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comment by aidrocsid
aidrocsid  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Rape Is Sincerely Hilarious

Sexism inflates the perceived agency of men and deflates the perceived agency of women. This means that people take men more seriously than women when it comes to things they do or things they're responsible for. Women, on the other hand, because they're seen as lacking in agency are viewed as vulnerable, so while they're not taken seriously when they act they are taken seriously when they're acted upon.

This, to me, is the fundamental dichotomy of sexism.

When I say that women are given a pass by sexism, I mean that women's decreased perceived agency leads not only to them being taken less seriously when they do something positive, but when they do something negative as well. Take, for instance, the sentencing gap which gives women a significant discount in terms of prison sentences for the same crimes as men. The reaction to women abusing men is also massively different from the reaction to men abusing women. Domestic violence services also tend to discriminate against men. Some abuse hotlines even forward men who call them to batterer's hotlines. Some men are even arrested when the police show up to their houses after they've been abused.

These are symptoms of a society that does not respect female agency or male vulnerability.

So how does patriarchy theory tie into this? By emphasizing sexism instead of attempting to eradicate it. What does patriarchy theory say about society? It suggests that all or nearly all the power in society, as if power were a straightforward and easily quantifiable finite resource, is in the hands of men. Not just individually, either. It's quite demonstrably true that most of the richest people and most of the government of the United States (and probably many other places) are male, there's really not much argument to be had there. What patriarchy theory does, though, that goes beyond that is to suggest that this is demographically significant to men who are not, in any sense of the word, "powerful". It looks at the top, but it fails to look at the bottom. It doesn't realize or doesn't care that nearly all of the people who die at work or at war are men. It doesn't matter that men are overrepresented in prison or in the homeless population (especially the long-term homeless population). None of that, by the way, seems to be harming all those rich male leaders of government and industry. They step over the corpses of the working class regardless of gender, though statistically mostly the males.

That, to me, is the first reason I'd say patriarchy theory is sexist. It's based on the premise that the most downtrodden men somehow benefit directly from the most successful men as if gender created a cohesive division of interest among the species by which all benefit from their "own" gender "winning". Basically, it's a sports rivalry but everybody keeps the mascots in their pants. I'm not into it.

But what you asked was why I said patriarchy theory perpetuates sexism or contributes to it or something. Not just why it is sexist, but why it makes sexism worse. Well first, you can easily see, I'd think, how building your narrative around dismissing half of your problems with sexism out of hand could be construed as not doing a great job of combating it (the first rule of patriarchy club is that gender must be a distinct power stratification with women on bottom) . More importantly, though, patriarchy theory is basically just sexism copied and pasted.

Unless you disagree with all that stuff I said about what sexism is in the beginning there (which maybe you do!) then it's pretty obvious, I'd say, that patriarchy theory is just basically agreeing with sexism. Genders addressed as distinct groups with distinctly different needs, abilities, and outlooks? Check. Men have all the power and not much vulnerability? Check. Women are super vulnerable and need protection from a world in which they have almost no agency? Check.

That might be great if you live in a country where the laws are actually built around oppressing women. As in, you're not allowed to vote or you can't drive a car or you can't own property or people stone you to death for getting raped. These are things that most certainly do exist in the real world, and in those contexts I'd say patriarchy theory at least makes a lot more sense. In America, though, where I mostly hear about this idea from, women are overrepresented on college campuses. Most of what's left of the wage gap is made up of dangerous jobs that women don't want and insanely demanding schedules that women (in what I personally think is the intelligent decision) tend to reject. There are still a few states that have some really backward laws about birth control and abortion, but that's about the only element of what you might call institutional sexism that's still codified in law in the United States.

How, at this point in the game, does it benefit anyone to pound away at this narrative that women are being held back by sexism in a way that men just aren't? Wouldn't it be better to eliminate all the unnecessary contention from anti-sexist thought and activism by not kowtowing to a narrative that's never really gotten the whole picture and that in many places is so antiquated as to be more of a hindrance than a solution?

