Quick-fire commenting on feminist articles: A cut-and-paste guide

Is writing articles about feminism a complete waste of time? Certainly for me it isn’t (I might not influence anyone, but I do find that WordPress controls my Ebay addiction). But for people in general – and proper writers in particular – what does writing a feminist piece achieve? It might earn you money, but will it change the minds of the people whose minds you really want to change?

Today I read two articles – one by Deborah Orr on No More Page Three, and another by Dina Rickman on Everyday Sexism – both of which I thought were great. I wouldn’t expect everyone to agree with them, but in many of the online comments it was clear that some of those commenting hadn’t even bothered to read the pieces. For them it was simply a matter of honing in on the subject matter and trotting out a pat anti-feminist retort (even if it completely misrepresented the writer’s position). And I couldn’t help thinking “what a total waste of time – for everyone involved”. And then I wondered whether these people wrote their comments – at once so offensive yet so familiar – from scratch. Because that’s perhaps the biggest waste of time there is. All the retorts are the same. How much more efficient would sexists be if they could streamline their article-commenting technique?

With this in mind, I’ve written a copy-and-paste guide to anti-feminist retorts, with extra tips on what to mention and what to avoid. No need to thank me – after all, that’s not what comment boxes are for.

On money and power (women losing out): The biological imperative waffle

Basic argument: Women might have a far smaller share of the world’s wealth and power, but that’s all down to them having babies and sod all to do with discrimination.

Useful terminology: hardwired, maternal instincts, part-time, lack of ambition, hormones

What not to mention: parental leave laws, sexual harassment, networking, anyone having ever made a business or political decision based on personal prejudice (this has NEVER EVER happened)

On money and power (women gaining ground): The dreaded pendulum metaphor

Basic argument: Women might have a far smaller share of the world’s wealth and power, but it’s not as small as it used to be – and that’s because “the pendulum” has swung too far in women’s favour

Useful terminology: emasculation, ball-breakers, high heels, Sex And The City, middle-class women, working-class males (esp. if you’re not one)

What not to mention: The fact that there is no such “pendulum”

On sexual objectification: The “choice” distraction technique

Basic argument: The women in porn films / lap dancing / posing on page three aren’t forced to do any of it

Useful terminology: choice, empowerment, the beauty of the female form, ugly feminists, jealousy, men being “the exploited ones”

What not to mention: The fact that women in porn films / lap dancing / posing on page three are sometimes forced to do it. Plus the fact that they’re not the only women in the world affected by this crap. Oh, and also the fact that the best wank stimulus ever remains the imagination.

On sexist language and imagery: The censorship lie

Basic argument: Feminists just want to censor everything that doesn’t fit with their agenda

Useful terminology: free speech, feminazi, shut the fuck up feminist bitch

What not to mention: Alas, the very fact that I’m telling you what not to mention just proves how right you are about censorship. Yeah, really.

On rape: The iPad/mobile phone/unlocked house metaphor

Basic argument: If you wave an expensive item around in a crime-ridden area, you’d bear some responsibility if it got stolen. It’s EXACTLY the same with women’s bodies and rape.

Useful terminology: risk, responsibility, reasonable, evil people, “rape is an abhorrent crime but…”, “no one’s blaming the victim but…”

What not to mention: the relationship between a woman and her body being somewhat different to that between a person and a completely separate material possession

On relationships: The old woman with cats cautionary tale

Basic argument: If you criticise anything about the way in which men and women relate to each other, you will end up a lonely old woman with lots of cats

Useful terminology: embittered, barren, Whiskas, litter trays

What not to mention: cats are totally ace, especially long-haired torties

On things you don’t actually understand: The smug-but-irrelevant quotation

Basic argument: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less,” said Humpty Dumpty to Alice.

