Not All Men, But Still Too Many Men


[Edit: turning comments off. I figure nothing good is gonna come after 450 comments.]

A young man felt spurned by women and shot people because of it. He drove up and fired a weapon out of a BMW and committed murder, leaving behind a video and a manifesto about his rage against women. He felt rejected by them. He was reportedly a follower of MRA (Men’s Rights Activism), which is a group of men who are upset because they feel they have an unequal set of rights in a few key areas, which is a lot like a rich guy who is mad at a homeless guy because the homeless guy is standing in his favorite patch of sunlight. (The term “men’s rights” is roughly analogous to the phrase “white power,” and equally creepy.) Yes, we can talk about gun rights and mental health issues because neither are properly addressed in this country. But we also need to talk about the entitlement of men and the objectification of women.

Most of the men who read this blog are, I hope and assume, not entitled piss-bags who think that they are owed affection by women, as if that’s the role of women in this life, to be willing and charitable receptacles for our urges. To be punching bags and accessories. To reiterate and sound the horn just the same: women don’t owe you anything. Whether you’re an alpha male or a wanna-be alpha, some faux bro-dude bad-ass or some repressed alley-dwelling CHUD, it matters little. I don’t care who you are; your maleness does not entitle you to anything.

You may have been told otherwise.

Culture wants us to think that. That being a guy comes with a rider like we’re Van Halen demanding a fucking bowl full of green M&Ms or some shit, but I’m here to tell you, that isn’t true. It’s a myth. You’re entitled to nothing, and yet, ironically, you’re born with this pesky thing called privilege. And sure, someone out there is already mad I’ve invoked that word, that being a dude is hard on its own and privilege is an illusion and blah blah blah something about divorced men and prostate cancer, but just remember that the men go on dates thinking they won’t get laid, and women go on dates thinking they might get raped, punched, maybe killed. Remember that as a man you can say all kinds of shit and add “lol” at the end of it and nobody gives a shit, but as a woman anything you say might be interpreted as antagonistic and end up with rape threats or death threats. Remember that any seemingly safe space — train station, bookstore, social media, city park — is an opportunity for a man to catch a train or read a book, but is also an opportunity for a woman to be the subject of threat or sexual violence.

Remember that men get paid more, get to do more, get to be more.

I understand that as a man your initial response to women talking about misogyny, sexism, rape culture and sexual violence is to wave your hands in the air like a drowning man and cry, “Not all men! Not all men!” as if to signal yourself as someone who is not an entitled, presumptive fuck-whistle, but please believe me that interjecting yourself in that way confirms that you are. Because forcing yourself into safe spaces and unwelcome conversations makes you exactly that.

Instead of telling women that it’s not all men, show them.

Show them by listening and supporting.

Show them by cleaning the dogshit out of your ears and listening to their stories — and recognize that while no, it’s not “all men,” it’s still “way too many men.” Consider actually reading the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter not to look for places to interject and defend your fellow men, but as a place to gain insight and understanding into the experiences women have. That hashtag should serve as confirmation that women very often experience the spectrum of sexism and rape culture from an all-too-early age. Recognize that just because “not all men” are gun-toting, women-hating assholes fails to diminish the fact that sexism and rape culture remain firmly entrenched and institutional within our culture.

Because if your response to the shooting is to defend men (or worse, condemn women) instead of speaking out against this type of violence and attitude, then you best check yourself.

This isn’t the time to talk about nice guys. Or friend zoning. Or men’s rights. Or rejection.

This isn’t the time to ride up as standard-bearers for the realm of menfolk.

You have privilege, so use it. You’re not a white knight, but if other men try to objectify women or talk down to them — step up or walk away. If you have a son, teach him about consent and drive home the point that the 100% of the fault in a rape case is on the rapist, not the victim. Help other men — you, your children, your friends — reach a place of empathy.

This isn’t about you. Don’t derail. Don’t pull that mansplaining bullshit.

Shut your mouth and don’t speak over them.

Open your ears and listen.

Open your eyes and see.

Thus endeth the lesson, gents.


459 responses to “Not All Men, But Still Too Many Men”

  1. I’ll admit that this discussion makes me uncomfortable. This was a horrible thing. A tragedy. It shouldn’t have happened. The guy who killed those people and himself was, I believe, insane. Sane people do not resort to mass murder and typically don’t write multi-page manifestos claiming that women are beasts and should be locked up.

    My discomfort comes from the insinuation that because this crazy guy did this crazy thing, that all men are somehow culpable for his actions and attitude. I take it personally, because it sort of feels personal. I get the argument about culture. I get the argument about privilege. But there’s an insinuation in that argument that I’m maybe more responsible for this because I happen to be a pale straight dude. (worse, a conservative, religious, pale straight dude). People see that category, and immediately dismiss the opinion and will assign blame to me regardless of whether I’m someone who does try to respect women (hopefully I’m better at it today than I was in the past)… actually, hang on. It’s not enough to respect women.

    Being someone who tries to respect people, and is trying to be better at it today than I’ve been in the past, I have to say that I think a lot of the talk about privilege, be it white, male, hetero, or whatever, is dangerous. It’s treating people as categories, and not as individuals. And that attitude strikes me as a seed – a very small seed – that leads to a lot of bad behavior. In this case, the failure to recognize the humanity of others led to several deaths. In other times and places, it’s led to persecution, prejudice, bigotry, slavery, war, theft, violence, and all manner of evil. (Can we use that word to describe what this young man did? I think it’s entirely appropriate. His acts were evil. His thoughts were evil.)

    When you categorize… widgetize people, placing them in this bucket or that bucket (black, female, conservative, vs. white, male, progressive), like placing pegs into holes, there’s a certain amount of widgetization that happens, and perhaps we perceive a little less of their humanity.

    That failure to recognize the humanity of others… the flawed, often embarrassing, sometimes unpleasant and ugly, occasionally beautiful individual humanity of others, regardless of appearance, age, sex, or political beliefs… I think there’s a seed there. It leads, in some cases, to mere unkindness. In others, it leads to crime. In others, it leads to violence. I think failure to recognize the humanity of women is one of the things that leads to rape… I’m rambling…

    I guess the point I’m trying to get to is this – we’re all part of this culture. Me with my paleness. You with your rich variety of colors. Me with my maleness. You with your whatever is in your pants. We all help set the tone and direction that it takes. We all have a role to play in it. I think that culture is improved when we recognize and empower individual humans.

    I think if this young man had been able to see his victims as human beings, maybe they’d all be alive today.

    • Nobody is insinuating that all men are culpable. Why do you think that?

      The problem isn’t that this one murderer somehow is carrying all the sins of sexism and misogyny on his shoulders and is somehow emblematic of All Men Everywhere. The problem is, a really poisonous culture informed his actions and continue to inform the *reactions* to his actions. And that culture is a culture driven by men.

      Not ALL men. Some men.

      But the pleas where men are more concerned about making sure everyone knows NOT ME, NOT ME, I’M NOT A SEXIST sound very defensive. That’s men interjecting themselves into a conversation that isn’t theirs and into a position where somehow, in some way, men end up actively looking for sympathy in a culture where they already get the lion’s share of it. It’s weird and gross and unnecessary.

      Nobody is saying you’re responsible for it. So why do you, and others, feel the need to assert your lack of responsibility?

      Just empathize. Just say, “This sucks, and I’m sorry.” Or better yet, “It sucks, I’m sorry, and we can all do a little better, and I’ll try to make the world for women a better place, not a worse one.”

      It’s not about you. It’s not about your hurt feelings, or the imaginary indictments you’re feeling. Yes, we all have a role to play. Why does yours have to be all about you and reminding us that this isn’t your fault when nobody said it was?

      — c.

      • I don’t know, Chuck. It makes me uncomfortable.

        I said above that this sucks, and yes, I’m sorry it happened. I don’t know that just saying that goes far enough. It was evil. It was sick. I wish to God it hadn’t happened.

        People say “some men do this”, and immediately, I feel this need to say… “well… yeah… but not me.” It’s a personal issue. But I feel like I have to point out in this wacky comment thread that while there are way too many examples of men behaving like assholes, (and there are plenty of them in your comments here), we run the risk of coloring all guys with the asshole brush.

        Maybe I;m taking this personally, and I shouldn’t. I’m a little defensive, I’m probably oversensitive to it. That’s fine. It just seems really easy to me to make the jump from “some men” to “men” without the qualifier.

        But I do have to call you on one thing. When you say the culture isn’t driven by ALL men, that’s bull. You’re a part of the culture, I’m a part of the culture just as much as any misogynist. Women are part of the culture too. We’re ALL part of the culture. And we ALL have a say in which way that culture goes. I’m saying remember to treat people as individuals.

        • “well… yeah… but not me.”

          The problem with that response is somehow you’re still making this about you.

          We know you didn’t kill people, Zachary. Your name isn’t in the paper. At every national tragedy do you feel the need to leap in and assert your innocence and the innocence of your people? No? So why here?

          Why are you defensive? Why are you sensitive about it? Are you afraid you’re losing some kind of power? That there’s a shift and women will… rise up and stab you in the streets? What is the fear?

          As for the culture — I mean, very specifically, this misogynist culture. Rape culture. I don’t mean culture in general.

          — c.

          • You want to know what makes me uncomfortable and feeling like I have to respond? Look at Laurie Penny’s comment. I see this attitude all OVER the place.

            Making the case that people should be treated as individuals is now “dismissing the reality of violence against women”, and “part of the problem”, and “apologizing for bigotry”. It’s apparently not enough for me to call this what it was – evil. By making the case that we should treat individuals (note, NOT just men, but EVERYBODY) as human beings, I am shouting down women’s experiences and silencing gendered trauma.

            So, yeah. Maybe I’m a little defensive. I’m sorry about that. Probably just a personal thing.

        • From Laurie Penny:

          “No, it’s not all men. But then it never was.
          “But if you think for one second, for one solitary second, that demanding tolerance for men as a group, that dismissing the reality of violence against women because not all men kill, not all men rape, if you think that’s more important than demanding justice for those who have been brutalised and murdered by those not all men, then you are part of the problem. You may not have pulled the trigger. You may not have raised your hand to a woman in your life. But you are part of the problem.
          “This is not the time, to use the refrain of apologists for bigotry, to play devil’s advocate. The devil has more than enough advocates today. On most days, I can put up with aggressive faux-objectivity being used to shout down women’s experiences and silence gendered trauma, but not today.”

          http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2014/05/lets-call-isla-vista-killings-what-they-were-misogynist-extremism

          • Well, I guess it’s because I disagree with the premise. Supposedly, because I’m a guy, I am responsible for the actions of a crazy, evil person several US states away from me? I don’t agree with that. I’m responsible for the way I treat other people, not the way he pulled a gun and started blowing people away.

            Now, I do have an impact on the culture, at least in what I’m willing to allow into my own head and my own home, and I’m responsible for how I treat my wife and my daughter, and everyone else I run into during the course of my day. I’m responsible for trying to engage the issue in a thoughtful way, without resorting to name calling or ad-hominem. All of that is on me, just like it’s on you, on the good proprietor of this here blog, and on everyone else. All of us have that individual responsibility.

            And I feel like I have a responsibility to stand up for my point of view. That’s all I’m trying to do.

          • Nobody, anywhere, has said that all men are to blame for the shooting. More specifically, nobody, anywhere, ever said “you, Zachary Ricks, are personally and as an individual responsible for this dude’s killing people because you share a gender”.

            Bluntly, you are projecting like a motherfucker.

          • It suggests no such thing. It’s precious to think that women talking about their shared struggles is somehow an indictment against you and your fellow man.

    • I quit reading at insane. Ableism doesn’t help, so fucking stop it. Fucking derailing ableist asshat. You’re not helping and *all* you are doing by throwing around your precious “belief” is harming people who are mentally ill. Fuck you and fuck your prejudice.

