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    [–] [Ethnicity Thursdays] Amren just won its lawsuit against Twitter and this could have massive implications for social media censorship. dakru 5 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago) in FeMRADebates

    Arguing for segregation is still advocating violence. Enforcing segregation requires violence. In the Jim Crow south if a black guy drank from a whites only fountain, he got his ass beat.

    In a certain sense, advocating for any law is advocating for violence (or the threat of violence). I agree that enforced segregation would use violence for a particularly abhorrent policy, but it's not unique in coming with a threat of violence.

    [–] Is 'Western Civilization' Identity Politics? dakru 5 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago) in samharris

    If people really meant this definition of identity politics, then who is actually practicing it?

    It's pretty common on the left to give special status to the opinions of people in so-called marginalized groups. For example, the "progressive stack" is a method (most associated with the Occupy movement) for determining speaking order that puts people of certain groups first. More informally, men, whites, etc. are often given the command to "shut up and listen" to other groups, especially on topics like what counts as sexism, racism, etc.

    Feminist standpoint epistemology is an example of the kind of theoretical justification for this stuff:

    Feminist standpoint theorists make three principal claims: (1) Knowledge is socially situated. (2) Marginalized groups are socially situated in ways that make it more possible for them to be aware of things and ask questions than it is for the non-marginalized. (3) Research, particularly that focused on power relations, should begin with the lives of the marginalized. []

    Here's an example of someone arguing (in an academic journal article) for special status for the opinions of women:

    Her point isn’t just in favour of subjectivity though, it’s about subjectivity with a preference for the voices of women and feminists. Her statement that “our varied (gendered) experiences and embodiment shape how and what we know” was followed by “and women’s embodiment specifically affords them a different, privileged understanding of patriarchal systems”. She groups feminists and women together in this point: “feminist scholars have long contested the common distinction between ‘objective’ knowledge and subjective knowledge derived from the embodied positions of women and feminists”. []

    With that said, I wouldn't limit the term "identity politics" just to people judging the merit of other people's ideas on their demographic group. I think this is more characteristic of identity politics on the left, while identity politics on the right (e.g., nationalism, which more often than not is on the right) also exists but doesn't manifest itself quite in the same way.

    My definition of identity politics would be something more like: when people evaluate proposals, policies, and ideas primarily according to the criterion of "does this help or hurt my group?" rather than on more universal principles like freedom, equality, etc. It's basically the politics of self-interest (except that, particularly on the left, "my group" isn't necessarily a group that you're a part of). It's a problem because it makes politics into a power struggle between interest groups rather than something that can be reasoned out through logic and conversation, and I think that development as a country, culture, and species ideally means less of the former and more of the latter (although I understand that if one perceives other groups to be doing the former then it can be hard not to also engage in it in response).

    [–] If autism = "extreme male brain," does there exist a polar opposite "extreme female brain"? dakru 2 points ago in slatestarcodex

    "extreme male brain" concept in hand (there is no evidence and it's basically built on the back of men being less socially anxious, not really more logical--they aren't)

    Why do you say there's no evidence? Simon Baron-Cohen has a book on it (The Essential Difference). I haven't read it yet, but I've read another book (Susan Pinker's The Gender Paradox) that references Baron-Cohen's research and some of the evidence for his empathizing–systemizing theory (which is part of his "extreme male brain" theory of autism). Here's one passage from the book (among others) mentioning some of the studies that Baron-Cohen has done:

    Simon Baron-Cohen, along with his colleagues, is following the development of a group of children whose fetal testosterone was measured through amniocentesis. The researchers have discovered that prenatal testosterone is not an on/off switch, but more like a slider that works in reverse. The more testosterone a fetus has been exposed to in utero, the less eye contact he makes as a one-year-old, the smaller his vocabulary as a two-year-old, the less he socializes with other children at age four, and the narrower his range of interests.

    [–] Towards a new culture of courtship dakru 2 points ago in FeMRADebates

    It seems like many things could explain those experiences: frustration at not getting what they want, a personal sense of entitlement, the belief that they are so attractive that no one could turn them down, the belief that men always want sex and would never say no (only a gay man would reject a woman), being less able to handle rejection because they haven't experienced it much before, etc. Any of those would seem more plausible than the idea that only a misogynist would reject a woman.

