Category Archives: Radical feminism

The problem with consent.

I have written a great deal about consent. The reason should be obvious: consent is a fundamental principle of ethics, and yet we seem to give it little respect, diluting the concept beyond all recognition. Some people also confuse voluntary agreement, or even just agreement, with consent (“yes is yes,” “enthusiastic consent”).

In a great entry on this very subject, Meghan Murphy points out the ridiculous argumentative load we put on consent:

Consent is the magical fairy dust which turns rape into sex; trafficking into free speech; and sexualized abuse, torture, and subjugation into sexual liberation — or so many people claim.

Indeed, for liberals (especially liberal feminists) and voluntaryists, “consent” seems to be the only standard of morality, but when they say “consent” they really mean “agreement.” There is a huge difference between the two: as I’ve written before, consent is a much more narrow concept than agreement. Saying “yes” does not equal consent. For instance, we recognize that sexual relations between a person in a position of authority and another person who is under their authority is immoral and improper, even if both said “yes.”

But beyond the sexual realm, which is the topic of Murphy’s entry, we can look at consent as a social problem. Consent is not a simple matter. For example, it is generally believed that the social order is in place based on the consent of the governed. Well, that’s obviously false: no one explicitly consents to whatever social order or structure is in place. But it is a fiction that serves the interests of those who are in power and those who benefit from that power, in short, those who already agree to the social order. It is those who disagree with the social order who are most likely to incur its wrath, but we then punish them in the name of that same social order they haven’t even consented to.

In short, there is an equivocation between “consent” and “compliance” or “submission.” The inferiors in a hierarchy are constantly asked to acquiesce to their own subjection. They do so because they have no other choice, as to refuse to acquiesce either means losing whatever place they already have, or losing face and risking punishment, if the former is impossible. But this is not “consent” on the same level as consent for an action between two superiors in a hierarchy. A worker agreeing to work late is not the same as two managers agreeing on a budget. A child agreeing to clean its room is not the same as two parents deciding where to go eat.

These are qualitatively different experiences, because inequality makes agreement more or less mandatory. As an inferior, you’re not really weighting alternatives, you’re managing expectations. Beyond being free from certain kinds of oppression and having certain opportunities, privilege also means not being pressured to say “yes” or to conform. It means being able to make up your own mind.

Consent as ideology cannot be distinguished from habitual acquiescence, assent, silent dissent, submission, or even enforced submission. Unless refusal or consent or withdrawal of consent are real possibilities, we can no longer speak of ‘consent’ in any genuine sense.
Dr. Carol Pateman, “Women and Consent,” Political Theory, vol. 8, p. 149.

There are some people, especially in BDSM, who believe that they can truly consent to submission. This is a bizarre concept, but it’s all part of the murky realm of “non-consensual consent” in BDSM, where consent is redefined and reframed so much that it basically reduces itself to a contract and a safe word. They are not “consenting” to submit any more than other inferiors consent to submit.

Another problem with consent in a context of inequality is that we only consider relevant consent to specific actions, not to the structures that mold those actions. We simply assume that the structures are valid and assume that any further issues are problems with the individuals involved (“bad apples,” “evil people,” “a twisted mind,” and so on). This is obviously closely related to vulgar individualism and the refusal to look at systemic issues, which I’ve written about extensively, so I won’t repeat myself here.

Consent does not exist for the inferiors, but for the superiors, who want to ensure obedience and maintain the illusion of consent. And the illusion of consent serves to justify ongoing oppression and exploitation. Pornography, prostitution, BDSM, black imprisonment, child control and abuse, workplace exploitation, and even war, are justified by a mechanical “yes,” a contract, or the belief in some hypothetical future consent.

Rebecca Bradley argues that there is no rape culture.

This entry is about a kooky “skeptic” blog called Lateral Truth, written by a woman who appears to be a female MRA, Rebecca Bradley. She pontificates on the supposed falsehoods of radical feminist “dogma” in this entry, which seeks to argue that there is no such thing as rape culture and people who say we live in a rape culture are religious fanatics who are taking over society and redefining the concept of rape in order to hurt men.

Yea… that’s a rational view of reality all right. I’m a little “skeptical” of Bradley’s interpretation of radical feminism as crazy fanatics (never mind her equation of radical feminism with SJWs, when they stand for diametrically opposite positions), when her entry is melodramatic and frankly a little unhinged. But I am not interested in her demonization of people who disagree with her because they’re actually sane, so let’s move on to her arguments.

Sacred Mantra: Don’t teach girls to avoid rape; teach men not to rape.

Blasphemy: The vast majority of men already know perfectly well not to rape, and anyway have been taught from toddlerhood that hurting girls is bad. The vast majority of men take about as dim a view of rape as most women do, regarding the act as abhorrent, and rapists as despicable. Most of the approximately 4-6% of men who do commit sexual assault will not be reached or changed by anti-rape education because they do not give a fuck about what society thinks of them: sociopaths and sexual predators come to mind. It’s like saying I need to train the local poodles not to eat my cats, because there are coyotes in the neighbourhood. What makes more sense is to take precautions against the coyotes.

It’s funny how she presents feminist principles as “sacred mantras,” as if they are nothing more than thought-stopping phrases. The concept that we should teach men not to rape is not a mantra, it is the result of a level-headed examination of the issue: blaming women for getting raped is victim-blaming, and, in most crimes, we blame the perpetrator for their crimes, not the victims. So why should we differ in the case of rape?

Bradley’s “blasphemy” is not exactly, well, blasphemous: it’s pretty ordinary pablum, actually, based on an extremely narrow concept of rape as being “some woman gets jumped in an alley by a stranger and gets penetrated.” Obviously the vast majority of men are aware that this is a bad thing. I have never seen any feminist deny that state of affairs, and to say otherwise is disingenuous. What men do not agree on are cases like spousal rape, drunk rape, rape under consent withdrawn, that sort of thing. Many men do think that they are entitled to have coerced sex with a woman if they’re married, if the woman is drunk, or if the woman previously consented and then says no. There are far more rapes in those categories than there are rapes of woman getting jumped in alleys. Of course, MRAs do not recognize these things are rape, so of course they think men know not to rape.

This also means that she believes men who rape must be predators and sociopaths, because only predators and sociopaths would not care about “not raping” according to MRA definitions. But again, this is based on such a narrow conception of rape that it is completely useless. Defining a word so it only includes those things you don’t like, and excludes things you do like, does not make an argument. The fact that she normalizes such a wide range of rapes as not-rape is an eloquent demonstration of the existence of rape culture.

Sacred Mantra: Teaching women to defend themselves or take precautions against assault amounts to “victim blaming.” “A woman should be able to walk stark naked down Main Street and not be raped.” She should have the right to wear exactly what she feels like, no matter how sexy or revealing, and not be raped. She should have the right to drink herself blotto in a singles bar, and not be raped. She should have the right to go wherever she pleases, even alone down the darkest alley in the dead of night, and not be raped.

Blasphemy: There are no such rights. Everybody, of whatever gender, needs to take some responsibility for their own safety. Sexual predators, indeed, are only one item on a menu of lurking hazards. A burly young man would be an idiot to go down some dark alleys at night, so why should a woman claim it as a right? (In fact, although violence against women holds centre stage, men are the ones who are far more at risk.) The behaviours cited above, to my mind, boil down to a demand for the right to make foolish choices without suffering consequences.

This is just imbecilic. Does she really believe that saying we have the right to free speech means that we can say anything we want without consequences?