  2. #1 JESUS IS LORD
    #2 The physical world is corrupted, we all are, and that corruption manifests itself in each of us in a different ways.
    #3 I completely emphathise with Aspergers / Autism and the rejection the lack of social skills it entails …. but one has to accept the (to be concise but rather imprecise) “responsibility” (There’s a better word) for one’s condition in life and that nobody owes you anything. Even love and affection. It’s YOUR job to attract others, nobody can help it if they don’t.
    #4 I think every state should have a municipality where prostitution is legal. Sometimes when one needs professional help Sigmund Freud isn’t going to suffice.
    #4 For that matter neither is pharmakeia
    #5 The Hunger Games connection: I often say the world is in a state of scarcity, but that’s a state of corruption NOT of design. Wars, Famines, etc will continue and get worse. The PHYSICAL CAPITALIST value of life is decreasing but the spiritual value of life is immeasurable.
    #6 The anti-2nd Amendment Spin …. You believe mass murderers won’t break the law to obtain their weapons? You’re letting your very real and ever present pain override your logic.
    #7 Is this just another step in a classified government program designed to disarm Americans literally and figuratively so they can mark us with The Beast’s Computer Chip? It’d be classified. Wouldn’t it.
    #8 I admit that I am the worst of sinners and a hypocrite. I admit that has a corrupted human being my flesh has certain “evil” propensities. This is PRECISELY why I need Jesus and accepted him into my life. I do believe that he IS working with me and within me even if it isn’t apparant to anyone else. As asocial and broken as I may be and as much emphathy as I have for this loser I have Jesus. Maybe that’s what’s lacking when these things happen.

  3. Awesome post.

    Although, I don’t know why this incident boils down to a misogynistic argument. There’s no excuses for harming another human being. Period.

    I grew up in SoCal. There truly isn’t a more laid back relaxed college community I know than IV. IV is like Disneyland for college students. I often found myself wandering from stranger’s house to stranger’s house, not knowing anyone and having a blast. This was a town where I was introduced to the rule, “Hold your red Solo cup upside down, so patrolling officers would know it was empty.” (You know, as opposed to officers seeing it as an excuse to bust you for being drunk in public).

    This is coming from me, a kid who thought no one liked him so much that he took high school lunches in a stairwell of the church across the street.

    This community will forever be changed because of this incident. Because one kid felt the need to harm others for self gratification.

    • I think this boils down to a discussion about gender and power because of the dude’s – er – comments about women in context of a system that still tends toward gender inequality. This discussion would probably be about gender even if the unfortunate person who killed those people hadn’t made those comments because nearly every public-place/mass shooter we’ve seen has been white and male, which is alarming. If the shooters were female, headlines would be asking why this type of violence is committed largely by one gender. This question – and related questions about power and privilege – should still be asked and discussed.

  4. Some years ago, two events happened that made me really think about what constitutes sexism.

    The first is that two professors were fired for sexual harassment. One compared story development to sexual activity – preliminary activity, increasing tension, climax, afterglow; a student sued. The other professor liked to insult his students and told sexist jokes. I was in his class.

    The second event was when I was setting up a concert in a local church. The man in charge of the stage platforms was quite elderly. I had several volunteers lined up to move the platforms. However, all my volunteers were female, and this gentleman would not allow a woman to help him move the heavy pieces. When they came to help, he would have them move music stands or chairs.

    The professor who told sexist jokes was one of my teachers. I had no problem with him. He insulted everyone, male or female; that was just his style. I didn’t care for his humor, but the bottom line, for me, was that he expected no more and no less of his female students than of his male students. Where it counted, gender was not an issue.

    The nice church gentleman, on the other hand, while impeccably polite and seemingly considerate, would not let my volunteers do the job they were supposed to do, solely because they were women. That, to me, constitutes sexism far worse than the jokes told by my teacher. Yes, inappropriate jokes can create a hostile atmosphere, but actual obstruction on the basis of gender is worse, in my opinion. YMMV.

    In any case, I thought this example might be thought-provoking to those who strive to be thoughtful and considerate “nice guys”. Being solicitous can appear sexist, even if you only think you are being polite. In caring for an elderly parent, I have the same problem. I want to step in to help, even when that help is unwelcome. I imagine those who are handicapped also have to deal with unwanted offers of help.

    When tempted to step in to help someone (whether due to gender, age, or handicap), I think the best thing to do is to ask, “may I help?” If they say “no, I’m all right”, then let them do it. Don’t insist on helping.

  5. I would hope to God that a woman — ANY woman — who was going on a date and actually thought to herself that she could be raped or murdered, would not, uh, go on the date.

    • No woman who’s been date raped ever expected it to happen. You can’t tell who’s a rapist by looking at them. You can’t tell by the exchange of a few emails. You can’t even tell by talking to them on the phone. The only way you can tell is when the opportunity arises for the man to force himself on you, and he DOESN’T take it. But by then, if he IS the type to date rape you, it’s too late.

    • Methinks you miss the point of the tag and ensuing discussion. YES ALL WOMEN, on ALL dates, wonder, if only for a fleeting moment, if the man who seems so kind and considerate will at some point force her to be sexual with him against her wishes.

      How would a woman go about ensuring beforehand that she’s not going on a first date, second date, third date, with a sexually violent man? Hire a psychic? Pay for a criminal background check? Get a psych profile?

      • And if I were to say something like ALL men wonder if the woman they are dating are then I would be accused of “not getting it.” It’s because MOST people — men and women — don’t have those thoughts nor do they need to have those thoughts.

        But there are people who dearly want ALL women to have those thoughts — and I think that is incredibly dangerous for society.

        • The point is that All Women have encountered sexism. All. Women. There is no ‘want’ in this discussion at all. The danger is not in women having these thoughts, the danger is in whether or not men are going to be dangerous or not.

          “In the United States, 83 per cent of girls aged 12 to 16 have experienced some form of sexual harassment in public schools.” (from the UN Women pages: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures )

          So tell me again why not all women would have those thoughts?

          • I’d becareful with statistics. There may be girls, possibly half who took the survey that have no idea what sexual harassment is. There are definitely ones that have no idea what rape is. Which a kid’s assumption of what something is can get innocent people in trouble. People also use the innocence of children to prey on people for their own selfish hate. It’s sad really.

    • It’s always a possibility. It may be more remote in some cases than others, but it’s always a possibility.

    • Seriously? No matter how nice someone might seem, as a woman, it is a very real and *always present* danger. Whether going on a date or going to the grocery store so we don’t starve.

    • The chance of that happening is on dates. It comes with the territory of meeting new people or going out in general. Are you suggesting that we shouldn’t go out at all? I agree that there is a certain common sense about knowing what you are getting into, you wouldn’t want to go on a date with someone you feel threatened by, but you nerve know what a person is going to do when faced with rejection. I have talked to some very nice, gentlemanly persons all night before but when you tell them, I’m not going home with you or I don’t like you that way, their attitude does a complete 180.

  6. The utter cluelessness displayed by some of my fellow males in this discussion makes me so fucking angry I want to smack some sense into them. I realize that’s not a reasonable reaction, nor a course of action that would be recommended — but I get that urge nonetheless. Guys — wake the fuck up.

  7. Here is something that I haven’t seen mentioned. Shock Jocks like Tom Leykis (spelling?) who make a living off misogyny, and who rile men up about all the women who “owe them sex”, the women who are trying to “trap” them into marriage and take advantage of them, and all the other hateful things they spew. When I used to commute, I was curious about Tom Leykis when he was big on the radio so I listened to him for a few days. It was HORRIFIC the things he said. I couldn’t believe that he was spewing that much hate against women on the radio and he was so popular. He encouraged men to sleep with as many women as possible and use as many as possible. He encouraged men to call in to his radio show and break up with their girlfriends on the air in the cruelest way possible. That moron still has a following and men like him are creating these idiotic, and psychotic websites about men’s rights now. When you rile people up for money, it has consequences!!! NO WOMAN OWES ANY MAN SEX EVER. NOT EVEN HER HUSBAND. Demanding sex, coercing sex, forcing sex is RAPE always.

  8. “This isn’t the time to talk about nice guys. Or friend zoning. Or men’s rights. Or rejection.”

    Are we allowed to talk about gun control? Mental health? I don’t want to say anything that might not meet with your approval.

    • Oh, bummer. You got rejected by a female once. Are you seriously going to compare that to gun control and mental health?

      Grow up. Besides, friend-zoning and “nice guys” are considered as serious issues – to the women who constantly have to deal with men that feel entitled to have sex to them just because they did something “nice”.

      • Your comments appear to have no relation to the words you are responding to.

        Did you see the quotation marks around the statement about “friend zoning, men’s rights and rejection?” That was a quote from the article above, not my own statement. Hope that clears up your angry confusion.

      • Again a male experience is completely invalidated. A man looks at a girl for a second too long and it’s practically sexual harassment but when a guy had a bad experience it’s “bummer” and “grow up.” I’ve had a lot of women tell me “You know I say a want a nice guy and I realize I always go for the jerks.” And that’s where male frustration comes from, in part. We need to stop pretending either gender has a monopoly on struggle, sadness, and abuse and have a reasoned and respectful discussion. Vitriol and defensiveness is a poor substitute for that.

  9. Thank you! You mentioned earlier in comments losing readers, but you’ve gained some too.

  10. This is a great day for the feminist smear campaign against men. Yes, a person with severe mental illness is “representative”. So are internet trolls. Oh, the condescension and lecturing of entitled females, the belittling, the talking about mens “fee-fees” being hurt like a snotty kid in a school yard, the application of bourgeois academic theories and expanded rape definitions and most important, the notion that because a woman said it, you should shut up and never dare to question it. Blah blah blah. Man bad, woman good. It’s like every movie on Lifetime.

      • Chuck,

        I read your post with great interest but even greater frustration. I consider myself a feminist in the liberal tradition as represented by JS Mill and Harriett Taylor Mill in terms of believing in equal rights and liberties and strongly supporting women who wish to live in ways that have been historically stigmatized, whether that’s not having kids, getting married, or having sex outside of socially sanctioned boundaries. I’ve also taken issue with the vicious things said about feminists and women in general by SOME members of the Men Right’s Movement.

        So I’m far from a reflexive hater. That said, your post was spectacularly problematic. Here’s why. It begins with a facile analogy between the MRM and the rich guy-homeless guy as if men have it wonderfully easy and are drumming up false grievances. Even Jaclyn Friedman, a strong feminist if there ever was one and a vituperative critic of the MRM, has acknowledged that this is not the case, writing recently in TAM “The list of grievances for MRAs is long. It includes the elevated rate of suicide for men, educational discrimination against boys, economic and workplace conditions for men, violence against men, false rape reporting, fathers’ rights in custody battles, rates of male imprisonment and prison conditions, and the horrors of war. Many of these issues deserve a thoughtful response and the force of an organized movement for address them.”

        But that’s minor compared to what follows. At the heart of your post is the assertion that there is this massive collective sense of toxic male entitlement. You write “Culture wants us to think that. That being a guy comes with a rider like we’re Van Halen demanding a fucking bowl full of green M&Ms or some shit, but I’m here to tell you, that isn’t true. It’s a myth. You’re entitled to nothing,” Really? “Culture” wants us to think that? What culture? Your entire post is centered on this claim but you provide absolutely zero evidence for it. No man I’ve ever met thinks he’s entitled. The attitude is more like “Omg I’m so flawed in so many ways. What can I do to get women to like me?” Of course frustration goes along with that but don’t confuse frustration with entitlement.

        I could go on and on because every sentence contains a strawman (strawperson?), distortion, or something otherwise objectionable. But this claim in particular is important to highlight”This isn’t the time to talk about nice guys. Or friend zoning. Or men’s rights. Or rejection.” Why is now not the time? Because ONE insane murderous misogynist did something evil? (of course he killed men as well). Men’s feelings and experiences are valid too and arbitrarily sidelining them and telling men to shut up so we can be educated about how bad we are makes rational and productive discussion impossible. Finally there’s claim that, while its not all men, but it’s too many also tells us nothing. 1 man is too many. The take home point is that the vast, overwhelming majority of men aren’t rapists or harassers or misogynists and society at large isn’t one big hostile work environment for women. There’s much more to say but that’s enough for now.

