“Why Won’t You Educate Me About Feminism?”

22 Feb

He doesn’t hate women.

Above and beyond everything else, he wants you to know this: he does not hate women.

He has two daughters, for god’s sake, and a wife that he adores beyond anything else, and a sister that he texts every day and a mother who is the strongest person that he’s ever known – yes, stronger than any of the men he’s met. So don’t think that this is because he hates women.

If anything, his real problem is loving women too much.

See, he just wants his daughters to grow up safe and happy. And to be honest, some of the things that you’re saying – that these feminists are saying – are troubling to him.

He just wants to have a sort of academic chat. Peer to peer. Grownup to grownup. That’s all. He’s not saying you’re wrong – not by a long shot! He just wants you to explain a few things. He’s a reasonable, logical man, and he’s only asking for what any reasonable, logical person would want: proof.

After all, if you’re going to call yourself a feminist, you should be willing to back that belief up with facts, right?

And if you’ve got all the facts, it should be easy enough to convince him, shouldn’t it?

And after all, how is he supposed to understand anything if you won’t educate him?

He just wants so badly to understand.

If you don’t mind, could you start by providing him with some kind empirical data that women continue to suffer from systematic oppression? He doesn’t care about the past, and doesn’t want a history lesson. He wants to talk about the here and now. And from what he can see in the here and now, women are doing pretty well. Just look at you! Smart, well-educated, pretty. What about your gender could you possibly imagine has ever held you back? If anything, it’s probably done you a few favours!

He wonders if, for instance, you knew that there are now more women in post-secondary institutions than men? Gee, it sure seems like being a woman has benefited you in that regard!

He wonders if knew that more men were killed on the job than women, or that more men died violent deaths than women.

He wonders if you were aware that the rate of suicide was higher for men than for women.

He wonders if you even care about men, the way that he cares so much about women.

When you bring up the wage gap, he tells you that women make less because they work, on average, fewer hours. He tells you that men receive bonuses for doing more hazardous work, which skews the numbers. He tells you that the wage gap isn’t based on discrimination, but rather on mitigating factors that you obviously haven’t taken into consideration.

When you bring up rape and domestic violence statistics, he tells you that of course he’s sympathetic to female victims, but then asks why you didn’t mention male victims. He ponders aloud how interesting it is, the fact that you focus so much on women and seem to care so little about men. Don’t you think that men are victims of rape and domestic violence too? Have you ever thought about the fact that men’s numbers might be so much lower because stigma prevents so many victims from reporting their attacks? When a woman is raped or beaten, she’s treated with kindness and pity, but if it happens to a man, well, you can only imagine the comments about his masculinity and sexuality. And there are no men’s shelters for male victims of domestic abuse, there are no workshops for men to learn how to defend themselves against rapists. So wouldn’t you say that men actually have it worse with regards to these issues?

He doesn’t like the term “victim-blaming,” because, well, he finds that people use it when they want to escape the consequences of their actions. The thing is, if you’re a young girl out drinking and partying with the boys, he’s sure we all know that certain things might happen. Of course any rapist is a terrible person and deserves to be punished, but. Well. Women need to practice risk management, don’t they? If we know that rapists exist (and we do), then logically why would women make certain choices that would increase their risk of being raped? Rapists are monsters and we can’t change that, but women can certainly do their part to make sure that they stay safe.

After all, if someone’s house is robbed because they didn’t lock their door, we acknowledge that locking the door could have prevented the crime, don’t we? We don’t hold the person whose house was robbed to be completely blameless just because in a perfect world crimes would never be committed, do we?

Or to put it another way, when we drive cars, we wear seat belts, not because we think that we are bad drivers, but because we can’t control what other people on the road might do.

He wants his daughters to dress and behave modestly because although he trusts them, he can’t trust other people. That’s not victim-blaming, that’s just common sense.

He asks if you think that his daughters should serve as collateral damage for some point you are trying to prove.

He asks why it’s fine to put his daughter’ lives at risk for your so-called feminist principles.

He asks why you would want his daughters to dress and act like sluts – wouldn’t you rather they attract boys with their brains and character rather than their looks?

