The Problem with Porn

I sometimes struggle remembering what I did  yesterday but the details of the first porn film I ever watched have stayed with me. I knew my brother had somehow managed to procure a dirty video and I also knew that if I was careful I could watch it quietly in the living room when nobody was around. I must have been around the age of 11  or 12, a gangly soon to be teenager teetering on edge of the precipice of puberty. I sat in my front room nervously listening out for any sign of my parents, and giggled at the opening credits. A woman came jogging into sight wearing tight seventies shorts and the camera panned in to a close up of her jiggling breasts. The action quickly moved to a bedroom where the portrait behind the bed had holes for eyes and the female inhabitants all transformed into lesbians as soon as the men disappeared. Perhaps because the emphasis was on women enjoying themselves together, with the male voyeur always behind the painting, I found the film amusing and a little bit exciting. A bit of cheeky harmless 70s fun.

The naughty video that I watched as a pre-adolescent and the even naughtier ones I went on to watch in my twenties are so removed from the pornography that is available online today that it is hardly comparable.  But still, the porn I watched shaped my sexuality. Who on earth talks to their parents about the intricacies of performing fellatio? Or ponders about the nature of lesbian sex over Sunday tea? When my friends first told me about cunnilingus I was 13 and I found the entire concept disgusting, but a few dirty movies later, and I was ready to try it myself. I don’t want to turn this blog into a series of sexual revelations but this wasn’t the only thing I saw and then went on to try myself. Porn undoubtedly informed my view of what was normal and normalised things I had never previously dreamt of. I can not separate out the sexual being I am today from these early experiences and I have no way of knowing whether things would have been different if I had never watched that first footage of the clandestine lesbians.

Fast forward to 2014 and two of my friends have recently had to deal with their 8 year old children accessing hardcore pornography accidentally on the internet. When I was young, porn films were passed around like contraband between groups of teenagers. Hard to come by and watched in giggling groups of naughty friends. Now a young girl curious about the imminent changes to her pre-adolescent body is confronted with images of impossibly young looking women having violent anal sex when she googles “naked teenage girls”.

This immersion in pornographic culture is a uniquely new phenomenon. Children and teenagers have never had such instant access to the kinds of images that we are now able to find at the click of a mouse. It is estimated that 88% of pornography shows physical aggression towards women, with the most popular acts depicted in porn being “vaginal, oral and anal penetration by three or more men at the same time; double anal; double vaginal; a female gagging from having a penis thrust into her throat; and ejaculation in a woman’s face, eyes and mouth”. I am grateful I wasn’t exposed to such footage when I was teenager or who knows what I might have accepted as normal. A survey back in 2006 found that 40% of teenagers know a girl that has been coerced into having sex with someone and that 42% knew a girl who had been hit by her boyfriend. The survey also found some worrying attitudes in terms of entitlement to sex with 27% of respondents thinking it was acceptable for a boy to expect to have sex with a girl if she had been very flirtatious. Rates of heterosexual anal sex are also on the increase, as are resultant reported injuries and coercion is an increasingly common factor.

There is undoubtedly a need for more research into the impact and effects of such widespread pornography consumption by young people but there are some things that seem obvious to me. If you hold a social constructivist view of reality, then it makes utter sense that these things make a difference. Anybody that doubts that what we watch influences what we do obviously didn’t spend half their childhood climbing in car windows in emulation of the Dukes of Hazard like I did.  And they probably haven’t heard about the 12 year old boy who raped his sister after watching hardcore pornography online either.  If teenagers and young people are exposed to porn that routinely degrades, abuses and disempowers women then this is bound to affect their emerging sense of their selves as sexual beings and influence how they then behave in their relationships. Exposure to porn that embodies negative attitudes towards women perpetuates and reproduces further negative attitudes towards women which in turn eventually produces porn producers with negative attitudes towards women who produce porn that exhibits those negative attitudes towards women and so on and so on…. A neverending cycle of patriarchy reproducing itself. We will continue to fail our young people unless we find a way to interrupt the cycle.

Parents and educators seem unwilling to talk about such sensitive issues because to do so is to acknowledge that our children are at the stage in their lives when they are losing their innocence. Perhaps there is still an outdated notion that the porn our children are accessing is the sort of thing that we watched secretly in our front rooms as teenagers ourselves, rather than the violent abusive reality it so often is now. I have lost count of the number of times that I have had arguments about this issue with those scared of state censorship and the loss of freedom they envisage as a result – the individual freedom to wank somehow trumping the freedom of our teenagers not to be exposed to this stuff.  I’m not one for quoting philosophers generally but I think it’s worth referring to John Stuart Mill in this instance as he makes a vital point:

“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it”

Too often those arguing against censorship privilege their own freedom above that of others. Misogynistic porn both degrades the women who have to act out abusive scenes whilst pretending to enjoy it, as well as having a serious impact on societal attitudes. It is gradually normalising coercive and violent sex and this has an impact on all the women in our society. This is not the kind of world that I want to live in, let alone my children.  I believe that it is possible to be both positive about sex as well as anti-pornography as it currently stands. To believe that we can instigate reforms in such a male dominated and powerful industry is so politically naive it is almost laughable. The porn industry does not care about women, it cares about money and that will always be its main concern. Whilst the main consumers of porn continue to be men who are seemingly turned on by such misogynistic abuse, then nothing will change. It is about time feminists stop arguing that pornography is ’empowering’ and ‘liberating’ and wake up to the reality. Our children and young people do not deserve to be the unknowing subjects of a social experiment of this nature and we need to start talking about why porn is problematic for all of us.

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37 Comments Add yours

  1. sgsilver says:

    Excellent piece. My only criticism is with the second-to-last sentence. There is a large break between anti-pornography and pro-pornography feminists, but your sentence suggests that all or most feminists support pornography. That is definitely not the case,and I would argue that it is not even the majority. The second-wave feminists and radical feminists take a strong stand against pornography and have done for over 40 years. I would add “some” or even “some so-called” before “feminists”.