        • Now is not the time because women are trying very hard to be heard, and they want men to listen. So they don’t want a herd of fragile male-ego spotlight hogs waving their arms around saying BUH BUH BUT WHAT ABOUT NICE GUYS or WHOA HEY BUT WOMEN REALLY DO REJECT US. What women are saying is, separate from this one killer, a whole *pattern exists* of entitlement by (yes, SOME, no, not ALL) men that leads to really scary shit. Abuse, assault, trauma, fear.

          Not every moment is an opportunity for a man to open his mouth about HIS experiences. Privilege already grants us the lion’s share of those moments.

          This isn’t about YOU.

          It’s about THEM.

          Hence: not all men, but yes all women.

          Why is this so hard to understand?

          As for evidence: #YesAllWomen.

          As for MRA: I, too, care about issues surrounding men. But Men’s Rights groups are not the way for those issues to see the light, because they come with *spectacular* baggage. Similar to how I care about issues surrounding animals but wouldn’t ever let PETA speak for me because, again, epic baggage.

          — c.

    • I’m a feminist and I love men. I love men in spite of what they’ve done to me and gotten away with it because dickwads like you would rather whine about not getting that extra patch of sunlight than do something about men who behave badly.

      They don’t listen to US. They MIGHT listen to YOU. What are you doing with your soapbox? Jumping off it and bodyslamming every woman you see. Fuck you, sir. Only not really.

      • This exactly. I love my son. He’s intensely precious to me and I wouldn’t diminish a single jot of his boy-ness. But the thing that gets me most mama bear angry is when people try to jam him into some narrow minded gender norm that tells him exactly how his boy-ness has to come out or tells him that being a boy means that he gets to lord it over other people and abuse them for his own amusement. I will NOT have my precious boy ruined by that sort of role model. He’s too good for that.

      • “In spite of what they’ve done to me.” “They”? Men, like women, are individuals. Speaking as if men are this wicked oppressive monolith is utterly irrational.

        • In fact, sir, the experience of the vast majority of women is that men ARE a monolith. When walking down any given street in any given city means walking a gauntlet of nameless random men and trying to figure out which particular ones are going to catcall, grope, harass you, or worse, men do indeed feel very much like a monolith.

          And there is nothing a woman can do about that. It is not our fault, and we cannot psychically reach into their minds to make them stop.

          You do not need to defend the honor of men to us. We have fathers, brothers, sons, husbands and friends who are male. We know that there are men in the world whom we can trust to support us and not hurt us (though it’s funny how often even THOSE men, the ones we thought we could trust, turn on us). Your passionate defenses of men as able to be Better Than That are better turned on the men who behave in ways that force us to become defensive and untrusting of your gender.

    • Autism does not cause murder. It’s a learning disability, not a “severe mental illness” and there is no such thing as an “expanded rape definition” if a woman didn’t consent, it’s rape. The end, always, forever. If you still think the only rape is when a woman is beat up or left in an alley you need to get your head out of your butt and look around

  11. I absolutely support women’s rights. I absolutely support the fight against scumbags and womanizers. I also absolutely disagree with the tone of this article.

    Our goal should be to correct the problem, not just to analyze it. Of course, women can analyze this problem much better than men. Of course, it will feel like a much safer conversation if men were excluded. But how exactly can you change anything if you exclude from the conversation the people who need to take action?

    You say “This isn’t about you” (referring to men), but this absolutely is about the actions of men. You say “This isn’t the time to talk about nice guys”, but maybe if we started to acknowledge the men who do stand up against the scumbags, more would follow suit.

    • Oh I see, you only want to stand up against scumbags because it would get you acknowledgement. Not because it’s the right thing to do or anything.

      Ya know, the scumbags hurt you too.

      And I didn’t take this article as telling men to shut up entirely. More like, “Quit trying to monopolize the conversation and make it all about yourself while refusing to listen to women.” Is it that difficult to hear?

    • “…but maybe if we started to acknowledge the men who do stand up against the scumbags, more would follow suit.”

      No. You don’t get a medal for being a decent human being. I understand where you’re coming from with this logic, but treating women with respect and speaking out against and not letting others get away with sexual, physical and verbal abuse should be a default, not a behaviour to be rewarded, and we’re not gonna get anywhere if we’re constantly slowing down just to pander to the male ego.

      There are millions of women out there already doing that – standing up to scumbags and speaking out against or trying to stop sexual, physical and verbal violence – in daily life as well as online. Many of them are ‘acknowledged’ with rape threats and insults. They’re not doing it for recognition, they’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do – and the same should go for men.

      Simply going out there and being the example should be enough to get others to “follow suit”.

      • My point is that you correct systematic cultural problems by creating role models and engaging in open discussions. Of course everyone should act ethically, but they don’t–that’s why we are in this mess in the first place. We could sit here all day talking about how people should act, but that isn’t going to correct the problem.

        If you want men to act differently, give them a reason to do so. Articles like this are only meaningful to the people who already agree with the message…so how does that help the situation?

        • Disagree. More than one man has stated right here in the comments that this has been an eye-opening experience, and I’m hearing the same from many male friends who are discussing it elsewhere online and in real life. They are dumbstruck by the immensity, and pervasiveness of the problem, and in many cases were themselves perpetuating it without realizing they were doing so. Now that they know, they say they’ll think and act differently.

        • And because I can tell you liked to nitpick every tiny part of my first comment, let me clarify.

          I am NOT saying that we should reward or praise men for acting ethically. I’m just saying that we should highlight what it looks like to stand up against scumbags. Instead, the author of this article very blatantly argued that men should shut their mouths and be absent from the conversation altogether.

    • I really can’t believe how this comment is being taken so out of context. I am absolutely positive, as a person, gender not necessary to this observation, that promoting positive behavior is far more effective as a teacher (of said behavior) than simply focusing on removing a negative. It comes from a place of hurt and anger to say that this method of education is the same kind of recognition-seeking that you would ascribe to a person with low-self esteem making clouded decisions about his/her actions as a result. No one’s asking for a lollipop here for acting the way they “should” act. The problem is that the individuals that treat women poorly often do so out of a perceived lack of options – which can be fairly restated as an absence of role-models, or a framework within which to thrive as a healthy individual. These are broken and incomplete people perpetrating these crimes. The author of the article seems to be calling for support of “good guys” by asking them to shut up about being good guys. Real talk? These men that need role-models also need to NOT see self-identified nice guys getting shot down just for saying their piece. This bickering is part of the environment which further propagates the misogyny that grows in these individuals. Yes, I recognize that staking a claim as a “nice guy” doesn’t help, and is usually some manner of insecurity and a need for attention – but this too is an incomplete-feeling individual that needs help. We really can’t get anywhere by looking at all of these broken people with a first instinct of shooting them down. You can vilify a behavior or an act but if you forget that it is the very same perpetrator of that act that needs your help the most (in order to help his victim) then you miss the point.

      • “No one’s asking for a lollipop here for acting the way they “should” act.”

        Actually, yeah, that is exactly what the commenter is saying: that men are apparently so selfish and clueless that they won’t bother to behave decently unless they get a cookie when they do, and can’t possibly be motivated by understanding that bad shit happens and they can help stop it. What a terrible, misandrist thing to say.

        I find it quite interesting that you and other commenters keep misstating what Wendig actually said, btw: he didn’t say ‘shut up’, he said shut up AND LISTEN. As a teacher, I presume you are aware that listening to others, taking turns, not hogging the conversation, and paying attention to what other people say (instead of impatiently waiting for them to STFU so we can talk again) are basic conversational skills that grown-ass adults can easily master.

        • Maybe I’m confused. It looks like what is being called for is for men to listen rather than have a part in the discussion which is 50% their issue. I’m calling for EVERYONE to listen. That guy who is whining about “the friendzone” can turn into the rapist. Why? Not because he is inherently bad, but because he too perceives culture as against him. Superficially, it looks like he thinks that if he is nice to women, that he “deserves” to date one. This is clearly harmful ideology but it too came from the same culture. This is not a happy individual. He is not ahead of the game by thinking like this. He is in serious danger of degrading into a worse human after the perceived rejection inherent to this type of thinking. But, what is being said here is like “Hush, young male. We’re talking about this side of the issue now. Your time to speak about your feelings is not now.” I basically see this as the same thing the author is speaking against. Sometimes people say what they are compelled to say. Usually that is the case. More opportunities to address the situation on all of its levels. To be clear I understand what is meant by the article and I agree that there is some compulsion to identify from a gender-specific standpoint rather than listening, but when all is said and done the real reactions that people have should not be illegitimized.

          • Allowing others to speak, actually listening to others, and treating what others are saying as worthwhile (instead of an annoying interruption in one’s own right to speak) IS taking part in the discussion. Wending is saying ‘don’t dominate the conversation and assume only you have something to say’. What’s so terrible about that?

      • Dude, take it from me: If you act like an ally, you’ll get your pat on the back, and women will point to you as an example of how men should act. In fact, if you happen to be male and white, chances are you’ll get more attention for speaking out than any woman will. Just look at Chuck here, or Scalzi.

        What you’re advocating for… It happens by default, just by you saying, “This is not acceptable, dudes! Cut it out!”

        You know how I know that? I shut the fuck up and listened to/read women. I follow women authors, scientists, and entertainers who share my interests (SF/F lit, gaming, SCIENCE!), and I listen when they speak out about sexism. I spread the word, using their own words whenever possible.

        My female friends “like” the links I share of women speaking out. My niece writes long thank-yous for giving her support when she speaks out and some dude tries to shut her down. I get approving comments and the occasional public “thank you” from women when I speak out, even though I am guilty of saying some pretty stupid, sexist things on occasion.

        So stop the hand-wringing; male allies get the spot light, more often than they should really.

      • And don’t dominate the conversation by sticking up for yourself. Let the women talk, listen and learn. This isn’t about you. It is about the guys who aren’t you. Not. All. Men.

    • I agree that the tone of this article is an aggressive overgeneralization, with an unpleasant add-on of “silently agree with me, gentlemen, or you’re part of the problem.” The Santa Barbara killing spree was the act of a sick and unhinged man. Not a few men, not some men, not “too many men.” While sexism is an issue, sexism manifesting in bloodshed is clearly rogue behavior that no one stands to defend. When an obviously warped young mother makes the choice to drown her children, no one feels compelled to address all women to look inside themselves and agree that they all need to rise up and behave their best, so society won’t judge them to be a potential part of the “child drowning epidemic.” There is no epidemic here. This is mental sickness, and needs to be isolated and addressed as such. This young man’s motivations on paper seem to line up with the mentality of certain frat boy douchebags we could all do without, but the similar thought processes end when he decides to turn his sexual angst into a full morgue.

      • Hey, guess what happened in California the day after Elliot Rodgers went on his killing spree? Somebody else decided to start shooting at women for refusing sex!

        http://fox40.com/2014/05/25/3-women-refuse-sex-suspect-fires-gun/#ixzz32pEKdEWU

        Definitely a rogue incident.

        Please. Wake up.

        I know so many women who are victims of physical or sexual violence. And I can tell you that accounts of being raped is not something that’s shared quickly or easily, so how many more have simply chose not to tell me? Almost every time I’m out in public there is a man who crosses the line with his behaviour. And I live in a city I would consider very progressive. And you always, always fear that when a man “crosses the line” the situation might escalate.

        We’re talking about a much bigger issue here than this single (though not really) incident of violence. The reason we’re talking about it is because of the vehement hatred for women and sense of entitlement to them that the killer expressed in his video and in general on the internet.

        Women used to be seen as property. It wasn’t even that long ago. In some cultures, they still are. Do you really think that living in a society like this has nothing to do with the crime that has been committed?

        Please wake up. I’m fucking terrified to be a woman in this world. We need people to wake up.

  12. Blatant falsehoods in this article.

    The shooter specifically targeted men as well. He also specifically stated he wanted to “wipe out all men” from the Earth.