You see, it’s not that he hates women – not at all. He cares a great deal – obviously more than you do – about their health and safety. He wants his daughters to marry men who treat them well – men who hold open doors, men who pull out chairs, men who treat women as the exalted creatures that they are. He tells you that women – all women – deserve nothing less than this, because they are better, kinder, sweeter people than men. Women are stronger than men, he says – how else could they endure childbirth? Women are more nurturing and loving than men, he says – that’s why for thousands of years they’ve stayed home with the children while the men were out providing for the family.

Why would you want to deny his daughters all these wonderful qualities of womanhood and femininity?

Why would you want his daughters to be more like men, who are so obviously the lesser sex in so many regards?

You bring up the way that we as a society perpetuate and reinforce traditional gender roles; he counters with anecdotes about little boys being naturally interested in trucks, while little girls gravitate towards dolls and cooking sets.

You bring up the extreme beauty standards that women are held up to; he scoffs and asks if you’ve noticed how attractive the men in Hollywood are. He wonders if you think that women are alone when it comes to having body image issues – do you truly believe that men don’t face the same pressure that women do?

You bring up abortion; he bemoans the fact that men have no say over whether their child, their own flesh and blood, is born.

He uses the term “logical fallacy.”

He uses the term “straw man argument.”

He uses the term “ad hominem attack.”

When you tell him that he is not using any of these terms correctly, he calls that an ad hominem attack.

When you try to end the discussion, he accuses you of being too emotional about this. After all, here he is being all calm and rational, while you seem very, very upset. Here he has sat politely listening to you, presenting some very valid arguments, treating you exactly as he would treat a man, but you can’t seem to handle it. He humbly suggests that, if you cannot have a calm, rational discussion with him, perhaps women are not as equal as you imagine.

He asks why you so enjoy the role of the victim.

He asks why you would want to reduce his smart, competent daughters to victims.

He asks why you want to think of his mother, his brave, strong mother who raised him all on her own, as a victim.

He would never think of women as victims because, unlike you, he does not hate women.


161 Responses to ““Why Won’t You Educate Me About Feminism?””

  1. Mindy February 24, 2014 at 2:31 am #

    I actually agree with almost everything this man says. And I consider myself a feminist.

    • guest February 24, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

      Well, there you go, you found out today you’re not a feminist at all. Not too late to educate yourself though.

    • Marie Freed February 25, 2014 at 11:43 am #

      While I don’t agree with everything he says, I’ll admit he does make a lot of very reasonable points. It’s unfortunate that people are being so dismissive of him.

      And don’t listen to that person who says you’re not a feminist. If you believe in equality between men and women and consider yourself a feminist – you’re a feminist.

      • imskila March 17, 2016 at 12:09 am #


        First of all considering yourself a feminist does not make you one. Just like considering yourself a nice person or a fluent speaker of mandarin does not make you one.

        You have to have certain beliefs, meet some criteria.

        And even if someone is a feminist that does not necessarily mean they are good at practicing feminism.

        They may have beliefs that are inherently sexist or oppressing or they may make mistakes while fighting for equal rights for women.

        For example a woman who truly believes in equality and the fight against patriarchy may try to police another woman’s appearance for instance demand that she does not shave.

        In that case that person may be a feminist but she’s not a very good at it.

        Just like the “poor” and “dismissed” man of the article he wants women to behave a certain way, for instance dress modestly,
        but that is policing someone’s expression and that’s oppression.

        Besides if he truly cared he wouldn’t be talking to the narrator he would be talking to a sexist trying to convince THEM that rape culture exists and that his kids are in danger because of ppl like him and he will do all he can so the world is a less dangerous place when his daughters decide to wear mini skirts.

        The man in the article is actually a classic example of a sexist. And has no intention of changing. This is not the tone and phrasing a person who wants to understand uses. He’s manipulative and makes the whole matter about himself while belittling the issues women face and the narrator.

        Remember women have always face the diptych: whore or virgin/saint. Putting someone on a pedestal is just as effective at stripping their rights away as is considering them inferior.

        And by the way I am incredibly tired of men using male rape survivors as a way to support their sexism. How dare they? HOW DARE THEY?

  2. Erica February 24, 2014 at 3:03 am #

    Ahh, all those crazymaking arguments. The classic concern troll on steroids. And yes, at some point, his argument gets to those “irreducible biological differences” between men and women that “everyone except a few hyper PC types” know exist. And darn it, he’s glad that men and women are different, like two sides to a coin, or yin and yang, darn it. Do we really want a unisex?

