Archive for February, 2007

24
Feb
07

A Rotten Egg In A Bird’s Nest (My Guilty Pleasure of Fisking Uccellina)

I know it has been several months since I’ve posted something on this blog. I’ve been tied up with other matters, but the beast has been stirred from its slumber by a chattering bird in a nest. The blogger of the site in question is apparently the same woman who caused another anti-feminist site some problems. I would ignore her, except for the fact that she has taken issue with this blog and the “Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics.” Like most feminist bloggers I’ve seen, the vigor in which she burns her straw-MRAs is not matched by a sound grasp of certain inconvenient facts. Attend to my “guilty pleasure” of fisking “Uccellina” as I deal with a little rotten egg of hers …

“But for a really guilty pleasure, I read conservative websites. Specifically, I read Men’s Rights Activism sites and blogs, and have ever since the eensy-weensy … that erupted on my blog a few months back. I don’t comment on them, but I read them. And I do not lightly dismiss them.”

Ah! But when Uccellina’s hand gets called in her portrayal of MRAs as “conservative” she admits

“I’ve noticed the same thing you have, Serin – that MRAs have a broad range of political opinions on issues other than gender and feminism. Their opinions on those issues, however, may safely be deemed conservative opinions. Therefore I feel secure in labeling websites devoted to MRA ‘conservative websites.'”

I suppose anyone to right of Karl Marx would seem to be “conservative” to a feminist. I do not exaggerate too much when I say that (as this academic work attests). As for issues “other than gender and feminism,” how many feminists do you know who aren’t groupies for the Democratic Party or some socialist outfit? Of course, they’ll probably declare the mainstream of the Democratic party as being “sell-outs” … until it comes their time to rally around a President who likes to grope women. Feminists are essentially leftist and statist. To say that feminists address the concerns of women is like saying Communists address the concerns of workers. I suppose women like Wendy McElroy would belie the notion that all feminists are Maoists with mascara, but the true believers don’t accept her. Uccellina says …

“I’m interested in these sites for several reasons, not the least of which is the sucking vacuum created by the absence of logic in most of their arguments. I also enjoy the back-slapping atmosphere of boyish camaraderie, and the grammatically adventurous venom unleashed on dissenters. But beyond these small pleasures is the voyeuristic fascination of finding out how these people think, and how they interact when they’re in groups of like-minded people. My point is not to expose these Men’s Rights Activists and anti-feminists as hypocritical and misogynistic – they accomplish that all by themselves. What I find much more interesting is the systematic co-opting of the language of oppression.”

“Absence of logic”? Since when have feminists been concerned about logic? Hmmm, what’s wrong with this picture? Ah, yes! I know. Have no fear! Regender.com will fix the problem. Here we go – an apt description of how I feel about feminist blogs:

“I’m interested in these sites for several reasons, not the least of which is the sucking vacuum created by the absence of logic in most of their arguments. I also enjoy the back-slapping atmosphere of girlish camaraderie, and the grammatically adventurous venom unleashed on dissenters. But beyond these small pleasures is the voyeuristic fascination of finding out how these people think, and how they interact when they’re in groups of like-minded people. My point is not to expose these Women’s Rights Activists and anti-masculists as hypocritical and misandristic – they accomplish that all by themselves. What I find much more interesting is the systematic co-opting of the language of oppression.

Yep. That sounds like Pandagon.net in spades! As for “co-opting the language of oppression”, would that be referring to a bunch of bourgeoise, white women co-opting the language of the Civil Rights Movement?

“Feminism, they say, is a cult of victimhood. And yet the anti-feminists have codified their own list of victimization. The Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics is a perennial favorite on MRA sites.”

Bzzz! The list doesn’t categorize how men have been mistreated (although that is a worthy subject to address). It categorizes the asinine remarks made to men who raise valid concerns about misandry (and some remarks on Uccellina’s site certainly fall under the list’s purview).

“Examples of the ‘shaming language’ used by women/feminists against anti-feminist men include such phrases as ‘You’re bitter!’ and ‘You need to get over your anger at women,’ to which the author proposes the response should be ‘Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice.’ The inverse is not considered valid, however; ‘angry,’ ‘bitter,’ and ‘bitchy’ women are not expressing ‘legitimate emotion,’ but are simply angry, bitter, and bitchy.”

I get it. Nobody takes the outrage of women seriously. Rape shield laws, domestic violence laws, anti-discriminaton laws, Title IX, Emily’s List, the Ford Foundation, affirmative action in jobs/education/ad nauseam, popular media showing women taking vengeance on men … all of these things just don’t exist!

“‘Code Lavender’ is frequently found on MRA blogs
when male commenters dissent from the party line.”

Let’s see … when men question the manhood of a male feminist, they are committing Code Lavender (see list of shaming tactics), but when a feminist questions the womanhood of a conservative woman, she is …. ? And, of course, if we are going to cherry-pick comments on blogs the way Uccellina does, let’s not overlook her defenders’ use of Code Lavender.

If a man takes a self-loathing view of his own sex, then it is understandable why others may question his masculinity (given that he questions it himself). This is different from attacking men who refuse to be doormats for women or refuse to live up to the antiquated model of misguided chivalry and being wage slaves. In the latter sense, questioning a man’s sexual identity or masculinity is ridiculous, but gynocentrists do it just the same, don’t they? As it is, feminists have a wonderful penchant for flip-flopping. They may see “strong men” as being problematic (“strong women” are never a problem), but some of them will then turn around and accuse a fellow of not being a “strong man” if he doesn’t go along with their song and dance.

“The ‘Charge of Misogyny’ is listed as a shaming tactic, as to which the author says ‘One may ask the accuser how does a pro-male agenda become inherently anti-female (especially since feminists often claim that gains for men and women are “not a zero-sum game”).’ This response, of course, assumes that the agenda is pro-male and not anti-female, a claim not entirely supported by the popular MRA website menarebetterthanwomen.com …”

Excellent. Cherry-pick a few sites, find some sharply worded posts about feminists or female behavior, and portray every MRA as a man who hates all human beings born with XX chromosomes. Uccellina has just validated what I believe about the “Charge of Misogyny” as a shaming tactic! Come on. Do we really want to play the game of quotations, my dear feminist readers?

“These blogs and websites represent a surprisingly large chunk of internet voices (though not as large as, say, blogs devoted to Star Trek), and they are, for the most part, very, very angry. The CDC, hardly a feminist organization, has a fact sheet on what they term ‘Intimate Partner Violence’. Risk factors for being abused include

  • being female (!)
  • for women, having a greater education level than their partner’s
  • dominance and control of the relationship by the male.

Risk factors for being a perpetrator?

  • Anger and hostility
  • belief in strict gender roles (e.g., male dominance and aggression in relationships)
  • desire for power and control in relationships
  • dominance and control of the relationship by the male.

I certainly do not mean to suggest that any of the bloggers or site-administrators listed above are abusers themselves. But they are part of and feeding into a culture of anger and violence against women. I read their blogs because, as individual screeds, they amuse me. But I do not dismiss them, because as a collective voice of aggression and hostility, they bear watching.”

Erm, there are actually quite a few other risk factors that play into the equation of domestic violence, as the CDC itself attests (e.g., low self-esteem, low income, drug/alcohol abuse, etc.). Concerning these risk factors, the CDC states: “A combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of being a victim or perpetrator of IPV. Understanding these multilevel factors can help identify various points of prevention intervention.” But of course, Uccellina conveniently ignore this truth and goes for the facile, feministic paradigm of understanding domestic violence (isolate the risk factors that focus exclusively on men and blow them out of proportion). By the way, I certainly do not mean to suggest that Uccellina is an abuser herself, but considering her own criteria for domestic violence, perhaps feminists like her are “feeding into a culture of anger and violence” against men. Or maybe it’s high time that feminist like her get a clue about the real nature of domestic violence.

In closing, I find it strange that certain blogs and related sites which are supposedly less populous than the cyberpace inhabited by Trekkies are sites which nonetheless “bear watching.” It strikes me that while Uccellina tries to downplay the significance of MRA sites, she still wants to portray us as some ill-defined threat to women everywhere. In short, my readers, this is why I don’t take the collective intelligence of feminist blogging seriously. Outside of Ampersand, most of the blogging is shrill, estrogen-laced histronics, or hand-wringing, self-flagellating exercises of male penitence (ala Hugo Schwyzer’s blog). Yep. I see a chick just fell from the nest.

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