    He also NEVER had any relations to any remote MRA websites or groups. He was part of a anti-PUA (pick up artists) group called PUA Hate. Even if desperately attempting to portray PUAs as Men’s Rights Activists (factually false), he was an ANTI-PUA. And if you REALLY want to pull this bull, PUA has quite a few Feminist members and is an SRS clone.

    So we have someone who has asbergers, was getting some psychiatric help, who’s family was trying to get him help, who had PUA sites telling him he need to get help (whoops, seems you left that out, the very groups you blame had called him out and told him to get help when he flamed their sites) who GOT A GUN WITH ABSOLUTELY NO ISSUE…

    And yet you manage to blame this on men. Who were FOUR of the six victims.

    • Asperger’s. Spell it right and thanks for perpetuating the idea that autistic people are violent. The ASD would not have been why he was getting psychiatric help. It’s a difference in sensory processing, not a mental illness.

      I just went and read up more on the shooting. He killed his roommates because they annoyed him, and they had a visitor over that he killed as well, probably just because he was there. The fourth guy he killed was random, in a deli.

      Whatever else he might have said, it was obvious he was consciously targeting women. If you’re a nut out in public shooting at women you are not going to take a whole lot of precautions about missing any men who happen to be around because they are a potential danger to you being able to continue your killing spree. And if you’re an idiot who buys guns and doesn’t get training in using them, it’s quite possible you’ll aim at one person, miss, and hit another person, and that could have been why he killed Chris Martinez too.

      And in the end, HE was male. I mean who did you think did the shooting, a hermaphroditic alien?

      • I think it is unfair to ignore or minimize important elements of the incident to make a point.

        “He killed his roomates and visitors because they were there and annoying” is a bit of a distortion. In his speech about getting back at people he explicitly mentions how much he hates men who sleep with women as well. In the same way we can assume his targeting of women was a result of his professed hatred for women who rejected him, I think we can extend the same assumption to the four men that he killed. Stabbing 3 three people in your home is an extremely deliberate act.

        This doesn’t take away from the importance of the discussion, especially since the REACTION to Eliot’s actions were so misogynistic and reeked of sexual entitlement. But let’s be honest about the full range of motivations and events that took place…and how that could inform a different perspective on the issue at hand.

      • Either the article you read was very poorly written, or you seriously misunderstood what you read.

        He killed his roommates so that he would be sure there would be no one to stop him from murdering women there. The video in which he described his plan to do so is what got the police called to investigate him a couple of days before the murders. And do you know how his roommates annoyed him? They had sex with women who wouldn’t have sex with him. You can read his actual words on this. It’s not like we have to guess what he was thinking, he made his thinking abundantly clear.

      • “And in the end, HE was male. I mean who did you think did the shooting, a hermaphroditic alien?” So I’m to blame? This circlejerk of sexism is sickening.

        The intense focus on men and all our faults are becoming a self fullfilling prophecy. It’s a lot like bullying – call someone stupid enough times and the kid will think himself stupid. When insecure teenage boys read that they are douchebags and rapists enough, and they turn into just that.

        I don’t know how Americans are, but at least in Norway(where I live) being a nice guy is good. There are a lot of comments here claiming that it is the first step of the slippery slope to turn into a rapist (something most men are anyways), so why being content being a nice guy? All aboard the rape train, choo choo!

        Why focus so hard on the faults of men? Is not a goal most of us sensible people to abolish discrimination due to gender? By waging war on a gender you will only increase the enmity and further growing the mistrust and misogyny among guys tired of listening to claims of their inherent evilness. It is litterally as bad as when the Catholic church claimed women to be worse than men due to Eve’s sin. I’m apparently bad due to my Y, something I have no control over whatsoever.

  13. Woman up, women! Man up, men! Parents, parent up! Parents make up the bulk of the hypocrites!

  14. I’m a 43 year old former paratrooper, father to three daughters (one of whom started off life as a boy) and two stepdaughters and is currently the main carer and guardian for a granddaughter. I love my children and have given them two rules to live by: ALWAYS assume that a man is a complete dirtbag until he has proven otherwise, and never, ever give a man a second chance to be a dirtbag. I also taught them Krav Maga, you know, just in case.IF men in general acted decently, with respect and honesty I wouldn’t have had to teach them this, but the simple truth is that my fellow males in the vast majority of cases act like complete assholes when given the opportunity.

    • You sound a lot like my dad. He was a LRRP dog Army Ranger in Viet Nam, and he’s always told me and my sisters that all guys are scumbags when it comes to women, himself included, because the “little head” is always in charge. I’m not sure I agree with his statement that it’s “all guys”, but I have to admit that in my own lifetime an awful lot of the men I’ve come across do meet his description.

      • Its not all guys to be sure, but if you assume that all guys are you’ll be safer in the long run, least that’s what I tell my daughters. It’s not hard to earn trust and respect, and if a guys halfway decent he’ll try and gain both. Rangers and Para’s as we’re known over here are essentially the same kind of soldiers, I’ve done my share of cross training with them. LRRP puts him a cut above though, top bloke 🙂

        • While it’s awesome that you respect your daughters and taught them to take care of themselves, I respectfully disagree that ‘assume all guys are scum’ is a helpful attitude. What that teaches, unfortunately, is that a guy who is halfway decent is a special and precious thing, and that a guy who isn’t a complete asshole is worth settling for, because the non-assholes are so rare and far between.

          • Nope, it teaches that scumbags look like everyone else, and you can’t tell if a guy is scum, or a full-on decent guy until you’ve interacted with him for a while.

            Which is absolutely true. Rapists look like all the other kinds of guys out there, and you can’t count on other guys in a group or organization to put a stop to his escalating creepy behavior. The best you can hope for is to have people (almost always women) pull you aside and warn you about him.

          • (Sorry for the weird reply-nesting.)

            But what you just said is not what deanmcsmith said. “Rapists look like everyone else” is not the same as “assume every man is a complete dirtbag”. (I agree, btw, with the ‘no second chances’ part.)

          • I see your point, but, in turn, also respectfully disagree. My daughters have never ‘settled’ for any partner, they’ve demanded the best and got it. It’s surprisingly easy to be a good guy, it’s not rocket science, you simply treat your partner as you would like to be treated. That doesn’t make you halfway decent, it makes you decent, full-stop. They have brothers, they know men can be asshats and still be okay, but, most importantly they know that there’s a line, and if a man is willing to cross it, he’s not worth being with.

    • I love your advice. The first time a person (man or woman) shows you who they really are, take their word for it. Unfortunately, in my experience, you’re right — more men have shown themselves to be jerks than not. I hope for your daughters’ sakes they took your advice. They might be a little more guarded than the average woman, and a LOT safer.

  15. Thank you so much for this post, Chuck. I wish it could be pasted to the walls of every public place, every work environment, every male-dominated comedy club…

    I like men, I really do. I DON’T think they’re all assholes/misogynists/selfish bastards – in fact, my first approach is always to assume a guy is a decent, intelligent human being unless he proves otherwise with his behaviour. And I think most women are like that too.

    Which means, guys of the world, when we talk about the bad things that happen to us as a result of dickish male behaviour WE ARE NOT INCLUDING YOU BY DEFAULT IN THAT EQUATION. We really do know it takes more than a set of danglies to be admitted into that club. So… you don’t NEED the ‘not all men’ thing. It’s a redundant phrase.

    It’s also a counterproductive phrase, because it’s a way of shutting the subject down – and us with it. “Not all men…” is interpreted as “You can’t talk about the bad stuff my gender does because I’m not like that so it’s not my problem.” Which… kind of makes you sound a bit like those “not all men” that you’re not. How about instead you just take it as read that we’re not automatically accusing you of anything OR telling you this stuff because we’re expecting you to go out and ‘fix’ it all for us like a gentleman superhero? Honestly, you’re not signing any contracts by just… y’know, listening. You might even get coffee and a cake while you’re at it – and don’t worry, that’s just for listening, no hidden strings attached.

  16. All of us have some psychopathic traits but they are more pronounced in men for some reason. We are also seeing an epidemic of psychopathy in the US and in other countries as well. We need to ask ourselves why this is happening. Collectively we have just internalized that this is normal but it isn’t. Why is an American 25 times more likely to be a psychopath than a Japanese person. Why is the prevalence of psychopaths increasing. And I’m not talking about just a few insane people, the prevalence of psychopathic and narcissistic traits in the ENTIRE population is increasing dramatically. All a psychopath is is someone who possesses certain traits to an arbitrary extreme but these traits are in all of us. This isn’t about a few random nutjobs, there is something deeply wrong with our society and the nutjobs aren’t random or few or completely separate from us. This is about all of us. Unfortunately I don’t have any answer myself other than being the change you want to see in the world.

    • You make a very interesting and valid point, Jose. Do you ever wonder if the anti-depressants and other anti-psychotic drugs (which seem to be handed out like candy these days) have any place in what seems to be happening? From my research, some of these drugs actually do cause biochemical changes in the brain, causing unusual behaviour. I have witnessed this on a smaller scale with a few people that I know.

      Something to consider.

  17. I’ll start with this: “Like a rich man being mad at a poor man.” The way you used this is bull. MRA’s and feminist are on equal terms, all one does is fuel the other. Why is modern Woman’s rights activist than Men’s rights activist. If you actually do your homework, Men’s right’s activism is quite logical. There are just WRAs and MRAs that give both movements a bad rep. Your understanding is not very believable. Especially with what you’re saying. You pretty much say; “A man can’t be listened to when he’s fighting problems that effect him because of his gender. Only a woman should be listened to on gender related issue.” I am a woman and I saw nothing new in the hashtag. Just a bunch of apathetic retoric… Especially attacking men for their skin color and just for being men.Attacking MRAs for simply being MRAs,not all are men. Feminism has no room for me, it’s only given me reasons to be above it. Be more mature and having better logic. The attitude a lot of feminist have. I had towards my parents as a kid and I really didn’t understand a thing until years later. I hope feminist grow and be more logical. As long as they exist, the MRAs do and Feminist do effect the MRM. With their actions and apathetic behavior towards men. I have seen enough go through the law system. The consequences of modern feminism, the woman who get chosen because they are woman. Things that made me realize why MRAs exist. I’m not either, I’m just tired of the petty apathy. MRAs and feminist are both the same.

    • In my experience most of the stuff happening that violates men’s basic human rights is stuff done by other men. Beating up “sissies”… that’s men. Rape of men… that’s mostly men. Sending men off to pointless wars… that’s mostly men. Locking men out of jobs or refusing to pay them decent wages… dingdingding, mostly men.

      The one area I can think of in which men’s rights activism is genuinely needed is where a man loses rights to his child because he wasn’t married to the mother. I think that’s a load of crap and needs to be changed. But those rules were largely made by men. And on the flip side, in 31 U.S. states, all you have to do is rape a woman and knock her up by so raping and you automatically have rights to the child, including visitation. So you tell me. I got nuthin’.

      I personally think there is good reason to favor a mother first for custody. In most so-called “intact families”, the mother does more childrearing work than the father does. Therefore the children know her better. It shouldn’t be a matter of flipping a coin but of placing the kids where they will feel the most comfortable after a divorce. I’ve heard people say, incredibly, that a *nursing infant* should get equal time with both mom and dad, and never mind that breast pumps don’t work well for most women who use them or anything. Everyone’s lost sight of the fact the kids are the biggest loser in this situation and that men used to always get custody after a divorce. No, let’s punish the women for procreating. It’s no wonder fewer and fewer women want to marry and ironic that the laws made by men to establish the child-ownership rights of husbands are now seen as an advantage for single mothers. “You mean I won’t have to fight over custody if I procreate with someone who’s not my husband? Sign me UP.” If you want to see this change, start being more responsible about when and how you procreate. There are still way too many men out there who want to have fun without a condom and then don’t understand why they were “tricked” into child support. Oy.

      • Ding ding, WRONG! I will have to disagree with you vehemently. I have 2 men in my family who have been abused by their women. This is not a myth. This is reality. The fact is that women need to stop using the victim card to validate their bad behavior. My brother, who was married when he and his wife had a son, automatically has to pay HER support even though he technically has his son more often than she does and is making sure his son gets to the doctor, the dentist, gets new clothes, etc… while she buys a flat screen TV and gets public support because she is not claiming any of her income. PLEASE it’s about us looking at mothers and fathers and wives and husbands as PEOPLE not as one gender stereotype or another… Do some research without your Nazi Feminist lenses on.