    Oh, and at some point, the issue of rape and misogyny really being because men are so insecure because they feel like their virtues as males (protectiveness and leadership, among others) are no longer appreciated or allowed, because women act like they don’t really need men anymore. At some point, it devolves into an attack against sexually liberated women too (women who don’t make men “earn” sex by being hard to get and pure).


  3. Joshua Gay February 24, 2014 at 3:14 am #

    This is a really wonderful blog post. I think it really does an amazing job of capturing the absurd attitude and tone that many take when arguing against feminism … making it seem like they are the victim of some unfair hatred from feminism or that the facts don’t add up … as if the entire goal of feminism is to start and win arguments with people who do not want to see or believe that there is a need for it in the first place.

  4. Rick Bagnall February 24, 2014 at 3:15 am #

    “When a woman is raped or beaten, she’s treated with kindness and pity…” by the hospital staff, perhaps, but the justice system is a different beast. Particularly in the case of rape, the trial–if it even comes to that–almost always devolves into a referendum on *her* character: what was she wearing? What is her sexual history? Did she scream? Did she try to fight back? And the answer to all four questions really should be…who gives a flying $%^*, huh? Let’s get back to the topic at hand, which is to say: did he or did he not have sex without her consent?

    When I was dating my wife-to-be, we got into some pretty heavy petting sessions after a while, but when she said she wanted to wait until we got married to have sex, I didn’t argue with her. On the flip side, when I realized that I wasn’t emotionally prepared for a one-night stand with a girl I met at a science fiction convention (before I met my wife), she didn’t argue with me even though she had me down to my socks at the time. Consent is consent. Nothing else is–not clothing, not sexual history, not non-resistance. The fact that this isn’t universally recognized in this country is appalling.

    • Caroline M. February 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      Not even always by hospital staff. I remember being an advocate and having to bite my tongue so.many.times about what staff would say. On the one hand it’s understandable – working in an ER would make most people jaded. On the other hand, I’ve also worked with nurses and even police! – on one outstanding occasion – in which they had obviously been properly trained. It was night and day.

    • Chase March 24, 2014 at 3:05 am #

      Opposition, in today’s society consent is not merely consent. Consumption of alcohol…in ANY amount is disqualification criteria for consent, meaning that if she drank anything, any amount, even just a sip, she cannot give consent and even the most convincing HD video of her consent during the entire process will be thrown out of court and it was rape. On the other hand, if he was drinking with her, then technically neither one can give consent…but he still gets the rape charge. This isn’t 1990, and the duty of the court is always to find all the facts regardless of what a 3rd party considers to be relevant, that is our justice system…the same justice system that puts heavier punishment on Men than Women for capital crimes…homework time.

  5. Giannis February 24, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    Yes, brilliant, being sarcastic towards those who do not share your exact point of view and belittling their beliefs and convictions is always a good way to spread your ideology and motivate others to help you.

    • guest February 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

      Completely missed the point, eh? On purpose, naturally. Guessing you have behaved just like this, how annoying for you other people know exactly what you are getting up to. Let’s tone police women while we are busy derailing, deflecting, minimising and mansplaining, we really need women to be sweet, coddling and walking on eggshells around their attackers. That’s worked so well in the past.

      (PS, that was sarcasm. Oooh, what a naughty little feminist, refusing to be tone policed :D)

      • A.M. February 25, 2014 at 4:49 am #

        At this point in the argument, it’s best just to smile condescendingly, pat his little hand and say “Sweetie, it’s ok, I didn’t expect you to get it. Maybe if I talk to your wife, she could explain it to you? Or your daughters?” and if he takes umbrage, let him know his emotions are being aggressive and threatening, and then ask if his testosterone cycle is causing IMS again? Does he need some exercise and beef jerky to get that under control? Then leave, because from the start he really didn’t want any fancy-pants ejimicating, he wanted to cement his delusion that he’s Not A Misogynist by playing Beat the Feminist in the same way racists try to prove they aren’t racist by being aggressively polite and maniacally ‘understanding’ with all of those extra fist-bumps and “my n***as!” sprinkled into their interactions with the one black coworker at the office.

        If you leave, he doesn’t get to feel smugly triumphant, and he’ll actually think about the exchange. Maybe he’ll learn something. And the above, though definitely not the highest of roads, is better than punching him in the face. Which you’ll want to do, but it’ll hurt like hell and he’ll ‘win’ because you were ‘PMSing’ like he expected.

