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

Women Don’t Own Sex

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Hardly a week goes by without the public being told how rape culture and victim blaming are being perpetrated by ‘the patriarchy’. Monday, September 23, 2013 offered us the mother lode of mythical feminist thinking in the form of Una Mullally in The Irish Times.

It’s not that Una said something unique, it’s that she managed to fit so many fallacies into one article that really makes her applause worthy.

Una begins with criticizing police for advising people to “protect yourself from violence” by exercising caution when meeting people online. The reason for this advisory is that a woman’s bones were discovered and the missing woman seems to have met someone via a dating site on the internet before turning up dead. Apparently this is ‘victim blaming’.

I used to get emails all the time from female friends who wanted to forward me the latest warning on how a man might kidnap me by hiding in the back seat of my parked car at the mall. The warnings always came from female friends and they always had my best interests in mind. I never once emailed them back “how dare you blame me for parking my car!” I did start sending all emails to spam if they had “fw:” in the message line but the proper, civilized response is “Thank you. I’ll pass the message along to everyone I know.”

Una, and her ilk, also need some basic lessons in Crime Solving For Dummies. If you watch television at all you might have come across shows like CSI or Criminal Minds in which they portray rather likable, well-meaning detectives who investigate crimes. The first thing they do is ask apparently bizarre questions like “Who, what, where, when, why… and how?”

The answers to these questions help solve crimes.

When a police force investigates someone’s online dating habits it can lead to information, like the identity of the killer. They can also help divulge the method of death, which can help police link one murder to other murders. While they do this investigative work they sometimes have microphones shoved in their faces asking for a public statement in order to inform the people who write and read the news.

The reason police offer warnings to the public are because the public wants to know how they can avoid showing up as a set of bones on the next news report. They get scared. This information is intended to help them feel safer.

“Societies are in a crisis over how men treat women,” Una claims. Now, this is news to me. Society is in a crisis over international wars, terrorism, bank fraud, the resulting economic collapse, and a general lack of faith in either the press, politicians or ‘God’. Most of the women I know are far more concerned with having a bad hair day and failing to look attractive than in having a day where too many men show them unwanted attention.

She claims “potential attackers are rarely instructed to exercise vigilance.” Yes, Una, they are reminded every day by the fucking law. It’s as illegal to commit a crime today as it was yesterday. They are told to not be violent by being faced with jail if they break the law. If we were to instruct them to “be vigilant” we’d be telling them to not get caught. Yelling at him “that’s illegal, you know!” will not solve the problem. You moron.

“Men, don’t rape” is Una’s next solution. This is part of the whole rape culture myth. For some reason, women, like Una, think that other men are in a unique position to give each other rules about sex. They aren’t. If men want sex from women, women are in the unique position to tell them how to go about achieving their goals. What feminists are doing when they tell men that only they can stop rape is basically like a teacher telling a class of inferiors that she will punish the whole class if they don’t tell her who put tacks on her seat.

According to international law, collective punishment is wrong.

The sentiment embedded in the demand for men to fix women’s problems is the idea that men are the problem. The error of this idea, and it’s not Una’s fault for believing this because feminism has ingrained it into her mind, is that men do not live in this world within a cocoon. Boys are born as helpless babies, just as girls are, and we are mostly raised by women.

Though men appear to rule the world, that is because women treat them like gophers: Go get me stuff.

A man’s worth in our world is not assessed on how much wealth he possesses, it is based on the level of happiness of his woman. Every politician knows he’ll do better if he has a happy wife at his side. Don’t be shallow, ask better questions. Why do men commit crimes? I’ll posit this: because they need more stuff to make a woman happy or because they have been rejected by a woman shaming them for not being good enough and feel they have nothing left to lose. Committing a crime has a penalty. They need a reason to risk that penalty. It’s going to be primal. Think… think… are you with me?

The man is the head of the house but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head any way she wants.

