Archive for August, 2014

Well, it’s one year to the day that I created John Salmon’s World. 25th August 2013 was when I decided it was time for me to put down my thoughts and feelings and let others see them.

There’d been a lot of frustration in my life up to that point. I’d been checking the Big Three (Exposing Feminism, I Don’t Need Feminism and Anti White-Knight Coalition) for a couple of months, not quite daring to do anything about it, not quite daring to comment. I did actually ‘like’ EF for a couple of months, but ended up unliking it as I worried what people would do if they saw it in my likes box.

Last summer I went on holiday and it was during this period I thought about starting a blog. There were times when I saw stuff on EF and other pages and I had stuff whirling round in my mind that I wanted to post but couldn’t. That was stifling, I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it in my real life, I felt like I couldn’t go anywhere, like the stuff I wanted to say was weighing me down.

The final straw came when I posted something on my Facebook. It was the story that ended up being the subject of my first blog. Only one person commented and even then the conversation ended after a few comments and he simply stopped replying. It was then I decided I needed more, I needed to actually converse with people, to not only write down my views but also to be challenged. I felt like if I couldn’t even express my views then I couldn’t be challenged on them either.

So, I finally did something about it. I signed up with wordpress.com (completely at random, no rhyme or reason for choosing this site, it was just one of the first to come up on Google). Man, writing that first entry and posting it was like I was Atlas and my penance was forgiven.

Early on, I was still unsure about the direction of the blog, I wasn’t sure if people would read it if I made it explicitly anti-feminist. If you look at the ‘about’ section it’s clear that I was trying to make it as neutral as possible to the outsider. I couldn’t risk turning people away before I’d even posted a story. Over the course of the last year the focus of the blog has become explicitly anti-feminist. I’ve left the ‘about’ section intact simply because I keep forgetting to change it, no other reason.

So, what was the intention behind starting John Salmon’s World? In all honesty? It was simply for my own personal gratification. As I said, I felt like I couldn’t go anywhere with my views, felt like I couldn’t do anything. Writing the blog was simply meant as a way of getting my frustrations off my chest. If people happened to come into contact with it then that was simply a bonus, it wasn’t my intention to manufacture success, I just needed a release.

The first story was posted on this date, 25th august, last year. It was about a tweet Dr Phil posted regarding alcohol and sex. Needless to say it caused a bit of a shit storm:

https://johnsalmonsworld.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/dr-phils-sexual-abuse-tweet/

It’s interesting to note that my views on rape culture have not changed, if anything they’ve only strengthened. I thought, looking back, I might have seen an initial uncertainty about the posts, but there isn’t, I still hold most of those views today.

While the blogs have got longer, the spirit behind them hasn’t. I still try and have fun with them, I try to make them readable, I try to add humour, I try to make them colloquial so as not to turn people off. I’m very aware that these are only my opinions and, as such, I try to never present myself as having the answers, this blog is mainly personal criticisms, explorations and refutations. I don’t claim to have the answers because I know I don’t have the answers. If I did I wouldn’t be an anonymous internet blogger, would I?

When I started the blog I never, ever, expected the reaction it’s got. I created a Facebook profile to promote it and, while it was slow going at first, Exposing Feminism shared one entry around October time and since then it’s just been onwards and upwards.

Some stats from the first year:

81 entries

15,765 hits

Highest number of views in one day: 417

To me, those numbers are amazing. I only ever wanted to ease my frustrations, the fact that others have joined for the ride is just the icing on the cake.

This blog wouldn’t have become half as successful as it has without the promotion on Facebook. Aside from the Big Three promoting the shit out of it, other pages and people have helped, Men’s Rights News and Anti Feminist Egalitarians being just two of them.

Not only has the blog received attention, but I have become admin of two amazing pages, pages that were instrumental in me even creating this blog: Exposing Feminism and The Anti White-Knight Coalition (AWKC, as it was, is no more, aside from Zer0 the entire admin team now post at The United Anti-Feminist Coalition (https://www.facebook.com/realawkc?ref=ts&fref=ts)). If you’d told me 13 months ago I’d be an admin of the pages that were my biggest influence I would have thought you were crazy!

So what now? Well, I have no intention of stopping, none at all. In fact the recent creation of a Youtube channel means I want this blog to reach even more people, especially those who don’t have the patience to read through my verbose ramblings. 98 people have subscribed to that channel. Again, more than I ever could have experienced.

I’ve mentioned before, I don’t see myself through the use of a label, I’m not a feminist, I’m not an MRA, I’m not humanitarian or egalitarian or humanist or equalist I’m just one man with views. I’ve become more comfortable with calling myself anti-feminist but I’m not one for labels. Do I hate all feminists? No. Do I hate all MRAs? No. I stand firmly in the middle, yes I lean towards men’s rights, but that’s because I’m a man and I don’t feel the issues I talk about get enough focus.

The point of this blog is very, very simple – I write it to ease my own frustrations with feminism. If it reaches one other person and speaks to them then I have been successful in my aims. That’s all I can ask for.

So thank you, all of you, the comments, both positive and negative, the shares, the likes, the follows, they have all made this year one of the best. All I ask if that you keep reading, you keep commenting and you keep me on my toes. Talk to me, challenge me, I do not have the answers, I don’t claim to know everything, my views are not set in stone but I will never shy away from a discussion because the second I claim to know it all is the second this blog, and John Salmon, needs to disappear.

Thank you for everything.

John

I’ve touched on entitlement in past blog entries and how it ties directly into feminist theories such as rape culture. I don’t normally do this, but I wanted to take a look at the dictionary definition of entitlement and apply it to everyday situations, or, more specifically, one situation created by a feminist.

I usually stay away from dictionary definitions due to the fact the dictionary is not the sole definer of a word. Yes, it holds the original, or most well-known, definition but that doesn’t mean it’s the only definition that is applicable. I don’t like using dictionary definitions because it’s a tactic used by feminists to try and defend their movement. Using a dictionary as a starting point, to see where a word originated and then track its development is fine, to use a dictionary as the sole definer of a word and then ignore the everyday practices of that word is absurd. If that makes sense?!

And before you start worrying, no I haven’t stopped thinking about rape culture, that’ll be my next blog, I just figured I’d put some kind of buffer article in. Don’t get me wrong, it still highlights the hypocrisy and entitlement (ironically) of the feminist movement, it just doesn’t have anything to do with rape or rape culture. At least, at the moment it doesn’t, let’s see where it takes us.

So, the definition of entitlement:

en•ti•tle•ment
noun \-ˈtī-təl-mənt\
: the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something
: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)
: a type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entitlement

The first two seem to be the most apt here, particularly when talking about feminism. Pretty much anything can be related back to a sense of male entitlement – street harassment, rape culture, taking up too much space on the train, etc. It runs the whole gamut of severity from simple acts of chivalry to some of the most heinous crimes. Apparently, everything a man does is because he feels entitled, whether that’s feeling so entitled to a woman’s body he rapes her, to feeling entitled to taking up as much room as he wants to on public transport. Much like ‘privilege’ it’s just a buzzword that gets trolled out to shut down an argument. Don’t like what a man’s saying? Tell him he’s blinded by his own privilege. Don’t like what a man’s saying? Say it’s his sense of entitlement that makes him think that way.

Rather than make a man re-think whatever he might have said it generally just widens the gap between the sexes. Why? Because it shows a certain unwillingness to actually listen and learn. Feminists are constantly telling men how bad it is to be a woman, yet very few (if any) are truly interested in learning about what it’s like to be a man. See, for all the lecturing feminists give about not wanting to be defined by this, or this, or that, they are experts at telling men exactly how and why they feel a certain way, they’re experts at telling men how good their lives are. Every time a feminist tries to explain away a man’s problems by using buzzwords like ‘privilege’ or ‘entitlement’ it doesn’t promote their cause, it hurts it. Men are sick of having their problems sidelined due to some invisible theory that supposedly benefits their lives.

So, what’s that got to do with this blog entry? Well, the irony is that, often, feminists exhibit a similar sense of entitlement that they claim to hate. Do men sometimes expect sex if they pay for a date? Sure, some men are arseholes. Do women expect men to pay for said date? Is that possibly a major factor in deciding whether or not to go on that date? Sure, because, just like men, some women are entitled arseholes who think they deserve special treatment simply for being women.

But that’s just ‘women’, right? Surely a feminist would never act that entitled? Well, that’s where you’d be wrong:

http://www.bustle.com/articles/22935-can-you-be-a-feminist-and-still-expect-guys-to-pay

Just one more reason why feminism’s reputation is in the toilet. Not content with blaming men for a good proportion of the world’s problems (and that’s putting it kindly), they now feel like being a feminist and expecting special treatment is, in fact, possible and not a massively hypocritical way of thinking.

This is pure entitlement. The whole basis of feminism, supposedly, is to break down the barriers that treat women as inferior, yet here we have a feminist who wants to be treated as inferior, who is actively trying to justify her desire to not be treated equal. Of course, the funny thing is that her justifications are based on feminist theory and, as such, are not good reasons at all. Far from actually convincing anyone, aside from perhaps other feminists, that her reasons are valid, she comes across as desperate. Desperately trying to find a way to reconcile the fact that she claims to be a feminist but expects special treatment at the same time. Do all feminists feel this way? I have no idea, probably not, but the fact is that, once again, the ‘nice’ feminists that would spout the ‘I’m a feminist and I’m not like that’ are not the ones writing this article.