Useful terminology: “that’s you, that is” (NB you can ring the changes by comparing feminists to chess-playing pigeons – the comparison here was originally with creationists, but it works for anyone, ever)

What not to mention: The fact that you have no idea what anyone else is talking about

On everything to do with women, ever: The random statement of priorities

Basic argument: There are more important things in the world than those which directly disadvantage half the human race and indirectly disadvantage the other half

Useful terminology: war, famine, pestilence, death, that sort of thing (there’s no need to bring in the four horsemen of the Apocalypse directly, but you can keep that on standby)

What not to mention: Anything that actually matters

Conclusion

Having pondered it further, I don’t think writing articles with a feminist bent is a complete waste of time. They do help to change people’s minds – for instance, Orr’s article articulated feelings I’ve had about Page Three but haven’t been able to put into words. Pieces such as hers give people confidence in their convictions, even if they don’t always bring about total turnarounds in others.

Anyhow, if you’re thinking of commenting on this, here are my suggestions:

Useful terminology: smug, irrelevant, “don’t tell me what to write (except now I can’t write that because you’ve told me to)”

What not to mention: Whiskas and litter trays – it only encourages me

29 thoughts on “Quick-fire commenting on feminist articles: A cut-and-paste guide

  1. I recently had a reader write in her blog that mine had “turned [her] on to feminism.” Totally worth every moment I have and will spend on it, including troll-management.:)

  2. ‘What not to mention: The fact that women in porn films / lap dancing / posing on page three are sometimes forced to do it.’

    Erm, how exactly would they be ‘forced to do it’? A far more credible explanation is that many women are attracted by the prospect of earning a lot of money in return for very little effort. After all, they could train as engineers, physicists etc., but that would take ten times the effort and pay less. The three fields you mention are the worplace equivalents of marrying a rich man. There’s no shortage of women attracted to all three fields, as well as other fields with a high income/effort ratio.

    Mike Buchanan
    ANTI-FEMINISM LEAGUE
    http://fightingfeminism.wordpress.com

    1. Are we to believe you’re completely unfamiliar with the concept of sex-trafficking and slavery or that you just don’t think it exists?

      1. Hi Rosie. I can refer you to a number of books – including ‘The Woman Racket’ and ‘Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism’ – which explore in forensic detail the sex-trafficking drives of the last Labour administration (1997-2010). It tutned out that almost without exception, the prostitutes concerned were freely working in the UK for economic reasons – the UK was quite simply an escape route from poverty in Eastern European and other countries. Of course I don’t say that sex trafficking doesn’t exist, merely that its incidence is far lower than militant feminists would have you believe (likewise male-on-female domestic violence and other manifestations of ‘evil men’).

        But to stick to the three fields mentioned in the original post, how on earth COULD a woman be forced to work as (say) a page 3 model? I understand there’s a very lengthy queue of young women desperate to show off their boobs on page 3. When women don’t make the choices feminists want them to make, there’s always a narrative of men ‘forcing’ them to act as they do. Feminists infantilise women with this narrative.

        1. When women don’t make the choices feminists want them to make, there’s always a narrative of men ‘forcing’ them to act as they do. Feminists infantilise women with this narrative.

          Damn – I forgot about that argument! First, I wrote some women, not all. Second, what infantilises women is to suggest that any choice they make is beyond any form of feminist critique simply because they’re women and hey, women making choices is “empowering”. Women are quite capable of making individual choices which have a negative impact on the status of women in general. This could be for purely selfish reasons rather than “force” – or it could be something in-between, whereby all options are conditioned by a broader context of disadvantage (for instance, do Femail writers really believe all the sexist crap they come out with?).

        2. GW, many thanks, Sorry, I’m not famliar with ‘Femail’ so can’t comment on that. I take your other points on board, but ‘a broader context of disadvantage’? Off the top of my head:

          1. Women retire 5 years earlier than men despite living (on average) 7 years longer – a 12 year retirement period gap.
          2. Full-time workers’ hours – women average 32hrs pw, men 39hrs (ONS, April-June 2012)
          3. 98% of workplace-related fatalities are of men.
          4. Suicide rate 3.5 times higher among men than women.
          5. Homelessness far higher among men than women.
          6. Drug addiction and alcoholism far higher among men than women,
          7. Women under 29 on average now earn more than men, as a feminised education system has push the % of undergraduates who are women to about 60%. Exam results have improved 26 years in succession, but everyone knows that standards have been dropping for many years.
          8. Negligible public funds directed to male-specific diseases e.g. prostate cancer, huge funds directed to female-specific diseases e.g. breast cancer
          9. All-women propsective parliamentary candidate shortlists from all three parties.
          10. Threat of quotas for women on boards despite clear evidence (Uni of MIchigan study) that this will harm corporate performance.
          11. Public services in crisis as a result of feminisation e.g. GP service. Over 0% of GPs now women. They’re far more likely than male GPs to leave the profession, work evenings and weekends, and work part-time (regardless of whether they have kids or not). So the taxpayer has to train more women and ends up with a poorer service.
          12. Some fathers still being denied access to their children by spiteful ex-partners.
          13. Women sentenced by the courts far more leniently than men.

          Seriously, what’s the ‘broader context of disadvantage’ for British women in 2012? All I see is relentless special treatment for women, regardless of the negative impacts.

    2. Mike – are you being deliberately obtuse?

      I think you should rename your organisation the ‘anti-women league’, and your blog ‘http://hatingwomen.wordpress.com. [Although to be fair they’re probably both already taken.]

      1. Thanks Adam. If anyone is being deliberately obtuse, it’s you, not me. You immediately hit the default position of seeking to shame anti-feminists rather than engaging with their arguments. Shaming is a waste of time with me, and with an increasing number of other men. There has been an explosion of anti-feminist sites, and anti-feminists are getting more vocal. When we present our arguments, fair-minded people quickly see they make sense. I was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 recently, interviewed by The Times, and much more.

        If you look at my blogs you’ll see there’s not an anti-women sentence in them (likewise my books), just anti-feminist material, and even then only anti- MILITANT feminist. To say anti-feminism is anti-women is ignorant and pathetic. Misandry coming from a man is truly sad, but hey, it must make you popular with the ladies. You must be proud of yourself.

  3. hah, great post. it’s both funny AND sad, especially since I’ve run headlong into all the arguments listed (all of which are really absurd).

    I guess all the trolls you get show that you really are doing a great job with your posts. So… ¡¡felicidades!!

  4. Hi Mike

    In typical fashion, you miss the point and instead seek to reframe the discussion to give yourself a forum to promote your own limited limiting ends.

    It’s not about shaming you. It’s about calling you out for what you really stand for and promote.

    You’ve broadened out what I said to make it apply to all ‘anti-feminists’. I was only talking about you. And by the way – are you ‘anti-feminist’ or ‘anti-feminism’?

    I think you’re hiding behind an ‘anti-feminist/feminism’ label because you can get some mileage and leverage from that. It wouldn’t serve your cause to call yourself ‘anti-woman/women’ – it would alienate too many people.

    I’ve had a read through some of your blogs. ‘Specious’ is probably the most generous I can be about them. Reading them, I just felt very sad. I don’t understand why you feel so threatened. I didn’t read all of your blogs, but in those that I did read – you’re right – I didn’t find any flagrantly anti-women sentences. But I did find lashings of anti-women sentiment, upon which all the sentences that you write are based.

    You’ve drawn the conclusion that I said that ‘anti-feminism is anti-women’. In fact, I implied that I think that you (singular) are anti-women.

    And since you mentioned shaming, your last paragraph is shaming par excellence! “To say anti-feminism is anti-women is ignorant and pathetic. Misandry coming from a man is truly sad, but hey, it must make you popular with the ladies. You must be proud of yourself.”

    ‘Ignorant’, ‘pathetic’, ‘truly sad’, thinly-veiled sexism, withering sarcasm. Bravo!

    Clearly, we will never agree on this stuff. Since this is a comments thread for a particular article, let’s talk about the content of that article instead.