    That aside, this is a great piece. Have you read GETTING OFF by Robert Jensen? Highly recommend it. Do a search for his interviews and speeches as well. He talks about his own experiences with pornography when he was young and how he came to the conclusion that consuming pornography was not congruent with his values.

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    1. Ms Tastic says:

      I understand what you’re saying – maybe I should have differentiated between different strands of feminist thinking. I didn’t mean to imply all feminists were pro porn but I suppose my argument is with liberal feminism so maybe I should have made that more clear. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  2. Reblogged this on musingformuses and commented:
    Eloquent argument. My 10 year old daughter is so hurt that I don’t let her browse online without me looking over her shoulder, but I’d rather have her with hurt feelings than understand, just yet, how very much men hate women, and what a violent place for women this world is. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adam Cook says:

      “How very much men hate women”? Come on, that’s just as sexist as anything else we might talk about here.

      I find a lot to agree with in the article. On the whole I totally support the argument. But I’m concerned that there’s a distinct level of double-standard being applied. The OP said that “It is gradually normalising coercive and violent sex and this has an impact on all the women in our society”, which is true. But by that logic, is it really so hard to assume that therefore it is also having a harmful impact on the men in our society? If young girls watch and are influenced by this harmful trend, why are young boys (and the men they grow into) assumed to be totally self-aware, misogynistic, perpetrators of sexism? If girls are being coerced into this kind of activity by a drip-feed of normalising messages, surely that applies to boys as well? One gender is not immune to social conditioning while the other is somehow uniquely vulnerable.

      If you want to change attitudes for the better, there’s needs to be frank conversation about how this trend is harmful to both men and women, normalising abusive sex and destroying the potential for equal, respect-orientated relationships. That requires education.

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      1. Ms Tastic says:

        First of all, this is a feminist blog so there is always going to be a focus on how things affect women. It almost doesn’t need saying but obviously, not all men hate women, however, feminists need to be able to talk about the ones that do and especially the ones that perpetrate violence against women without other men becoming defensive. I agree that porn is having a terrible effect on both young men and women. Young men are being socialised into seeing abusing women as normal and women are being conditioned into accepting this. This undoubtedly harms everyone. I am really pleased to see that you are as concerned about this as I am because I think it is very damaging. I would really like to see more men acknowledging the role of other men in abusing women and challenging them rather than the women who are pointing it out.

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    2. sellmaeth says:

      I think girls should know how much men hate women as early as possible, to be able to defend themselves.
      There is, however, no reason to learn this by watching pornography. Websites like “Counting Dead Women” make the point just as well.

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      1. Derrington says:

        Teaching girls about male hatred is like teaching kids about dangers of traffic.

        Like

  3. Adam Cook says:

    I agree with your last point. Everyone should speak out against abuse and sexism. And that is the most important point, so I think we’re fundamentally on the same page.

    However, I must disagree with the other two points you made. Yes, I fully understand the emphasis on how these things affect women. That makes sense considering the blog. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the fault of young impressionable boys. Now, those words were never written by yourself, but I must admit to getting that impression, and the point I was trying to make was that social conditioning is something that effects everyone, creating harmful attitudes whether of enforced subservience or expected dominance. I worry that young boys are exposed to social conditioning and in return they are treated with scorn by some people who dispise them for then being the “bad guys”, despite the fact that they are victims of the same conditioning that girls are facing. Obviously, boys still get the better deal of the two, but even so.

    Secondly, on the point made by the commentator procrastinatrix which you address, forgive me, but let’s switch the situation around.

    Man: “All women can’t drive.”
    Woman: “That sounds sexist to me.”
    Man: “Well a tiny handful of women can’t drive, and men should be able to talk about it, so it’s ok, no need to be defensive.”

    Now perhaps that’s unfair, perhaps I’ve misinterpreted the meaning, but it seems to me that there’s never really any justification for that kind of talk. Blaming all men for the problems of a tiny minority is just wrong. More widely, it turns people (particularly men!) off your positive message of equality. If men are expected to meaningfully engage with stamping out sexism, perhaps you need the good ones on your side…

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    1. Ms Tastic says:

      I’m sorry if you thought that I somehow blame young men. I don’t, I blame patriarchy and I totally agree with you about social conditioning. That is really my view. I think porn is just as damaging for young men. Just because they are conditioned to be more dominant doesn’t mean this works for them at all. I think gender roles are damaging for everyone. As for your other point: the problem is that male violence against women isn’t just perpetrated by a ‘tiny minority’. 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse in their life time. Your switch around ignores the fact that women are generally oppressed by men in our society. Just because not all men abuse women it doesn’t mean that it’s not mostly men who are the abusers. This is what we need to be able to talk about. Male violence. To understand it better, it would be like me responding to the rioters in Ferguson that not all white people shoot black people when they are rightfully expressing their anger and complaining about racism. Sometimes we can get defensive when we are put in a class of people who are being criticised but that doesn’t automatically mean we do those things. It’s important to hear women when they talk about these things if you genuinely want to engage in stamping out sexism (which I hope you do!)

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      1. Adam Cook says:

        Well patriarchy is just the inevitable result of thousands of years of social conditioning, so I think it’s the same problem extended across centuries, but anyway… Agreed on core points.

        I agree that women’s voices should be heard wherever they are raised. And the statistics do paint a bleak picture. It’s criminal that in 2012 (the first year I could find a statistic for) 5% of men and 7.3% of women suffered domestic abuse, overwhelmingly at the hands of male abusers. And it only gets worse for women when considering through-life reporting.

        But I stand by saying it’s only a small minority of men who are abusive. The 1 in 4 statistic is across a lifetime. It doesn’t take 25% of men to be abusers to ensure that 25% of women suffer abuse at some point in their lives. An abusive man is likely to abuse his children, his wife, second wives, etc. More than half of domestic violence cases involve children as well (sources vary between 52 and 55%). Disgusting and abhorrent yes. Don’t get me wrong, these men really are filth. But there’s a hell of a lot of double and triple counting here. A scumbag doesn’t commit one reported incident of abuse and then stop.