To me the solution would be to encourage people to treat one another the same regardless of petty demographic information. I mean, that's the goal, right? We want everyone to be treated based on their character rather than mere biological chance. That's what I want, anyway.

  
TL;DR (I hope not): Treating men and women as if they had levels of agency and vulnerability as per sexism's assumptions is itself sexist. We should be trying to combat it by treating men and women as if they were the same in terms of agency and vulnerability.




tla  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What you're talking about is the feminist theory of "Patriarchy hurts men too". It's not a new concept to contemporary waves of feminism, it's been around for decades, and it is crucial to these waves.

People who don't subscribe to this theory are bad at feminism. Just like they're bad at feminism if they disregard the plight of trans folk, or other Gender and Sexual Minorities as irrelevant. Just like they're bad at feminism if they disregard how race amplifies non-racial inequalities. These are all things that appeared in Second Wave feminism. That doesn't make earlier feminism irrelevant, it just made it less effective. It maintained various status quos in the facets of power that exist in society. arguewithatree points out that this has a name; it's called Kyriarchy. Patriarchy is a benefactor of Kyriarchy.

Sexism goes both ways indeed, and it won't be gone until the patriarchal imbalance is, with its benevolent sexism encouraging the demure domesticated woman and the strong industrial/warrior man. Tradition they call it. It is rooted in biblical text and everything. It sprouted a culture where men protect the virginity, faithfulness and safety of their "possessions" from other men. I can assure you the people who formulated this society based on biblical values weren't women. They weren't allowed.

These people in power, they sure as hell aren't going to listen to the women whose agency they've stunted, lest they lose even more control. And they're sure as hell not going to give vulnerability to men, because they don't want to be vulnerable themselves. They police masculinity just as much as they police femininity. They discourage men from pursuing nurturing careers, and outright banned women from combat roles in the military. They privilege the successful masculine man, and punish as "bitch" the ambitious entrepreneurial woman. They privilege the submissive feminine woman, but scold as "girly " the man who rejects the traditional masculine framework. They teach men to fear being labelled, and women to fear men.

It is people in power who are denying men's vulnerability and casting them aside if they are vulnerable. It is people in power in power who are keeping agency from women. It is people in power who are setting the standards for society. It's not sexism to point out that it is overwhelmingly or ultimately men who are in power, or that because of this they need to lead change or share the power with those who will.

In an amazing coincidence, as patriarchal dominance is slowly eroded, there are shifts in perception, barriers are being broken down, and things are changing.

"Patriarchy theory" isn't a feminist theory. It exists almost exclusively as a concept in anti-feminist arguments. It is designed to discredit feminism by twisting logic and painting a straw argument, a "straw feminist" so to speak. It is used to imply that feminism is about are running around screaming "sexism" and "privilege" every time they don't get their way while ignoring that men sometimes have bad luck too. Are there people who identify as feminists who do this? Sure. Are they the majority and is it the basis of feminism? Hells to the no.

Feminists don't expect men in homeless shelters to overturn sexism. They expect the privileged men and women in politics and the courthouse to.

aidrocsid  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm aware of the concept. I don't really care too deeply what the ideological underpinnings for their personal justifications are as long as people do actually treat people equally. Personally, conceptually, I don't think patriarchy theory is great, but it doesn't, like offend me. Stuff like that whole #killallmen thing and some of the stuff you see around places like reddit mocking male victimization, though, does bother me. It's when people take it to the point that they start treating some people poorly or ignoring the things that happen to them simply because of their gender that I think there's a problem.

    "Patriarchy theory" isn't a feminist theory. It exists almost exclusively as a concept in anti-feminist arguments. It is designed to discredit feminism by twisting logic and painting a straw argument, a "straw feminist" so to speak.