    1. Adam, many thanks, and I apologise unreservedly for using shaming tactics myself. But the accusation of being ‘anti-women’ is used regularly to shame anti-feminists into silence (you may have noticed that tactic doesn’t work with me), even though you restrict the accusation to me alone. People who know me know I’m decidedly NOT anti-women. Ironically, I treat women as equals, which some women don’t like, preferring instead to benefit from men’s deference towards them. Very few anti-feminists are anti-women, in my experience. I know one man who was an active campaigner for Fathers 4 Justice for some years, and he says in all that time he never encountered a misogynist. Their resentment was limited to their ex-partners who refuse them access to their children. Indeed I’d say misogyny is a very rare phenomenon, while misandry is a common one (among both women and men) and becoming ever commoner. I’d go so far as to say misogyny is largely a female projection. Women assume that some men have a hatred of women in general, just as some women have a hatred of men in general. But it’s a delusion.

      Throughout my adult life (I’m 54) there’s been a cultural narrative in the UK – and, I believe from my researches, across the developed world – of ‘women good, men bad’, and people have been brainwashed by it. In 30+ years there hasn’t been (to the best of my knowledge) a TV programme, radio show, or major article in a leading newspaper critiquing the damage done by militant feminism. Maybe that’s why people don’t ‘connect the dots’. I came across a wonderful example of the phenomenon recently. All the male characters in ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy’ are dysfunctional, while all the female characters are admirable. In ‘Family Guy’ even the dog – Brian – is dysfunctional, being an alcoholic!

      Sadly, most men have also bought into the ‘women good, men bad’ narrative.. But more men are waking up to what’s going on.I don’t know how you can be anti-feminism without also being anti-feminist. After all it’s feminists who create the manifestations of feminism, such as ‘improving’ gender diversity on corporate boads, despite the evidence the initiative will harm companies:

      http://www.iea.org.uk/blog/the-gender-diversity-delusion

      But I agree, let’s move on and talk about the content of the article instead. GW made an intriguing point about the ‘broader context of disadvantage’, and in the space of a few minutes I submitted 13 examples of the opposite being the case – women benefit from a broader context of advantage. I asked for examples of women’s ‘broader context of disadvantage’ and I’m still waiting. Please don’t say the ‘gender pay gap’. Quite apart from the gap being in favour of women under 29, it’s been conclusively shown by numerous writers that the gap, while it exists, is the result of different life choices being made by men and women, combined with lies and manipulations of data by feminist ‘academics’. Swayne O’Pie in ‘Why Britain Hates Men’ does a terrific job of exposing those ‘academics’ as frauds, as have other authors. Only feminists seem unaware that those lies have been exposed as such, in considerable detail.

      1. The 13 points you make are awful – genuinely tragic. I think those 13 points show that the world does have to change, that people need to be judged on their own merit (not the merit of other people who are of the same sex). I hate the fact that my boyfriend would be seen as ‘a bit weird’ by a lot of men and women if he chose to stay home and look after a child we may/may not have in the future – extended paternity leave for men should be on your list.

        I think (I don’t know) that GW was referring to something we could describe as our ‘cultural set-up’. I see the effects of this all the time – limited choices for both girls and boys in education, choices made with reference to their sex rather than their talents. People referring to exams which cater for boys/girls rather than ‘pupils’. I dislike uniform policies which state that girls can wear skirts and trousers but boys can’t wear shorts – why can’t both sexes wear shorts in the summer and trousers in the winter? Having worked with children for a reasonable amount of time I can honestly say, hand on heart, that the main differences between the two sexes (bar the physical ones) are reflections of the society we’ve created.

        I remember reading about a particular tribe at university, an ethnographic study was conducted ‘on’ them.* They had viewed the obvious physical differences between men and women completely differently to us. After a baby was born the mother would recover and leave the village everyday, with other women, to ‘hunt and gather’ whilst the men stayed at home and looked after the babies/children – why? Well they were protecting the things most precious to them – their homes and offspring.** Their physical strength was used in a different way. These studies (there were more of them) were fascinating and demonstrated how we really do have the ability to project the sexes’ strengths and weaknesses onto the next generation in different ways – and how powerful that projection, or narrative (I liked that) is. I personally hate the ‘Madonna/Whore’ narrative society seems to project onto teenagers, or the ‘you’re a girl, you’ll do fine in your exams’ or ‘you’re a boy, it’s ok, you’re not meant to be good at coursework’. It’s a disservice; human beings, whatever the sex, are complex creatures and should not be simplified into categories in order to bring comfort/order into our lives.

