6 things I would like to say about the feminist movement

First, it seems important to speak about me, as I know this is going to be the first thing people judge when reading this post. I am an American male, who identifies as someone who believes that everyone (including women) should be able to live how they want, free from the oppression of others. I am current with the debate through traditional and social media, and generally being the type of person who ensures that his own opinions are complex enough to contradict each other sometimes. Nor do I feel that I have all the right answers (who does?), only opinions informed from a life studying philosophy and psychology.  With this out of the way, these are some things that I feel feminists, everybody actually, should hear concerning feminism/ equalism.

1.There is no best way to be a woman (or man).

The point of the feminist movement, as I know it at least, is about removing barriers for women and allowing them to live the type of life they choose, not about telling people how to live their life. There is no ultimately correct way to live (e.g., Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Beauvoir), and telling others how to live is fundamentally what the movement is working against. This means if you want to be a stay at home mom (or dad!), or a female astronaut, that is perfectly legitimate. It is important to note that, if (any)one intentionally goes into a culture and violates their norms (e.g., wearing a short skirt in a Muslim nation, wearing a hajib in the US), one must be aware that they will encounter resistance, though these actions can, of course, be undertaken ‘for the greater good,’ (suffering inspires others to act). We cannot force change on anyone any more than we would accept them trying to force change on us, the movement is simply about removing barriers for people to live how they desire.

2. Perhaps tradition is evil, but men are not.

The situation today is the result of exactly that, tradition. Unfortunately, someone must create the children or eggs. The fact that females took care of the children before modern times is probably a result of females also being the one in which the infant is ‘created.’  Now that technology has enabled us to ease the burden of childcare and running a household, we are working together to remove the limitations placed up women (and men!). While we are removing these limitations, it is important to recognize our (biological) history, whether or not it is innate, and its effects on modern culture rather than demonizing men by saying they are intentionally keeping women down (which is indeed a common criticism and one feminism would do well to address).

3. Women do not Always get the short end of the stick.

It would go a long way toward removing this idea that feminism is demonizing men if the movement made more effort to address those instances where it is empirically worse to be a man. Nobody is saying that there are not negative aspects of being a female, but there are also negative aspects of being a male as well. For instance, it is an empirical fact that males are more likely to die young, to go to prison (and get harsher prison sentences), to end up with a mental illness, and to more likely end up homeless. Simply put, men are at the top, but they are also at the bottom. Male parental rights are also a major area where the movement gets criticism. Simply put, men have no say in whether they become a parent or not (in the case of an accidental pregnancy). For instance, if a male wants a child and the female does not, it (the child) is aborted, but if the male does not want a child and the female does, he cannot stop it and is forced to pay child support, even if the child is the result of the man being raped (!!!!). Let me repeat: a man can be raped, and then forced to pay 18 years child support. That is unfair no matter how you look at it. While men perhaps have higher paying jobs, this is changing (new studies indicate more females are graduating from university than men) and it will largely benefit the adoption of feminist ideals for the movement to also work toward removing the negative aspects of being male (or to increase the negative for women, but less suffering all around seems preferable to me).

4. Relationships are about give and take.

Sometimes we have to do things for our partners that we don’t want to. Regardless of whether the male sex drive is innate or the result of socialization, a female simply cannot phenomenologically understand the sexual urges a man experiences, similar to the way a male cannot phenomenologically understand the emotional urges females have (which is why females fight for emotional support and males fight for sex). Hundreds of studies suggest that males and females differ in the amount of sex and emotional support they desire from a partner. I can understand a women not desiring to have sex at a particular moment and I believe she should have a right to say no. On the other hand, I can also understand a man not desiring to talk about something emotional at a particular moment and he should also have a right to say no.  It is unfair to deny males the ‘extra’ sexual support they desire while also expecting the ‘extra’ emotional support females desire. Especially getting a male sexually aroused and then leaving is similar (though phenomenologically incomparable) to getting a female emotionally aroused and then leaving. It is simply not something one should do to someone they truly care about.

5. Men also suffer from the media’s idealizations.

Simply put, it is no easier to be Ryan Gosling than it is to be Emma Stone. Perhaps males are not influenced to the same degree (we can debate about this in the comments; idealizations demand different things), but that men are idealized is unquestionable. I would find it hard to take seriously anyone who suggests that Twilight or 50 Shades of Gray do not contain romanticized (idealized) male characters. Video games and comics also have their share of idealized males (e.g., Superman, Batman, and Spiderman). I agree that females have greater demands placed upon their beauty, but let us admit that males have greater demands placed upon the goods they keep around them (e.g., car, house, accessories). While we could make an argument that body transformations are more harmful for health, there is no doubt that both behaviors are considerably self-destructive and it does little good to argue about who has it worse. It is simply an empirical difference in what the genders desire from a partner (though again, we are working to change this).

6. Real change will not happen until people are willing to suffer for the cause.

This is actually for anyone who wants to change the world. Look at changes in thought throughout history (e.g., religious, political, scientific), almost none have been successful without significant suffering, and real change often comes at the expense of a particular leader’s life (e.g., Socrates, Jesus, Ghandi, Lincoln, MLK, Quảng Đức, Bin Laden) and change oftentimes comes decades, or even centuries, after that leader dies. There is little reason to believe that the equal rights movement is any different. Indeed, some have suffered (e.g., Woolf, Monroe, abortion doctors, female engineering students), but it is only when many (the majority of) people are willing to suffer that real change will occur.

So, I guess those were the main things I wanted to say. Join the conversation below with your agreement or disagreement, I hope you’ve found value in reading these 6 things I want to point out about feminism and the feminism movement. Find me on Facebook or Twitter for more. 

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45 comments

  1. I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty easy to be on a Ryan Gossling level!

    In all seriousness, good article – makes you think in a different way.

    1. Perhaps for you good sir, but not for the rest of us! : D Hard not being in that 1% .

      And thank you! 😀

  2. I agree with the article . Although the feminist movement has had far less of an effect on the masculine sex than the masculine sex has had on the remind sex , I think that regardless it’s important that we stress the importance of rationality rather than being consumed solely by heated rhetoric.
    The impact of the masculine sex on the feminine sex is real , and the hurt that it has caused is real , but although the feminine sex is the receiver of the brunt of the negativity between sexes , it’s important that we remain rational and not give into anger.

    1. Der, I agree that women have had it worse, but I’m not sure they have had it MUCH worse. Again, men have shorter lives, are more likely to go crazy, and more likely to end up homeless. While women, in the past were at home limited to taking care of the children, men were limited to going to fighting (and dying!) in wars. Also, there is much more effort to making sure women don’t come into bad times than men (again, x>70% of homeless are men).

      It is important that we remain rational, and that we not force anything. Again, think of the War on Drugs or Terror and how successful those were.

  3. Notes:
    *Regarding “4” – a) citations and empirical analysis would be nice! Also – I can’t understand what it’s like to have a vagina, or multiple non-anal orgasms. Portraying women as “differently sexual” might be more effective than portraying them as “less sexual.” You could also get into differences in the experience of sex, and why a statistically significant portion of men may be satisfied with

  4. a different experience more often.

    *”In general” is a less sophisticated way way of talking about central tendencies versus variance. Talk about the amount of and variety of variance for a stronger argument, and a more interesting one. You could also address non heterosexual couples (I tend to strongly dislike people who are too sexual, hyper-rational, not in touch with their emotions, etc, for both cultural and biological reasons 🙂 )

    *Regarding 6 – huh? Many, many people have suffered to create equalities in their own small ways. My grandma smacked her head right into that glass ceiling. Further, “feminists,” male and female have been calling on people who happen to identify as men to join in the suffering.

    *It would be nice if this was placed in the history of “feminism” which has undergone many, many changes as people have wrestled with these issues. Address the most sophisticated claims for a more interesting discussion. This would also inform your discussion of “2.”

    I hope these comments helped. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to follow up on them! Not this week at least.