        Oh, and IMS (Irritable Male Syndrome) is a real thing. Guys have monthly hormone cycles, too. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=53725

      • HI March 3, 2014 at 2:35 am #

        A couple questions for guest and A.M.

        1) How do you know that Giannis is a man?
        2) How does not liking the writing style or even a point of few automatically mean the person is the worst kind of Man and is a perpetrator of all your wildest assumptions?

        I don’t know who Giannis is or what type of person they are are, but projecting the your male stereotype to someone who you literally know nothing about is not going to get you anyway.

        I for one believe that condescension and sarcasm in conversations just make people more bitter and more stubborn in their view point… as can be seen by this thread.

    • Pseudonym March 11, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      If sarcasm doesn’t work, why are you using so much of it in your comment?

  6. iamaspiring February 24, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Wow. This blew me away. Incredible piece of writing.

  7. Shunyata February 24, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    I think that this article has nothing to do with real feminism. I think this is simply gender-war propaganda. I do believe the article to be very nicely written, however I can’t help but think that the author really needs to go and dig into some serious feminist theory, and then go back and change the title of this article. Perhaps a title more appropriate might be “Why I think my silly fictitious gender-war opponent is wrong”, because in my view that is what this article is really expressing.

    • Joe Blogs February 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm #


    • Betty Eyer February 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

      If only he WERE fictional. In fact, he is legion.

    • Melissia (@MelissiaKuromoi) March 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      Sadly, he’s not fictional. I run in to him every day.

    • Liadan April 28, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

      I just had this exact same conversation with these exact same words with several men who “wanted to learn.” Its not an anti-man article, nor a caricature. there are all too many men out there who are *exactly* this.

  8. Joe Blogs February 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Apart from a handful of straw man arguments that are thrown in on behalf of Mr ‘Please Explain Your Reasons For Insisting That I Should Adopt Your Position’ this hypothetical guy’s claims *do* seem eminently sensible.

    The flaw in the argument expressed by this piece would be much clearer to see if it were presented as an actual argument rather than a piece of rhetoric: you can’t just caricature men who say “please explain your views” as all being victim blamers who think women should dress modestly and stay in the home and are probably innately too emotional to reason.

    • guest February 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      It’s not a caricature it’s 100% accurate. If only it WAS a caricature. And he IS victim blaming, amongst other things. Here is a great article on why it is never a feminist’s responsibility to educate men. http://feministcurrent.com/8098/feminists-are-not-responsible-for-educating-men/#comment-164529

      • Joe Bloggs March 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

        The article describes a man (or rather the men) who
        i) says “Why Won’t You Educate Me About Feminism?” and asks a feminist to offer reasons for her views.

        and then describes him as:
        ii) believing that women are “doing pretty well” and are, in fact advantaged relative to men
        iii) thinks rape victims are treated kindly and better than men
        iv) believes women should dress “modestly” and not like “sluts”,
        v) thinks women are more nurturing and should stay in the home
        vi) calls women emotional and unable to have rational discussions.

        This is a *caricature* because it criticises men who entirely reasonably ask feminists to explain their position (i) as possessing all the other wildly objectionable traits (ii-vi). It’s not possible to say that this is “100% accurate”, unless you believe that any man who asks feminists to explain their position (i) also bears the rest of the traits ii-vi

        This criticism of anyone who asks you to explain your political beliefs should be immediately recognised as pretty dubious.
        If a representative of mainstream patriarchy, were to assert anti-feminist views, and someone were to say “Please explain this anti-feminism, and please give evidence,” you would recognise immediately that “It’s not my responsibility to educate you about why anti-feminism is right: go away and read some patriarchal literature and come back when you’ve educated yourself enough to understand why anti-feminism is right” is not a legitimately response.

      • Mindy Matijasevic March 28, 2014 at 4:32 am #

        You speak as if they are equally valid ways of life. One holds more than half the population down without civil rights and one frees people to be who they are. Feminism is basically the radical notion that women are people. Adult people.

    • Frisbee April 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

      This is not a caricature. I have had this EXACT argument with 2 male college classmates and then again with an older (in his 40s) male co-worker. Every SINGLE one of these points was brought up (minus daughters since neither of the 3 men had daughters).