        • Yes, men are sometimes abused by women. Sometimes imbalances occur. Sometimes men are victims, via rape or other forms of assault.

          Just the same, if you don’t want to fall into stereotypes, you might want to avoid using phrases like “Nazi Feminist,” which puts up a pretty big red flag.

          And, as such, I’ll ask you to be more respectful in your commentary or I’ll usher you quietly into spam.

          — c.

          • You should also realize that just because you can say, “Nazi Feminists,” you don’t have to hate feminism. I think its definitely needed in parts of the world, but there are LARGE parts of feminism who are the stereotypical man haters, and they are the VOCAL MINORITY, meaning they paint the whole as fucking man haters. There are a few MRA’s who are assholes who just hate women and think things like, “Get back in the kitchen,” Are a mantra and life style, yes, but there are also those groups of MRA’s who consist of single fathers who’s wives are either deceased or just ran off, and they get together and offer each other the support they need to raise these kids. I know one that meets at my park every month to have a barbecue and just chill.

            Point being, the use of “Nazi Feminist’s,” and “Klan member MRA’s,” or what have you, have PLENTY of grounding. We BOTH need to realize that we need to shut up the idiots who are there just to hate and point blame and play victim, and open an honest dialogue between both of the damned groups, as we both want much of the same.

        • There are a lot of cases where woman do their best to use the law against the man, even if it’s not his kid. Some even take an extra measure and publically defame the man and his family. There is also situations where men are accused of abuse. When DHS knocks on the door, they’ll more likely carry the man out. Because they have this “it’s always the man and they have stockholm” mentality. However not every when the family is just a little dysfunctional, nothing is fair. DHS really mentally scars the kids that are well aware. Knowing that it might have been their fault. The depression, selfconviction and other people that are blaming but don’t relise it takes a toll.

          • DHS…? I’m not sure why the Department of Homeland Security is involving itself in custodial matters. Now, if it’s CPS you were reaching for, let me be clear: children are taken away when it is felt they are in danger. If there is no danger, the children go back. Termination of parental rights means someone did something horrible. I think there is room for reform in the process, including counseling for said children to help them understand what’s going on. That said, I’m pretty sure CPS does the best it can with the resources it has, and if you want to see that situation improved, step up and learn about the problem from all sides of the story.

          • Department of Human Services, they may call it something else in other states. Your reply so horrible but heavily amusing.

          • Not denying that, I just see more woman do it. More innocent ex boyfriends go to jail. More fathers dragged off by DHS.

    • I don’t understand the statement that feminists and MRAs are on equal terms. Men are still listened to and heard a *lot* more than women are, just generally speaking. Feminists are advocating equality of the sexes, such as Equal Pay for Equal Work, bodily autonomy and for a woman’s right to not be raped and/or killed by a man. MRAs are fighting for things like the right for a husband to rape his wife. And… you’re suggesting that feminists are the party which needs to do “their homework”?

      If you were completely unmoved and not motivated to help decrease large amounts of WorldSuck by the information in #YesAllWomen, the apathy does not lie with the people who contributed to that hashtag. The apathy is in you. Also, you keep using that word – apathy. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • I am the type of person that expresses things differently. I said those things, doesn’t mean I don’t care. At times I care too much. I just can’t get feminist to understand much.Some woman seem to try guilt tripping and manipulate you if motivated, especially feminist. I barely respond to that treatment in real life. However I help you to death. Feminist want to be everthing but will always be Woman’s Right’s Activism. Even if they claim they are for “non-gender-specific-equality”. At least Men’s Right’s doesn’t lie about the motivation. They are on equal ground because the bad behavior. Though perhaps your right, it’s not so equal when the attitude of the feminist actually does effect Men’s Rights Activism. The way they belittle MRAs and get more attention than the MRAs. It’s quite logical to who the privileged are.

      • Some feminists. The problem is that both those sympathetic to feminism and hostile to it treat feminism as monolithic. Sure some feminists are simply about equality. Others, however, are committed to the notion that are a wicked collective and that war must be waged against them. Neither feminists nor the MRM is monolithic so it’s best to focus on individuals and their claims.

  18. This is the first time that I have come across your path, and like John Scalzi, your status as a decent guy who gets it, as well as your judicious application of the ban-hammer as an internet host, have earned you a new reader. Am off to buy your short fiction collection now. Kind regards from your newest (female) fan.

  19. “This isn’t the time to ride up as standard-bearers for the realm of menfolk.”
    Its finally settled. This is by far the most sassy thing to have ever been spoken. Gods speed on your journey, sassmaster.
    Great article too.

  20. @Jose Garcia: I live in the UK but am married to an American citizen so have some exposure to US culture.

    From my perspective, the US has a far greater emphasis on the rights of the individual compared to the rights of society. Everyone in the USA believes that (s)he is entitled to express his or her feelings or opinion. It does not seem to matter whether that opinion is based on evidence or is the result of considered reflection. From abroad, this gives the appearance of a nation of noisy, self-important narcissists. It may also encourage sociopathic and psychopathic behaviour; I don’t know if there is any research on the issue.

    This emphasis on individual rights is not all bad. It enabled the social revolution of the 1960s. It has resulted in academic investigations into personal bias of all kinds: race, gender, age, sexuality etc. Americans have a great belief in the potential of self-improvement, which is a liberating philosophy compared to the somewhat depressing determinist view from Europe.

  21. as a man ‘m shocked at the brazenness of the op as a rape victim I’m vehemently offended saying that woman have to be careful everywhere because a man might decide he needs to get some at no expense which is exactly what this article is perpetuating is bogus you cant lump attackers into one category every time I see some pro woman hate speech they all generalize rapes as being a female only victim what about the ten percent that’s us, you think I go down the street free and care free every night because I have a dick swinging in between my legs no I go down the street with the ever-present thought that a woman might just drug me when I go to the bar like she did that night so I take precautions, buddies with me, and I monitor my drinks because you cant just label everyone of the opposite sex as a rapist because when you do you give all of the power to your attacker this is why I find your claims to be at fault and you personally at fault for spreading ignorance burn your own bra if you want to but don’t try to pressure the entire female populous into doing it because I’m sure some bras are too comfortable to act as kindling for your hate fire

    • First, punctuation really is your friend here William. Secondly no-one is saying that male rape doesn’t happen, it does. Here in the UK we have organisations that help those men that have been raped, either by men or women. Not every man has to worry about being physically raped, the majority of men, through taking simple precautions (which you outline) are a lot less likely to be targeted. Women however face the very real fear that every time they go out of a secure environment they could be attacked. Imagine that. Going to work, going to the shops, attending church; all present opportunities for someone to attack them, and that someone is in the vast majority of cases a male.

  22. Asking men to listen is not a solution – at best it’s a request for better communication. Men are often raised by their mothers to be how they are… you may want to start there to ‘fix’ things for the future. All people need to understand that a healthy male is fueled by testosterone that has evolved over millions of years to propagate our species. And while it’s in a man’s nature to be aggressive and certain behaviors are abhorrent and not to be accepted – as a society we are repressing men more and more and bitching about the result. The primal nature of a man is to have a family and their desire is to work to defend and take care of them. When you take that away from them you get war. If you’re not happy with this, do you have a REASONABLE way to address it or do you just want to bitch about it?

    • I’m gonna let this one slip through the filter because it falls into one of the horseshit pits that are so prevalent in this discussion — that is, the one where men are somehow biologically geared toward being what they are, and that when they’re somehow repressed and turn to monsters, that’s the mother’s fault. This is one of those ideas that has no basis in fact, no scientific merit, and is cheap, lazy, ignorant thinking. We’re not animals. We’re not even chimpanzees. It’s time to start using our higher HUMAN brains to think logically and use empathy. And your comment lacks logic and empathy, with the gaps spackled liberally with ignorant thought. You can take that nonsense and go spin it somewhere else.

      • I disagree with Fred when he appears to suggest that people are not culpable for their actions. However, humans ARE animals. I have no idea why the author of this article thinks we are not animals. We are obviously not chimpanzees and no geneticist or taxonomist would classify us as chimpanzees. But we are a species that evolved just like every other species did and we are a part of the same tree of life. To suggest otherwise is everything you accused Fred of being: cheap/lazy/ignorant etc.

      • Yes, we’re humans and have higher brain functions. That doesn’t mean that animal brain isn’t still there. We are animals, mammals specifically, with underlying urges, reflexes, biological imperatives, and patterns of behavior burned into our brain’s wetware through millions of years of evolution. We could (and should) debate (with science) what those natural impulses are, and how much of them is DNA vs. culture, but to pretend they’re not there simply because “we’re humans and we’re cool” is pure ignorance.

        If we want to adapt ourselves to the world we want to create, it requires first understanding the material we’re working with: Ourselves. If you want to become more than your wetware, you have to first understand and acknowledge that your wetware is there, how it affects you, and how to work with it, not simply suppress it.

        That’s true no matter which “side” of any given discussion you’re on.

        • Nobody says that before we can talk about bank robbery, we must first sit down and have a debate (with Science!) about how much biological urges drive bank robbery. Nobody suggests that maybe we shouldn’t condemn bank robbers or outlaw robbing banks until we have a full picture of the underlying, primal animal brain urges that might fuel bank robbery. Nobody says that it would be mean to jail bank robbers because that would be “suppressing” urges.

          It’s only when we’re talking about misogynistic rage that suddenly we have to derail everything and have a Serious Science Chat about whether “urges” drive this shit.

  23. A lot of real dumb motherfuckers with the introspection of a can of beets mouthing off in this comment section.

    Great article, it’s a pity those who could really benefit from reading it won’t be able to parse your point.

  24. Male feminists are the single greatest asset to the third wave feminist movement, because if you present your case to an anti-feminist, they can just dismiss you for being a white knight who is appropriating the women’s movement to get positive female attention, and by that fact alone they would prove their otherwise flawed cause right. Well played, Chuck.

    • I would consider myself a male feminist, but I would also consider myself an MRA. I’m not talking about the friend-zone though, that’s stupid. I’m talking about homelessness, about suicide, violent crime, compulsory military service etc. All of which affect men more than women. Despite the fact that 40 per cent of domestic violence victims are male, there are no domestic violence shelters for women in the US.

      • “Despite the fact that 40 percent of domestic violence victims are male, there are no domestic violence shelters for women in the US.”

        A. I think you meant “Men” in the second half of your sentence, which
        B. Still makes it wrong as Safe Horizons and several other major domestic violence outreach groups in the US offer resources to get men into shelters and safe zones. If you google “Domestic Violence Shelters Men” they’re one of the first organizations that pops up, with phone numbers and email to get men in need of assistance to a shelter.

  25. As a man who endured physical violence from men AND women for over 6 Years:

    Why are we blaming the other Sex ?
    We should blame us as a Society.

    We should acknowledge that there is unacceptable behaivor from humans.

    Lets address that.

    We should teach respect and humbleness.
    We should teach compassion
    We should teach tolerance, to the point where the rights and freedom of one is not
    impacting the rights and freedom of others.

    We should work on a world that is worth living in for everyone
    and agressive behaivor is not needed nor rewarded.

    We should work on a Society that values everone.

    What we do instead is argue, sabotage, and demoralize.
    We maginalize, and segregate people for any number of reasons. (looks, religion, behaivor, sex, wealth)

    Why ?
    Its easier in our minds to point at someone else.
    Its easier to do what everone does.
    Its sometimes because we feel endangered from something.

    In my humble opinion:

    We are afraid. Afraid of Change.

    We should work on that.

  26. No.

    Sorry, but I disagree with you 100%

    If it is not okay to say “not all men” then it was also not okay to say “not all Muslims” after 9/11.

    Why is it okay to talk about men as a whole and not okay to talk about Muslims all as a whole? After all, men are an even larger, and more diverse group.