        To address your Fergson example, if someone tried to tell me that “white people” are racist or responsible for the problems, I would be just as defensive about that too. That doesn’t mean I deny that there are systematic and widespread racial prejudices and injustices. That doesn’t mean I deny that a small element of the white population collectively conducts the majority of these. But I would still justiably resent being labelled as part of the problem just because I was white.

        And that’s the key thing here…

        It’s very satisfying to apply these labels and tell people to face up to the problem in their midst, but if you want to achieve real, meaningful change you need to win hearts and minds. You need to genuinely get people on board.

        The decent, female-respecting, non-violent, large-majority mainstream male population will never engage with a movement that constantly seeks to define sexism and abuse as being something that “they” are responsible for. If you want change (and we both clearly do), that population needs to be engaged. The point I was responding to: “men hate women” does not engage. It does the opposite. Hopefully I’m managing to express where I’m coming from.

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      2. Ms Tastic says:

        I appreciate that your comments are well meaning but I would like you to reflect on how it might feel to a feminist when a man tells her that she needs to change her message if it is to be more palatable to men and therefore achieve change. I am not of the opinion that all men hate women as I have said, but I can understand why women think that. Many feminists are survivors of domestic violence, rape, and sexual abuse and most women I know have been sexually harrassed by men. Perhaps it would be worth you reading some more of my blog rather than suggesting that I or any other feminist needs to change their opinion so that men will not feel threatened. Many women feel threatened by men every single day. We encounter sexism and harrassment in our daily lives. Perhaps if you are really wanting to change things it might be worth reflecting on why women feel this way and then seeking to support women in making those changes rather than criticising them for expressing their anger at the way they are often treated and see other women being treated. I do think we need to get more men on board if we are going to elicit change but this must not be at the expense of allowing women to speak and voice their frustrations.

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  4. Adam Cook says:

    I sincerely apologise if that is the impression I have created. I’m not suggesting you should be more palatable to sexist or abusive men. Nor am I suggesting that feminists should change their opinions, for any reason. Nor am I criticising you for expressing entirely justifiable anger at the undoubted sexism and discrimination that women suffer. On the contrary, women should express their opinion on this and they are right to be angry! Patriarchy is indefensible.

    Be angry. Express your opinions. Stand up for your rights. Do all these things. But direct it where it’s due! Lazy, generalised, broad-brush attacks on men are never going to be justifiable, just as they are never justifiable against anyone. Don’t defend someone who says something ridiculous and sexist just because you sympathise with why she might feel angry. That’s a terrible excuse.

    Surely an equality-campaigner such as yourself can sympathise with why I find it unacceptable that some people will constantly criticise the legion of decent, progressive, kind-hearted men who aren’t sexists just for sharing the same gender with the actual sexists? Does that not strike you as grossly hypocritical? Does it really take so much effort to be a little more specific in your criticism? How can you experience sexism on an almost daily basis and then not care when feminists express it themselves? You argue it’s ok to make massive generalisations because women suffer so much from harassment and abuse. I think it’s tragic too, but it’s not a free pass.

    I did read a few more of your blog posts. I agree with most of it. It’s witty and insightful, and you clearly care a lot about it, which comes across. I’m not a fan of Clarkson and Farage either.

    But let me put it in perspective. Yes, I’m sure most (if not all) women have experienced sexual harassment at some point in any given time period. Probably a depressingly short time period. What proportion of the total male population do you think it takes to be sexual harassers for that to be the case? All? Half? A quarter? A tenth? How much of a percentage need to be the bad guys before it’s ok for us all to be the bad guys?

    Just because I’m asking you to stop tarring the other innocent men with the same brush does not (I dearly hope!) mean I want women to stop expressing their opinions, or that they shouldn’t be angry.

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    1. Ms Tastic says:

      I really appreciate you taking the time to engage with me and read my blog. I don’t know if you are aware but the “not all men” argument is a common tactic employed by men whenever women try and discuss their experience of sexism. It can get a bit frustrating to deal with. I think we just have a slightly different analysis of the world to be honest. I constantly seek to understand my own privilege as a white middle class woman living in the West. Sometimes my position of relative power blinds me to the advantages and unconscious prejudices I might have. If a black person talks to me about their experience of racism from white people, I try to be open to hearing this and do not think it is my job to tell them that not all white people are racist because how would I possibly know what it is like to walk in their shoes? I do not experience racism and so I often miss it. Can you see how by being defensive one risks denying someone’s experience of oppression? It is uncomfortable sometimes but I think it is important to do this if you wish to act in solidarity with people. Thanks for your lovely feedback about my blog 🙂

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      1. Max Dashu says:

        You are being entirely too patient with someone who exhibits all the symptoms of mansplaining.

        Like

      2. Adam Cook says:

        @ Max Dashu – Thank you for the clever and well-argued response that demonstrates no instinctive and grossly hypocritical sexism whatsoever. This is what depresses me about this whole topic. People blinded by prejudice with no capacity for objectivity.

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  5. Adam Cook says:

    Well, I’m similarly glad we can have a polite and reasonable discussion.

    I understand what you’re saying. I can totally see why having some guy tell you that not all men are bad might be hurtful if you’re trying to explain some awful experience of sexism and he doesn’t seem to be listening. I get that.

    But with all due respect, the “not all men” argument isn’t a tactic. It’s just the truth. It should even be called “not even anywhere near the majority of men”.

    Now, I agree that “not all men” should absolutely not be used as a means of closing down female expression of sexism. But just to use it as an example, I don’t think saying “men hate women” is an experience of sexism. It just is sexism, through and through.

    To take your race example, what if that black person said to you “white people think they’re superior to black people”. Would you argue? Would you say “not all white people”? Because I would. While I might totally sympathise with that person’s experience of racial abuse, if they respond to that with racism themselves then I wouldn’t hesitate to say “not all white people are like that”.