Feminists claim that men objectify women but it’s women who think that men are just walking, magical penises and that the penis has the mystical quality of getting them stuff. We’re less concerned with how they get us our stuff than in making sure we get the shit we’re after. One of those things is security so the problem for women is not in how to get men to stop being aggressive, it’s in how to get them to be aggressive but stay out of jail so they can keep providing the stuff that makes us happy.

The problem is not men. Men just want to be loved and respected. What women make them do for that respect is what drives some of them crazy.

“Men, stop hanging your threat of rape over dark streets.” This is Una’s impassioned plea. The streets are only dark if you decide that you have no agency, no power, to affect the world around you. The threat in walking out your door every day exists for both men and women. I’m sorry to inform you, Una, but you could die at any moment. Men face a much greater risk of physical assault every day than women do but they still keep walking out that door.

Being that women are equal, I think we should meet that threat on an equal basis.

What Una claims makes men more culpable is that they all know someone who is “dubious” and goes to strip clubs or pays for sex. Strip clubs are not illegal and I know quite a few women who married for money, so buying sex is apparently quite legal, too, as long as you get the proper paperwork. Una, you and I both know someone who had a baby to avoid having to get a job. You and I both know someone who married a man they didn’t love. Isn’t that just a little bit shady? ‘Dubious behaviour’, perhaps?

Saying that men can stop rape is like telling a driver they can stop all car accidents or investors that they can stop all fraud. Just because men enjoy sex or do it from time to time doesn’t place them in a unique position to police all other participants. Just like Una can’t stop other writers from saying things she disagrees with.

Una claims that “women should be free to talk to whomever they choose and go wherever they want without threat of assault.” That’s bullshit. No one is free to do that. A person is free to leave their home every day and enter the world of the unknown and they should be assured that if something bad happens society will come to their aid to help them heal. Unfortunately, women are not given this freedom because feminists are hell bent on maximizing the pain and trauma of every female experience.

They are busy convincing women who don’t even know if they’ve been raped to call it rape. If you aren’t sure: it didn’t happen. If the woman doesn’t know, how the hell is the guy supposed to have known? They tell women it’s a terrible thing and that they should go to support groups where they relive the pain over and over and over again until all they are is a rape victim. Some of these girls didn’t even know they were raped and could have moved on but now it’s their lifelong identity and they’ll never get over it. What kind of sick fucks are you?

We have become indoctrinated to believe that rape is the worst crime that can be committed. How the hell did that happen? I can think of a bunch of things that are worse: Murder, having my fingers cut off one at a time while I watch, having my limbs disconnected, waking up in an abandoned house with a tape recorder saying “Hello, Diana, I want you to make a choice…” The list can go on. I’ve seen a lot of films. I’ve been raped so that’s not fiction, but my mind (perhaps more creative than that of feminists) can imagine worse scenarios.

Some rapes are extremely violent, leaving women beaten and in hospital with damage to their reproductive organs. These crimes are not just rapes, they are brutal physical assaults that never go unreported and no one laughs. A man can end up with lifelong damage from getting kicked in the groin yet this is comedy to women. While feminists claim that a woman who is drunk can’t consent, they don’t want to address the problem that drunk women can become so sexually aggressive they assault men. I have a friend who has serious problems after a fall-down drunk friend he was trying to keep safe by taking her home grabbed his testicles in a sexual advance, squeezing so hard he had to go to the hospital. This guy wasn’t trying to rape her, he was trying to keep her from having sex.

Drunk girls are not fun and they are not weak.

Drunk women are responsible if they decide to drive themselves home and get in an accident while doing so. They are equally responsible if they make the decision to have sex. I hear Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a crazy ass bunch of sisters if you try to challenge them on that.

While feminists claim that a rape culture exists which ‘normalizes’ rape, I insist that a feminist culture exists that ‘rape-ifies’ normal sex. The definition of rape has now been expanded to include when a woman doesn’t say no but thinks it, when a woman decides that sex didn’t go the way she wanted, when a woman has had a few drinks, when a woman is woken up with sex after falling asleep next to a man she has previously had sex with and decided to stay in the bed… The list will continue to grow until we stop it.