So who are all these feminists defending patriarchy theory then? Are you saying it's not a theory that's essential to feminism? Because I most certainly have conversed with buckets of feminists who believe in the patriarchy.

If we're discussing whether or not power is socially stratified along gender lines what are we discussing?

tla  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Patriarchy is a concept in feminism. "Patriarchy theory" is a phrase that was coined in anti-feminist circles. I would guess that most feminists think you're merely referring to the former when you say "patriarchy theory" as they don't know the etymology of it.

arguewithatree  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I would guess that most feminists think you're merely referring to the former when you say "patriarchy theory" as they don't know the etymology of it.

That would be me. TIL.

captain_nemo  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Same here

aidrocsid  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How do you have a meta conversation about patriarchy then? If I say "patriarchy theory" it's quite clear from those two words that I'm discussing ideas about patriarchy rather than patriarchy itself. And if we're talking about a criticism of feminism, shouldn't we expect a bit of terminology from the people who criticize feminism?

tla  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Criticism of feminism and anti-feminism are two different things.

Feminism does self-criticize. Like any movement, it needs to continually evaluate its effectiveness and evolve. That's why we've had "waves" of feminism. Feminists should continually "examine their privilege". Everyone has privileges. Some have more. Some privileges are more significant than others. Feminism is about letting everyone have a fair go but recognizing that women can't help that happen for others unless women in general catch up and the most powerful women have the same influence that the most powerful men do. In the same way, women can't catch up if they leave some women, such as Women of Color, behind. And Women of Color can't catch up if Men of Color can't. Feminists who don't recognize this are not building an effective feminist movement.

Anti-feminism wants feminism abolished. It doesn't want it to change, it wants it gone. Why? Because it's disrupting the status quo and thus it's not about putting men first. Sometimes they want feminism abolished because it's encouraging women to seek and keep careers that aren't "housewife" and "parent" and thus men will have to do more (or anything) in those areas. Other times it's more nefarious and centered around how assault prevention is costing men a "right". Even women succumb to this ideal. Sometimes it's a form of Stockholm's Syndrome. Sometimes they just have good lives and they are convinced they will be forced to change by becoming the exception to the norm.

aidrocsid  ·  2287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Personally, I don't really fall into either of those categories. I think that there's a lot of good in feminist action and some of the academia, I really like Judith Butler's work for example, but the whole general idea of gender stratified power is something I just don't think is accurate. I'd say it's a massive oversimplification and the lived experiences of most people invalidate it. I honestly don't see the label of feminism or the concept of patriarchy that it carries with it as being compatible with a solution to sexism.

That doesn't mean that I don't want to disrupt the status quo or I want to put men first or that I want women to be housewives. It means that I don't think we can successfully eradicate sexism while holding up the banner of a single gender.

What do you mean by assault prevention costing men a right? Are you referring to laws that dictate how domestic abuse calls are handled? Personally, as someone who's been a victim of domestic abuse, that's important to me. I know some men wind up arrested when the cops show up after they've been beaten. That's not okay. I don't expect that that's what you're referring to, but I'm not familiar with this particular line of argument here so I really have no idea.

At any rate, I don't sort into either of those piles. I think sexism happens to everybody and we need to stop expecting certain behavior from one another on the basis of our gender. I don't think that can be done from the context of a narrative that can't let go of the old agency/vulnerability dichotamy, though.

tla  ·  2287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    What do you mean by assault prevention costing men a right? Are you referring to laws that dictate how domestic abuse calls are handled?

No. Some anti-feminists think rape was a male right that feminists stole. It's a major MRA talking point.

aidrocsid  ·  2287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Never seen that discussed, but I stopped reading MRM stuff years ago so I guess it's possible. Pretty nasty.

Did you have a response at all to any of the rest of that?

tla  ·  2287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Why are you denying the stratification of power? Is this really about which gender the poorest person in the world is? It's not a competition, and it's not what stratification of power means. The super majority of positions of power and societal influence are held by men. Men as a whole hold more power than women since powerful women cannot outvote powerful men. That means that women raising an issue that affects women don't have representation.