    1. I missed the hyperlinks with empirical evidence for the sex drive because of the color scheme and the need to rush. However, a stronger discussion of variance is still warranted.

    2. Daniel, Excellent comments!

      There is some evidence (linked) that females and males differ in the things they desire from eachother (whether this is innate or not is another questions altogether!).

      While many people suffer their inequalities in small ways, I am arguing that for real change to occur, a leader needs to develop (probably though struggle, again the examples) or see osf.io/d8p36/ 😀

      It would be nice if I had more room to include historical analyses, maybe you could suggest a sentence, or an idea? The article is written both for those who are feminist and those who hate feminism (which I think it brings something to both, I hope at least! 😀 )

  5. Interesting short essay! My personal opinions are that there are different cultures in the world where there are male dominated cultures and also female dominated cultures, even though the latter category is much more rare. In most of the cultures, females are not considered to be as important as males. Their less masculine characters as well as their special biological function to give birth to children could be the biology accounts. They could not be as competitive as men are in gaining resources during recent agricultural decades, because they are weaker physically and have to take good care of their babies and children most of the time. The best strategy for female to survive could be to find a nice group with strong men. For exchange, female should be sexually attractive to men and good at reproduction. In addition, males do need to make sure that the children they raise must be theirs-this impulsive need become one of the most important origin of oppression for females’ freedom. Massive social norms regulating and restraining females come out. Females are less likely to know for sure what is the best for them since they have grown up in such adverse cultures to them. For instances, even mothers favor the children of opposite sex instead of their own sex. Tradition as well as its creators-men are evil. However, as technology advances, the difference in bodies will exert fewer influence on our survival. I don’t think the people who are willing to suffer are the crucial factor for the real change. It should be time when females can be totally as independent as males that really matters.

    1. Tan, these are excellent points! 😀

      I like your point about the best strategy for a female, though I think it is mostly applicable in the past. With modern culture women are beginning to be able to do whatever they desire.

      Your point about males desiring to know their children are in fact theirs is excellent. Perhaps paternal testing ushers in a new era here?

      I disagree that males are evil. It seems like we started from this animal place and that most of history is the result of that Read more about how we are The Naked Ape here.

      Finally, I agree that having a time when females can do what they like is probably best, but how to bring that about? It is not going to be given (as MLK said), it must be demanded. And demanding it will receive resistance (like MLK did). I’m looking for evidence that it is the case now (perhaps I will have to write that piece). :p

      Really, awesome comments! 😀

    1. Sophie, Excellent point!

      Much of the blog post is aimed at clarifying what feminism Actually is, compared to people’s conceptions. The thing is, we want both feminists and non-feminists to be clicking (^_^) and I thought the title should be a little more snappy, a little more poking. But Maybe I will change it. 😀

      Thank you! 😀

  6. Dear Psycholar,
    “Feminism refers to a movement that advocates for economic, political and social equality among women, as well as between men and women. In general, feminists value the experiences of all women, examine the ways in which gender is socially constructed, express concerns with societal power structures that disadvantage women and other minority groups […]” (Szymanski, 2004)

    In response to your blog post I would like to point out a few sections of this definition of feminism, before responding to your six points.
    First, many people often forget that feminism’s aim is to gain equality for both women and men in our society. This point alone, should discredit half of the arguments made in your blog, since it is exactly those types of societal injustices (also for men) that the movement wishes to fight. Do not let the word “feminism” fool you! The movement is about gender equality and moving past traditional gender roles. Which brings us to the next point:
    Feminism examines the ways in which gender is socially constructed. In this context, and in the rest of this text, I define society as the aggregate of all beliefs, traditions, structures, systems, etc. of which the society we live in is comprised. Feminist argue that is it is exactly this aggregate that supports, encourages, and even forces the genders to adhere to specific behaviors. Again, the word gender incorporates both men and women. The goal is to eradicate these societal pressures that support inequality between the genders (and other minority groups).
    Also, feminists are concerned with the current societal power structures. In short, the afore mentioned societally imposed gender roles are not value/power free. Male roles are generally, associated with power while female roles are associated with weakness or benevolence. Therefore, the feminist movement does, in no way, argue that the individual man, or even men in general are evil. Instead, they argue that it is society (again the aggregate) which supports a system in which men are privileged and women are disadvantaged. This is what needs to change. We need a system in which all genders, and all groups are treated and valued equally. This is the goal of the movement.

    There is no best way to be a woman or man.
    This is the only point that I agree with you on. Thank you very much for adding it.
    However, I would like to address your comment about wearing a short skirt in a Muslim country. I cannot believe that any feminist, who has studied the movement, would do so! One of the power structures that feminist oppose is the idea that women are both sexualized and objectified in the eyes both genders. In other words, sex and sexuality has become a means of power in our society. By wearing a short skirt, you are not fighting this social construct, but rather playing within its confines and thereby unconsciously supporting this power structure. The goal is to remove sex and sexualization as a means of oppression or justification for inequalities.
    Perhaps tradition is evil, but men are not.
    First, remember feminism is not just about women nor do feminist think men are evil. It is society that needs to change, which is an even broader concept that tradition alone.
    While science and biology is a strong rhetorical tools (since we like to believe it is founded in logic), it is not a justification for structural inequalities. Biology has been used for centuries to justify slavery and other forms of oppression. For this reason alone, I believe biology is a tricky subject.
    Furthermore, you seem to be very picky about your choice of primates. First, most primates raise their young in a community rather than a single female alone. Secondly, there is a wide range of sexual behaviors and child rearing techniques among primates. For example the female Rhesus Monkey tends to be sexually promiscuous and even uses this as a form of power within their troop (Noldus, 2012). Can we not argue that humans’ behaviors may be just as distinct?
    Finally, please be accurate, you mean evolutionarily speaking. This is where I am going to make a controversial comment: If you use evolution/biology as an argument, couldn’t you also argue that our society (in which women do not share the child rearing responsibilities alone) is a result of the evolutionary process and that this is, in our current environment, are more viable strategy of specie-reproduction than as it was in the past?

    Women do not always get the short end of the stick
    It is true that men have a lot of difficulties in our society as well. Many of these are due to their gender roles. For instance, males tend to be more aggressive and take more risks (which could lead to dying young). However, I believe that these behaviors are mainly a result of socialization, which is what the feminist movement aims to change. After all, there is no evidence that women are truly less aggressive than men. Women are simply taught to oppress their aggression or express it in socially expectable ways: many verbally or indirectly! (Björkqvist, Lagerspetz, Kaukiainen, 1992)
    Additionally, in response to your comment about dying young: Have you ever considered what a women’s body goes through during pregnancy and giving birth? While today’s technology and medicine has worked miracles, it is not uncommon for women to be in danger of death or serious injury when deciding to bear a child.
    As for your other comments, please give sources and refrain from using generalizations! I will only address a few: For instance, depression and eating disorders are more often diagnosed in females than in males (Sandler, 2012; ANAD, 2014).
    As for child support, this is usually only an issue when the couple is separated. Since it is usually the mother who retains custody of the child, this means that she is the one who is responsible for the child’s everyday care. This alone, is a form of labor in our society which is neither paid nor valued to the extent that it should be. Please do not make the argument that signing a monthly check has that much more value than everyday child care with no time off. However, I will admit that a goal of the women’s movement is to remove the gender expectations that automatically make the women the nurturer and the male the breadwinner. However, out of personal experience, I can tell you that only very few males (even the liberal, egalitarian ones) that I have talked to will even for a minute consider giving up their job or career for a child. (Again a gender expectation that needs to change).