    It isn’t really acceptable to allow people to tar you with the same brush as everyone else like this.

    Answer this question, why is it different?

    • Because, as someone else originally said above, “Not all men savage women. But all women have been savaged by men.” (paraphrasing) And allow me to add this: For a female the possibilities for bad outcomes are there, with EVERY male that ever crosses your path (many females are abused by their immediate family members). For her ENTIRE life, from infancy (ultra sickos) to the golden years. It’s a constant, a low, omnipresent thudding at the base of your lizard brain. Which means ALL females live in fear to some extent their entire lives, and for far too many the fears are well-founded. Think on *that*, and if it bothers you to know that any woman you go on a first date with will have at least a tiny bit of fear in the back of her mind merely because you’re male, then make it your business to do away with that fear, to make it unjustified. Call out your male friends for sexist, misogynist, belittling, objectifying behavior toward women. It should be no less acceptable to treat a woman poorly than it is to treat a child, an animal, or any other traditionally marginalized or victimized group.

      • Do you not see the fundamental prejudice and horror that you’re perpetuating in assuming that every single male is potentially dangerous? Imagine if that were applied to any other group? Why is it okay to assume that every single man is potentially dangerous?

        I agree with you, of course it shouldn’t be acceptable to treat a woman badly, or to be sexist, misogynist, belittling etc. None of those things should be acceptable. But why should it be acceptable to assume that a man is potentially guilty of all these things and worse, before he’s done anything.

        • I saw this on Twitter, and I thought it was apt. If someone hands you a plate of cookies, and they tell you that a few of those cookies contain laxatives, what do you do? You probably assume that all the cookies *could* contain the laxative because you simply have no way of knowing.

          • Michael – instead of trying to pretzel the argument to suit your agenda, why not just absorb some of what’s being said here? Why not drop the attitude and really LISTEN to what women are saying they have experienced here? Because if you did, you could understand WHY this omnipresent fear is there. And maybe you’d be moved to do something about it, instead of derailing the discussion into your own self-righteous need to be right.

          • Racists use this kind of logic when talking about black people and point to statistics demonstrating the disproportionate number of black people who commit robberies. You’re really not making any sense. Unless you’re going to argue that its rational to fear a group without evidence of any crime done, it’s not reasonable.

          • April – what exactly am I supposed to do to solve this situation?

            As far as I can tell, you and many other women fear me simply because I am a man. What am I supposed to do to change that situation when presented with that kind of reality?

            All I can do is simply not do evil things, and attempt to prevent evil things being done when I have the knowledge of when/where they are happening.

          • As I already replied previously, what you should do is to be part of the solution and do all in your power to make that omnipresent fear a thing of the past. It’s not enough to just be a great, sensitive guy yourself. Call out your male friends and family members for bad behavior toward women: the catcalling, the objectification, the belittling, the abusive language and actions that so many feel are just “all in good fun”. If you wouldn’t stand idly by while someone was beating a dog or running a hand up the leg of a ten year old in salacious fashion, then don’t stand idly by while the men around you do things that perpetuate and justify our fears.

          • How do you know I don’t already do that?

            I agree with you 100%, these things are not acceptable.

            But the fact remains that because some men do them is not an apt justification for believing that all men are somehow potentially dangerous.

            In the same way, I’m sure all black people would tell you that robbery is unacceptable, but they’d also tell you that they don’t appreciate prejudices where people fear black people will commit a robbery.

            Such prejudices are unacceptable, even in the face of data showing that a disproportionate number of black people commit robberies.

          • I’m done trying to argue against your ridiculous premises and defensiveness. I have better things to do, and would rather spend my words on people who are willing to listen and absorb instead of constantly defending and deflecting. Buh-bye.

        • It should be acceptable because OUR LIVES ARE LITERALLY AT RISK. You can go out there and give every guy the benefit of the doubt, but statistically speaking, it’s not wise. No woman who’s been date raped ever saw it coming. Not every dog bites either, but until I’ve seen evidence that a SPECIFIC dog won’t bite me, I’m not going to pet it. It’s called being appropriately cautious.

          • Okay, a genuine question.

            Why are you afraid of men?

            Is there a specific reason beyond the fact that there are men who have done horrible things to you, or others, in the past?

          • Because statistically speaking, a great number of them do harm to females. Period. It’s not personal, it’s pure fact and statistics. And I’m not generally “afraid of men”, I’m afraid of the possible bad intentions of men I don’t know, or know well. I’m afraid to that extent for the same reason I’m afraid of dogs I don’t know. AGAIN, AS i ALREADY SAID ABOVE: until I’ve seen evidence that a given dog I don’t know WON’T bite me, the smart move is NOT to pet that dog. Especially if you know the dog is capable of killing you if it decides to do so. There is NO emotion in that judgment call, it’s simple, common sense.

          • That might be true, but its also a statistical reality that black people are disproportionately more likely to rob you in certain cities. Does that fact give people a justification to fear black people in those places?

          • april you cant say things like “OUR LIVES ARE LITERALLY AT RISK” and not have your outlook be personal you have associated yourself with the topic therefore making it personal
            what Michael has been trying to present to you this entire time is your speech is full of prejudice hence why he’s using the topic of racism to show you where your faulty logic is leading you this entire time you and the author have been putting forth a prejudicial conception of males being the root cause of evil when it is people who are the root cause of it all a woman being mistreated is no laughing matter but neither is a :child, man, or animal the point he’s trying to make is instead of harping on 50% of the problem harp on the whole problem that is we as a people need to be more kind compassionate and empathetic towards each other and to all beings forget statistic because they never paint a real picture 3 out of the 20 members of my support group reported their rape to the police instead of using statistics why don’t we use the teachings of great people like Gandhi, Jesus, and martin Luther king jr to guide us on the road to a better future
            author you just became what you warned the male populous to shy away from when you told Michael he shouldn’t say anything further in that instance you became a bully what you could have said was “Michael maybe make your point some other way” stating what I believe to be your intention to get him to interact without falling back to the straw man tactics like he was doing
            instead of painting one group as an enemy why not concentrate on the society that allows horrible things like ignorance brutalism and indecency

        • I find it hilarious when people try to bust out the “but what about RACIST” argument – which is exactly backwards, and actually kind of revealing, because it pretends that the status and power of women relative to men is analogous to the status and power of white people relative to black people in the US, when it’s actually the reverse.

          So, to correct your smug little racist analogy: Is it racist and wrong for young black men in an urban community to be wary of white police officers? After all, not ALL white police officers are bigots who abuse their authority with impunity. I mean, sure, it’s not always easy to tell that a given cop is a racist thug as opposed to Officer Friendly – at least, not up until the moment he slams you into the hood of your car. And yeah, sure, lots of people (mostly white, but not all) will blame you and assume you mouthed off to the cop, or that you were asking for it dressed in that stupid hoodie, and it IS true that there is a long history of racist cops disproportionately harassing young black men, up to including torturing them for false confessions or having them die in custody.

          ….but other than THAT, why on earth should it be acceptable for a young black man to get nervous when a cop car cruises by? RACISM!!!11! Right?

        • In response to your question Michael, of “what exactly am I supposed to do to solve this situation?” – it’s very simple. Listen to what we’re saying. And then try to understand.

          Because you see, sometimes listening and understanding is the solution in itself, not coming up with a to do list of relevant actions.

          For now you’re clearly neither understanding nor listening. It would be great if you could try again, really listen to what we’re all saying, and then try to understand.

      • Absolutely April Hamilton!!! Absolutely! The guy who held me at gunpoint and tried to force me into sex was a FRIEND of mine I had known from school. A friend! Back then, late 80’s, I didn’t even bother to call the police because I knew they would do nothing. Maybe nowadays they would but not back then. I refused him and told him he would just have to shoot me because I’d rather be shot than raped. Thankfully he decided he didn’t want to be a murderer that day, and let me go. Most molestations happen from coaches, family friends, teachers, etc. I was also molested as a child and guess who it was? A family FRIEND. A neighbor.

    • It’s not different, because nobody here is saying ALL MEN ARE BAD. What I and many others are saying is, confronting misogyny and violence against women and making it about you via some defensive white flag NOT ME, NOT ME, NOT ALL MEN, I’M NOT A JERK — well, that basically makes you a jerk.

      When men bear witness to an endless stream of women sharing their stories in which they were hurt, abused, humiliated, assaulted at the hands of men, you can either be a Good Guy and offer genuine help in whatever way you are able (listen to them, offer empathy, signal boost, etc.), or you can be a Certified Piece of Shit and say, “UHH WELL WHATEVER I DIDN’T DO ANY OF THAT” and interject yourself forcibly into a narrative that isn’t yours.

      That results in you deepening the disregard women feel and suffer. Which means you’re contributing to the toxic culture instead of helping to solve it — meaning, you’re on the side of the devils, and not the angels.

      When talking about their genuine fears and experiences, women don’t want to hear about YOU YOU YOU first. That’s how little babies act. Are you a needy little baby? No? Then let the adults have a turn.

      Open your ears and open your eyes.

      • I’m fine offering comfort and support to victims of abuse. I will listen to their stories, and try and empathise and listen and engage.

        I’m not fine with people turning stories of abuse into a narrative that teaches people that all men are potentially dangerous and should be viewed as animals who could potentially attack you at any time. You literally just gave an example of your thinking of “all men are bad” with your laxative cookie comment.

        The narrative isn’t mine if it’s just about the attacks etc. The narrative becomes mine when it is used to attack me or those like me.

        I’m a Christian, and I don’t like it when people use examples of Christians who have been abusive to paint a picture of all Christians being dangerous. I will however offer support to people bearing their souls about the abuse they have received, and will tell them all about how God despises the actions of those who would abuse their positions of leadership, trust, or any other such place given to them by the Church.

        There is no question that these attacks were horrible, but they’re not a justification to fear all men.

        • “You literally just gave an example of your thinking of “all men are bad” with your laxative cookie comment.”

          That’s….actually the exact opposite of the laxative-cookie example.

        • Maybe the right word is not “fear” but “caution”.

          Tell me please, as a man, do you always keep your keys clutched in your hand when you are outside of your apartment, so you can defend yourself in case someone attacks you?
          – I do that, even though I have never been attacked. I also wear combat boots (ok mostly because I like how they look, but I feel safer with them).

          If you go on a date, are you scared that she may laugh at you or that you might get murdered / raped?
          – I am not scared of any of this, I want to enjoy my date, but still, when I get home I would call a friend or my parents, so they know I am alive.

          If you get on a public transportation, do people “accidently” touch indecent body parts? Or get real cuddly when you are in a line at a shop?
          – I have been pawed at a lot. I know I am not the ugliest person in the universe, but really? Is that an invitation to my body? I don’t care how “sexy” my clothes are, but you (and I don’t specifically mean you, Michael, just to clarify 😉 ) don’t get to touch me, unless I want to. Just like no one is allowed to touch a man.

          No one is saying all men dangerous and no one is saying all men are murderers or rapist. And hey, hormones can be assholes, really, I understand that.

          But I had this friend, he was really nice. I really liked him. He told me he was in love with me. I said “That’s, uh, nice, but I am not interested in you that way.” He was fine with that. At first.
          But then he was drunk. Felt entitled, because he was so nice to me. I managed to get away and stayed away from him from that day on. Heard from other friends that he was only nice because he wanted me in bed. That really hurt.
          Because you know, I trusted him. And I am nice to a LOT of people. I don’t expect them to sleep with me. I am nice to them because I want to be, well…. nice. Because I like them.
          I have other male friends. I have the most wonderful boyfriend. My male friends would never try anything. My boyfriend does take no for an answer and would never force me to do anything.
          And that is why I love them so much (one of the reasons).

          And that is why I love Chuck so much, too. That and because he curses enough to make a sailor blush. And why would Chuck say ALL men are creepy assholes? He is a man himself. But he is a man that gets it. And he listens.

          And if you listen, if you don’t continue if a woman (or any person, for that matter) says “no”, if you don’t touch someone without consent, if you call your friends out when they are being asses, then no, you are not part of the problem. The only problem is, that you think we mean you.