Bradley does not seem to understand the concept of “right” at all, which makes it a rather poor decision on her part to address the issue. Having a right does not mean you are magically immune from consequences. Saying people (including women) have the right to be safe in their persons does not mean that we should expect no harm to ever come to them. A right is nothing more or less than a justification for violence: that anyone who breaks other people’s rights should be stopped, violently if necessary. It does not mean that no one needs to take responsibility for their own safety. Rights do not suspend the laws of causality.

When feminists say that women have the right to wear what they want, and go wherever they want, and not get raped, they do not mean that it’s not actually going to happen. Of course it’s going to happen, because we live in a rape culture. The fact that Bradley refuses to grant the right to women (like herself!) to be safe in their own persons is profoundly misogynistic. But she is an MRA, so it’s not too surprising that she’s a self-hating woman.

And of course men are not “far more at risk” of violence than women, unless you take violence against women out of your definition of “violence.” Again, in MRA world, women don’t matter when they’re victims, only when they’re perpetrators.

This is absolutely not to say that a woman who is sexually assaulted is at fault—terrible things can happen to anyone, no matter how careful they are; and being raped is a disproportionately high price to pay for doing something stupid or naive. Rather, the point is that exercising common sense can substantially reduce one’s chances of becoming a crime statistic. Why should recognizing that simple truth be considered “victim-blaming?” We should be teaching sensible precautions to both our daughters and our sons, not unrealistic expectations about how the world would treat them in a radfem utopia. Ironically, this sacred mantra disempowers women, removes their agency, and reduces them to objects whose sexual safety is in the hands of others: the men who are “taught not to rape.”

As I’ve noted before, female MRAs curiously fall back to feminist concepts on a regular basis: “this sacred mantra disempowers women, removes their agency” is the kind of nonsense a liberal feminist would say, and objectification is a concept used by all feminists, and yet a female MRA like Bradley doesn’t seem to mind using all these feminist concepts in her argument. To me, that would seem to invalidate her entire position, but what do I know?

Anyhow, her argument makes no sense because she fails to grasp that we already live in societies where women are bombarded with victim-blaming, and therefore her conclusion that we should keep victim-blaming women as well as teaching men is no alternative at all. Besides, she already doesn’t believe men want to rape women, so what would be the point of “teaching our sons” about not raping, according to her theory?

Her ignorance of political theory shows up here also, in that she equates basic rights with “unrealistic expectations.” Rights have nothing to do with expectations. I have no idea why she thinks she’s making a valid point by hammering her complete ignorance of what a right is.

Sacred Mantra: Women live in fear, since every man they encounter is a potential rapist (Schrödinger’s Rapist). No man can understand the burden of fear under which women daily suffer.

Blasphemy: Fear of men is another indispensable tool of rape-culture ideology. At one stroke, it seeks to demonize half of society, and turn the rest into quaking victims, flinching at every male-shaped shadow. While paying lip service to the truth that not all men are rapists, it foments mistrust of all men anyway: our fathers, brothers, sons, lovers, husbands. The truth is, there are times and places where a human of any gender would be wise to be afraid; women do not have a monopoly on either fear or risk. But be honest, sisters: do we really walk around under a burden of fear so crushing and pervasive that no man could possibly imagine it? Are we really that timid and fragile?

Bradley’s misogyny really shines in this answer. She calls women who are wary of men “timid and fragile,” “quaking victims,” as if a woman is either stupidly heedless of the risk that men pose to her, or she must be a barely functioning emotional wreck. All women are wary of men and are aware of the risk they run by being alone with men. This does not mean they are anything like what Bradley describes. I think women need a lot of bravery to live in a rape culture and affirm themselves, even on the Internet, in the face of threats of violence and harassment. I don’t think that makes them weak little flowers, I think that makes them stronger than men. We men don’t know how good we have it.

To me, Bradley appears as a simpleton who is denying the obvious. Of course every stranger is a potential rapist: you don’t know if a man is violent or not unless you know them (and not even then, in some cases). To say otherwise is just absurd.

Sacred Mantra: Believe the victim.

Blasphemy: This is, perhaps, the rape-culture doctrine inscribed in the largest letters on the radfem stone tablets. To question a woman’s claim that she has been sexually assaulted is held to be the deadly sin of rape apology, even a secondary rape. To ask for evidence is rape apology. To consider context is rape apology. Any response except unconditional belief for the accuser and vilification for the accused is rape apology. But it is fallacious in the very way it is framed: it assumes that the accuser is indeed a victim. It is also a clear violation of the presumption of innocence, and a potential life-wrecker for those who are falsely accused. In the rape-culture world, this does not matter. In the real world, it is not only unjust, it is the thin edge of the wedge.

Of course an accuser is a victim: that’s why they are accusing someone of a crime. It is also absurd for an MRA to argue that the presumption of innocence is being violated, when only 3% of rapists ever stand trial. That statistic is, again, evidence that we do live in a rape culture. But Bradley does not mention it, because it is damning. Instead, she wants you to attack the rape victim. MRAs have a burning desire to paint rape victims as liars, but they don’t have the same compulsion towards people who are victims of other crimes.

“Asking for evidence” is the standard ploy used by skeptics (real skeptics, not MRAs) to deny a rape accusation. Because we live in a rape culture, getting raped is considered an intimate and shameful crime, and few people wish to share details about it. This leads skeptics to say “look, there’s no evidence, so it must be a false accusation!”, as if someone saying they were raped is the same as a scientific claim. And if evidence is given, skeptics can use the redefinition game to argue that the rape wasn’t actually a rape. It’s a win-win situation for skeptics, a lose-lose situation for the victims.

Sacred Truth: Rape is devastation. There is nothing worse than rape that can happen to a woman—it is literally a fate worse than death, a trauma from which one can never fully recover. Survivors—or even “potential survivors” (women who have not been raped, but fear they might be eventually)—require special deference, support, safe spaces, and unconditional belief, and above all must never, ever be triggered.

Blasphemy: Some victims are devastated; others are not. There is a wide range of reactions to rape and sexual assault, from sustaining horrific emotional damage right down to being no more than disgusted or pissed off. Some women whose experience would qualify as rape under the very elastic current radfem definitions do not even consider themselves to have been raped. And by the way, many of us can think of a good many things we would consider to be worse, much worse, than being raped.

However, rape-culture ideology seeks to force all women who experience sexual assault into a uniform mold of victim/survivor – to tell them how damaged they are obliged to feel, to keep the trauma going, even to implant trauma that may not have arisen in the first place. This harms women. What better way is there to damage someone permanently than to tell her she can never recover?

One of the signs of a rape culture is the trivialization of rape, such as calling the concept of rape “elastic” (and it snaps whenever the MRA wishes to defend some act of rape), equating people’s perceptions molded by a rape culture with universal truth, and downplaying the effects of rape. Of course women will be affected by rape in different degrees.

The “sacred truth” presented by Bradley is nothing more than a straw womyn. Again she presents an equation of feminism and intelligence with weakness. No survivor of rape deserves to be treated in this way, and for Bradley to do so is offensive. Of course she doesn’t give a shit, otherwise she wouldn’t have written it in the first place. But again she presents the alternative as being stupid and ignoring any harm (if you don’t believe you were raped, you weren’t raped! if your rape wasn’t the worse thing that ever happened to you, then you’re okay!). This is, to say the least, a false dilemma.

The rational, feminist response would be to say that women deserve to be aware of rape and deserve to control their lives, that rape is rape regardless of what you feel, that rape should not be trivialized, that victims of rape should be free to heal however they wish, and that the memory of a rape is permanent, but the trauma is not necessarily so. Either way, women have good reason to be wary of men, something which Bradley seems to outright deny.

Sacred Mantra: Rape is about power, not sex.