If men are the most downtrodden it isn't because women do it. It's because men do it. It isn't based on sex. It's based on class. It's based on people like Trump casting away anyone who failed at something.

If you still can't believe in the stratification of power favoring patriarchal society, then I have better things to do than sit here repeating myself.

aidrocsid  ·  2287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Because power isn't clear cut or stratified along gender lines. Want to see what clearly stratified power looks like? Compare white and black populations in the US. You have less access to education, greater rates of imprisonment, greater rates of homelessness and poverty. Across the board. Not one stat has white people coming out worse off than black people in the United States.

Yet when it comes to men and women, the discrimination is all over the place. Women make less money but they're overrepresented in college. Positions of power are more likely to be occupied by men, but so are prison cells or the graves of dead workers.

I will happily once again repeat the issue that you've yet to address. No other intersectional axis is in this situation. Every other example where we know power is stratified does not look like this. Instead we have to jump through hoops to maintain a narrative. That's not a clear stratification of power between genders. Men are more empowered in some ways, women more empowered in others. Again, this is the only intersectional axis along which anything remotely like this happens.

One more time, explicitly. I deny power stratification between genders because nowhere else where we see clearly stratified power do we see discrimination against parties on both sides of it. Nowhere. Not once.

tla  ·  2287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Stratification doesn't have to be clear cut to be stratification. What you're doing is still arguing for a men-first approach. You want to think you aren't, but you are.

aidrocsid  ·  2287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The moment that you tell me what my point is is the moment that I bow out of the conversation, because good faith has just gone completely out the window. Cheers.

arguewithatree  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

woof wall of text!! i'm grateful you put in this much effort :). let's see if i can cogently put all my thoughts together here.

I think you some good points about patriarchy theory reinforcing sexism. I think it's a good way to introduce the issue of power imbalances by holding a mirror to the issues of agency/vulnerability but it stops short of being completely successful because of its sort of entry level nature. The absence of intersectionality in feminist theory severely limits the narratives and potential for change and reform even amongst women. I think kyriarchy is a better, more enveloping sense of theory that accounts for the multiple, intersectional sources of power beyond simply gender.

However, I disagree with your interpretations of institutional gender oppression. Just because a standard of treatment isn't codified in law doesn't mean it isn't structural. There are many sexist social practices that continue to be perpetuated and continue to hold women (and, by proxy, men) back. It does boil down to the same assumptions of agency and vulnerability but that doesn't make them any less real.

That said, I think it's not possible to do away with entry level theories like patriarchy theory because there will always be a segment of the population that can't or won't understand the massive overlapping webs of institutional oppression. Theory is inaccessible to many and explaining it in simple terms is often a better way to begin a conversation with people outside of academia, which I would argue is the larger portion of people participating in a society.

aidrocsid  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Just because a standard of treatment isn't codified in law doesn't mean it isn't structural. There are many sexist social practices that continue to be perpetuated and continue to hold women (and, by proxy, men) back. It does boil down to the same assumptions of agency and vulnerability but that doesn't make them any less real.

  
I'd certainly agree that there are many sexist social practices still in effect. What I take issue with is the presumption that women are the primary victims here or that when it comes to sexism men are only being held back, as you say, by proxy. We don't live in anything like a post-sexist society. Our society is still quite sexist, but it's not sexist in a way that stratifies power along gender lines.

This is where I take issue with the surrounding of patriarchy theory with intersectionality in order to, as I see it, more or less prop up this idea of cleanly stratified power dynamics when it comes to gender by comparing it to all these actual very clear stratifications of power.

For example, what I think is the most important intersectional axis (and unfortunately the one that seems to be most ignored), economic privilege, is incredibly clear cut. You don't gain anything special by not having money or lose anything by having money. Wealth is great for everybody and there's a clear disadvantage that comes with not having access to it.

