared to be a myth but it may be factually accurate.

Problematic to the RMA studies is that the surveys purport to show how many people “blame the victim” when, in fact, none of the surveys use the word “blame”. The moral judgements inferred onto the results are actually just a result of researchers injecting their own moral values onto the responses. The only thing determined by the surveys is that a number of people, who may be factually correct, did not hold the same ethical opinions as the researchers.

The law, by design, is intended to deal with facts.

This slippery slope of interpretation by moral comparisons was tobogganed into our narrative by researchers riding on surrogate words for blame, such as “responsibility”. Helen questions whether or not “responsibility” is a good substitute for the word “blame.” Some of the public, including rape victims themselves, will attribute a portion of their actions as having contributed to the circumstances that led to a rape. This is fact. It is quite established that drinking excessively in public contributes to vulnerability. What the survey doesn’t establish is whether or not the public feels that a responsibility factor attributes blame to the victim or whether they were merely agreeing it contributed to vulnerability.

Where the studies report that people hold myths about “real rape,” defined as stranger attacks with weapons involved, Helen Reece queries “What does this even mean? Does it mean that people believe ‘real rape’ is the only sort of rape, the most common sort of rape, or the most serious type of rape? The only strong evidence for any of these propositions is that ‘real rape’ is more likely to lead to a conviction at the end of a trial. But this doesn’t mean that jurors believe the ‘real rape’ myth — they might just find it easier to convict when the evidence doesn’t boil down to whose story they believe.”

When rape attitude surveys are more interested in judging other people on their personal moral scales than in actually establishing fact for the pursuit of justice it is important for people, such as Helen Reece, to defend the institution of the law. As it currently stands, the law has an interest in making sure defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and making sure they are granted the right to a fair trial.

These surveys declare that the public, the judges, the police, and all individuals involved in the court process are too steeped in myth to be capable of judgement due to “rape supportive attitudes.” That is a big accusation and only people within the legal system are in a position to defend against these accusations.

Helen Reece proposes that proving immorality in mass popular culture is not as cut and dried as feminists would like to pretend. If comparative analysis is done, conviction rates for rape are not actually out of scale with other crimes. She remarks that feminist studies do not even bother to compare their myth myths to attitudes about other types of violations.

The myth that many people believe “women cry rape” is unsupportable because “there needs to be a discrepancy between the proportion of women who people believe ‘cry rape’ and the proportion of women who do in fact ‘cry rape’. A problem is the lack of precision in the data on both these proportions.” Until such data is acquired, the “cry rape myth” might actually be a fact.

Quite often, and for good reason, the law is very focused on the meaning of words and how to enforce those meanings. As much as the law is designed to be followed, the law is also intended to be understandable. Feminist inspired changes to the law have introduced ambiguous words that undermine the clarity of what is expected from the public in order to comply with the law.

Feminists have succeeded in increasing reported rapes but the failure to increase convictions is not due to “rape myths” it is due to an inability to be sure “beyond a reasonable doubt” where the complex sexual behaviour of human beings meets the dubious wording of the new laws about consent.

Of the many reforms made to the legal system, rape is now defined by a lack of active consent instead of the presence of sexual rejection. These changes have been made without acknowledgement or research into how people interact with each other in real life. This does not seem either progressive or productive.

Helen Reece has expressed her concern that where the line between sex and rape in drawn is not as simple as feminists purport, not as mythical as they project, nor as dire as they propose. Her line of questioning is not misogynistic, or even anti-feminist, it is the reasonable doubt presented by people who seek to keep the legal system in line with reality. Helen Reece just seems to love the law, and what it represents.

Feminists claim we live in a rapey dystopia. If you don’t agree with them and fail to convict every man accused of a crime against women, you have an “attitude” problem.

Someone needs to explain to feminists how the legal system was designed and for what purpose. Perhaps that person will be Helen Reece.

Sources:
http://blog.oup.com/2013/07/myths-about-rape-myths/
http://ojls.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/03/13/ojls.gqt006.full.pdf+html?sid=abf0e5fb-13fb-4025-9ef6-9b1056e1aaec
Also published on A Voice For Men