Blasphemy: Sometimes it’s about power—sometimes it’s just about sex. Other times it may be about revenge, mixed signals, or failures in communication, particularly as the definition has expanded to include contacts that were honestly perceived as consensual at the time. Sexual assault is a complex behaviour with a whole range of proximate causes.

Once again Bradley repeats arguments made by feminists, in this case “individualist feminist” Wendy McElroy, on the supposedly multiple, complex causes of rape. As I pointed out in my entry “Wendy McElroy propagating myths about rape,” individual rapes may have all sorts of motivations, but the root cause of rape is power, the power that men have to enact their sense of entitlement on the body of women. In short, patriarchy.

Of course, anti-feminists and pseudo-feminists want you to believe that rape is complicated and not about power because they deny the existence of the patriarchy, and therefore must explain what rape is really all about. But their answers are never very convincing. Attacks against other may have all sorts of sources, such as revenge or need, but if that’s also true in the case of rape, then why do most rapes involve men raping women?

Bradley only obscures matters by portraying rapists as being sometimes merely confused or mixed up, as if it’s difficult to perceive whether one’s actions are consensual or not. Men know when they are inflicting non-consensual sex. Sometimes they do it on purpose or because they don’t care. Sometimes they do it because they are pornsick bastards who objectify women all the time and refuse to stop because they think their orgasms are more important than human rights. Are there any men out there raping women out of a honest mistake? Maybe it’s happened once or twice, but to bring it up in a discussion about rape is laughable, and offensive to all victims of rape (many of which were told “oh, he must have misunderstood” or “but he’s a nice guy, he wouldn’t do that”).

Why is this important? Because according to rape-culture doctrine, rape is always a political act that serves to put women in their place. Every rapist, from the serial shit who slips rohypnol into his date’s drink, to the fumbling teenager with screaming hormones in the back seat of his car, is apparently using his penis as a weapon to enforce rape culture and deepen the oppression of women. That is insane. Really—to paraphrase Freud—sometimes a penis is just a penis.

And here we have the stereotype again of the confused, “honest” rapist (teenagers with screaming hormones can’t be held accountable for their actions, as long as they’re men, I guess).

Since MRAs have reality upside-down, it’s not too surprising that the truth appears “insane” to them. But to be clear, radical feminists are not saying that every rapist is conscious of his place in the social order and coerces women out of political will. The rape culture is not a close-knit conspiracy where every rapist receives marching orders. If your cartoon view of the world includes the notion that social order must come from literal orders, then yes, you’ll think any such view is insane.

But that’s not how reality works. The rape culture exists because of gender roles and the male entitlement to sex that is derived from those gender roles. Men don’t coerce sex or sexually assault because they are anti-feminist foot soldiers (with some minor exceptions from the PUA camp, who do rape out of ideology): men coerce sex or sexually assault because they were socialized as men (and in many cases, pornsick men).

The fact that we live in a rape culture does not mean that all men are rapists, or that only men are rapists (despite constant protests to that effect). Again, this would only make sense if the rape culture was not a, well, culture, and instead was some kind of militia or political ideology. A culture represents, amongst other things, a typical way of understanding reality or dealing with reality. Gender roles and gender socialization are inscribed within this concept. When we say culture, we also imply counter-culture. There are men and women who refuse to submit to their roles in the rape culture. But that does not erase the existence of the culture.

Wendy McElroy propagating myths about rape.

I have written many entries in the past about Wendy McElroy’s bizarre brand of “individualist feminism” (which, as far as I know, has not been adopted by anyone else) and how irrational it is (see for instance Wendy McElroy: “pornography is liberatory” and Wendy McElroy doing a terrible job of defending pornography). But McElroy does a lot more scummy things than just defend pornography. Sometimes she also defends the patriarchy, such as in this imbecilic article from early 2015 entitled Three Myths of Rape That Need Sunlight, where she “analyzes” Susan Brownmiller’s arguments from Against Our Will.

What are these “three myths” that should be exposed? Here they are:

1. rape is a part of patriarchy;

2. men have created a ‘mass psychology’ of rape; and,

3. rape is a part of ‘normal’ life.

If you wonder why anyone who calls themselves a “feminist” would disagree with these three points, you have to remember that McElroy is not a feminist but an “individualist feminist.” “Individualist feminism” is a contradiction in terms: feminism is a systemic analysis and individualist analysis is the diametric opposite of systemic analysis. In practice she is a pretty straightforward female misogynist.

So here is her attempt at “debunking” these “myths.”

Rape is a part of patriarchy.

Regarding patriarchy, suffice it to say, those who promote the concept need to ignore many facts. For example, men and women are victims of domestic violence at virtually the same rate; men constitute the vast majority of prisoners; if prison populations are included, men and women are probably raped at virtually the same rate; they are far more likely to be murdered or die in war; anti-male violence by women is accepted in the popular culture and often causes laughter.

You can see right away how her position reduces itself to mainstream misogyny, as she uses some MRA myths here. In fact I have addressed two of these in this debunking of an MRA list. I honestly can’t believe that she’d pull the old “far more likely to be murdered or die in war,” which is just straightforward nonsense. As for domestic violence, women are almost four times more likely to be the victim of some kind of assault by a partner during their lifetime (see for example here). Women are also twice as likely to be killed by their partners than men.

As for the other two, they may very well be right, but how they demonstrate that rape is not patriarchal in nature is a mystery to me. She certainly doesn’t provide any clarification. Men constitute the vast majority of prisoners because they commit the vast majority of violent crimes, and that is a direct result of gender roles. Anti-male violence is considered funny because of, again, gender roles: women are supposed to be the victims, not the perpetrators, and showing men receiving violence from women is incongruous, therefore funny.

All of this is patriarchy in action. But because her worldview is profoundly misogynistic, McElroy thinks any situation where men lose out is evidence that there is no patriarchy. This is a common belief in MRA circles as well. But the fact is that gender roles do have as consequence men losing out in some ways. There is nothing mysterious about the fact that socializing an entire group of people with the belief that they should be aggressive, and are innately violent, may someday be bad for those people.

Her complete lack of evidence makes the next sentence rather puzzling:

If not patriarchy, what does explain rape?

But she has not disproved the proposition at all. If anything, she’s provided evidence for it!

Well, you can’t expect any sort of rationality from misogynists, so let’s keep going:

People murder for money, for love, out of jealousy or patriotism – the rationalizations go on and on. Rape is every bit as complex. Men and women rape because of sexual hunger, a need to prove themselves, hatred of women or a desire for revenge, as a political statement or from peer pressure (as in gang rapes). Men and women rape from a constellation of complicated motives, which become further blurred when there is alcohol or drug use.

The causes that she lists are all superficial causes. Of course such causes are important to understand any single act of rape, but they will not explain to you why rape itself exists, or why, in the overwhelming majority of cases, it is men who rape women and not vice-versa. In order to understand this, you need to look at the root causes, which is what radical feminists are interested in (radical comes from latin radix, meaning root).

McElroy has already rejected the radical answer, which is the patriarchy. She will not, and cannot, consider this because her intent is to belittle feminist answers by portraying them as simplistic and emphasizing the myriad of motivations behind human actions. Of course human actions can have a myriad of reasons, but that doesn’t mean all reasons are equal. Some explain more than others.

For instance, why do men believe that consent becomes unimportant in certain situations? Why are men more sexually aggressive than women? Why do men feel entitled to claim and own female sexuality? The answer to these questions lies in the premises of the patriarchal worldview, and without it the whole thing doesn’t make sense.