    I can see what you mean about solidarity. Certainly, if someone was tearful and distressed, I would make every effort to be comforting, including letting them say whatever they needed to say while I nodded along. But I’m pretty sure none of the people in this blog are quite at that point. 🙂

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    1. derrington says:

      Adam, currently I have spent two years trying to get authorities to deal with four months of violent sexist attacks on my 6 year old daughter by 6 boys in her class which was condoned by the headmaster, teachers and governors as ‘play’. The boys called her a bitch, punched, kicked, pushed her over, pulled her off school equipment and slammed her head into the floor so that she ended up with concussion. They told her boys are better than girls. She had to leave the school for her own safety in the end and having reported the attacks to Ofsted, the police, Social Services, the Church of England, School Safeguarding Unit, NSPCC, the Dept of Education, the Communities Minister and the Secretary of State for Schools, None of these are even vaguely interested in even recording the violent attacks, one of which included a sexual assault, despite being required to by law. Currently I have resorted putting her case to the sexual abuse inquiry as 1 in 3 schoolgirls is subject to sexist violence in school. Whilst I appreciate the not all men, I think you will find that if 1 in 3 girls has experienced sexist attack by between 1 and more boys in her school, that 98% of males between the ages of 16 – 45 watch violently sexist porn, and the sheer volume of men that have activiely covered up male abuse of either women or children from Jimmy Saville to Rochdale, there is a problem with male attitudes that is not a minority of men problem. Sure, we want men to help combat this problem if they care about their wives, daughters, sisters etc as they say they do – but having to sugar coat the pill of truth to avoid hurting men’s feelings is a bit like asking a drowning person to ask nicely for a place in the boat. I myself was raped by five boys/men before I reached the age of 16, my mother was raped in her life too – and all times the men that knew covered for the men that attacked me, including my own father so … over to you.

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      1. Adam Cook says:

        Hi derrington. Those experiences sound appalling and awful, so anything I say right now will automatically make me a bad guy. That said…

        With respect, over to me what? I’m unsure what you want from me. I was having a discussion about how it was unacceptable to see a blatantly sexist comment and defend it just because it came from a woman. Do you disagree with that point? Do you genuinely disagree with the idea that not all men are sexist bastards? To come back to the example I made above:
        _________________
        To take your race example, what if that black person said to you “white people think they’re superior to black people”. Would you argue? Would you say “not all white people”? Because I would. While I might totally sympathise with that person’s experience of racial abuse, if they respond to that with racism themselves then I wouldn’t hesitate to say “not all white people are like that”.
        _________________

        Is there an element of this principle that you disagree with? If not, I don’t really see what we have to discuss.

        Now, if you want me to comment on your specific points, despite you not being willing to comment on my specific points, then of course I think we agree that those experiences are inexcusable. Bullying of any sort is unacceptable. In your position I’ve no idea what I’d do, but given the systematic neglect you and your daughter have experienced from the authorities I can only think a local paper might take the story up and hopefully you could use that to raise awareness and put pressure on these people to take action.

        Regarding the subsequent comments, I’d be interested in the figures/source behind the “1 in 3 schoolgirls”. That seems appalling and surprises me, given that in my personal experience boys tended to bully boys and girls tended to bully girls. I’d like to learn more, particularly if I’m holding misconceptions.

        On your “98% of men” comment, I would definitely like to see the source. I’ve been trying to find that right now, and none of the sources I can find say anything of the sort. The various figures I can find include:

        “68% of men and 18% of women [look at porn] at least once a week”
        http://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/02/19/pornography-statistics/

        “86% of men had used pornography in the last year”
        http://www.citizenlink.com/2012/01/27/all-men-look-at-pornography-right/

        “1 in 3 visitors of porn sites are women”
        “67% of men and 49% of women say porn is acceptable.”
        http://www.roadtograce.net/current-porn-statistics/

        Etc. etc. (And many more useful links in that last one).

        Needless to say, I think we can both agree that porn is almost universally sexist. But at the same time, the viewing figures for men are lower than you claim, the viewing figures for women are surprisingly high (and well documented as such), and it’s rather emotive to say “violently sexist”, as that indicates violent porn; clearly not the same and probably nowhere near as endemic. So what’s your point?

        Next, I take particular issue with talking about Jimmy Saville and Rochdale in the way you did. It wasn’t just men covering that up, it was entire institutions. Institutions that presumably included women. It seems a bit much to claim that men were automatically prepared to cover for these scumbags yet women were universally uninvolved. Happy to be proved wrong if such evidence exists.

        You also discussed “male attitudes”. Again, frankly, I take issue. I had the massive displeasure of having to sit through Fifty Shades of Grey recently, which is some of the most sexist, misogynistic shit I’ve ever seen, about a young woman enslaving her independent will to a powerful, older man. And yet it’s written BY a woman, FOR women, and is massively popular WITH women. Then you’ve got women’s mags constantly plastering implausibly beautiful airbrushed women in front of impressionable young girls, giving them unrealistic (and sexist) ideas of ‘perfect’ body shape and desirability. Then there’s celeb culture, obsessed with gratuitiously sexist impressions of (again) beauty, filled with many female writers and pandering to (what seems) a largely female audience. What exactly in all this is a “male attitude” problem?

        We have a societal attitude problem when it comes to sexism. If it’s worse amongst men it’s still a massive issue among women. If I’m forced to admit my gender’s problems, you don’t get to airbrush out yours.

        “…having to sugar coat the pill of truth to avoid hurting men’s feelings”.

        No one is asking you to do this! Did you know that 50% of respondents to a survey on lesbian relationship domestic abuse reported having suffered “some form of sexual abuse”? Doesn’t that seem like a huge number? If I said “lesbians are therefore clearly very sexually abusive”, and someone took issue to that (quite rightly), should I then follow it up by saying “I won’t sugar coat the truth just to make you feel better”? Do you appreciate the problem I have with the sentiment?

        Female violence isn’t some tiny statistical blip. Non-sexual partner abuse victims are 38% men, and that proportion is about the same even for violent abuse. Nowhere near as high as for women, so men are still officially more violent, but it’s still an issue. What if I said to you “women need to stop being defensive and admit they have a serious abuse problem”? Would you be annoyed? Would you have a go at me and say “not all women”?