NAFALT falls flat in situations like this. Constantly, we are told that the movement’s bad public image is built on the ‘misandrists posing as feminists’, that they ‘aren’t real feminists’, yet articles like this one keep appearing. It would appear the ‘misandrists posing as feminists’ are now the ‘actual’ feminists for it is those who are the most vocal, the most visible and, ultimately, are doing the most damage. Why feminists are the only ones who don’t see this is beyond me. You’d think for a movement so desperate to improve its public image it would be a bit vocal in its condemnation of these article but no, they stay quiet and damn themselves even more.

Anyway, the point of the article is entirely baseless. For a simple TL;DR version:
This particular feminist (who presumes, as always, to speak for everyone) wants to continue being a feminist but also expects a man to pay on the first date. She tries to justify this by blaming ‘societal norms’, ‘the wage gap’ and ‘beauty standards’. In short, she’s an entitled princess who wants to break down social norms, as long as she can still benefit from the ones that benefit her as a woman.

Ok, maybe that version was pretty long too. If I could sum this up in one word, I think I could:

Privilege.

That bastion of maleness, the one thing that every male is born with, the invisible cloak that ensures every single man walks through life without knowing pain or suffering. Yeah, well this feminist has it. As do a lot of feminists. And women for that matter. But this isn’t about privilege, it’s about entitlement. Do the two correlate? Yeah, I think they do, but for this particular entry I’m going to focus more on entitlement.

So how’s the article start? With a nice little inspiring sentence about just how staunch a feminist she is:

‘I am a feminist. I strongly believe in the social, political, legal, and economic equality of men and women.’

I do find it hilarious that when I highlighted that sentence in order to copy it the colour was pink. “Why are all girls toys decorated in pink boxes?!” “ooh, I’m going to make my website pink.” I don’t get it either!

So, we’ve established early on that she’s a feminist. Yes, sisters, she’s part of the battle. She wants equality right across the board, every facet of society needs to be broken down and then re-assembled!

Oh, until she gets asked out that is:

‘Yet, on a first date, I expect the guy to pay for me.’

See, the key word here is ‘expect’. If she’d said ‘I like the guy to pay for me’ then we’ve got an entirely different article, but this expectation fuels the idea of entitlement. She thinks that, simply because she’s a woman, the guy should pay. It’s not a simple case of liking to be treated well, it’s an expectation.

This is where feminism, again, becomes too confusing for me. Women find chivalrous acts, like opening doors and pulling out chairs, to be sexist, yet as soon as it comes to money, as soon as it comes to saving a few bob they’re more than willing to be a little oppressed, to be treated a little inferior. And this isn’t feeling lucky that a guy is willing to treat you, this is cold, hard expectation. She clarifies in her next paragraph:

‘Of course, at the end of dinner or drinks, I’ll make a very convincing slow-motion gesture towards my wallet, which gets progressively slower until he tells me that he’s got the bill.’

Whilst I’m not one to generalise an entire sex (Christ I do enough moaning when it happens to men) I’m going to guess that sentence rings true for a lot of women. Not that I’m criticising, it’s one of those situations that I’m indifferent to. I’m not ‘in favour’ of it so to speak, but if a woman can get away with a free meal simply by virtue of her sex then I say take advantage. Yeah it’s horribly sexist and it’ll probably change at some point in the future but, and this goes for both sexes, if you find someone gullible enough to fall for it, use what you’ve got. I think the old adage ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ applies here.

Of course, the point here is not that she is simply using her womanly wiles to get what she wants, it’s the fact that she a) expects it and b) is a feminist.

It’s obvious she’s feeling a little pang of guilt as the remainder of this paragraph at least broaches the compatibility of chivalry and feminism:

‘I’ve watched myself do this and wondered — Is this lame charade at odds with feminism? Does this desire undo my other feminist behavior? Do other feminists feel this way?’

‘Does this desire undo my other feminist behaviour’. Er, well, to put it nicely, yeah, kinda. What does it say about the feminist movement when an active feminist, who decided to open her article stating just how feminist she is, not only likes when societal norms benefit her but actively expects those norms to continue? This despite the fact she knows how hypocritical it is. Does it undo every other piece of feminist behaviour? I would say yes, because it means the foundations of her beliefs are shaky as fuck and she’s not fighting for ‘equality’, she’s fighting to end ‘things I don’t like’. Do other feminists feel this way? Wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

Now, in her defence (I’ve just realised I actually don’t know the name of the author of this article, a quick check tells me it’s Maria Yagoda, so I will be using her name from here on in) she does spend the rest of the article trying to justifying the reasons behind this way of thinking. Unfortunately, her reasons are utter bullshit and, quite apart from making us feel her dilemma, actually make her seem like more of an entitled princess, just one that is now too stubborn to admit she’s wrong.

I’m going to try not to do a paragraph by paragraph breakdown because there’s a lot of paragraphs and I’m well aware of the fact I ramble on most of the time.
Her first point actually makes sense, but it comes at odds with what she’s already written in the same paragraph. First she says:

‘I’ve tried to examine the why behind my expectation (and burning desire) for the guy to pay for my beer or taco’

Here, quite clearly, there is still the expectation that the man should pay. Simply put, this is something she actively hopes for in a date.

However, later in the same paragraph she says this:

I also believe that I make almost no money, which means I very much appreciate — particularly in instances where the man has initiated the date — a gesture that allows me to keep the extra (/only) cash in my pocket

I’ve been in the same situation, as I’m sure most people have, where the lack of money is probably the deciding factor when it comes to doing anything. We all have money problems (and by all I discount those filthy rich people who are set for life) yet we all deal with them. Later on she calls herself a ‘struggling artist’ which goes some way to explaining why she’s short of money.

In this case, her money problems are because she chose a low paying, perhaps not very secure, career (which will play a bigger part later). Effectively, what she’s asking men to do is subsidise her career choice so she can still benefit from female privilege. Or at least, that’s one way of looking at it.

The article then splits into 3 distinct points, justifications for her expectations. In reality there is one point that I think actually has some merit but that doesn’t mean it excuses her expecting men to pay on dates. It explains why she might like men doing it, but nothing can really excusing her ‘burning desire’ for men to pay.

1) Societal norms:
“If you were to ask a guy out to a place, you should offer to pay. If you decide together to go to a place, then you should split it.” Perhaps the real feminist problem here is that I pretty much never ask guys out, because I largely abide by the societal norm that men do the asking out and women do the accepting. Thanks for that, society.

Is this the point that I think has some merit? Nah, this is just rubbish. I’ve heard this reasoning so many times, “well, whoever does the asking should do the paying”. As a concept it works fine, in reality it doesn’t, for precisely the reason Yagoda states: women very rarely ask men out on dates. Again, to be fair to Yagoda, she does state that she would pay for a guy if she asked him: “if I were to ask a guy out to a nice dinner or for drinks, I would offer to pay for us both”

Of course, she then nullifies that point by saying she largely abides by the societal norm of men asking women out. Then, she thanks society for it. Earlier in the piece she asked if this entitled behaviour was undoing all her other feminist behaviour. Yes, yes it is, especially considering the entire point of feminism is to break down social norms that penalise one person over another.

To keep it brief, feminism wants to break down societal norms that have an adverse effect on women yet we have a feminist here actively adhering to social norms because she knows it will benefit her. If she’s such a staunch feminist she should be asking out more men than ask her out. Otherwise, she’s a hypocrite. You can’t pick and choose, especially when you’re so happy to shame other people for their sexist views. Feminists, in theory, should not be able to abide ‘societal norms’ that benefit anyone, but the lure of free stuff is too much for some. Is feminism for equality? Yes, apparently, but only if we can keep the bits that allow us to get free food.

Also, this point actually does put her at odds with other feminists. I found an interesting article in the sidebar of the very article I’m writing about:

http://mic.com/articles/96306/watch-what-happens-when-women-take-one-of-life-s-more-important-moments-into-their-own-hands?utm_source=bustle&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Aug

Here we have, on what I can only assume is a feminist site, an article by a feminist acknowledging that there are certain societal norms that benefit women, but that she doesn’t necessarily want to stop benefitting from them. Then on the very same site an article trying to convince us that women breaking societal norms is the best thing that could happen. Feminism appearing confused? Who would have guessed?

2) Wage gap:
Another friend cited the issue of the pay gap and how that might validate this expectation for the man to pay, as a sort of balancing effect. “The fact remains that women do only earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar, so economically it’s really more fair if the guy pays, amirite?” she reasoned. “Plus, if you think about all the stupid shit we spend money on to make ourselves more attractive to men (hair removal, highlights, clothing, etc.) letting the guy pick up the first few dates is no big deal.”