  9. scintulla February 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Reblogged this on I see fire.

  10. Rose de Mendonca February 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    The argument presented is simplistic to the point of ridiculousness. I couldn’t read to the end of it. The patronising tone also does not bode well for sympathetic reading. I suggest the author refers to work by Nancy Folbre and Diane Perrons for a more complex and rounded argument.

    For example:

    “When you bring up the wage gap, he tells you that women make less because they work, on average, fewer hours.”

    The pay gap is not about a gap in PAY per-se, it is about a gap in the two genders’ abilities to compete with one other for higher paid positions on an equal basis.WHY do women tend to work fewer hours?

    Women may choose to take on jobs with less power because they know that they will not be expected to stay late in the office and can therefore continue in fulfilling social stereotypes of women as carers at home. They may also forfeit chances of promotion in order to keep a balance with home life. In this way they forfeit the higher levels of pay given for a higher powered job, which requires more time in the office.

    Women may also choose jobs which are part time, and therefore obviously get paid less than the full-time equivalent, which males may feel more able to take on because they are free(er) of expectations and the necessity to provide care for their children at home, because they know that their (female) partner will do this. In some ways it could be argued that women’s unpaid care in the home subsidises men, not necessarily in wages, but in TIME. Women’s time at home looking after the children frees up men’s time to work, and therefore earn more money. I guess you could argue that women’s unpaid time indirectly subsidises higher wages for men through this mechanism.

    • Liadan April 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      The pay gap is adjusted for type of jobs and hours. Two people with equal hours and equal jobs would be paid differently based on gender. *That* is the pay gap. They are not comparing a fast food worker with a lawyer. But entry into upper level jobs are also harder for women than men. But that’s a different issue.

      • Dylan A.P. Fontaine May 11, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

        In the USA, the 77.5% number is from the differences in median salary of a sample population, where median is the centre most data point of a population (eg. 1, 1, 8, 9, 11: Median value of 8) Due to it being a median value, it would eliminate extreme skews in average wage (a CEO’s wage could significantly raise the average wage, but not the median).

        However that is all that is controlled for in the 77.5% wage gap. That number itself is an aggregate of ALL industries, and ALL education levels. It is comparing lawyers to fast food workers. There are studies based off of it’s data that control for those values, but the oft-quoted “Women make 77.50 for every hundred dollars a man makes” is concealing or ignoring a huge amount of data.

        Hell, even that aggregate is missing information since it only controls for full time work. Part time workers are disapearing into the ether (I think, the wikipedia page is REALLY lacking in a lot of useful data and explanation of the choices and methodology).

        Of course, all of this is me assuming you live in the USA, which oyu may not, but I’m sure there are holes in any data samples that can be found

  11. A Pale Male February 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Feel free to ad my comment to your next satirical piece:

    You fairly capture, without caricature, what many non-feminists would say.

    You present them as satire. And I think you sincerely believe that the statements are crazy, unreasonable, so much that to simply restate them is to show the speaker’s folly, insanity, etc.

    But I find most of these comments non-crazy, even reasonable. I think they deserve reasonable response.

    I think it’s fair to conclude that we’re living in alternative universes. We may coexist, maybe even peacefully, but conversation is impossible.

