MRA’s are just Big Meanie’s

Yep, those among us who stand with the Men’s [Human] Rights Movement, an umbrella term that covers a multitude of online sites, bloggers, Men and Boys Rights organisations, MGTOW sites, in fact anyone either online or in real life who makes any statement that in way asserts that:

 Men have Rights – Human Rights.

 Are just big ole meanie’s who hate women, want women to “suffer” and believe that women should be, I guess, seen and not heard, the more vociferous, malign, and vituperative of those who object to the notion that Men Have Rights, will support their contention with outrageous statements that contrarily assert that men, all men, are bastards, rapists, inherently violent, want to dominate and oppress women, are evil, untrustworthy and in some cases a vile subhuman subset of the species Homo Sapiens who need to be culled.

But absent these obviously disturbed, seriously dysfunctional creatures, the general consensus seems to be, that the notion men have rights equable to women, is an affront, an insult, and just………..mean.

Because you see, ALL conversations, discussions and debates, whether in private conversations between individuals, or in the public domain, about Rights, about Human Rights abuses mean, that these conversations, discussions and debates and more importantly, attention and resources are, and should be about WOMENS ISSUES. Just take a look at the Directory of UN Resources on Gender and Women’s Issues.

If you put “mens issues” into the search box on the home page below is what you get:

A Blank Page

Go on, click on it and see for yourself.

Even if you click on their “suggested” search term this is what you get:

“Your search – “men”s issues” – did not match any documents. No pages were found containing “”men”s issues””. Suggestions:

  • Make sure all words are spelled correctly.

  • Try different keywords.

  • Try more general keywords. “

If one insists on shifting the emphasis to Men’s Rights, it means you are ignoring, sidelining, rendering unimportant, and devaluing women’s rights, in fact you are just being plain old rude, a horrible person, and MEAN!

Now, to be fair, as long as the main thrust of these exchanges is about, women’s rights, one is allowed to mention, in passing, the notion that men might have rights, that there might be some value in acknowledging that men and boys could have rights. In fact some daring souls have gotten away with suggesting that men and boys rights might be violated, ignored or abused they have either not been listened to or, in the case of the second example I use, Christina Hoff Sommers, cling onto a self-identification of themselves as feminist, for reasons that escape me, though I do have to say Sommers is one of the few voices raised in defence of boys, in particular.

But, to have a conversation, discussion or debate about Men’s Rights as a stand alone topic, as a subject apart from and separate from the topic of women’s rights? Big fat NO! NADA, Niet,

The reason? The people who are in charge of these discussions and debates on Human Rights, the people who have set the parameters, have dictated the agenda, and who have laid out the rules for discussing Human Rights? Women! Not just women full stop, feminists. Just go take a look at the UN site again. Because, if you look at the title it says”…….Gender and Women Issues” we all know what “women” means, so what does “gender” mean?

Not men, because there ARE no resources for men, so “gender” must mean “women” as well!

So, MRA’s are just big ole Meanie’s because they won’t follow the rules, they won’t stick to the agenda, and they DON’T want to talk about women’s rights. At all. And, perhaps because men are talking about Human Rights, and the Human Rights of only men, without getting permission from………women! Sometimes, they don’t even mention women at all, well, except to be mean and horrible about them.

MRA’s talking, discussing and debating men’s rights is just all, me, me, me, me, me, me!

So, Men suffer  and get shafted in family courts and lose their homes, their children, everything?  Ppppft.

Men have pain, anguish and feel isolated, depressed even suicidal? Ppppft.

Boys struggle in school and are discriminated against just for being boys? Ppppft.

 Men are beaten, are abused  and  are traumatised in relationships? Ppppft.

 Men and boys are raped, and boys used as cannon fodder and as child soldiers in ethnic conflicts all around the world? Ppppft.

You know what the usual response is to these issues, whether directly or indirectly, but mostly indifferently?

SO WHAT? What about the womeeeeeeeeeeeeeen? Women suffer sooooooooooo much more, we need to get back to “talking about the women”!

So, if you talk about, discuss or raise “men’s issues” you are just a big ole MRA meanie, and that’s ALL you are!

 I’m hoping that if you are reading this, if you are not preparing to pen a scathing and polemic diatribe to launch a counter attack to “put me in my place * you will at least give what I’ve written some thought, think about it at least, are men’s rights now being attacked, being ignored, becoming a distant cultural memory?

I hope that you at least clicked on some of the links, yes I know, there are quite a lot of them, but take your time.  In case you are thinking that what appears to be, superficially a rather light-hearted general rant on acknowledging and giving a platform to the discussion of Men’s Rights, it is and it isn’t.

The issue of Men’s Human Rights abuses is an urgent and necessary topic, that WE as a Human species need to start having. Not in the context of an addendum to women’s rights, not as an “add on” to the Human Rights agenda under “any other business” but up front and centre.

To continue to frame the Human Rights Agenda in the context of women’s rights, and women’s rights only is in and of itself, an abuse of Human Rights.

To continue to dismiss, diminish, render unimportant or even, irritating, annoying and rude, and yes, as mean the issue of Men’s Human Rights, is scandalous, is abhorrent, and is INHUMANE.

If you, for whatever reason believe or subscribe to the view, that talking about Men’s Human Rights, addressing Men’s Human Rights abuses will somehow cause the Human Rights of women to disappear overnight, to become obsolete, to be wiped from the statute books and canons of law in whatever country you happen to be in, then you are either a fool, an ignoramus, or blind to the reality around you, and if you self-identify as a feminist and are peddling this cant, this drivel, this outrageous calumny. Then:

You are a liar, a vindictive spiteful reprehensible liar and you need to shut up! NOW.

So that decent human beings can have these conversations, can address these issues.  So that policy makers, law makers and Human Rights organisations can start undoing the damage that feminism has done, and will continue to do to the Human Race.

You are either FOR or against Human Rights for ALL Human Beings.  Pick a side.

*For anyone who might read this, and I’m only hoping that someone will, not expecting, and it triggers a feminist, of which there are many varieties, from the relatively benign but misguided, to the all out rabid invective hurling, foaming at the mouth type, who decides to “respond” fine. Likewise anyone who stands in the “I’m not a feminist but……..” camp.

Go ahead, post, comment, review, misrepresent, misunderstand and/or totally and utterly miss the point, do that, after all, you also are entitled to hold whatever opinion or view you wish. But bear this mind, just like me, your opinion,  your view, is open to be challenged, to be shown as flawed, as misguided, and as just plain WRONG.

I won’t censor, block or prevent you from “expressing your opinion” subject to my commenting policy as outlined in Housekeeping. But, you better have some damn good evidence that Men’s Rights are not Human Rights – of the “tablets brought down from the mountain top by Moses” variety!

 

© Anja Eriud 2013

Warning! Cuckoo in Your Nest!

IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

This is a quote from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice oft quoted in joking fashion to urge men to enter into the bonds of matrimony.

Though the next part generally gets left out.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.”

Let us just rework that aphorism for the 21st century, shall we?

“It is a truth universally believed by women that a man in possession of a property not in negative equity will relinquish said property if his “live-in” girlfriend wants it, and will continue to pay the mortgage on said property even if no longer in possession of it

Anja Eriud – just today 🙂

There was a time, when the only legally recognised “relationship” between men and women was a properly conducted marriage, when I say properly conducted; I mean a ceremony performed by a person licensed to perform such ceremonies by the state thereby making it a legally recognised marriage.

Marriage has undergone some significant changes since the 18th century, legally speaking, from recognising the rights of women within marriage, to extending the remit of marriage beyond the bounds of religious ceremonies alone, into the civil/family law arena so that marriage became a “legal and social” contract as well as a religious or spiritual or even practical “bond

This was and is a good thing, not everybody is religious, for a lot of people “being married” was a public statement of their commitment, being married recognised the bond that existed between these two people and gave this bond legal force and a certain amount of legal protection.

Ok, I realise it is a lot more complicated than that, but for the purposes of this essay, let us just agree that “being married” has or had more legal, social and cultural legitimacy than “living in sin” as it used to be called, had. Ok?

Then, along came feminism, and apparently marriage became a prison, a form of “enslavement” for women, so that once more, laws were changed to ensure that women were no longer “enslaved” but did in fact become overseers, became the sole arbitrators of not just the parameters of marriage, but could dissolve this union on a whim, even better could seize every “asset” accrued during the term of this legal bond, including any children,  and render their “oppressive master” homeless, penniless, childless and in fiscal servitude to this poor “enslaved” women for life.

Cronan, Sheila (writer, member of the radical feminist group The Redstockings)

“Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the Women’s Movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.” (Sheila Cronan, in Radical Feminism – “Marriage” (1970), Koedt, Levine, and Rapone, eds., HarperCollins, 1973, p. 219)”

Aha!  Men started to cop on to this, men started to say, sod this, and began declining to enter into this legal bond, in greater and greater numbers. This is a now a worldwide phenomenon.

Hmmmm, this did, and does cause some consternation to women, after all, women are a prize to be won, the ultimate symbol of male achievement, to have some woman graciously bestow her favour on a supplicant man by allowing him to “walk her down the aisle” with the hapless groom on an invisible and metaphorical chain so to speak.

Not to worry, feminists got on the case, yes you guessed it, we need new laws they declared, more new laws and even more new laws, so that even if some “man” declines to submit himself to the chains of marriage and just wants to “live in sin” with a poor, helpless women there must be laws to ensure that this fragile creature still has the power to seize all assets, again including children, and evict this unworthy creature known as man from his home peremptorily……not forgetting of course that he must continue to finance this poor delicate fragile woman as she sits on her fat arse in the house he bought and paid for, he must be enslaved (oopps I mean obliged, legally “obliged”) and continue to “service the needs” of this cuckoo.