Sexuality is another one that we can pretty easily see one group has a clear advantage over the other and there are no roads going in the opposite direction. You don't get a leg up on straight people in any way by being gay or bi. The same can be said of sexual identity. Trans people don't get a leg up on cis people. No ambiguity. Even straight people crashing gay bars are told to fuck off at worst. Maybe the supreme court decides down the road that you have to sell a cake. Nobody's beating the shit out of you or making up special words because they hate you. This is easy to see.

Race is a little less straightforward. Where do Asians fit in on our privilege scale? Are Jewish people white? What's the deal with Rachel Dolezal? I think if you have a remotely coherent picture of American demographics you'll realize that something's wrong with the way we treat black people, but that's about the only thing that's clear about race. Things are murky here, partly because a vague combination of skin color and nationality that has nothing to do with genetics is a weird way to classify people. At any rate, we're still in the territory of at least being able to identify a clearly disadvantaged demographic in the United States at the very least. Being white doesn't carry special disadvantages.

So far, I'm on board with intersectionality for the most part. I do think there are some people who focus excessively on race, but there are also people who focus excessively on identity politics related to sexuality, sexual identity, and even economic status. Somebody's got to keep the lights on at Tumblr. Anyway.

Gender is a whole different ballpark. Instead of a clear cut situation where one group is at a clear disadvantage to the other, you've got this whole interconnected series of double-standards. What's utterly unique here is that they go both ways. Nowhere else in intersectionality do we see this. Not a single instance anywhere. I mean, when it comes to race there might be instances when you're at a greater risk in some fairly narrow situation if you're white in the US, but nothing systemic, nothing institutional. That's not what we see with gender, though. When it comes to gender we have visible systemic and institutional sexism against men as well as women.

Intersectionality, as long as its used as a defense of patriarchy theory, will primarily be about propping up this, I'd say, rather flimsy narrative of stratified power between genders by associating it with legitimate instances of stratified power. That's where the whole idea falls down for me.

As far as getting anti-sexism to regular people, I'd say the best way to go about it is by being straightforward. We ought to treat everybody the same and that's all there is to it. We should focus on equality rather than the half-baked oversimplified versions of theory that you yourself suggest are likely to come across. I'd agree that the academic side isn't as important to individuals, but I don't think current antisexist campaigning reflects that. To me it reflects everything about patriarchy theory, and thus the continued underestimation of women and emphasis on men as stereotypical stoic protectors or aggressors.

arguewithatree  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Our society is still quite sexist, but it's not sexist in a way that stratifies power along gender lines.

Isn't stratified power along gender lines exactly what sexism gives sexism its power? How can society be sexist without power stratified across gender lines?

Economic or class privilege is very important but it's also inextricably linked with race. Within the subsection of race, you continue to have huge disparities between gender and power. Hispanic and Black women make less than white women, which I think is ignored by even very vocal anti-wage gap arguers. Women of color are raped at a greater rates than white women, especially Native women (RAINN). When you look at economically underprivileged communities, non-white women women suffer at more significant rates than white women. In this way, I would argue that sexism is still a massive problem and that power is still stratified against gender lines with the addition of race. That is a more nuanced picture that you don't capture by looking at gender alone, which is why intersectionality is so important.

Asians tend to fall in the "brown" category of the so-called privilege scale. They suffer from not being white but benefit from not being black. Anti-blackness is rampant in all sorts of brown communities. White Jewish people are white. I am a white Jew. I benefit from white privilege. I am capable of being discriminated against though. This is why I don't like to lump anti-Semitism in with racism. It's a different history. There are non-white Jews and they suffer immensely at the hands of the Israeli government.

Again, I have to disagree with you with regard to the balance of power in sexism. As we discussed, there are instances where men suffer from the nonrecognition of their vulnerability. But, that's the inverse of assuming that women lack agency. They're two sides of the same coin, not different coins. Men are affected, but by and large, the issue stems from viewing women as the weaker sex.