I knew this would make an appearance, I just knew it, because it always makes an appearance. It’s just another feminist myth that won’t die. This is the point I think has some merit. Do women earn less than men, in general? Yes. Is that because of discrimination? Probably not. How am I so sure? Well, for one Yagoda gives us one reason: she chose to become an artist, which I would imagine is pretty unstable as a career.
The simple assumption that men make more money is ridiculous. Unless you actively ask how much money he makes before the first date (which makes you appear shallow and materialistic) there’s no reason to assume you are in a position of financial inferiority. In fact, there are stats out there that show in some areas women are out-earning by considerable margins:

http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2015274,00.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/02/24/childless-women-in-their-twenties-out-earn-men-so/

Now, I would like to take a minute and examine the double standards of wages that appears in that first article. The headline mentions that ‘at last’ women earn more than men, which doesn’t sound very ‘equal’. Then, it notes that pay inequality, when men earn more than women, has been a ‘festering sore’ for decades, before saying that ‘finally’ things are changing. So, when men earn more than women: bad. When women earn more than men: well, that’s just the way it should be’.

See, the wage gap is a poor excuse. On average, the majority of women still earn less than men, that’s true, but to base it on discrimination is ludicrous, especially when stats show it’s not as simple as that.

Yagoda does have a point in all this, she does earn little money so, in theory, it makes sense for the more financially secure party to pay. However, when you take into account Yagoda’s entitlement complex and desire to be paid for, her acceptance of social norms that benefit her plus her choice to be a ‘struggling artist’ the sympathy levels drop. Should a man be expected to pay for a woman like that? I don’t think so.

3) (And this one’s a corker) women spend more on looking beautiful:
‘It’s true that societal expectations compel many women (myself included) to maintain a certain standard of beauty, which requires a huge amount of financial and emotional effort, particularly in the maintaining a façade of bodily hairlessness (the worst). And, more significantly, women typically purchase birth control, which is costly and inconvenient daily necessity. Yet, I’m not comfortable with the idea that men should cover the bill to subsidize our beauty and fertility needs, nor am I comfortable with the reality that society demands us, not our male counterparts, to maintain absurd beauty standards and ward off pregnancy.’

Does she have a point with this one? Again, probably not. While it’s true that the beauty industry is massive it’s not unlike any other sector of commercialism. There’s a radio show over here in the UK called Steve Wright In The Afternoon. It’s on BBC Radio 2 and has a section called ‘factoids’. It’s a pretty simple concept, they tell you lots of little facts you didn’t know. Yesterday they revealed that the richest model in the world (Guiselle somebody from Brazil) makes £39 million more than second place. Why’s that? Because she’s in demand, because people want her to show their stuff, because there’s a market for it.
It’s funny that the societal expectations that allow her to get free stuff are fine and acceptable, yet the societal expectations that cause her to conform to standards that she doesn’t like suddenly become problematic.

There’s also a one-eyed approach to this in that it implies that there is no similar standard of beauty expected of men. Aside from perhaps the most horrendous and brutal double standard of all, that of male circumcision still being legal, there is a definite social pressure on men to look attractive. Whether that’s a hairstyle, the type of beard, the clothes, the amount of body hair (funnily enough men often have to shave body hair to remain attractive) it’s not exactly a well kept secret that different people have different tastes. Some women like beards, some don’t. My ex flicked constantly between the two, asking me to grow a beard then asking me to shave when she decided she didn’t like it. There’s also a massive number of young boys who are pumping their bodies full of drugs to get the bodies they see on advertising signs.

To say the only societal expectation of beauty is on women is unfair and untrue. It also overlooks one important thing: the market is geared towards women. Ask a man what he prefers and you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that, actually, the average man isn’t that bothered about make up, or at least he isn’t bothered about seeing women caked in it. There’s a reason women who wear loads of make up are ridiculed – because they look ridiculous. Is that ‘makeup shaming’? Ha, maybe.

There’s a meme out there on the web that says ‘if every woman woke up one day and decided they didn’t like makeup, the industry would disappear’. It’s true, the makeup industry is targeted and maintained by women, for the large part. When women stop being bought and sold by makeup companies and start asking what the average man wants they might realise all that pampering isn’t really necessary.

Does that mean all women should stop wearing makeup? No, it just means that I see too many women who think they have to wear makeup to look pretty. That is largely placed down to men, which is untrue.

The next couple of paragraphs, to her credit, do sound like a woman struggling to figure out why this thought seems to be so pervasive. However, for all the back and forth, for all the pondering and possible explanations it all comes back to one explanation – she, and her friends, like to get free stuff, and are willing to exploit a society that allows that to happen. The justification? She doesn’t earn very much in her career. Doesn’t quite sound like a good enough reason to me.

Yagoda goes on to close by saying that perhaps, rather than focusing on gender, the focus should simply be on who earns more. It’s a rather easy way of looking at it when you consider that, on average, men do earn more than women. However, it was Yagoda’s choice to become an artist, so to use the wage gap as an excuse to justify her desires is a bit of a cheap shot.

Interestingly, and perhaps the paragraph that really damages Yagoda’s attempts to justify this entire article, this is not a thought shared solely by Yagoda. Earlier on she asked if the desire to be paid for undid other feminist behaviour and whether other feminists thought the same. The answer is yes and yes:

‘I have a friend who, like me, is currently contending with this issue. She put it quite eloquently. “I think the reality is that I am totally a feminist — I just really, really like free stuff. And if culturally accepted double standards facilitate me receiving said free stuff, I’m probably just gonna roll with it.”’

This, for me, is feminism in a nutshell. Apparently, when going on dates men used to expect sex in return for paying for dinner. Now we’re told ‘women never owe men sex’, so it only seems right that we should follow that logic and say ‘men never owe women dinner’. The expectation from women that men will pay for dinner should now be as outdated as the expectation that men paying for dinner gets them sex. Is that likely to happen? I doubt it, not while Yagoda and her friends are around anyway.

The sentence that sticks out most in that paragraph:

‘“I think the reality is that I am totally a feminist — I just really, really like free stuff. And if culturally accepted double standards facilitate me receiving said free stuff, I’m probably just gonna roll with it.”’

You’re a feminist, your entire fucking movement is dedicated to removing said double standards. Basically, you are totally a feminist, because I’m nobody to try and tell you otherwise, but your belief in your cause only extends as far as your desire to be treated like a princess. You wonder why feminism’s public image is in the shitter? Congratulations, that’s the reason.

So, in reality, you’re admitting that feminism is not about equality, it’s about hiding behind an ideology to cover for the fact you expect to not only benefit from the double standards that impact you positively but also get to shame anyone else who may benefit from double standards. I don’t blame them, I’ve already stated if you can make a double standard work for you then ‘you go girl’. But to hear it from a feminist, well, that’s perhaps as damning a statement as could be made from an ‘equality’ movement.

This whole blog entry can be summed up in one picture:

Speaks volumes I think.

Two things I want to mention before I continue with this piece:

1) This is only the second time I’ve done this kind of blog, it’s basically taking something I wrote on Facebook and delving deeper into it. Last time I did it was way back in December last year (2013). I don’t do it often because I generally tend to keep the Facebook posts shorter and the blog posts longer. I wasn’t intending to write this blog, but shit happens.

2) I am a huge comic book fan.

That second point is one to remember as I go through this blog, particularly with reference to the article I’m looking at. I’ve read comics since I was small, since my dad took me to the local comic shop to buy me my first comic. Spider-man has always been my favourite super-hero. There’s a depth and wisdom to the character that seems to be lost in film and television. I generally tend to stay mainstream, I’ve read independent comics (love The Walking Dead, Haunt and Kick Ass) but generally I’m a Marvel fanboy. That also means I’m well aware of the fact that comics have long been accused of sexism, in particular its poor representation of women, or the ‘woman in refrigerator’ trope.

I’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy twice. My knowledge of the comics is very limited. I know basic stories and plots, I know characters, I read the first few issues of the new series but haven’t really kept up. Normally I’m critical of comic book films (which is a blog entry all by itself!) but this time I’m not looking at the film, more so the reaction to it, particularly from feminist circles.

See, this article popped up pretty much as soon as the film hit cinemas:

http://www.btchflcks.com/2014/08/3-reasons-why-guardians-of-the-galaxy-is-not-a-feminist-film.html#.U_EflU13v5o

It starts with this little disclaimer:

‘Full disclosure: I’ve never read the comics and I knew nothing about the characters, their backstories, or their places in the Marvel Universe. I’m guessing that most viewers will share my ignorance. That’s OK, just go with it and let the tongue-twisters and blasters work their magic.’

Fine, so let’s focus solely on the film, not the comics. I’m not allowed to bitch about how things were changed or ‘that’s not how it happened in the comics’ type geekery that basically just ruins it for the casual followers.

Before we move on, there’s also reference to a list that James Gunn created a couple of years ago noting the 50 superheroes you’d most want to have sex with. Apparently it was full of racism, homophobia and sexism and was the worst thing imaginable. Gunn came out and publicly said it was all supposed to be light hearted, but was then forced to apologise. I just find it funny that this kind of tongue-in-cheek humour is pilloried yet ‘ironic misandry’, the new feminist buzzword, is not a problem.

Anyway, back on point. Let’s face it, of the cinema going public, the majority will not have heard of this particular group of heroes. Did Marvel make it because of baying fan support? No, probably not, it’s a brilliant way of introducing new, potentially important, ideas to see if they would work in the future (Nova and Captain Marvel, anyone?) or keeping previously introduced characters relevant until they are needed (hello, Thanos!). I’m sure they didn’t count on it becoming a smash hit.