Cuckoo? Yes, cuckoo, for that is what these wretched women are, except rather than simply hijacking a nest, laying an egg and buggering off, leaving some innocent birdie to raise their voracious, fratricidal offspring, these cuckoo’s stay, these cuckoo’s settle into the nest, make the nest their own, lay the eggs, then when good and settled, it is the poor unfortunate host birdie that gets his ass kicked out.

Thing is, the evicted birdie still has to supply this cuckoo with nice juicy worms, in rain, hail or storm, and for these metaphors feel free to substitute, redundancy, unemployment, homelessness, ill-health, depression and poverty, all the while in servitude to this fat-arsed, lazy, greedy, vindictive and spiteful cuckoo. Tragically in some cases our birdie, our man finds this all too much to bear and commits suicide.

This all leads us to this:

Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010. (CP Act 2010)

This piece of relatively new legislation is designed to “plug the loophole” that allowed men in so called “defacto” or “common law marriages” (which was a myth by the way) to walk away or rather, divest themselves of the cuckoo’s in their nests without being obliged (forced legally) to hand over possession of said nest, and to continue to supply the worms to this cuckoo.

Not any more, nope, nosireebob, to put it rather crudely, if you, a man even look sideways at some wretch you may just be opening up a whole can of worms for yourself, or rather for her.

Already in other jurisdictions legislative changes have been made at the insistence of course of those perennial “defenders of women’s rights” feminists. Please note the sarcasm.

Now, since 2010 Ireland has joined the party, thrown its hat into the ring, and embraced the concept of giving pseudo marriage rights to cuckoo’s – oops, my bad – I meant “poor helpless vulnerable wimmin”.

Odd, isn’t it, how all this “equality” so beloved of feminists never seems to benefit men in any way, shape or form, strange how all this “equality” is applied only to women? Maybe it’s just me? Maybe I just don’t understand the REAL meaning of “equality

Now for the good news! Or rather, the slightly better than completely bad news.

In their wisdom, Irish legislators have included one small ray of hope into this ridiculous legislation, an “opt-out” clause. But, and this needs your careful attention, you (if you are a man) need to lose some unrealistic beliefs. You, (if you are a man) need to listen up, pay attention and COP ON to yourself!

There is a caveat, to the best of my knowledge, this provision has not been “tested” in Irish Courts. Yet. We do after all live in a gynocentric culture.

First and foremost – living together is now not just you and your current girlfriend shacking up together to see if you can stand the sight of one another for longer than 24 hours. Living together, especially in a house YOU bought and paid for, or maybe inherited, is no longer a private ah-hoc arrangement between you and your current love bunny. IT NOW HAS A LEGAL ELEMENT.

Have you got that? The state can now poke it pointy nose into your business, and your love bunny, your snookums, if she has a mind to, can turn rabid on you and……… USE THE POWER OF THE STATE AGAINST YOU TO FORCE YOU OUT OF YOUR PROPERTY!

Yes indeed, snookums can, and believe me will, make your life hell, make you homeless, drive you into penury, hold any child of yours hostage, if you are dumb, yes DUMB enough to reproduce with this wretch! Because once a child enters this rosy picture – all bets are off – any slim legal protection of your assets had? GONE! You are, and will be……………………SCREWED!

And no, you won’t be lying there afterwards with a daft grin on your face, having a smoke and feeling gooooooooooooooooooooooooood!

You’ll be sitting with your head in your hands, in total and utter shock and devastation, in the corridors of Family Court having just lost practically everything, and snookums?

She’ll be the cold-hearted sneering contemptuous bitch looking down her nose at you in triumph as she sweeps from the courthouse with her conniving lawyer in a waft of really expensive perfume that it is now your responsibility to keep her supplied with. Got it? Good.

So, let’s get into the gory details.

Are you aware the Civil Partnership Act affects heterosexual couples too?

If you live together, that is if a human male and a human female COHABIT – for a minimum of five (5) years, all your assets may become to all intents and purposes – JOINT assets. This means the property you are living in, possibly even if this is your family home and you inherited after your parents passed away, and she had no hand or part in financing.

If this property is one that you bought, raised the mortgage on, and were paying, and continue to pay from your own earnings, it won’t matter, after five years, the provisions of the CP Act 2010 kick in, she could now claim an interest (a legal interest) in that property, and boy will she be interested. If during the course of your relationship, you earn more, or have more assets than her, she will be considered the defacto “injured party” and eligible to sue you for REDRESS! Got it?

The Act also establishes a redress scheme to give protection to a financially dependent person at the end of a long-term cohabiting relationship. This provides a legal safety net for people in long-term relationships who may otherwise be very vulnerable financially at the end of a relationship, whether through break-up or through bereavement.

The redress scheme may only be activated at the end of a relationship of at least five years duration, whether by break-up or death, and allows a financially dependent cohabitant to apply to court for certain remedies, including maintenance, pension or property adjustment orders, or provision from the estate of a deceased cohabitant.”

In the event that you and your snookums have a wee baby, two years from the date that child is born is all that is needed for the provisions of the CP Act 2010, to kick in, think about this for a minute, there you are all snuggly and cosy in your love nest and “ooops” a few months in, she tells you that you will soon be hearing the pitter patter of little feet. We now have a situation where rather than having to “put up” with you for five loooooooong years, she can almost cut that time in half, just by “accidently” getting herself “with child

The Act defines “qualified cohabitants” as those residing together as an unmarried couple in an intimate relationship for a period of five years, or two years where there is a child or children of the relationship.

In determining case the economic dependency of the claiming partner is the key factor, although other criteria must also be taken into account including the duration of the relationship and the contributions made by each cohabitant, whether financial or otherwise.”

Having said that, the fact that you are not actually legally married when this little urchin arrives, creates its own particular legal problemsFOR YOU. (We’ll talk about this in another post)

So, guys, I really do urge you to think this all through, and to show some foresight, some common sense. And yeah I know, it’s “not romantic” to be discussing such practical things – as you might hear her say, even while she her  beady eye on your two up, two down.

Hang on a minute here, how romantic is it for you to be in actual danger of losing your property and possibly paying through the nose to support some wench that you moved into your house then realised that this wasn’t going to work? Then, rather than asking her politely to leave and have her GO! You end up in court, and she walks out with the keys to your home?

Being practical, taking steps to protect your property, your assets, and putting in place an agreement that allows you both (to be fair) to make a clean break from relationships that don’t work out is sensible, is reasonable.

If she kicks up a stink about your reasonable and sensible request to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement for living together, then it ain’t romance that’s driving her it’s…………………………..an eye on the main chance, it’s greed, it’s avarice, it’s downright sneaky!

© Anja Eriud 2013

Note

Even though the general thrust of this essay is directed at events that might take place in the Irish jurisdiction, you may have noticed I used sources from the Canadian, Australian and US jurisdictions. There is a good reason for this, Irish courts DO refer to other “common law” court decsions and precedents in their rulings, not so much US though. Regardless, the influence of feminism is Global, and manifests itself in ALL jurisdictions, including in decsions of the ECJ (European Court of Justice)

Out on The Streets in Ireland

Tom Golden has an article on A Voice For Men, called “Is homelessness a men’s  issue?

It is an excellent article highlighting not just the fact that the majority of homeless are men but also exploring the myriad causes of male homelessness and how a snowball effect happens in many cases which propels men into homelessness

“Some folks are starting to understand that there may be some powerful underlying aspects to homelessness that most are simply not seeing. The sad fact is that most every homeless man may have started out his slide into homelessness with a huge trauma like divorce, death, illness, loss of job and probably more than one of these or others all rolled up into one big plate of stink.

These trauma overload the system of any person, but they are particularly hard for men. Why? Because no one wants to hear his pain, and no one wants to hear his story. When people see a man in pain they run, when they see a woman in pain they consider it a call for action. So men are left alone to deal with huge amounts of pain. Often they find ways to move through it and sometimes they end up paralyzed and homeless.”

Tom also points out how male homelessness, and in fact any issue to do with men’s pain is swept under the carpet. Deliberately.

“Not only are men the majority of the homeless, but homelessness is the dead end for so many other men’s issues. How many homeless men do you think have been raped by the family courts? How many homeless men do you think have been falsely accused? How many homeless men have been victims of domestic violence and ignored? How many homeless men have been severely depressed and overlooked.

The sad fact is that homelessness is the end of the road for many men after they have faced years upon years of misandry, people looking the other way, and no services available when they face hardship and discrimination. Nearly all of the issues we discuss and work to bring into public awareness find their dead end in the two male exit points: homelessness or suicide.”

The over-riding theme is, that when it comes to “men’s issues” in particular male homelessness, the default position seems to be that it “must be his own fault” therefore very little by way of sympathy, compassion or more importantly, services are available to these men.  Can you even imagine in this gynocentric culture such an attitude towards women who find themselves in “crisis” situations? No.  Of course you cannot. I’m not even going to bother putting up links to the innumerable services available to women. You know, and I know that they are there for the taking, in spite of the whining from feminists about the “lack of resources and funding for women’s issues

Men in trouble, men with “issues” are invisible, and are doubly invisible apparently, if they perchance find themselves in the public spotlight in connection with some other more, “worthy of compassion” creature. To what am I referring? I sense you asking in puzzlement. What “other creature” could demand more compassion than a homeless human being?

Answer. A rabbit. Yes, you read that right, a bunny rabbit called Barney. Go take a read of the article linked here, and pay special attention to the comments.