        “I myself was raped by five boys/men before I reached the age of 16, my mother was raped in her life too – and all times the men that knew covered for the men that attacked me, including my own father so … over to you.”

        That sounds horrific. I’m so, so sorry. May I ask where you lived pre-16? Because five? That seems extraordinary. Again, there’s no way for me to say this without being a horrible bastard, but where was that? Because with all due respect, both myself and every male I socialise with find the idea of rape disgusting and reprehensible, so you’ll understand if we might feel aggrieved of being accused of being accomplices to a cover up just because we have a Y chromosome. You’ll say you’re not doing that, but you really do sound like you are, or else you wouldn’t be disagreeing with the points I made previously to this post.

        Is there a violence problem within the male population? Yes. There’s one within the female population too, albeit statistically smaller. I don’t see why the decent non-violent members of either side should be collectively held responsible unless they are actively aiding and abetting.

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      2. Derrington says:

        The point that i was trying to make was that male violence against women is not a few men in a largely benign population. The 1 in 3 figure for schoolgirls was from a girl guides survey from last year and an nspcc one from a couple of years back. Whilst there are huge problems with women covering up male violence against other women and children, they are largely doing so to fit in to patriarchal beliefs that men are superior morally to women and children. If you look at the volume of violent threats and intimidation that women are being subject to currently on line and off for trying to discuss violence against them and children, then you must ask who benefits and is privileged by patriarchy? The porn industry is a media propoganda machine that promotes violent patriarchy – its storylines show women and children as active agents in abuse being perpetrated against them and any dissenting voice is subject to violent intimidation, sexist hate speech and threats of rape and death, including printing their personal addresses etc. i have one friend at the moment who is going through just such a terror campaign whilst the police do nothing. The figs on sexist attack in the home are fraught with inaccuracy in my experience. Many men simply do not acknowledge their part in creating violent situations when they strip their female partners human rights away by describing them in gendered hate speech or expect them to take on the role of servant in their own home due to gender. When i was attacked by my ex, the police threatened me with taking my child away as i had defended myself and that made me a fellow perpetrator in their book. I had to point out that none of the physical evidence fitted the story my ex had given them, nor did my neighbours testimony of reporting that they heard a child crying no daddy no whilst he was punching me repeatedly in the head. The fact that a child could work out who the aggressor was but the police seemed unwilling to gave me an insight into how the police treat the two genders when dealing with hate crime in the home. That bias is currently being investigated by the home office as to why the police fail so miserably in dealing with gendered attacks on women and children. The experiences i had as a child were in london in the early eighties, the same decade that saw 80,000 women and men released from mental institutions where they had been put due to having experiencing sexual assaults in childhood that were refused to be acknowledged by their families or the state. Im not saying all men, just trying to get you to see that mass abuse on this scale is not the work of a few bad apples. Maybe if good men spoke out more about some of the drivers in their culture and gender supremacy ideology then id feel that men were willing to take on some of the worrying aspects in their culture but i dont see that happening as much as the insistence that it is a small minority causing this amount of damage to women and childrens civil liberties.

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  6. Adam Cook says:

    Actually, I think we’re pretty much in agreement. We’re just slightly different in that you extend solidarity in a wider range of circumstances in order to help people express themselves, and I tend to be more argumentative if I see people using the discrimination they face as a justification for being unreasonable.

    After all these words, not exactly light years apart…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Adam Cook says:

    Derrington, for some reason it won’t let me reply directly. Anyway…

    “The point that i was trying to make was that male violence against women is not a few men in a largely benign population.”

    I have certainly never made that argument, nor would I. Violence against woman, and to a much lesser extent against men, is endemic. It’s a huge issue. I have only ever criticised the people who make broad brush attacks against the entire male population as if we are collectively responsible. I recognise the scale of the problem. I think it would also help if we as a society recognised the scale of the problem with ALL violence as well. Female violence is not a tiny handful of women either, but it is frequently ignored or marginalised by hardline feminists as being “unimportant” or “trivial” because it doesn’t fit their narrative of violent men and victim women. Now, hopefully we can agree that the full scale of the problems (clearly larger for male-inflicted violence) should be addressed and tackled.

    “The 1 in 3 figure for schoolgirls was from a girl guides survey from last year and an nspcc one from a couple of years back.”

    Thanks.

    “Whilst there are huge problems with women covering up male violence against other women and children, they are largely doing so to fit in to patriarchal beliefs that men are superior morally to women and children.”

    I find that very dubious. Cover ups are cover ups, simple as that. If women are subject to pressures and threats, the same applies to men dealing with influential / wealthy celebrities, or friends and family, or peer group pressures not to “grass”. You can’t argue that cover ups are acceptable just because it’s a woman doing it. Patriarchy is not some all-powerful conspiracy withe eyes and ears everywhere.

    “If you look at the volume of violent threats and intimidation that women are being subject to currently on line and off for trying to discuss violence against them and children, then you must ask who benefits and is privileged by patriarchy?”

    Well, such abuse is clearly unacceptable. But I really don’t think it’s relevant here. The people who knew but didn’t blow the lid on abuse scandals weren’t being asked to air their accusations via YouTube.

    “The porn industry is a media propoganda machine that promotes violent patriarchy – its storylines show women and children as active agents in abuse being perpetrated against them and any dissenting voice is subject to violent intimidation, sexist hate speech and threats of rape and death, including printing their personal addresses etc.”

    Ok… this is getting a little extreme here.
    1) Porn is watched by huge numbers of women. Is your argument that these women are brainwashed into supporting “violent patriarchy”?
    2) Child porn is completely distinct to mainstream porn, is grossly illegal, and patterns of use are completely different.
    3) If people have spoken up against porn and been met with rape threats, it would be grossly unreasonable to come to the conclusion that anyone using that porn was therefore party to the rape threats. That’s like saying that someone got death threats for opposing eating meat, and therefore meat eaters are violent and support violent intimidation.
    4) We agree on the basic point that the vast majority of porn is sexist.