          Anyway, I should stop starting my sentences with “And”. Also, this is getting longer than I thought.

        • Agreed Michael. Most of this amounts to little more than men bashing under the guise of raising awareness. There is little substance in this blog that points to a solution.

          Words from another blog article I read that seems relevant here:
          “What do people do with all their awareness? Awareness and blame walk the finest of tightropes and depending on a person’s history, can be interpreted in either direction, no matter the intent. Because awareness can easily turn into suspicion which can easily turn into expectation which can easily turn into assumption which can easily turn into fear, then we’re victims and men are the monsters, even before they’ve spoken a word to us.
”

          Again, fear wins the day…

    • Because NO ONE IS DOING THAT. We’re not actually saying all men are dangerous. We’re saying we live with the knowledge that any man can be dangerous, and that’s not the same thing. Maybe that isn’t “fair”, but it doesn’t have to be fair. We’re not actually impacting your ability to be free in any way. And claiming that its not fair for women to approach their lives in ways that attempt to mitigate violence because you aren’t life that, that’s just selfish crap.

      I KNOW not all men are rapists. But when you’ve been raped more than once, when two thirds of the women in your life have been raped, when women are blamed for their own sexual assaults, you face the possibility that any man you encounter COULD do this to you in a very real, visceral way. We focus rape prevention on telling women how to “not get raped”, which not only doesn’t work and shifts blame and all that stuff, but it also makes us aware of the fact that we have to be constantly on guard. Then we get blamed for not being “fair”.

      The fact that it is more important to you that women ignore the very real threat of physical, sexual and emotional violence we face daily so you don’t have to feel uncomfortable with the idea of someone maybe thinking you could be a threat, that tells me something. It tells me you don’t get it. It tells me you think there’s an actual link between racist ideology and fear of violence because of something like racist ideology. A more compelling comparison? Muslims who feel less safe because of racist rhetoric, not the rhetoric itself.

      Because saying women live with the fear that any man could hurt them is not the same as saying all men hurt women and all men are bad. But you know this already.

      • “Because saying women live with the fear that any man could hurt them is not the same as saying all men hurt women and all men are bad.”

        This. This. A million times this.

    • Because your analogy to 9/11 is nonsense.

      Imagine that Muslims made up of half the population of the US, and that Christians were constantly subjected to constant, regular harassment by Muslims, ranging from the verbal to the physical. Women having their hair pulled on subways for not wearing a headscarf. Christians on their way to church being shouted at from cars, or followed down the road. Muslim missionaries asking if they want to convert to Islam, and responding with torrents of abuse – sometimes physical – when politely refused. Would you, in that world, scoff at a Christian who said “I tense up when I see a group of Muslims walking up to me”? Would you call someone a bigot if they were wary of anyone who offered to discuss the Quran with them? If a Muslim posted a screed about how evil Christians were and then shot up an interfaith prayer group, would you start your sanctimonious tut-tutting about Not All Muslims?

  27. Thanks so much for this post, Chuck! The people in this comments section who are whining about how society is “repressing men” unfortunately are making your point for you, but not as well as you did. Thanks again for the honesty and for the support you are showing women and girls everywhere.

  28. Also, a word on MRAs.

    Yes, there are MRAs who whine about the friend-zone, female rejection etc.

    There are also feminists who advocate for the use of false rape allegations to teach men a lesson, and argue that cutting a mans penis off is ‘a little bit fabulous’.

    There are also MRAs who are concerned about legitimate issues like the fact that homelessness disproportionately affects men, and that men are disproportionately the victims of crime, that family courts are often biased against men, that men commit suicide more often than women, that many countries do not consider a woman raping a man to be a crime, and that many countries continue to have military service selection exclusively for men.

    There are also feminists who are concerned with the gender pay gap, female genital mutilation, female infanticide, sex trafficking, representations in the media, representation of women in legislatures, rape, etc.

    To paint an entire movement based on the actions of extremists is absurd. It would be like saying that all Muslims are like Osama Bin Laden, like all Christians are like Timothy McVeigh or Jason Kony.

    What this man did in Santa Barbra was sick and disgusting and wrong, just as was the ideology that fuelled him. But to argue that its okay to judge an entire movement by its extremists is just wrong.

    • I’m sorry but men are the ones creating their own problems and yes it IS okay to paint the entire movement. Why? Because men have ALL the rights all over the world in almost every corner of the world since the dawn of time. Men still hold all the cards in almost every industry, every society. So many societies in the world still treat women worse than animals. So, sorry I do not feel sorry for you and I do not support your “cause.” As a woman who has been abused by an awful lot of men, I don’t feel one bit sorry for you.

      As far as father’s rights go, there are FAR more abusive, molesting fathers out there who use the courts to still get hold of their children and harm them more, FAR more dead beat dads, FAR more wife beaters out there whose wives are trying to get full custody to SAVE their children’s lives than there are responsible, well meaning fathers who get their rights taken away. The world needs more good dads and I totally support good dads getting the same custody as the mothers, but the potential for abuse and damage is great when the numbers of abusive and neglectful fathers is so high.

      One of the ways women can handle this problem is to be more picky about who they marry, who they sleep with, and who their choose to spend their time with. Choose a man based on whether you think he will be a good father, not just a good time for you.

      • I feel bad for you because of the fact that you’ve been abused, but that doesn’t justify hating or distrusting all men, any more than a 9/11 widow/widower has the right to distrust all Muslims.

        If men have all the rights, why are more men homeless? Why are more men committing suicide? Why are more men victims of crime? Why are more men forced to go to war?

        Maybe the situation is more complex, and there are other forces involved.

        And unless you have statistics showing that a majority of all fathers are abusive or abandoning etc, you’re not being reasonable in claiming that the family courts are just.

        • GAHHHH you are so frustrating. I did NOT say the majority of fathers are abusive or neglectful. I said it is more likely in the courts that if there is domestic violence or child neglect it will be by the father not the mother. I also did NOT say all men are bad or that I distrust all men. Like April said, if you would for one minute just LISTEN to what women are saying and HEAR it that would make you a tiny part of the solution. The ONLY reason I am even bothering with you is not because of you, but because of others who may be reading and need the perspective. I have a very healthy relationship with the men in my life, my husband, my relatives and friends. But I also am VERY careful when I’m out alone. I am careful around men and I do not put myself in positions where I could be a victim. All of that is learned from BEING a victim.

          Just walking down the street, if you are moderately attractive is difficult for women. I can’t just peacefully take a walk with my dog without some guy harassing me if I”m out on a busy street. Since I had children my life has gotten so much better in so many ways. I love being a mom. But you know one way it has improved tremendously? Men don’t harass moms with little kids as much as they harass women who are alone. I live in a very safe neighborhood, quiet and really nice. Yet a female jogger was stabbed last year by a male who was her… you guessed it… her NEIGHBOR. He was nuts and on drugs and jumped out of the bushes and attacked her in our very safe neighborhood.

          As a man, you do not have to worry about shopping at Target or Walmart and being followed around by some guy making comments about your butt. As a man you can go out for drinks with the guys and hang out without being bothered. If women go out for drinks men will not just come over and say hello politely, they will push themselves on you, try to force you to dance with them, try to get in with your group of girls and take a seat. If you are polite, they will keep pushing and not go away. If you are firm, they just might get violent and call you a fucking bitch or a whore.

          I can tell you so many stories, but here is a prime example. Two girlfriends of mine are out with their boyfriends at an UPSCALE nightclub, not a dive bar. The guys go to the bathroom and some asshole starts hitting on Brandy, I’ll call her. Brandy is polite and refuses him so he gets more aggressive. He finally grabs her right there in the bar and tries to kiss her. All the time she has said NO, but right there in public he is now sexually assaulting her. So Alana, who happens to be a martial arts expert, gets involved and has to put her high heeled foot into the dude’s chest to get him to back off. My friend Alana, an educated professional woman was FORCED into a bar fight to stop her friend from being sexually assaulted. When their boyfriends come back, it’s over and the guy is gone.

          Here’s another one. My friends and I are walking to our car after dinner. Its 3 girls and one guy. Out of nowhere, some thugs approach us and ask for our numbers. We tell them no and keep walking. They push and push and push us until we threaten to call police. As they are walking away one of them slaps me on the behind. I call him a jerk and he and his friends attack the guy in our group and start beating him up. This was in a NICE neighborhood. I ran for help and they ran away. Cops came but they were long gone and had NO consequences.

          A lot of men DO feel entitled to attention from pretty girls and when we tell them no they are going to get that attention no matter what. Not all of it ends in violence, but if I feel uncomfortable shopping for groceries or being out with friends then that is violence to my psyche and that is WRONG. YOU do not have to deal with this EVER. Yet often we deal with it on a daily basis.

          And it doesn’t matter how we dress. It happens no matter what you’re wearing.

        • “I feel bad for you because of the fact that you’ve been abused, but that doesn’t justify hating or distrusting all men”

          If you met someone who told you that they had been attacked by a dog as a child, and as a result they were now afraid of all dogs, would you still argue that their fear was unjustified?

          Women say they are afraid of all men because we’re taught our entire lives that we can’t go out wearing that, shouldn’t walk alone at night or in bad neighbourhoods, shouldn’t leave our drinks unattended or accept drinks that we didn’t see get poured, or do anything but be perfect, infallible beings because if we do, then bad men will do bad things to us. But there’s no way to tell the bad men from the okay ones, so we should be on our guard always, just in case, because it’s our responsibility to keep ourselves safe.

          So we spend our lives haunted by the spectre of the strange, bad man who might jump out from the shadows at any moment to rape and/or kill us, and then when it eventually happens it’s not the behaviour of the man who chose to rape or commit violence against our body that is scrutinized, but our own. What were we wearing; what were we doing; did we smile too much; were we too friendly; did we accept a drink and inadvertently agree to sex; did we somehow otherwise invite this behaviour upon ourselves?

          So, yes, we do understand that not *all* men are violent misogynists, but we can’t tell who is and who isn’t and we live with a pervasive narrative that says if we guess wrong and suffer negative consequences then it’s our own fault and we should have known better. If you’re a man and you get upset when women express fear of all men, that’s fine. But when you say it’s problematic because it hurts your feelings because “not all men” (i,e. you) are like that, rather than because it bothers you that women have to live in fear, you minimize the real issue and instead make it about yourself, which, aside from being beyond selfish, conveniently allows you to disassociate yourself from problematic male behaviour and thus avoid bearing any responsibility to do anything about it.

    • “There are also feminists who advocate for the use of false rape allegations to teach men a lesson, and argue that cutting a mans penis off is ‘a little bit fabulous’.”

      This is fucking bullshit and you know it.

  29. I like to think I’m not misogynistic in anyway, or think I’m owed attention (on any level) for just being a man. I’ve always understood the world is much different from a Woman’s eyes, though obviously I can’t view it from them, Yet the experiences and emotion shard under the YesAllWomen tag have STILL been extremely eye opening for me.

    I come from a family comprised of mostly females, and to think of my loved ones going through some of the things I’ve read is appalling.

    In another discussion a male friend of mine said the only thing Men should be doing is offering support to anyone who many need it, and pledging to do anything they can to stop the thinking that furthers this abuse. Hopefully more people clue into that.

  30. You see this is what we need. We need more people to point this stuff out. What’s worse than not being that guy is being that guy who doesn’t do anything about it. Sadly I’ve been out with my “bro’s” and one would call out “Hey baby..”. We all laugh and move on but quietly I think “was that appropriate, am I just being a pussy? better shut up…” That I think is the true evil. And yeah I’m guilty of it.

    But when someone speaks up, points it out, and says that’s not right I can reaffirm my guilt which turns it into affirmation. We’re always going to feel entitled for something and lash out in a destructive way. Much of being human is learning to control our emotions. Unfortunately when we are deep in its throw’s it’s only wisdom and good sense that prevents us from being fools or despicably evil. We live in a male run society which is “hostile” to women. It distorts the good sense in recognizing equal rights between sexes. I mean, I have female friends who get pictures of guy’s d*ck every month, We all laugh and move on. The good sense is that if you aren’t in a relationship where that sort of thing is not in agreement by both parties then it is inappropriate. The distortion is that it’s the norm. All men need to recognize this and point it out so that we don’t have individuals defending their morally corrupt ideas.