    [–] Towards a new culture of courtship dakru 7 points ago in FeMRADebates

    Some articles have an audience predominantly of people sharing and giving attention to the article because they disagree with it ("outrage bait") rather than because they agree with it.

    I personally think that the number of people who believe that if a man rejects a woman's advances then it's misogyny is very very low.

    [–] Men’s Issues Reading List dakru 1 points ago in FeMRADebates

    I agree that living another life that you're not used to could in itself cause distress. That's one of the reasons I discourage people from focusing too much on that comment of hers.

    As for the men in the book, I remember that particular one, but would you really describe the men overall (particularly outside of the strip club and sales job) as being downright horrible?

    And many women are judged by some men in terrible ways that she also doesn't experience. She talked about women's accusatory smiles (whatever the fuck that is), but does she know what the equivalent would be for a woman dating a man?

    What's the criticism here, though? She's not providing a comprehensive look at dating dynamics. That might have been interesting, she could have gone on dates with men as a woman despite being a lesbian, but that's outside the scope of the book.

    There were more than a few; it was more than half the book. I struggle to take a book that says things such as: "He refers to a souped-up lawn mower that can be driven like a motorcycle as a “bad boy.” By implication, technology is associated not only with bad “boys” but also with “badness” itself." very seriously. Virtually every time they said "by implication", my mind groaned at whatever immediately followed.

    I can't find that in Legalizing Misandry. Is that from one of the other books? And I did a search and I see 9 instances of "by implication" in more than 650 pages of Legalizing Misandry.

    Frankly, who cares what she identifies as? People took issue with her beliefs, not her label, which is the correct way of doing things. The idea that she thought she could say whatever she wanted and be shielded because she's a feminist (not because, say, she thinks she's fighting for equality) is concerning.

    I don't think she expected to avoid criticism just for being a feminist. (And I think her main concern wasn't the criticism, it was the investigation by her employer.) But certainly I think that criticism from within the group itself can often carry more weight (rightly or wrongly) to other members of the group, and it's not unreasonable to emphasize group membership when making criticisms. For example, on many occasions I've questioned or criticized practices from certain men's issues advocates (like the "women behaving badly" posts on the MR subreddit), and I've often emphasized the fact that I'm "on their side" (interested in men's issues from a non-feminist perspective).

    Err, did we read the same book? She was really really dedicated to the idea that professor/student relationships are perfectly fine (at least somewhat likely because she has engaged in them herself). She threw out a few pandering statements that they can be abused, but that was the extent that she made a distinction about power levels.

    She referenced a power imbalance between professors and students, and between men and women, but didn't think that this meant that they couldn't date.

    Because if a conversation went: [...] you would think that's not dismissive towards the victim, because what they're really laughing at is how that situation happens way too often and is so predictable? Someone laughed at that idea about their sister.

    That reverses the order and makes it not sound quite the same. If it was: "my brother spent the night in jail" ... "what happened" ... "he was getting abused by his wife and he called the cops" ... "I guess you couldn't see that coming [laughs]" then I think it could work as a joke in a dark irony way. Obviously it's crude, and if I saw it from someone who had a history of negative attitudes towards men then I'd interpret it in light of that. Hell, even if I didn't know their history and all I knew is that they made that joke, I'd probably say more likely than not it's related to negative attitudes towards men. But if it came from someone who'd made it pretty clear that they were someone who actually cared about the problem then I'd take it as harmless dark ironic humour.

    She can claim this all she wants, but it's not convincing given all the other things she has said. Who cares if, for example, Solanas said, "I don't hate men"? Would we take her word for it?

    I don't remember any indication that she had problems with promiscuity/sluttiness. I'm not sure exactly how we'd evaluate victim-blaming, but I got the impression that she genuinely wanted to decrease sexual assault and genuinely thought that teaching women to be more assertive and to drink less would help with that. She had statistics.

    He's wrong about many things. It's concerning to me that we are caught in this weird tilting-at-windmills trap. He's not fighting against "actual feminists scholars", he's arguing against perceived feminist beliefs. He certainly hasn't taken it upon himself to engage with feminist thought - so how do I defend feminism against some of his claims? Or is it futile because he's attacking a perceived feminism?