    Relationships are about give and take.
    Very good title, but I think you are off track in your paragraph. First, have you considered that there are also gay and lesbian couples as well rather than writing an article that supports heteronormativity (Montgomery, & Stewart, 2012)? Secondly, this article is full of the gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles that the feminism wishes to eradicate.
    First, you are making the assumption that men and women have fundamentally different sexual and emotional “urges”. While there might be some biological foundation to this, have you considered the effects of society on this topic? Let’s talk about sex, baby!
    Women are taught (from family, peers, and society) that they are meant to satisfy their male partner. Many women will work very hard to do just that, even if those acts are not what is most pleasing to her. Let’s be honest, most women prefer clitoral stimulation to actual intercourse. The idea of a women having sexual urges themselves and satisfying them is actually rather new. Even today, a women mentioning that she masturbates or enjoys watching porn is met with disbelief if not even distain. Furthermore, have you ever thought about the fact that a women who brings a man to orgasm is nothing worth mentioning, but a man who gives a women an orgasm is considered a considerate lover? Why is this something so special, rather than the norm?
    Even medicine and science do not consider female sexuality. I am sure that you have heard of the four steps of the sexual response cycle: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution (Cleveland Clinique, 2012). This is a completely male-centric model. This model leaves no room for female multiple orgasms. Additionally, it is the male’s orgasm that is considered to be the “main event”. After all, how often does sex conclude when only the women has had an orgasm? Female orgasm usually happens during foreplay or after-play. In short, women get play, not sex. As if it were something cute and an indulgence rather than an actual “urge”. Also, did you know that most people define having sex as intercourse during which the man ejaculates. (I read a paper on this a long time ago, if you are interested I can send you the link, I don’t have it right now).
    On top of all of this, women are receiving completely contradictory messages in our society. We learn that our virginity is a gift and that we should only give it to someone we love. However, if we refuse to have sex we are called words such as “frigid”, “prude”, “selfish”, or “manipulative”. On the other hand if we try to do live out our sexual urges we are called “sluts”, “whores”, etc. While I believe that sex is not an easy topic for anyone (of either gender), I do believe that it is especially difficult for women in our society.
    Maybe instead of using your blog to perpetuate stereotypes and traditional gender norm, you should use this space to question why our society has these beliefs and what we can do to change them rather than just blame women for not satisfying your every urge! Dammit, take matters into your own hands! Pun intended.
    As for being emotional. Here again I will use a mix of psychology and personal experience. First, I do not believe that one gender has more emotions than the other. Simply, we are taught to express them very differently. For instance men engage in “report talk”, while women more often engage in “rapport talk”. In other words, men usually talk about events and facts, while women usually talk about relationships and people. Therefore, it is not surprising that women might feel freer to talk about or deal with their emotions in the presence of others. Especially, people they trust, like a boyfriend. However, I do not believe that men bear the brunt of this “emotionality”. Having been in a long term relationship (with a man) I can definitely say that we also dealt with many of his emotions together. Additionally, I would argue that in many cases this was more difficult, given that he would not talk about many of his problems until he almost reached the breaking point. For this reason alone, I would argue that gender roles need to be changed. It is not healthy to keep emotions pent up and this is exactly what our society prescribes for males. Even in a healthy, loving relationship.

    Men also suffer from the media’s idealization.
    Again, feminism is about both men and women and structural equality. What men deal with from the media is just as bad as what women deal with. However, I would argue that women get the worst of it. Women are confronted with daily messages about their appearance both in small well-meaning ways and in extremely disgusting ways.
    1. Women are usually complimented on their beauty, not on their intelligence. (A super model just recently stated in an interview that she will tell her daughter that she is smart rather than beautiful, this made headlines because apparently it is an unheard of concept!) Furthermore, a women’s physical appearance is her main attraction in searching for a partner. Money, will not compensate for looks since a women who has a high power job and earns a lot of money is considered intimidating.
    2. Here is a link that shows messages that women are confronted with. This one is extreme and not common, but we get smaller, seemingly negligible messages similar to this every day. http://www.returnofkings.com/21313/5-reasons-to-date-a-girl-with-an-eating-disorder . Most disturbing is that I first saw this post months ago and nobody has taken it down!
    Real change will not happen until people are willing to suffer for the cause
    This is a very negative view of humanity. While I agree that most of the major revolutions and movements in the past have happened with a great leader who suffered, it is also the case that these are the most widely known. Additionally, I believe that the goal of a democracy is that change can happen in a peaceful way. At least that is the hope.
    Finally, many leaders of the feminist movement have suffered, during all three waves of the movement. Do you think it was easy for Lois E. Jenson when she went to court to combat sexual harassment at the work place for the very first time? I doubt that the media spoke all too kindly of her. Or the fights women went through to get access to prestigious colleges? What about women who only a year ago needed to hear that their rape wasn’t “legitimate” on national television? Women have and do suffer, most people just have the privilege that they do not need to see it, or can say that “it isn’t that bad” because they have never been in those shoes.

    To conclude, dear Psycholar, I would like you to know that it is exactly blogs like this one that make change so difficult and at times impossible. Not only did you perpetuate every stereotype of feminism (the man hating bitch) and of women (the emotional, asexual creature), you completely disregarded the actual definition of feminism. On top of that all of our comments work within the confines of our society (the aggregate of all beliefs, traditions, structures, etc.). As you said that you study philosophy, I would urge you to take a step back and think about what influences your world view, and that it is exactly those influences that the feminist movement tries to address. I believe that not until people question why that we think the way we do, we won’t be able to change anything. After all it is easy to justify a belief system, if that is all you know and it puts you on the side of privilege.

    Sincerely,
    Nina

    P.s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQucWXWXp3k Watch this video! I think many men might not understand it, but most women will be close to tears since it speaks to our everyday experiences. (The food is a metaphor of course).


    References
    ANAD (2014). Males and Eating Disorders. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. http://www.anad.org/get-information/males-eating-disorders/
    Björkqvist, K., Lagerspetz, K.M.J and Kaukiainen, A. (1992). Do girls manipulate and boys fight? Developmental trends in regard to direct and indirect aggression. Aggressive Behavior 18, 117-127.
    Cleveland Clinique (2012). The sexual response cycle. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/sexual_health/hic_the_sexual_response_cycle.aspx
    Montgomery, S.A. & Stewart, A.J. (2012) Privileged allies in lesbian and gay rights activism: Gender, generation, and resistance to heteronormativity. Journal of Social Issues, 68 (1), 162-177.
    Noldus, 2012. Secret sex and promiscuity – mating behavior of rhesus monkeys. http://info.noldus.com/bid/82054/Secret-sex-and-promiscuity-Mating-behavior-of-Rhesus-monkeys
    Sandler, E.P (2012). Gender and Depression. Psychology Today. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/promoting-hope-preventing-suicide/201211/gender-and-depression
    Szymanski, D.M. (2004). Relations among dimensions of feminism and the internalized heterosexism in lesbian and bisexual women. Sex Roles, 3/4, 145-159.

    1. While I agree that females have to go through the throes of childbirth, I do not believe much can be done about this (at least until we create an artificial womb). Again, it is socialization that makes boys riskier and die younger, and this is something that can and should be changed if real lasting change is to occur (along with the other negative aspects of being both female and male).

      I’m certainly not saying that signing a check is worth the same as full time mom. But oftentimes men are not even allowed to see their children unless the woman consents.. that’s not equal. And men have NO say in whether they become fathers or not (as pointed out), that is the real issue I’m trying to bring up (one you notably ignore :p ).

      We don’t know whether the difference in sexual or emotional urge is innate or not, but regardless, people report it in the here and now, that is an empirical fact (linked in the original article). If females do not wish to accomodate that extra sexual desire, that is ok (the man can go find another woman if it is that bad), but then she should not demand that he deal with her extra emotional desire. Someone in another venue said that forcing a man to listen to emotional stuff is not equal to forcing a women to have sex (which we cannot actually compare which causes more sadness and unrest). The point is that both involve force.

      Baumeister, R. F., Catanese, K. R., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Is there a gender difference in strength of sex drive? Theoretical views, conceptual distinctions, and a review of relevant evidence. Personality and social psychology review, 5(3), 242-273.

      Why do you say here that women enjoy clitoral stimulation compared to actual intercourse but then get mad and call it play elsewhere? : ( If women enjoyed the vaginal part of sex as much as men do, then there would be no need for the
      ‘play’ in the first place (something most men are generally less than enthusiastic about, by the way). Relationships are about give and take.