Perhaps this is too much information but, for me, sex is my favorite way to wake up. Men have every right to believe that a woman sleeping in the bed next to them is going to be happily awoken. If you don’t want sex, don’t sleep in their fucking bed. We are not children here.

Women don’t own sex, it’s something people do together. It requires communication. Women don’t like it when men lie to them to get sex and men don’t like it when women lie either. It happens both ways. “Yes, I’ll use a condom” or “Yes, I’m on birth control.” There is no one-sided game, it can happen to either gender. If a woman lies with her body language and her actions she is raping the man. Sex is not a written contract. It is something that only the people present can attest to, it happens organically, intuitively and it is something over which people can make mistakes. Men don’t need need an ’emphatic yes’ to avoid rape, you need to give them an emphatic ‘no’. If you think you didn’t have the option to say ‘stop’, you are wrong.

The original case in discussion with Una Mallally’s article (before she made it a rape culture issue) was a woman who decided to go to a fetish site (note that a woman ‘normalized’ SM fetishes with her book Fifty Shades of Grey, probably influencing the dead woman’s choices) and met with someone who ended up killing her. What we don’t know, and don’t need to know, is whether or not the murder was the prime objective or whether the fetish scene accidentally led to her death and the partner tried to cover it up. That’s a job for the police. What we do know is that meeting people in real life whom you only know from online is a dangerous prospect and that the police warnings are extremely good advice.

Women are not free to exit their doors and expect to return safely any more than men are. Every day you wake up and exit the house be happy that you are alive and be happy when you return safely. In the meantime, there are many things you can do to reduce your anxiety: choose to be fearless, choose to be cautious, choose to not leave your house… or the fifty shades of grey in between. The choice is yours and no one is taking that away from you. Women and men both face this risk but, for some reason, only women seem intent on blaming men for all their problems.

Also posted on A Voice For Men

Victim Nation

I’m a little bit late reposting this as I was on vacation in a place with poor internet but will follow up shortly with this week’s new instalment. Two for the price of one. Almost.

Victim concept.

Author’s note: This article is based on the work of Dr. Ofer Zur and his attempt to draw attention to the need of studying victim-hood in order to help both victims and perpetrators. All quotes are from his paper on the subject, linked both above and at the end of the article. His work on the subject is available on his website and offers an excellent list of suggested further reading.

Culture has always tried to define its advancement on scales of morality. Superior morality has an unfortunate need for inferiors against which to measure and so we love to both judge and condemn in the personal pursuit of happiness. Such games have reached the status of entertainment in the modern world.

With each generation’s goal of raising the ‘quality’ of society by removing identified immoral elements the Western world in particular has ‘advanced’ to a point where more than 100% of society are deemed victims and we all want justice. We have become a Victim Nation scouring under rocks to find more people to blame.

Everybody wants to be a victim because if you’re not the victim you’re the bad guy.

Social justice organizations pop up daily like rodents in a carnival Whac-A-Mole. Every right they fight for assumes that right was denied through oppression and, invariably, requires a cloak of victimhood to gain sympathy. The inequality that victimhood claims to fight becomes an essential element of the movement to the point of embrace.

“Ironically, the rights movement often victimizes one group while liberating another. What seems to be a noble, justified, long overdue act of protecting a victim can easily turn to blame and warfare. When this happens, conflict, injustice, and victimization are perpetuated, and the possibility of resolution and healing is destroyed.”

Equality has become the focus of social justice for the last two decades. We are no longer content to accept that people are born with different characteristics and skill sets which make some stand out as leaders and others remain followers. While leadership is a desired quality, anything that makes someone different is no longer seen as good, it has become a source of evil. “In this Western worldview, inequalities and differences are often associated with injustice and victimization.”

It doesn’t require an act of injustice to make some people more or less fortunate. All it takes is birth. Inequality has always existed in many forms and will continue to exist. The social justice presumption is that inequality can be eliminated by somehow training or forcing people to become blind to nature. By removing some words from the dictionary we can make the concepts they represent disappear along with the descriptive tool.