She’s also using “men and women” as a way to portray rape as a gender symmetrical crime, like domestic violence. But in this case it’s far, far more inappropriate and, frankly, offensive. 93% of rapists are male. This is not a “men and women rape men and women” situation, this is a “men rape men and women” situation. We need to name the oppressor in order to get an accurate global picture of what we’re talking about. McElroy is, again, using an MRA strategy (“what about teh menz??”). Usually it’s simply a misdirection, but in this case it’s manipulation. It’s just plain dishonest.

Men have created a ‘mass psychology’ of rape.

She does use the term “rape culture” once in this section, but she seems so determined not to do so that it just looks weird. What’s the big deal in saying “mass psychology of rape” instead of “rape culture”? It’s just pointlessly longer.

Anyway, McElroy spends the first paragraphs here arguing against the specifics of Brownmiller’s argument. This does not interest me in this entry, as I am only interested in her own arguments. She does this by first complaining about the established rape statistics (because there’s no fact established enough that a misogynist can’t complain about it) and then says this:

But let me take the inflated statistics at face value. A rape rate of 25% means that 75% of women will not be raped. Even assuming a one-to-one correlation between victims and rapists – that is, assuming no serial rapists – this means 75% of men will never rape. Indeed, many men would come to the defense of an attacked woman.

The foregoing math may seem obvious. But the claim of a “mass psychology of rape” or a “rape culture” makes it necessary to state the obvious.

This is her entire argument, in context. This is the way she “debunks” the mass psychology of rape. Presumably her reasoning here is that, for a mass psychology to exist, 100% of people must act on it. Or perhaps only 50%. She does not tell us this or, really, anything else relevant. Just that 25% of rapists=no mass psychology.

First of all, the percentage of male rapists is lower than 25%, and as she points out this is because of serial rapists. But what in the hell does that have to do with anything? She’s trying to debunk a point about psychology by discussing a specific action. The fact that most men are not (declared) rapists does not mean they don’t have a patriarchal psychology. Most anti-abortion advocates don’t kill doctors: does that mean they’re not really anti-abortion? Most introverts don’t become hermits: does that mean they’re not really introverts?

This is a simple category error and McElroy should be ashamed of putting forward clearly invalid arguments. Did she really think we wouldn’t notice? She could have argued that, for example, the patriarchal psychology would push a lot more men to rape than there currently are, or something. It would have been wrong, but she could have at least tried. But she didn’t even try. And then she has the gall to say that she’s “stating the obvious”! Yes, she is stating the obvious, but it has nothing to do with what she set out to prove.

Rape is a part of ‘normal’ life.

As a response, she offers the following:

In her book Sexual Personae, the self-identified ‘dissident’ feminist Camille Paglia offered a more plausible relationship between society and rape. Paglia writes, “Generation after generation, men must be educated, refined, and ethically persuaded away from their tendency toward anarchy and brutishness. Society is not the enemy, as feminism ignorantly claims. Society is woman’s protection against rape.”

After laughing your ass off from McElroy calling Camille Paglia a “dissident,” you are probably astonished that she’s actually pushing forward the essentialist theory that men are naturally meant to rape, and that they must be “persuaded away” from doing it. Like most MRAs, she believes that men are inherently “brutish” and that we must adapt to that fact. This is why I say that MRAs hate men far more than any radfem I’ve ever read does. Their views on humanity are perhaps the bleakest ever adopted, on part with the most misanthropic antinatalists there are.

But this is the natural consequence of rejecting the existence of the patriarchy. If we posit that there’s no worldview acquired through male socialization that predisposes men to violence, then the violence must be innate. There really is no other way to go (apart from outright denying the existence of male violence, but few are insane or desperate enough to go that route yet).

As such, this is not an argument. She’s simply repeating (through Paglia) her prejudice against men. I am perfectly willing to concede that McElroy believes that men are brutes who must be trained not to rape women, but a prejudice is not an argument. All it does is mark you as a bigot. If anything, it tells you that the person talking has long left the realm of argumentation and has gone straight into MRA Fantasy Land (opening soon in North Carolina, attractions include the MGTOW Roller Coaster that flings you into space, the Alpha/Beta Male Hammer Game, and Mantears drink stalls).

Since McElroy has failed miserably at disproving these “myths,” and frankly barely even tried, let’s talk about her own myths. Conveniently, she lays them down for us:

Rape is not a part of patriarchy; like all crime, it is a lamentable choice that some people make for their individual reasons. Men have not created a ‘mass psychology’ of rape; PC feminists have created a mass fear about rape. Rape is not a part of ‘normal’ life; normal life helps to protect men and women against rape.

These are all status quo myths. The only possible reason why anyone would push this line is to defend the status quo and make people not look at the reality of the situation. It’s the standard liberal, voluntaryist position that actions exist in a vacuum and that there’s no ideology out there guiding anyone’s actions. All that exists are “choices” (a nonsense concept) and wrong-headed people who overreact to those “choices.” There are no victims, just some “lamentable” (who is doing the lamenting?) “choices” dictated by human nature, so we can’t really do anything about it anyway. Society is here to protect you anyway (not sure how society is supposed to correct human nature, I thought that these anti-feminist types believed that was a communist thing).

So stop thinking. Stop confronting. Society is just a loose collection of individuals who are not linked in any way whatsoever. You are just a leaf blowing in the wind. Relax and stop thinking about rape already, you “PC feminist,” whatever that means (what the hell does political correctness have to do with being against rape or against the Patriarchy?).

McElroy’s views are disconnected from reality, but this is not entirely surprising: she started by rejecting the root cause of rape, and ends by telling us that there is no root cause of rape, only “choice.” The entire article is one big circular argument, circling the drain of liberal feminism… I’m sorry, “individualist feminism.”

So to debunk her own myths:

Rape is a lamentable choice.

No, rape is not a “lamentable choice,” because choice-talk is logical nonsense. Anyway, crime is not, by and large, the result of individual reasons but of social conditions. Inequality of money and power, population density, gun control laws, the intensity of gender roles and gender policing, all contribute to crime rates. In the case of rape, as I already pointed out, the patriarchy is a major cause, because rape (with its gender asymmetrical features) has as necessary preconditions a disrespect for consent and socialization of gender roles (such as the male entitlement to women’s bodies and sexuality).

PC feminists have created a mass fear about rape.

Apart from the bizarre label of “PC feminists,” which is semantically meaningless, I agree with McElroy’s statement. Feminists have created a mass fear about rape, as they should have. Rape is a profound social problem that reaches down to its foundations (socialization of children, widespread misogyny). We should fear it on a mass scale and want to solve the problem.

But this is quite apart from the fact that she denies the existence of a mass psychology of rape. Liberal feminists have to deny or trivialize the existence of socialization because it’s the clinching proof that their “choice” and “self-identification” dogmas are nonsense. And yet male socialization does exist and it does create a mass psychology of rape, heavily supported by the media and common misogynistic beliefs.

Normal life helps to protect men and women against rape.

This is a weird reformulation of Paglia’s terrible quote: she was talking about “society,” not “normal life.” I’ve already addressed Paglia’s quote above, so I will not repeat myself here. But I will say that it takes quite a lot of willful ignorance to state that normal life or society protects women against rape. Certainly there is public opposition to rape- within a very narrow definition of rape. But how are women protected from rape? Certainly they are not as much at risk than when they were owned by one man, but the fact that society does not support rape quite as much as it used to does not mean women are being protected. It only means that society is not putting as much pressure on women to accept rape as it used to.

Is rape a part of normal life? I don’t know why anyone would deny it unless, again, there’s a case of willful ignorance. Of course rape is part of normal life, it happens all the time as a part of people’s normal lives. McElroy clearly lived in a delusional state and it’s just weird to even have to point this sort of obvious things out. Funnily enough, she made the same comment about her weird “75% of men are not rapists, therefore there is no mass psychology of rape” argument, which is not obvious at all.