        I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent – apologies – but I genuinely think your concerns are the concerns a lot of people (including feminists) have. I don’t want to speak for the author of this blog, but it would seem rather counter-productive and strange for her to promote or defend misandry considering she’s the mother of two boys.

        *I kept the article but it’s in a box labelled ‘uni stuff’ in my parents’ attic. I need to be more organised, sorry I can’t provide the name.

        **I don’t think this is a perfect set-up BTW – some men are physically weak and some women are physically strong – but they used a common denominator in a completely different way to us.

        1. EI, good evening, and thanks very much for an interesting and detailed post. Of all the manifestations of feminism to which I object, one of the worst is – in my view – the denial that most men and most women are gender typical. It’s led to a poisoning of relationships between the genders, in my view. Men and women are much more comfortable together where this delusion has yet to catch hold

          The idea that we’re born with a ‘blank slate’ for a brain has been so widely discredited (Steven Pinker’s ‘The Blank Slate’ is very insightful) that I recently heard a clinical psychologist state that adhering to the blank slate theory of human nature in 2012 is akin to adhering to the creation myth in the Bible rather than believing in evolution. Denial of gender-typical differences is, of course, a cornerstone of feminism. It’s just one more illustration of feminism being a faith position immune to rational chalenging. I refer you to the absence of a single illustration of discrimination against British women in 2012 on this blog piece.

          We see in our everyday personal lives that most (not all) men and women act in gender-typical ways. There are countless illustrations of this. Men’s fondness for pornography, women’s fondness for romantic fiction. I’m sure a few women like porn and there may even be some odd men who like romantic fiction, but they’re oddities. The attraction for women of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was surely that the man in the story is a billionaire. If he’s been a dustman, would the woman have been so keen to indulge in S&M? Hardly.

          Please don’t tell me women are as interested in becoming engineers as in becoming nurses. British governments have spent many millions of pounds over many years trying to persuade young women to become engineers, with minimal success (I understand over 95% of British mechanical engineering graduates are men, even today). Anyone who believes in the blank slate theory of human nature should also read Simon Baron-Cohen’s ‘The Essential Difference’.

          There’s a long history of feminist-generated ‘ethnographic studies’ showing men behaving in female-typical ways, and women behaving in male-typical ways. Non-feminist researchers seem unable to find these tribes. My favourite argument by one of these feminist ‘academics’ was that all such tribes were nomadic, hence the difficulty other researchers found in trying to track any of them down. Priceless. I’ll bet the feminists cracked open a bottle of champagne when they dreamed up that belter!

          Let me know if you ever track down the ethnographic study you mention, and email me the reference (contact details on http://fightingfeminism.wordpress.com). We’ve become adept at deconstructing feminist conspiracy theories, fantasies, lies, delusions and myths, maybe we should branch out into ethnography?

          I’m just about to go out for the evening, but I look forward in the morning to reading lots of examples of how modern British women are disadvantaged.

          Have a good evening.

      2. Hi Mike

        That’s not what the article was about. The article was drawing attention to the extraordinary amount of abuse that women writers receive in the comments sections of online articles. This is particularly the case when a woman writes about feminism, sexism, gender equality, misogyny, domestic abuse, sexual violence, and similar topics.

        The abuse includes so-called casual sexism (you might know it as ‘banter’), explicit misogyny, sexual insults, and threats of physical and sexual violence.

        The above is absolutely rife. It’s vile and sickening and disgusting.

        Men writers do not generally get the same treatment. The only men that sometimes receive similar comments are those that write about the topics I mentioned in the first paragraph – you would call them ‘Gender traitors: Men who collaborate with women to disadvantage men’. But the abuse that those men receive is not in the same ballpark as that which women writers are subjected to. It’s generally limited to generic insults and homophobic remarks.

        So that’s my take on the article.