Intersectionality doesn't defend patriarchy theory. It supplements and covers gaps. I need to run to an office event and I wanted to see yur response to this so i'm sorry it's super rushed at the end here i promise i can type cbetter than this

edit: ok I am back. I'm going to pick up where I left off in responding to your post

I don't know that it's possible to focus excessively on one aspect of one's identity except to another person. For example, yes I will focus on gender because it's what colors my experience first and foremost. People look at me and see, for all intents and purposes, woman first. My queerness and Jewishness are secondary and not evident on the surface. There's no physical indicator of that. The other primary physical indicator that you get about my identity is white. Whether that precedes or follows the definition as woman, I can't say. When noticing a stranger, I usually notice both attributes in tandem. It's not possible to avoid this information about me or about another person. On the internet, you can't make assumptions about anyone's identity or descriptors, so it has to be spelled out for us. So I don't think it's possible to focus on one attribute or another to an excessive degree; if the person in question is sharing specific attributes related to their identity, it's in order to inform us about their specific world view. It's not excessive to remind you that I am a woman because that is what colors my experience first and foremost.

The knock at tumblr is uncalled for. It's a great resource for me to find cat pictures and I won't allow you to speak ill of it in such a way. (In all seriousness, I think attacking tumblr is lazy because it's a space for you to tailor your experience. If you're looking for otherkin headmate blogs, you'll find them. If you're looking for porn or cats or whatever other non-political thing, you can find that without ever crossing paths with the nutters. If you're looking for rational poitical discussion and education, you can find it. If you're looking for whacky fringe radicalists, you can also find them. )

Teaching anti -isms to people should be straightforward, but the fact that it isn't is why we have theory and metaphor which convolutes your correct but simplistic "everyone should be treated the same". If it was that easy, we wouldn't be having this conversation. There is no magic wand or perfect law that will undo the effects of history that have propped up the dominant social classes. It's a long and difficult process of unlearning that takes people willing to challenge themselves and recognize where they benefit from the system. Again, identities color experiences, and everything is relative, which is why people bear down and get defensive with regard to addressing their own privileges. Being able to separate one's individual experiences and identity from the broader scheme of history and society is incredibly difficult. And that's why you can't simply say everyone should be treated equally because that;s passive and requires no effort on the parts of those who benefit from the system. Discrimination is still codified social practices in ways that seem invisible.

I think current antisexist campaigning reflects this oversimplified view. People hate the "don't teach men not to rape" campaigns and rightly so -- it completely oversimplifies the issue. It's not teaching men not to rape; it's teaching society to reexamine situations we assume are normal and okay and illuminating the abusive practices there. I was assaulted for 2 years straight by my boyfriend because no one ever told me that it's still rape if you've had sex before or plan to have sex with them again. That's a message that is totally lost in "don't teach men not to rape". The message there is about boundaries and respect.

aidrocsid  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I don't know that it's possible to focus excessively on one aspect of one's identity except to another person. For example, yes I will focus on gender because it's what colors my experience first and foremost. People look at me and see, for all intents and purposes, woman first. My queerness and Jewishness are secondary and not evident on the surface. There's no physical indicator of that. The other primary physical indicator that you get about my identity is white... It's not excessive to remind you that I am a woman because that is what colors my experience first and foremost.

I don't think it's excessive for anyone to relate their experiences. I'm surprised that you say being a woman colors your experience first and foremost, though. Gender is definitely one of the first things people notice when they look at someone, but there's a lot more to human experience than gender differences. I'd expect, for example, that the life experiences of people of different economic classes or in countries with significantly different standards of living would be much more stark than the differences between genders within those situations.