      Certainly I agree that expectations about men sharing their emotions should change. I think we are secretly in agreement about the many things we speak, certainly in that feminism is about changing the negative aspects of being both male and female.

      My point about men suffering from media’s idealizations is that men are judged not on how they look, but on the things they keep around them. While a woman worries about how she looks, the man worries about how his car looks (which is true! 😀 ) Again, we can argue about which we think is more harmful, but we cannot phenomenologically compare.

      The suffering point is exactly that, we need more Lois Jensons and more people who are willing to suffer in order for real change to occur. Many more.

      The video is exactly what we need to change. And its awesome! 😀

      Really, I think we are in secret agreement, like I said to Sophie, it’s about clarifying what Feminism, and equalism, is.

      1. You are deliberately misreading or misquoting the comment above. As the comment explains, feminism is not, in any way, about “forcing men to listen to emotional stuff”.
        In addition, your whole post assumes that the past justifies the present and the future. That is usually done by who sits in the driver’s seat in the the first place.
        And on another note: Do you have any daughters?
        Regards. Karl

      2. Hi Karl!

        In which cases you you mean? The one to Nina, yes? Certainly I am not saying that Feminism is trying to force men to listen to women’s emotional urges, I am simply saying that women if women do not desire to serve the mans needs, then the man should not be expected to meet the woman’s needs. Again, the differences in desire are empirical, if not innate.

        I’m sorry, but I don’t understand where I said the past justifies the present and future. I am saying that we should try to change the past, without arguing about who had it worst in the past. Again, yes, women were stuck at home, but men were oftentimes the ones who were stuck going off to war without their consent. I mean, are they comparable? I’m not sure.

        In any case, the point is that the feminist movement will be accepted more easily if it emphasizes the role males can play in the future, rather than demonizing today’s man for the transgressions of our forefathers. I didn’t do what they did and they do not speak for me and I don’t want to be blamed for what they did. We are working to make it better, and that is the best we can do.

        I have no daughters, yet. But I do have a mother, and cousins whom I care deeply for.

      3. Dear Psycholar,

        One final time I will try to explain to you, why your comments are not about, much less, promoting feminism. Having discussed this topic with you, I feel like I understand what you are trying to say: Men have problems too and these need to be addressed. Yes, I agree. This also is part of the feminist movement, in that it tries to eradicate gender norms and stereotypes.
        However, your message does not promote feminism since rather than questioning societal structures and beliefs about the genders, you try to work within those confines. Confines of a male-centric society! It will never be possible to fully understand feminism without first breaking away from your thought-patterns about what a women is (wants, feels, acts, etc.) and what a man is (thinks, wants, feels, etc).

        Please regard my previous comment about the definition of feminism and its three fundamental parts: In your entire blog you disregard the third paragraph, which is maybe the most important one. After all, it is what distinguishes feminism from egalitarianism, humanism, and other movements. You disregard the structural and hierarchical power system inherent in our society. You completely ignore and/or won’t even consider that there is a GAP between men’s position and were women’s position in this hierarchy. Let’s make an analogy: We are stranded at sea and trying to reach land. Here, land is the utopian society, where everybody is treated completely equally. The goal is for everyone (both men and women) to reach this utopia. Unfortunately men and women are in different boats. The male boat is 10 meters closer to land than the women’s boat. Given that both boats are moving at the same speed (the progress you propose) males will always be more likely to reach land than women will. Especially, given that the boat women are on is the cheaper one (metaphor for status). The first goal should be to close the GAP and so we can reach utopia together.

        Unfortunately, you deny this GAP exists and are striving towards utopia completely forgetting that you are leaving some people behind. How can we be equal when you have a head start?
        Now, as I said I would, I will go through every one of your sentences with a comb. Hopefully, you can understand then why we need to close the GAP and look at this from a female perspective!

        “While I agree that females have to go through the throes of childbirth, I do not believe much can be done about this (at least until we create an artificial womb).”

        Women do have a choice! First, of course, is the option not to get pregnant. However, to this day if a women mentions she doesn’t want to have kids she is seen as hard, cold, unfeminine, or that something is wrong with her.
        Second, abortion is an option. However, many countries do not allow for this option, even when the mother is at risk for her own life. It is illegal.
        The problem is exactly the idea you unconsciously are promoting. There is no control. This is what we want to fight. Women need to and should have control over their own bodies, unfortunately many countries and belief systems do not allow for complete freedom in this matter.

        “Again, it is socialization that makes boys riskier and die younger, and this is something that can and should be changed if real lasting change is to occur (along with the other negative aspects of being both female and male).”

        True, gender role socializations also have negative consequences for men. It is terrible that men die at young ages. However, again look at this from a feminist perspective. Consider the women who need to watch their children die, and who have no say in the matter since a women’s opinion is meaningless in the male community. (I am mainly thinking here of communities with gangs, since it is here where most young men die.)

        Additionally, have you thought to flip the argument? What if we lived in a world were being kind, emotional, non-aggressive were not considered to be feminine and weak traits. Would still so many men feel like they need to assert their masculinity by engaging in life-threatening behaviors?

        Finally, this is a societal problem we are moving towards by trying to reach utopia. This problem does not address the GAP other than the fact that male characteristics of assertion and aggressiveness (dominant, high status traits; which I might add) may lead to a young death.

        “I’m certainly not saying that signing a check is worth the same as full time mom. “

        But you are saying, that a man should not have to support his child, especially if he is not in charge of its care?!?!

        “But oftentimes men are not even allowed to see their children unless the woman consents.. that’s not equal.”

        Child custody is decided by a judge (in these extreme cases). Only in cases of sole custody and restraining orders can the mother (or father in some cases) refuse the other parent their right to see their child. As far as I know, being male is usually not the only reason to deny sole custody .

        In a second note: Currently it is the case that many women receive the custody of the child. I agree, this may not be egalitarian. But at the moment we live in a world where the woman is socialized into the role of the parent. A role which usually entails a less demanding job (so she actually has time to see the child) and is paid less (so her giving up some working hours will hurt the child less than if the well-earing male does so.). Additionally, in many cases (due to similar reasons of socialization as you mentioned before) many males actually prove to be a danger to the child and the mother, which is usually the main reason for a restraining order.
        Why not address these issues? Instead of demonizing women and judges for choices they make.

        “And men have NO say in whether they become fathers or not (as pointed out), that is the real issue I’m trying to bring up (one you notably ignore :p ).”

        I am sorry that I forgot to address ONE of your many comments. Maybe my earlier response should have been a little bit longer. Yes, I am being sarcastic.

        There is one major flaw in your argument: If you know about human reproduction, you very well know that it takes two make a child. The male is also present during fertilization, which by definition is what makes him a father. Therefore, the simplest answer to having a say about parenthood is this: If you do not want a child, do NOT HAVE SEX. To this day, abstinence is still the most effective form of birth control out there. Please, do not tell me now that men have sexual urges and therefore cannot help it. This is naïve! However if you really cannot live without sexual stimulation I am happy to inform you that there are other options: masturbation, sexual acts that do not result in fertilization (oral sex, manual stimulation), and of course birth control. Here, if you really do not trust the women, I again have a solution. A condom! They are very effective.

        Secondly, say it happens that a women does become pregnant unintentionally: of course a male should have a say, and in most cases women do consult the father. However, let’s be real here. The male will not have to carry the baby (i.e. see comment about danger of child birth). The way our current society functions, it will not be the male who has to make the most sacrifices for the child. It will be the woman. Under these circumstances, I think it is understandable that women can be a little bit selfish in this matter.

        Again, why do you not address these underlying issues, rather than ignorantly throwing out there an issue without exploring why this even may be the case? Not until you actually understand why these things are happening, can you truly discuss them!

        “We don’t know whether the difference in sexual or emotional urge is innate or not, but regardless, people report it in the here and now, that is an empirical fact (linked in the original article).”