        1. Thank you for this comment – I am rather ashamed that so much of what has been added by people commenting here is so much more detailed and authoritative than anything I originally wrote – which I will admit is rather flippant and more a commentary on failures to respond to women debating than a summary of the debates themselves (for instance the issue of choice and exploitation – Deborah Orr goes into this in detail, but then still gets comments along the lines of “but aren’t men the exploited ones?” – despite the fact that she’s already said she agrees men are exploited too…).
          Anyhow, it is ironic, really – I write a post about people not making proper comments on feminist pieces and I get far better comments than I deserve!

      1. Maybe I’m being too demanding here. Can anyone point me towards even ONE example of how British women are disadvantaged relative to men in Britain in 2012? I’m genuinely curious – I don’t know of any examples personally, Public policy direction, as and when it favours one gender over the other, invariably favours women over men.

      2. Hi Mike

        This comment [16 Sept 2012 3:03pm] exposes the transparency of your contributions. Maybe you should be more demanding of yourself?

        You aren’t aware of any examples of how women are disadvantaged relative to men in Britain in 2012, despite being genuinely curious about this? If this is true, you haven’t tried very hard (or even at all) to seek out such examples.

        The examples (both qualitative and quantitative) you’re looking for are (sadly) easily and readily available. Allow me to point you in the right direction, just to get you started – have a look into violence against women and girls.

        [TRIGGER WARNING] This link breaks down ‘violence against women and girls’ into sixteen different categories:
        http://www.thepixelproject.net/2010/12/05/its-not-just-domestic-violence-the-beginners-guide-to-16-types-of-violence-against-women/

        1. Adam, thre main sufferers from violent men are other men. In the home, female-on-male domestic violence is at least as common as male-on-female violence, this has been described as one of the most robust findings in the social sciences. Why are we fed lies about this? It’s a shaming tactic to ensure policy favouritism towards women,as Erin Pizzey has been pointing out for 41 years now. There are 400+ women-only shelters in the UK and 2 for men.

  5. I’m curious to why MB1957 is here when a large placard with angry red letters that scream “What about the menz!” would do nicely and contain a similar amount of useful content.

    1. ‘Arbourist’, good evening. I’m here in the hope of contributing to an adult evidence-based debate, and maybe encountering some new perspectives or arguments, thereby expanding my understanding. Your reason for being here would be…? So far you’ve contributed nothing but juvenile foot-stamping, while I’ve taken time and effort with my contributions.

      Perhaps you’d be so good as to inject some ‘useful content’ – to borrow your phrase – into the debate, which nobody else seems capable of providing. I refer you to my question about British women being disadvantaged.

      1. I’m here in the hope of contributing

        Lie. You come here to uncharitably espouse your noxious BS and derail the thread.

        thereby expanding my understanding.

        Understand this, the first step of *any* rational argument is treating the opposing point of view charitably. You have not in the past, and won’t in the future.

        ’ve taken time and effort with my contributions.

        Did you want a cookie for espousing the dominant narrative on a thread about feminist issues? Cookie earned!! Oh, then there is whole derail issue…cookie lost!!. Sad face for you.

        I refer you to my question about British women being disadvantaged.

        Teaching you about feminism 101 is not my, or the blog owners responsibility. You’re here JAQing-off and generally being obtuse (as noted before), which is of little use to anyone.

        So, again, thank you for your “What about the menz!” it has been carefully noted, carry on.

        My apologies to glosswatch, for continuing the derail.😦

  6. Hi Mike – I’ll begin by saying that I lived with a chemist, engineer and a vet at university so I’ll have to ignore this part of the post as my personal experience would skew my opinion somewhat!

    “Please don’t tell me women are as interested in becoming engineers as in becoming nurses. British governments have spent many millions of pounds over many years trying to persuade young women to become engineers, with minimal success (I understand over 95% of British mechanical engineering graduates are men, even today).”