So why is it not a feminist film and, more importantly, should it strive to be? Should any and all films strive to be feminist films? Should every film strive, toil, aim to pass the stupid Bechdel test (where two women talk to each other about something other than a man)?

God, no. Why? Well, let’s delve into the article above to see why. (oh, and just as a side note, this film actually passes the Bechdel test and feminists still aren’t happy).

Point number 1:

‘1. The first act features not one, but two disposable women. We learn that Quill suffers from parental abandonment. His father is absent, and his mother succumbs to cancer in the prologue. Later, Melia Kreiling portrays Bereet, a vaguely-alien humanoid whose key scene involves Quill shamelessly admitting to forgetting her existence even though they’d recently had sex. In the next scene (two of two for her), she speaks broken English and is servile to Quill; it struck me as an extraterrestrial variation of the Asian girlfriend trope. This was one of the few moments in the film where I actually didn’t like Pratt’s character. Unfortunately, this a-girl-in-every-spaceport sexism is leaned on for laughs throughout the film. Pratt is still playing a heterosexual white male lead, and Gunn won’t let you forget it.’

Ah, a feminist talking about disposability. To be honest, this is such bullshit. I mean, the whole list is bullshit but I honestly can’t believe that feminists such as Ande Morgan are actually taking issue with this and using it as a way to say Guardians isn’t a feminist film. Let’s push aside, for a moment, the thousands of disposable men and focus solely on these two women.

I would like to point out as well that I tried to follow the links provided in point number 1 and both of them prompted a message from my anti-virus alerting me to some malware being detected, so I’m writing this without having followed them, but I’m pretty sure I know what I’d be linked to. (EDIT: Just to clarify, I’m not suggesting that Morgan’s article is infested with malware, it’s the pages she links to that set off my anti-virus.)

The first woman, Quill’s mother, dies of cancer within the first few minutes. Disposable? Really? Yes, it’s a fact that Quill’s mother dies within the first couple of minutes, it’s also very apparent that this haunts Quill throughout not just the film but the character’s life. He still holds on to the last fragments of his mother, a retro cassette player, to the point that he risks his life to get it back when escaping the prison. He’s so distraught at her death that he can’t even bring himself to open the present she left for him. It’s revealed at the end of the film that the reason he calls himself Star Lord, the reason he’s so desperate to be known by that name, is because it was his mother’s nickname for him. She died when he was just a kid, in terms of disposability she’s actually one of the most important characters in the entire film.

The fact she dies early on does not make her disposable, not when her impact is felt throughout the rest of the film. We don’t learn her character’s name which is to be expected of disposable characters, there’s no need to learn their names because they are introduced simply to be killed off (Think red shirt wearing crew members in Star Trek), however her impact is massive. There are multiple disposable characters throughout the film and we never learn their names because they truly are disposable. Can you really label a character as disposable if they are the main character’s influence throughout the entire film? I’d say no, but then I’m sure I’m wrong, somehow.

I also find it interesting that his mother is presented as the hero of his life and somehow she’s disposable yet we don’t learn anything about his father, aside from a few throwaway comments here and there and there’s no mention of him being disposable? In the comics Quill’s father is a pretty big deal, yet we spend the majority of the film thinking he’s just some arsehole who ran out on his family.

As for Bereet, the disposable conquest of Quill’s sexuality, well we actually do learn her name, so she should really be playing a more significant role than Quill’s mother, yes? No, she really is a throwaway character, but there’s a big difference between being ‘disposable’ and ‘inconsequential’.

Bereet is ‘inconsequential’ in that she doesn’t affect the film in any way but doesn’t contribute to it either. We learn her name, we know she and Quill probably had sex, we know he kept her around, we know Quill comes across as a bit of a dick because he forgets she’s there. The article claims she’s ‘servile’. Of the 2 scenes she’s in I wouldn’t call her servile in either of them. Is it not her that answers the phone when he asks her not to? That’s hardly being servile. She’s not a main player, she’s treated badly but she’s not disposable.

I do agree that the every-girl-in-a-spaceport stereotype is sexist, but not for the reasons stated. Is it sexist towards women? Yeah, probably, but no consideration is given to the fact it’s also sexist towards men, suggesting that white, straight, male heroes are always dicks who only use people for their own personal needs: Bereet for sex, Yondu for his technology and spaceship, etc. Yeah, I didn’t much like Star Lord during this scene either, but more because it was him being portrayed negatively using outdated stereotypes of white, male heroes than for Bereet’s character. See, sexism works both ways.

As for disposability, we see a true example of disposability in between these two ‘disposable’ women. When he thinks he’s got a chance of regaining the orb, Star Lord drops a device that obliterates the two soldiers pointing guns at his head. We don’t learn their names, we don’t learn anything about them, they don’t have dialogue, they are grunts, cannon fodder, bad guys who are sacrificed to show that Quill has some pretty useful gadgets at his disposal and can get himself out of sticky situations.

Compare those two male characters to the two disposable female characters and see who gets treated worse? Those aren’t the only disposable males either. Shortly after we are introduced to Ronan we see him kill a prisoner. For what reason? None, other than to show the audience how ruthless Ronan is as a character. A nameless man sacrificed to show the power of the main villain. Disposable. During the fight aboard the Dark Aster, Groot impales a group of 5 soldiers and then uses them to batter the remaining soldiers to death, before smashing the impaled soldiers back and forth against two walls. Drax’s response? To laugh. Groot’s response? A turn to the camera and a big, cheesy grin, which received a big laugh in the cinema, both times. Men’s deaths used as comic relief? Disposable.

How many women die in this film? Two, and I will come on to that point later. How many men? Countless thousands, even established male characters die.

The point is simple, focusing on 2 female characters and calling them disposable while ignoring how many men are introduced simply to be killed off doesn’t do feminism any favours. I read one criticism that too many (read: all) of the background characters are male, despite the fact they are the ones who die en masse, yet later on this very article complains when a woman is treated like a man. You can’t win.

Number two (sorry, this one’s quite long):

‘2. I dreaded seeing this trite sexism applied to Saldana’s character, Gamora, the cybernetic assassin (why is it that sexy female aliens are always either green or blue?). When I saw her catsuit and a gratuitous booty shot towards the end of the first act, I felt that my fears were partly born out. To be fair, while she does require saving by male characters on multiple occasions, Gamora does display moderately strong agency throughout the film. Her character is a load-bearing beam rather than a Trinity-esque distraction. If only her last lines could’ve been a little less deferential.

More troubling are some of Saldana’s comments in recent interviews. For example, she told the Los Angeles Times that part of the appeal of the character was the chance to play someone “…so different from herself…”

“Gamora, she’s not feminine in the typical sense of how women are supposed to be. I feel like she has to melt that ice for you to find that little girl in there. She’s very tough, she’s able to relate to the hard talks of it all. When Quill comes at her with that luscious, ‘Hey baby’ [attitude], I’m pretty sure she’s throwing up in her mouth. I liked that, and I thought, ‘OK, that’s something I can incorporate of myself and just shave off a little bit of my femininity.’ Even though I like to believe I’m a tomboy, I’m very feminine, so I just always have to de-train myself and allow my masculinity to seep through because Gamora is much more masculine than I am.”

Her comments seem to imply that combat prowess and femininity are necessarily mutually exclusive, and that it’s not feminine to rebuff the advances of horny dudebros. Those connections elicited a little side eye from this critic.’

Let’s focus on the portrayal of Gamora for a second. I can honestly say the colour of her skin, or other ‘sexy’ female aliens, has never registered with me. It’s also, again, good to notice that it’s not just female aliens that have green or blue skin. In the comics, Drax has green skin, it was toned down to a more neutral gray-ish colour for the film so as not to clash with Gamora. Also, in Avatar, another of Saldana’s films, the entire race of aliens were blue, so why she felt the need to single out female aliens I don’t know. Are sexy female aliens always green or blue? I don’t think so, but that’s not the point, alien races as a whole are portrayed as green and blue, simply singling out females is pointless.

Is there a gratuitous ass shot of Gamora? Yes, for a few seconds. There’s also a gratuitous ab shot of Star Lord in his prison cell that lasts considerable longer than that. Also, Drax spends the entire film without a shirt, we also see Ronan in only his underwear as he is ceremonially dressed.

I’ve heard it expressed, by feminists, though to be fair this is not part of Morgan’s criticism, that these scenes are not comparable as the ‘booty shot’ is sexual objectification, reducing Gamora to nothing but her body, whereas the shots of Drax, Ronan and Star Lord are objectifications of the male ‘ideal’ and, as such, don’t matter. What bullshit.

Yes, I agree that Drax and Ronan probably are shown in terms of their masculinity, however, Star Lord’s underwear scene was a shot for the ladies, it’s as simple as that. Does he have a good body? Yes, but the scene doesn’t call for it, it’s not a scene in which the ‘ideal’ male is working, he doesn’t do anything with his body in this scene, in fact it shows his vulnerability. He’s in his underwear, in a prison cell, soaking wet. The shot is simply an underwear shot for the ladies, nothing more. Men will recognise the fact that he has an ‘ideal’ body but the ladies will realise that he’s an attractive male character in his underwear.

By the same token, we could equally apply the ‘ideal’ tag to Gamora. Does she have a nice bum? Yes, so while the males in the audience cop a look the females are saying ‘ooh, maybe I could have a bum like that one day’

Objectification is objectification, dismissing one because it doesn’t fit your agenda is pointless and does nothing to convince people your movement is full of anything other than myopic victimhood. Both characters are reduced to nothing but their bodies. The scenes add nothing to the film in terms of plot development, it’s just a nice piece of candy for the audience, male/female/gay/lesbian alike.

Now, Saldana’s comments. Is what she says inherently wrong? No, of course not. She thinks that in order to play Gamora she had to shave off a little of her own femininity and embrace a more masculine edge. Is that a problem? Is it a problem that an actress approached a role in a way that made her feel comfortable? Is it a problem that an actress interpreted a role in a certain way and developed her acting accordingly? No, of course not.

But, of course, we reckon without feminism’s power for twisting shit around. Saldana has said something in an interview that this author didn’t like. That automatically means this isn’t a feminist film. Gamora has been praised as being a female character of substance in an action film yet because of the way the actress interpreted the role, because of the way the actress, who is more important to the role than a feminist commentator, approached the role, she suddenly loses all credit with feminism? Puh-lease.

The comment that combat prowess and femininity are mutually exclusive? In the previous point she complains that a gratuitous ‘booty shot’ and Saldana’s catsuit, both displays of her using her femininity, are examples of ‘trite sexism’ yet here is complaining that it’s a bad thing Saldana hints at femininity and combat prowess not mixing. What do you want? Sexy badass or not?

Point number 3:

‘3. There is a female character credited only as Tortured Pink Girl (Laura Ortiz). For some reason, Benicio Del Toro plays the sadistic Collector (kind of an older, huskier Ziggy Stardust), with whom Quill seeks to do business. We see that the Collector has enslaved at least two women; both are displayed in pigtails and pink jumpers. One is forced to wash the glass cage of the other. The woman in the cage is on her knees, bound and gagged with electric sci-fi ropes, a clear look of pain and fear in her eyes.

Quill and crew are less concerned with the fate of the women than with money and exposition. When the uncaged woman, Carina (Ophelia Lovibond), desperately attempts to use the power of an ancient artifact to free herself, she’s immolated instead. We’re left to assume that the other captive woman is also killed in the subsequent cataclysm (though a dog and an arguably misogynistic duck survive).’

And here we come back to the idea of disposability again. First of all, it is not Quill who seeks business with The Collector, but rather Gamora. Quill’s connection backs out of the deal once he learns Ronan is involved.

Pedantry aside, is there a salient point here about the visible torture of a woman in a mainstream film? Well, no, not really. I’m not even sure what this point is trying to highlight, that there’s a background character that dies? That there’s a woman in a cage? That this particular character keeps women as slaves? I really don’t know, but once again it’s slightly misleading in its description of the scene.

The above point implies that Carina doesn’t know what the Infinity Gem will do, that she grasps it to try and free herself. That’s not the case at all, or at least that’s not how I read it. She knows exactly what will happen because we, the audience, and the characters have just been told – there are only a few people who can hold an Infinity Gem and live to talk about it. If that wasn’t clear enough, Carina also makes her intentions clear when she states, out loud, something along the lines of ‘I will no longer be your slave’ before grasping the gem and destroying pretty much everything in sight. Carina and the ‘tortured girl’ were within close proximity so it makes sense they are vaporised. The dog and the duck…well the less said about Howard the Duck the better.

The fact that Quill and his crew lack any concern of the girls well being is grasping at straws. They also don’t seem to care about the countless lives lost when the Dark Aster destroys the Nova Corps ships, leading to the death of two established male characters (there’s that disposability again). In fact, it is Rocket, and only Rocket, who seems to show any remorse at all. In contrast, when Gamora ‘dies’, Star Lord is willing to sacrifice himself to save her.

Picking one example of carelessness towards a female character, while ignoring countless other examples of carelessness towards male characters does not mean you are making a good point, it means you are grasping to try and show how badly female characters are treated within this film.

It’s telling that this particular article focuses on disposability as a theme and yet ignores the fact that the most disposable characters throughout the film are men. Carina is an inconsequential character, yet she gets a line of dialogue, Bereet is an inconsequential character, yet she gets lines of dialogue.

Is the point of this that a character is simply referred to in the credits as ‘tortured pink girl’? This is possibly the only time a disposable female character is used. Introduced simply to show what happens to those who disobey orders and then promptly, presumably, killed off to show the destructive force of the Infinity Gem.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a brilliant film. It has action, adventure, comedy, emotion and tells a great story. It is not meant to be a feminist film, it is not meant to pander to the feminist mindset, it was not written, I imagine, with feminism’s approval in mind. In fact, I’m pretty happy that feminists like Morgan don’t see it as a feminist film, especially if the 3 reasons are above are the evidence for their dislike.

Seriously, trying to apply female disposability to a film where thousands of men are killed simply for plot advancement is nothing short of pigeon-fisted, one-eyed confirmation bias. Women are finally getting a more equal representation in action films, and feminists complain when we get a butt shot, whilst minimising the equivalent objectification of men, feminists complain that the majority of background characters are men, then other feminists complain that female background characters die really easily and are labeled in the credits by their position in the film.

What do you want? Do you want a 50/50 representation of background characters? Because, if that’s what you want, penning articles like this one, that decry TWO examples of disposable females while ignoring the thousands of disposable male characters is stupid and does nothing for your movement other than present it as short sighted and obsessed with victimhood. Background characters die, that’s what they are there for. We don’t learn their names or anything about them because we aren’t supposed to make a connection with them, we aren’t supposed to see them as humans, we are supposed to see them as pawns, we are supposed to see them as cannon fodder, we are supposed to see them as disposable and nothing more. Are you seriously suggesting that a character such as Quill’s mum, who drives the entire film despite being in it for five minutes, is disposable, yet are not willing to give even a passing mention to the disposable male?

You can’t lament the use of female disposability and then lament the lack of female disposability. That doesn’t make sense.

But then, when has feminism ever made sense?

Two days. Yeah, it took two days for me to find another batshit crazy example of ‘rape culture’ to laugh at. Well, two days ago I had 13 articles on rape culture in this blog. This is now the 15th. Woohoo! Do I go on about rape culture too much? Yeah, probably, but that’s only because of the moronic number of articles I see about rape culture. It’s a tough job, constantly reading about rape culture and how it’s supposedly the worst thing ever to happen to our society.

I’m not being facetious either, learning about rape culture is basically learning how, as a man, I’m pretty much responsible for all the evil in the world. Yeah, apparently it’s men and women who contribute to rape culture but women seem to be lacking when it comes to all the articles that I read.

There are currently 3 blogs (including this one) I have lined up to write over the next few days and, yep, one of them is about rape culture. My last blog was about rape culture so, altogether, that makes far too many entries on rape for me to count! I shouldn’t feel the need to keep making these articles but, unfortunately, there are still morons out there who believe it.

So, in case I haven’t been clear before now: why do I think rape culture is horseshit? A couple of reasons:

1) Rape culture discourse always, always¸ focuses on women as the victims,
2) Rape culture discourse always focuses on men as the perpetrators.
3) Rape Culture discourse actively ignores anything that would contradict point number 2.
4) Feminists only ever acknowledge female perpetrators when called out on it, and even then it’s only to pay lip service.

You see, we can’t live in a culture where the crime of rape, or indeed the ‘normalising’ of rape, only applies to one gender. That’s not a ‘culture’ is a sense of victimhood that is suffocating. I’ve mentioned before but ‘rape culture’ is now so pervasive of a theory among feminists that it’s beginning to intrude on simple, everyday interactions, especially in relationships. What ‘rape culture’ does is take away any form of mutual communication and experimenting between couples and replaces it with a desire for ‘enthusiastic consent’.

Now, I’ve no problem with feminism wanting consent to be achieved before any form of sexual activity, that’s one of the few things we agree on. However, the slippery slope of rape culture is that it takes experimentation in the bedroom and automatically equates it to rape culture. It takes a spur of the moment piece of sexual experimentation and immediately labels it as rape. It’s getting to the point where every little piece of sex will be monitored and discussed before happening. Spontaneous impulses are gone, if you spontaneously decide to initiate sexual intercourse then you’re running the risk of being a rapist.

How do I come to that conclusion? Well, this article was posted online a couple of weeks ago:

http://metro.co.uk/2014/05/03/27-things-men-do-in-bed-that-women-hate-4717030/

It’s a list of 27 things that men do in bed that women hate, everything from positions only seen in porno films to what sex face to make. I don’t think I’m pushing the boat out too much when I say that most people will have experienced some of the things on this list. Maybe not all, but some. Even with my limited experience I can cross off over a dozen. These, to me, are just some of those situations where you finally reveal them to a friend and their response it ‘oh yeah, never thought about that.’

Unless, of course, you’re a feminist. In which case you can pretty much just ignore everything that actually makes sense and just jump straight to the rape culture:

http://aroomofourown.org/rape-night-by-cathjanes/

I wish I was making that up, I truly do, but I’m not. I honestly don’t know where to start. Are there a few things on that list that could, in some tenuous way, be linked to the act of rape? Do you know what, I’m not even sure. The fact that Cath James is so adamant on all the points just makes this seem like satire. She can’t be serious? Well, it would appear she is.

Another problem with this article, and rape culture in general, is the hysteria and hyperbole. I’ll go through a couple of James’ reasons for equating these ‘things women hate’ to ‘rape’ (italics are the original point, the rest is James’ response):
“‘When you give them a blow job and they act as if you don’t have a gag reflex. How about I’m sick all over your penis?’ Yup, you read that right, kraken-lovers.

According to The Metro a man forcing his penis into my throat, even though it is making me uncomfortable, scared and upset, now deserves to be shrugged off more than it deserves to be a moment of monumental distress. Somehow the notion that this will make me vomit as a result is far more important than the fact that it’ll also make me want to call a rape crisis line.”

This is the first point of refutation by James and, already, she’s simply making shit it.

Of course, this is just how I’m reading it, maybe there’s an interpretation that doesn’t makes James sound like a prat.

“According to the Metro a man forcing his penis into my throat”

Woah, wait up. First piece out of outright dishonesty: ‘According to the Metro’.
Let’s look at the first line of the article in The Metro:

“We threw the question out to Facebook, what things do men do in bed that us women hate?”

Yep, this particular list is actually made up of responses to a question asked on Facebook. So, in essence, this is not The Metro telling us what women hate, this is actual women telling us what women hate. As I’ve said before, feminists cannot wait to misinterpret, or deliberately misread, something to ensure their victimhood remains in place.

So, this is not The Metro telling us what these women hate, it is actual women. The next point again is simple hyperbole. The point never mentions the use of force. Actually, it starts off by saying ‘when you give them a blowjob’. How can it be rape when, quite clearly, consent has been achieved. There is absolutely no reason to suggest the man is ‘forcing his penis’ into the woman’s throat. If he forces it, it’s rape, if she decides to give him a blowjob it’s not rape. Pretty simple really. The next little bit is also way off the mark in terms of what the original point was saying:

“even though it is making me uncomfortable, scared and upset”

again, where is the suggestion, no matter how slight, that the act of giving a blowjob is making them uncomfortable, scared and upset? If anything, this particular point expresses frustration and anger, not fear and discomfort. Again, don’t let the actual words get in the way of a feminist telling you you’ve been raped.

So what is the point of, well, point 1? If you’ve consented to giving a blowjob and the guy is being too rough sticking his penis down your throat, making you feel like you’re about to vomit, the mature, adult, responsible thing to do is to actually tell him to stop it. That’s not the same as admitting you’ve been raped, or even telling him to stop raping you, it’s a simple, adult conversation between two people old enough to talk about things that they may not be enjoying. A lack of enjoyment during a particular sex act, one that, it would appear, has been consented to, does not amount to rape. If that was the case then having sex on the stairs of my house at university was just a rape-fest!

The rest of James’ response to point 1 is a simple development of her initial musings on forced blowjobs. The fact that there was no insinuation of any force at all in the original point means that the rest of her paragraph is meaningless victimhood, so we’ll move on.

“‘When you’re in the middle of foreplay and they thrust a finger up your bum with NO warning.’ Oh, and there I was kicking out of the bed the man who does this to me before scrubbing myself in the shower when all along I should have been giggling about it with my mates over a stereotypical Lambrusco. That’s right, because being intruded upon by a rogue digit is right up there (pardon the pun) with forgetting to buy stamps.”

Could this one actually be rape? I mean, it is digital penetration of an orifice without ‘enthusiastic consent’, so surely this one actually counts?

This is one of the only times I’m going to waver in my opinions on this blog. Am I always right? No, not at all, but I’m always steadfast in what I believe. This time, however, I could go either way. Generally speaking I don’t think this is rape at all, though I’m not going to argue too much with someone who thinks it is. So why don’t I think this is rape?

Well, this goes back to my point about experimentation. Spontaneous actions during sex are common, and long may they last. If you’re looking at ‘enthusiastic consent’ during foreplay then you’re going to be stopping and starting a lot.

“Can I squeeze your breast?”
“Now can I finger you?”
“Now can I go back to your breast?”
“Can I go down on you?”

It would pretty much kill any of the passion that got the foreplay started in the first place. Maybe I’m just naïve, or a sexual freak, but if I consent to sex, whether verbally or through body language, I’m pretty much consenting to anything. Sure, I can say “no, don’t like that, stop it” at any point, which is the great thing about having sex with an adult.

Woah, that sounded wrong! What I mean is that adult, mature, intelligent people can tell each other what they like and don’t like whilst in the middle of it. Slap your bum too hard? Simple, tell him it’s too hard. Biting your nipples too hard? Simple, tell him to be gentler. Try to stick a finger up your bum? Tell him you don’t want to do that and move on.

Technically, by the definition of the law, is this rape? I guess it is, but I don’t think it’s as simple as that. That’s not my way of condoning anal rape, by the way, I’m just saying that spontaneity and experimentation in the bedroom are in danger of being lost when articles like this appear. It makes men feel like they can’t be spontaneous for fear of being labeled a rapist. Hell, my ex tried to put her finger up my bum once. I can honestly say it’s not something I ever want to try, but equally I don’t think her intention was to rape me, it was simply to try something new.

Of course, the opposite side to this argument, this theory that we shouldn’t be spontaneous and experimental is that we will never find out if we like things we’d never thought of before. What if, in that moment of passion, the woman decides she quite likes having a finger up her bum? It’s just one of those situations that, if we completely neuter it and remove the chances of it happening, we run the risk of denying possible sexual gratification in ways we didn’t imagine.

I didn’t like it so she never tried it again. That’s a simple piece of communication between adults. She tried something experimental, I didn’t like it, the experience was forgotten about and we moved on. I didn’t feel the need to sit her down and talk about why she felt the need to rape me.

That’s not the only reason this particular article bugs me, though. It bugs me because the Metro article is just one of a number of articles that deal with likes and dislikes in the bedroom. Whether that’s men or women there are numerous things that happen in the bedroom that people don’t like. ‘Rape culture’ is where you take one example out of many that just happens to fit your, rather tenuous, point and use it as an example of how it degrades women, how it attempts to ‘blur the lines between what is and what is not a criminal offence’. ‘Rape Culture’ is also about being disingenuous and hyperbolic, ignoring the origins of a piece of literature (in this case a sample of responses to a Facebook question) and assuming that it is the views of one person, rather than the views of many.

Of course, ‘rape culture’, and this article in particular, only deals with women. Of course it does, because rape culture just doesn’t deal with men. Well, I think that’s bullshit, so I went on Google and did some searching. All I did was type in ‘things women do in bed that men hate’ and, unsurprisingly, I found a list of similar surveys that contained a lot of the same grievances aired in the original Metro article:

http://uk.askmen.com/dating/player/44b_love_games.html
http://www.londoncitygirl.co.uk/article/things-women-do-during-sex-men-hate

Now, there are two rather worrying points, one from each site, that are worth mentioning. The first one is only worrying because, if we take James’ ‘rape culture’ hysteria to heart, it’s also an example of rape, only this time from the perspective of a man:

http://www.londoncitygirl.co.uk/article/things-women-do-during-sex-men-hate

May I guide you to numero, er, 4 – puts a finger up the butt. Yeah, that’s right, women do that shit as well, yet James only seems to have a problem when it’s a man doing it to a woman. Something to do with Patriarchy I would imagine. So, experimentation when it’s done to a woman – rape, when done to a man – well, I’m just going to remain completely ignorant and not acknowledge the existence of that kind of shit.

Rape culture in a nutshell, identical scenarios simply glossed over when it’s done to a man, horrific endorsement of rape when done to a woman.

But there’s one more that is worrying, and not because of the hypocritical view of rape culture, because this actually is a blasé account of rape. And, get this, it’s actually a male victim:

“Don’t take “no” for an answer

Women are not used to being rejected, so when a man makes it clear that he’s not interested, they’ll just insist until the man gives in to the mercy lay. Unfortunately, she’ll expect a relationship afterwards. If she’s a one-night stand, you should tell her to leave the premises without thieving anything or uttering the dreadful, “call me.””

Where’s Cath James? Yeah, she’s nowhere to be seen. You see, instead of taking 5 minutes to do a simple Google search to see if there were any parallels between male and female dislikes in the bedroom she immediately decided that the Metro list was an absolute example of rape culture. In order to do it she needed to lie and manipulate what was actually being said in the article.

Yet, here we are with something that is outright rape and she is nowhere to be seen. At no point in her article does she acknowledge that women do fucked up shit in the bedroom either, that women are just as capable of raping men when it comes to persistence and lack of consent.

What James’ article actually does is trivialise rape. In order to try and claim rape culture, she trivialises real rape. By manipulating what has been said, from inserting words like ‘forced’ and ‘scared’ and ‘upset’ to a paragraph where no such mention was made originally she actually undermines those people that have been raped. She’s so desperate to demonise male bedroom experimentation, so desperate to demonise male sexuality and present women as perennial victims that she’s actively trivialising rape. In order to highlight ‘rape culture’ she actually perpetuates ‘rape culture’. That’s fucked up.

Look at the wording in the paragraph above – ‘mercy lay’. When rape of men is referred to as a ‘mercy lay’ then something is very wrong, especially when you consider James’ treatment of a consensual blowjob that gets too rough.