    “The figs on sexist attack in the home are fraught with inaccuracy in my experience. Many men simply do not acknowledge their part in creating violent situations…”

    I agree. I’m sure there are violent men who get injured in the process of conducting abuse, and probably cry to the police about it because they’re scumbags. But that’s one element and it applies in reverse. It can’t be used to write the statistics off.
    1) Yes, clearly the majority of domestic abuse is by men. I have never disagreed with that.
    2) It is grossly unreasonable to suggest that some female-perpetrated abuse does not exist, and that it is actually a surprisingly large problem. The figures for lesbian couples bears this out, because it’s a useful case study of domestic abuse cases where no men are involved and therefore we can strip any gender bias (in either direction) out of the equation.

    “The experiences i had as a child were in london in the early eighties, the same decade that saw 80,000 women and men released from mental institutions where they had been put due to having experiencing sexual assaults in childhood that were refused to be acknowledged by their families or the state.”

    Well thank you for sharing the experiences. It can’t be easy. I think civil rights in general have come an awfully long way in 30 years, but depressingly little in some cases.

    “Im not saying all men, just trying to get you to see that mass abuse on this scale is not the work of a few bad apples.”

    Ah, but you see, I never made that argument. I was responding to people who definitely DID phrase their language in terms of “all men”, and when I spoke up, I was criticised by a lot of feminists (perhaps to be expected on a feminist blog!). Now, the good men understand that it’s not just the action of a few bad apples. We really do, I promise. We get bombarded with the appalling and depressing statistics the same as everyone else. Sadly, these problems are similarly endemic. Male victims are frequently disbelieved and ignored. About 20% of male abuse victims who eventually call the police are arrested there and then because it’s assumed they must be the abuser, because they’re the man. Unfortunately, police procedure really does cut both ways. Women clearly have it worse, sure.

    But people frequently say things like “Well obviously it’s not all men”, and then go on to talk about the problem as though it actually is. None of us should give lip-service to equality, or only talk about it when challenged. Sexism exists because generalisation and discrimination goes unchallenged. If I had spoken about women in the way that the people responding on this blog spoke about men, I would be called sexist. I think it’s worth reflecting on whenever we write anything, and I try to take it into account.

    “Maybe if good men spoke out more about some of the drivers in their culture and gender supremacy ideology then id feel that men were willing to take on some of the worrying aspects in their culture but i dont see that happening”

    Well, I agree. We don’t talk enough about the drivers of sexism. But it’s a great example. How many feminists do you know who campaign to end well-documented gender discrimination against men in child-custody cases? I’m guessing not many? Nobody is ever willing to really take a long cold look at the elements of society that benefit us. It’s human nature.

    To take another example, how many mothers you know give their children gender-specific toys, like space ships for boys and playhouses for girls? This kind of thing is everyday sexism at work. It defines and shapes the childhood experiences of our entire society, helping push boys towards things like sports and science and girls towards teaching and social care. Those professions are legendarily dominated by those respective genders, contributing to the gender pay gap and promoting stereotypes about our proper “role” in society and as parents. These kind of societal factors are what you would call “Patriarchy”, but I think when you say Patriarchy you are exlusively talking about men helping men retain “dominance”.

    Now certainly, that happens. Arsehole corporate bosses give their male chums and job and sideline female candidates (for example). But sexism is a complicated social phenomenon in which both men and woman have a distinct responsibility. My examples about women’s beauty still stand. That kind of stuff promotes sexist interpretations of female body shape, but who’s pushing that? “Good men not speaking out”, as you suggest? Well true, but I would suggest good women not speaking out enough either.

    I consider myself a feminist, but we all have a role to play.

    Like

    1. Derrington says:

      Adam, if you consider yourself a feminist, why come to a feminist blog to say what about the men? Its a little like going to a socialist site to talk about pro conservative policies. The stuff you talk about re family court bias is so shallow. Most men dont apply for custody in the first place, and a large proportion of the ones that do have convictions for sexist violence in the home and the custody battle is just another mechanism for controlling and abusing the woman through using the children. If youre such a feminist, maybe you need to go to some male sites and do some work there rather than presenting tired what about the men arguments on feminist sites? I think most feminists would be happy with a more equal distribution of childcare with men, and housework, elder care and every other freebie we currently provide, so its men you need to be converting, not women.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. derrington says:

        PS Patriarchy is everywhere, its why my father and brothers defended the men that abused me in my life, even as a child, and why my mother did so too. Plenty of women buy the patriarchy bullshit too – if you toe the line and behave yourself you will enjoy the protection of men, so if you as a child or a woman have been abused, it must be because you were bad, as all men are good until proven otherwise, whereas all women and children are bad, until shown otherwise. Its called religion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Adam Cook says:

        Derrington:

        You’ve neglected to engage with most of my points, again. It’s a weak and fallacious debate tactic to just attack me personally and question my even being here rather than being willing to defend the points you previously made and which I spent time refuting.

        I come to a feminist site because I’m interested in having a debate. In finding people I might disagree with and talking to them in order to learn something new. Isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t that positive? What’s the benefit of everyone sitting in echo chambers, only speaking to those who already agree with them, becoming more and more extreme in their views? I’d rather disagree with someone and have an interesting conversation that might break down some of my biases.

        I came here to learn. I did. I got interesting new perspectives. I saw some comments I disagreed with so I had a debate. That’s healthy.

        I’m very, very disappointed in your comments on child custody. You’ve just labelled an entire area of ongoing sexism “shallow”, as though it doesn’t even matter. You’re the same kind of feminist who attacked Fathers for Justice, when any true feminist should be supporting ANY campaign for equality, wherever it comes from.That’s exactly the kind of sexist, narrow-minded attitude that allows these problems to persist. “Most men don’t apply…” Ok, so your argument is that this justifies discriminating against the ones who do? That’s hypocritical in the extreme.

        Re: Your comments below on patriarchy, yes, I agree that it is everywhere. But I think the idea that any woman who engages in gender stereotyping, whether that’s their parenting choices or anything else, is automatically some brainwashed neophyte of the great and grand global patriarchal conspiracy is somewhat… unlikely? Don’t you find that complete abandonment of responsibility as rather cringeworthy?

        I can search the Internet right now and find women who argue that women’s role is in the home (I disagree with that idea btw). I can find women who argue that lingerie modelling is “liberating” for them. I can find female journalists who think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask a female actor about her dress, rather than her acting. I can find women who will happily push their children into gender-stereotyped roles, influencing their whole futures.

        Now, your argument is that these women are brainwashed by patriarchy. Ok, maybe you’re right. But then, by that same logic, are the men brainwashed too? Or are they self-aware? And if so, why are the men magically more resistant to brainwashing than the women? An if everyone is brainwashed, shouldn’t education be the cure here? Rather than your existing method of just spewing diatribe at any man within range?

        “I think most feminists would be happy with a more equal distribution of childcare with men, and housework, elder care and every other freebie we currently provide, so its men you need to be converting, not women.”

        I agree. Equal distribution of these things would be good. Not sure how elderly care is currently a female freebie at the moment though, and in exchange I assume you’ll be happy to accept a fair share of the male freebies, like military conscription. Historically of course, earning wages was also a male freebie, but thankfully we’ve advanced beyond the idea that the man should always be the breadwinner.

        ____________
        Ms Davis:

        “Abuse in relationships is wrong full stop but by constantly talking about male victims whenever this issue is raised, men are sidetracking the conversation to be all about them.”

        I agree. I wouldn’t sidetrack a conversation about female domestic violence sufferers by talking about men. I agree that would be unreasonable. I thought we were having a conversation about the relative merits of the phrase “not all men”, and associated issues. It’s perfectly reasonable, in the context of that debate, to talk about the issues that I have.

        “If you genuinely care about feminism then go on the Freedom Programme and see for yourself what the reality of domestic violence is.”

        I know. I’ve been reading around a lot of the background sources for the benefit of my being in this blog engaging in this debate over several months. The reality of domestic violence is appalling.

        “I lived with a violent man for 18 years and I am sick of men insisting that female violence is as much as a problem as male violence.”

        I have never done this! This is a blatently unfair criticism in the extreme. I have always been explicitly clear that male violence is much more of a problem than female violence.

        Personally, I am sick of people wilfully misrepresenting my arguments. It has happened here a lot.

        “Men are by far the violent majority and to try and insist otherwise is disingenuous and insulting. I think you might feel more at home on a men’s rights blog than here if these are really your beliefs.”

        I literally don’t know why I am here. I make arguments and points which are ignored. I then get criticised for things I have never said. If I’m writing unclearly then I sincerely apologise, but I don’t think that’s the problem.

        Like

      3. Derrington says:

        The reason feminists attacked fathers for justice is that a number of their leading figures had domestic violence prosecutions against them for violence against their families. That was my point about the agitations against the family court system, that a lot of men wanting rights over people that dont want them in their lives anymore due to the fathers non recognition of the woman and childrens human rights not to be owned or violated by a man that regards them as property, not people with rights of their own. You talk about learning but all you do is argue and ignore points that i and others who have been on the receiving end of male hate crimes make. Citing fathers for justice as a group of comitted fathers shows just how much you have yet to learn about male hate crime. Check out their website and it is littered with sexist hate speech and male domination ideology.

        Like

  8. Ms Davis says:

    In response to Adam, I went to a seminar recently about female perpetrators which presented the latest research into DV. It found that in most cases, men who reported abuse were perpetrators in most instances, women are actually more likely to be arrested than men when they are accused of DV and the abuse suffered by women is more severe, more prolific and much more likely to be part of a cycle of power and control. Male victims were found to be more likely to report abuse, more likely to leave their partners and less likely to be scared of the abuse. Women did resort to the use of weapons more frequently however, mostly due to their usually being physically weaker. Abuse in relationships is wrong full stop but by constantly talking about male victims whenever this issue is raised, men are sidetracking the conversation to be all about them. This happens time and time again. Domestic violence is wrong and sickening and it is also reinforced by patriarchal notions that a woman is a man’s property and he can therefore do with her what he will. This is not just about violence, it is about coercive control. This is about men drawing lines on the ground to delineate where women can walk in the house, it is about men forcing women to have sex with them in front of their children, it is about men imprisoning women in their own homes and terrifying them so much that they dare not ‘break the rules’. I know this because I work in services for women and because I am a survivor. If you genuinely care about feminism then go on the Freedom Programme and see for yourself what the reality of domestic violence is. I lived with a violent man for 18 years and I am sick of men insisting that female violence is as much as a problem as male violence. Who do you see fighting out on the streets at weekends? Who commits the vast majority of violent crime in this country? Men kill on average 120 women each year in this country whilst women are responsible for the murder of about 17 men. Men are by far the violent majority and to try and insist otherwise is disingenuous and insulting. I think you might feel more at home on a men’s rights blog than here if these are really your beliefs.

    Like

  9. Adam Cook says:

    Derrington:

    “The reason feminists attacked fathers for justice is that a number of their leading figures had domestic violence prosecutions against them for violence against their families.”

    Really? I didn’t know that. Thank you. See, benefits of talking to different people. You learn stuff.

    Out of curiosity, why didn’t they attack the people rather than the campaign? The scumbaggishness of the campaigners doesn’t invalidate the cause.

    “You talk about learning but all you do is argue”

    You do understand that argument and debate is good right? That it’s one of the most effective ways to learn? I guess not. You hate me disagreeing with you on anything. You refuse to respond to most of my points, and mostly refuse to defend your own arguments when I make valid points against them.

    “…and ignore points that i and others who have been on the receiving end of male hate crimes make.”

    Oh? What points of yours have I ignored? Pretty sure I’m responding to your posts pretty much line by line. You haven’t done the same.