Does “transgender” make any more sense than “transracial”?

The case of Rachel Dolezal has put the concept of “transracial” at the forefront of people’s imaginations. Almost everyone has rejected it with laughter or disgust. It seems absurd to people that a person could claim to be of one race while actually being another. She has been quickly associated with blackface and minstrel shows for her behavior.

Self-identification was clearly rejected in this case: people do not care at all if she claims to “really” be a black person. But this is strange given that self-identification is the banner of the liberals, their rock. Where are all the liberals defending Dolezal’s “agency”? Why do they defend transgender people but not transracial people? Try as I may, I can’t come up with any other, non-circular, answer to that question than: because explicit racism is no longer acceptable, but explicit sexism still is. They care about black people’s integrity but they don’t give a shit about women’s integrity.

The challenge that this case has issued to trans theory is this: if a transracial person self-identifies as a different race, and a transgender person self-identifies as a different gender, and this is the only relevant fact in both cases, then why should we treat the latter any differently than the former? Why aren’t liberals treating transgender people like bigots and ridiculous clowns like they did Dolezal? Or treating transracial people with the respect they give transgender people, as in this satirical article?

Is it that race is somehow more “real” than gender? No, they are both social constructs. Although they are both constructed partially on the basis of biological observations, there is no biological reality behind either of these concepts: there is no more scientific evidence for the proposition that people of African descent are inherently lazy or violent than there is for the proposition that female humans are inherently emotional or bad at mathematics.

A trans theorist may argue that it’s sex we should be talking about, not gender, and that sex is a social construct. I’ve already debunked this latter brand of nonsense. In a great entry, Jonah Mix argued that self-identification makes even less sense for sex than it does for race. There are many more races than there are sexes, and there are far many more “biracial” people than intersex people; these are the two main criteria that trans theorists use to argue that sex is a construct and that we should respect people’s self-identification, and yet race fills the profile much more than sex.

I will add that you could replace “sex” with “gender” and still arrive at the same result. There are more races than there are genders (liberal make-believe genders notwithstanding), and there are far more “biracial” people than transgender people or non-binary genders from other cultures.

Is it that transwomen are “really” women “deep down” in their brain? I reject this position, because there’s no such thing as “being a woman” or “being a man” apart from the society that imposes it. I don’t dispute that some of these people have a very real issue (body dysphoria). At least, I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt. But why should we not also give the benefit of the doubt to Dolezal? Or does the concept of “body dysphoria” only extend to the genitals? That’s a pretty limited “body.” Why can’t Dolezal feel “deep down” that she’s really a black person?

The concept seems absurd, because it assumes that there is a “real race” in your brain somewhere that is dissociated from your ethnicity and actual body, disconnected from the reality of who they are. But that’s also what liberals say about transwomen (just replace “ethnicity” with “sex” and “race” with “gender”).

A long time ago, long before Rachel Dolezal, a kerfluffle was happening on tumblr about people (probably anti-SJW trolls, now that I think about it) identifying as trans-racial. Tumblr was up in arms about the issue, and I remember one post (probably long lost at this point) explaining how identifying as trans-racial was problematic because a white person hasn’t had the same lived experiences as a POC. “Yeah!” I said, “A white person hasn’t grown up experiencing racism! And besides, it’s really racist to say, ‘I like rap music and soul food, so I must be black’!”

But then I followed that line of thought. A trans woman hasn’t had the same lived experiences as a cis woman, I thought. She didn’t grow up experiencing misogyny. And isn’t it kind of sexist to say, “I like make-up and dresses, so I must be a woman”?

Trans theory is profoundly sexist, in that it reinforces genderist stereotypes (a child who loves pink must be a girl, a child who likes sports must be a boy, and so on) and demands that people self-identify as their “real gender.” This seems to be very hard for liberals to understand. However, they have no problem understanding how Dolezal “feeling black” on the basis of her liking of black culture and social activism (things which are much less offensive than the reasons behind men becoming transwomen) is racist.

Liberals are moral cowards who are perfectly willing to stab women in the back for the benefit of violent, entitled men. We already know this. The fact that they are not insane enough to believe in transracialism proves the sexist nature of their duplicity.

The masculinists’ hatred of men.

There is a paradox lying at the center of Men’s Rights Advocacy, and masculinity in general: while claiming that men are the superior gender, they hate men in a principled and systematic way. Not only is masculinity defined in a way that displays a complete lack of leadership quality, but they constantly endeavor to repeat to us that men cannot help their violent impulses, men cannot control their libido, men cannot stop themselves from raping women, men cannot stop beating women who cheat on them, and so on.

They treat men with such contempt that they become equated with little more than dumb brutish beasts. Not even the most man-hating radical feminist hates men with such passion.

Women, on the other hand, are portrayed in a diametrically opposite manner. We are told again and again by these fellows that women are responsible for every single thing that happens to them, because they can change their behavior (unlike men, who are unthinking, unfeeling beasts). We are told that “proper” women are a “civilizing” influence on the violent men (who are inherently uncivilized).

The paradox exists because gender rhetoric serves the purpose of rationalizing and naturalizing men’s domination over women, which is violent and insane, therefore they have no choice but to rationalize and naturalize violence and insanity by framing it as a natural attribute of men, a necessary attribute of men, and a desirable attribute of men; at the end of the magic act, violence becomes “competition” and insanity becomes “rationality.”

The obsession about competition is a peculiarly American one, because no other society in the world is focused on competing to the point of it being virtually a national religion. But the fact that Americans are particularly competitive, and that other societies do not exhibit this behavior, points to the fact that competition is not universal and therefore cannot be an innate trait. Because most MRAs are American, they obviously do not see any problem with labeling competitive urges as innate. In fact, most of us, regardless of gender, do not like to compete unless it’s been beaten into us by our parents and by society.

House Mouse Queen posted a comment she received on her blog which provides a clear statement of what masculinity is all about. I wanted to use this as the centerpiece because it is one of the clearest statements of the MRA/masculinist hatred of men I’m talking about. Its writer may be an extremist but the ideas expressed therein are the same as those of most masculinists, just expressed with more honesty than most would find necessary.

You have to realize that boys will never not be competitive… Men do not want peace, equality, or social harmony. Men do not even crave deep friendship. Men replace their social minds with a penchant for throwing spears really well. Men don’t sit around and build society. They build the buildings society (women) inhabits and then go leave to kill something. Then they kill other men so their preferred women can have more houses to live in. They are violent, and they will always fight among themselves. They are born like that, and they LIKE it.

First we get a reframing of violence as competition, but there’s really no need for that since our writer is all too honest about the violence part.

Then we get the puzzling statement that men don’t have a social mind. This can hardly be interpreted as anything but an anti-evolution statement: humans, like all primates, evolved as a social species, and anyone who denies this must also deny that we are connected to other primates. If men are not social animals, then they are not human but something else entirely (and in the thoughts of anti-evolutionists, something inferior, since they believe humans are at the apex).

Now, I know the writer states later on, in what is by far my favourite line, that “men are basically dogs.” But even that does not work, since wolves are notoriously social animals as well.

Our writer asserts that not only are men violent killers, but they like it. That’s not the way you describe someone you like, or even someone you have no opinion about; this is a description of a sociopath, pure and simple. We would say things like this about the worse scum that has ever existed. And yet, according to him, this is what all men are like.

It sounds great at first – men without dominance struggles! So much suffering eliminated! Mens lives will be better! But it’s unattainable unless you pump male fetuses full of so much estrogen that they will develop into women, but with the wrong set of gonads.