Just another reason why I don’t, and can’t, subscribe to the idea of ‘rape culture’. It’s too hypocritical, it’s steeped in victimhood and it always, always paints women as victims. In this case James has even gone so far as to create victims out of thin air, to take anecdotes from women, in which there is never any mention of, force and tell them they were victims of rape. Not only that, but no consideration of identical situations involving males is given and, even worse, a legitimate example of female-on-male rape is referred to as a ‘mercy lay’.

Apparently, letting a woman rape you is now ‘merciful’.

So, before writing this entry I decided to do a bit of research and see just how many timed I’d written about rape or rape culture. The magic number? 13. Yep, in less than a year I have written 13 different articles about rape or rape culture. Why? Because it’s still a massive topic of discussion. I mentioned in a previous blog that I thought we’d reached the zenith of rape culture hysteria, I thought we’d reached it a long time ago. I was wrong. It seems every week, if not every day, some new story is hitting the headlines about some perpetuation of rape culture.

Why do I keep writing about it? Well, it’s my blog and I’ll write on whatever the hell I want. All flippant comments aside I continue to write about rape culture because it continues to appear in the news. I don’t believe we live in a rape culture, I don’t believe rape is this huge problem. The 1 in 5 statistic rolled out for the last 30 years have been proven, time and time again, to be unreliable at best, an outright lie at worst. The ‘epidemic’ of rape on college campuses has, again, been undermined. The amount of men being raped by women is now beginning to make real waves, with some solid studies coming out to show how men suffer too.

Do I deny rape happens or that it’s not a serious crime? No, if you can find any mention of that in the 13 previous articles then by all means let me know. Rape does happen and it is a serious crime, but it’s a serious crime that we should not be hyper-exaggerating and turning political. People get raped, yet most of the time when we talk about rape or ‘rape culture’ we always, always, approach it from the viewpoint of women as victims. That’s one of the major reasons that I don’t believe we live in a rape culture. The fact that every discussion we have is geared towards women, sometimes with a token ‘I know men get raped, too’ comment thrown in, and the fact that most statistics are either outright false or manipulated mean that it’s practically impossible to talk about rape in any mature way without some brainwashed moron losing their shit because you dare to question the statistics.

There are huge double standards when it comes to rape culture and who it affects. Rape culture is a culture that, supposedly, normalises rape, sexual assault and other sexual crimes, normalises them, condones them, accepts them, blames the victim when it happens. That’s all well and good but, actually, that’s just not true. Yes, some people get away with lenient sentences, but when you look at the amount of female teachers, or females in general, who go to prison for raping underage boys (hint, it’s very few) and then approach rape culture as a purely female phenomenon it really undermines your credibility. Also, to take rape as a crime and say ‘look how lenient these sentences are’ whilst dismissing lenient sentences for other crimes is just moronic. If your point is that serious crimes are undermined with lenient sentences then fire your vitriol at the justice system, don’t just make shit up.

Feminists love to create a link between ‘entitlement’ and ‘rape culture’. The idea that men feeling they are ‘owed’ women’s bodies, or that women’s sole purpose is for the enjoyment of men, directly fuels the idea that, because of this objectification, men then feel entitled to sex with a woman, or at least feel they are ‘owed’ sex with women. Of course, that’s all rubbish. In order to make that connection you need a hyper inflated sense of what ‘rape culture’ is and, equally, a healthy shaming of male sexual desire. What the feminists proclaim is not ‘rape culture’, it is simple shaming of male desire and interest. Simply put, even saying ‘she is attractive’ without also adding the caveat ‘she is smart’ as well is somehow an entitlement complex. Being sexually attracted to a woman and wishing to have sex with her is objectification leading to entitlement leading to rape culture.

This, of course, ignores the sexual desires of every single woman on the planet. Apparently, men being sexually attracted to women and expressing a desire to have sex with them is entitlement, yet women doing the exact same thing is, well, I don’t actually know. Sexual empowerment? Probably, but I actually don’t know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it expressed before. Feminism wants women to be sexually liberated, but doesn’t hold them to the same standards as they hold men. Does that sound familiar? Yeah, me too.

The whole idea of ‘rape culture’ leads to some pretty ridiculous examples and some rather pertinent examples of double standards. It is now getting to the point where no only do they want sexual to be initiated with a clear “yes”, or ‘enthusiastic consent’ as seems to be the new buzzword, but also requires a clear, enthusiastic “yes” for every new development. By that, I mean that saying “yes” and kissing someone is now not agreeing to sex, it is simply agreeing to the kiss. This was bought up on the recent debate on The Amazing Atheist’s channel between Judgy Bitch and Awesome Rants

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFE9HLLBN8E&list=UUjNxszyFPasDdRoD9J6X-sw).

But this is just rehashing old ground, what is it in particular that has made me write another blog on rape culture, or at least my dismissing of it? Despite the fact that literally anything, from dress codes at American schools to simple admissions of desire are now contributing to rape culture, there’s always some stupid, idiotic feminist double standard that shows just how well feminists play the victim. There was an article posted on Facebook the other day that made a few waves around some of the feminist pages (I apologise for using WRN to link the story, but that’s where I first saw it):

http://viralwomen.com/post/unbelievable_husband_sreates_spreadsheet_detailing_different_reasons_why_his_wife_would_not_have_sex_with_him

I’m also posting this because this massive page, liked by nearly 1 million people, has made a fucking amateur spelling mistake:

You might think “well, that’s perfectly fine, if she doesn’t want to then she doesn’t have to”. You’d be right, of course, I’m in no way suggesting that he should have forced himself on her when she refused. What I do find interesting is the response to it from women on WRN. Now, it should come as no surprise that the woman is seen as the victim in this, it’s a pretty standard response when it comes to sex. But, I wasn’t quite expecting feminists to somehow relate this particular story to rape culture and entitlement.

Now let’s make something clear, even within a marriage rape can happen, I’m not one of these people who says ‘well, it was her husband, therefore not rape’. No, rape is rape no matter what the connection between the people. My main problem is, of course, the implied victimisation of the woman in the story, that somehow it is the man who is being a rapey, patriarchal beast by trying to initiate sex on a regular basis. Let’s not forget that the man did this spreadsheet over the course of a month, which leads me to believe it had been a regular occurrence for him to be denied sex previous to this. You don’t just suddenly think “ooh, I know, I’ll create a spreadsheet of our sex life” for no reason whatsoever. Let’s also not forget that he sent this to his wife privately by email, it was her who put it on Reddit. Apparently she tried to call him a few times and he didn’t respond so, instead of being mature and waiting to talk to him, she put it on the internet. Now, was it a smart thing to do on his part? Probably not, but this is where the feminists start acting like, well, feminists.

There is absolutely no context to this image, none whatsoever. As I said, chances are this was born out of desperation, not a whim one night. Could he have spoken to her? Yep. Did he bypass that option and go straight to the spreadsheet? We have absolutely no idea. He could have, and she could have ignored him. That’s why context is important, this is one small snapshot of a married couple’s sex life, we have no idea what preceded it. Is he an entitled, rapey fuckwit who expects sex on demand? He could be. Is he a sexually frustrated man who is, quite clearly, not getting the attention he desires in the bedroom? He could be. See, without that context we are making snap judgements and, unsurprisingly, feminists are jumping to the defence of the woman.

Let’s see some of the responses by feminists:

Rape culture, apparently, is a culture in which rape is normalised, condoned, actively encouraged and endorsed, yet, once again, we only ever see it from the perspective of a woman as the victim.

Interestingly, some men decided that they didn’t like being the de facto monsters of rape culture and decided to fight back:

Of course, these male responses were met with the usual lip service by the feminists: “oh, she’s contributing to rape culture, too.” Funnily enough, there was no consideration of rape culture being gender neutral when it was initially brought up.

Now the responses are one thing, but another thing to take into consideration is the number of likes each comment got, some of them in the hundreds. That means that, for every one comment of rape cultures, there are hundreds more that don’t comment but agree. That’s why rape culture is so pervasive of an idea in our society. When you literally find an endorsement of rape in anything, it’s no surprise that we live in a rape culture. This goes back to the article I wrote about Maleficent and that ridiculous article claiming there was a metaphorical rape scene in that film. The author of that article made a comment that rape was so ‘widespread’ in our society that it could even be read into a Disney film.

That’s one of my problems with ‘rape culture’ as a pervasive, widespread idea. Part of rape culture is finding the hidden rape in every little thing. I can honestly say the people who perpetuate rape culture more than anyone else are feminists, they are so obsessed with proving we live in a rape culture that they will read rape, metaphorical or otherwise, into everything they can. It’s one big, vicious, victimhood cycle: feminists believe there is a rape culture, feminists see rape in every film, book, relationship, TV show etc, feminists use this to prove claims of rape culture. Never mind how pathetically slight that link to rape culture is, or how pathetically trite, or how much they ignore the entirety of one gender to make their point, they can find a way of making rape culture as pervasive as they want to. And the benefit, for them, is that no-one is going to complain because no-one wants to be called a misogynist. Never mind the fact that men are raped, too, a simple desire to see, solid, dependable stats on rape of both genders somehow means you hate women. That’s feminist logic for you.