And as far as the whole teach men not to rape thing, that's an insanely complex issue. We've got massively conflicting standards of consent, the increasingly publicly visible issue of false accusation, the dear colleague letter's kangaroo courts, and, as highlighted by the video that started this thread, a general sense that men can't be raped and certainly not by women.

arguewithatree  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On the run right now so I only have another probing question at this time. What's surprising about gender being my predominant lens? That might be the key to the disconnect in the whole gender discussion

aidrocsid  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It just seems like such a minor factor in life.

Like I've been homeless and inevitably I eventually looked it. People looked at me like I was a piece of human garbage. Shave, haircut, some clean clothes, and a few weeks in your own place to shake the sense of desperation? Completely different. The same people who'd damn near spit on you when you asked them for a quarter will give you a cigar and a decent tip if you drive them to the airport. Hell, I once got kicked out of a bagel shop at 5am in subzero temperatures that I ended up being the baker at a few years later working for the same woman who'd kicked me out. Total sweetheart once I stopped being some faceless asshole who couldn't be bothered to freeze to death quietly.

I'm not trying to downplay sexism against women or anything, I think it's a problem, but I don't see such a huge difference in gender that it ought to be the primary identifying feature of an individual. There are too many other crazy things in life. Like I'd say the differences between quality of life in any given area tend to be much more along lines of economic class than gender.

Then again I'm probably not the best example of identification with my assigned gender to begin with. I don't exactly conform to the general standards of masculinity. If I think about other men it seems like a lot of them see their masculinity as pretty defining, though, so maybe gender is a bigger identifier for most people than I'd considered. Men may also just be less encouraged to talk about and think about themselves in relation to their gender.

Personally, though, I find that it's my life experiences that have colored my perception of things. Some of those as a man particularly but most of them just as a human being.

arguewithatree  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And that's where you're dead wrong. That's where you're missing everything in your arguments. That dismay and indignance you felt when you realized the "disposability of man"? That's all consuming for women. Every single second of our lives has to be composed and put together for consumption. And that's how it always has been. Have you seen stats on how early women noticed men looking at them sexual? Some as young as 9, averaging around 12. Society has made its point loud and clear : women are only valuable as sex objects and the highest thing she can aim to be is sexually appealing to men.

It's shitty that you were homeless. Honestly, the rates of poverty in the US make me so sick to think about. Empty homes outnumber homeless people in the US. that's disgusting. But the fact that you can discount gender as "minor" is so telling. That is the definition of privilege.

More cogent thoughts coming. But I had a visceral reaction to your words so I had to respond

aidrocsid  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's not like there's not a comparable situation happening with men, though. We just don't talk about it as a gendered issue if we talk about it at all. I think i was probably like 8 or 9 the first time someone called me a faggot, maybe younger. The first time I had a bully, by which I mean someone who physically assaulted me on a regular basis, I was 5 or 6. I don't think the difference is gendered experiences, I think it's the way we're encouraged to process them.

I've heard the message that women are only valuable as sex objects since I was a kid. And I don't mean in print media and social pressure, I mean the concept that women are reduced to sex objects. Never once, until I was well into my twenties, did I ever come across the idea that men were in any way discriminated against, let alone disposable. I'd been in and out of a relationship where I was being abused for years and it hadn't even occurred to me that it was abuse. I just thought of it as sometimes she's a little out of control. No matter how cruel the things she said and did were it wasn't something I processed as abuse because it's not something I was trained to see as abuse. Now it's obvious, totally clear cut, but at the time, as a man, I hadn't been trained to see it that way.

Maybe that's part of it?

I also have to say that although your gender may be all consuming for you, it's certainly not for all women. I've talked to women about this who say it's not a defining factor in their lives. It certainly seems that it's more often a defining factor in the lives of women than in the lives of men, but again, women are encouraged to think about this stuff whereas men are not.

graphictruth  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This too, is privilege. It's the dark, fun-house side of privilege - but only if you are blissfully unaware of the benefits can you be blissfully unaware of the potential price. Not just in this case. It's really an observation of a situation that continues to exist because for whatever reason, it's invisible to you. I sometimes think the word, "privilege" gets in the way. It's more of a set of assumptions that affect you in ways you are unaware of until it's far too late.

aidrocsid  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Isn't stratified power along gender lines exactly what sexism gives sexism its power?

