Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

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Post by waxingjaney on Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:27 am

nolorn wrote:I think that the biological differences between most men and women play a part.
We are physically and in some cases inwardly, more different than similar

There is very little physiological differentiation between conventional males and females, mostly in the reproductive structures. The perception of dissimilarity is a result of social training (or brainwashing, if you're in a cynical mood).
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Post by Kaz on Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:44 am

What nonA and waxingjaney have said, and also...

Even that much doesn't hold for all men and women. Trans* people and intersex people, anyone? There are absolutely men who know what it's like to have a period and women who don't (health issues can also be a reason here), and women who know what it's like to have a beard and men who don't...

Besides, I have no idea why those two things should result in a Completely Different Worldview that Can Never Be Bridged anyway, especially when different experiences are par for the course. I am pretty sure that my life/the life of a woman in my place differs from that of a poor black neurotypical wheelchair-using cis woman in the US, say, in a multitude of ways and that there are numerous things she's experienced that I never will and vice versa. There are even biological differences involving brain wiring and neurotype - allism vs autism - that reflect themselves in very different ways of experiencing and processing the world. And *that's* still staying in the Western world. But apparently it's only differences in experience between men and women that count?


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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:08 am

nolorn wrote:I think that the biological differences between most men and women play a part.
We are physically and in some cases inwardly, more different than similar- I'll never know what it is like to have a period and women will never know what it is like to have a beard

these differeneces make it harder to have empathy for each other  

I do agree that its more difficult to empathize with someone who has different experiences. Not impossible, just more difficult, since you often lack a first hand equivalent to compare to.
I would argue that "more different than similar" really had to do with your basis for comarison. Any man and woman are more similar to each other than a chimpanzee. Two people of the same nation and socio-economic class are more similar to each other than someone of a different nation, language and status. Compared to all the other possible variables, biological sex has more (direct, non-cultural) influence on personality than race but less than any non-neurotypical physiology, less even than native language.

Add in meeting cultural expectations and its a whole different ball game and one that varies severely across different cultures and even classes within a single culture. The thing is that you can't make a dog grow opposable thumbs but you can act against and to change cultural norms.

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Post by nolorn on Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:49 pm

nonA wrote:The second does not follow from the first.  The whole point of empathy is the ability to understand the experiences of someone different.

You also wouldn't have feminist men and various women against feminism groups if it were a simple matter of biology.  The way that both sides digging in is so similar to the way people talk about god or country likely gets closer to the heart of the issue.

yes but differences in appearence make it hard for us to empathize with each other- why do you think every sci-fi and fantasy has a human or human like alien? take the doctor- he is from a race of cosmic engineers who can manipulate dimensions like putty, who have to be killed twelve times to die permanently and are born with two hearts- and he looks like a handsome bloke from the UK. It is so we can more easily identify with him and straight women can be attracted to him.

waxingjaney wrote:
There is very little physiological differentiation between conventional males and females, mostly in the reproductive structures. The perception of dissimilarity is a result of social training (or brainwashing, if you're in a cynical mood).

not necessarily, organs from men transplanted to women are more likely to be rejected than ones from same sex donations due to histagen differences caused by the y chromosome
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/113875.php further more, although I am weaker and slower than 40 to 50% of males in my cohort, I am pretty sure I am stronger and faster than 80 to 90% of women in my cohort. These differences are not negligible, in fact women use the latter to make some very important decions about how they interact with men and society.
There are differences, how you quantify them is up to you, but it is wrong to say the most men and women are mostly indistinguishable.

Kaz wrote:What nonA and waxingjaney have said, and also...
Even that much doesn't hold for all men and women. Trans* people and intersex people, anyone? There are absolutely men who know what it's like to have a period and women who don't (health issues can also be a reason here), and women who know what it's like to have a beard and men who don't...

Don't use trans people as examples of how indistinguishable the sexes are- the identities you saw of them were facades set up to blend in or avoid being murdered/beaten up. Most transwomen hate their beards and transmen really don't like periods. To use them as examples of gender identity is like using a child born with a cleft lip as an example of normal facial variation.