Another reason I don’t believe in rape culture is the outright denial of male victims. I mentioned this in an article I wrote refuting the ’25 everyday examples of rape culture’ a couple of months back. Whenever examples of rape culture are bought up, or when feminists try to define rape culture, not only do we get outlandish, ridiculously grasping, examples, we also get a gender biased view. See, rape culture seems to only affect women, of the 25 examples of rape culture in the article I wrote all 25 were about women. There was a token mention of men but that was only as a secondary factor to the victimisation of women. Rape culture is all about the demonisation of men. Women who contribute to rape culture are ignored, dismissed in order to focus on the real bastards: men.

A perfect example is highlighted by the spreadsheet furore. See, when a man does it, it’s a contributory factor to rape culture, it’s male entitlement, it’s a husband feeling like he has access to his wife’s body, that he is ‘owed’ sex, whenever and wherever he wants it. A husband wanting to have sex with his wife, desiring his wife, and doing something pretty daft when he’s denied that is evidence of the condoning of rape, it’s proof that men feel entitled to women’s bodies, it’s just another example of how women are victimised by a patriarchal society.

When a woman creates a spreadsheet for the exact same reason? Let’s have a look:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/24/spreadsheet_0_n_5618005.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

Pretty much the same scenario, sexually frustrated woman pens sex diary of all the times she was refused sex. I read a good deal of comments. Was there a single mention of rape culture? Nope, not a single one. Nothing. So there we have it, as if you needed any more proof. When it comes to rape culture, it is solely the domain of men. It’s a man’s problem overall: men cause it, men perpetuate it, men need to solve it. That’s it, that’s the gist of it, men are evil, rapey, objectifying, entitled fuckwits whose simple desiring of a woman is furthering rape culture. There’s no consideration of how women contribute. Sure, the odd feminist will pay lip service and say ‘well, everyone continues to perpetuate rape culture’, but I find that line only appears when someone calls them out on their bullshit, before that they are quite happy to assume that it’s solely the fault of men.

One interesting thing from the spreadsheet itself: when she receives oral sex she considers that enough to put ‘yet’ in the ‘yes/no?’ box, yet when she gives him oral sex she doesn’t consider that as sex. So basically, if you receive oral sex then you’ve had sex, if you give it then you haven’t. A strange way of looking at it.
Perhaps the most annoying thing, for me in particular, about the double standards prevalent within this article is not just the fact that a woman feeling entitled to sex is somehow not furthering rape culture, it’s the fact that, as with the previous spreadsheet, the woman is still the victim! Again, that’s rape culture, no matter what happens, even if the genders are reversed in an identical situation, the woman is always the victim. To suggest otherwise is simply contributing to rape culture.

So when a man is sexually frustrated and creates a spreadsheet detailing his frustrations, he’s the bad guy, he’s contributing to rape culture and we are subjected to lectures about what constitutes rape culture, how men feel entitled to women’s bodies, how they feel owed sex and how that is wrong. Yet, when a woman does it it’s because he’s an ‘awful husband’ and she eventually gets ‘tired of his shit’. It blows my mind that we still buy into the fucking stupidity of ‘rape culture’ and yet don’t stop to question how it’s possible that two identical situations are somehow massively different simply because of the sex of those involved.

In this situation, as in most situations when it comes to sex, men just cannot win. If they desire sex in a marriage and don’t get any it’s not a question of a wife holding out, it’s a case for the man to stop being such a rapey cunt and just accept the fact he’s not entitled to his wife at any time. Yet when he’s the one holding out in a marriage and not giving the woman sex it’s because he’s a shithead who doesn’t know what married life is all about.

When men aren’t getting sex they get shamed for simply desiring it, when women aren’t getting sex they can run to their friends (and the internet in general) to be mollycoddled and told how awful their husband is. If a man demands sex he’s a rapey bastard and the woman should get as far away as possible. When a woman demands sex well, as the responses on WRN suggest, the man just needs to lay there and take it like a man. And yet men are the rapists? Men are the ones who contribute to rape culture? It baffles me.

When we get a story about a man trying to get sex off his wife, the response is oh, so predictable:

http://www.ijreview.com/2014/07/161723-think-woman-man-owes-sex-might-want-take-look-handy-chart/

Now that site would love you to think that this little bite of information is applicable to both men and women. That’s a fair point to make, it’s a very good idea to let women know that they aren’t completely blameless in all this. Oh, but then we see the actual chart the headline talks about and that little token mention of men becomes absolute horseshit:

Yep, this chart is all about when women, and women alone, owe you sex. Hint: it’s never.

It’s funny that that chart exists suggesting that women never owe a man sex, yet stories like this exist:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/8741895/Frenchman-ordered-to-pay-wife-damages-for-lack-of-sex.html

And this one:

http://detroit.jalopnik.com/michigan-woman-shoots-boyfriend-because-he-didnt-ejacul-1606824306/+travis

If I’m being honest, I’m not quite sure how that second story relates to the hypocrisies of rape culture, I just find it, again, baffling that a woman can feel so entitled to shoot a boyfriend and yet it barely made a whisper in the national media.

As if there weren’t enough reasons for me to see rape culture as nothing but hyperbolic nonsense we then get another feminist response that completely erases male victims and instead assigns that status to women.

When reading all the responses to this whole rape culture shenanigans I couldn’t help but think of one thing: isn’t withholding sex a form of domestic abuse? Domestic Abuse definitions, much like rape, have become so broad in recent years, largely thanks to feminist campaigns, that almost anything can be construed as domestic abuse, it’s not just physical violence anymore.

So, I decided to do a bit of research and, lo and behold, my hunch was right:

http://www.woodbridgedvrt.org/pages/fiveforms.html

http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/subtle_sexual_abuse.html

So yeah, withholding sex is actually domestic violence. Now, an argument could be made that says ‘withholding’ something means a deliberately cruel act in order to deny somebody something, like ‘withholding’ money as a way of stopping your partner going out and being with others. It’s a fair enough comment, but I still don’t see it as a valid enough excuse to, well, excuse the people in these spreadsheets. Now, far be it for me to be a hypocrite, but technically both people in these spreadsheets are committing domestic abuse. However, I want to focus on the first one, the woman doing the withholding, because I believe it demonstrates not only the absurdity of attributing rape culture to this, but it also automatically assumes the woman is the victim.

After doing that little bit of research (and it was literally 10/15 minutes worth of searching on Google, I wanted a couple of sites rather than a dictionary definition) I decided to present this little bit of information to the lovely ladies in the comments section of WRN. The response I got even I wasn’t expecting, and that says a lot given my expectations of that site:

You see, domestic abuse is something that feminists are desperate to raise awareness of. They campaign, they make adverts, they constantly tell us how bad women have it, how many women are killed each week, how bad it is for women every day. The sad thing is, they are also so desperate to show us how pervasive rape culture is that they are willing to completely ignore instances of women committing domestic abuse, something they are always telling us is abhorrent, in order to show how give an example of a man perpetuating rape culture. They simply don’t give a shit about male victims. At all.

Is there a word for this level of hypocrisy? I can’t think of one. In order to show how evil men are, they are willing to twist a situation in which a man is the victim, by their own definitions, and a woman is the perpetrator, by their own definitions, of domestic abuse and present is as a complete 180 degree switch. In this case, a male victim of domestic abuse is actually a perpetrator of rape culture. How does that work?

So a man withholding sex from his wife is enough to earn him the title of ‘awful’ husband and, in some cases, enough grounds for the woman to divorce him, yet there is no mention of domestic abuse. The woman is the victim, plain and simple, any good marriage should contain a regular amount of sex and, apparently, anything different is just not good enough.

Yet, when a woman withholds sex from her husband, she is completely within her rights to do so and any attempts by the man to fix the situation or, at the very least, draw her attention to it is simply a perpetuation of rape culture and male entitlement. This despite the fact that withholding sex is actually a form of domestic abuse.

That’s feminism for you. When a movement can be so influential it helps define a certain crime, then ignores that definition so it can portray a perpetrator as a victim of a separate crime what does that say about them? Feminists are so, so desperate to portray women as victims that they actively ignore a male victim and somehow twist his suffering so that he is, in fact, perpetuating an entirely different crime. Which is it? Is there some form of obligation or expectation of sex in a relationship/marriage or not? How can a man suffering a form of domestic abuse also be contributing to rape culture? How can it be ok for a woman to withhold sex but not a man?

All this just becomes even more fucked up when you read this article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/28/sex-every-day-for-a-month_n_5628068.htm

This article doesn’t just talk about intercourse, it’s just about being intimate. When a husband and wife spent 15 minutes together every day for a month their relationship improved. Well, would you believe that? When two adults talk about their marriage and do things together they actually get on pretty well. I can’t catch my breath, how amazing that it took a random, everyday to prove that communication and intimacy are beneficial to married life!

All sarcasm aside, it proves that sex within a marriage, or even a relationship, is important. Much more important than people are willing to believe. Is feminism about equality between the sexes? Is it about empowering women when it comes to sex in relationships? Is it about protecting women from violent partners and unsafe relationships?

Or is it, as I’m beginning to believe, that literally everything a man does or doesn’t do can be twisted by feminists to make victims out of women. You want to know why I fucking despise you? Yeah, that’s why.