We all know quality when we see it but we can’t say what causes quality to exist or exactly what makes one thing better than another. But we do know it when we see it. We also know that some ice cream is better than others but we haven’t asked Häagen-Dazs® to cease and desist.

If you carry the social justice principles to their conclusion we end up with some hilarious and disturbing results.

As long as someone in the world can’t read no one should write books. As long as there is someone without footwear none of us should go shoe shopping. As long as there is someone who can’t get a $200 haircut we should all use a Flowbee® or, as long as there is a bald man, we should all shave our heads.

When feminism fought against victim blaming they had some things right but they got the solution wrong. Dr. Zur describes this second approach as one which “also concentrates on blame; however it lays all blame entirely on men. This approach has been promoted by a brand of feminism, which holds the male dominated patriarchal system responsible for all the evils in the world. Whether the issue is wars and politics, domestic violence and sexual abuse, toxic dumps and the corporations, or nuclear weapons and the military industrial complex, the finger is pointed at men as the culprits. At the heart of this approach is the split between men’s aggressive and violent nature and women’s inherent goodness.”

Where there is good there must be evil. To feminists, women are good and men are the only convenient target to label as the evil enemy. The characterization of men as inherently violent and beastly is essential to maintaining the victim class of all women. While they insist that it’s not men they are fighting it’s the “patriarchy,” their plight is reduced unless the perpetrator is tangible. Patriarchy can’t be put in jail.

The insubstantial nature of the feminist foe makes feminism weak so every male crime with a female victim is hauled into the public media court to make the enemy flesh and blood. Patriarchy is the name but individual men are the bodies to be held accountable. To feminists, every man who commits a crime is an example of male oppression of women, while female criminals are called bizzarities and declarations ensue that “that never happens.”

“These two approaches of blame have not only failed to resolve the violence and suffering but in fact, as Zur’s paper explains, have tended to perpetuate and exacerbate them.”

If victimhood mentality doesn’t help women or society, why does it continue?

Personal benefit. Aside from the sense of moral superiority that they glean by being victims, feminists need resolution for a bigger problem: they have no justification to exist unless they have victims to save, a foe to blame, and a cause to write about. Feminists want to exist. They may be obnoxious but their stupidity is calculated.

“The culture of victimization is closely tied to what Amitai Etzioni (1987), a sociologist at Georgetown University, called the ‘rights industry.’” Among other service industries, psychotherapists and lawyers also stand to benefit from perpetual victimhood. They are the cheerleaders in an un-winnable game and as long as the game goes on they keep getting paid.

“In claiming the status of victim and by assigning all blame to others, a person can achieve moral superiority while simultaneously disowning any responsibility for one’s behavior and its outcome. The victims ‘merely’ seek justice and fairness. If they become violent, it is only as a last resort, in self-defense. The victim stance is a powerful one. The victim is always morally right, neither responsible nor accountable, and forever entitled to sympathy.”

Responsibility takes a lot of hard work and strength of character. It is not an innate skill, it’s learned… but not in Women’s Studies classes. Women are not born in a glass box, it is built around them by misguided ideology. Where feminists claim to liberate women by convincing them they are oppressed, all they’ve done is to teach women how to blame their personal failures on external sources. While it sells many books, blame has never built a house.

As unhelpful as feminism has been with their obsession over externalizing personal failure and inadequacy, they have successfully intimidated others into supporting their ill-conceived ideas. They’ve turned it into a fad. It’s the new black.

“The blame-victim approach is not confined to the rights or recovery movement. It is also at the heart of the legal system’s approach, which attempts to respond to injustice and violations by identifying and prosecuting the perpetrators and compensating the victims (Sykes, 1992; Hughes, 1993). The faulty part of this legal approach is the focus on simplistic, linear, short term, and face-value justice.”

Dr. Ofer Zur took a chance with his research. He notes that “[v]ery few writers have warned against the unrealistic and ultimately patronizing portrayal of victims of crime as total innocents” and admonishes that is it is a grave error to continue down the road that’s being paved.

“We have become a nation of victims, where everyone is leapfrogging over each other, publicly competing for the status of victim, and where everyone is defined as some sort of survivor.”