    I also think it’ll take generations before jobs are seen as gender-neutral. Men as nursery nurses, women as engineers, men as primary school teachers (to an extent – this has been quite successful) etc. You might also like to look into (in detail) the role of a nurse nowadays, my sister tells a different story to the nice, feminine, caring role we often imagine. She tends to assist surgery and has ‘done battle’ in A&E on a Saturday night. I don’t deny that more women may prefer to train as nurses, but I think your point shows that it’s the social narrative/ideal we’ve built up around nursing that could attract women in our country – not the reality of the job itself.

    I also need to be honest with you and admit that I haven’t read Steven Pinker’s work – though I have now researched him. I think you may have misinterpreted my comment – I don’t deny (or claim, in fact – I’m pretty easy on the topic) that people are born ‘blank slates’, but that society shapes (not creates) us. I mentioned the ethnographic study (BTW it wasn’t a feminist study – it was used in a unit on Plato, long story) to point out that, ultimately, some believe that we are the masters of HOW we use our biological gifts/curses. The men weren’t ‘acting’ in a ‘feminine’ way, even by our standards. An over used example of this is reproduction. As a woman close to thirty my thoughts have turned to children – some may call this a ‘ticking clock’ which is solely biological, yet my mother had these thoughts at 25 and her mother at 21 (2WW put a stop to that though), this maybe due to differences to life-expectancy, but young women (girls in our opinion) have babies a lot younger in other parts of the world and may never experience the ‘ticking clock’ or maybe they do, but at 19?! Whilst my wish to reproduce maybe purely down to nature (logic tells me that a screaming small human would do nothing for my sanity) I think society/culture has shaped that urge somewhat – and people trying to work out when I’ll have the time to do it, life seems to fly by.

    Finally, as someone who couldn’t get past the first page of 50 Shades – I even googled the sex-scene pages – I don’t feel I can comment on this either – I just know that a lot of my male friends borrowed their gf’s copy…maybe we’re not comfortable with men enjoying erotica (however rubbish)? I would say the same for pornography – seeing people have sex turns some women on, but the social and political implications of pornography often turn women off as well. I also earn more than my bf and so do the majority of my friends, whilst a comfortable life-style is something I aim for I dislike this assumption that women are turned on by money – in fact, it turns me (personally) off. I, as someone that hasn’t read it, would assume that the money was used as a way to show the power-play in the S&M ‘relationship’, but again, I’m not sure, it’s just a hunch.

    Regarding the your request for an example of how British women are disadvantaged – was that aimed at GW or me? If the latter you might like to address why a woman’s (who you state are well educated etc.) earning power (over a man’s) starts to even out at 29? (Yes, I know it’s because women take career breaks for children – just look at the deeper social and political set up for why this happens.)

    On the off-chance you might want to read The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking by Lydia Cacho, if you haven’t already, and I’ll get the reference to you when/if I move!

    El

    1. EI, thanks for a very interesting response. Bit pushed for time, a few thoughts:

      – Pinker’s point is that people are NOT born as ‘blank slates’ – most people’s brains are hard-wired at birth. This even extends to morphology, and I understand an experienced pathologist can tell the gender of a brain’s owner with 95% accuracy.
      – experiments to raise children as gender-neutral (or even as the opposite gender) invariably fail, even before the child is exposed to the ‘wider world’ outside the home
      – I agree that money shows the power play in FSOG, so you have to ask yourself why women book buyers have turned it into the fastest-selling book of all time, despite all the critics saying it’s utter rubbish
      – there’s very extensive research evidence showing women have a preference for better-off men (it’s one reason why work so hard to advance themselves career-wise). But as women incresingly take over well-paid jobs, the pool of well-off men declines, so the number of women with the option of having a well-off partner declnes. I covered this in my critique of modern marriage, ‘The Fraud of the Rings’
      – I was asking anyone for examples of women being disadvantaged. The ‘gender pay gap’ to which you allude is the result of different choices made by men and women as I explain in ‘The Glass Ceiling Delusion’ and Swayne O’Pie covers at considerable length in ‘Why Britain Hates Men’, To say that women who exercise different choices are somehow disadvantaged by the consequences of their choices seems a little perverse to me.

      Nice to have a calm and rational exchange of views. I see there are two more posts for me to view. I wonder if they’ll be calm and rational too?