    When he said his argument is not with actual feminist scholars, I think he misworded that, given what he said afterwards. He's arguing against what he believes to be the "established wisdom" on gender issues. I don't think he's saying that no feminist scholars participate in that, just that his target isn't feminist scholarship in and of itself.

    The extent to which actual feminists are responsible for these views is debatable,: it might be extensive or it might be less. [...] Again, I freely admit she doesn’t speak for all feminists (as if anybody does). She represents the sorts that men notice the most.

    How could you defend feminism here? It depends on what you believe, but you could for example say something like this:

    (Hypothetical) His portrayal of the 'imaginary feminist' is so far removed from any serious feminist arguments that it's borderline disingenuous to use the word 'feminist' there. What does it matter if people perceive feminism to be that way? If people perceive Roy Baumeister's beliefs in a way that doesn't reflect his actual beliefs at all, would it be fair to criticize those beliefs he doesn't have as "Imaginary Roy Baumeister"? He can feel free to attack what he believes to be the "common wisdom" but he should leave feminism out of it.

    [–] Men’s Issues Reading List (Book Recommendations) dakru 1 points ago in MensRights

    Do you think it's relevant to the feminism of today, 100 years later? Feminism (theory, issues, rhetoric, etc.) has changed a lot in 100 years. If you do think it's still applicable, I'll take a look.

    [–] Do you think the diet/weight loss industry targets and treats the genders differently? How or why? dakru 2 points ago in FeMRADebates

    I suspect they simply target men less than women, because thinness isn't valued or prioritized in men as much as it is in women.

    [–] Men’s Issues Reading List dakru 3 points ago in FeMRADebates

    Farrell's books tend to be older and I've tried to focus on newer books here, although it looks like The Boy Crisis is very recent so I might look for that (and also The Myth of Male Power is just a treasure trove of quotes that it might be worth including despite being older). I've never looked at Why Men Are the Way They Are, but I'll note it in mind.

    [–] Men’s Issues Reading List dakru 4 points ago in FeMRADebates

    Self-Made Man

    I think the appeal for a lot of people is that she ended up deciding that she preferred being a woman, although for a variety of reasons I think people are selling the book short if that's the part they focus on.

    It doesn't portray average men, you're right. Outside of the bowling team they were all pretty extreme in some way (strip club, monastery, sales job) but I think that's what she was looking for, and they do show an extreme version of something that a lot of regular men can relate to (e.g., feeling powerless to your sex drive). I didn't get the impression that the men were horrible people though; the men at the strip club and sales job came off the worst, but she had sympathy for them and the reasons for the way they are. And the men in the bowling team? The monastery? The group/retreat? They had their struggles and weren't exactly role models, but they were also hardly villains either, at least overall.

    What I liked about the book is that a woman gained some semblance of knowing what it's like to live as a man, and that her observations were insightful and (although I had some disagreements here and there) generally accurate. The subtleties of emotional intimacy between men (alongside her other observations that many men do lack emotional intimacy):

    So much of what happens emotionally between men isn't spoken aloud, and so the outsider, especially the female outsider who is used to emotional life being overt and spoken (often overspoken), tends to assume that what isn't said isn't there. But it is there, and when you're inside it, it's as if you're suddenly hearing sounds that only dogs can hear.

    Men struggling with their sex drive:

    Plenty of men—most, really—want wives and families for all the right and good reasons, for love, companionship, dedication. Domesticity is not inimical to them. The very idea is absurd and disproved a thousand times a day. But to hear them tell it, a lot of men do seem to struggle with their sexuality underneath, as well as all the political, religious, matrimonial—literally mothering—forces that tell them to repress it.

    Along with men's worth being so directly tied to performance, etc. I just enjoyed reading all of these experiences, and I thought they'd be interesting and informative both to men and women.

    Regarding her being a lesbian, you're right that it means she can't compare how women treated her as a "man" to how men treated her as a woman. But she could compare it to how women treated her as a woman. The women she dated as Ned tended to assume the worst from her in a way that (as far as I can tell) she didn't experience from women when she dated them "as a woman". There are a few potential reasons for this, but it's interesting regardless.