When victimhood is rewarded there will be no incentive for people to heal. While victims do exist and victimizers should be punished, the definition of what constitutes a crime expands exponentially to keep up with the number of self-identified victims. We now measure our status by how oppressed we are and can take a test to find out if our “privilege” is low enough to give us a voice.

The reason people only hear men’s anger and not their pain is that men’s pain competes with the pain of women. It’s harder to be taken seriously as a victim when your supposed victimizer is crying. Meanwhile, anger sounds oppressive and violent which lends to the promise of reinforcing the victim status of women as long as people only listen to the “tone” and not the content. That’s why A Voice For Men is constantly being criticized for tone instead of content.

As Zur says, “To understand better the dynamics of violent systems, we must first free ourselves from the binds of politically correct thinking.” Violence exists in both male and female form and as long as women continue their role in the cycle immune from criticism the entire system will endure. It’s not the tone that is the problem.

The MHRM is not engaged in a battle for victimhood champion, we are fighting to eliminate that victimhood mentality which is blocking true, positive social change. The MHRM is seeking to end the proliferation of false victimhood so that people can go about living truly empowered and healthy lives.

“An individual or group can win the battle, become the victim of the year, yet lose the war.”

Men have traditionally fought all the wars and taken on the main burdens of survival. They have built structured societies and put the very systems of government and justice in place to which feminists have turned to play their victim cards. Men have shouldered the responsibility of doing all those things and been so gracious about their possible mistakes they’ve allowed themselves to be turned into the enemy. Until now.

Feminism made a mistake when they picked a war with men. If someone saves you from a burning building you don’t accuse him of grabbing your ass while he carried you over his shoulder. What you might do is to hope you can save him right back if he ever needs your assistance.

But the victims of the world are all too busy feeling sorry for themselves to have thought of that.

Source: Rethinking ‘Don’t Blame the Victim’: The Psychology of Victimhood, by Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Also posted on A Voice For Men

MGTOWN

MGTOWN

 

Tumbleweeds rolled lazily across the plain as hooves beat a dusty path towards the hazy horizon. The morning sun kindled a coral flame that crept up the barn walls, settling in a halo over the main road then breaking into a golden blaze with the first crowing of a rooster. Three horses reigned to a restless halt, panting and snorting as the lead rider reached up to wipe the dust from the rim of her hat. She glanced at the wooden sign stuck into the dry earth. MGTOWN. Population 421.

“Second road to the left and straight on till morning.” Wisps of blond hair rustled in the warm breeze as Liz smiled at her companions. “Looks like we made it, girls.” Mel and Raven shifted uncomfortably in their saddles. Mel fluffed up her sweat soaked bangs and shaded her puffy eyes, gauging the remaining distance between her and a bath.

“I’m sure I’ve got a rash,” Raven complained. “Do we even know what kind of bushes we rode through? I heard lyme disease is a problem this year. I think I got a mosquito bite about an hour ago.” She shoved her hand under the layers of travel duds to scratch at her upper arm.

“I think I got a blister from these boots,” Mel sighed as she glanced back at the bulging saddlebags behind her. “And I can’t remember where I put my sunscreen, can I borrow yours, Liz?” Liz whipped her 85 UV blocker out of the holster on her hip belt and tossed it over.

“We don’t want to linger, there’s a probably a woman being raped right now in this two-bit town and she needs our help.” Liz held her hand out for the bottle of sunscreen, misted her own face with a quick spray then shoved it back in her holster with a twirl. She dug her heels in and the bloated gelding beneath her snorted then jumped into a trot.

Inside the Sheriff’s office, Joe Goodman watched his morning coffee drizzle its way into the carafe. He’d often wondered which he liked more, the happy gurgling noises of the machine or the smell of java as it wafted from the counter to fill the room. He kicked his feet up on the desk and leaned back in a lazy stretch. Except for the fundraiser being held that afternoon, his calendar was clear for the day and chances looked good that he’d be able to finish reading his novel. His well-trained ear picked up the approaching patter of horses in the distance. Deciding it was the delivery of whisky arriving for the saloon, Joe rose from his desk, sloshed some fresh brew into his mug and sauntered out onto the veranda.