Have you read it? Good. Did you notice something about the comments? Almost all of them focus on the plight of poor Barney the bunny, rather than John the human being.

Let me just say this first, it was absolutely reprehensible what that “youth” did, a terrible thing to do to a poor defenseless animal, and he was rightly punished for it.

But. HELLO! Homeless human being here, homeless MAN here, in fact, a brave compassionate man who dived into the Liffey, (the river that wends its way through Dublin) to save another helpless creature.

Now, to be fair, his story did evoke a response, did result in recognition of not just his bravery and compassion, and did inspire many to make gestures of generosity and compassion towards John, the human being.

Within days he was given a Compassionate Citizen Award for going above and beyond the call of duty to help an animal in need.

His story touched the hearts of thousands of people nationwide, with many offering donations and food.”

But the comments from some of the people who did comment on this story? Unbelievable. For example. This poster quoting John Byrne the homeless man, had this to say.

osmundbullock

{{ “I’ve always had animals on the street with me to keep me company and to keep me happy,” Byrne added. }} Hmmm..really? I suspect the main reason Mr Byrne has animals on the street with him while begging is that it increases his appeal to the sentimental, and gives him a higher income (over and above the one the state gives him). Nothing wrong with that, of course, it’s just good marketing – and certainly no reason to throw the poor rabbit in the river. But one would appreciate a bit of honesty about why it was with him in the first place.

5 Dec 2012 01:53

and

Clem2

138 convictions? Lock this guy up!!! Poor bunny… that was SO cruel ;-/

1 May 11:53

Quite a few focused on the young man who actually threw the rabbit into the river, in particular in light of this revelation.

The court heard that Kearney was brought up in care, has 138 previous convictions and is already in detention at St Patrick’s Institution.”

St Pat’s as it is/was known in Dublin has a less than savoury history, as have many institutions that operated in Ireland, particularly those tasked with the “care” of young boys.

Am I condoning what Gary Kearney, the 20 yr old who threw John Byrnes rabbit Barney into the river did?  Absolutely not, but if you look past the superficial details of this story, if you ignore the carefully crafted hype around the plight of poor Barney, beneath the surface you will see several issues.

First and foremost, a homeless human being, John Byrne, was begging on O’Connell Bridge when Gary Kearney came along and threw his pet into the river.

Outside the court, Byrne, who has been living on the streets for 23 years, said he was in shock when he saw his pet swimming around in circles, looking up at him.”

Did you see that?  23 years living on the street, earlier in the article it states that Mr. Byrne is 37 years old – do the math – he was 14 years old when he became homeless. 14 years old! Now I’m only guessing here, but if Mr. Byrne had alcohol or substance abuse problems, it would’ve been mentioned, in a faux sympathetic way as “poor alcoholic man” but mentioned.  It wasn’t.

Regardless, think about the fact that this man became homeless at 14 years of age, a boy, a child, and here he is 23 years later still homeless, still living on the street!

Can you imagine any woman, whatever her “issues” substance abuse” or whatever would have been left “living on the streets” for 23 years? I certainly cannot.

Now before I continue, this linked article in the online Irish independent has slightly different details than the Huffington Post one, for example it states that Mr. Byrne has been living on the streets for 24 years rather than 23, though still cites his age as 37 years old. Also it does confirm these details.

The court heard the culprit Kearney was brought up in care, has 138 previous convictions and is already in detention at St Patrick’s Institution.”

Both articles confirm Gary Kearney is from Crumlin, a working class area on the south side of Dublin.

With regard to Gary Kearney, the young man convicted of animal cruelty, again absolutely condemn what he did, absolutely endorse his conviction. But, I do find myself wondering, taking into account the limited information given about this young man’s history, and in spite of his abhorrent actions, what detail is missing?

In fact, for what it’s worth, this young man’s history, brought up in care, incarcerated in St. Pats and growing up in a predominately “working class” area, acting in this cruel and reprehensible manner is almost inevitable, not excusable, not justifiable but, inevitable. In fact, after Gary Kearney serves his sentence and the remainder of whatever other sentences he has or receives, and if and when he is released, it is almost also inevitable that Gary Kearney himself will end up living on the same streets as John Byrne. If not inevitably then at least possibly.

Does this make me glad? Absolutely not, do I believe he “deserves” this? Again, absolutely not? Am I just being a “bleeding heart liberal”? Nope. All I am doing is hoping to raise some deeper issues, shed some light on some of the more complex factors that contribute to male homelessness, and perhaps to ask, are the seeds of those factors that lead to male homelessness planted in childhood? In the types of lives that some boys are forced to live? As well as the factors in adult men’s lives as outlined in Tom’s article on AVfM.

Whatever circumstances caused Gary Kearney to grow up “in care” in Ireland, and “in care” in an Irish context* doesn’t have a warm fuzzy connotation to it. Whatever dysfunctional life he was born into that set in motion the events that led up to his throwing poor Barney into the river, and may also have led to John Byrne finding himself homeless and on the streets at 13 or 14 years old, and still on those same streets 23/24 years later. Those factors need to be examined, addressed and as eloquently articulated by Tom Golden made part of the public debate on Men and Boys issues. in answer to Tom’s question “Is homelessness a men’s issue?” My answer is YES it is, but even more it is a Human Rights issue. Are men not Human Beings?

And yes, I am glad that Barney is safe and well and in the care of, what seems to me, a kind and compassionate man like John Byrne.

 

*There really is too much evidence, too many reports, to post links to the level and extent of child abuse perpetrated in Ireland, just type “child abuse in Ireland” into Google and you will get “About 21,500,000 results

 

© Anja Eriud 2013

 Related articles

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/homeless-people-being-failed-by-system-which-lacks-compassion-1.1593985

http://www.trust-ireland.ie/

State Rep. Uses Sledgehammer To Destroy Homeless People’s Possessions(nationalhomelessoutreachday.wordpress.com)

I Own Your Ass…..

Have you ever noticed that when it comes to some couples who are either married or living together it always the female (and yes I am just talking about male/female relationships) who is “in charge”

In charge of deciding the decor, the fixtures and fittings, the level of tidiness or untidiness she will tolerate. In fact, as soon as a woman, in the case of those couples who decide to live together, moves into a male’s house, she takes over. Even if she has not paid a penny towards the purchase of said house.

Ok, I get that for some men, they have zero interest in decor, zero interest in whether the carpets match the curtains, or whether the sofa looks better in one place or the other, so quite happily just let their female partner just get on with it. Fair enough. But, and this is purely from observation, I have seen women tell men in their own homes to, get your feet off the coffee table” ordon’t put those dishes in THAT cupboardor get those papers/books/bits of some project, off the table and out into the garage

I have seen men tippy toeing around their own house, afraid to even leave a cup or a plate unwashed and left in the sink and women practically lose their minds and scream “you’re turning MY house into a tip

It gets worse, some women will give their male partners the once over and decide he needs a makeover, from his haircut to his choice of shoes, they will literally remake this poor man into their image of what he should be. The funny thing is, and again this is just from observation, a lot of men put up with this shit. They put up with being treated like unwelcome visitors in their own homes, with their female partners practically accusing them of “making the place look untidy” by simply being in it! They will tolerate with barely a whimper of protest being dressed, groomed and made over as if they were children being gussied up by their mothers before being deemed suitably attired for public viewing.

This “caretaking” even goes so far as to dictate what this poor unfortunate male will be allowed to eat, his diet will be scrutinised and evaluated and if found to be not to her liking, will be changed, foods will be banned, portions will be minimised if she has decided he needs to “lose weight” and if she decides he is “out of shape” he will be nagged to join a gym, get some exercise.  Though funnily enough, if the man in question actually does play some kind of sport, unless it is one sanctioned by or approved of by this termagant then the nagging to give it up will go into hyperdrive.

How does one spot this type of female, how does one recognise the signs, if you are male and want to avoid burdening yourself with this nag?

Well, if you are intending to marry this wretch, the months leading up to the wedding are a good gauge of how she behaves and will behave in the future with regard to you having a say, being allowed to make choices about something that affects you.  If it becomes obvious that you, a male, are a bit player in your own wedding, if it is made abundantly clear that this is her day, then you my dear have massive problems looming in your future. Huge. Especially if in the course of the wedding preparations, her mother, her sisters and her friends all join forces with her to sideline you, to treat you as irrelevant to the proceedings then, not only can you be sure that this is not just wedding hype that has gotten hold of her but is a deeply ingrained, deeply embedded typical behaviour because everyone around her doesn’t bat an eyelid, and accepts this behaviour as normal!

What about if you are just either preparing to live together or have her move in with you?

Ah, same shite, different circumstances basically, if she gives your place the once over and decides that “we” need to make some changes – you’re in trouble.

I recall the scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally, and the character played by Carrie Fisher was moving in with Bruno Kirby’s character. The wheel coffee table –  Carrie Fisher’s character decided that it was ugly and therefore it was getting dumped, this coffee table symbolises, for me, anyways, the complete lack of respect and consideration for the feelings, tastes and personal choices of men that a lot of women, not just display, but expect to be endorsed. The way a lot of women assume ownership of men, put themselves “in charge” without even the slightest hesitation. They just expect and demand to be the last word on every single thing in their relationships with men.

Men become props, accessories, a backdrop to her “lifestyle” men are to be tolerated, endured, put up with. These women are sooooooooooo not worth it lads, really, come on, when you entered adulthood, grew up, got a job, got your own little castle, did you really expect that a normal relationships involved you turning back into a naughty boy being nagged by his mother to pick up your socks/clothes/crap”  ortidy your room”  orNo, you can’t go to that football match/concert/out with your friends!” Really? Is that what you thought was supposed to happen?