    Legalizing Misandry

    I think I know what you're talking about. There were a few examples in this book where they suggested implications ("they said this, which is to say that ...") that seemed like a stretch, and regarding your point (from the link) about them being traditionalists there was a quip about "redefining marriage to bolster the self-esteem of gay people" that I found pretty distasteful. But they weren't numerous enough (that's the only time I remember the traditionalism popping out at me) in my opinion to outweigh all of the really good observations that I think the book made.

    (I was originally going to look at Spreading Misandry but then I replaced that with Media and Male Identity because it was a more quantitative look at the phenomenon.)

    Unwanted Advances

    This is interesting because she does really seem to me like a "real" feminist (not too far away from mainstream, sees her feminism as an important part of her identity) who sees campus sexual assault as a big problem. At a few points in the book I remember her saying things that non-feminists are really unlikely to say or believe in, like the assumption that being a man puts you at a higher level on the social/power hierarchy than being a woman (I think she listed it alongside the professor/student power distinction), and throughout the book she "pays tribute" to the importance of sexual assault as a problem and she seems pretty genuine.

    As for your quote, I guess one could interpret it as dismissive towards the victims, but considering the context I think she was emphasizing that it happens way too often and is so predictable. Not long after that quote:

    I’m blaming no victims here, and shaming no sluts. I’m after bigger game. I understand that the repetition factor has to be framed very delicately if you don’t want to be accused of crimes against women. We all know it’s not victim behavior that needs to change; it’s the perpetrators who are the problem. At least, that’s the approved narrative. I’d like to try to complicate the story a bit.

    She goes on to make the argument that it's not unreasonable (or blaming the victim) to suggest changes to people's behaviour to avoid being victims. Her two main recommendations involve being more assertive with boundaries and drinking less (she mentions women who try to match men drink-for-drink, despite weighing significantly less). Maybe you disagree that this is helpful or appropriate, but I don't think it's that she just doesn't care all that much about victims.

    Is There Anything Good About Men?

    /u/Imperial_Forces addresses the part about feminism, so I'll skip that. Regarding your second quote, the elided part is important. He says "There is no evidence that such conspiracies exist, apart from the lack of women at the top of many organizations". Maybe he's wrong on that, maybe he should provide a deeper look into what's offered as evidence for the conspiracy existing before he dismisses it as being without evidence, but the "[m]oreover, most serious social scientists recognize that conspiracy theories are generally wrong, and this one should be considered quite dubious" point is definitely intended to be a secondary point (it comes second, and has "moreover").

    If I were to recommend books on men's issues, I'd probably start with Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax. I'm about to read Manhood in the Making; Loving Men, Respecting Women: The Future of Gender Politics; and Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, all of which I think stand to be very good books.

    I'll take a look, thanks for the recommendations (and the great reply on the other books).

    [–] Men’s Issues Reading List (Book Recommendations) dakru 6 points ago in MensRights

    On my reading list! I've read parts of The Myth of Male Power before and it's a treasure trove of insightful quotes.

    [–] Men’s Issues Reading List dakru 1 points ago in FeMRADebates

    I had The War Against Boys categorized in my mind as being early 1990s (like *Who Stole Feminism?") and so I'd set it aside to focus on newer books, but I'm seeing now that it's actually from 2000, which means it's closer to the year range that I'm focusing on. Would you say it's held up well over the 18 years since it's been published?

    [–] Men’s Issues Reading List dakru 1 points ago in FeMRADebates

    Which would you recommend? I originally had The War Against Boys and Who Stole Feminism? on my reading list but I ended up focusing on newer books so I haven't read those ones yet. Searching now, it looks like she has a few newer books herself I hadn't heard of. Were you thinking of them?

    [–] Doug Ford's sexist comments say a lot about his politics dakru 3 points ago in CanadaPolitics

    OP did not imply that voters only vote for a woman because she's a woman, only that it happens (and he sees it "a lot"). This doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of people (even most people) also voting for women as a result of their policies, parties, personalities, etc.