    • Danielle May 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      Many of these sensible assumptions about who men and women become are quite wrong. The study that proved that little boys play with trucks more often than little girls is rarely interpreted right. If you were to look at the study, you would find more than 80% of boys also chose the doll, while almost 90% of girls did the same. Yes, more boys chose the manly Tonka truck, but the majority of both boys and girls prefer toys with faces. It’s evolutionarily beneficial for children to identify faces very early, and the difference might have been from a higher incidence of autism and Asberger’s syndrome which occurs in boys and makes them less able to pick out faces, etc.
      As to the rape culture, most rapists are people who the female knows and trusts, like in the many high school gang rape stories that came out last year, where the girl was harassed into suicide, or chided by those who should be helping her because she shouldn’t be “drinking with the boys” or “wearing those clothes”. If a man gets beat up severely because he was walking home by himself, no one says “well that’s why it happened”. Only females are held up to this ridiculous standard of having to “prevent crime from happening”. Because of this topsy-turvy world view, which is shared by both men and women, only about 2% of rapists who are reported go to jail for any amount of time. If they do go to jail, they get between 2 and 5 years.
      Now, onto the education front. Women, in order to make a decent income which can support a family, must go to some sort of college or university. We rarely get hired for construction or factory work, which is where many men go to get their first jobs if they don’t want to partake in advanced education. Because these fields are male-dominated, many of the people who hire for these jobs are also male, and don’t think that women can do the job. Almost the only option for women is serving in a restaurant, where there is no way to move up the corporate ladder or get a pay increase. Women also score better on all tests, including maths and science, making it easier to get into a school to begin with. But because most households require women to still do between 60 and 90% of household chores, women end up taking jobs that will get them home at 5, so they can make supper for their families. This is not because women are more nurturing, but because women have historically been the ones who do the jobs no one (men) wants to do. Couple that with the fact that when a child is sick, the contact information is the wife’s, leads to a less balanced lifestyle which includes more work for less pay. Men spend there weekends playing or watching sports, or doing hobbies. Women spend their weekends catching up chores, managing children, and getting everything ready for a new week. Go to any park and you will see a multitude of women with there children, with almost no men in sight, because men have better things to do.
      I could go on and on and on, because I happen to be one of the women who doesn’t fit the mold, and one who chose a mate who does lift 50% of both the out-of-house duties and the household ones. I have more time than most of the women I know, less stress and seem happier, because I have someone who I can rely on to pick up the slack.

      • Liadan May 11, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

        SO. GOOD. You are brilliant Danielle. Thank you for this post.

      • RealityCheck May 29, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

        If a man gets beat up severely because he was walking home by himself, no one says “well that’s why it happened”.

        Unfortunately reality contradicts the feminist outlook you’ve concocted. You really sound like a crazy person rambling to me. I have to agree with the person you replied to – we live in different universes.

  12. truckerturningwrite February 25, 2014 at 1:40 am #

    Hooked me from first line! Nicely done.

  13. Auntie Alias February 25, 2014 at 2:43 am #

    Great post. Most of these arguments are all too familiar. I’ve heard the victim-blaming rationale and bogus locked-door analogy literally dozens of times. Let’s not forget about waving dollar bills around in a crime-ridden area of town! (Protip: My vagina isn’t a dollar bill and I don’t wave it around.)

    Notice how our fictional concern troll always turns the focus back to the poor menz. It’s a deflection tactic. He’s not interested in women’s problems because he views all women as inferior to himself.

    • Victor Hilshire February 25, 2014 at 11:50 am #

      You think it’s bogus because you have no answer to it, probably. Gee, if only rape was ILLEGAL it would all stop and men would never do it, right? Oh wait.

      Maybe you should learn how to protect yourself as the first step.

      • Auntie Alias February 25, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

        Maybe people should stop raping as a first step! Or, to be more precise, maybe people should accept the reality of what rape and consent really are. I’m really tired of hearing excuses for ignoring lack of consent.

        The locked-door and dollar-waving analogies don’t work because writers and online commenters don’t routinely get on their soapboxes to lecture people on how to avoid theft or to blame theft victims for “not taking precautions.” It’s a phenomenon unique to sexual assault and the intended audience is always girls and women.

        If we wanted advice, we’d ask for it. It’s funny how total strangers think it’s perfectly reasonable to lecture adult women on personal safety. It’s condescending and sexist. Try doing that to women you know in real life and let me know how well it’s received.

        The thing is, the lecturing and precautions don’t work. If they did, rape statistics would be dropping. The real problem is people who rape and people like you who cover for rapists by focusing on the behaviour of victims instead of the behaviour of rapists.

      • eseldmorwenna April 28, 2014 at 9:24 am #

        It’s a ridiculous analogy. For one, no one is called a “slut” for not locking her door. There’s no social stigma involved. At most a few really insensitive people might call you foolish. However, when you report it to the police there won’t be anyone telling you that you were “asking for it” the way rape victims are often dismissed. The police and the courts aren’t going to talk about your sex lifeor anything personal in order to paint you as a “slut” or a person of bad character. No lawyer is going to be able to defend the perpetrator by suggesting that the victim consented to being robbed because she left her doors unlocked. Like seriously, worst analogy ever. There’s your answer, pal. Now go find a new argument, or even better, reevaluate yourself and start holding some better positions on these issues. I just killed your lousy analogy. Somehow I doubt you’ll concede though because people on the internet love to posture.