Not at all.

    How can society be sexist without power stratified across gender lines?

Because we judge people based on their gender and prescribe behavior based on gender.

    Race x Economic Class = :(

I'd certainly agree that race is a significant factor and contemporarily you can't extricate it from economic class. Just as you say, the effects of sexism are statistically enhanced when you apply them to women of color. They're also enhanced, though, when you apply them to men of color. Black men are, like men, overrepresented in prison, in the military, and on the streets, while being underrepresented in college.

  
  1 (plus) 3 = 2 (plus) 2
'Three plus one' and 'two plus two' (sorry, Hubski formatting) in this equation are, as you might say, "two sides of the same coin". This is true. Does that mean, though, that only 'two plus two' is legitimate? That only 'one plus three' is legitimate? Regardless of how we frame it, how we break the numbers down, the point is that 4=4.

If that's a little less than clear, I'll be more explicit. We've got this dichotomy of agency/vulnerability, yeah? You can describe it either way. You can say that men are considered to have more agency, more culpability, and less vulnerability, or you can say that women are considered to have less agency, less culpability, and more vulnerability. These two statements mean the same thing, the only thing that's different is who we're focusing on as our object.

The only difference I see in what we're saying, as far as our description of sexism, is that an explanation supporting patriarchy theory insists on emphasizing one side of the coin over the other. So we'd say men may die in droves in the military and at work while women don't, but that's because we don't take women seriously. That doesn't do anything to deny the legitimacy of the statement, but it attempts to invert it to dismiss male vulnerability as objects of industry and war in favor of a specific narrative in which power is stratified by gender.

It's tricky but it doesn't really mean anything. Does that make sense?

We basically need a transitive property of sexism to clarify. The interconnected set of biases and double standards that make up the sexism faced by both genders (and thus, lest we forget, all human beings) is universally needlessly limiting.

Again, nowhere else in intersectionality do we see a supposed privileged class that faces any form of discrimination or increased statistics for poverty, imprisonment, mortality, or at-risk behavior. Nowhere. How are we to believe that this is an anomaly when it comes to men when we've got documentation of institutional and systemic sexism against men?

arguewithatree  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Absolutely men of color face their own struggles. As men of color. White women have a history of abusing men of color for their benefit (Emmett Till, any of the "I was attacked by a black man oh wait no I wasn't tee hee" stories). Which again falls back on the issue of women's agency. Both groups face disadvantages, but they play out in different ways.

I think I understand where you're trying to get with the transitive property, but you can't quantify oppression; hence the term there's no Oppression Olympics. You just can't quantify it because of the ways that race, class, etc overlap.

What doesn't really mean anything? The issue of men being considered disposable still boils down to women being viewed as lacking agency and strength and vim and vigor and whatnot -- all positive "masculine" traits, a dichtomy which relies on inherently defining "feminine" as weak. In no situation is masculine considered weak. There is no inverse there.

Men are viewed by patriarchy as disposable because they are desired for their masculinity. Masculine women aren't desired, only masculine men. Ideally, there would be no war, then no one would be shipped off anywhere to die. But what would people say about a leader who refused to go to war? In this way, men suffer at the hands of men. It's not sexism against men; it's patriarchy back firing on men for valuing masculinity and devaluing femininity. And I don't think you can reverse the two. In no situation is femininity valued over masculinity.

Have I been chasing my tail? Are we back where we started at patriarchy theory?

arguewithatree  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

give me just a second i'm editing my last response to make up for running away mid post

edit; ok edits made, now i'm going to address this post

aidrocsid  ·  2288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Haha, sorry if I wind up doing a bit of that too. I tend to do a first draft, edit once, post it, and then edit a lot more.