    I linked the NDP policy because it was the first thing that came to mind to show that sentiment, but it's not hard to find examples of this applying to voting (specifically, people wanting more women in politics and giving preference to women in order to achieve this). One example:

    Women are 52% of the voters, but far less than that in Congress. So EMILY’s List launched WOMEN VOTE! to harness the power of women voters to get more women elected. Since 1995, WOMEN VOTE! has been persuading and mobilizing women voters to get to the polls and vote for pro-choice Democratic women candidates. []

    Here's another example:

    While there are certainly points in Clinton’s platform that leave something to be desired, she is liberal enough that, at least in my mind, her gender offsets her political weaknesses. America has been sorely in need of female leadership, and a Clinton presidency could help open doors for women that have long since been shut. []

    [–] Doug Ford's sexist comments say a lot about his politics dakru 6 points ago in CanadaPolitics

    Yeah it couldn’t possibly be because they believe they’re the best candidate. It’s gotta be just because they’re a woman. This proving OPs point.

    I don't think you're being fair here. Many people do want more women in politics and many of them specifically give preference to women in order to achieve this. /u/grokender was talking about voting but here's I think a comparable example at the level of choosing candidates:

    The equity rule states if a man retires from an NDP-held seat in the province, that man's replacement must be a woman or an "equity-seeking" man; for example, a man who is a visible minority, a person with a disability or someone from the LGBTQ community. []

    This happens openly, and someone who points it out is not assuming that no one could ever think that a woman is the best candidate on her merits.

    [–] Doug Ford's sexist comments say a lot about his politics dakru -8 points ago * (lasted edited 13 days ago) in CanadaPolitics

    How about "positions of power"

    Positions of power are relevant, but if we're interested in the whole story of gender issues then other areas are also relevant: homelessness, suicide, incarceration, murder victimization, life expectancy, police profiling, etc., all of which are areas where men are doing worse than women. (All of these, except suicide I think, are also areas where many racial minorities are having trouble, and are generally seen as important I'd say.)

    [–] Kathleen Wynne speaks with CityNews after conceding election dakru 5 points ago in CanadaPolitics

    The level of vitriol and dislike of her is far greater than previous premiers who have caused much greater harm. It isn't the ONLY reason for sure, but it is foolish to think some of it isn't due to such components.

    There are probably people out there whose sentiments towards her are more negative as a result of her being a woman (because they hold traditionalist views about gender and politics). There are also probably people out there whose sentiments towards her are more positive as a result of her being a woman (whether because they like the idea of more women in politics, or because they hold stereotypes about gender and politics that reverse traditionalist ones, as seen for example here: "Barack Obama says women make better leaders—and data shows he’s right").

    But do we have a concrete reason to believe that her gender has overall a negative effect on public opinion of her? It's not self-evident to me that it does. The most common argument I hear is that her approval rating is extraordinarily low. That's true, it's the lowest in Canada, at 19% in March. But that's comparable to Dalton McGuinty's 16% approval rating in March 2011. And that's seven years ago, so she's saddled with seven additional years of ruling-party fatigue and baggage.

    [–] People who are voting PC in this upcoming Ontario election, how did you come to this decision? dakru 3 points ago in CanadaPolitics

    Well, considering it's usually considered the government's responsibility to stop any form of violence...

    It shouldn't be the government's job to elevate the safety of one group to an almost sacred status, which is what we're doing with women. Teaching men to be uniquely protective of women and uniquely concerned with women's safety and well-being has a pretty clear connection to chivalry and traditional gender roles and it's hardly something I'd reasonably hope for from a supposedly gender egalitarian progressive government.

    In a nation where thousands of Indigenous women are missing and murdered, where thousands of women and children sleep in shelters because of abuse, where every five days a woman is killed by her partner, there is still much to be done

    Between 1980 and 2012, Aboriginal men were 2.5 times more likely to be murdered:

    In total, nearly 2,500 aboriginal people were murdered in the past three decades: 1,750 male, 745 female and one person of unknown gender. []

    They were also 4 times more likely to go missing, at least in NWT:

    Recent numbers released by the RCMP show eight aboriginal women have gone missing in the Northwest Territories since 1960, and 35 aboriginal men. []

    Certainly women's lives aren't worth more than men's? I don't see why women's deaths and missing persons cases deserve a "there is still much to be done" but men's don't.