Also women and men vote differently, buy cars differently, spend money differently and respond differently to different ads implying a difference of worldview, the actions, appearences and medical needs of men and women, whether biological or socially imposed, make it difficult to bridge the empathy gap.

For example, in the last nerdlove forum, many women were surprised that men did not have the equivalent of 'me time' that many women have.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:11 pm

norlorn's comments have reminded me of this excerpt from Steven Pinker.

Pinker wrote:
So men are not from Mars, nor are women from Venus. Men and women are from Africa, the cradle of our evolution, where they evolved together as a single species. Men and women have all the same genes except for a handful on the Y chromosome, and their brains are so similar that it takes an eagle-eyed neuroanatomist to find the small differences between them. Their average levels of general intelligence are the same, according to the best psychometric estimates,[24] and they use language and think about the physical and living world in the same general way. They feel the same basic emotions, and both enjoy sex, seek intelligent and kind marriage partners, get jealous, make sacrifices for their children, compete for status and mates, and sometimes commit aggression in pursuit of their interests.

But of course the minds of men and women are not identical, and recent reviews of sex differences have converged on some reliable differences.[25] Sometimes the differences are large, with only slight overlap in the bell curves. Men have a much stronger taste for no-strings sex [6]with multiple or anonymous partners, as we see in the almost all-male consumer base for prostitution and visual pornography.[26] Men are far more likely to compete violently, sometimes lethally, with one another over stakes great and small (as in the recent case of a surgeon and an anesthesiologist who came to blows in the operating room while a patient lay on the table waiting to have her gall bladder removed).[27] Among children, boys spend far more time practicing for violent conflict in the form of what psychologists genteelly call "rough-and-tumble play"[28] The ability to manipulate three-dimensional objects and space in the mind also shows a large difference in favor of men.[29]

With some other traits the differences are small on average but can be large at the extremes. That happens for two reasons. When two bell curves partly overlap, the farther out along the tail you go, the larger the discrepancies between the groups. For example, men on average are taller than women, and the discrepancy is greater for more extreme values. At a height of five foot ten, men outnumber women by a ratio of thirty to one; at a height of six feet, men outnumber women by a ratio of two thousand to one. Also, confirming an expectation from evolutionary psychology, for many traits the bell curve for males is flatter and wider than the curve for females. That is, there are proportionally more males at the extremes...
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Post by Kaz on Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:48 pm

nolorn wrote:
Kaz wrote:What nonA and waxingjaney have said, and also...
Even that much doesn't hold for all men and women. Trans* people and intersex people, anyone? There are absolutely men who know what it's like to have a period and women who don't (health issues can also be a reason here), and women who know what it's like to have a beard and men who don't...

Don't use trans people as examples of how indistinguishable the sexes are- the identities you saw of them were facades set up to blend in or avoid being murdered/beaten up. Most transwomen hate their beards and transmen really don't like periods. To use them as examples of gender identity is like using a child born with a cleft lip as an example of normal facial variation.

...yeah, but your original statement was that no man will ever have a period or woman grow a beard, which is demonstrably false. Will a trans man have the same feelings about having a as a cis woman? Almost certainly not. But that's not what you said.

And, again, that's assuming a homogeneity of the two groups that's just not... present. If you take four cis women... one of whom has extremely painful and heavy periods thanks to endometriosis, one of whom has other health problems that until recently kept her from having a period at all, one of whom is pagan and considers menstruation to be sacred (sorry if I'm misrepresenting those religions here, btw), and one of whom belongs to a different religion which considers menstruation to be unclean and has rituals and restrictions regarding it... chances are that those four women will also have VERY different feelings about having a period. And trans* people vary a great deal in terms of how/whether we experience what kinds of dysphoria, so two trans guys who have or had periods might still have very different feelings about them. (And can *also* have health problems related to them which might further affect that).

Also, as someone who's disabled and invested in disability rights, I'm not going to just immediately agree to a cleft lip *not* being normal facial variation! But that's another story. Smile

Also women and men vote differently, buy cars differently, spend money differently and respond differently to different ads implying a difference of worldview, the actions, appearences and medical needs of men and women, whether biological or socially imposed, make it difficult to bridge the empathy gap.

For example, in the last nerdlove forum, many women were surprised that men did not have the equivalent of 'me time' that many women have.

I'm not saying that there's not a difference here (even if I will argue until the cows come home if you start sticking the word "biological" in front of it). I guess I feel like there are also HUGE in-group differences here, many of which (especially in combination) have far more impact than the male/female divide. And, sure, empathy will always be harder when experiences and worldviews and fundamental assumptions are different. But it's still *possible*, people can still listen and learn and try to imagine what it would be like, or if that fails still understand the emotions someone else is relating and accept that these are valid for their situation. I guess that to me you sound like you're claiming that the difference in experience between men and women is so great that this sort of empathy is barely possible... and if *that's* the case I feel like we're well on the road to no one being able to empathise with anyone who isn't almost exactly like them. And that's not something I will accept anytime soon.

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Post by Mel on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:06 pm

nolorn, you were erasing trans people by suggesting that all men grow beards/don't have periods and all women have periods/can't grow a beard.  Whether any given person wants to do those things is irrelevant.  

<mod>It is hurtful to trans people to express gender as being purely biological, so please avoid doing that in future.</mod>

While biological differences do exist, I'm not convinced that this is a primary factor for men grappling with feminist issues. Most feminist issues have nothing to do with our biology--cis guys can experience all the major issues I can think of (not getting paid as much as other people in the same position, being discouraged from certain fields of study/work because of their gender, being harassed, etc.) despite not having the exact same biological equipment.  

Do you also think that the main reason white people may have trouble emphasizing with you is your biological skin and hair color and so on, more so than your cultural upbringing and the way society portrays that culture and other non-biological factors like that?  Do you relate better to people whose physical looks are more similar to yours than to people from more similar family backgrounds etc.?
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Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:14 pm

I should clear up what I meant with my previous post.

Pinker acknowledges repeatedly that he is referring to statistics, averages, and trends, and that there are still some people to the extremes within each sex. It must therefore be used exclusively in that way as well: to better understand existing differences between the experiences and abilities of men and women in general, but not to erase the many outliers that exist in either sex.

Personally, I would prefer to err on the side of attributing too much to socialization and structural problems over erring at all on the side of evo-psych. But it seems dangerous, and disingenuous, to assume that our differences stem solely from one or the other.

Certainly, I would be an outlier on Pinker's observation that men are more likely to act violently. Likewise to his understanding that men are more likely to enjoy no-strings sex.

Where Pinker, and evo-psych generally, tends to fail, is somewhere around this argument:

Pinker wrote: From a gene's point of view, being in the body of a male and being in the body of a female are equally good strategies, at least on average (circumstances can nudge the advantage somewhat in either direction).[23] Natural selection thus tends toward an equal investment in the two sexes: equal numbers, an equal complexity of bodies and brains, and equally effective designs for survival. Is it better to be the size of a male baboon and have six-inch canine teeth or to be the size of a female baboon and not have them? Merely to ask the question is to reveal its pointlessness. A biologist would say that it's better to have the male adaptations to deal with male problems and the female adaptations to deal with female problems.

The obvious issue is that people are not just their genes; we experience our lives, and it is trivially obvious that there are qualities to that experience that are important to us and yet have nothing to do with survival—which is the sole attribute natural selection can be said to govern. It is no longer enough to us, as members of our species, merely to survive. It seems to me, then, that regardless of how equal a Y chromosome's chances of survival are to an X chromosome's, evo-psych offers us little to no means by which we may improve a woman's quality of life (or a man's) in any given area so that they may enjoy life as much as they might have had they instead been born into the opposite sex or gender. This is a problem with social structures, and it must be solved with social structures.
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Post by The Wisp on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:21 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:But it seems dangerous, and disingenuous, to assume that our differences stem solely from one or the other.

Indeed, the experiences of intersex and trans people who were assigned the wrong sex at birth were often erased by the pure social constructivist point of view.
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Post by nolorn on Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:57 pm

Mel wrote:

While biological differences do exist, I'm not convinced that this is a primary factor for men grappling with feminist issues. Most feminist issues have nothing to do with our biology--cis guys can experience all the major issues I can think of (not getting paid as much as other people in the same position, being discouraged from certain fields of study/work because of their gender, being harassed, etc.) despite not having the exact same biological equipment.  

no they are not the main reason. It is just harder for people to be empathetic of people who are different than you, and race is a societal construct, the biological sex is not, this makes it harder but not impossible to form an empathetic connection but when the person you are trying to empathize with, for the most part, looks, acts, sounds differently than you and has different experiences than you it is difficult. For men and women, cultural expectations make it worse.

It is a killer 1-2 punch, especially if you are not an overly considerate person

For example, most women if they just saw me walking on the street at night, would be intimidated or frightened by me because I am a big guy- they won't be in much mood for empathizing with me but if they saw another woman they would be more likely to empathize with her. My physical appearance colored that interaction, just like physical differences color interactions between men and women.

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Post by Mel on Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:59 pm

I think where we disagree is on the "for the most part." I happen to think that "for the most part" men and women look, act, and sound quite similar. Cis men being on average a little taller and more muscular and having a mildly different body and facial shape than cis women is, IMHO, pretty minor compared to the fact that we (generally) all have two arms, two legs, two eyes, one nose and mouth, all in the same places, hair on top of our heads, nails on our fingers and toes, etc. etc. We all hurt in pretty much the same way when nearly any part of our body is injured in a particular way; we all get headaches and stomachaches and colds and food poisoning. Similarly I feel the way a man might act differently from a woman is fairly subtle compared to all the human ways we act pretty much the same.

I mean, if you want an excellent example of how empathizing across gender doesn't have to be all that hard--how do you explain the fact that most women are capable of enjoying so much media that focuses on male characters? We may want to see more with more female characters of a greater variety, but we still manage to be entertained and moved by the stories we have. The fact that those male characters have different biology than us doesn't prevent that from happening. Certainly there may be a few areas where I have trouble empathizing because the experiences are so different, but for the most part I relate to guys as fellow human beings. So I agree with waxingjaney that the perception that men and women are so very different is mostly socialization.

(To nearly_takuan's point, I totally agree that biology shouldn't be ignored completely--hence why I've simply said I don't think this is the main reason gender relations may be particularly fraught.)
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Post by Bumble on Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:44 am

I think the original post's last point about how men are also affected by the patriarchy and toxic masculinity but are not afforded much of a voice in discussing it is spot on. In fact, there is so little coverage of cis het male issues in the media that we can be left feeling invisible, voiceless, and a hundred times more miserable than the feminist writers we see in the media (some of them come to this forum for help).

Personally, I don't post comments on articles as a general rule, but what bothers me about consumer feminism is how mainstream it's gotten--eclipsing all other areas of social justice, while the causes it champions benefit some of the most free and privileged beings ever to inhabit the earth. I also think the gender pay gap is misleading and dislike seeing it everywhere.

There is nothing wrong with discussing feminist issues, from the deadly serious to the most mundane, but it's gotten so popular that maybe people are tired of it. For me, intersectionality is key. S.P. Wayne, a new writer for xojane, gave a hat tip to asian dudes in one of her pieces and it made my month. For once I felt like I wasn't invisible.

I'm not saying that feminism should be about me haha. I guess what I'm saying is that there are a lot of unhappy people out there who don't have voices. There are garment workers in sweat shops and modern day slaves in the UAE. Feminism is a worthy cause but I think it's simply a victim of its own success. I would humbly suggest to feminists going forward to be mindful of this.

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Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:30 am

Bumble wrote:
I'm not saying that feminism should be about me haha. I guess what I'm saying is that there are a lot of unhappy people out there who don't have voices. There are garment workers in sweat shops and modern day slaves in the UAE. Feminism is a worthy cause but I think it's simply a victim of its own success. I would humbly suggest to feminists going forward to be mindful of this.

It's an Appeal To Bigger Problems, but the garment workers remark is pretty wry in the light of this: http://www.labourbehindthelabel.org/news/item/1280-press-comment-feminist-t-shirt-factory-is-normal-in-the-industry-say-workers-rights-campaign%20

There's always the hazard of co-option(see the "sex workers=damsels in distress" narrative), but ironically also the hazard of counter co-option(eg, using the situation in other countries as a stick to beat First World problems with while doing shit all for the people in those countries).

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Post by reboot on Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:34 am

Bumble, worker's rights, anti trafficking, etc are very active movements and far, far more active than feminism in the parts of the world most affected by them and in the communities in the US/Canada where people are/have been trafficked. Some of the people working on these issues also are active in feminist movements, especially the trafficking and immigrant workers rights because women tend to be trafficked and exploited as workers more. You likely do not see much of it, though, because it is not in English and not online as much since the people most likely to be trafficked or exploited as workers have limited literacy, limited access to the internet, and limited to no English. Radio and print are the main outreach mechanisms. Online it is mostly not English to try and get the local middle class and higher concerned, especially in the source countries.

So am not understanding your point. Feminists should talk less because there are other issues? Feminists should talk less because cis get men feel invisible?
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Post by Guest on Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:35 am

Dear Muslima...

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Post by celette482 on Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:09 am

Sweatshops are not a universal evil. things aren't that simple. They put money in the hands of people (mainly women and girls) who wouldn't have it otherwise. Money brings all kinds of freedoms.

As far as coverage for cis het male stuff... are you specifically talking about how patriarchy hurts men?

Because here are the first results from Google

http://www.safercampus.org/blog/2011/03/essential-concepts-how-patriarchy-and-rape-culture-hurt-men/

-lays out the most common (having to be macho erases all sorts of ways of being male, etc)

http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Patriarchy_hurts_men_too

-Points out how this argument is often used as a derailing tactic

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/louise-pennington/capitalist-patriarchy-hurts-men-too_b_3258174.html

-For a bit of capitalism too

The Geek feminism Wiki quotes someone making a parallel to racism (to bring it back to the original discussion) and I think that's a valid point. MLK Jr. didn't give speeches about how expensive it was to maintain even the shittiest of "separate but equal" facilities in order to convince white people to join the march at Selma. No, the cops turned hoses and dogs on humans and it made the news and people realized this was total bullshit (yay hero white person narrative)

Not everyone will be convinced by "This is a more humane way of treating our fellow people." Those people are assholes and not the targets. Nothing we say will ever convince those assholes. Just like the Civil Rights movement didn't end Racism! It didn't even end people who were straight-up old school racist.

In other words, if you need people to lay out why this affects you before you're willing to acknowledge that 50% of the world's population should be treated like the other 50%, you've got more problems than just not being able to show your emotions in public. And if you're (like I suspect most guys on this forum are) willing to say "Yeah, it should be equal" but you think that feminism is wrong about how it does it, you should start some non-Men's Right Movement that doesn't require people to turn gender relations into a battleground.

Because it currently is. Feminists don't want it to be a battleground, necessarily. There are some things that are in limited supply and if women get a more proportional share of the pie (or people of color or people with disabilities, fill in the blanks here) then the dominant group (men/white people/ nondisabled) will get less, since they are overrepresented. In that sense, one side gains what the other side loses. BUT society gains in new perspectives. Society gains when over half the population isn't tethered by bullshit complications that are rooted in nothing but prejudice. And individuals gain when they don't have to treat their fellow humans like automatic enemies.

For example, ways dating would be easier if gender norms were fluid (which is the basic area where patriarchy hurts men)
1. Casual sex, less of an issue. Sure, some people would never be into it, but listening to my female friends talk about why they don't have casual sex, it breaks down into these categories:
    A. I never would (religious reasons, need deeper connection emotionally to orgasm, whatever- no amount of feminism would change their minds and that's okay)
    B. People call girls who have casual sex sluts and I don't want to be called a slut, thanks (there's a subsection here I knew actually were having casual sex, but wouldn't even admit it in a group setting)
    C. I don't feel safe having sex with a stranger (now, no amount of feminism will remove the estimated 6% of men who are rapists, because just like a woman doesn't make a man rape her, society doesn't make men rape. BUT imagine a world where women are believed, where cases get brought and prosecuted, where friends don't let their buddies get away with spiking girls' drinks?  If murderers have the https://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates incarceration rate that rapists do, would anyone feel safe leaving their houses?)

2. Getting that first date would be easier, because whoever felt more confident generally could ask whoever caught their eye. None of those nasty responses women get from men whose manhood is hurt by being asked, no one worried that if I ask for a date I'm guaranteeing I'm up for sex. How many missed connections have occurred because women were intimidated to ask?

3. Navigating relationships will be easier. Women are expected to do a lot of the heavy-lifting inside relationships, because men are socialized to let women take care of them. How else can you explain a man who managed to feed himself every day while he was single who is suddenly incapable of locating a pot when there's a woman to do it? And it's not just romantic relationships. Male friendship gets the short shrift in Western society because of homophobic undertones. Men have buddies, but not necessarily guys they can be vulnerable with. Shoulders they can cry on after a break-up. Dudes they can call to decompress after the presentation at work bombs.

But. You shouldn't need me to do this. You're a good person. You've seen what happens to rape victims in the media. You've heard the statistics. You know that the world isn't as safe for women, simply because they are women. So either you are so overwhelmed with the magnitude of the problem that you don't even know where to begin or... you're trying to rationalize away the problem entirely with derailing.
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Post by Bumble on Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:44 am

I realize that some of what I wrote sounds like well-known tropes that are used in attempts to undermine feminists, however I tried to be careful not to actually do so. Feminists should not talk less. They should feel free to talk about whatever they like. I was answering the OP's question about where some of the less vitriolic resistance is coming from. For the record I am mostly on board with feminist causes, and not out of some kind of self interest either.

I would love to see more about workers rights in the developed world. After all, we buy a lot/most of the cheap garments coming out of Asia. I would also love to see more about cis het male issues. It would give me warm fuzzies and would make me more inclined to listen to other people's problems. I mean I already do, but it is taxing empathizing with all these people year in and year out when your own issues are invisible. I don't want to derail the topic with a list of my personal issues, but I hope one day society will care about them, too.

Edit:

celette482 wrote:

As far as coverage for cis het male stuff... are you specifically talking about how patriarchy hurts men?


Not really. While I agree that the patriarchy absolutely hurts men in the manners described there are other issues and other ways the patriarchy hurts men that aren't widely discussed in the mainstream. I pretty much agree with the rest of your post. Although sweatshops are not simple I don't think they get a pass by any means.

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Post by celette482 on Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:59 am

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Gender relations vs. other social justice movements - Page 2 Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by reboot on Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:44 am

Bumble wrote:....
I would love to see more about workers rights in the developed world. After all, we buy a lot/most of the cheap garments coming out of Asia. I would also love to see more about cis het male issues. It would give me warm fuzzies and would make me more inclined to listen to other people's problems. I mean I already do, but it is taxing empathizing with all these people year in and year out when your own issues are invisible. I don't want to derail the topic with a list of my personal issues, but I hope one day society will care about them, too.
.

If you want to hear/ be more involved in worker's rights, there is a rather large international community fighting for them:
http://www.laborrights.org/about
http://www.ituc-csi.org/new-ituc-global-rights-index-the
http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/index.htm
http://www.globallabourrights.org
http://www.idwfed.org/en

And that is just a tiny sample. You can also live your interest by carefully researching the products you buy and avoiding ones with a questionable record.

To get this back on track, some of the backlash seems to come from feminists not taking on ALL THE ISSUES, which is a bit unfair. At some point, if cis het men want their issues that are not being addressed to be addressed, they need to step up and create communities to address them. They can not expect other groups to do it for them. There is no outsourcing in social justice.
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Gender relations vs. other social justice movements - Page 2 Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Mel on Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:01 pm

Bumble wrote:I would also love to see more about cis het male issues. It would give me warm fuzzies and would make me more inclined to listen to other people's problems. I mean I already do, but it is taxing empathizing with all these people year in and year out when your own issues are invisible. I don't want to derail the topic with a list of my personal issues, but I hope one day society will care about them, too.

A few thoughts:

-I don't know what exactly your issues are, but if you feel they're invisible, maybe you're not looking in the right places? There are many places where people are talking about the issues that men face--right on DNL's blog, he's done several posts about toxic masculinity, how it's a problem, and how to try to combat it, as well as the ongoing advice aimed at guys who are shy and socially anxious, just as the most obvious example. You mentioned in your first post that you felt good seeing a writer mention Asian guys--there are plenty of organizations advocating for and writing about issues concerning people of color, including men. It makes sense for feminist websites to be focusing on issues facing women, because that's what those sites are for, and it seems unfair to be looking to those websites and faulting them for not talking about other issues more.

-I also think the idea that "society" doesn't care about men's/race/??? issues, or does care about feminist issues, is an inaccurate representation of the situation. If we're talking about N. American society at large, the majority of people in that society and the majority of the media produced by that society is still more focused on catering to men than women. Feminists have a loud voice within certain social circles, which are only really visible on the internet and are hardly the majority of people even there. I see plenty of coverage of racial issues in the media--from racial profiling to whitewashing in movies and books--so while I can't say whether it's as much as feminist issues, but certainly there is some mainstream concern. There are also social justice circles in which issues other than feminist are getting more attention. For example, right now in children's lit the primary social justice focus is on more racial diversity in books and supporting authors of color and so on.

-If you aren't seeing enough talk on particular issues as you'd like to see, the best solution is to get out there and start talking about it. Feminist wouldn't have any presence if the women who'd been concerned about women's issues had just sat around complaining that people talk to much about men. They went out there and talked about the issues they did care about, pointed out the problems they saw, offered data, campaigned for change--and continue to do so. If there's an issue men, or Asians, or Asian men face that you want people to be aware of, don't wait for someone else to bring it up. Go ahead and bring it to our attention yourself! You don't have to derail some other topic to do it--you're welcome to start by making a new post right here in these forums.

-If you're feeling burnt out by seeing people talk about other issues, there's nothing wrong with stepping away. Heck, I care about women's issues and they affect me directly, and I follow plenty of people online who care, but I managed to completely miss discussions like the Matt Taylor shirt thing until someone brought it up here. I don't generally go to sites like xojane unless someone I know links to an article they found particularly insightful. It's really not that hard to not be constantly faced with feminist thought--stop visiting feminist-focused websites and blogs, adjust who you're following on Facebook/Twitter/etc., don't click on links to related opinion pieces, and that'll cut down a huge amount of it right there.
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Post by Enail on Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:11 pm

I think another issue is that not every place discusses every topic they consider worthy. Most sites on tumblr, for example, are people's personal tumblrs that they're running as a hobby, so it's not surprising they focus on topics to do with their hobbies, such as their thoughts about the tv shows and comics they enjoy. And similarly, it's hardly surprising that a lot of the more popular social justice-related websites are pop culture sites or dedicate a lot of space to pop culture - people enjoy reading about pop culture, they'll do it for fun, while however deeply they care about advocating for worker rights, it's probably not something they do to relax in their downtime.
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Gender relations vs. other social justice movements - Page 2 Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by reboot on Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:17 pm

Enail wrote:I think another issue is that not every place discusses every topic they consider worthy. Most sites on tumblr, for example, are people's personal tumblrs that they're running as a hobby, so it's not surprising they focus on topics to do with their hobbies, such as their thoughts about the tv shows and comics they enjoy. And similarly, it's hardly surprising that a lot of the more popular social justice-related websites are pop culture sites or dedicate a lot of space to pop culture - people enjoy reading about pop culture, they'll do it for fun, while however deeply they care about advocating for worker rights, it's probably not something they do to relax in their downtime.

Although those tumblrs/equivalent can be found, however they are often not in English. Not surprisingly, the biggest and most effective push for worker's rights comes from places that are home to the factories and workers as the activists there know the local laws and conditions better than foreigners. They are also best placed to advocate for change since local agitation is harder to ignore.
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Post by Enail on Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:23 pm

Heh, I had a long parenthetical about language and location, but it came out totally incoherent and I said to myself "Reboot will say it better" and deleted it Wink
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Post by Bumble on Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:52 pm

reboot wrote:
If you want to hear/ be more involved in worker's rights, there is a rather large international community fighting for them:
http://www.laborrights.org/about
http://www.ituc-csi.org/new-ituc-global-rights-index-the
http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/index.htm
http://www.globallabourrights.org
http://www.idwfed.org/en

And that is just a tiny sample. You can also live your interest by carefully researching the products you buy and avoiding ones with a questionable record.

To get this back on track, some of the backlash seems to come from feminists not taking on ALL THE ISSUES, which is a bit unfair. At some point, if cis het men want their issues that are not being addressed to be addressed, they need to step up and create communities to address them. They can not expect other groups to do it for them. There is no outsourcing in social justice.

Mel wrote:

A few thoughts:

-I don't know what exactly your issues are, but if you feel they're invisible, maybe you're not looking in the right places?  There are many places where people are talking about the issues that men face--right on DNL's blog, he's done several posts about toxic masculinity, how it's a problem, and how to try to combat it, as well as the ongoing advice aimed at guys who are shy and socially anxious, just as the most obvious example.  You mentioned in your first post that you felt good seeing a writer mention Asian guys--there are plenty of organizations advocating for and writing about issues concerning people of color, including men.  It makes sense for feminist websites to be focusing on issues facing women, because that's what those sites are for, and it seems unfair to be looking to those websites and faulting them for not talking about other issues more.

I understand that with a google search you can find communities that address any issue. The thing is, at least on the general interest sites that I and many others visit, feminism is far and away the best represented. That's where I experience and see the fatigue that I'm talking about. I have cut my time spent on feminist specific websites and reading feminist articles, as they I don't find them as interesting as I did before. That's certainly solid advice.

Regarding cis het men talking about their own issues, the funny thing is that in my estimation it's probably the patriarchy that's holding us back. It still has tremendous influence on how we are allowed to portray ourselves in public. Our groups are small and have little influence. Recently I saw a couple of good pieces on salon, though, that addressed things like male loneliness and gender role transgression. I do think that things are going to get better.

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Post by reboot on Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:38 pm

Bumble wrote:....Regarding cis het men talking about their own issues, the funny thing is that in my estimation it's probably the patriarchy that's holding us back. It still has tremendous influence on how we are allowed to portray ourselves in public. Our groups are small and have little influence. Recently I saw a couple of good pieces on salon, though, that addressed things like male loneliness and gender role transgression. I do think that things are going to get better.

Not for nothing, feminists, civil rights activists, LGBTQ activists, etc. also faced the same challenges with how they were allowed to portray themselves in public, so they carved out their own public spaces and defied the roles/portrayals assigned to them in the face of opposition and condemnation. My guess is cis het men are going to have to do the same.

I also think you are correct that the patriarchy is holding cis get men back and it will fight tooth and nail against change by cis het men. There is nothing quite like the condemnation "insiders" get when they try to change things.
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