      1. It’s lunch-time so this is brief.

         -Pinker’s point is that people are NOT born as ‘blank slates’ – most people’s brains are hard-wired at birth. This even extends to morphology, and I understand an experienced pathologist can tell the gender of a brain’s owner with 95% accuracy. <—can't they identify the ethnicity too? Should we, using that logic, start dividing people like that as well? 
        – experiments to raise children as gender-neutral (or even as the opposite gender) invariably fail, even before the child is exposed to the ‘wider world’ outside the home <—- link to these studies? I'm led to believe that due to ethical reasons this sort of study was rarely conducted & if they were/are it's usually because the parents have made that decision prior to the study beginning, resulting in lots of variables. Again, I don't deny difference (between anyone) it's the application that concerns me.

        – I agree that money shows the power play in FSOG, so you have to ask yourself why women book buyers have turned it into the fastest-selling book of all time, despite all the critics saying it’s utter rubbish <—- yes, but what about a man visiting a dominatrix? A woman who engages in physical dominance to arouse a man surely screws with that theory? The authority figure – a boss, teacher, police woman – are all common male fantasies. Maybe we all, deep down, want to quit work and have the money to do so or someone to relieve us of decision making now and again.

        – there’s very extensive research evidence showing women have a preference for better-off men (it’s one reason why work so hard to advance themselves career-wise). But as women incresingly take over well-paid jobs, the pool of well-off men declines, so the number of women with the option of having a well-off partner declnes. I covered this in my critique of modern marriage, ‘The Fraud of the Rings’ <—– can you link it? (not your critique, the research). You may remember a study (I don't know how robust it was) hitting the headlines telling men that statistically the more housework they did the more sex they had. Women are better off (housework wise) single & men are better off in a couple (according to that study). Sucks, but it showed that men completing 'women's work' was a turn-on.  

        – I was asking anyone for examples of women being disadvantaged. The ‘gender pay gap’ to which you allude is the result of different choices made by men and women as I explain in ‘The Glass Ceiling Delusion’ and Swayne O’Pie covers at considerable length in ‘Why Britain Hates Men’, To say that women who exercise different choices are somehow disadvantaged by the consequences of their choices seems a little perverse to me. <—- your point is over simplified, you look at the choices people make and apply surface rationale. Women give birth (time to recuperate is needed for many if not all), yet men taking extended paternity leave (if, as you say, their partners are over 30 and earning less) after this period  isn't common & isn't viewed in the same light as maternity leave (this is unfair on both sexes and the children). I really don't think we can talk about choice (or free choice) when a number of restrictive conditions are placed on that choice. I know of women who remove engagement rings during interviews because there's an assumption that they may become pregnant. 

        I suppose it's similar to assuming young men in inner city areas, suffering from a poor upbringing & surrounded by gangs really have a free choice when deciding to join one or not – they certainly don't have the same choice as a young man growing up in a privileged  environment. You may think that's life and tough luck, but challenging these things would enable people to live a fairer (and often nicer – for all) life. 

        Nice to have a calm and rational exchange of views. I see there are two more posts for me to view. I wonder if they’ll be calm and rational too? <—- I think a lot of people become frustrated, your comments would – if the world decided you were right – really affect the life I, and everybody else, leads. I would be horrified if my sex held me back (more so than it has – I'm still annoyed that I couldn't stay over on shooting camp as a kid – it was a 'boys' thing, even though I was the best! That really sucked ;)).  

        P.s I can't re-read my comment – on a phone – but it's probably best that I comment on your blog when you next post and continue our chat there, we are being quite rude. 

  7. I was planning to comment on the actual blog post but ended up reading the major comment derailment instead. Conicidentally, I read the word ‘misandry’ on blog comment a few weeks back and had to google it to see what it meant. I was surprised that it had taken me 38 years as a man to discover this word when it is clearly such a plague on my brothers and brothers.

    Back to the original post for a minute. I found your point about rape particularly relevant and distressingly true as I feel I have heard that argument too many times. Rape is rape. Not much else needs to be said.

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