  14. Marie Freed February 25, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    This guy may be misinformed in certain areas, but it sounds like he’d be willing to learn and perhaps reconsider some of his opinions if you cited your sources like he asked. Instead of attempting to shame him, why not try and have a polite discussion explaining why you think that he’s wrong? I’ve had some such discussions with some MRAs and I’ve found that if you acknowledge their good intentions and counter what they have to say with empirical evidence, they may actually reconsider their point of view. But if you – as a feminist – would rather point and laugh at someone who’s trying to understand the movement than give evidence to back up your opinions, I don’t see how you can reasonably expect someone who’s NOT a feminist take it upon themselves to seek out that evidence for you.

    • Auntie Alias February 25, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

      I thought this was a hypothetical man, not a real person.

      No matter how diplomatically I’ve framed my points, I have yet to see an MRA give an inch. I’ve had two discussions that resulted in a draw but the rest of the conversations descended into ugliness.

      MRAs hate women and usually for irrational reasons. For the most part, people like that are unreachable, the same as it is with racists and other bigots. Their minds are sealed shut.

      • Marie Freed February 26, 2014 at 8:17 am #

        I’m sorry your experiences with MRAs has been so negative. Keep in mind, though, that there are good apples and bad apples in every group. Some MRAs may hate women (and these people probably aren’t worth talking to in the first place), but that’s not the case with everyone in the movement. Based on my experience, a lot of people seem to sincerely want equal protections for both genders. Admittedly, a lot of them don’t care enough about women’s issues, and I think it’s unfortunate that a culture of victim-blaming is so prevalent in that community. Still, I don’t think that this is usually out of conscious hatred for women, but out of ignorance and lack of perspective.

        Some people may be unreachable. A lot of people may be unreachable. But that doesn’t mean we should just assume that every member of an entire movement is a lost cause. I understand if you don’t think it’s worth the aggravation trying to get through to someone who might not listen. But, at the same time, I think that posts like the one above that seem to be trying to shame people for even asking questions are not helpful. No, we’re not required to educate anyone, but that doesn’t mean we should tell someone they’re wrong for trying to start a dialogue.

      • speakeasy25 February 26, 2014 at 8:24 am #

        This is not a there are just a few bad apples situations. MRAs, by default, are aggressive misogynists who demean, belittle, threaten, and even hurt and kill women. They are not interested in anything even similar to equal protections–they are utterly reprehensible and indefensible.

      • Auntie Alias February 26, 2014 at 9:45 am #

        Marie Freed, I have to agree with what speakyeasy25 said. That’s been my experience 100% of the time. Even on rare occasions when I manage to find common ground with them, they tend to flip out when they realize it.

        Anyway, the author’s point was not to shame or discourage people from asking questions. In my opinion, it was a composite character created to demonstrate the mindset of misogynists – in this case, what’s known as the benevolent sexist. Most of the “questions” are part of a familiar pattern. That context is impossible to ignore.

        Honestly, I’ve never seen a misogynist ask genuine questions about feminism. Their minds are already made up and the questions they do ask are dripping with disdain. If someone were to ask me a question in a reasonable way, I’d gladly answer.

  15. Key Master February 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    I applaud the authors attempts at a rationalist argument, and their belief that they are exalting women instead of confining them to false images of limited-scope superiority, ie a pedestal, but there is a beast hiding behind the schein of your paradigm; The inequitable regard you hold for the fairer gender is also the root of your belief that sexual modesty is any kind of factor in rape, likely because secretly you can relate to misogynistic resentment of women and girls being that they can never really live up to your anglicisation, and the alternative is, by your own account, a slut engaging in risky behavior. I too enjoy the romanticism of exalting the fairer gender, but I know it’s a fantasy that can’t overshadow an egalitarian reality. I suspect your attitude has harmed your daughters chances at a mature fully realized partnership with a man, being that your daughters have been taught by you that men are the lesser gender, and that they are exalted creatures to be woo’d and aspired to by the lesser gender, and while that makes for a beautiful romantic fantasy, it doesn’t involve reciprocation on equal grounds of inherent merit/value in men. Femininity is both a spiritual mystery having little to do with makeup and having a sexually dimorphic body, and a social identity, having a lot to do with feeling pretty and being treated with deference. But neither of these should overshadow the attitude that a girl and a boy are both people much more so than they are their gender; how sad would it be if we were in a hyper-dimorphic society of hyper-macho confines on male identity and hyper-feminine confines on female identity. Should I have a little girl, she will always be my princess, but much more important than that, she will always be my child; and I hope she find and fights for her love as strongly and bravely as I would were she a boy. Should I have a son, I hope someone loves him enough to win his heart, just as much as i would were he a girl. The human aspects that gender rolls deny a person are disabling, even if its a gilded cage. JMO:)

  16. arpit2014 February 26, 2014 at 5:15 am #

    Nice one.