This leads us to the delicious irony of what the paradox implies. If men really are innately sociopathic because they are males, then the only logical solution is to eradicate all males. Note that neither I nor any radical feminist I’ve ever read (even on blog comments) agree with this conclusion, but it is the only possible conclusion to the masculinist premises.

Of course masculinists themselves do not agree with this conclusion, but what else do they have to offer exactly? Basically nothing.

Men must be allowed to fight and be “toxic”, or else they will truly become toxic. They must have safe outlets for competition, hatred, and superiority, and those outlets must be fair so nobody ends up as a suicidal elliot rogers seeking revenge for being born “inferior” while trying to believe themselves superior.

Here the concept of “toxic masculinity” rears its ugly head. It makes little sense if taken as a self-contained concept, but it’s not hard to understand why the concept exists: if there is such a thing as “toxic masculinity” then there must also be such a thing as “healthy masculinity,” which leads more easily into a reformist (atomistic, liberal, anti-radical) position.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as “toxic masculinity” because I don’t believe there is such a thing as “healthy masculinity.” Individual men can be violent or caring, but masculinity is always unhealthy precisely because it is defined as violent, as a contrast to women who are portrayed as caring, with violence being seen as dominant and caring being seen as subordinate. I believe that the author of this screed has a toxic mentality, the mentality of masculinism, which he shares with all genderists out there no matter their allegiance.

The very idea that men are born violent sociopathic dogs directly contradicts this view that their energies can be channeled into “safe outlets.” If men really were born innately violent, society would be powerless to change this fact in any way, and any “safe outlet” would be a miserable failure. If men can be changed, and masculinity is not universal, then this leads us to the conclusion that it is a social construct.

Men are basically dogs. When you adopt a husky, it will destroy your house if you do not give it an outlet for constant play. A man is a dog. The dog needs to be walked.

Is this the kind of thing you say about someone you don’t utterly despise?

Skipping over the bizarre and illogical assertions about lower testosterone leading to even more violence (which makes no sense even from an MRA point of view), we end on an even more bizarre note where the writer seems to agree with the SCUM Manifesto (??). These are definitely not typical masculinist views, and therefore are beyond the scope of this entry.

The first question that comes to mind is, why did this writer leave such a comment on a feminist blog? Obviously, as House Mouse Queen posted, it is a mansplanation. But why post it on an old entry on a feminist blog of all places? I think this may be the writer trying to reinforce his own belief in the face of cognitive dissonance. But without knowing who the author is, there’s no point in psychoanalyzing.

Perhaps a more interesting question is, why do men trot out these tired rationalizations in the first place? Daily we are confronted with the end result of men’s violence against women. 98.8% of people arrested for rape are men. 97% of domestic abusers are heterosexual men. 88.2% of people arrested for homicide are men. Ridiculous claims about false rape accusations aside, it’s hard to argue with such figures.

In the light of the violence inflicted on women by men around the globe, these rationalizations are particularly heinous. We don’t find them particularly convincing when individuals bring them up, either: “I couldn’t help myself” doesn’t exculpate anyone from responsibility, it just demonstrates that they lack self-control and therefore are even more dangerous than previously thought.

Likewise, when the person who oppresses you tells you that he must be allowed to keep beating you up because he’ll kill you if you try to run away, that’s not exactly a statement of fact, more of an intimidation tactic. Its role is to keep women in their place and accept the present state of affairs. The message they’re sending is, accept the sociopathic behavior that comes along with masculinity or it’s gonna get a lot worse.

But suppose we take seriously the proposition that masculinity is innate. If that’s true, then why try to change anything about it? One of the points most often raised against MRAs is that, for all their rhetoric about human rights, they seem singularly uninterested in activism. But, seen in this light, it’s not surprising at all. They claim to be against the draft, but why be against the draft if men are naturally meant for war? They claim to be against prison rape, but why be against prison rape if men are naturally meant to rape?

I’ve raised the same criticism against evolutionary psychology: if one seriously believes that gender and race hierarchies are innate, then there is no point in fighting against them because no remotely reasonable solution exists. Within such a worldview there is no solution, there is no exit, all that’s left is to wallow in our own prejudice and personal misgivings, which is what they do.

Another way of seeing this rationalization is that this is perhaps a depraved extreme of the incompetence argument, which portrays men as incapable of doing something (such as housework) and making women responsible for it. Women are always expected to pick up the slack (no pun intended).

Masculinity is a socially transmitted disease. Its effects are widespread and it provides great breeding grounds for sociopathy and slavish obedience. Fortunately, we also know it is a curable disease. To think otherwise is a not only a failure of the imagination, it’s also a failure of reasoning.

[Feminists] are the only group that really believes in your [men’s] humanity. The feminists are the only group that believes that you are not born rapists, you are not born johns, you are not born pimps or batterers. In fact we believe you are born with the full human capacity that women are born with. And we believe, unlike the pornographers, that you are not life support systems for erect penises.
Gail Dines

What the fuck is “gender equality”?

If you’re at all interested in feminism on the Internet, you know that a lot of people equate feminism with “gender equality.” They point to things like unequal pay, discrimination in employment and sexual harassment to argue that what we need is more equality between men and women.

This of course is a surprising statement to those of us who think that feminism is about, you know, identifying the source of women’s oppression and bringing it to light, cure the disease, not just treat the most superficial wounds.

And then we are told that we are supposed to “respect their position” because they are women, all women have the right to define themselves however they want, and we have the duty to buy it wholesale.

But even if we accept the whole “gender equality” concept, it still elicits a lot of questions. For one thing, which men should women be equal with? Each gender contains its own gradations: a gay man is “less of a man” than a heterosexual man, a prude is “less of a man” than a sexually active man, a frail or weak man is “less of a man” than a strong, muscular man, and so on. For every attribute of masculinity there are men who fulfill it more or less, and they are “more or less of a man.”

So if we have gender equality, which women would be equal to which men? Would a lesbian be equal to a gay man, or to a heterosexual man? Would a butch woman be equal to a bodybuilder dude, or to an effeminate man?

There’s a [problem] with the equality definition. Even if we could figure out which men are the ones to whom women should be equal, that way of putting it suggests that the point of feminism is somehow to get women to measure up to what (at least some) men already are. Men remain the point of reference; theirs are the lives that women would naturally want. If the first problem with the equality definition is “Equal to which men?” the second problem could be put as “Why equal to any men?”

Of course these questions are stupid. And in issues like equal pay or harassment, we just want everyone to be paid and treated the same. There are no gender considerations there. So they are not issues of “gender equality” at all, but issues of “equality,” period.

By definition there can be no such thing as “gender equality” because gender is a construct which divides human beings into a hierarchy where men are superior and women are inferior. Gender means, by its very nature, inequality, and that’s the function it serves in society: to classify human beings into two categories, one which is active, aggressive, empowered, and another which is passive, surrendering and disempowered. There are only two options: genderism (inequality) or anti-genderism (equality).

Likewise, there can be no such thing as “racial equality,” “status equality,” “worker-boss equality” or “child-parent equality.” Any term that implies hierarchy is incompatible with equality, because by definition a hierarchy has superiors and inferiors, with directed control flowing downwards.

Some people may be goofing by using such a term as “gender equality” when they really just mean equality between all individuals. But then why add the word “gender”? This seems to serve no purpose apart from associating whatever cause you’re advocating with feminism. If you advocate for equality, well, that could mean a lot of things. But if you advocate for “gender equality,” then you’re a great feminist oh my god have all the cookies.