        The article speaks about sexual motivation! Furthermore, the article does not include what types of questions were asked. Please be critical when you read scientific articles.
        As I explained in my earlier response, women’s sexual urges have been undermined for centuries and are still being undermined. Have you ever thought that the results of the Baumeister article may also be a product of social desirability? Furthermore, even if these differences are really innate (which I doubt), why is it the female job to satisfy this motivation??? After all, there is masturbation as an option. Not to mention the article also discusses having multiple sexual partners…. Really, what is it that you want from us?

        “If females do not wish to accommodate that extra sexual desire, that is ok (the man can go find another woman if it is that bad), but then she should not demand that he deal with her extra emotional desire.”

        First, it is sexual motivation, not sexual desire your article is talking about: “The gender differences in sex drive should not be generalized to other constructs such as sexual or orgasmic capacity, enjoyment of sex, or extrinsically motivated sex.” (Baumeister, et al. 2001)
        Please remind me: Where did I say anything about demanding that anyone deal with anyone’s emotional desire? I argue that relationships are a communal effort, where sexuality as well as emotions should be and are shared. Have you ever even been in a relationship? A healthy one? Because you would know that it is not a score board. Even if a relationship is a (unconsciously) reciprocal construct, you would know that there are many, many more factors to consider than only emotionality and sex.

        Finally, if we were to actually function under your misguided assumptions: who is to say that the male’s sexual motivations are really of the same value as the females emotional motivations??? We are not talking about money here, acts and emotions are not fungible.

        “Someone in another venue said that forcing a man to listen to emotional stuff is not equal to forcing a women to have sex (which we cannot actually compare which causes more sadness and unrest). The point is that both involve force.”

        Forcing a women to have sex is RAPE. When you are listening to someone being emotional you can walk away. Please never ever equate rape with listening to a temper tantrum again! It is comments like this that promote rape culture and undermine any type of progress.

        “Why do you say here that women enjoy clitoral stimulation compared to actual intercourse but then get mad and call it play elsewhere? :”

        I think you completely misunderstood what I was trying to tell you about female sexuality. In no way was I saying that all women out there are having terrible sex lives. Nor did I say that we call it play. I said that are sexuality has a lower status in society than male’s sexuality. For example, our sexual cycle in not included in the sciences. Our orgasms are seen as a kindness granted by men rather than a norm. And finally, the stages that we enjoy most (that involve clitoral stimulation) are called “play” by society!!!!!!!!! I was not arguing for play in my response. I was arguing that “play” is all we seem to deserve in the eyes of society and science! Again, this is a societally embraces way of indoctrinating us to think that female sexuality is worth less than male’s sexuality.

        “(If women enjoyed the vaginal part of sex as much as men do, then there would be no need for the ‘play’ in the first place (something most men are generally less than enthusiastic about, by the way).”

        Again you are not taking off your male-centric lenses here: Why is it that you phrase it that it is a problem of the women that she might not enjoy vaginal sex that much? Why is that a problem? Additionally, why is it that when you think of an ideal situation, it is one in which we get rid of “play” but keep intercourse rather than the other way around (I’m talking about sex for pleasure and not about reproduction)? Have you ever took a step back to consider that all of your arguments, again, are making the assumption that it is the males right to orgasm rather than the women’s right to orgasm?

        Again, I urge you, first rethink where thought process and belief system about sex comes from, and what the underlying power structures are (if the power structure is too complicated, feel free to substitute it with status).

        “Relationships are about give and take.”

        Yes, but in none of the ways you mentioned above. Feel free to re-read my responses.

        “Certainly I agree that expectations about men sharing their emotions should change. I think we are secretly in agreement about the many things we speak, certainly in that feminism is about changing the negative aspects of being both male and female.”

        Really the only thing we agree on, if not for the same reasons. My reasons are because I see the inequalities inherent in the power structure. You because you see the problems in society without any real understanding of what the underlying causes are.

        “My point about men suffering from media’s idealizations is that men are judged not on how they look, but on the things they keep around them. While a woman worries about how she looks, the man worries about how his car looks (which is true! 😀 )”

        Have you recently watched commercials? Considered what the media is telling women to get/buy in order to fit the ideal? Have you considered that women are shown clothing and purses that are worth thousands of euros. The worst part is, that if she does manage to attain these things, she has gained no status in society. After all fashion, is a feminine pursuit. As much as I disagree about the ideals for men, at least all of them are associated with power in our society.

        Furthermore, have you watched commercials about home appliances and other “house” related items? How often the man the main actor in these commercials? All of them use the idea of the women at home who is supporting her kids and is proving a loving and supportive environment. However, may I ask, how on top off all of that is she supposed to find the time to have a job to earn these appliances? And she neither gets paid nor receives status for her work as a caretaker.

        Finally, have you ever thought about women and their choice of career or children?? It’s not easy! But wait, I am sure you know the answer: they can do both right?!?!? (sarcasm). Of course they can, and many women do. But what you forget, is that now a women is doing twice the work and still expected to succeed in both areas with no help. After all, men are not socialized for home-life the same way women are. Men do not see the work that needs to be done. They do not notice the dirty dishes in the sink. After all, having a messy house does not reflect negatively on them, since society seems to think that this is part of the women’s job. (When I say reflect negatively I mean in terms of status. Unfortunately, the home is one of the few places where women can achieve status without competing with men. However, in the bigger picture of society having a nice car an office still provides superior status than a clean house).

        “Again, we can argue about which we think is more harmful, but we cannot phenomenologically compare.”

        It is never really possible to compare apples and oranges. But I will say one thing: Let’s return to your example about appearances and Ryan Gosling. Yes, body ideals are a huge, huge problem in our society. But I have trouble when you argue that they are truly an equally large problem for both genders. Not everybody can be Ryan Gosling, I realize that, but what I can say is that he is a healthy (not extreme) specimen of the male species. How many male ideals are there that are medically speaking are underweight (BMI below 18.5)? How many are or have suffered from an eating disorder? How many have undergone plastic surgery? For women, I can think of at least 5 icons for each of these categories. So while yes, I believe body image is a huge issue, I do think that it is one that needs to be more quickly addressed for women, since there are thousands of girls who are close to death due to eating disorders. I am not going to lie, on a primal level, I envy you your ideal who inspires you to go to the gym rather than vomit into the toilet bowl or let yourself be cut up!

        “The suffering point is exactly that, we need more Lois Jenson’s and more people who are willing to suffer in order for real change to occur. Many more.”

        I think the real problem is you do not realize how much suffering their actually is out there. You do not see it! Just to give a few examples. Did you know it has now been criminalized (up to jail time) in some states for women to get an abortion, even when their lives are at risk or when they were raped? What about the Steubenville High School rape in 2012 where the media spent hours of air-time agonizing about how the “poor” rapists who would then no longer become football stars, rather than think about the consequences for the victim? What about that women’s traditional gender roles have resulted in the fact that many women who leave their abusive husbands have absolutely no resources, since we live in a society where they are all allocated to the males of the family? How about the fact,that a women who works is called a “bad mother” by her peers, but a women who decides to stay at home is “unambitious”? How about the fact that women are much more likely to suffer rape and abuse in our society? And let’s not even get started on other countries (e.g. where female circumcision and child brides are still acceptable).

        “The video is exactly what we need to change. And its awesome! :D”

        It is awesome! That is why I posted it.

        “Really, I think we are in secret agreement, like I said to Sophie, it’s about clarifying what Feminism, and equalism, is.”

        Feminism and equalism is not the same thing! The main difference is that equalism does not acknowledge the GAP between genders and seriously thinks we can all move on together. Feminism on the other hand, wants to address the GAP so we can all move on in tandem!
        You are arguing for equalism! That is a wonderful goal and I am proud of you for it. But you have no idea about feminism, I am sorry to say.

        To conclude, I want to say: Women want/need status! That is exactly what we are lacking in today’s society. Maybe when we live in a world where we respect the mothers of our children, our sisters, daughters, and friends, will we be able to move forward. To address some of your other comments, maybe when we can give status to 50% of our population, we will be in a place to give status to other groups as well. Because, let’s be honest, as many problems and difficulties as men have, they at least have status and respect, if nothing else. Let’s give women that too!

      4. What empirical evidence do you have that says women are 10 steps behind men? As I said to Karl, being female has negative aspects, some of which are biological (e.g., birthing, periods), some of which are socially constructed (e.g., lower job status and pay). This is a ruler and utopia of your own making and thus cannot tell us anything. We are in this together, in one boat, and we need to learn how to row together.
        All I am saying is that both Males and Females have significant negative aspects of their identity (pt. 3), and that instead of arguing about who had it worse, we would better spend our energy to make the future better. Again, it is impossible to compare in a scientific manner (unless we want to use evolution as a metric?).
        You can try to compare the angst of being burdened with children against the burden of being the sole breadwinner for the family (what if he loses his job?), but I don’t think that is productive.
        I never said anything even close to ‘a man should not have to support his child, especially if he is not in charge of its care’ I said that men want to see their kids and are not allowed, nor are they in power of whether they have a kid or not (unless they want to give up having sex, which is not practical).
        Baumeister et al., is a review article about how much effort the males and females are willing to put forward to obtain sex, 100’s of articles, using dozens of methods, were cited that found evidence for men being more motivated for sex.
        Coleman speaks about the value of a favor and both partners having a mental receipt. Also Adams, I don’t see why it is not? This is economic psychology.
        I can also make up a word and capitalize it and make it a filthy word. You are throwing around propaganda. Really, in 20 years, and with several billion dollars, I’m confident that I could convince the public that working at home and being with the children is a more honorable job than selling your soul and being away from your loved ones all day. Also that forcing someone to deal with your emotional baggage is disgusting.
        Your comment is undesirably long, as if you think making it long makes it better or more justifiable 😦
        ‘Additionally, why is it that when you think of an ideal situation, it is one in which we get rid of “play” but keep intercourse rather than the other way around (I’m talking about sex for pleasure and not about reproduction)? ‘
        What is the point of sex? If we are going to keep one aspect, which would you rather keep? Evolution has spoken on this manner. Yet you tell me to ‘Again, I urge you, first rethink where thought process and belief system about sex comes from, and what the underlying power structures are (if the power structure is too complicated, feel free to substitute it with status).’ Come on. How can I (or modern man) be blamed that the sperm only comes out when the man orgasms and that the female doesn’t ‘need’ to (again your examples of rape children)? Really. This is getting silly.
        Women are told to be skinny and put on makeup, men are told to buy a nice car and have a nice house, and have a bunch of money in the bank account; can we say what is worse? Also how commercials work is not my fault and this post is designed to help change that.
        While the female is ‘stuck at’ home (it is YOUR definition of value that makes it such, other cultures don’t see it that way), the man must carry the burden of being the sole bread winner. Are these comparable? I don’t believe so.
        Neither Ryan Gosling nor Emma Stone are extreme specimens, we are working to change this.
        You are talking about status now. Status is a concept YOU design.
        Why are you striving towards the male ideal instead of valuing your own contribution?
        This comment was several times too long. Truly, brevity is the soul of wit.
        I do appreciate your comments, but it is clear that many of them are coming from an angry place, which I don’t believe is optimally productive.
        Best,
        The OP.

      5. Nina, I just want to say I appreciate the work and thought you put into your comments.

  7. At first, when you read the line ‘even in cases of rape’ several people I know had assumed that referred to ‘male-on-female’ rape, so that part is a bit unclear. Of course, this absolutely does illustrate your point that sexist double-standards are not a one way street.

  8. Given that you have made it so that I can no longer reply to your comment, I will do so here. And, as you wish, I will keep it short.

    Feminism (the topic you are addressing in your blog) is a movement that believes that there is a structural inequality between men and women (along with it’s other goals). Where men are in a position of power and have higher status than women. As long as you deny this power difference, you are arguing against feminism. That is fine and it is your right. But then please refrain from saying that you are fighting for feminist ideals. It simply isn’t true.

    I apologize if you think that I was trying to argue who has it worse. My comments were made to try to explain the gap in power structure to you. Again a power structure that is created by society not individuals. After all our society is a product of our history and trying to deny this history and moving forward without taking this history into account is simplistic.

    To conclude let me quote Sofie “this is 100% bullshit”.

    1. There was no change in your ability to comment.

      My point is that is would be in the best interest of feminism if they also took into account men’s desires and needs for change, thus making it easier to work together.

      If men are the ones with all the power, then work with us, we are clearly willing to do so. Recognize though that this is YOU giving US the power, I could easily make people believe staying at home is better (which you conveniently forgot to cede the point).

      Also, by saying that there is a structural inequality, are you not implicitly saying who has it worse? I don’t understand. You can deny that the downsides of being a man are downsides, but this is exactly what the men of the 1800’s did and I don’t believe it is right.

      1. Status is something that is granted by the society you live in. As much as I want to believe that I alone can chose my status, or earn it, it simply isn’t true. To have status it needs to be recognized by society. Furthermore it is not true, that women give men status. I argue that status is given to men as a result of the inherent beliefs in our society. A society which was shaped by our forefathers (as you yourself said).

        Also I never said that the downsides to being a man are not downsides. But simple that the social constructs behind genders result in your status. Let’s give the example as the male as the breadwinner from a feminist point of view: if “women’s work” had status, the same amount of status as “men’s work”, then it would also be ok for a man to be the caretaker. My point is that you cannot simply state “Isn’t it terrible that men have the pressure of being the breadwinner!” without considering the social constructs (one’s where women’s lower status dictates male a male problem).

        In your blog, you simply throw a problems that men have out there, without ever thinking about the social structures underlying those problems. Then you call it supporting feminism, when you did not once talk about women’s struggles. This is not equal!

        Furthermore, while you might not have meant it, by highlighting males problems while deliberately ignoring many female problems, your rhetoric suggests that male problems are those society needs to focus on. A very anti-feminist notion.

        Finally, just because I am curious: You argue about men’s motivation for sex (which I assume does not always have the goal of getting the girl pregnant)and how you need to exchange sex in a relationship, then you tell me that reproductive sex is what is important here???? You contradict yourself. Or you are simply very eager to pay lots child support!

  9. Society is not a thing that grants status. We are society, and women make up half of it.

    Read it again, I mentioned several problems that females have (and there is MUCH said elsewhere) I’m trying to say new, not repeat the old.

    If we ask what the point of sex is, there is only one answer. the fact that it feels good is to make sure that we keep doing it. And perhaps the drive would not be so strong if it was not such a taboo (I know you’ve read Freud). and I am not saying anyone NEEDS to exchange sex, that is again your own mind putting words in my mouth. But if the female doesn’t desire to satisfy her partner’s ‘extra’ needs, I see no reason the man should feel obligated to satisfy his partner’s ‘extra’ needs. Relationships are about give and take.

    1. Dear Psycholar, (a final comment)

      You did not make any (eloquent) argument against my statement that women have lower status and that this is problematic and may be the root of many of the male problems you discuss. For this reason, I will assume that you now agree with me.

      However, you do seem to have a different notion about how women should get status. You said I am part of society and that I need to step up for it. Just as other women should. I agree but let me tell you why this is not as simple as it seems:

      You see, I know this guy who writes this blog that he thinks it’s about feminism. However, in truth, it completely ignores one of the fundamental aspects of the definition of feminism and he argues within the confines of many gender stereotypes. As you have said, as a women and a feminist it is my duty to step up and clarify things so I can gain status. After all, he says, we are in this boat together and that he is my ally.

      These are the responses I receive:

      I am told that I am throwing around “propaganda” when I try to argue that there is even a problem with female status to begin with.

      I try to point out one very oblivious domain where women have lower status in the eyes of society than males: sex! I am told that because my “feeling good” is not necessary for biological reproduction it is not necessary, so why am I even complaining about this? Again I am talking about the beliefs in society and the rhetoric (like this one) that continually try to justify this structural inequality. In light of your biological argument about “feeling good so we keep doing it” I counter with this: It takes two to have a child, so both need to “feel good” to keep doing it. Yet you see no problem in granting one gender’s “feel good” more status.

      Rather than being happy that I took the time out of my busy day to respond to your blog post (a goal of many bloggers is to have comments by the way) and to write well thought out arguments trying to explain feminism and status. I am told that my comments are to long, therefore I must be lacking in wit. Rather than judging the content of my comments!

      Finally, and most importantly! As a women disagreeing with you and engaging in a heated discussion, I am told that my arguments come from “an angry place”. After all, it is unthinkable that a women might be arguing a point with logic and rationality. By dismissing my comments with “female” emotionality, you are subconsciously promoting our structural inequality. You are saying my arguments cannot be worth anything because they must come from female emotion. You have no idea often this undermining rhetoric is used about women. And it is completely socially acceptable to make such comments about women and their opinions. This is what I am trying to fight! Rhetoric and belief systems such as “female emotionality” that are used to justify ignoring my opinions and lack of status!

      How many people have questioned your rationality, despite your use of a ton of emoticons (which, as the name suggests, express emotion). Despite insulting me with words such as “demonizing men”, “propaganda”, “angry”. Nobody seems to think you are being emotional, which if it were the case, would undermine your arguments just as you have undermined mine.

      Finally, for this reason alone you might see why your suggested trade of “emotional urges” for “sexual urges” in a relationship is so insulting to me. Female emotionality is still being used to undermine us and you suggest not only that it is innate (again debatable) but also that’s its only value is in trade for sex. Sex which I explained to you, women want to. They just wan’t to be recognized in their sexuality!

      So as long as people like me try to fight for women’s status, and people like you (who say you are fighting for the same thing) undermine females who “get too angry”, how can we ever gain the status and respect we deserve?

      Dear Psycholar, fight with me, not against me. I was trying to clarify feminism to you, not fight your beliefs about the cruelties in this world!

      1. Also I deeply resent that you have so severely edited your original blog post. Especially since many of your changes are the result of my comments!

        Readers of your blog, who have not read it from the start therefore will get a completely biased view of why the two of us are even having this discussion and why so many of the comment (not only mine) reflect deep disbelief and disappointment about your blog!

        I feel that your original copy should be made available (luckily I have it as a word document) so people can really see, what you were originally trying to promote as feminism! And why this discussion even arose.

      2. I don’t understand how you can say I have severely edited it.. Your comments have edited, yes, I agree. but no no fundamental positions have been changed. again, simply emphasizing things. Feel free to point them out if you desire, otherwise I will assume you are just spouting anger about.

      3. Hi Rawr!

        How do you mean? Maybe you could point to somewhere that my logic is flawed? Or where her logic showed that my logic is flawed?

        Thank you! 😀

        -The OP

  10. I agree with Nina and Sophie, this is 100% bullshit. What does “brevity is the soul of wit” actually mean? Your blog and comments are anything but concise; therefore, by your analogy, you are either witless or soulless or both. I believe you are neither but you see the fallacy of such statements. Also, what does “optimally productive” mean? I am a scientist, with a doctorate in applied mathematics specializing in the theory of optimization, and I have no idea what this means. What do you mean by productive? I’m assuming this is your optimization criterion. How do you describe this mathematically? What is your constraint space? One must define these constructs before one can empirically measure the productivity of something (optimization criterion) under certain restrictions (constraint space). Do you want to optimize the productivity of your blog under the restrictions that your 31 followers and anyone else care what it is you have to say? If so, please refrain from statements such as “your comment is undesirably long as if you think making it long makes it better or more justifiable”. That comment shows, to me, that you are coming from an “angry place which I don’t believe is optimally productive”. Oh, wait a second……. In my opinion, Nina’s comments are well argued, addressed and refuted your points in a very professional manner and were not too long. You in turn called her comments “silly”, “disgusting”, at least with respect to her belief (correct in my opinion) that forcing a someone to have sex is not comparable to listening to someone’s “emotional baggage”, “angry”, etc. I would like to think that you are not being deliberately obtuse with your comments about sex, and “play” and male orgasm vs female orgasm and “which aspect to keep” if we had to choose. We don’t have to choose and this is, to use your term, a “silly” hypothetical. Finally you have twice now stated that men “want to see their children and are not allowed to”. Where is your empirical evidence? Nina addressed this beautifully in her 2nd comment but you did not mention this in your rebuttal. So because of your ad hominem, so to speak, references to Nina’s constructive comments, lack of “scholarly” argument in your rebuttals as well as in your blog in general, my “care” factor for this blog is now 0. Sincerely, Susan

    1. Hi Susan,
      I do not have an optimization plan, in all honesty, I’m sorry, though I would enjoy your making one and then we could discuss it. It seems like one would be useful, in all honesty.
      You can be angry at me, you can disagree. That doesn’t make me less right. What evidence do you bring forth?
      If you want to argue about the points that I raise (in the blog post), then I will be happy to do so.
      Here is a piece on fathers not being able to see their kids.

      Also, it got you to comment, didn’t it? Just saying.

      -The OP

      1. My comment is due to your disrespectful response to someone who is commenting to your blog in the spirit of good scholarship. I am not angry. Why do you assume I am? I am a scholar and love intellectual debates. Unfortunately this is not such a debate. What I don’t appreciate is sloppy scholarship resorting to unsubstantiated comments — the link you posted is a comment in the Guardian newspaper in the UK, not a peer reviewed scientific paper and gives absolutely no empirical evidence. Also, I find it disingenuous in the least to change your original blog based on the comments made by a true scholar and not attribute these changes to the source. How can I be certain if I respond to your points in the blog post that you won’t then in turn change these points to reflect the “correctness” of these comments without proper citation? Furthermore, Nina is “making up nothing”, it is you who is apparently oblivious to the scientific process, scientific debate and basic curtesy. There is no productivity in arguing with you. I prefer debating with a scholar who either stands by his post or acknowledges that the contributions of others have caused him/her to revise the post. As an experienced academician and published scholar (in peer reviewed journals) I find your reasoning and argumentation below scientific standards. Sincerely, Susan

      2. Susan, you sound angry. Indignant actually. But where did I change my argumentation so that my comments are correct? Read the original post and then read this again, only words have changed, not the ideas behind them.

        There is nothing in your comment of substance, it is all ad hominems, yet you accuse me of using them..

        Again, if you have legitimate comments, I’d be glad to hear them.

      3. Hi Susan,

        Hi Nina,

        This is a Direct quote of Simone de Beauvoir. The second sex, introduction, page 10.

        If we are to gain understanding, we must get out of these ruts; we must discard the vague notions of superiority, inferiority, equality which have hitherto corrupted every discussion of the subject and start afresh.

        This is pretty much exactly what I am saying.

        -The OP

  11. If we close “the gap” that was mentionned repeatedly above, relationships (between man and woman, e.g.) can become much more gratifying and interesting, meeting each other “on eye level”. That seems to be beyond you.

    You have been eloquently contradicted above and you don’t even recognize it. So much for intellectual capacity. To sum it up: I like Sophie’s comment “this is 100% bullshit”.
    Feel free to propagate your opinion in the internet. There are good things there and there is a lot of crap there, too. So go on. Since you are not open to arguments which clearly falsify your position, it is futile to further participate in this discussion.

    1. Hi Karl,

      Which gap are you talking about? The one with females at the top, or the one with males at the bottom? The gap between male and female desire for sex and emotional support? I am in favor of closing all gaps mentioned.

      What arguments were contradicted exactly? I have never said that females don’t have it worse in some regards, I simply said they also have it better in other regards (e.g., average life, time spent in jail, rights to have and see children). Which sex actually has it worse, how can we tell? You think you know?

      And how was I contradicted? You can say it, but that doesn’t make it true.

  12. Here is Psycholar’s original blog post:

    6 things I would like to say about the feminist movement

    First, it seems important to speak about me, as I know this is going to be the first thing people judge when reading this post. I am an American male, who identifies as someone who believes that everyone (including women) should be able to live how they want, free from the oppression of others. I am current with the debate through traditional and social media, and generally being the type of person who ensures that his own opinions are complex enough to contradict each other sometimes. Nor do I feel that I have all the right answers (who does?), only opinions that informed from a life in philosophy and psychology. With this out of the way, these are some things that I feel feminists, most people actually, should hear concerning feminism/ equalism.

    1.There is no best way to be a woman (or man).

    The point of the feminist movement, as I see it at least, is about removing barriers for women and allowing them to live the type of life they choose, not about telling people how to live their life. There is no ultimately correct way to live (e.g., Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Beauvoir), and telling others how to live is fundamentally what the movement is working against. Importantly, if one intentionally goes into a culture and violates their norms (e.g., wearing a short skirt in a Muslim nation), one must be aware that they will encounter resistance, though these actions can, of course, be undertaken ‘for the greater good,’ (suffering inspires others to act) but it is important to be aware of the consequences.
    We cannot force change on anyone any more than we would accept them trying to force change on us.

    2. Perhaps tradition is evil, but men are not.

    The situation today is the result of exactly that, tradition. It is an empirical fact that within the animal kingdom, generally speaking, one sex takes care of the children while the other goes and collects resources. It is an empirical fact that in species similar to ours, generally speaking, one sex takes care of the children while the other goes and collects resources. Why it is that females wound up taking care of children before technology is a question Biology is currently working to answer. Regardless of the answer, it is unfair to blame modern men for something that is far out of our control (our biological history). We are working together to remove the limitations placed up women (and men!), but it is important to recognize our history (whether or not it is innate) and its effects on modern culture.

    3. Women do not Always get the short end of the stick.

    In some situations it is an empirical fact that females get the worse of it (e.g., work compensation/opportunities, sexual abuse); but it is also an empirical fact that men are more likely to die young, more likely to go to prison (and get harsher prison sentences), to end up with a mental illness, or to end up homeless. Men are at the top, but they are also at the bottom. Similarly, men are less likely to win custody of a child, and men have basically no say in whether they have a child or not. If he wants a child and the she does not, it is aborted, but if he does not want a kid and she does, he cannot stop it and is even forced to pay child support. There is at least once case of a man being raped and then forced to pay child
    support (!!!!). While men perhaps have better jobs this is changing (new studies indicate more females are graduating from university than men) and it will be important moving forward to equalize these negative aspects of being a male as well (or increase the negative for women, but less suffering all around seems preferable to me).

    4. Relationships are about give and take.

    Sometimes we have to do things for our partners we don’t want to. A female simply cannot understand the sexual urges a man has similar to the way a male simply cannot understand the emotional urges females get. If dealing with men’s (frequent) sexual urges is something females do not want to do, then dealing with female’s (frequent) emotional urges is something that males should not be expected to do. Much evidence suggests that males and females differ in the amount of sex and emotional support they desire and it is unfair to deny males the ‘extra’ sexual support they desire while also expecting the ‘extra’ emotional support females desire. Especially getting a male sexually aroused and then leaving is similar (though phenomenologically incomparable) to getting a female emotionally aroused and then
    leaving. This is simply not something one would do to someone they truly care about.

    5. Men also suffer from the media’s idealizations.

    Simply put, it is no easier to be Ryan Gosling than it is to be Emma Stone. Perhaps males are not influenced to the same degree (we can debate about this is the comments; idealizations demand different things), but that men are idealized is unquestionable. One would be hard pressed to suggest that romanticized books like Twilight or 50 Shades of Gray do not contain romanticized male characters. Video games and comics also have their share of idealized males (e.g., Superman, Batman, and Spiderman). I agree that have greater demands placed upon their beauty, but let us admit that males have greater demands placed upon the goods they keep around them (e.g., car, house, accessories). While we could make an argument that body transformations are more harmful for health, there is no doubt that both behaviors are considerably self-destructive. It is simply an an empirical difference in what the genders
    desire in a partner (though again, we are working to change this).

    6. Real change will not happen until people are willing to suffer for the cause.

    This is actually for anyone who wants to change the world. Look at changes in thought throughout history (e.g., religious, political, scientific), almost none have been successful without a significant suffering, and real change often comes at the expense of a particular leader’s life (e.g., Socrates, Jesus, Ghandi, Lincoln, MLK, Quảng Đức, Bin Laden) oftentimes decades, or centuries after the individual dies. There is little reason to believe that the equal rights movement is any different. Indeed, some have suffered (e.g., for providing abortions, or studying engineering, ), but it is only when people are willing to die that real change will occur.

  13. You are of course free to change your original blog, however I think it is important that the readers of our discussion know why this discussion even began: as a result of your original post!

    Secondly, I resent that in one of your recent responses you referred me back to your blog, when it is no longer what you originally said. Especially since, you did not mention anywhere that it is in a work in progress or how much my comments really influenced this new version!

    1. Hi Nina, I don’t understand how you can say I have ‘severely’ edited it..at most 25 words have changed.. Yes, the piece has been edited since we talked, but the changes have been to simply emphasize things in order to avoid having the same arguments. Nowhere have the ideas behind the words changed. If you feel the ideas behind the words have substantively changed, please point them out and I will feel free to address those changes, otherwise you are just saying things so that people who don’t actually read your comments( because they are too long) think you somehow won (like rawr, lol).

      1. Psycholar: Why would you assume people aren’t reading Nina’s comments? I’ve read every single one, and I consider them to be some of the most substantive things I’ve read all week. In fact, at the risk of sounding insulting without intending to, I found them to be of far greater value than your own post. I’m sure you wrote the original post with good intentions and with an attempt to be fair-minded, but it betrays a lack of familiarity with important sociological factors important to the subject at hand that Nina has gone to apparently great efforts to address in detail. It’s my personal wish that you would reconsider what she has said, put more effort into learning about the sociology of gender and societal power structures, and spend less time defending your original points, which I agree are highly flawed in spite of being well-meaning.

        And Nina, though I posted so earlier, thanks again for all your input.

      2. Hi Jacob (Laylia),

        I’m glad you read the comments, sincerely, but I still don’t understand where I miss the point or have flawed logic. Rather than only saying that Nina is right, it would be better for you to reiterate where you think I am wrong, so that I can change my views, I did not find Nina’s arguments convincing (as you can see, if you also read my responses). 😀

        It also seems important to point out that just because it has a lot of words, or someone put a lot of effort into it, doesn’t mean it is good. So far as I can see, there is no point that was made by Nina that shows my logic to be lacking, if you can see places, I would enjoy discussing them in more depth.

        Thanks for stopping by, and I hope we can discuss more! 😀

        -The OP

    2. Hi Nina,

      This is a Direct quote of Simone de Beauvoir. The second sex, introduction, page 10.

      If we are to gain understanding, we must get out of these ruts; we must discard the vague notions of superiority, inferiority, equality which have hitherto corrupted every discussion of the subject and start afresh.

      This is pretty much exactly what I am saying.

  14. Psycholar, I stand by the vast majority (as in 98%) of what Nina said, and for me to point out where I think you’ve missed the mark would entail my redundantly repeating everything she has said already. Her responses not only amount to a lot of words and have obviously had a lot of effort put into them, but are also, in my opinion, quite good and better stated than I could ever have managed.

    I do appreciate that you’re trying to have this discussion and of your good intentions in doing so, but I’ll repeat that I hope you’ll learn more about sociology and gender studies so that your ideas can evolve. In the meantime, I’ll do the same; I’ve been studying these matters for a long time now, and I know I’m far from being an expert.

    (As a side note, I would appreciate it if you would remove the reference to my e-mail address in your previous comment. It is tied to my work, and I would prefer that it not appear linked to my extracurricular internet activities. Thanks.)

    1. Hi Jacob,

      Almost 200 words with no content. 😦 Again, if you have specific points, I would be glad to discuss them. Where do I misunderstand sociology or gender studies?

      Thank you,
      The OP

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