  17. Anonymous Imscared March 5, 2014 at 1:30 am #

    To those saying this isn’t a post about feminism or some shit like that, he’s asking for your EVIDENCE on feminism, your education on it, what you’ve studied on it, not your opinion on whether this article was feminist or not which was irrelevant the second you read the title.

  18. Niki March 6, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    this. yes yes yes. xx

    • radicalfemist March 7, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      As I read it, I had flashbacks to little snippets of conversations I’ve had with various men over the years (colleagues, boyfriends etc). It was quite spooky – as though the writer KNOWS the same men I’ve known over the years. This is why it hits home to hard!

  19. Cranston March 10, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    I hate to say it but you have described the current Prime Minister of Australia to a tee – even to the daughters. I’m sure he would use everyone of these arguments.

  20. Luzbelitx March 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    Excellent article! Reflects so many conversations I’ve had.

    This practice is even comon in some Feminist wannabes, who are still not aware of the default mindset they’re bringing forward.

  21. castrated March 24, 2014 at 12:17 am #

    This is fucking stupid. You’re a sexist pig, belle. P

  22. viva-freemania.blogspot.com April 26, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Heʏ there! Do you use Twitter? I’d liƙe to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward
    to new posts.

  23. John Hedtke April 28, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Oh, yeah, I’ve run into this drivel. It really pisses me off. (It’s the same kind of “Why do you hate America so much?” tendentious garbage one hears from… well, often the same people.)

  24. Liadan April 28, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

    OMG…THIS…exactly *THIS*. I have run into this ‘concerned’ troll so many times. He does not want to get it. He doesn’t really care to get it. He’s wearing the “nice guy” mask.

    I could go through every one of those points in detail, and he still wouldn’t get it nor want to. If he did, he’d read some books on the subject. He’d know feminism is as much *for* men as it is for women.

    If he really wanted to get it…it wouldn’t be so hard to explain it to him. He would “yes, but…”.

    Its not that hard to get…to someone who really wants to understand.

  25. Piglet May 1, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    It’s like you had a steno pad! I have had EXACTLY that conversation SO DAMN MANY TIMES!!!

  26. Fox May 8, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    Been there, and at the end of the day, feminism isn’t about the conditions of men vs. the conditions of women. It isn’t a fucking competition about who has it worse, it’s about changing the conditions of women from where we are now, to where we want to be. It’s funny how men like to turn discussions about women back around to themselves though, isn’t it?

    • Danielle Murphey July 19, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

      This is all absolutely fine, but if “it’s about changing the conditions of women from where we are now, to where we want to be,” then why would many feminists seek to block men’s rights groups from addressing the conditions of men? And why would many feminists say that there is no need for men’s rights groups as they themselves are working towards men’s liberation from gender roles.

  27. maghrébine charmeuse May 26, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    Excellent post : j’espère en discuter dans la semaine avec
    des potes

  28. poule sexetoy June 21, 2014 at 5:20 am #

    Poste super fascinant

  29. ruthlessfoyer7406.shutterfly.com June 28, 2014 at 12:23 am #

    Je pensais justement rédiger un article identique à celui-ci

  30. Danielle Murphey July 19, 2014 at 12:51 am #

    Really don’t get this. If you keep on getting as getting asked these questions, why not just answer. It just looks like you’ve listed a load of facts that make feminism look a bit silly and suspect and just let them hang there, and everyone has gone “oh my days, this is amazing!”

    All you’re doing is repeating what you have been asked by anti-feminists and passed it off as post-modernism. We’ve been saying this shit for years and nobody gives us a round of applause, Do you really not understand how frustrating it is? Even when you ask yourselves these questions you can’t be arsed to come up with an answer.


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