The “equal rights” definition of feminism basically tells men that they can be feminist without ever changing their behaviour or the way they think about women. Ending sexual assault (and patriarchy!) is going to take an actual change in behaviour and social norms. And that’s probably going to feel a little “uncomfortable.”

Another term I don’t like is that of gender as performance. I posted this Judith Butler video last year, and Heretic made a good point in the comments about the flaws of this idea of gender as performative.

But just take the idea completely at face value for a minute. Gender is performance… performance of what? Not of gender, as that would be circular. A performance is based on some template, some script, some role which must be imitated. So what’s the template?

If you incorporate the FETA concept of “innate gender identity,” then it all makes sense. Gender is performance of something we know deep down, of an ingrained behavior pattern that we must follow in order to be happy, said behavior pattern just happening to coincide with our society’s description of one or the other gender. And, get this, every single person’s behavior pattern happens to fit into a gender (however many there are) that exists in their culture, too. How utterly amazing.

So gender as performance seems to me to be closely allied with the FETA concept of “innate gender,” and therefore ultimately reflective of female exclusion.

If gender was performance, then there would be a way to perform that didn’t result in rape for women. But men rape housewives. Men rape butch lesbians. Men rape quiet women in dresses and lipstick. Men rape snarling punks in leather jackets and safety pins. Men rape every type of woman. There is no way for a woman to be that doesn’t risk rape. There is no way to perform that lets women escape the confines of gender because gender is not performance; it’s the designator of who can rape – us, the people called men – and who can be raped – them, the people called women. Performance has nothing to do with it.

Pornography: what’s the magic number and where’s the magic line?

I have previously discussed the issue of human sacrifice and the question, which I think is fundamental if we’re going to discuss any policy (or lack of policy) which involves harming people in some tangible way, of how much harm is deemed acceptable in the name of that policy (or lack of policy).

People balk at quantifying this harm, and for an obvious reason: doing so means they lose the moral high ground. If a person comes out and says, yes I am perfectly fine with up to 3000 innocent people dying or getting beaten up in order to uphold my policy (whether it’s an anti-abortion policy or the death penalty or greater police powers or whatever), that makes them look like persecutors. No one is going to support someone who just comes out and says they don’t mind that innocent people die as a result of their beliefs.

So the cost has to remain implicit and silent. In this they must follow the motto: “the only good victim is a silent victim.” So you see, for example, the “sex workers lobby,” which is led by pimps and which devotes itself to (amongst other things) silencing the voices of ex-prostituted women.

If you can’t do that, then the next step is to demonize the victims. So you get the police talking about black men hulking up, pinning any crime they can on them, and so on. Generally speaking, defending existing policies is easy to do because anyone who goes against them is by definition a criminal, and we scapegoat criminals.

And if that doesn’t work either, then you can always blame the victim. One way to do that is to use the rhetoric of “agency” and “choice,” which I’ve talked about many times before. You can use New Age talk to argue that victims attracted their misfortune because of karma, negative energy, or, if you’re more of a Christian bent, sin.

I’m sure some people may reply, what about cases where a policy can cause harm but where inaction can also cause harm? Prisons cause an incredible amount of harm, but they may also prevent harm from being committed. In such cases, yes, there may be some room for discussion (although I am still very much anti-prisons).

But that’s not the situation in most cases under debate, where we discuss policies which, when brought about, cause additional harm which would not otherwise exist.

The legality of pornography and prostitution are two good examples of that. No harm comes about from making the demand side of prostitution illegal. In fact, doing so eliminates a lot of the harm that already existed. The production of pornography also entails a great deal of harm which would not exist otherwise, both for the actresses and for women in general. Maintaining legality, therefore, entails a great deal of harm, mostly against women.

People may object to the statement that no harm comes from making the demand for pornography or prostitution illegal. When I say harm, in the context of the “magic number,” I am referring mostly to physical harm: how many people may die, fall ill, receive injuries, and so on. No one’s going to die or receive injury from not having access to pornography or prostitution (“blue balls” myth notwithstanding).

There’s also no harm done from a political standpoint. I’ve already debunked the myth that pornography falls under “free speech” rights. Prostitution advocates do not even try to argue for the rights of johns, preferring to exploit the prostituted women themselves as their political motivation; but since feminists are against johns, not prostituted women, this is just irrelevant. The harm to prostituted women is overwhelmingly more important than some men’s hurt feelings.

I challenged people to give me their number in the case of abortion, and I have, understandably, not gotten any answer (except for people who are already pro-abortion, in which case the answer is a proud zero). So I don’t expect answers to the following questions either. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth asking.

1. What is the maximum number of rapes in the production of pornography that you are okay with?

We know women are raped in the production of pornography: they are raped when they are coerced to perform acts they do not wish to perform (all the way from threats of firing to being held at gunpoint, as in the famous case of Linda Lovelace), they are raped when they are “underage performers,” they are raped when they are prostituted women used for pornographic purposes (half of prostituted women report having been used for pornography).

It will not do for someone to reply that the industry needs to be cleaned up, but that there’s nothing wrong with pornography as such. By its very nature, which is the exploitation of women for increasingly violent depictions of sex, pornography cannot be produced without some amount of rape. Any “rape-proof pornographic industry” would not look anything like what we have today; we probably would not even recognize it as pornography.

Women are hurt making all porn, at all levels and types of porn. Sex slaves and children have been found in every single genre of porn, from mainstream Penthouse all the way down to foreign snuff films. Women and children have been exploited at every single level of porn. When one consumes porn one fuels a market that does hurt women and children, at every single level. There are no exceptions to this rule. Sure, not every woman in a given photo is a slave or a child, but they do exist and they have been uncovered almost universally in every manufacturer of mainstream porn…

Traci Lords starred in 77 full length movies before she reached 18. Seventy-seven movies. Seventy-fucking-seven. She was a child of 15. A freshman in High-School. MILLIONS of men, around the world, masturbated to this child, to this little girl being raped by 3 or 4 men. Millions of men and women alike got off to images of a 15 year old girl.

Given the proven fact that any pornography that a person watches carries with it the risk of being the product of rape or coerced sex, what is an acceptable number of rapes? One can also ask, what is the acceptable level of risk? These questions are equivalent: a certain level of risk translates into a certain number of actual rapes.

2. Where should we draw the line of “acceptable violence” against porn actresses and women in general?

Since most popular pornography depicts violence against women, we must assume that people who support the pornography industry also support violence against women. The question then becomes, how much violence is too much violence?

Violence in pornography is escalating. And this violence in pornography translates into violence in the outside world. Men want to reproduce pornographic violence on the women they have sex with.

I’m 23. Mine is the first generation to be exposed to online porn from a young age. We learnt what sex is from watching strangers on the internet, we don’t know anything else.

Here are some of the things that I have experienced…

– having my head shoved into his crotch, and held down while I sucked him off

– being told that my gag reflex was too strong, couldn’t I work on it?

– bullied into submitting to facials. I didn’t want to. He said (joking?) that he’d ejaculate on my face while I was asleep. He wasn’t joking – I woke up with him wanking over me.

– bullied into trying anal. It hurt so much I begged him to stop. He stopped, then complained that I was being too sensitive and it can’t be *that* bad, he continued to ask for it…

THIS IS NOW NORMAL. Every single straight girl I know has had similar experiences. Every. Single. One. Some have experienced far worse. Some have given in, some have resisted, all have felt guilty and awkward for not being “liberated” enough, not giving him what he wants.

Pornographic violence translates into real life violence against women, especially prostituted women. When does this violence become “too much” violence? Or is any level of violence acceptable?