The three feminists jostled in their saddles as they rode into town. Leading the trio, Liz’s ice blue eyes darted from side to side, sneering at the lack of imagination in the paint colours of the houses. She pulled her horse up a few feet from Joe’s doorstep and sniffed down in disdain at his amused, raised eyebrow. They stared at each other for a moment before he took a sip from his mug and turned back inside.

“Are you the Sheriff around these parts?” Liz’s shrill voice made him wince and Joe slowly swiveled in the doorway, glancing up at the clearly marked sign above his head. Liz shifted in her saddle to dismount. “Well, I need a word with you. Come here and help me down.” Joe took another sip.

“Nope. Don’t think I will.” He shook his head as Liz, Mel, and Raven fumbled about with stiff behinds in their expensive chaps layered over designer jeans that, for Raven, fit a little too tight because she hadn’t wanted to admit her true waist size. Mel cursed as her belt caught on a saddlebag and she clung desperately to her gelding’s neck to avoid falling while Raven hobbled over to unhook her. The horses skittered about until Liz managed to tether them to the hitching post. They collected themselves into a solid line with hands on hips, meaning business. Joe took another sip of his coffee then went back inside. Liz elbowed Mel to grab a binder out of one of the bags and waited impatiently with her hand held out. Brushing the dust from her jacket, she stomped into the Sheriff’s office with her cohorts in tow.

Joe was just putting his feet up again when Liz slammed the binder down on his desk.

“What’s that?” He had a sinking feeling that he wasn’t going to finish his novel.

“That is the damning evidence of your shoddy rape conviction record!” Liz glared at him accusingly.

“I’d imagine it is pretty shoddy, since I’ve never raped anyone. Just hasn’t made it on my ‘to do’ list.” He rested his cowboy boots on the binder and started rolling a cigarette. Liz grabbed the book from under his feet and opened it up to show him a chart. Joe rolled his eyes and squinted at the page as she jabbed a manicured finger at the bolded number circled in red.

“Don’t get smart with me, mister! Did you know that one woman in four suffers from rape and you only had one conviction in Mgtown over the entire last year? ” Liz took off her wide brim hat, shook out her blond locks and threw her hat on his desk in disgust.

Joe put his feet back on the ground, leaned over and flicked her hat onto the floor with the back of his hand. “Who are you clowns? And what will make you go away?”

“You can’t intimidate me, Buster! I chew up rape apologists like you for a living and you’re about to hit my dinner plate.” Liz grabbed her hat from the floor, snarled at the dirt that clung to it, and deftly snapped her binder shut with the other hand. Mel and Raven smiled gleefully in the background. “I want a list with all the names and addresses of the women in this district, I want safe space granted for my interviews, and I want three rooms with running water and a private bath for me and my associates. We’re not leaving here until we get to the bottom of this.” She tossed a business card at Joe’s head and he caught it mid-air.

Liz Fudd, President, Centre for Women’s Advocacy and Protection (CWAP)

“Look here, Ms. Fudd of CWAP, I haven’t let a woman tell me what to do in twenty-five years and I’m not about to start now. We’ve only had one rape in this town and it was a traveller that done it. As a result, we don’t take kindly to strangers so I suggest you turn yourselves around, get back on your neutered horses and ride your diva asses back out of town.” Joe stood up and refilled his coffee mug hoping he’d get a chance to actually enjoy the second cup. Mel shuffled out of his way with a limp. She should have picked boots with a softer leather. Raven was looking nervously at Liz, there was no way she was getting back on a horse until her rash had settled down. Surely they couldn’t make her do it.

Liz nodded reassuringly at her sidekicks. “You are a public servant and I represent the public. I’ve got legal documents here and a mandate to monitor every county until the number of men in jail matches the number of crimes against women!” She waved her binder in the air. Joe put his cup down and strode over to grab the book from her hand. He flipped through the pages and chuckled.