Guys, if you spot the signs that your girlfriend/fiancée or SO really believes she is “in charge” of even the tiniest little detail of YOUR life – run – I mean it – run – dump her ass – throw her out of your house. Because all those cute little “ways” that she has now, all those little caring gestures designed to “help you” to “improve you” NOT for your benefit, nope, she is remaking you, she is moulding you into HER image of what you SHOULD be, and no, you won’t get a say in this process!

Because if you do go ahead and allow this scold into your life, into your home, and you piss her off, YOU will end up sleeping on the sofa she chose, which you secretly hate, in the living room she decorated, which you are not allowed to “mess up” by being in it, dressed in itchy, uncomfortable underwear she bought you and you have to wear, while she sleeps like a baby in the bed she picked and chose the bedding for, that you are reluctantly allowed to share – if SHE’S in the mood!

One last thing guys, if the reason you did end up on that sofa, in that bizarrely decorated living room is because of some minor disagreement that escalated out of all proportion, then I can almost guarantee you that she engineered that “argument” for the sole purpose of making sure you DID end up on that rotten sofa. Starting fights over something minor and insignificant is usually camouflage to manoeuvre you out of the way, or in a position of weakness so she can get something she wants that she calculates you might object to. Giving it to her will be the apology she manipulated you into position to have to give her.

Yep, women ARE that sneaky.

© Anja Eriud 2013

Just One Voice….

Sometimes all it takes is just one voice, not so much singing in the darkness, as per the Barry Manilow song, but speaking with passion, with barely suppressed horror at an injustice so that it forces a global organisation to make a small but profound change.

In 2011 Will Stow writing in the guardian/observer wrote an article about the suffering, shame and hidden pain of male victims of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rape used as a weapon of war, to humiliate, to injure, to punish and shame men and damage them so much both physically and psychologically that they would be unable to fight.

“Of all the secrets of war, there is one that is so well kept that it exists mostly as a rumour. It is usually denied by the perpetrator and his victim. Governments, aid agencies and human rights defenders at the UN barely acknowledge its possibility.” [1]

Yes, I know, rape as a weapon of war has been used to highlight how the horror of war impacts on women and girls and children. Hilary Clinton’s now iconic remark.

“And the fact is that in today’s wars around the world, the primary victims are women and children [2]

But that is only half the story, the reality of sexual violence in high conflict situations does not endorse or legitimate the current rape hysteria being whipped up in western “democracies” and the now debunked “rape myths” in Helen Reece’s article Rape Myths: Is Elite Opinion Right and Popular Opinion Wrong? Helen Reece [3] and excellently summarised by Diana Davison in her piece; The myth of rape myths November 15, 2013 By Diana Davison. [4]

Because rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war need to be put into the context in which they are used as said weapon. Into the religious, ethnic, political and historical inter-ethnic tensions that precipitated these conflicts. It is those forces driving the use of sexual violence as another facet of the overall violent nature of these conflicts. Comparing sexual violence in “democratic” western countries with unstable, inherently undemocratic and volatile territories is to put it crudely comparing apples and oranges.

One cannot simply point to atrocities committed in Rwanda, Bosnia, Serbia and the DRC and draw analogies that paint all men everywhere as rapists, especially not in long established “democratic” states. The seeds of the conflicts in these places would take a longer and more in depth analysis than this essay could, or should attempt other than to acknowledge that, yes; sexual violence/rape has, and will probably continue to be used as a weapon of war. But until recently we have only been allowed to focus on half the story, on half the victims, and only some of those victims have had their suffering, their pain, their trauma acknowledged.

Now at this point I am going to use the UNHCR terminology – SGBV – Sexual Gender Based Violence – not because I believe it has any more validity than the word rape, but because it allows us to challenge the very definition of “Gender Based Violence” because the men we are about to talk about are targeted for the type of sexual violence they are subjected to in high conflict situations because they are men, and because they represent a threat, an enemy, an opponent to be crushed.

Before Will Stow’s article, which was published on 17th July 2011, the prevailing attitude which existed and still exists towards male victims of SGBV was dismissive, was apathetic and barely rated a mention, well just a small mention in passing, as illustrated for example by a couple of lines in a 100 page document called:

Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings Focusing on Prevention of and Response to Sexual Violence in Emergencies September 2005 [5]

On page 13 of these guidelines the UNHCR quickly establishes the “mythical” basis upon which it rests its policy on responding to SGBV in high conflict situations, with this statement.

At least one in three of the world’s female population has been either physically or sexually abused at some time in her life.[2] Although in most countries little research has been conducted on the problem, available data suggest that in some countries nearly one in four women may experience sexual violence by an intimate partner, and up to one-third of adolescent girls report their first sexual experience as being forced.[3] ……………. Sexual violence is often used as a weapon of war, targeting civilian women and children.”

Am I disputing the last part of that statement? No, it is true, but it is only half the story.

One does have to ask the obvious question, if “little research” – let me just rephrase that, if little VALID research has been done, then how can one make statements such as those quoted above: “one in three? “One in four”? “Up to one third”? If not based on “research” then what are these figures based on?

It is on page 17 that men and boys get a mention:

Around the world, GBV has a greater impact on women and girls than on men and boys. The term “gender-based violence” is often used interchangeably with the term “violence against women.” The term “gender-based violence” highlights the gender dimension of these types of acts; in other words, the relationship between females’ subordinate status in society and their increased vulnerability to violence. It is important to note, however, that men and boys may also be victims of gender-based violence, especially sexual violence.”

So, gender actually means “women” exclusively. There it is in black and white in the UNHCR Guidelines.

But of course it is not difficult to spot how the “gender-based violence” that men and boys may suffer is easily dismissed in the context of an overall feminist interpretation of “gender-based violence” in high conflict unstable non-democratic states by referring to an amorphous undefined entity called “society” patterned on of course “western” ethnocentric views of complex non western cultural and ethnic conflicts.  And of course emphasising that men and boys don’t qualify as a “gender”, well they didn’t in 2005.

While male rape is reluctantly acknowledged, extra commentary is added to reinforce the superior victim status of women and reinforce the message that men and their suffering is not only practically invisible but is relatively unimportant compared to women’s Page 18.

Rape of women and of men is often used as a weapon of war, as a form of attack on the enemy, typifying the conquest and degradation of its women or captured male fighters. It may also be used to punish women for transgressing social or moral codes, for instance, those prohibiting adultery or drunkenness in public. Women and men may also be raped when in police custody or in prison.4

On Page 43, this message is again hammered home.

Women and children are entitled to protection from sexual violence, which involves two-pronged protection and security measure to……..

……It is important to continuously analyse the risk factors and consequences for sexual violence in each setting. While gender inequality and discrimination are the root causes of sexual violence, various other factors determine the type and extent of sexual violence in each setting

I am not disputing that women, children and girls are vulnerable in high conflict situations, what I am disputing is the dismissal of, the lack of acknowledgment of the almost equal vulnerability of men and boys, the default position that only women and children are “entitled to protection from sexual violence” to casually dismiss any victim of SGBV in order to continue to promote a gender biased “ideology” by ignoring male victims on the basis of their “gender”.

In the context of high conflict situations “gender inequality and discrimination” as interpreted through the prism of ethnocentric western paradigms is ridiculous, if not naive, in war, in conflict, the object is to crush your perceived enemies, to decimate and undermine the abilities of your perceived enemies to fight back, to resist, to survive.

Thus it was that Will Stow’s article became that One Voice, not that he was the only voice ever raised in protest at the wilful blindness practiced when it came to male rape/sexual violence, but his voice did manage to penetrate the darkness, his voice did manage to pierce the carefully cultivated feminist white noise surrounding the issue of SGBV in high conflict situations. Which is not to say that other voices have not been raised.  Just not listened too.

Sexual Violence Against Men in Armed Conflict; 2007 – Sandesh Sivakumaran. [6]

Male Rape and Human Rights; February 2009 – Lara Stemple [7]

The Rape of Men: Eschewing Myths of Sexual Violence in War in On Politics, Vol 6, Issue 2 Fall 2012 – Don Couturier. [8] 

The Article Dying of shame, 30 May 2012 published on the christianaid.org.uk website [9]

Had this to say:

Just weeks after an article instigated by Christian Aid journalist Emma Pomfret in the Observer Magazine earned a prestigious One World Media award for highlighting the controversial subject of male rape, the piece also scooped the Amnesty International Media Award for Best Magazine supplement of 2011………

…..The impact of the article – which was shared more than 17,000 times on Facebook and hailed as one of the most ever read articles on the Guardian’s website – resulted in the United Nations changing its definition of ‘rape’ to include men and boys.”

Which led to this:

WORKING WITH MEN AND BOY SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN FORCED DISPLACEMENT [10]

These Guidelines comprise a slim 20 page pamphlet; it is a start, albeit a rather limited start, bearing in mind the massive attention still being focused almost exclusively on female victims, not to mention the massive amounts of funding still also being almost exclusively directed at “women’s issues”

From pages 4 – 5

“Entrenched gender norms combined with cultural and religious taboos, and scarce services, make it very difficult for males to disclose that they are survivors of sexual violence, while service providers may not recognize the male experience of SGBV. 11 Communities are frequently reluctant to acknowledge the experience of male survivors because it may be seen, among other things, as conceding weakness and bringing shame to the community.

Left unaddressed, the effects of sexual violence magnify the risks inherent in conflict and displacement contexts and gravely harm the social and economic wellbeing of survivors. The effects of sexual violence on individuals, households and entire communities seriously damage social relationships, thereby undermining peace and security and the likelihood of achieving durable solutions.

Sexual violence against men is also a threat in displacement and asylum situations. Where they face serious livelihood challenges, men as well as women are at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse in return for shelter and food, or other forms of survival sex. Men who are subject to detention may be at risk of rape or demands for sexual favours in return for release. Though asylum and conflict situations are different, the essential protection needs of survivors are the same.”

I have highlighted perhaps the most important phrases, the position and policy focus that SHOULD have been the norm all along. That sexual violence is perpetrated against INDIVIDUALS, that the effects of sexual violence are felt just as traumatically by men and women and the most important.

“……..the essential protection needs of survivors are the same”

References

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/jul/17/the-rape-of-men

[2] http://www.pbs.org/wnet/women-war-and-peace/features/our-interview-with-secretary-of-state-hillary-clinton/

[3] http://ojls.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/03/13/ojls.gqt006.full.pdf+html?sid=abf0e5fb-13fb-4025-9ef6-9b1056e1aaec

[4] http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminist-governance-feminism/the-myth-of-rape-myths/

[5] http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendocPDFViewer.html?docid=453492294&query=

[6] http://www.ejil.org/pdfs/18/2/224.pdf

[7] http://scienceblogs.de/geograffitico/wp-content/blogs.dir/70/files/2012/07/i-e76e350f9e3d50b6ce07403e0a3d35fe-Stemple_60-HLJ-605.pdf

[8] http://web.uvic.ca/~onpol/fall2012_issue.pdf

[9] http://www.christianaid.org.uk/whatwedo/in-focus/africa-partner-speaks-out-against-male-rape/award-winning-article-changes-un-definition-of-rape.aspx

[10] Working with men and boy survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in forced displacement (PDF, 548kb)

The Peculiarity of Irish Feminism. An Introduction.

Irish feminism was and is peculiar, it followed a different path than either US or UK feminisms and now EU feminism as influenced by the “Swedish Model”,  in fact I would go so far as to say that not only has, and did Irish feminism follow a different path but it was born from different soil. In fact it is incorrect to call the movement for women’s rights in Ireland feminism at all.

Alas, it now appears that Irish feminism is converging with the above named feminisms, and betraying its own historical roots. This might sound strange but Irish feminism was to all intents and purposes a women’s rights movement and as such had legitimate aims, and was grounded in legitimate causes.

To understand the women’s rights movement in Ireland one has to take into account more than simply a battle for women’s rights, but acknowledge that this is embedded in a wider framework of republicanism, suffocating religious tyranny and an underlying class struggle.  See here, here and here.

Now,  the Irish women’s rights movement is and has allowed itself to be corrupted by the insane and badly informed agenda of US/UK and EU feminism, it has made itself a joke, a caricature.  Rather than being a legitimate platform from which to address inequalities imposed on Irish women by traditional beliefs about “a woman’s place” or women’s legal status or cultural norms about how women should or shouldn’t behave it is now simply an extension of the ideology of hate that US/UK/ and EU feminism is grounded on. Grounded on misandry and fuelled by bigotry, lies and fraud.

The Irish women’s rights movement lost its way when it embraced “gender” feminism rather than holding to its position as a women’s rights movement. THAT was a legitimate platform in the context of Irish laws, Irish cultural norms and Irish society. Around circa 1980 it became redundant, it had won all the rights battles it set out win, and has succeeded in its aims to address legally enshrined inequalities against Irish women. Now “feminism” has taken over, grafted itself onto a legitimate cause and corrupted it, as feminism always does corrupt everything it touches.

Two things contributed to the disenfranchisement of Irish women, to the imposition of a cultural and legal framework that necessitated the emergence, or rather a re-emergence of a women’s rights movement in Ireland in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s, Catholicism and colonisation.  We both inherited, and had imposed upon us two external forces and influences that changed the nature of Irish society and culture, and led us down a path far from our ancient roots.

This is not to say that these influences were not embraced, not deliberately and consciously incorporated into our culture, because they were. Enthusiastically and with determination, when Irish Independence was at last gained after several hundred years or so of colonisation, rather than rejecting the legal and cultural tyranny of our conquerors and rejecting the tyranny of Catholicism, and returning to our ancient roots, we gleefully continued to utilise these cultural, legal and religious weapons against our own people. Especially against our women and in particular against the poor in our society.

Before we were finally conquered over a long period of time and subdued with the passing of “In 1800, following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British and the Irish parliaments enacted the Acts of Union. The merger created a new political entity called United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with effect from 1 January 1801” Éire [Ireland] had an ancient system of laws and a culture stretching back some 2,000 years that was remarkably egalitarian and in no significant way treated women as less equal than men. See here, here, here and here.

So, rather than celebrating Independence, rather than congratulating ourselves on finally throwing off the yoke of colonisation, we should hang our heads in shame at taking over and imposing a worse system of tyranny on our own people. We in fact became our own conquerors, we simply continued to impose the same rigid rules, laws and cultural norms, and in fact refined those cultural norms into a more repressive and oppressive regime, with Irish women singled out for “special” attention.

What needs to be said here is, that Irish women themselves colluded in this repressive regime, they endorsed it and refined it, and gave it its legitimacy.  For every Irish man who contributed to the continuation of repressive Catholicism and legal tyranny, there was an Irish woman standing beside him fully sanctioning this, equally accountable for its existence. Equally complicit in the perpetuation of a system of repression and oppression.

So called icons of feminism like Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer, Andrea Dworkin, Kate Millet et al make me laugh with their talk of “women’s oppression” from their nice middle class well protected lives, modern day writers such as Amanda Marcotte,  really make me laugh, pontificating from their cosy ivory towers about being “oppressed” because men “treat them like sex objects” by staring at them in the street.

Try this on for size, Magdalen Laundries, Goldenbridge, not to forget how young Irish boys were abused and maltreated in places like Artane and Letterfrack, see here. THAT’S oppression, THAT’S living under a regime which denies you not just basic human rights, but denies you any recognition AS a human being.

With regard to the Magdalen Laundries, these were run by women, by nuns yes, but nuns are female.

None of these places could have existed, could have continued to operate without the collusion of Irish people as a whole, men and women.

While I do admire to a certain extent the first women’s rights activists who highlighted the legal and cultural inequalities perpetrated against Irish women, my admiration is qualified because they failed to address subtle, less obvious perhaps, or simply preferred not to see, atrocities committed against Irish men and boys, case in point, Ireland had the highest level of admittance to “Lunatic Asylums” of men. Especially unmarried men, the unwanted, inconvenient bachelor brothers standing in the way of acquiring family land. From pages 5 – 6 of this Dissertation. It’s a hefty read at 277 pages and is confines itself to the years 1817 – 1920, but does establish a unique pattern in Irish society which persisted into the early 20th century.

One of the most comprehensive arguments along these lines comes from Elizabeth Malcolm in a study of western asylums in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.12 Although women were slightly more numerous in the general population in western districts (counties Sligo, Leitrim, Galway, Roscommon, and Mayo), men were significantly more numerous in the asylum.

 Malcolm’s analysis of committal warrants and physicians’ case notes from western asylums suggests that there was a robust relationship between the high levels of emigration from the post-Famine west and the preponderance of single thirty- and forty-something men in the asylums there.

In an era of land consolidation, a shift to primogeniture, and reduced rates of marriage, emigration was a safety valve for a young, single, landless, but predominantly female cohort. Unmarried men, who for whatever reason were unable to escape the constraints of the households of their birth and resultant family strife through emigration, therefore ended up committed to the asylum in disproportionate numbers.13

Shunted out of the way into these places for greed, for avarice. Another peculiarity of Irish society, the obsessive need to own land – but a discussion for another time. In the same report at page 192.

Mark Finnane and Elizabeth Malcolm have argued, for example, that economic factors like emigration, a shift to primogeniture, and consolidation of land created “surplus” adult children. In a society increasingly bereft of family resources, both emotional and financial, they argue that the oddities of these adult children could be overstated to allow for committal to a lunatic asylum, thus relieving remaining family members of a significant burden.13

See notes at the end of post.

 I will be addressing this issue in a separate post, Irish Men on the Margins: A Historical Perspective.

 To continue:

I read accounts of how feminism operates in the US and the UK, and am carefully observing as the EU spreads the toxic message of feminism throughout the Union, but in particular how feminism has literally corrupted the very foundations of democracy in the US and am appalled, horrified and fearful as I see its influence seeping more and more into Irish society.

In many ways I am grateful that Ireland resisted the external influences of the wider western cultural norms and maintained a benign xenophobia, while also admittedly perpetuating its own internal toxic cultural norms. For two reasons, first we have to a certain extent escaped the influence of the worst of radical feminism (a situation that is now being reversed) and secondly, the emergence of radical feminist “thought” is counterbalanced by the emergence of the men’s [human] rights movement, providing an alternative voice and voices, that just were not allowed or permitted in either the US or the UK as radical feminism gained its foothold in the early 1960’s and 1970’s.

It is a small but significant plus, let us hope it is enough to build on to resist the influence of the EU as it seeks to impose the so called “Swedish Model” of feminism on us. See here, here and here.

 To Irish feminists lured by the polished and toxic rhetoric of “third wave feminism” I say this – STOP – you are being hoodwinked, lied to, manipulated, brain-washed and ultimately being used as pawns in a game with deeper and more insidious motives than “women’s rights” or “equality” take a moment to stop and think – is there anything that I as a woman am legally prohibited from doing? Is there anything that I as a woman, apart from my own limitations or ambitions simply cannot do or that only Irish men are “allowed” to do?

The answer to both those questions is a resounding NO. In fact, if you are honest and open-minded you will in fact discover that reverse is true, it is Irish men, and all men who are being discriminated against, in education, in family law, in employment, it is men who are being disenfranchised, your fathers, brothers, sons, nephews and friends. So, what are you going to do about it?

 Notes On.

POLITICS, PROFESSIONALIZATION, AND POVERTY: LUNATIC ASYLUMS FOR THE POOR IN IRELAND, 1817-1920; A Dissertation; Submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Notre Dame in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Melinda D. Grimsley-Smith: Christopher Hamlin, Director Graduate Program in History Notre Dame, Indiana, December 2011

Pages 5 – 6

12 Elizabeth Malcolm, “‘The House of Strident Shadows’: The Asylum, the Family and Emigration in Post-Famine Rural Ireland,” in Medicine, Disease and the State in Ireland, 1650-1940, ed. Greta Jones and Elizabeth Malcolm, 177-194 (Cork: Cork University Press, 1999).

13 Elizabeth Malcolm, “‘Ireland’s Crowded Madhouses’: the Institutional Confinement of the Insane in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Ireland,” in The Confinement of the Insane: International Perspectives, 1800-1965, ed. Roy Porter and David Wright (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 183-186.

Pages 192 – 193

13 See for example Mark Finnane, Insanity and the Insane in Post-Famine Ireland (London: Croom Helm, 1981), Elizabeth Malcolm, “‘Ireland’s Crowded Madhouses’: the Institutional Confinement of the Insane in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Ireland’ in The Confinement of the Insane: International Perspectives, 1800-1965, ed. Roy Porter and David Wright, 315-333 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), Áine McCarthy, “Hearths, Bodies, and Minds: Gender Ideology and the Committal of Women to Enniscorthy Lunatic Asylum 1916-1925,” in Irish Women’s History, ed. Alan Hayes and Diane Urquhart, 115-136 (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2004).

 

 

Que Sera, Sera……

For those of you not old enough to remember, this is the title of a song Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)“, first published in 1956, is a popular song written by the Jay Livingston and Ray Evans songwriting team. The song was introduced in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), starring Doris Day and James Stewart in the lead roles”. See here and here.

Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)

When I was just a little girl

I asked my mother, what will I be

Will I be pretty, will I be rich

Here’s what she said to me.

Que Sera, Sera,

Whatever will be, will be

The future’s not ours, to see

Que Sera, Sera

What will be, will be.

When I was young, I fell in love

I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead

Will we have rainbows, day after day

Here’s what my sweetheart said.

Que Sera, Sera,

Whatever will be, will be

The future’s not ours, to see

Que Sera, Sera

What will be, will be.

Now I have children of my own

They ask their mother, what will I be

Will I be handsome, will I be rich

I tell them tenderly.

Que Sera, Sera,

Whatever will be, will be

The future’s not ours, to see

Que Sera, Sera

What will be, will be.

 

Song lyrics hereYoutube of song performance here

It’s a catchy song with a nice melody, and of course, it is just a song, no earth shattering philosophical revelations.  Thing is, it does encapsulate a couple of rather important ideas. From a parenting perspective.

First that children turn to their parents, as role models, as the source of reassurance and guidance, and more importantly for answers.

It also illustrates something fundamental, a question that children and young people yearn to have an answer to – What will I be?

Our children are to some extent what we, as their parents make them, for good or bad, which is of course subjective, individuals having their own measure of what constitutes good, and bad. The song was released in 1956, and is of its time, for those who take issue with the lines about “will I be pretty” or “I asked my sweetheart”.

It  is worth noting that in 1956 getting married and having children was the “norm” mothers staying in the home to raise those children was the “norm”.  Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique wasn’t published till 1963, the book that is “credited with sparking off second wave feminism” see here.

Today’s generation of 15 – 17 years olds were born between 1996 – 1998 and their parents, who lets just assume were about 25 when they were born, entered this world in 1988, and their parents in 1963, the year Friedan’s book came out.

So, roughly we could say that we now have two generations who came of age under the influence of feminism and for todays 15 – 17 year old’s whose grandparents and parents were living during what has been characterised as the second and third wave of feminism. We’ll leave “first wave feminism” till last.

Second Wave feminism.

“The second wave began in the 1960s and continued into the 90’s. This wave unfolded in the context of the anti-war and civil rights movements and the growing self-consciousness of a variety of minority groups around the world. The New Left was on the rise, and the voice of the second wave was increasingly radical. In this phase, sexuality and reproductive rights were dominant issues, and much of the movement’s energy was focused on passing the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing social equality regardless of sex.” See here.

“We then move on to the second wave of feminism, which emerged in the 1960s to 1970s in postwar Western welfare societies, when other “oppressed” groups such as Blacks and homosexuals were being defined and the New Left was on the rise. Second-wave feminism is closely linked to the radical voices of women’s empowerment and differential rights and, during the 1980s to 1990s, also to a crucial differentiation of second-wave feminism itself, initiated by women of color and third-world women.” See here

Third Wave feminism

 “We end our discussion with the third feminist wave, from the mid-1990s onward, springing from the emergence of a new postcolonial and post socialist world order, in the context of information society and neoliberal, global politics. Third-wave feminism manifests itself in “grrl” rhetoric, which seeks to overcome the theoretical question of equity or difference and the political question of evolution or revolution, while it challenges the notion of “universal womanhood” and embraces ambiguity, diversity, and multiplicity in transversal theory and politics.” And here.

“The third phase of feminism began in the mid-90’s and is informed by post-colonial and post-modern thinking. In this phase many constructs have been destabilized, including the notions of “universal womanhood,” body, gender, sexuality and hetreronormativity. An aspect of third phase feminism that mystifies the mothers of the earlier feminist movement is the readoption by young feminists of the very lip-stick, high-heals, and cleavage proudly exposed by low cut necklines that the first two phases of the movement identified with male oppression. Pinkfloor expressed this new position when she said; “It’s possible to have a push-up bra and a brain at the same time.” here.

So what is it that will influence the world our children will inherit? Is it to be a continuation of feminism that this present generation of boys and girls will be influenced by? Is feminism to be the dominant ideological influence that informs the majority of public policy?

What WILL our soon to enter the adult world, children and young people be? In particular what will your sons be, or allowed to be?

Well, with each succeeding generation the influence of feminism has grown, has impacted not just on how we think and feel about men, women, children and human relationships, but insinuated its influence into the very political structure of our societies and cultures.

Before we go on, you might have noticed that I skipped a “wave” the first wave –

First-wave feminism arose in the context of industrial society and liberal politics but is connected to both the liberal women’s rights movement and early socialist feminism in the late 19th and early 20th century in the United States and Europe. Concerned with access and equal opportunities for women, the first wave continued to influence feminism in both Western and Eastern societies throughout the 20th century.” See here.

and

“The first wave of feminism took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, emerging out of an environment of urban industrialism and liberal, socialist politics. The goal of this wave was to open up opportunities for women, with a focus on suffrage. The wave formally began at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 when 300 men and women rallied to the cause of equality for women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (d.1902) drafted the Seneca Falls Declaration outlining the new movement’s ideology and political strategies.” See here.

What is certain is that each generation, its mores, its thinking and its perspective impacts on the following generation. With each succeeding generation taking up the torch, so to speak, and running on ahead with it, making it their own.

It would be disingenuous to not acknowledge that with the birth of the information age, feminism has taken on a new energy, a more pervasive presence. Aligned to that is the rise of anti-feminism, of a growing counter/anti feminism known collectively as the Men’s Rights Movement.

We are now engaged in not just a battle to roll back and eliminate the insidious influence of feminism in our culture, but in a battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation. Unfortunately feminism has a bit of a head start on the Men’s Rights Movement and has, over the last two generations entrenched itself into positions of power and influence in politics, in education and in the judicial system. Particularly in education.

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? actually yes and no, before the dawn of the information age, most people got their knowledge about feminism from very limited sources, now, at the click of a mouse anyone can literally go back in time and see just exactly what those early feminists really said, just exactly how feminism has managed to insinuate itself into those positions of power and influence.  More importantly anyone can track and plot how feminism has corrupted, has poisoned and has lied its way down the generations and brought us to the point we are at now. 

If you believed that feminism was about “equal rights” or if you believe that feminism is a benign influence in our culture that just wants boys and girls to have the same life chances and to stand shoulder to shoulder and side by side as equals, you are sadly mistaken. So, let’s just take a look at the end result of what three generations of feminism has achieved, in particular in education.  Because, apart from parental influences the second most powerful influence on young boys and girls comes when they go to school. Because it will provide an answer to the question “What Will I Be? If that question is asked by a boy.  Therefore:

Let’s talk about “The Boy Crisis”

“For more than three decades Congress has answered, “How high?” to the feminist command to jump, and provided millions in funding for the Women’s Educational Equity Act (WEEA). If legislation passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee in July 2006 was any sign, this year will be no exception despite the fact that the only inequity girls experience is being superior to boys on nearly every indicator of academic excellence.”

Boys are in trouble. Yet despite glaring inequities, the tired myth of the short changed girl remains strong enough to seize another $2.9 million from taxpayers last year for an outdated federal program. Even more unfortunate is how the myth of inequity is wielded to oppose real reforms that help boys and girls.”  See here.

Who is to blame for this “boy crisis? Well this is what Christina Hoff Sommers believes.*

“The American thinker Christina Hoff Sommers, author of the book The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men, wrote that “the idea that schools and society grind girls down has given rise to an array of laws and policies intended to curtail the advantage boys have and to redress the harm done to girls.”