    Personally without a post like this I would’ve lived my whole life not giving a second thought to the rampant sexism before my eyes. Racism I see. But sexism is so ubiquitous that it’s almost unrecognizable from the norm. We need to also understand the genetics of how women are different from men. I mean men are always “on” and being “on” is a very powerful emotion. I know some men who literally can’t control themselves. They need help like any drug addict. Yet now they’re creating movements and stuff and murdering women to express their frustrations? It’s like serial killers are self organizing.

  31. I can only imagine that the men here who have responded in such defensive and negative ways don’t have daughters. I can’t imagine those same views coming from the mouths of fathers who have young girls growing up today.

    • I absolutely disagree with this article (my response is ‘awaiting moderation’).

      My gender is irrelevant.

      My daughter will grow up knowing that boys have no more privilege in this world than she does. She is taught that respect is a two way street. She is taught that she is responsible for creating her own situations in life (with the obvious exceptions). And when she starts dating she will be taught how to behave as an equal. She will buy her own drinks so she knows what she’s doing, she will buy the first dinner so there is no expectation set, she will be transparent about her intentions to avoid miscommunications, and she will be honest and direct enough to answer the phone and tell her date clearly whether she wants to see them again or not.
      She will not demand, expect, assume, or secretly want ANYTHING, characteristics that seem abundant in today’s dating culture amongst both my male and female friends.
      In short, she will be a healthy, functional, empowered, EQUAL individual who through good judgement will surround herself with similar types.

      And I absolutely disagree with this article…

      • OhMyGodICan’tBelieveYou’reSayingThis. So what you mean to say is that if a man DOES buy your daughter a drink or meal, then it’s OKAY for him to feel entitled to physical contact, whether she wants it or not?! That the only way to avoid allowing the man to feel that way is to pay her own way?! That if she doesn’t, and is later victimized, it’s because she let the man pay?! I don’t know if you’re male or female, but you are clearly part of the problem.

        • Quite the opposite April. I’m simply saying that my daughter will be responsible for her actions, as much as any potential date will be responsible for his/hers. By simply behaving as an equal and cutting out the crap, the double standards and expectations that exists in society and especially in the dating scene, everyone is much clearer on where they stand and neither party can claim any type of victimisation.

      • I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but speaking as a parent, kids have pretty good bullshit meters. Your daughter may nonetheless figure out that good intentions are not a magic shield against assholes and bigots, and that your ‘respect is a two way street’ is code for ‘if people treat you like shit you deserve it.’

      • I’m sorry, but you are going to be teaching your daughter a lie. A lie completely based on a utopian world which we do not live in, in which women’s autonomy is respected, in which in which there are no pay gaps, in which women do not have to lie and say “I have a boyfriend” just to get a man who is harassing them off their back while they’re trying to socialise with friends.

        And for the record, I am 100% sure that you are a man. Because there is no way you could be so blind and apathetic to all the testimonies of women speaking about WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A WOMAN IN THIS WORLD, right here under this article. You would not have said “my gender is irrelevant”, but simply stated that you’re a woman – wouldn’t that just show all the other women in this discussion!

        Here’s a cautionary tale: you always think it won’t happen to you, or someone close to you. And then it does.

        According to RAINN, USA’s largest anti-sexual violence organisation, if you average the amount of rapes that happen per year, an American is a victim of rape every two minutes. According to statistics from 2003, 9/10 of those victims will be women.

        And feel free to look up statistics for other countries too.

        You can’t teach your daughter to prevent rape. You can’t protect her from it. I hope to death she never has to endure it, but please, for her sake, educate yourself about the risks of being a woman in this world so that you can support her in a way that will be most healing and helpful if, heavens forbid, something like this ever happens to her. You owe her that as a parent.

        And instead of sneering at me, believe for this one moment that this is an act of kindness and human decency. Patriarchy, misogyny and rape culture are not an opinion. These are all facts. I have no reason to lie to you or mislead you. I’ve spent the whole day reading and commenting under this article because I really, really fucking care about this. Someone very close to me has been a victim of rape multiple times in her life. Some of those when she was just a child. Then a teenager. Then an adult. And I see how much it broke her and breaks her to this day. So I care about this because I want this world to be a better place for girls and women. Educate yourself about the other side’s beliefs before you make up your mind. Listen.

        • Sorry R if I have come across as being apathetic to the testimonies of women here. I assure you that I am not, and I am very well aware of what it is like to be a woman in this world.

          i have sat with my friends while they discuss how much they want the cute guy over the room to come and talk to them, while they ridicule and become indignant about the nervous guy who had the courage to try. I’ve seen how proud and smug they are that they just walked out of the date when the guys card is declined rather than do anything to help. I’ve laughed with guy friends who have a standing competition as to how long they can leave a check sitting on the table unattended before their date makes a comment about them picking it up.

          I’m not arguing rape does not exist, or that it’s not an enormous societal problem. Simply, I am saying that Equality means Equality regardless of gender or circumstance. And while Equality only means Equality when one person thinks it does, or it’s suitable to a particular situation, or just because I feel like invoking it now that it benefits me, it is not really Equality is it?

          And my gender remains irrelevant…

          • Have you laughed with girl friends over how poorly guys have reacted when they (the girls) actually try and pick up the check on the first date? Have you sat with guy friends who ridicule the cute girl who actually approaches them first instead of depending on them to make the first move?

            I have.

            It really would be a wonderful thing if behaving like things were equal unlocked the gate to the Magical Egalitarian Utopia, like stepping through to Narnia. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.

            But I can understand it’s comforting to think so. It can be pretty jarring to find out that behaving like a strong, independent women is not something that all men welcome and respond to in kind. Quite the opposite.

  32. WOW! Glad you were armed with a pen and not a gun. Guessing you’re single, no kids and lots of cats.
    Possibly even a girlfriend… Am I right? I’m married, 2 sons 1 daughter… and raised well. Treat EVERYONE w/ dignity and respect, period.
    No one owes me anything, I earn it…

    • Bully for you. Now ask your wife if she’s ever felt uncomfortable when a man catcalls her on the street. Or if a stranger has ever laughed or made unsolicited comments on her body or clothing choices. Has anyone touched her without permission or made her feel threatened with their larger size. Ask her.

  33. Yes. All this, and a thousand times more yes.

    To which I will add only this:

    Everyone, male and female, knows a woman who has been a victim of sexual abuse. If you think you don’t, you’re wrong.

    Also? Not all victims of rape and sexual abuse hate men or distrust men, or walk around with a chip on their shoulders.

    I don’t.

    But don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that makes me any less a survivor, or of thinking that one survivor’s experience will be (or should be) the same as any other’s. Or thinking that the fact that someone *doesn’t* have a chip on her shoulder means she’s “cool with” douchbaggery.

  34. To the individual with nothing but contempt for all males. This kid was psycho, period. He, in NO way represents the male population. At least no MEN I know! Nothing but but vile vitriol being spewed at all males for a psycho kid’s actions? That’s hate in its purest form… deep issues!

    • I haven’t read one post that has contempt for ALL males. And how easy to label him as a “psycho” and sweep away the bigger issues under the carpet. There’s no doubt that he acted from a dark place, a disturbed mind, but he was clearly affected by external influences. A young man paranoid about being a virgin (and I bet that’s because of pressure from other young men not women) and hateful of women because they did not give him the attention, sexual and otherwise, he wanted. Growing up in a society that sexualises everything from adverts to music videos, that has access to porn where the vast majority of men treat women as possessions or things to be dominated, to be used and degraded. A world where men dominate a majority of things from the media to business boardrooms.

      How could he not be somewhat influenced and effected by those things? Sure, not everyone is (as we’ve heard many times already) but that does not mean those things are not wrong and poisonous. When you ignore those parts of our world then you’re missing the problem and you’re allowing those things to become normalised.

      And nobody said he represented the male population.

    • Oh, so tagging this man as “psycho” excuses his obvious hatred of women and his hatred of men who have what he doesn’t have? He may have had mental problems, I’m not claiming otherwise. There are, however, thousands of men who think as he thought; the only difference between them is who became a murderer. Committing murder does not require mental instability.

      No one here is claiming that Rodgers represents the male population. Imo, that’s why our Gracious Host titled his post as he did.

      Your understanding of the words “vile” and “vitriol” are not in agreement with English language dictionaries–most of which were and are written by men. I would use those words to describe the comments of those who vehemently disagree with this post. Like yours, for example.

    • And who here has contempt for all males? Are you talking to me? The blogger who wrote it? Am I the one who’s single, has no kids, has lots of cats?

  35. […] Day, and tell you I had a fine birthday with many happy wishes coming my way, but then I saw this..  The problem is that if you are reading my blog you probably already agree with Chuck. However, […]

  36. Thank you for this. There’s so much I’d like to say but it would be a long conversation over an imaginary meal. It is not easy being female. Not now and certainly not in the past. I’ve never understood why I invoke such ire simply because I’m a certain gender – which I have no control over, like people of color, like people who were born into the “wrong” religious belief. The hatred and condescension I’ve encountered in my life – particularly living in the South – has always puzzled and confused me. Why am I ogled and whistled at simply because I walk down the street? I’m not wearing anything “provocative”. I’m not beautiful or tall or thin. I’m just female and something about that fact makes men feel it’s okay to humiliate me, to knock me down and remind me that I’m less than. I am raising daughters – one of which would slap the red right off the barn if you treat her wrong – and its frustrating that our culture hasn’t changed enough to make it safe for them to just live their lives as PEOPLE, as HUMANS, regardless of gender. I can’t protect them from all men. That’s stupid. Men aren’t the problem; stupid men are the problem. But how to detect them and run before its too late? I do not know.

  37. […] to varying degrees know what it’s like to be treated as if men are entitled to our bodies. It’s still too many men. And we can’t always tell the dangerous ones from the harmless ones until it’s too […]

  38. Yes, he was crazy. He was also (given unrefutable evidence of his video) a misogynist. These are not mutually exclusive.

    Yes, he killed more men than women. But his stated goal was to kill women. The fact that he killed more men does not negate his motive.

    If you go on a lengthy screed about the Jews, but ended up killing mostly Chinese people, that doesn’t mean that you’re not an anti-Semite. It just means that you’re also incompetent.

    • “If you go on a lengthy screed about the Jews, but ended up killing mostly Chinese people, that doesn’t mean that you’re not an anti-Semite. It just means that you’re also incompetent.”

      You’re awesome. This comment is awesome. I’m definitely going to quote you. Thank you!

  39. It’s sad that it takes a man speaking it to make some other men listen…. but it doesn’t take away from the beauty of your having spoken it. You’ve gained a reader and a fan from this non-man-hating lesbian feminist and I thank you.

    • I wish it weren’t the case, but as noted: I know I have some privilege, so if I can point that in the right direction, I’d very much like to do so! Thanks!

  40. Thank you for writing this article. I’ve already linked to it several times.

    When even some of my intelligent guy friends who like to call themselves feminists are saying this was an isolated incident by one lonely guy and had nothing to do with misogyny, it’s incredibly disillusioning. I keep thinking they’ll understand if I just tell them more about what it’s like to be a woman. What it’s like to be called “bitch” or “cunt” simply for not wanting to respond to a pickup line. Each incident is apparently an isolated incident with no wider implications.

    I cannot thank you enough for writing this and reminding me that there are some men who get it. There are truly some men that are not all talk. I don’t know if I can fully express how much of a relief it is to read your article and comments like it.

    Thank you, thank you. A million times thank you.

    Whenever I start to worry that in a world of MRAs, the “not all men” derailers are as close as we’ll get to allies, I go and read Patton Oswalt’s wonderful article about rape jokes or John Scalzi’s about Straight White Man being the lowest difficulty setting. Chuck Wendig’s “Not all men, but still too many men” is now going into that mental list of “things to read to restore some faith in humanity.”

%d bloggers like this: