Archive for February, 2014

It’s a hard life being an internet blogger sometimes. Not because I don’t enjoy the work, I love writing this blog, I love finding stories that I can explore and analyse and look at in detail, I love how it constantly challenges me to open my mind and explore new ideas and new ways of thinking. What I struggle with is choosing which stories to write about. As with anything, there are lulls in life where I don’t see anything to write about, or if there is something that does crop up, it would mean me writing an entry that is too similar to one I’ve done in the past. Seen as this blog is only 6 months old I don’t really want to have too many similar sounding blogs already. I revisit the same subject, rape and domestic violence seem to be hot topics at the moment, but they are always from a different perspective so it’s not the same.

I also have to decide if an article is going to have as much impact when it finally gets published. Generally it takes 2 or 3 hours to write an average length article (they’re about 4/5 pages), recent articles have been stretching on to 7 pages and taking a lot longer to write. If something seems to be doing the rounds and I really want to write about it I have to put some serious manpower into getting it finished. If I wait too long in some cases then I kinda feel like I’m too late to the party, like everyone’s left just as I’m arriving. Case in point, the James Taranto article and the Oppressed Majority video. I had to write those blogs in a very short amount of time, lest the outrage moved on to something else and nobody cared about what I wrote.

I’m currently doing another feminist refutation blog, which is taking me ages because there’s so much research to do. I know all the stuff I want to say, it’s just finding the evidence to back it up is tricky. I have a lot of stuff on my computer and on my internet favourites, it’s just sifting through it all is time consuming, Anyway, the point is, I’m currently trying to decide which of the 3 or 4 topics on my agenda at the moment are worth persevering with, and which ones I can dump without any real fuss. I figured this one was worth writing about, so I went with it.

I’ve mentioned Mike Buchanan in these articles before, he’s the leader of a political party called Justice for Men and Boys (and the women who love them. He has a WordPress blog and regularly updates it with examples of feminist whinging and hypocrisy. He posted this one today, which really struck with me:

http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/laura-bates-whines-about-oh-something-to-do-with-women-and-sports-wah-wah-wah/

It links to a lovely bit of feminist victimhood in the Daily Mail. Now, I’m not a massive fan of the Daily Mail, their stories are often baiting and their headlines can be misleading but this time it links to an article in the Telegraph, which is a more reputable paper.

The point of the article is, once again, the feminist shaming of anything feminine. Womens sports has been a sore topic for a while now in this country. We had the Olympics a couple of years ago, we’ve got the Commonwealth games later this year, and the hope was that public perception towards female participation in sports would change. It doesn’t seem to have changed massively, though there has been some progress. Of course, progress of any kind is not enough and the only way for the world to be completely equal is for there to be a 50/50 split in sporting numbers. If 10,000 men play football, then we need 10,000 women to play football as well (I’ve taken those numbers out of thin air, please don’t tell me they’re unrealistic).

The whole argument boils down to one woman, Helen Grant, stating women should only compete in ‘feminine’ sports, such as cheerleading, roller skating, ballet and gymnastics, where they can look ‘radiant’ and ‘gorgeous’. Not surprisingly, this has caused some consternation among equality groups who say we shouldn’t be focusing on the looks of female athletes, but rather their ability.

It’s a statement I agree with, sports people should be based on their ability in their chosen sport, they should choose a sport because they love doing, not because it allows them to look pretty.

So, if I agree with the article, why on earth am I writing this entry?

Simple, because, unsurprisingly, that’s not what she said at all. In my article about Philip Bump and James Taranto I looked at how people twist words to fit their own agenda. Well, it’s happening again here, and this time Laura Bates, of Everyday Sexism fame, are wading in to the argument and, no surprise here, making themselves look daft.

So, I don’t like the Daily Mail, but here’s the article anyway:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2564094/Women-try-CHEERLEADING-look-gorgeous-says-Helen-Grant.html#ixzz2txbf9qyv

It links to an article in The Telegraph that, supposedly, contains the original interview where Helen Grant stated women should do ‘feminine’ sports so they can look attractive.

The link from the Daily Mail takes you to this article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/10652074/Get-more-women-into-sport-through-cheerleading-its-feminine-says-sports-minister-Helen-Grant.html

Which also contains a link that takes you to this article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/10636527/Sochi-2014-Give-British-women-the-sport-they-want-even-if-its-more-Zumba.html?placement=CB1

So there we have it, is it any wonder her words are getting misquoted and misrepresented when I had to search through three different articles, spread across two newspapers, to try and find her original quotes? It would appear that, typically, her words have been misquoted. I actually don’t know which article to tackle, so I’ll focus on the last one, as that seems to be where the original comments were reported, but will look at some of the criticisms from the other 2 articles, as they are a good example of how a misquote can develop ideas of its own that are way off the mark.

Let’s compare headlines. The original headline was this:

Helen Grant MP: Give women the sport they want – even if it’s more Zumba.

Perfectly reasonable I think, it’s advocating that we listen to what sports women want to do and suggesting that, even if they aren’t necessarily competitive team sports, we should look at providing them as options.

Now let’s look at the Daily Mail headline:

Women should try CHEERLEADING so they can still look ‘gorgeous’, says the sports and equalities minister (who was female judo champ!)

Notice how it’s taken a slightly different slant? This one, rather than highlighting the fact that Helen Grant thinks we should listen to what women want, suggests that Grant is telling women what they should be doing, and applying the little extra insult of only doing it so they can still look gorgeous.

The second Telegraph headline is no better:

‘Get more women into sport through cheerleading – it’s feminine’, says sports minister Helen Grant

Nor is the tagline to that heading:

Tory MP Helen Grant has come under fire for suggesting British women should be encouraged to take up ‘feminine’ sports like cheerleading and ballet

Again, is it any wonder that people get the wrong idea and fly off the handle when a headline can be changed so much from the original piece? Simply by making subtle changes to the language and perhaps piecing together two bits of an interview to make it sound like one coherent though these newspapers have managed to completely alter the tone of the original comments and create a nice piece of artificial outrage.

Explain to me how you can go from ‘let’s listen to what women want’ to ‘minister tells women to do cheerleading’ without a serious dose of artistic license? What happened to journalistic integrity? Or does that simply boil down to ‘let’s see how much outrage we can cause, even if we have to twist the truth.’

I’m going to be looking at the third article I posted:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/10636527/Sochi-2014-Give-British-women-the-sport-they-want-even-if-its-more-Zumba.html?placement=CB1

Simply because it seems to be the article that contains the original interview and where I could find most of the quotes unedited.

So, getting right to the heart of it, there are still over a million less women playing sports than men, which is highlighted quite succinctly:

‘there is still a gender gap of about 1.8 million between the number of men and women doing sport on a regular basis. “It has actually reduced. It was about 2.2 million a while ago so it is going down,” says Helen Grant, Conservative MP for Maidstone and The Weald and minister of sports, equalities and tourism. “But that’s still a pretty big difference,” she admits.’

I must admit, I love the fact that Grant admits it’s a ‘difference’ and not a ‘problem’. I’m serious, I’m not being sarcastic. There was an article I did a few months ago about how many female and male employees prefer to work for male bosses and one of the ‘experts’ interviewed said it was ‘worrying’ that such a trend existed. Grant seems to have her head screwed on her shoulders enough to know that there being a gap between male and female participants in sports does automatically mean it’s a ‘problem’ that needs to be fixed. Bravo Grant, let’s see if that level-headedness continues throughout.

The next point centers on television coverage, or more specifically the lack thereof:

‘It isn’t as though we are being inundated with coverage of women’s sports either. Recently, England won the women’s Ashes in cricket but hardly anyone saw their victory. “There wasn’t much on TV was there?” says Ms Grant. “Unfortunately there hasn’t been the amount of media coverage we need if we’re going to close this gender gap.”’

This is one of those catch 22 situations, it doesn’t matter what you do there isn’t a definite outcome that will please everyone. Yes, there is definitely a lack of female sports on TV, and it would appear that that seems harsh, especially considering the achievement of some womens sports (the ashes example above, or the womens England rugby team winning 8 [ish] 6 Nations on the bounce), and especially considering I’ve had the misfortune of sitting through some utterly horrendous matches of mens rugby. However, the reason we get the sports we do is because they draw the money and TV audiences. The womens 6 Nations now gets broadcast on BBC, same as the mens, but only through the interactive red button service. Why? Because the mens competition will see sold out stadiums and large TV numbers. The womens game can’t sell out Twickenham on its own because it’s not popular enough. Do you put it on TV anyway, despite the fact the games will be played in half empty stadiums, and hope that the exposure helps it catch on? Catch 22, the sport won’t develop without money, without exposure it won’t get increased revenue, but who’s going to give it that exposure? Sky are doing their bit as well by showing womens internationals, but Sky is a subscription service. I have the basic Sky package, but I don’t have sports. Everyone has to pay for the BBC so the coverage will be greater, but at what cost to the BBC’s viewing figures? Does it take the risk and put a womens football or rugby game on and run the risk of losing viewers to a rival TV channel? If it was easy, we would have had a solution by now.

Let me get this clear, I do like watching womens rugby, but it’s nowhere near as good as the mens game. Yes it’s fast, yes it’s combative and competitive, yes it can be skilful, but overall it’s not on the same scale as the mens game in terms of consistency. That might sound overly harsh, but let’s not forget the mens game has been developing for nearly 200 years. Womens rugby, as a concept, has been around for nearly as long but has only really grown in prominence in the last 20/30 years. You can’t expect parity in the sports simply because it’s 2014 when one has been around for nearly 10 times as long. It’s difficult, and it’ll take time to really grow with a new audience, but it’s possible, we just need to make sure we aren’t forced to watch female sports due to some government initiative. That’s a cast iron way to drive people away.

 Anyway, back on topic. The next point is slightly worrying and comes from the writer of the article, rather than Grant:

‘You only have to walk into a local pub and suggest swapping the Premier League match to a game of women’s football to find out what Britain really thinks of women’s sports.’

In order for womens sports to be taken seriously we need to change the cultural and societal attitude towards them, not a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the sly implication that simply preferring mens football to womens football is inherently sexist, rather than down to simple personal choice. If you walked in to any house in the UK and suggested changing channels I think you’d get the same response. If you walked in to an 80 year old’s house and suggested turning Eastenders off and putting on World Matchplay Darts I think you’d get some opposition as well. To imply a dislike of female-centered sports is down to discrimination and then providing an over-simplified example is victimhood, pure and simple.

However, Helen Grant does agree:

‘“I think we ultimately need a behavioural change,” agrees Ms Grant. “I think we need to get to the point where women’s sport is looked on and regarded as equal to the men’s game. When we get to that point that’s when we get the balanced coverage.’

There’s that buzzword again; equality. Is mens Rugby Union compared equally with mens Rugby League? No, there are differing opinions regarding all sports. The fact that I prefer Rugby Union to Rugby League doesn’t seem to be a major problem, the fact I prefer mens Rugby Union to womens Rugby Union seems to be of a slightly more sinister reason.

That train of thought continues in the next couple of paragraphs:

‘“To get to that point, we need certainly the media to do more, we need more finance, more businesses getting involved through sponsorship and we needs sports governing bodies and others and schools to be very innovative with ways to get our girls involved.”

Ms Grant believes the real way to change sexist mindsets, and get more women into sport, is obvious. It isn’t about trying to force women to take up football, play netball in schools or join their local swimming club; it’s about asking grown women what they want.’

I really disagree with the idea that it’s sexist to prefer one sport over another simply because of the genders involved. As I’ve mentioned, getting the media to do more is all well and good, but there’s a limit that can be reached before it simply becomes over-saturated and people turn off in droves in protest at being forced to watch something they don’t enjoy.

I do, however, agree with the final sentence – it is absolutely about asking women what they want. What’s the point in forcing us to watch womens rugby, or womens football, if the amount of participants in the sport aren’t going to allow it to develop in any real way. See what sports women want to do, see which ones have higher numbers of participants and perhaps focus on those, see how they develop.

Just to go back to Rugby Union. There are teams in the north of England; Sale and Newcastle being two in the premiership, who are struggling not only to recruit players, but also to get fans. Rugby Union is just not as popular up north as it is in the midlands and down south. It’s just one of those things, it’s always been that way and always will be. To start forcing people in the north to watch a sport they don’t like is not going to suddenly get them to change their minds, I’m pretty sure it’ll do the exact opposite.

I’ve just realised this article has gone way off track and is now talking more about the merits of showing womens sports and the difficulties of getting it to develop. I shall now try and get back on track by highlighting the paragraph that seems to have caused most consternation:

‘“We really need to take a step back and actually ask women what they want and give it to them,” she says. “That can be whether it’s a Zumba class or a game of Rounders after they’ve dropped the kids off. That’s the approach we need to take – what works for them.

“It’s having a good spread on offer. For example some girls may well not like doing very traditional hockey, tennis or athletics, others might, so for those who don’t want to, how about considering maybe gym, ballet, cheerleading? It’s not just schools, it’s clubs, it’s being innovative. Actually looking at our women and our girls and asking, what do they want?”’

Ah, there it is, there’s the paragraph that’s been getting the feminist’s knickers in a rather large twist. So, let’s look at the headlines from the other two articles on this subject:

‘Women should try CHEERLEADING so they can still look ‘gorgeous’, says the sports and equalities minister (who was female judo champ!)’

‘Get more women into sport through cheerleading – it’s feminine’, says sports minister Helen Grant’

Yeah, I notice it too. Can you tell me at what point, in that original introduction of ‘gym, ballet, cheerleading’ she suggests that a) she suggests cheerleading is feminine, and b) she says women should do cheerleading so they can still look ‘gorgeous’? That’s right, because she doesn’t. In fact, there’s no mention of the words ‘gorgeous’ or ‘feminine’ in that quote, none at all.

So where does the word ‘feminine’ come in? Well, here:

‘“You don’t have to feel unfeminine,” stresses Ms Grant. “There are some wonderful sports which you can do and perform to a very high level and I think those participating look absolutely radiant and very feminine such as ballet, gymnastics, cheerleading and even roller-skating.”’

Again, can anyone point me to the part where she says that the way to get women into sport is through cheerleading simply because it allows women to stay feminine? Nope, because it’s not as simple as that. What she’s saying is really, really clear, and I will repeat it here:

‘“There are some wonderful sports which you can do and perform to a very high level and I think those participating look absolutely radiant and very feminine.’

He italicised bits are the important bits – she says that, yes, you can look radiant and feminine while doing those particular sports (although, unless it’s in direct competition with other teams, some people have queried the use of cheerleading as a ‘sport’, sports generally involve some kind of competition and winner), but that is not the sole reason for doing them. She also, quite clearly, states that those sports she recommends can be performed to a very high level! So, not only can you do some very competitive sports at a high level, you can look feminine while doing it if that’s what you choose to do!!

Why am I the only one who seems to be seeing this? Interestingly enough, the idea that sports are ‘unfeminine’ and that sweating is not ‘lady-like’ comes from another article that is linked to through this one:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/unfeminine-school-sports-leave-girls-on-the-sidelines-7704402.html

This article states that nearly half of school-age girls find ‘traditional’ sports too competitive and see sweating as ‘unfeminine’. By losing our shit at Grant for suggesting we perhaps find more ‘feminine’ sports or activities for women to do, we subtly imply that the girls who don’t want to sweat are wrong, that their dislike of being shouted at in competitive sports somehow makes them weak, makes them a disappointment to their sex.

I’ll let you into a secret – I fucking hate sweating. I’m one of those people that sweats a lot when I work out. It goes in my eyes, it goes in my mouth, I can’t see, I have to spit it out my mouth, when I’m done with a workout I have a sweaty arse, sweaty balls, my T-shirt is dripping, my socks are dripping. Yes, when I work out I’m a sweaty man, and I hate it, but I push through it because I know it’s the only way to get myself fitter. I have absolutely no problem with people not wanting to sweat, with girls thinking it’s ‘unfeminine’ because I know how absolutely disgusting I feel at the end of a session. So, when someone actively tries to discuss finding other options, other sports or activities where you can look feminine, why do we actively take them down a peg and accuse them of sexism?

Of course, there is the argument that even Zumba, roller skating and cheerleading gets you sweaty, but that’s not the point, the point is the Independent article linked above actually shows us that girls want more choice in activities, yet when Helen Grant suggests we should ask women what they want to do, and has the temerity to offer some choices, we shoot her down and misrepresent what she says. She can’t win.

Putting all that aside, I want to focus on Laura Bates. Founder of the Everyday Sexism project, surely Laura Bates has a vested interest in listening to what Grant has to say, especially as it seems to finally be listening to what women want, offering them to chance to say we want this sport to be offered to us. But no, instead of reading Grant’s actual words, it would appear Bates just hears what everyone else hears – women must do cheerleading to stay sexy. This is why I take Laura Bates with a grain of sand. If I, an ardent anti-feminist, have a better grasp of this particular situation than an actual feminist, what does it say about Bates’ agenda?

This is what Laura Bates has to say in response to Helen Grant’s comments:

‘Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism project, insisted Miss Grant was wrong to focus on the looks of sportswomen and suggest the purpose of sport is to be ‘girlie and feminine’.

“We shouldn’t say women should only do sports while they look radiant and beautiful. It’s actually discouraging for a minister to say this. It suggests the problem is coming from the young women themselves, when I think a big problem is societal responses.’’

Hands up who’s surprised? No, didn’t think so. Here’s a quote from Bates that shows how much she actually wants to play the victim:

‘We shouldn’t say women should only do sports while they look radiant and beautiful’

In all the quotes I’ve provided throughout this entire article, can you give me one example of when Grant says women can only do sports while they look radiant and beautiful? I’m looking round, I’m waiting and I’m getting nothing. That’s because she doesn’t actually say that. The key word that Bates uses is ‘only’. At no point does Grant say that the ‘only’ way for women to do sports is while looking radiant and beautiful, she suggests that for those women who don’t want to sweat there are other options where, if they choose, they can look radiant and beautiful. All matters of whether you still look radiant and beautiful at the end of a Zumba session aside, the point is that, for someone who wants to banish ‘everyday sexism’ Bates has taken the easy road to victimhood. Instead of reading the original comments and thinking ‘actually, maybe she has a point’, she’s automatically believed the misquotes, gone straight to victimhood central and made herself look silly.

Then she comes out with this gem:

‘It suggests the problem is coming from the young women themselves, when I think a big problem is societal responses.’’’

There you have it, ladies, nothing to do with personal choices, nothing to do with a lack of options for those women who don’t want to do hockey or tennis or athletics, nope, it’s everything to do with society. Well, how about that for a great big dollop of victimhood.

Apparently, women are not choosing to do tradition sporting activities like hockey, athletics or tennis. I wonder why, is it because lots of school girls find competitive sports to be undesirable, is it because school girls don’t want to sweat too much, is it because they simply don’t like those sports? Nope, it’s because we live in a sexist society.

So, Laura Bates, rather than listening to the comments of a woman who makes a good point, who also happens to have a rather illustrious sporting past, rather than looking at the statistics that suggest girls themselves are looking unfavourably at the available sports you go straight to victimhood central and claim it’s all because of big, bad society. Is it any wonder people can’t take your project seriously.

I’ve just spent 8 damn pages trying to defend Helen Grant, defend her from the people she’s actually trying to help. Yet, this isn’t a victory for me. Helen Grant is the short-sighted imbecile who came up with this proposal while she was Justice Minister:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21900779

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/plight-of-women-in-jail-tackled-with-new-policy-on-sentencing-8544846.html

So really, what on Earth am I doing wasting my time on this article?! Well, as I said with James Taranto, it doesn’t matter what they’ve said in the past, it doesn’t matter how moronic they’ve been, or how damaging past comments may have been, they’ve said something positive that has been misquoted, distorted and presented as something it isn’t, that’s the important thing to take away from this article.

A male anti-feminist listens to women more than a feminist, is that possible?

Stud vs Slut: an exploration.

Posted: February 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

It’s currently Monday the 17th of February. The idea for this article has been in my head for a week. The original plan was for it to go out on Valentine’s Day, I thought that would make an ideal day for this to debut. As it turns out, work and real life and all that shit got massively in the way and I couldn’t find time to write it. I did think about leaving it and not writing anything, but as I was pottering around this morning getting myself dressed I started to have a few ideas come into my head, so decided to just start writing and see what happened.

So Valentine’s Day has been and gone, and I didn’t receive any cards. Having said that, I wasn’t expecting any, and I imagine most of the people who did get something are either already in a relationship or 12 years old. Gone are the days, it seems, when you would send a random card to your ‘valentine’ anonymously expressing your love in the hope they would figure it out and a live lived happily ever after would ensue. Shame really, I always quite liked the idea of a relationship starting off in that romantic way.

But anyway, that’s the good(ish) side of Valentine’s Day. This entry isn’t about the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day or the fact that, without doubt, focus has shifted from being about relationships to simply being about getting your wife/girlfriend something so she can brag to her mates. If you want to see just how female-focused Valentine’s Day is, you only have to investigate the ‘steak and blowjob day’ craze:

http://steakandbjday.com/

I never even realised it had its own website until I typed it in to Google!! The point of this entry is nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, although the fact it is so close to Valentine’s Day does help, it’s more about one of the most pervasive double standards of our society:

If a man sleeps with loads of women, he’s a stud; but if a woman sleeps with loads of men, she’s a slut.

It’s one that has been around as long as I’ve been around, the idea that it’s socially acceptable, perhaps even socially encouraged, for men to sleep around as much as possible and he is viewed in a positive light, whereas a woman doing the same thing is considered slutty and looked upon negatively.

I can honestly say, and this is simply from my own personal experience, that I have never heard anyone actually speak those words out loud. Much like the ‘what was she wearing’ victim-blaming excuse we are told is prevalent when women claim to be raped, I can, hand on heart, say I’ve never heard anyone utter the above words, in any variation. That’s not to say it hasn’t been said, the fact that it exists as a double standard suggests that it, in some way, has been said before.

Interestingly enough, much like the ‘what was she wearing’ double standard, I now see more people actually talking about the double standard itself than actually committing the double standard. By that, I mean there are more people saying ‘it’s terrible how a man can shag a woman and be considered a stud, while if a woman does it she’s called a slut’ than actually saying ‘that man’s a legend for shagging that woman.’ It’s a strange turn of events.

This has been in my mind since last year when the ‘slane girl’ scandal erupted. For those who don’t know, ‘slane girl’ is a title given to a girl who was photographed giving a man a blowjob at an Eminem gig at Slane Castle last summer. Of course, everyone lauded the man and shamed the girl, apparently. This article isn’t about the incident itself, it all took a slightly sinister turn with the revelation that the girl was only 17 and the Twitter accounts that re-tweeted the picture could have been in serious trouble, but more about the reaction to it.

I remember reading an article that explored the actual amount of tweets that contained people committing the double standard and those simply stating the double standard. I went to look for the article as it proved that the majority of tweets on the subject were actually people stating the double standard. That is, more people were saying how despicable it was that she was being shamed than there were people actually shaming her.

Of course, this being the internet, and us living in a society where anything a woman does is automatically front page news, all I could find were articles expressing how the double standard was alive and well:

http://search.babylon.com/?s=web&babsrc=HP_ss&rlz=0&sd=1&q=slane+girl+no+double+standard&start=0

so, if anyone has read the article I’m mentioning, or can find it for me to help me back up my point it’d be much appreciated. I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago about whether or not the use of the word ‘rape’ was sanitising the act itself. In it, there was a link to an article that contained an ‘unscientific study’ that showed only a small amount of uses of the word ‘rape’ on Twitter were threatening. Working it all out, I think it came to something like 2% (650 odd) of the 30,000 tweets that included the word rape were actually threats. In much the same way, of the thousands of tweets on Slane Girl, only a few were of people actually lauding the boy and shaming the girl. But, of course, when has the truth ever really made a good story?

So, it would appear the double standard is alive and well, or so the mass media would have you believe. If we take that one article as symptomatic of the problem, we approve of male sexuality and decry female sexuality, every time we see a woman doing something sexual, either in public or behind closed doors, she automatically becomes less desirable, becomes ‘damaged’, becomes a whore in the eyes of all men. We praise males who engage in sexual acts, we denigrate and humiliate women who do the same.

The thing is, this double standard has to come from somewhere. There has to be a reason why we call women who sleep around sluts yet praise men who do the same. Is it simply because misogyny? I don’t think so, if we look at social perceptions, and actual depictions of male sexuality in television and film, we get a different picture.

There are numerous examples of womanisers on TV, characters who seem to get a lot of women. I’m not talking about those who have lots of relationships simply because that’s the way the series panned out, I’m talking about those who are depicted as going after women with the intention of sleeping with them. If we take a look at a couple of them, and other portrayals of male masculinity in general, we get a very different picture.

Let’s take one of the most famous sitcom characters of all time: Joey Tribbiani. A notorious womaniser, Joey spent most of the 10 years of the Friends run talking about women, beer and food. Yes, he was able to get women into bed with nairy a problem, but was he really lauded for it? He was stupid, idiotic, childish, shallow and leeched off other people in order to survive. He was presented as a dunce, someone who was, in essence, actually a bad actor, despite that being his given profession. Likeable yes, but not presented in any way as some kind of hero. I don’t remember any of the characters in the show ever really claiming him to be a stud, in fact in one episode Phoebe questions whether his lifestyle is sustainable.

Another sitcom character: Charlie Harper from 2 and a half men. Borderline alcoholic, cruel, shallow, disrespectful and, yep you guessed it, serial womaniser.

Interestingly, on the flip side, we’ll look at two other characters: Chandler Bing and Alan Harper. Both the polar opposites of Joey and Charlie respectively; absolutely terrible with women and, to no-one’s surprise, the butt of many a joke relating to that topic.

So, what to take away from this; good with women – some other character flaw to counter-act it, bad with women – loser. Either way, it seems a man can’t win. If he sleeps with a lot of women he may have some kind of character defect in order to balance him out, lack of intelligence of Joey’s part and borderline alcoholism on Charlie’s part.

The point is, those two men are not lauded for their womanising ways. In fact, it would appear that, while they’re depicted as being successful and somewhat proud of their accomplishments, there are other features about them which only further this idea that they are actually unlikeable characters.

There was an episode of Whitney (which only lasted two series and, shock horror, has been called misogynist because it shows women being manipulative and not perfect – http://search.babylon.com/?q=whitney+cummins+feminist&s=web&as=0&rlz=0&sd=1&babsrc=HP_ss) in which Whitney catches her boyfriend masturbating. What’s the reaction? Yep, she’s embarrassed, he’s embarrassed and the whole episode revolves around them trying to ‘get past’ this ordeal in their relationship.

Then there’s an episode of Rules of Engagement where David Spade’s character gets snapped in the nude and the fact he has an average, or below average, penis is laughed at and used to humiliate and shame him.

Or there’s the real-life case of Paul Reubens, Pee-Wee Herman to a bucketload of kids, who was busted for masturbating in an adult theatre and whose career was, subsequently, destroyed.

http://www.findadeath.com/Deceased/p/Pee%20Wee%20Herman/pee__wee_herman.htm

or the career of John Leslie, whose demise elevated quickly after first being accused of rape (which he was cleared of) and then being part of a sex tape:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2190441/John-Leslie-From-scandal-hit-celebrity-to-obscure-property-developer.html

You see, we do not laud male sexuality or male virility, it is seen as something to laugh at, something to mock and belittle, something that is embarrassing and shouldn’t be talked about. In the instances where it is not mocked, where men are shown to be sexually promiscuous, it is normally counter-acted by other undesirable character traits that aim to try and ‘level out’ a character, to show that, actually, being a womaniser isn’t the height of male sexuality, it’s a character trait among other character traits that are exhibited by morally questionable men.

Let’s look at how society treats female sexuality:

Abi Titmuss – makes career based on aforementioned sex tape with John Leslie.

Paris Hilton – makes career based on sex tape.

Kim Kardashian – makes career based on sex tape.

Tulisa Contostavlos – career not damaged in the slightest by sex tape.

Pamela Anderson – career not damaged in the slightest by sex tape.

So, we shame male sexuality, we see masturbation as something embarrassing and shameful, we see penis size as something we can use to gain leverage on a man, we are presented with womanising as the folly of the stupid and drunk, whereas we laud women who are sexually promiscuous, we raise their careers, allow them to take advantage of them, allow them to take advantage of it to help promote themselves in the public eye.

But, that’s not all of it.  As well as this not-so-black-and-white portrayal of female and male sexuality there’s the whole idea of who should actually take the lead when starting a relationship. With it being Valentine’s Day we get the old ‘who should ask who out’ question doing the rounds. This is one of the examples of chivalry I never got round to talking about in my article on chivalry, so I’ll touch on it here.

The age old question of ‘who should ask who out’ and the related ‘who should pay on a first date’ is one that seems to be holding steady. Despite the cries of ‘equality’, it would seem that women still like to be approached for a date, and like to have, at least, the first date paid for. Don’t believe me? Just take a look:

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110202111408AAUigiB

http://search.babylon.com/?q=who+should+pay+on+the+first+date&babsrc=HP_ss&s=web&rlz=0&sd=1&as=0&ac=0

I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago in response to Pamela Simpson, who calls herself a feminist even though she doesn’t really conform. It was an interesting article she wrote and at the bottom of it was a link to her blog. I had a look round and found an interview with a writer, who had an interesting response to the question Who should make the first move? Man or woman?

http://cherryblossomboutique.blogspot.co.uk/p/book-nook.html

For those who can’t be bothered to find the quote, I shall reprint it here:

‘the man. I believe men bounce back from rejection better than women and let’s face it, when would a guy refuse anything with breasts and a pulse?’

Miss Buckland; don’t flatter yourself.

So there you have it, on the blog of a feminist a woman claims that not only should men be the ones to approach the woman, they are also mindless beasts who will fuck anything with breasts and a pulse.

I would like to say that I have asked a lot of women out, I’ve been rejected more times than not and, to be completely honest, it hurts like a bitch. So no, Miss Buckland, I do not agree with your assertion. Rejection hurts, despite what you may think.

So what’s the point of all this, and how does it relate to the double standard of differing reactions to male and female promiscuity? The point is simple – not only is the double standard actually on shaky ground to begin with, if it does exist, there is a very simple way of explaining it:

Men have to work really hard to get sex, and then run the risk of being shamed because of it.

Whether this is still some sort of long-standing evolutionary trait that, subconsciously, is still with us I don’t know, but the point is that men are expected to make the first move, treat the girl right, take her somewhere exciting and romantic, do all the grunt work and then have the privilege of paying for it at the end of that night. Women can just sit and wait for a man, any man, to ask them out.

I’m not saying that makes the existence of the double standard right, I’m just saying it explains why it exists; men have to jump through a million hoops before getting sex, women can just wait for the man to approach them and then decided whether or not sex is something they want. When it comes to sex, the power is most definitely in the woman’s hands.

Again, that’s not to say it justifies the existence of a double standard, a double standard that I don’t think is entirely accurate, or that women have never done the grunt work in chasing a man, but it does go some way to explaining why people congratulate men and criticise women. If you have to put real effort in to getting sex, of course you’re going to want to get as much out of it as possible, and of course people are going to congratulate you. Point is, you’re putting yourself out there for rejection, and are probably going to get rejected more often than not, unless you’re a handsome bastard, which I’m not, so the fact you can get more sex than another man is seen as something positive, because it is.

Nowadays, there does seem to be more of a shift away from this line of thinking. More women are approaching men for dates, but that doesn’t change the fact it’s still seen as the ‘man’s’ job to approach a woman for a date. Trust me, being rejected is not fun, it’s not fun at all. And it’s not something you just ‘get over’ either. This isn’t a ‘patriarchy’ thing either, it’s women. Women are the ones who want to be approached by a man, who want to be treated right, who want to have their night paid for and will think less of a man if he doesn’t.

Justification for exaltation of one gender at the expense of another? To be honest, I couldn’t care less. When it comes to dating I really don’t care. If I’m expected to sacrifice myself at the altar of pussy on the slight chance a woman agrees to go out with me then I’m not going to feel too sorry about a woman who sleeps with multiple men getting called a slut. To me, men who sleep around are just as bad, but a cursory glance at the reasons why people think differently of each gender and the actual portrayal and reactions we see in real life suggests it’s not as black-and-white as people think.

This blog has probably taken a slightly different turn than I intended. To be honest, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to say, I just started writing and let it flow. I guess what the main crux of this whole article is is this:

The stud vs slut double standard is perhaps not as pervasive as society would have us believe. And even if it does exist in some capacity, there seems to be at least somewhat of a reason. Men’s sexuality is ridiculed and seen as something to be embarrassed about, men can be punished for their sexuality while women can build careers off it, men are still expected to be the ones to do all the grunt work in the first stages of a relationship and I couldn’t give a fuck about the dating scene on the whole.

Dating; it’s turned me into a cynical arsehole, and I’m quite ok with that.

*Before I get into this article I just wanted to point out that, at the time of writing this, for the second time in two days, the admin at Exposing Feminism and I are serving 12 hour bans. As you should know by now, Bretto made me a content creator at Exposing Feminism to allow me to post these articles directly to their page, which I’m hugely grateful for. Unfortunately, with that role comes the stark realisation that anti-feminist pages on Facebook are constantly under scrutiny. While the feminist machine decides that Facebook is decidedly misogynistic for its ‘refusal’ to remove certain anti-women pages, it seems to stay quiet on the amount of pages and posts that removed for ‘contravening’ Facebook policy, despite the fact Facebook’s official guidelines state they are all for debate and discussion. Anyway, on to the entry*

Seriously, now, this is getting ridiculous. This is like my 4th or 5th blog in a row that talks about rape. I remember when I wrote ‘Rape Culture? yeah let’s talk about it’ (http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/02/james-taranto-will-tell-you-when-youve-been-raped-ladies/357953/#disqus_thread) way back in October that I was a little unsure about publishing it. Not because I didn’t believe what I was writing, I was 100% behind it and still am, just that I was unsure about the reaction I would have to it. It was still early in the life of this blog and it was the longest blog I’d written at that point (now it seems positively mini at only 4 pages) so I was unsure as to how it would be received. As it turned out it promoted a lot of healthy discussion, particularly around the subject of educational rape (that of female teachers and male students)

That was in October, to be honest I didn’t think I’d be revisiting the subject of rape for a while. However, that was before I realised the topic of rape was raised on an almost daily basis. It’s unreal how many times I open up Facebook or, God forbid, read a newspaper and see some story about someone making a comment that is absolutely ripped to shreds for being misogynistic and enforcing ‘rape culture’. What I do find interesting is that whenever someone makes a stupid comment about rape, it’s always taken as an insult against women. Even if the comment is not about the actual act of rape, or if there is no mention of the gender of the victim, feminists automatically get up in arms about ‘rape culture’ and how it’s offensive and misogynistic to mention the word as a verb or some other such descriptive manner.

Most of the time I just roll my eyes, the recent article about PIV always being rape, and the subsequent hissy fit the author threw, being a prime example. But every so often, and perhaps recently more often than not, a story appears that is so massively blown out of proportion and so massively misinterpreted that I think society wants the idea of rape to be all consuming. Sometimes, I think that some facets of society, particularly feminists and feminist sympathiser, want to be outraged because someone dared to mention the word rape and, perhaps, suggest that, in some cases, women aren’t the perfect little angels we are told they are. They make mistakes, they have regrets, they do stupid things that, with the benefit of hindsight, they would have done differently. Instead of feminists promoting this idea, instead of them saying ‘actually, women can make stupid mistakes, perhaps we should just move on’ they seem to artificially create something to be outraged at.

As ever, the problem with that is the brainwashed majority that just drink all the bullshit up. It doesn’t matter how far removed from the original article the comments may be, or how pathetically minor the outrage is, the baying crowd of morons will prick up their ears and say ‘what’s that, misogyny on the internet, I must register my disdain immediately, even if I haven’t read the original ‘offending’ article.’

So, which hilarious feminism hissy-fit-overreaction is the focus of this particular barrage of condemnation? Well, this article recently surfaced in the Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304558804579374844067975558

I can’t say I’ve ever read the Wall Street Journal, or even claim to know who James Taranto is, but he’s receiving an absolute barrel-load of abuse for this, and typically it’s from people who are completely misreading what he’s put.

You see, people are collectively losing their shit over this particular section:

“If two drunk drivers are in a collision, one doesn’t determine fault on the basis of demographic details such as each driver’s sex,” Taranto argued. “But when two drunken college students ‘collide,’ the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault. His diminished capacity owing to alcohol is not a mitigating factor, but her diminished capacity is an aggravating factor for him.”

To me, that sounds perfectly reasonable. If there’s one case that absolutely proves that he is making a completely valid statement it’s the Athens, Ohio ‘rape’ case:

http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2013/10/18/athens-prosecutor-to-consider-charges-in-ohio-university-rape-case.html

In that article it states the police are ‘increasing foot patrols’ in order to ensure the safety of students on a night out. Does that not count as a massive waste of police time when you consider the ‘rapist’ was found not guilty, something that was quite apparent from the available photos and videos of the incident.

So, two drunk people have sex, in this case a man performing oral sex on a clearly consenting woman, and he gets arrested the next morning after she claims rape. Tell me what about that situation doesn’t match 100% what Taranto is describing in the quote above? He’s absolutely correct, if two people who are drunk ‘collide’, in this case have sex or perform some kind of sexual act upon each other, why do we automatically apportion blame to the man and see the woman as the victim? If two people are drunk, why do we place the mantle of responsibility on the man automatically? What does that say about women? If we are trying to create a society that respects women, that tells us they are as capable as men, that we shouldn’t degrade them by treating them as weaklings or inferior, what on earth are we trying to say when we claim they cannot be held responsible for their own actions?

Yes, the issue of alcohol and consent does come in to it and, as Stubenville showed, if a drunk girl is assaulted, while unconscious, by a man, or men, who are not as intoxicated, that is a massively different situation from two drunk people consenting with each other and having sex, no matter what the feelings the next morning. Generally speaking, that point of view, while not massively controversial in my eyes, is enough to get me labelled as a victim blamer or rape apologist because, apparently, a girl being drunk and consenting is nowhere near the same as a man getting drunk and consenting.

Dr. Phil got in trouble last year for approaching the subject in a similar way (https://johnsalmonsworld.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/dr-phils-sexual-abuse-tweet/), yet nothing about that tweet, or this article, is controversial if we weren’t so blinded by rape hysteria.

But of course, that’s asking quite a lot, and it wasn’t long before the ridiculous counter-articles started to appear. Far from actually approaching the subject in a mature way, most of them exhibited some of the most delicious examples of piousness I’ve come to expect in journalism on these types of issues. Much like the initial response to the Ohio case, these articles think they know what they’ve read, but are so wilfully wrong that it becomes embarrassing to read.

Let’s have a look at that venerable pillar of artistic truth first shall we, The Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/11/james-taranto-rape-wall-street-journal_n_4766064.html

Straight away we can see the headline is somewhat skewed. Taranto is not talking about rape specifically, but rather the double standards surrounding alcohol consumption and rape between men and women at college. Automatically the Huff has set out its stall on this piece, it knows what it wants to say and it doesn’t care if it has to outright lie to say it.

Taranto suggested the female college students are as guilty as their aggressors if they are sexually assaulted while intoxicated.’

Yep, they quote the same quote I’ve highlighted above yet completely twist what has been said. At no point does Taranto ever try and claim that female college students who get sexually assaulted are just as blameworthy as their attacker. Never does he suggest that. The wording in no way implies one is more intoxicated than the other. Let’s have a look at exactly what Taranto said:

‘when two drunken college students ‘collide,’’

‘collide’ in this context comes from the previous car crash analogy, simply meaning ‘to have sex’. Can you point me to the part where he says the woman is in a worse state of intoxication than the man? Nope, didn’t think so. Can you point me to the part where he makes any suggestion of sexual assault taking place? Nope, didn’t think so.

They also pick out this quote from Taranto’s article:

‘As the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes, at some campuses the accuser’s having had one drink is sufficient to establish the defendant’s guilt … In theory that means, as FIRE notes, that “if both parties are intoxicated during sex, they are both technically guilty of sexually assaulting each other.” In practice it means that women, but not men, are absolved of responsibility by virtue of having consumed alcohol.’

And go on to state that:

‘It should be noted that in most states, laws stipulate that someone who is intoxicated cannot legally consent to sex

Again, they deliberately misread what Taranto says and make him out to have said something he didn’t. Taranto’s point is very simple, in some cases, the accuser having one drink is enough to consider them impaired and unable to consent, despite the fact that having one alcoholic drink is not likely to leave you impaired enough that you aren’t fully aware of your surroundings. Hell, in this country it’s perfectly legal to drive after having one drink. Why do we assume people are capable enough to drive after having one drink, yet aren’t capable of consenting to sex? The fact the Huff take Taranto’s statement to mean the woman is ‘intoxicated’ is unfair and hyperbolic and is not a true reflection of what Taranto said.

However, that’s not the worst example of the generally hissy-fit thrown by the media in regards to this situation. That honour goes to a major buffoon called Philip Bump, who decided to pen this piece full of outrageous lies:

http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/02/james-taranto-will-tell-you-when-youve-been-raped-ladies/357953/#disqus_thread

Yep, apparently by advocating the notion that women who get drunk and have sex with drunk men Taranto is apparently ‘telling’ women ‘when you’ve been raped’. How manipulative and untrue is that heading? Immediately he has written a headline that is likely to get people outraged before they even read the article. Without even quoting anything from Taranto’s article he’s already created a sense of bad blood, so much that he can outright lie in his following article and he knows people will believe it, because that’s exactly what they want to do. There’s no reason for this article to exist other than to shame Taranto and try to claim he’s something he’s not, it’s sickening, unprofessional and speaks volumes about why I despise the notion of ‘rape culture’ and feminism’s insistence on its pervasiveness.

Let’s have a look at what Bump thinks he’s read in Taranto’s article:

‘The Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto would like society to spend a little more time holding young women accountable for having been sexually assaulted, ‘

The first outright lie. Taranto’s article is not about being sexually assaulted for fuck’s sake, it’s about not automatically blaming the man when two drunken people consent to drunken sex. Why is that so difficult for people to understand? Is it any wonder we live in a ‘rape culture’ when people deliberately misrepresent what people say for the sole reason of perpetuating ‘rape culture’?

Here’s some more:

‘Taranto is a foot soldier in the nonexistent “war on men,” standing outside the well-fortified walls of male power, a little dagger in his hand, railing against the women walking past on the horizon’

Again, find me a piece of Taranto’s article where he claims anything of the sort, where he seems to be aggressive towards women, or nonchalant about the existence of rape as a crime?

More:

‘He’s defended a reduced sentence for a man convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious coworker. He’s blamed women for not following 1950s-era guidelines for sexual relationships. He thinks birth control has been a net negative. And there’s more.’

You never know, he might be right on these particular counts, to be fair to Bump there are links to each of those examples. I haven’t read any of them because this is a simple diversionary tactic – refer to so of the author’s past articles that perhaps contain more controversial views to stoke up more hatred of the author before getting to the main point of your own article.

Then we get the quote that the Huff quoted, the ‘collide’ allegory. It’s at this point Bump becomes callous and defamatory in his lies:

‘In other words, if a man and a woman are both drinking, and the man sexually assaults the woman, if he rapes her, they’re kind of both at fault, really. That’s Taranto’s argument.’

Philip Bump, you are so utterly wrong in your reading of that quote that you embarrass yourself. How can you possibly take that assertion from the actual quote? I’ll tell you, you can’t. What Bump has done has read something pretty innocuous and accurate and deliberately misread it in order to further his own agenda. He wants Taranto to be discredited, he doesn’t agree with Taranto’s view so is willing to outright lie about what he’s said.

Where in that quote by Taranto does he say, in any way, that a woman who a man ‘sexually assaults’ or ‘rapes’ is as much ‘at fault’ as he is? Nope. The only word he uses to suggest any physical contact is ‘collides’. If you can take the word ‘collide’ and extrapolate that to mean ‘rape’ that says more about your views on rape, and your desire to read rape in to everything that could possibly constitute sexual contact between two people.

He then tales that willful misreading and continues unabated:

‘His analogy is flawed. It is more like there are two drunk drivers, one going 90 the wrong way down a one-way street, the other sleeping it off in the garage of her own home. When the cars collide, the two are not equally at fault; the one who is breaking the law is the one to blame.’

His analogy is not flawed, your analogy is flawed based on the fact that you’ve created it on a lie that you yourself have presented. The above car crash analogy is not synonymous with Taranto’s because it is not comparable. What Bump has done is lie about the original quote, then create an analogy based on that lie, making it completely irrelevant to the original topic.

Wait, there’s more (a lot more):

‘Taranto lives in a world in which women who are drunk to the point of near-unconsciousness should be presumed to be granting willing consent to whatever behaviors men engage in.’

No, he doesn’t, he lives in a world where he advocates equal responsibility applied to drunken college students. At no point does Taranto suggest the woman in his car crash analogy is in a state of ‘near-unconsciousness’, that’s another exaggeration that Bump gifts us with. His word use is actually ‘drunken’, that, to me, suggest an equal level of drunkenness, not in any way does it suggest that the woman is at a state of near-unconsciousness. Bump, you’re just digging your own grave now, throw the shovel away!

Oh, but no, he carries on:

‘He calls Stanford University’s rules around legal consent “self-evidently unjust,” since it grants to women who claim that they were assaulted when drunk the presumption that this is indeed the case. This is an injustice, in James Taranto’s eyes.’

Taranto is right, it’s an injustice that two ‘drunken’ students who have sex are so diametrically opposed on the ‘consent’ scale that we can automatically assign victim status to the woman and perpetrator status to the man. What Bump does is becoming pretty self explanatory.

Oh, I wish that was it, but it’s not:

‘The grossest thing about Taranto’s gentle request that we stop to consider the feelings of drunk guys who jam their clumsy hands into nearly-unconscious women’s pants is that it serves only to encourage that behavior’

Do I even need to comment on this one? Apparently, broaching the topic of men and women taking responsibility for their actions, or as bump puts it – letting sober men rape intoxicated and unconscious women – is actively letting men get away with this kind of behaviour. What he fails to consider, on the flip side, is that by telling women they don’t require to be repsonsbile  in any way for their actions when drunk, it actively encourages that kind of behaviour, the kind of behaviour that leads to an innocent man being arrested, as we’ve seen in the Ohio rape case.

Bump goes on to spout some more rubbish, but I don’t want to give any more attention to that vacuous waste of column inches. What I do want to talk about is the reach and power that this article has. Despite the fact it’s full of lies, hyperbole, misrepresentations and exaggerations it’ll probably be accepted by the masses as a truthful deconstruction of Taranto’s original post and held up as an example of ‘rape culture’.

The main reason I’m writing this article, the main reason I’m even wasting my energy on such a dishonest article, is because this is symptomatic of the way we address rape in our culture. Yes, Taranto’s article is dealing with American colleges, but I can imagine the exact same situation happening over here, too. What Bump’s article does is contribute to the artificially created sense of hysteria about rape. The fact that Bump’s views are shared by a number of other online rebuttals is a good indicator of exactly why we can’t engage in serious debate about rape and sexual assault. As is clear from Taranto’s article, as soon as someone dares to approach the subject from a stance of ‘alcohol muddies the waters somewhat, it’s not black and white’ they are automatically bombarded with the typical ‘victim blamer’, ‘rape-apologiser’, ‘rape-denier’ claims from the more outspoken groups of society.

This is not about victim blaming or rape apologising, it’s dealing with the radical idea that drunken sex does not automatically make a man a rapist! It’s dealing with the idea that, far from protecting women, the idea that they are not to held responsible for the  decisions they make while drunk actually implies they are weak are incapable of looking after themselves! By exaggerating, lying and manipulating what is actually a fairly common-sense statement Bump is furthering the idea that the crime of rape is black and white, that there are no grey areas, no instances in which two equally drunk people engage in a sexual act that one of them may later regret.

This is why we can’t have serious discussions about rape and sexual assault, because people are unwilling to accept the idea that drunken sex is not rape, people are not willing to accept the idea that women can be responsible for their actions. People are unwilling to accept the idea that, even if we did consider drunken sex to be rape, it’s sexist that we automatically place blame with the man.

I stand with James Taranto. Regardless of what his other articles might say, despite what other opinions he may hold, I stand with him. The fact that James Taranto may have written another article that I vehemently disagree with is irrelevant, in this case he’s written something that is not derogatory, not sexist, not demeaning, is actually logical and thoughtful. What Philip Bump has done is taken that logic, deliberately misread it, exaggerated it and then presented it as truth.

Unfortunately, Bump’s article is likely to fan the flames of outrage and cause more controversy than is needed. By immediately painting Taranto as a misogynist from his misleading headline, he is further perpetuating an artificially created sense of hysteria surrounding college rape, playing on the outrage caused by college cases like Stubenville, Maryville and Duke. Despite the fact that only the Stubenville accused were actually found guilty of rape, those are still three of the go-to cases when feminists talk about college rape and alcohol.

That’s why Bump’s article is dangerous, because people who are already blinkered to one set of views are unlikely to actually go and read Taranto’s article with any degree of objectivity. Instead, they will read it from the perspective that Bump has already filled their mind with, no matter how logical or truthful Taranto’s post may be; he can’t compete with that level of manipulation.

Outright lies; much more appealing to feminism than the truth. But then, what’s new?!

Hopefully I’ve not scared away too many people with that title. You see, a matter of minutes ago I checked my blog to see I had a new comment. I always get a little flutter of excitement when I get a new comment as I’m never sure if it’ll be from a fan or not. Generally speaking, I don’t get many detracting comments, and those that aren’t positive are usually ad hominems so I’m not too bothered. However, this one, posted on my blog about Thomas the Tank Engine (https://johnsalmonsworld.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/thomas-the-tank-engine-you-sexist-bastard/) alerted me to a whole new level of stupidity! I tend to use sarcasm a lot, it’s a particularly British characteristic, but I always forget how badly it carries when written, it’s very difficult to decipher written sarcasm as there’s very little to highlight it, no body language, no tone of voice, etc.

For the future, be assured that if something sounds like it would come from the mouth of a feminist, it’s sarcasm. A lot of the time, I try to make my titles catchy, good or bad, in order to draw people in. Sometimes they’re misleading (like the Thomas one, though I thought I was clearly being OTT with that title), sometimes they’re quite truthful. The point is, a title is a title, it gives an idea on what the entry will be about, it’s up to you to decide if you want to keep reading. All I ask is that you actually do read it before posting comments that make you look rather daft, much like the contributor on the Thomas entry.

So why the title above? What am I referring to when I say something is the ‘worst-case-scenario’? Well, it’s this video that seems to have cropped up recently and is now all over my Facebook timeline (both of them):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4UWxlVvT1A

Oppressed Majority – a ‘gender-swapped’ film that is supposedly showing all the terrible things that normally happen to women happening to a man instead.

As with anything like this, it’s been roundly applauded by women, and pretty much roundly laughed at by men. It’s hard for me to make any sort of criticism on this video because, inevitably, I’ll be rounded on as a massive misogynist. It’s hard for a man to make any criticism of a woman, let alone a video full of feminist propaganda, without being absolutely hounded. As with most of my blogs these days, I have to draw attention to the baying pack of brainwashed morons who will blindly support any feminist crusade simply because they’re told they should be outraged.

That’s one of my main problems with this video. Women are being told that this video is absolutely spot on for how they are treated in their lives. It’s the ‘average’ day for women everywhere in the world, it highlights specifically what women have to encounter every day. This isn’t one of those videos where women can go ‘well, that’s a little unrealistic, I’ve never had that happen to me’. It’s one of those videos where feminists tell us ‘this is exactly what it’s like, if you don’t share in our outrage then you are nothing but a misogynist, and they have all their brainwashed little cult going ‘yeah’ with arms thrown in the air. I would like to clarify that I, too, have experienced most of the stuff that happens in the film, bar being raped.

I’m going to criticise it from my experiences. I’m a man, I have absolutely no idea what it’s like to be a woman, however, I am a man who knows what it’s like to have been groped, more than once, and sexually assaulted, according to ridiculous feminist standards, so I like to think I have some understanding of the situations highlighted in the video.

It’s at this point I have to admit I couldn’t actually finish watching the film, I found it so full of victimhood and blatant exaggerations that it actually became laughable in parts, which is pretty much the opposite intention. The fact that all the media promote it as an example of ‘everyday’ sexism is what puts me off. The title to this piece is pretty self explanatory, this video, to me, represents the absolute worst of what women go through. Someone on my other timeline posted this, and I commented with a simple ‘everyday?’ Her response was that she agreed that it was exaggerated and, while she had experienced most of the stuff in the film, it didn’t happen in a single day. If that’s the case, if women are able to accept that, while it does portray accurate events, they are not events that happen every day, how has it taken the internet by storm?

I have a theory, and it’s one that I’ve broached before. It’s simply a case of over-saturation. We are told so often, so constantly, that the events portrayed in the video are so frequent, so common that we have no frame of reference by which to hold them, which leaves us with no option other than to accept what we see and get outraged. Because we are so often given one exaggerated side of the story, the female side, told by feminists, without anything to counter balance it, we see exactly what they want us to see – a world in which men live freely and without incident while women are abused every second of every hour of ever day, until the day they die.

Of course, reality is very different, there are women who have never experienced that kind of abuse, and there are men who are abused on a daily basis. Of course, that doesn’t make for good propaganda, hence we have this very myopic view of the world. Somebody on Facebook summed up this video perfectly, and I’m really sorry to that person but I can’t remember your name. They said something along the lines of:

‘This is not ‘everyday sexism’, this is ‘how feminists see men’.

You’ll notice, if you watch carefully, there are very few, if any (I say very few because I haven’t watched the whole video), women (although you have to remember they are playing men in the ‘real world’) who are not total scumbags, from the topless joggers, to the condescending police officer asking for coffee, to the unsympathetic girlfriend, to the violent homeless woman. This is what feminists think of men, they don’t think there are any men worth a damn in the world, they don’t think there are any men who are worthy of being represented well in a film like this. If we see this as an example of ‘everyday’ sexism, as the title suggests, then it implies there are no good men out there at all, on any day of the week, rather we are surrounded by absolute monsters who are just inherently sexist.

Let’s go through the video and see if some of the gender swaps work.

Elderly lady talking about banal things before making “I should be talking to your other half” remark – yep, had that, although it was more along the lines of “what would you know, you’re a man”.

Topless joggers, one offering help – yep, seen men jogging topless. Though, I have to say, if one of your examples of sexism is men jogging topless then your views are already coming across as quite pathetic. If topless male joggers are so oppressive, what do I call the half naked women who used to come to the gym when I was there?

Oppressed ethnic minority wearing a headscarf or other similar attire – Nope, most of the ethnic minorities I come across choose to wear their headgear, no oppression necessary. But then, when has feminism ever really listened to what 3rd world countries want?

Violent homeless – yep, encountered that, not very often but definitely encountered it, a lot of it sexual too, despite the fact it was coming from a man. Never encountered violence from a homeless woman though. Do you want to know why? Yep, because I’ve never seen a homeless woman. Perhaps that could have made it in to this pathetic little clip.

Woman pissing in an alley – maybe not in an alley, but I have seen both sexes take a pee in public, in fact I’ve done it myself, not quite on the level seen in the video, but when you get caught short you get caught short. Typically, men are the ones who seem more reserved when taking outdoor leaks.

Gang of violent girls – Not only have I seen this outside, I’ve seen it in the school I work in. Not to the extent that they’ve raped someone, but walking round in groups of 4 or 5 verbally abusing younger children, sometimes with sexual language, is not uncommon.

As soon as I got to the Police interview I pretty much stopped as I couldn’t watch anymore. As I’ve outlined, it seems to me to be a case of ‘worst-case-scenario’ day, as opposed to any ‘real’ situation.

Reading this interview with the creator of the video gave me something that others seem to have missed out on:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2014/feb/11/oppressed-majority-film-women-eleonore-pourriat

‘’I wanted it to be not so realistic but frightening,’ she says’

So there we have it, right from the horse’s mouth, her intention was not, at all, to create an ‘everyday’ scenario but to deliberately ramp up the effect in order to frighten men. And before you defend her by saying she’s only referring to the rape scene that is completely irrelevant, the fact she admits to exaggerating for effect, even if it was just one scene, then casts doubt on the entire film. If she took liberties with the truth to inflate one scene, how do we know she didn’t with the other scenes?

Another interesting point, this time from the author of the article, states

‘Eléonore Pourriat’s short film imagines how a man might experience a sexual assault in a matriarchal society’

Could it not be said that, with regards to the italicised bit, she is absolutely spot on with this scene, regardless of her intentions? In her attempts to present a ‘gender-swapped’ version of events, she has actually described the exact process through which men go when they have been raped or abused? Without even realising it, she has highlighted one of the major double standards that exist in society – the abused man. While trying to show us how women are rarely believed in society she pinpoints one of the major reasons for a lot of people’s dislike of the feminist ideology. How deliciously ironic that her attempts to show how much of misogynistic society we live in, how much we need feminism have actually proven how much of a misandric society we live in, justifying a place for the MRM.

Commenters on the above article have said that the unflinching portrayal of the women in this film (or in ‘reality’ the men) is one of its strengths, that it gives it strength. I’d counter by saying that is the absolute opposite of what it does. BY ignoring the millions of men who don’t behave like animals and only focusing on the ones that do, by only having men (or in this case the women of ‘reality’) painted as victims you are simply portraying a one-dimensional view of a very complex world. If this video is gender-swapped, then it’s just as offensive to women. It implies that all women are weak and powerless, unable to control anything in their own lives. It implies that they are at the mercy of men at all times, which is simply not true. This is nothing more than a subjective, simplified view of a particularly nasty facet of society.

The same woman who posted this video on my other timeline got a comment from one of her friends (who was a rather big white knight) who, despite saying he too had experienced most of the incidents in the film, said that it’s different when it happens to women due to ‘systematic disenfranchisement’. I told him that that view spoke volumes, and he replied that its best we agree to disagree.

That’s why we can’t have discussions about this kind of stuff, because people are unable to see past their own beliefs and break through the brainwashing and blindfolding they’ve been subjected to all their lives. They see a video like this and simply accept it, because that’s all they’ve been told for years, that this kind of thing is an everyday occurrence. Never mind the fact that it’s completely one-sided, never mind the fact that it’s oversimplified, never mind the fact it’s full of propaganda and its own creator has admitted to exaggerating for effect, let’s simply accept it as truth and commence being outraged.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there was a male equivalent, possibly made by the same person, that shows everything a man goes through, from the implication that he’s stupid, to the expectation to throw himself in front of a woman in times of danger, to the shaming he goes through for being masculine, to the fact that he can be sent to prison on a simple accusation.

Or, better yet, how about we make a joint video that shows how callous both sexes can be, that shows how disrespectful, derogatory and downright insulting people can be, on a regular basis. How do you think that would fare, a video that shows men as well as women being damaged by members of the opposite sex? I don’t think it would go down very well, because people simply aren’t ready, or willing, to accept that they’ve been fed bullshit rhetoric and bullshit facts for life.

I wrote about the vicious rape circle in my last blog, well this is exactly the same but with the overall idea of sexism. If one group has enough influence over the public and has a specific set of ideas, it gives them a massive platform to present those ideas as facts. Feminists claim we live in a sexist society and are able to produce one-sided arguments and examples as proof because nobody wants to disagree with them. They’ve turned misogyny into such a powerful word that being labelled as such can be quite damaging, to the point that others will abuse you whether they know the truth or not. That’s mob mentality and feminism has it down to a T!

So, am I saying I don’t think women face sexism? Of course not, anyone who reads this blog regularly should know that. What I am vehemently opposed to is this idea that feminism, and feminists in particular, hold the monopoly on what is and isn’t sexism and the way they present it to the masses. They further the culture of fear they claim to be wanting to break. They do it because it keeps them in power, allows them to push their own agenda, which is not to do with equality but rather establishing a way of life they they, and only they approve.

Yes, women get catcalled, yes women get raped and sexually abused, yes I’m pretty sure some of them have been hit on by a topless jogger. The point is simple, sexism does not affect solely women, it affects men too. Not necessarily in all the same ways, but it does. What feminists do, and what is clear here, is presented an absolute worst-case-scenario and present it as an ‘everyday’ occurrence, which is simply not true, as women themselves had admitted. What this video does is nothing but present one feminists idea of what all women go through everyday. With no frame of reference, with no accompanying video for men, or nothing within the video itself that shows how vindictive and manipulating women can be we can only accept what we’re given, which boils down to women being too weak to defend themselves, and men being nothing but monsters who prey on those weaker than themselves.

As a man, I think this video is a simple way to further demonise men and promote fear and suspicion in women’s eyes. For women, I think it presents them as pathetic, shrinking violet creatures who are unable to call people out on their actions. It presents a generalised view of all women and asks us to accept it as truth, even though the creator herself has admitted she wanted to present as frightening a situation for men as possible, particularly in the rape scene.

When you have a feminist blatantly admitting she manipulated her work to make it seem worse than it is, and people continue to praise it as absolute truth, you might just learn a little about how feminism really deals with ‘equality’. Here’s a hint, equality is what they decide it is, nothing more, nothing less. Of course, if you don’t agree with them then you’re nothing but a sexist pig that belongs in the middle ages.

Congratulations feminism, you’re playing the victim beautifully.

Ah rape, at the moment it seems to be my bread and butter. Entry after entry after entry about rape. I’ve only just finished a two parter on rape statistics. I could be doing a part two to the chivalry entry from a few days ago, that seems like a topic that’s worth continuing, especially considering it’s 7 pages long and there’s still 3 aspects of chivalry that I could talk about. But no, I had to go back to rape, didn’t I?! Why? Because I love rape. No, not in that way (though I cannot wait for some feminist page out there to highlight that quote and then put it on their page massively out of context and try to claim I’m a rape apologiser or something), I mean the topic itself is such a minefield of public opinion that you can barely even mention the word without the feminists having heart attacks of indignation. I’m honestly surprised that rapeseed oil hasn’t been banned yet for triggering someone!

Anyway, I digress. There’s a particular train of thought out there that seems to crop up every now and then, especially if rape is in the news, and it’s this:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/dontgetraped_zps653e95c0.jpg

Yep, apparently one of the manifestations of ‘rape culture’ is this idea that we teach women ‘not to get raped’ rather than teaching men ‘don’t rape’.

There are two things that are wrong with this: 1) it’s massively sexist in that it very clearly denotes women as victims and men as perpetrators, and 2) it promotes the horrendous idea that we shouldn’t teach women how to look after themselves. It teaches women that their safety is not their own responsibility but rather everyone else’s. It teaches women that they can do whatever the hell they want, and if something bad happens to them, like being raped for example, there is absolutely nothing they could have done to change the situation and it must be someone else’s fault. That’s a very dangerous way of thinking.

I’m going to say something that may sound very controversial – we need to teach women how to not get raped.

Is that the sound of pitchforks being sharpened I hear? (I don’t know why I have such an obsession with imagining feminists as pitchfork wielders, I think it just reminds me of the scene in Beauty and the Beast when the villagers sing as they march to the castle; that’s how ridiculous I see feminists.)

Before that quote gets completely misquoted and paints me as a rape apologist, let me qualify it by adding something – We need to teach women how to not get raped, we need to teach everyone how to not get raped. We need to teach everyone how to take care of themselves.

See how much difference that makes? By saying we shouldn’t teach women how to not get raped we take all responsibility away from them, we reduce them to children who can’t be trusted with their own safety. By explicitly singling out women as not needing to learn how to protect themselves we essentially put that responsibility on men. Yep, chivalry is alive and well with feminists. By removing the accountability and sense of responsibility from women when it comes to doing all they can to protect themselves from rape, we essentially tell men ‘you need to constantly be on the lookout for women as they are not capable of looking after themselves. If you see anything untoward, like a man about to rape her, step in and protect her.’

That’s not to say I think women deserve to get raped, absolutely not, as I’ve said multiple times, and I feel I need to say this every time I make a blog about rape because it’s such a sensitive topic at the moment, I hate rape, it’s a truly horrific crime, but that doesn’t mean I think we shouldn’t be allowed to talk about it. Feminists hold monopoly on the concept of rape at the moment. That’s what happens when you constantly promote false statistics and tell women that even being looked at by a ‘creepy’ guy is tantamount to rape. If ‘rape culture’ does exist, and I truly believe it doesn’t, it’s nothing more than an artificial creation of the feminist movement to hold women in a perpetual state of fear. It’s a devastatingly simple idea – promote false statistics to create fear, position yourselves as a group who will fight for you to be able to walk down the street without fear, watch women flock to you, do nothing but promote those false statistics to ensure culture of fear remains high priority, sit back and watch the world burn. To their credit, the feminists have done it brilliantly. Unfortunately for them, people are now starting to fight back.

So, if women don’t deserve to get raped, why teach them how to avoid getting raped? Er, because it’s common sense. I don’t think anyone deserves to get mugged or beaten up, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to mollycoddle someone who walked through a notoriously rough area with ipod blaring and iphone out when they get mugged. Yeah, it sucks that I can’t walk through the streets of certain places after dark without having to be weary of my surroundings, but unfortunately that’s the world we live in. The point is, we should teach people how to look after themselves. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t teach people not to commit crime but, you know, we teach people that burglary is wrong, yet people still burgle. In fact, if you don’t have a burglar alarm a lot of insurance companies will charge you more for home insurance. It’s a pretty simple concept, the more you do to protect yourself, the less likely you are to become a victim of crime.

That’s not to say crime doesn’t happen, of course it does. But, for a burglar, which do you think is the better option – a house with an alarm and a secure front door, or a house with no alarm and an old wooden door. When I was at Uni my house was broken in to twice. Why mine? Why not next door or next door but one? Simple, it was obviously a student house and, instead of making sure it was secure, my landlord was cheap and we had old, wooden doors that were easily broken through. Even after being burgled the first time, the landlord did nothing to make the house more secure. Is it any wonder we got hit again?!

What’s the difference between me making my house secure, not showing my valuables when walking through potentially rough areas at night and teaching a woman not to get so wasted she can’t stand up and then tries to walk home alone at 3 in the morning? It’s this culture of hysteria surrounding rape that creates the feeling of victim-blaming. It’s the idea that we tell women they should be allowed to do whatever they want without fear of repercussion. By removing that simple sense of responsibility and then blaming somebody else when something happens to them, whether it’s as simple as spraining their heel from falling over, or something as horrific as getting raped, we tell them that there was nothing they could have done to minimise, not prevent but minimise, the chances of that happening. We treat them like children who are unable to take responsibility for their own safety. That’s insulting. That’s feminism.

To add insult to injury, as well as telling women they don’t need to worry about personal safety and responsibility, we tell men that they need to be trained how to not rape. The implication being that men are all inherently rapists and only feminist teaching can help us to realise it, therefore stopping us from raping at the first chance we get.

The idea that we shouldn’t teach women how to be responsible yet we should teach men how not to commit a crime they probably had no intention of committing anyway, leads me nicely to this picture, posted on Women’s Rights News:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_3095_zpscc27aa29.jpg

Yep, never mind teaching your daughter how to be responsible, it’s completely the job of the parents to teach the son how to treat women.

I did post a comment on WRN in response to this, but it was a couple of weeks ago and I can’t be bothered to find it. Needless to say, it got quite a few likes. While I can’t post it word for word here as I can’t remember it, I will expand on it to some degree.

What does that meme actually imply? Well, aside from the aforementioned concept of removing personal responsibility from the daughters of the world, it also re-positions the role of parents. Apparently, it would appear this woman is suggesting that parental responsibility for her daughter does not, in fact, rest with her. She is absolving herself of all parental obligations when it comes to raising her own children. What she is doing is tasking other parents with the job of telling them how to behave around her daughter. She is not telling her daughter to protect herself, she is not telling her daughter how to be aware of her own safety, she is placing that responsibility squarely on the shoulders of other parents. Can you see how messed up that is?

Some commenters on the original picture tried to defend this by saying that she’s not suggesting you don’t teach your daughter anything, you simply need to teach sons how to respect women and not go around raping. If that’s the case, why has she crossed out the ‘How will I protect my daughter’ sentence? That implication is very clear, the onus is not on her, as a parent, to protect her daughter, it’s on everyone else to allow her to do whatever the hell she wants and then teach their sons how to behave properly. If the ‘she’s not saying…’ defence is to truly stand, surely it would have been a better idea to have both sentences together, rather than one crossed out?

Can you see where the problem lies? It gives the girl the sense that she should be able to do anything she wants without fear of repercussion. If the attitude of the parent is that, in this particular instance, it’s not her responsibility to educate her daughter, what other liberties is she taking? At what point does this feminist thinking stop? Is this a parenting-wide approach, or just when the topic is about rape? At what point does she actually take parenting responsibility seriously, and why does a feminist, who is so obsessed with everything rape, leave it to everyone else to educate their children when, you would think, this would be the perfect opportunity for her to teach her own daughter how to be safe?

This is the end result of promoting skewed and misleading rape statistics. By constantly pumping out statistics like the 1 in 4 myth (which is shown to be on extremely shaky ground in a previous blog) it creates an artificial culture of fear. By constantly furthering the false statistics it allows feminists to create and perpetuate the cycle of fear. It allows them to pass misandric laws, it allows them to paint all men as monsters, it allows them to paint all women as victims, then it allows them to revel in all the attention they get, all the focus, all the money, all the sympathy. Promoting false and misleading statistics does not help women, it constantly victimises them, it constantly demonises men, it allows a split in society, women are scared of men because they may get raped, men are scared of approaching women in case they get accused of rape. One big vicious rape circle.

Feminist scare-mongering allows them to push the idea of men as animals, it allows them to further their own campaigns. It allows them to come up with rubbish like this:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/Teachyoursontorespectwomen_zps10f077bc.jpg

and allows them to propose shit like this (and actually get taken seriously):

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2546597/Boys-dont-know-treat-girls-TAUGHT-school-respect-leading-campaigners-say.html

Just a point, if your authority on anything to do with equality is mumsnet then you really should reconsider your status on this planet.

Blocking this directive is possibly the one good thing Michael Gove has done since being education secretary (Although his opinion “that schools shouldn’t be burdened with too many directives from central government” is fucking hysterical considering what he’s doing to the education system at the moment!)

The stunning thing to take away from this article is that all the focus is on how horrible boys are. How it is only boys who need to be taught how to respect. And not just to respect everyone, but just to respect women. How about we teach them to respect everyone, even themselves? How about we stop demonising them from an early age, how about we stop reinforcing the idea that they are disposable, that they are only measured by their ability to attract and keep a woman, that they’re role in the marriage is solely to keep their wife happy, that reaching a certain age without being married is not creepy.

So what can we take away from all this? Simply put, feminism treats girls as perpetual victims, not giving them enough credit to be able to trust them with their own safety. Feminism absolutely loves to perpetuate the fear cycle that creates needles victims and a needless culture of suspicion, both of men and women. Feminism treats all men as inherent, not just potential but inherent, rapists who desperately need to be told that rape is bad, like it isn’t some kind of innate knowledge.

Having said all that, let’s take the woman’s question at face value; what will I teach my son? Pretty simple answer – stay the fuck away from your daughter. That’s lesson number one. Stay away from someone who has been taught that they can act like a princess, do whatever they want and take no responsibility for their actions, absolve themselves of blame and, when finally cornered, count on the support of mummy dearest whose party line is “well you obviously haven’t taught your son very well.”

What will I teach my son? That’s none of your fucking business.

Well, actually it’s only improved. If it was new it wouldn’t be called John Salmon’s world and wouldn’t still have all my articles on it. But that’s beside the point and simply being pedantic.

I realised that the old layout was a) shit and b) horrible to navigate round. If you wanted to try and find any of the older stories, for whatever reason that may be, it was pretty impossible to do without having the patience of a saint.

What I wanted people to be able to do was see the progression of this blog, right from the first post on August 25th 2013, to wherever this blog ends up. I still haven’t figured out how to archive older posts, so for the moment they’re all on the left and menu. Luckily my more recent blogs seem to drone on for ages so there’s more than enough space for them to be visible and not unnecessarily elongate the page.

When I started John Salmon’s World in August last year I didn’t envisage it ending up causing the stir it has. There are so many good writers out there that draw attention to hypocrisy and double standards in society that I never thought I’d ever get myself noticed. It was that thinking that lead me to pick one of the first design layouts for this blog that I found. I have no idea how to really work WordPress and I find it infuriating to navigate sometimes, but as a viewer it works really well and it’s free, so I just picked something quickly and then left it. Seen as I didn’t think anyone would give 2 shits about what I thought I really gave no attention to how people would get round.

Now, after over 5000 hits and 51 (now 52) entries, I decided it was time for a change, to make this blog look more professional, more like some of the other blogs I’ve seen out there, where navigating is pretty obvious and intuitive.

Of course, my Luddite nature with WordPress meant I really had no idea what I was doing, so I put out a desperate plea on Facebook. Luckily, a commenter on this blog, and a friend on Facebook, took pity on me and offered his time to help change it round. Rusty Crayons – I owe you big time, brother! Let me know if you’re ever in Salmon’s region and I’ve got a frosty beverage with your name on it. Go visit his blog and say hi – http://hackthepower.com

Looking back on that first entry, it becomes clear how frustrated I was. The first blog entry was on August 25th, then the next was 3 days later on August 28th. After that there was a good 2 week break before I posted 2 stories on the same day, then another 2 weeks break before the next story. I was frustrated because no-one was reading the blog. It was after about a week of feeling sorry for myself that I realised, without promotion, no-one would even know this blog existed. It was about the time of the Moose Allain blog entry that Exposing Feminism shared on their page that it really began to take off, and the regularity of the entries increased. Since then, it’s been up and up!

For those who haven’t read, I was asked by Bretto of Exposing Feminism if I would be interested in posting my blogs direct to their page whenever I wrote one. Of course I said yes, so you can expect, hopefully, a bit more exposure in the coming weeks.

For now, enjoy the new layout, I know I certainly do. Big thanks to Rusty Crayons again for making it possible and let’s raise a glass to the future, wherever it may take us!

Is Chivalry dead? Who knows.

Posted: February 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ah, chivalry, that old bastion of common courtesy. Chivalry’s been around as long as I can remember, when I was young I was told to hold doors open for women, get out of my seat on the bus and offer it to the elderly (I haven’t been on a bus since I was about 14) and other such gentlemanly things. I never batted an eyelid when I was younger, it was just something you did. It was in television programmes, in films, I saw people do it every day, it was just one of those things I saw as accepted and, almost, expected on a daily basis.

Then, something happened when I was at University. I tried to open a door for a woman and was thoroughly shamed for doing it. No words were spoken between us, but the look I got and the tut I received as she walked past made me feel like I’d been an unhelpful prick.

Apparently, despite my upbringing, despite everything I had been taught, chivalry was sexist. The more I thought about it, the more I kind of agreed. Of course, everyone I spoke to said it was sexist towards women, but I couldn’t completely agree. It’s sexist towards everyone. It’s sexist towards men and women, but of course it’s the women who we are told are the real victims.

I think it’s sexist for two reason – 1) it does paint women as weak, it implies they are incapable of doing a simple thing like opening the door or pulling a chair out in a restaurant. It implies that they need to be protected and looked after, that they are incapable of even being responsible for their own safety. 2) and here’s something I never really see people think of, it also implies that all women are judgmental bitches who don’t want to do anything on their own. Some women hate chivalry, some would think you less of a ‘real’ man if you didn’t open the car door for her on a date. Either way, women are presented in a derogatory way, either as weak or as entitled.

It affects men in much the same way. It reinforces male disposability. It reinforces the idea that, no matter how strong, or brave, or courageous, or powerful, if he doesn’t open a door for a woman, or pull her chair out for her in a restaurant or, more drastically, put his body in front of hers should the occasion call for it then he’s less of a man.

I never really realised it before, but the assumption that I should open a door for a woman, simply because I’m a man, and simply because she’s a woman is really sexist. While it’s not something that bothered me too much personally, I could see why feminists would get upset, it allows them to, once again, claim an entitled sense of victimhood and paint themselves to be the perennial victims they love being.

After my experiences at university, it just became another thing in the ether, nothing to worry too much about. But now and then it crops up, chivalry is sexist, it implies women are weak, and in this age of equality-for-all that’s not acceptable. I’ve read comments on websites from women saying they’ve loudly admonished men for holding doors open for them, beaten them down verbally and called them a sexist pig simply for having the gall to let a women do something first.

The thing is, there are women out there who still think chivalry should be practiced. It’s one of the great double standards of equality, one of the great hypocrisies of our time, the benevolent sexism that allows women to discard all the negative aspects of sexism (being forced to stay inside, not being paid as much, not having the vote, etc) and keep all the positive aspects that actually benefit them (men paying on dates, etc). It’s a no-win situation for men, and it entirely depends on the woman you’re interacting with. Some women will expect you to still hold the door open for them, some will think nothing of embarrassing you in front of a crowd for doing it.

So, it’s no wonder that chivalry seems to be dying on its arse. A quick look at a rudimentary Google search shows that people really are conflicted as to whether chivalry is expected or accepted any more:

http://search.babylon.com/?q=is+chivalry+dead%3F&s=web&as=0&rlz=0&babsrc=HP_ss

And plenty of websites that are of the opinion that chivalry is, at least to some degree, sexist:

http://search.babylon.com/?q=chivalry+is+sexist&babsrc=HP_ss&s=web&rlz=0&as=0&ac=0

What’s worse is that no-one seems to agree. Some people still think it’s acceptable, some people think it’s a sign that we still live in a horrendously misogynistic society. We get articles saying that we should stop being chivalrous and let women make their own way in life, but then we get articles like this one:

http://www.lovepanky.com/flirting-flings/dating-game/chivalry-is-dead

An article that shames men for not being chivalrous. And not only that, but puts it squarely at the feet of men, blaming them for being lazy! So, when we are chivalrous, it’s sexist and we should be thoroughly ashamed, but, on the flipside, when we aren’t chivalrous it’s because we’re are lazy and just want to ‘prove[s] that fairytales don’t exist.’ Can you tell me where men can win in this situation? Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

Looking at the article above, this is why I say chivalry promotes a sense of entitlement in women:

‘But I do expect basic courtesy like holding a door open, pulling a chair back for me if he’s close, and little things like that.’

Common courtesy, apparently, is now synonymous with chivalry, the idea that a man should afford special treatment to a woman simply because she has a vagina is no longer a sexist idea, but one that should just be accepted as something that happens. Damned if you do…

One thing that is worrying about this idea of chivalry, and it should make women feel ashamed of playing the victim, is the idea of male disposability. Men, through the code of chivalry, are expected to literally die for women, to protect them:

‘Women like feeling protected. Men like protecting.’

That’s right, it’s sexist for the code of chivalry to promote the idea of women needing protecting, it’s against biology, it’s gender stereotyping, yet women like feeling protected, and men like being the protectors. Damned if you do…

But what happens when that protection is taken to the extreme? What happens when that level of chivalry is taken to the point that men are expected to die to protect their women, even if it costs them dearly in other aspects?

I’m in no way trying to trivialize or debase the tragedy of the cinema shooting in Aurora during the Dark Knight Rises screening, but I’ve come across a couple of articles that confuse and anger me somewhat, all dealing with the three young men who literally shielded their girlfriends with their own body, dying in the process.

http://www.katu.com/news/national/Opinion-Code-of-honor-leads-boyfriends-to-save-girlfriends-aurora-163860526.html

http://search.babylon.com/?q=cinema+shooting+aurora+chivalry&s=web&as=0&rlz=0&babsrc=HP_ss

Chivalry is sexist, yet we have articles the like the ones above who, implicitly, shame men who aren’t prepared to lay down their lives for a woman:

‘By all appearances, these men believed that a man has a responsibility to protect a woman, even to the point of death.’

Now, I’m not one to downplay their heroism, the fact that people died at all is horrendous, the fact these 3 men died while protecting another human is absolutely worthy of commendation, and hey deserve every piece of recognition they get. But the idea that it’s a mans responsibility to protect a woman, even ‘to the point of death’ takes us right back to the benevolent sexism idea. When men die to protect a woman, simply because she’s a woman, it’s seen as valiant and courageous and brave and absolutely the right thing to do, yet when a man opens a door for a woman it’s seen as sexist and an example of patriarchal domination. They are both part of the ‘code’ of chivalry, so why is one, the one that ends with a human dying, seen as so much more acceptable than the other, which ‘hurts’ a woman’s feelings?

All that aside, the shaming in that article is absolutely dripping with misandry:

‘This is especially important given the state of many men today. Record numbers of men aren’t working or even looking for work. Record numbers aren’t marrying or even acting as fathers to their children’

So, in order for men to get back on track, stop being deadbeats, stop being out of work losers, they need to start adhering to a centuries old code of conduct that actively endorses their deaths for the protection of women? That’s how you motivate them, by allowing the privilege of dying for the woman they love?

‘In an age when traditional manhood has been increasingly relegated to fiction — capes, masks and green screens — these three men stand as real-life heroes. Their actions remind us that good triumphs over evil, not just in movies, but also in reality.’

Translation – if you aren’t prepared to die for your woman, you’re worthless, you are worth nothing, you’re not a good man, you’re simply a man. What is this saying to young men everywhere? Can’t get a job? Well, it’s not because the job market sucks, it’s because you’re not being chivalrous enough. Woman shouted at you for holding a door open? You obviously weren’t doing it with enough chivalry, try harder next time.

What happens, though, when that act of chivalry affects another family?

‘After his death we learned that Blunk had an ex-wife and two children living in Nevada. He was scheduled to visit them to resolve marital issues.’

Chivalry promotes the idea that you should abandon your children? Again, I’m not discounting the bravery of this man to protect another life, and despite what feminists say, I do believe men are more inclined to think of others before themselves in these kinds of situations, but his children have lost their father because he was adhering to a code that the majority of people will tell them is outdated.

“How did your dad die”

“He shielded his girlfriend from a gunman”

“Sexist bastard!”

Maybe a slight overblown example, but what happens in the future when another shooting like this happens and the men don’t protect their wives and girlfriends? Does that mean we finally cast off the shackles of chivalry, or does it simply garner more articles like the one above that declare men as ‘lazy’ for not bowing to the whims of a woman?

The Facebook group recently posted this article:

http://articles.philly.com/2014-02-05/news/47009371_1_three-women-northern-liberties-two-women

which elicited somewhat of a fiery debate (and a not inconsiderable amount of doucebaggery from certain involved parties, which only serves one purpose; to drive people, me included, further away from the MRM):

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=774767379218121&set=a.513187095376152.130942.500036446691217&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_reply

It all seemed to centre around one simple question – what has this got to do with feminism? Other questions came and went but, to be honest, after seeing the thread de-generate into a maelstrom of juvenile buffoonery I decided I couldn’t be arsed to carry on reading. Before it went that low I did post this:

‘this isn’t necessarily a case of ‘are they feminist’ but purely a case of ‘look what feminism has done/is doing’

They claim they don’t want/need protecting, then get angry when they feel they aren’t being protected. Men can’t win no matter what they do anymore. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.’

I still believe it. It’s my stock response to the aimless, banal question of ‘what has this got to do with feminism’. It’s not necessary for a woman to be a feminist to benefit from the feminist propaganda that pervades our culture. As we’ve seen with the Google search, feminists think chivalry is sexist. The problem is, ordinary women don’t seem to agree. Unfortunately, despite their claims to the contrary feminists don’t really promote the interest of ordinary women, they promote the interests of the elite group they belong to. They spread the idea that chivalry is sexist and outdated, so men start believing it and stop committing it. Then they get shamed by ordinary women, and men, when they aren’t chivalrous, being called lazy or implied to not be good men if they aren’t willing to dispose of themselves at a moments notice.

One point that kept cropping up in the tornado of drudgery that was the EF post was the idea that institutionalised chivalry is still rampant with selective service and forced conscription. I’m not sure about other countries, but in the UK we used to have something called National Service, where young men between a certain age (16-18 perhaps? I’m not sure) had to do 2 years of service in the forces, compulsory, no getting out of it. No such service existed for women. It doesn’t exist anymore, but it does exist in other parts of Europe, particularly Finland, as the case of Jani Liimatainen demonstrates:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jani_Liimatainen

A swift glance at Wikipedia shows us that a lot of countries still have Conscription, a forced sign up of young men to military servitude:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandatory_military_service#Sexism

What is interesting, even those countries that don’t have conscription anymore vary wildly in their rates of abolition. Some countries as long ago as 1960, some as recently as 2008. During World War I the White Feather campaigned actively shamed men who weren’t willing to die for their country. White feathers were given out by women, a lot of whom were suffragettes, in order to get men to go and fight for their country (countries are always given the gendered pronoun ‘she’, so effectively these men were forced to lay down their lives for a woman). If chivalry is even institutionalised in this way, are we surprised that so many people are still in favour of it, and are so willing to shame those that are not?

But how can I compare opening a door open for a woman to serving in the military? The point is simple, it’s the hypocrisies of chivalry and how it makes women feel. When a man opens the door for a woman, it suggests she’s not good enough to do it herself, it makes her feel weak, implies that she needs protecting, implies that she’s incapable of being equal. That seems fair enough, that’s what feminism sees as sexist, and I can’t disagree with them. That they ignore the fact it’s also sexist towards men is nothing that I wouldn’t expect from feminism.

The difference comes when it’s the more serious aspects of chivalry. When men open doors for women, they don’t like it because it’s something arbitrary that they can do themselves and then shout ‘progress, I’m just as good as a man’ at the top of their voices. When men get signed up for military service and are shipped off to die in the great theatre of war it’s something that is seen as noble, valiant, courageous, the right thing to do. How is it that the worst-case-scenario is considered the most desirable? Something as trivial as opening a door is seen as sexist, a stain on a society striving for equality, but men throwing themselves in front of women, simply for being women, or going off to war on the basis of a woman’s actions are to be commended, they are the actions of the good men, the motivated men, the men that other men should aspire to, the men that are the true heroes.

Where does it end? Do men drop chivalry altogether? Do we just look after ourselves in situations of dire circumstance? Do we continue to throw ourselves, like human shields, in front of our womenfolk and possibly deny other people the joys of our existence? What happens if we don’t willingly dispose of our own lives, and our wife or girlfriend dies instead? Is that the perils of an equal society? Or is that just another example of ‘lazy’ men not doing what they are supposed to do, what they’re born to do, what they’re taught to do – see themselves as nothing but a slab of protective meat for a woman to hide behind?

As with the last couple of blogs, I really don’t know the answer. Will I continue to hold doors open for women? Yes, of course. Will I do it simply because they’re women? No, of course not, I’ll do it because it’s the polite thing to do, I will also extend that courtesy to men and children.

Even after all 7 pages of this blog, I haven’t even touched on some other aspects of chivalry that sweep our culture – women and children first, who asks who out, who pays on dates, in a hostage situation who do we barter for first? It’s everywhere, it’s more entrenched than you think, men putting themselves in the face of danger, risking something as banal as rejection for a date request to the expectation of death. Chivalry covers all manner of things, it promotes male disposability, it informs men they are nothing more than sacrificial beings, no matter what other contributions you may make to society, no matter how much you may mean to how many people, if you aren’t prepared to sacrifice yourself for the life of another, simply because of that person’s gender, then you’re life is not worth living, you are not worthy of respect for anything you do. You are not courageous, you are not commendable, you’re not brave or heroic, you’re lazy and the degradation of society is all your fault. If you aren’t prepared to die at a moment’s notice then you are failing as a man; it’s as simple as that.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/syria-offers-to-let-women-and-children-leave-homs-1.1668528

But no, lets carry on thinking about how upset women get when someone holds open a door for them because it makes them feel weak. Congratulations, Feminism, once again you’ve managed to make it all about you.