To Continue, Sommers in a scathing criticism lays the blame squarely at the feet of…….one particular feminist.

“Sommers traces it back to the work of one academic feminist, Carol Gilligan, a pioneer of “gender studies” at Harvard University. Gilligan’s speculations launched a veritable industry of feminist writers, citing little or no reviewable data, lamenting the plight of girls “drowning or disappearing” in the “sea of Western culture”

 “Most of Gilligan’s published research, however,” Sommers points out, “consists of anecdotes based on a small number of interviews.

“Sommers has identified the work of Gilligan and her followers as “politics dressed up as science” and points out that she has never released any of the data supporting her main theses. Nevertheless, the idea that girls are lagging behind boys continues to lead the discussion at nearly every level of public policy on education, and not only in the U.S.”

 “The global reach of American left-wing feminism has led to similar changes, and similar outcomes, in nearly every Western nation.” See here.

*Sommers is a feminist, or at least self-identifies as one, which I personally find a bit strange.

The answer for your son is that he will be:

Four times more likely to take his own life if suffering from depression.

”Although girls are more prone to depression, the suicide rate among teenage boys is four times higher. One theory as to why is that girls generally have more intimate friendships than boys do. In times of stress, girls can often lean on one another for emotional support, whereas boys tend to internalize their feelings” See here.

In extreme cases his rage and pain will explode.

Suicide is decreasing for our daughters as we increase our daughters’ ways of succeeding; it is increasing for our sons as we increase our sons’ ways of failing. Our schools are focused on raising the self-esteem of girls, on special programs for girls in math and science, on scholarships for females only. But it is our sons who are more likely to have ADHD, be loners, anti-social, and have run-ins with the law, like Robert Hawkins… Any parent knows that if we pay attention to one child and ignore the other, there is no question that the ignored child will act out; the only questions are how and when.” See here.

Your son is more likely to drop out, be medicalised/drugged, fall behind, and fail to get into college. 

“The statistics tell an alarming tale: According to the National Center for Educational Statistics:

Boys are 30 percent more likely than girls to flunk or drop out of school;

When it comes to grades and homework, girls outperform boys in elementary, secondary, high school, college, and even graduate school;

Boys are four to five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD);  

Women outnumber men in higher education with 56 percent of bachelor’s degrees and 55 percent of graduate degrees going to women.

According to the U.S. Department of Education:

Boys make up two-thirds of the students in special education and are five times more likely to be classified as hyperactive.

Parents of boys — stay calm! While the statistics are disturbing, they don’t describe every boy — or necessarily your boy — but they do raise concerns about many boys’ school experience. “The odds are that if you come from a family that values education, your boy will be successful in school and will go on to college. Most boys do. However, the average American boy is struggling in school,” advises Michael” Thompson.” See here.

In a side bar on the site that I took the above quote from is a question.

“Is It the Boy — Or is It the School?”

Joseph Tobin PH.D Professor of Early Childhood Education answered that question so:

“The culture of schools, especially for young children, is much more feminine than masculine. There are almost no male early childhood educators. Many teachers of young children find boys’ interests in violence, gross things, and bodily functions to be boring or stupid. We need to recognize that many of us have ‘internal prejudices’ against these interests. Just as we used to ask ourselves in the ’70s, ‘In what ways am I being sexist in my treatment of girls?’ we now have to ask, ‘In what ways are we disapproving of boys’ interests in our classrooms?’

Joseph Tobin, Ph.D.  Professor of Early Childhood Education, Arizona State University. Author, Good Guys Don’t Wear Hats” http://www.pbs.org/parents/raisingboys/school.html

Perhaps the question for your son, instead of What Will I Be?” should be “What Will I Be Allowed to BE?”

But more important is to do something now to change the toxic atmosphere that boys have to navigate in school and not accept  – Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) You could start with your own son. or godson, or nephew. Because…….it’s just a song and the future IS ours, maybe not to see, but at least to steer it away from making it unbearable for our sons, and all boys just setting on their future?

Stop Calling Yourselves Feminists…Sheesh!

I have a “laissez-faire” attitude to “nice feminists” or equity feminists, or whatever they wish to call themselves. Fine. After all, you are entitled to self- identify as anything that best fits your own leanings.

But, just yesterday I read a thread on A Voice for Men, by AnCap called “An Interview with Wendy McElroy on feminism in America 10-07-2013, 10:22 PM, who referenced an interview with Wendy McElroy.

In the interview Ms McElroy stated:

Gender feminism has lost the debate. Various and irresistible backlashes against it are in motion and the PC straight jacket will be cast off. The backlash forces include equity and individualist feminism, the men’s and the father’s movements, libertarianism and conservatism… The imminent death of gender feminism may not be apparent because the ideology managed to institutionalize itself, especially within academia and within the political structure.” [1]

Fair enough, I kind of like Ms McElroy, and I have quite a lot of respect for Christina Hoff Sommers, but it is of course qualified – why for the love of all that is holy are ye both still calling yourselves feminists?

In the interview, Ms McElroy was directly asked this question, and after she had clearly stated that “gender feminism has lost the debate”.

Ms. McElroy’s answer bugged me, it irritated me, it stuck like a splinter trapped just out of reach, she said and I quote:

I persist in the label for a few reasons. First, I want the roots of American feminism to be recognized and acknowledged; those roots were profoundly individualist and grounded in the early 19th century abolitionist (anti-slavery) movement. Happily, this is happening. Individualist feminism was unheard of in academia when I started to write but it is now generally recognized. I hope I have contributed to this evolution. Second, I like being part of a tradition that dates back to the classical liberalism of Mary Wollstonecraft. Third, I’m stubborn. [2]

Mary Wollstonecraft [3]

Now of all the stupid reasons to hold onto a label that you yourself have derided, nicely, but derided all the same – stubbornness has to be the stupidest.  It is childish and immature, as a teenager I embraced all sorts of “causes” as you do, but as maturity and knowledge and a more critical way of thinking developed I changed my opinion, I cannot now imagine stubbornly holding onto the position that the Bay City Rollers are THE best band in the whole entire universe and anyone that says otherwise is just plain mad!

Ms McElroy of course justifies this rather bizarre reason for “stubbornly” holding onto the label “feminist” by citing Mary Wollstonecraft 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797, as her exemplar. There is just one huge glaring problem with this.

Wollstonecraft was not a feminist, neither she nor anyone at that time would have called her a feminist, the word itself did not come into being or use till circa 1837, in spite of the feverish attempts by modern feminists to create an unending link that stretches back through the mists of time to any number of women, Wollstonecraft being one of their favourites.

“The term “feminism” originated from the French word feminism, first used in 1837 by the French philosopher Charles Fourier. Fourier wanted to improve the status of women in society, but he did not advocate equality between the sexes. The first English definition of “feminism” appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1895: “advocacy of the rights of women (based on the theory of equality of the sexes).” [4]

Mary Wollstonecraft was, if she could be labelled anything a Women’s Rights Advocate/Activist, a WRA or a WHRA. In fact her most famous work is called, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

From a historical perspective I have no problem with Mary Wollstonecraft, females were denied the opportunity to receive an education, which was her main focus. Fair enough. All children, whether male or female should have the right to an education. [5]

So, back to Ms. McElroy, she stated that “gender feminism” had lost the debate as a device to distance herself from I suppose “bad” feminism, the thing is ALL feminism IS gendered, the clue my dear is in the name. Feminine – ism.

If you believe that in some instances the basic human rights of women are being violated, as they are no doubt in some places, then does it not make more sense to call yourself a Woman’s Rights Activist?

Perhaps some inspiration might come from the Men’s [Human] Rights Movement, so named because it is Men’s Human Rights that are under attack.

The issue of Human Rights is not contingent on the sex of an individual, but on the deprivation of those rights of a specific class of persons – in this instance MEN. While I concede that the human rights of females in some places, places that feminism now has its beady eye on, are being violated, it must also be noted that MALE human rights are also being violated, in possibly different ways.  In that case it would be more appropriate to campaign/lobby as a Human Rights Activist, would it not?

With one very obvious caveat – drop the ethnocentricity, the faulty and arrogant imposition of one’s own cultural perspective onto cultures and/or societies you claim you wish to “save” to “enlighten” to “rescue” show some bloody respect for other peoples history and culture.

In the western hemisphere, comprising the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the EU, and anyone I have inadvertently left out, there is, and I can state this categorically, there is absolutely NO LAW, extant that deprives, minimises or violates ANY basic human right of women. NONE. Zilch. Zero. Quite the opposite in fact.

Therefore, not only has “gender feminism” lost the debate, but ALL feminism is redundant, unnecessary, flogging a dead horse, in fact feminism isn’t about “women’s rights” that battle is long over, it is about depriving MEN of the exact same rights, till men are comprehensively the most oppressed class of persons that have ever existed. In the western hemisphere that is.

So, call yourselves women’s rights activists, or human rights activists, even better, and campaign FOR Human Rights, for all human beings in those places where such activism is needed.

People like Wendy McElroy and Christina Hoff Sommers infuriate me, and invoke pity in me in almost equal proportions.  They have this bizarre belief that feminism can somehow be rehabilitated, if only it would go back to its historical roots. Hmmmm.

Why can they not see, or perhaps they can, and just cannot admit it, there is no “going back” there is nothing to go back too.

It’s a bit like a courtroom drama, where your witness has just dropped a big stinker and sunk your case, at the last minute an intrepid investigator rushes into court in a flurry, waving THE crucial piece of hitherto hidden “evidence” that saves the day!

