Ginko, I have another feminist you can rip to shreds. Or rather, another idealogue who typifies the empathy gap I mentioned to them.
After listing privileges males have and detailing what women struggle with, I had this to say in response:
“Yes, you have struggles and areas in life that aren’t respectful to your basic humanity.
But in all of this, you realize there is one thing you have that no man on this earth will ever have, and likely never will judging by our long storied history.
Let me lay it out for you:
Every single problem in that list has programs, support groups, and media attention addressing it. Especially in terms of violence against women. I can count beyond my two hands the number of PSAs and coverage violence against your gender receives, not to mention the level of funding bank rolling it from the government.
Now what does a man like me have in regards to empathy?
1) Get hit/abused by a woman
Empathy: “How can you let a woman hit you?”, “HA HA HA, what a wuss!”, “You’re bigger than her, capable of handling such a frail petite little girl like that”.
2) Get hit/abused by a woman than retaliate in self-defense before it escalates.
Empathy: “Oh my god, you monster!”, “Never hit a woman!”, “You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent…” and so on.
3) Get falsely accused of rape or domestic violence by a vindictive woman with a grudge
Empathy: “She’s right.”, “You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent…”, “We don’t want your kind around here.”
4) Speak out against women slanderously insulting men.
Empathy: “Oh quit your whining!”, “What about the MENZ!”, “It’s not about YOU! Stop making it so!”, “Check your privilege!”, “Men have all the power. Consider yourself lucky!”
5) If, as a boy, I am physically bullied and hurt by a girl/group of girls.
Empathy: See #1
6) If, as a boy, I am physically bullied and hurt by a girl/group of girls then defend myself physically.
Empathy: See #2. “NEVER. HIT. A. GIRL!”
7) I am a boy being left behind in education.
Empathy: “Only minority boys. White boys fair better.”, “It’s not an issue”, “Stop taking attention away from the girls”.
8) I am a boy/man getting told my gender is responsible for war, violence and general damage being done to the world then express my hurt.
Empathy: Well, see #6 with an additional “It’s only fair. Now you know how it feels after girls and women were oppressed for thousands of years!”
Get the idea?
You talk about male privilege but don’t even bother to delve deeper and see that men are in the same boat with items on your list in a different way.
With the ultimate difference being: Empathy Apartheid.
Now you’re a feminist, right? Why is it that the movement, when faced with the severe level of empathy dolled out towards your gender compared to the expired scraps dumped from the garbage bin to men, didn’t address this? And when those who did, why did the movement write them out of existence?
Answer that. Because from my end, you lack basic awareness of how much empathy and support you’re given compared to someone like me regarding your problems.
And when men attempt to address their needs as a collective, they get misinterpreted and labeled sexist. Some even have their careers threatened and reputations slandered.
Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?
And you know what’s worse: This empathy gap is never going away any time soon. Because it’s a part of mankind. Men and women are more empathetic to women. Period.
And the feminist movement, or at least some segment of it, used this empathy gap for their selfish gain with not a single protest from others.
I know this sounds harsh but if you step into my shoes for a just a brief minute, you’d understand just how much this slap in the face, this empathy gap, makes me so depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts if I spare more than my burdened train of thought can muster.
Yet here I am in the world, putting on my sunday best, pulling up my bootstraps and being a model citizen. Just like many tell me. “Hey, just count your blessings. Find a hobby, an interest, get involved.” Just another way of telling me to be another mindless drone. Even my current psychiatrist recommended we focus less on what has happened to me in the past and on the present. “Don’t dwell on it too much.”
See what I mean? You get the programs, the support, the media backing, the mucho denaro, a nice little Department for Women and Girls in The White House.
What do I get? A mask to wear, just my size, for the betterment of the community.
There’s my opinion. Take it for what it is.”
And this is the idealogue’s response.
“First of all, as far as empathy is concerned, I mentioned several times in most of my comments in this thread that I believe it is horrific and cruel that men anywhere have to undergo circumcision. I am the sort of feminist that believes there is a place in feminism that addresses men’s rights, but as a whole, I am a feminist because I am interested in addressing the ways in which women specifically are disenfranchised in the society we live in.
I was asked to provide a list of ways I and many feminists believe men are privileged. Your comment is so full of hostility that in all honestly it makes it difficult to take seriously. You seem to be operating under the impression that I have no interest in extending the same empathy I am shown to men, and if that is in fact the case, it is because I was not asked anything that would have required me to discuss those opinions of mine.
I think men should have as much access to recovery and trauma care as women have, and believe there is no excuse for why such centers don’t exist.
Also, I know of zero instances in my personal life where a woman falsely accused a man of raping or assaulting her when it in fact did not happen, but I know of several friends of mine, let alone acquaintances who have actually been raped. Has it happened to you/do you know of one man who has been falsely accused of rape? Do you have any idea how much more frequently women are actually raped in proportion to the number of men who have to endure false rape accusations? Or that a very small proportion of men who are raped are actually raped by women? The U.S. Justice Department estimates that false rape accusations occur at a rate of less than 2%. I’m guessing you aren’t a part of that two percent, in which case that instance of disenfranchisement does not apply to you. If you have in fact been falsely accused of rape or sexual assault, then I am genuinely sorry you ever had to deal with that. I think it is wrong that women falsely accuse men of rape because I believe it takes the focus of of women and men who were actually raped.