“Justice for wives? We don’t have wives, in Mgtown. And these aren’t legal documents. You wrote them yourself. It’s just CWAP.” He handed it back to Liz dismissively.

“These CWAP documents have just become law in this state. There’s a new sheriff in town, buddy boy.” Liz donned a smug grin and turned on her heel. Mel and Raven fell in behind her and they made their exit. She called back over her shoulder, “Feed our horses and bring me my list. I’ll be in the pub in two hours.”

They grabbed their luggage and headed for the nearest inn.

Closed signs whizzed down over store front windows as the women passed. Liz narrowed her eyes. “Looks like a town that’s got something to hide.” Raven had other things on her mind as she juggled Liz’s bags with her own while trying to dig out some baby powder. Liz whapped her on the back. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, girls.”

Three feminists walked into a saloon. The barkeep looked up. “Wine?” A finger was jabbed at his face.

“You sexist bastard! I haven’t even started talking yet.”

The barkeep raised his palms in the air, slid a full bottle and some glasses down the bar then moved as far away as possible. Liz surveyed the saloon and decided to claim a table in the corner for their interviews. Mel carried their beverages over while Raven squirmed at the idea of sitting and excused herself to find the ladies’ room. Liz chose a seat facing the door and started pulling out her questionnaires.

“No time to waste. A woman gets raped every 2 minutes and we’ve already been here for three hours.” Liz arranged her paperwork and looked for a pen.

As Raven returned to join her comrades, a group of ten women threw open the saloon doors and stormed in.

“Where are they?” A robust woman with cropped hair followed the barkeep’s pointed finger to Liz’s group in the corner. The townswomen, varying in size and shape but not in their anger, closed the distance quickly. Liz’s plastic smile quivered for a moment.

“Good afternoon, ladies. My colleagues and I are here to help you.” Liz straightened a paper stack in front of her on the table.

“Then fuck off. We don’t need you, we don’t want you, and you can pack your lies up to peddle your poison somewhere else.” A redhead in Doc Martins dutifully documented events on her camcorder.

“I understand your anger,” Liz calmly replied, “at least two of your group have probably been raped and never had closure.” She picked up a survey and held it out to a brunette who glared and snatched it from her hand.

“Bullshit.” Reading from the paper, the brunette laughed. “Have you ever been looked at in a way that made you sexually uncomfortable?”

“Yes,” Liz nodded, “you can be raped by someone’s eyes. And there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop it. Eye rape is real.” The ten women fell silent and stood staring at the CWAP table in disbelief. Liz felt a small victory. “That’s right, ladies, the men of this town may be raping you every day and you don’t even know it.”

The saloon doors were flung open as Liz was carried out over a shoulder with her buddies close behind. Her legs kicked as the townswomen transported her back to the hitching post. They strapped the saddlebags back onto the horses, shoved her papers into a side pocket and dumped her at the foot of the watering trough.

Joe sauntered out from his office with his novel in hand and chuckled as Liz sputtered and tried to regain her footing. “I see you’ve met some of our women folk,” he quipped. “How are the interviews going?”

Liz waved a fist in the air. She pulled her business cards out and started shoving them in nearby faces. “I’m a professional, damn you! Damn you all to hell!!”

Joe lifted up his cell phone. “There’s about 45 women in Mgtown. Would you like to meet them all at once?” Liz shot him a look intended to kill but the target was impervious. He smiled, “I’m not hearing an enthusiastic ‘yes’ so I’ll take that as a no.” He tucked his cell phone back in his pocket, cracked open his book again, and headed back inside. The last chapter was getting really interesting.

As the three visitors eased their asses back on their mounts, Joe waved to them from the doorway. “You can update your statistics when you get back. Our conviction rate is 1 for 1. That’s 100%”

“That’s impossible!” Liz retorted.

“It’s quite easy, actually. You just have to have a town that ain’t full of liars and leeches.” He tipped his hat as Liz slumped in her saddle and the three feminists rode off into the sunset.

Also posted on A Voice For Men