Wendy, Christina, and all you other “nice feminists” wistfully gazing back through the mists of time at your heroines of “feminism” for goodness sake – ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

There is no new “evidence” there will be no rehabilitation, EVER. It. Is. Over.

Feminism is on life support now, a carcase being kept alive by artificial means, with the requisite greedy and avaricious relatives hovering over the body for the spoils. It time to pronounce ladies, pull the plug and bury it.  Forever.

By the way – feminism will die “intestate” so you all can spend the rest of your useless lives fighting over its “legacy”

Hint:  The legacy will turn out to be the biggest pile of…………………………….you ever saw! 🙂

Notes.

[1] Interview with Wendy McElroy on feminism in America Wendy McElroy · February 21,

http://lfb.org/today/interview-with-wendy-mcelroy-on-feminism-in-america/

[2] Interview with Wendy McElroy on feminism in America Wendy McElroy · February 21,

http://lfb.org/today/interview-with-wendy-mcelroy-on-feminism-in-america/

[3]Mary Wollstonecraft (/ˈwʊlstən.krɑːft/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children’s book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.”

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

[4] Our favorite “f-word”: The misconceptions of feminism in Uni and mainstream culture.

http://www.uni.illinois.edu/og/opinions/2011/11/our-favorite-f-word-misconception

[5] It should be noted that Wollstonecraft was no philanthropist:

“Wollstonecraft addresses her text to the middle-class, which she describes as the “most natural state”, and in many ways the Rights of Woman is inflected by a bourgeois view of the world.[97] It encourages modesty and industry in its readers and attacks the uselessness of the aristocracy. But Wollstonecraft is not necessarily a friend to the poor; for example, in her national plan for education, she suggests that, after the age of nine, the poor, except for those who are brilliant, should be separated from the rich and taught in another school.[98]”

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

© Anja Eriud 2013

Irish Feminism – An Introduction.

So, I went looking online for Irish feminists, ones who specifically address topics/subjects pertinent to Ireland.

Whether you put Irish feminists or Irish feminism into google you get the same results:

A WebsiteThe Irish Feminist Network. [1]

Which led to this blog – FEMINIST OPEN FORUM, a space for feminists to get together to share views and experiences. [2]

Which led to this postWomen and the Internet: A technology of liberation?  – No author, no date. [3]

Which I will be writing about in a separate post as the first in a series about Irish feminism.

Moving on.

A few articles.

100 years on, Irish feminists have plenty to be proud of: Opinion: The achievements of the 20th century were extraordinary, but today’s feminists have much to pursue: Sun, May 26, 2013, 06:00

by Catriona Crowe: [4]]

This Irish feminist zeitgeist is ready for the challenge, Gone is the complacency of the 90s – feminism has been spurred on by Occupy to fight Ireland’s unique equality battles:

by Emer O’Toole, theguardian.com Friday 8 June 2012 09.00 BST: [5]

Flowering feminism by Ivana Bacik, September 11, 2012 in VILLAGE Ireland’s political magazine. [6]

Another Blog – Feminist Ire, Not your fluffy feminism. [7]  

An Academic Article. – A Feminism of Their Own? Irish Women’s History and Contemporary Irish Women’s Writing: Mary Ryan, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick: [8]

A Registered Charity. – National Women’s Council of Ireland. Registered in Ireland Nos. 241868 and 255063. Registered Charity No. CHY 11760. [9]

You might be wondering, why am I drawing attention to feminist “stuff”?  Well, because by drawing attention to something you open up dialogue about it, you might just question what it is about.

Better to drag this stuff out into the open than let it just lurk on the internet unchallenged wouldn’t you say?

Thanks for stopping by.

Anja.

© Anja Eriud 2013

Find Them All Here.

[1] http://www.irishfeministnetwork.org/

[2] http://feministopenforum.wordpress.com/feminist-perspectives/

[3] http://feministopenforum.wordpress.com/feminist-perspectives/

[4] http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/100-years-on-irish-feminists-have-plenty-to-be-proud-of-1.1405707

[5] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/08/irish-feminist-zeitgeist-challenge

[6] http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2012/09/flowering-feminism-by-ivana-bacik/

[7] http://feministire.wordpress.com/

[8]  http://estudiosirlandeses.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Mary_Ryan.pdf

[9] http://www.nwci.ie/

Is it a Boy or a Child?

The title comes from Irish culture, and is what people used to ask when hearing that someone has had a baby, now and again I hear it used jokingly to illustrate the alleged invisibility and unimportance attached to girls in Irish society.  I’m not sure if there are variations of this in other cultures.

Until recently I didn’t pay much heed to the topic of transgender, trans-sexuality or intersexuality, my only real interest would have been in debunking feminist theories about gender in general. Unbeknownst to me and with apologies to the transgender and transsexual community I now admit to my ignorance and my failure to probe deeper into the topic of gender. The topic is much deeper, much more complex, and much more about “biology” than simply being about physiology, and most definitely not exclusively about gender as “roles” that people are either coerced into playing, or expected to play by society, as feminism would have us believe. That myth that can be resoundingly debunked, rejected and shown to be utterly false, as is the socialisation argument so beloved by feminists.

This is the one where feminists posit than men and women are neither inherently masculine nor feminine, that children are socialised into acting in supposedly feminine or masculine “ways” – with of the course the caveat that feminine traits are all good, and masculine traits are all bad.  Again, these “ways” of behaving are imposed from without, rather than being expressions of innate, biologically hardwired behaviour or perhaps instincts emanating from within.

Having said that, I am cognisant of the fact that for those who are conflicted, or confused, or in pain from living with an ambiguous sex, or feeling that they are “the wrong sex” talking about gender from a person who hasn’t “walked a mile in your shoes” may be insulting. I apologise in advance.

The title should really be –  “Is it a Boy or a Girl or a Child?”

What triggered my desire to investigate further and try to learn about, and understand this whole gender issue from a broader perspective was a post by user Maxx who brought this issue to the attention of AVfM members on the forum with this post “Why new law on ‘intersex’ children is good news for the MRM…”  and drew attention to recently enacted legislation from Germany in relation to those individuals who had been or will be born with the condition, or rather a complexity of conditions that led to them being labelled as Intersex at birth. In effect, in answer to the newly rephrased question, “is it a boy or a girl or a child” the answer is – a child. It should be noted that Lucian Valsan, AVfM’s European News Director and Maxx both raised some important points in relation to how feminism might try to hi-jack this issue to further their role as the “gender experts.”

But first – The Science.

This article explains Intersex from a medical perspective, this is a link to the Intersex Society of North America and this addresses intersex from a psychological perspective.

How does all this change how we think and maybe should start thinking about gender?

Well, first of all I believe we can throw out the “gender is a social construct” pile of hogwash. Am I saying that we should totally dismiss the idea of “gender roles” or ascribe certain ways of being, of acting, of identifying ourselves, as elements of expression of either our femininity or masculinity? Nope. What I’m saying is that from the basis of what sex we are at a genetic, cellular, biological level, we naturally gravitate towards being, believing, seeing and knowing ourselves to BE either male or female. Instinctively we behave in “ways” that are perceived as masculine or feminine, neither of which is inherently either good or bad, it just……is.

With the caveat that, both these “categories” or binaries can be expressed along a range, one can be a masculine female or a feminine male and still have the right to call oneself male or female, to be accepted as male or female, and to be acknowledged as male or female, and in some instances a combination of both.

To all intents and purposes feminism has driven us into a gender cul de sac, has so confused and muddied the waters, has deliberately and unwarrentedly “taken charge” of the narrative and insinuated its definitional framework onto the discourse that, gender/sex, masculine/feminine, male/female, man/woman could mean almost anything with the emphasis on the bad gender, placed on any of those words beginning with “M”.

This brings us to perhaps the most insidious aspect of feminism, and the most extreme proponents of the “gender is a social construct” theory. Radical feminists. The radical feminist stance that only “women born women” are women, speaks to the original title question – is it a boy or a child?  Radical feminism’s stance on this exposes their ignorance, their prejudice, their total inability to either understand what gender is or isn’t, and their lack of credibility or qualification to pontificate on “gender issues” or proclaim themselves as the “gender experts” par excellence”

I’m sure you all recall the radfem attempts to force the London Irish Centre to host their conference last year?  How their avowed stance is that “transwomen were not women” but rather men in disguise, and therefore the hated, despised and vilified “gender” and that only “women born women” were real women?

Some perspectives on gender here, here and here.

Here’s the thing – intersexuality works both ways – a person may physiologically appear to be male but is in actual fact, genetically and biologically female, but a person may also be physiologically female but……………..contra wise be male.

I’m sure that you have all spotted the glaring inconsistency in not just “mainstream” feminism’s theory of gender, but in radical feminism’s dogmatic and vitriolic position that only “women born women” are women.

If gender really is a “social construct” then what possible difference could it make if one was “born” or emerged from the womb physiologically identifiable as either male or female?  Surely it is how that child, that presumably blank slate is written on, by his/her socialisation that determines whether this child is male or female?

What about gender – v – sex (biologically speaking) how does that play out when there is ambiguity re “is it a boy or a girl or a child?” i’ve only begun to realise that the issue of “gender” is more multi-faceted and complex than I originally believed, but am now even more convinced that feminists should be let no where near it, and given no credibility for speaking about “gender issues” without going back to school and starting their “education” all over again. Possibly from kindergarten.

So, bearing all the science in mind, my question for feminists is this.

What’s it to be? Because you really cannot have it both ways. Oh wait…feminists…say no more.

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