Along the same lines, I fully understand and admit that domestic/violent abuse at the hands of a woman against a man is something that happens, and is something that should be put to an end. Are you someone who has endured such violence at the hands of a significant other? I don’t say parent or familial member, since I think girls and boys endure physical abuse at statistically insignificant equal numbers. As wrong as I truly believe it is that anyone endure domestic abuse from their significant other, about 7.4% of men in the U.S. reported being physically assaulted by a partner. On the flip side, about 22% of women have reported being physically abused by a spouse. Yes, men are subject to experience physical violence in large numbers, but they are less likely to be physically hurt than women. That being said, as many as 1 in 5 women report attempted or acts of rape, and as many as 48% of assault cases go unreported. Do you still think women have too many shelters to go to when they feel in danger?
(Again, I am not saying that men shouldn’t have shelters to go to, but empathy doesn’t seem to be doing much to stop women from getting raped does it?)
As far as your 4th point is concerned, I hate sexism wherever it appears, and personally, I regularly call out anyone that I feel is unfairly insulting someone based on gender alone, whether they are a man or a woman speaking out against men or women. At the end of the day, I hear more people calling each other bitches, pussies, cunts, and little girls more than anything else as a means of insulting (playfully or no) another person. You have the privilege of not having your entire gender used as a set of common slurs which equate with inherent weakness. Yes, there’s dick, but even I still think that’s wrong and that gendered slurs are bad. As a dude, you probably have no idea what it’s like to hear so many people around you use your own gender as a slur.
In regards to your 5th and 6th point, WHY IS IT NOT FUCKED UP TO HIT ANYONE AT ALL?? Whenever men point this out, I can’t help but think that they are just pining to nail a woman in the face because that’s a threat they have to deal with, a threat that is imposed BY OTHER MEN. As I mentioned in a previous comment, my boyfriend was an infantryman and a goddamn sniper in the US Army for 4 years, and even he never responded with violence when that’s what he was met with before joining the army and being flung into combat (what he called the most aggressive, testosterone-fueled environment in existence). Why is physical violence necessary, ever, against anyone? I don’t think anyone should be hit, period.
In regards to your 7th point, what mechanism, exactly, is it that is disadvantaging you at the educational level? Women are receiving 56% of college degrees in the U.S. Do you really think it’s unfair that men are no longer getting the most degrees?? 85%+ of the U.S. Congress is made up of WHITE MALE AMERICANS. Would you dare to tell me that women aren’t being left behind in our COUNTRY’S legislature?? College attendance is the most equal it has ever been.
For your #8, as a feminist and logical human being, I disregard such overwhelmingly generalized terms, and think that thousands upon thousands of years of warfare ingrained into our very species is what is responsible for so much chaos and war. I personally do not blame it on one gender or the other, so you can count me out of that discussion. Have you personally had to fight in a combat zone? Have you personally had to endure what it’s like to send a loved one or a significant other to war for a year? If you can respond yes to any of that, then my god, I am so sorry you had to endure that, ever. I cohabit with someone who has given years of his life to combat and did nothing but support him in ever way I could while he was overseas. The forces that lead us as a species to go to war against each other are much, MUCH more complex than mere gender, and I will fucking argue that point every time.
I as a feminist address issues the men in my life (who are willing to open up) face every time I discuss my own issues. You are coming into this discussion accusing me of ignorance, and assuming you have me pegged. You do not understand the first tenet of feminism if you believe it means to be automatically anti-male. I think men should have just as much access to trauma care as women, but at the core of my feminist beliefs, I believe women and men should be regarded as equals and that women are inherently equal not better than men, they just aren’t treated as such in the ways that matter the most economically and socially. You are talking to me as though I have placed women on a pedestal of greatness that men can’t touch, but it is people like you and comments like yours that try to pigeon-hole me into a corner I was standing nowhere near in regards to what I believe. I as a white woman understand fully that I belong to the most privileged race that has ever existed, and yet am able to observe that privilege because I actually want to use it to help advance those whose voices don’t have as much resonance as mine in this society. Unlike you, I am actually willing to and in this discussion have list the ways in which I am privileged as a woman, I just happen to believe that, when it comes to my personal dreams and goals, life would be a bit easier if I was a man.
You ask me to step in your shoes as if I have never had a profound discussion with the men in my life that I love so much about their struggles, and as if I don’t as the men around me about what makes their life hard. If you are a man who has experienced any one of the issues you have dealt with on a daily basis, then I wish you nothing but the best, and hope beyond hope that you can get the help, or access to the help that I believe you deserve. You wear the mask you accept. I refuse the one I am told to wear every day just so that I can try to reclaim my confidence every day. The literal image of a perfect woman is plastered everywhere for me to study, especially on this website. I volunteered for nonprofits that benefited both abused men and women, and did what I could to ensure that everyone felt welcome no matter what their circumstance. When is the last time you did something tangible to help men, besides write tirades against feminists you claim to know so well?
Do you blame me for responding so aggressively when I’m met with so much aggression? Jesus.”
Let’s go through the list of stereotypes they fit:
1) Claiming they emphasize while throwing bogus statistics in the critic’s face. Aka “I know this is an issue but women have it worse…”
2) Believing False Rape is not a big deal since they know men who have never been falsely accused of rape. Aka (False Rape Accusations is not a big deal because…well it doesn’t happen in my world)
3) Blaming men and emphasizing men as the problem. AKA (“It’s done BY MEN!”)
4) “People shouldn’t be hitting each other”. Yup, always brings this out when there’s still “Boys don’t hit girls” and girls allowed to get away with physically abusing boys.
5) And the cherry on top: Bragging about what they do in real life, all the good deeds for men and women, as if it absolves them of of their dishonest, ignorant bias. Then snarkily asking what the critic has done in equal measure in their life.
Gingko, do another feature on this like you did the previous one. But unlike last time, I’m not going to fold. Just take a break and post less often.