In a similar vein, Independent Radical talks about the “rape line”:

Liberals spend a great deal of time debating the exact location of the “rape line” (they made an entire documentary devoted to it.) They ask questions like “exactly how drunk does a women have to be before a man who has sex with her can be deemed guilty of rape?” or “how enthusiastic should her consent sound before it could really be considered consent?”. They fail to recognise that such questions would not even come up if our culture did not push the view that sex is an act of conquest and encourage men to mix drunkenness with sex or pursue sex acts which their female “targets” were likely to find horrific and degrading.

Where is the magic line when pornographic violence becomes “too much”? This question must be answered reasonably, if the pro-pornography side is to have any credibility at all. If their answer is “no violence is too much,” then we must be talking to brainwashed, pornsick fanatics. Normal people will only admit to so much violence.

3. What is the maximum number of raped and murdered prostituted women that you are okay with?

Making prostitution legal, or keeping the current system, entails support for the widespread rapes, murders and PTSD that are inflicted on prostituted women. So the question becomes, how much of this suffering is acceptable to maintain the institution of prostitution?

The standard answer from prostitution advocates is to move the exploitation indoors, to hide the abuse, keep it off the streets. But that’s what abusers do, they keep their actions out of the public eye. Hiding abuse does not counter it, quite the opposite.

The legalization model has proven a failure: it attracts human trafficking and greatly boosts street prostitution (despite the insistent claims that it would move everything “indoors”). Furthermore, the Nordic model has proven itself in reducing violence against prostituted women and giving them some amount of control, which they cannot have in our current system where they are deemed criminal and have no rights.

These are inconvenient truths that advocates cannot address, for obvious reasons. They cannot simply come out and admit that they support policies which entail unnecessary rapes and murders. They also cannot associate themselves with human trafficking, which is why they waste so much breath arguing the bizarre proposition that prostitution and human trafficking are vastly different things.

4. Where should we draw the line of “acceptable violence” against prostituted women?

If prostitution must exist, as its advocates contend, then some women will always be more vulnerable, seen as social inferiors, and seen as legitimate targets of violence. So how much violence is too much violence against prostituted women? How many murders of prostituted women are an acceptable tradeoff for the continued existence of this institution?

If you’re a supporter of pornography or prostitution and wish to give your personal answers to these questions, then post them in the comments. I’d like to hear from you, because anyone who has the courage to do this exercise deserves, I think, a fair hearing. I think you are an absolutely disgusting human being, but at least you have the courage of your convictions.

Male entitlement as a cause of mass violence.

Yes, this was a real ad.

I’ve previously discussed the male sense of entitlement to sex. Because of the tireless work of anti-MRA advocates, we’re becoming more and more aware of the importance of entitlement to sex in male mass violence, and this deserves to be discussed widely.

Unfortunately, two facts are going against this urgent need: the mass media has muddled the discussion by refusing to discuss entitlement as a cause of male mass violence, and anti-feminists are confusing the issue by denying the very existence of male entitlement, even though it’s confirmed by their very arguments.

The most blatant example is that of Elliot Rodger. Rodger was a frustrated young man who made a video where he said he wanted to “slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blonde slut” because they wouldn’t have sex with him, and wrote a 140 page manifesto detailing how “women are like a plague” and should be put in concentration camps. Despite all this, the media has refused to utter the obvious statement that male entitlement to sex had something to do with Rodger’s mass shooting.

I think this tells us that male entitlement is so ignored that we think this sort of massive rage against women is abnormal and can’t possibly be a reflection of social misogyny. Instead, we fall back to the old ableist standby that they must be “crazy,” which is just a stigmatization of mental illness. Most serial killers are in possession of their mental faculties and are not “crazy” (one trait most serial killers share, however, is being men).

This seems to be not just a reflection of male entitlement, but of privilege in general, because a similar thing happens when race is concerned: white killers are treated with kids’ gloves, while black victims (let alone black killers) are treated like absolute scum, regardless of who they are. No matter what, the issue of the killers’ racism must never be examined.

But the fact is that socialization as a man does lead to rage against women. Men are raised to believe that sexual prowess is an essential part of masculinity, and that those who don’t have sex are defective. Men are raised to believe that you’re a loser if you don’t have a girlfriend. Men are raised to believe that women exist to receive men’s attention and fulfill men’s needs.

They learn it from their fathers. They learn it from a media that glorifies it, from sports heroes who commit felonies and get big contracts, from a culture saturated in images of heroic and redemptive violence. They learn it from each other.

In talking to more than 400 young men for my book, “Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men,” I heard over and over again what they learn about violence. They learn that if they are crossed, they have the manly obligation to fight back. They learn that they are entitled to feel like a real man, and that they have the right to annihilate anyone who challenges that sense of entitlement.

This sense of entitlement is part of the package deal of American manhood — the culture that doesn’t start the fight, as Margaret Mead pointed out in her analysis of American military history, but retaliates far out of proportion to the initial grievance. They learn that “aggrieved entitlement” is a legitimate justification for violent explosion.

It is therefore not especially surprising that someone like Elliot Rodger, son of a successful movie director and part of a privileged entertainment family, who no doubt was sent to the best schools, felt frustrated by his inability to gain the favors of women. Like most MRAs, he was probably a mediocre man who had little to offer to women, and he knew it. So he lashed out against the women who refused to provide the attention he naturally believed they owed him.

Again, there is nothing “crazy” or bizarre about events of male mass violence in light of the male entitlement to sex in our societies.

Studies have found that men get anywhere from 10% to 25% of full erection (on average) from seeing non-sexual violence (Earls and Proulx 1987, Barbaree et al. 1979). While rapists show a higher level of arousal, any man can experience it. So men get some sexual charge from the idea of violence against women. This is not an issue of conscious decision (arousal rarely is), but rather an issue of indoctrination.

Entitlement is the belief that one is owed something simply by virtue of one’s social role. The typical example is that of bad customers who thinks they’re entitled to a refund or to tell employees what to do simply because they’re customers. Privilege magnifies that tendency many times over, and male privilege is no exception.

There is a toxic dynamic between male entitlement and masculinity: male entitlement is the carrot, the incentive for men to invest themselves more and more into the gender system, and masculinity is the stick, because it provides the threat of “not being a real man” (i.e. of being a woman, which of course is the worse thing a man can possibly be, because it represents the negation of one’s gender, which is seen as a primary part of our identity).

Two of the most conspicuous forms of male entitlement are PIV and pornography. They are conspicuous in that these two topics, when even lightly broached, attract the most attention from men who rally to defend them and attack anyone who dares to question the entitlement.

The defense of pornography by pornsick males reflects the entitlement mentality under which they operate. A man watching a pornographic video has no idea whether the video was made by a prostitute without their consent. He has no idea whether the video is a recording of a rape (whether of any woman or of a porn actress who doesn’t want to perform a sexual act). In many cases, he has no idea whether the video features a minor. Defending the use of anything under such conditions requires a very big sense of entitlement to that thing. It also requires a great deal of selfishness.

A pornsick dude is like a drug addict: he will try to justify his use at all costs because he’s stuck. In many cases, he can’t get an orgasm without it. In some cases, he can’t get an orgasm without escalating the violence of the pornography he’s watching. Not only does entitlement exist, but it may also, in some cases, be a cover for desperation (he “must” have pornography because he “can’t live” without it).

Male entitlement is a cause of mass violence, and pornography is no different. From studies, we now know that pornography use, no matter how light or severe, makes men more prone to rape, child rape, incest, and sexual harassment. It also makes men more likely to support rape and violence against women perpetrated by other men, and to accept a wide range of rape myths.

It’s a vicious circle. The more entitled a man is, the more likely he will be to support things like pornography, and the more pornsick he becomes, the more likely he is to double down on the entitlement. And the net losers are women.


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