    “Citing fathers for justice as a group of comitted fathers shows just how much you have yet to learn about male hate crime.”

    Whoa, whoa, I never said that. I said that the cause of equality in child custody cases was just. I never said they were all committed fathers, because I didn’t know whether that was the case or not. And is it turns out, it seems they’re not.

    Also, I’ve never actually disagreed with anything you said about male hate crime. I’ve never disagreed as to the extent of male hate crime, or tried to marginalise the appalling effects of it. I’ve never tried to paint men as innocent, nor have I ever claimed women were just as bad.

    This is the problem. You don’t respond to my argument, you just respond to Male #147, who’s probably a conglomeration of all the sexist men you’ve ever met, and I get to be the schmuck who takes it because I’m here talking to you. My point has always been twofold.

    Firstly, that while there are a colossal number of horrible men, there are also millions of actually pretty decent guys about, and whether they make up 50% or 10% or 1% of the male population, those decent guys don’t deserve the righteous condenmation you slam them with so casually and then weakly say “oh well they should stop being defensive. It’s all their fault anyway, they’re the ones who get priviledged”.

    Secondly, that while men do make up the great majority of those horrible people mentioned above, some of them really are women, and your complete refusal to even acknowledge their existence, or to even acknowledge that some elements of sexism really is a both-genders societal problem is just self-delusional.

    ____________

    I had a look at the Fathers4Justice website, as you suggested. I only skimmed through the “Mission” and “Campaign” sections and stuff like that, so I guess there could be lots of sexist misogyny further back in the forums. Of the stuff I did see, it mostly came across as one-sided but not fundamentally wrong. There are lines in there that specifically say that “discrimination against women is unacceptable”, but there’s also a line that says men and boys are demonised, which seems crass, verging on victimisation. I don’t think men and boys are demonised.

    So yes, biased. Male domination might be a bit strong.

    Like

  10. Adam Cook says:

    The self-delusional comment was too strong, I apologise. I’d like to replace it with “mistaken”.

    Like

    1. Derrington says:

      To be quite honest adam, i have acknowledged that women are sexist too. Having had the experiences ive had, and battling for two years to get basic justice for my daughter who was sexually assaulted aged six at school, im not really in the mood for someone that argues with my lived reality to learn and then questions my mental healthy by saying im delusional and that im arguing with you in order to fight a mental conglomoration of every bad man ive been exposed to. Im a trained councillor and your lack of respect for other peoples experience and bandying around of mental health diagnoses i believe you are ill eqipped to make smacks of mra tactics. You need to learn how to learn without shouting mad liar at every woman who has had children murdered by an ex partner or whatever experience has brought them to this site. And as for the family court system, go read the book violent fathering which talks about how violent fathers rights to access are placed over and above the wishes of children who have been beaten or raped by them. You wont find any of that info on your typical fathers rights website but its there on various social service websites or nspcc pages. I dont want to talk further with you please and would be grateful if you left it here.

      Like

      1. Adam Cook says:

        “To be quite honest adam, i have acknowledged that women are sexist too.”

        This is the first time you have done so except in any terms beyond the fact that they couldn’t help it.

        “Having had the experiences ive had, and battling for two years to get basic justice for my daughter who was sexually assaulted aged six at school, im not really in the mood for someone that argues with my lived reality”

        At no point have I questioned or argued with your lived reality. I would be glad to be pointed towards any direct quote I have made which indicates such.

        “then questions my mental healthy by saying im delusional and that im arguing with you in order to fight a mental conglomoration of every bad man ive been exposed to.”

        I specifically withdrew my self-delusional comment already, and apologised. That said, you have shown a remarkable capacity for arguing against points I have never made, so I felt it reasonable to question who you were arguing with.

        “Im a trained councillor and your lack of respect for other peoples experience”

        At what point have I shown any lack of respect for other people’s experiences? This accusation is nonsensical.

        “and bandying around of mental health diagnoses”

        I have done no such thing. Your capacity for making hypocritical arguments is your own issue, and never have I suggested it related to mental health.

        “You need to learn how to learn without shouting mad liar at every woman who has had children murdered by an ex partner or whatever experience has brought them to this site.”

        That is a foolish lie. I have never accused anyone of lying. You claim not to be arguing with any men other than myself, but frankly, where does this stuff come from? Again, your habit of making fallacious accusations based on things I have never said it outrageous.

        “And as for the family court system, go read the book violent fathering which talks about how violent fathers rights to access are placed over and above the wishes of children who have been beaten or raped by them. You wont find any of that info on your typical fathers rights website but its there on various social service websites or nspcc pages.”

        I don’t doubt that is true. It is, as ever, rather missing the point. Any child should protected from violence and abuse. Any parent should get a fair and equal day in court. If violent abusers are getting through the court system and gaining access, then obviously I wouldn’t support that, nor have I ever said anything that would indicate I do so.

        “I dont want to talk further with you please and would be grateful if you left it here.”

        As you wish. I needed to at least make this response to respond to your entirely unreasonable criticisms of things I have never done.

        Like

    2. derrington says:

      Adam, you cant scrub something out because you apologise. I dont accept your apology because it wasn’t genuine. You argue that you havent once made a mental health diagnosis, well there is one right above this reply. You call me self delusional. Delusional is a judgement of someone’s mental capacity which you are simply not qualified to make, particularly on a feminist site where women who speak out about male hate violence against them or their children have come because they have been called/locked up/medicalised because they have reported their experience. To be honest, if I interpret your words differently to how you mean them, you have no inkling that it might be you that is treading on other people’s toes with your huge arrogance, you simply say that all around you must be simpletons or self deluded because they dont think like you do. When I ask you not to talk anymore to me you do, thereby showing you have consent issues too. Whatever you’re doing on this site isnt about learning … I suspect you enjoy baiting women about their experiences as a type of harrassment and I’m not going to play this game with you.

      Like

      1. Adam Cook says:

        “Adam, you cant scrub something out because you apologise. I dont accept your apology because it wasn’t genuine.”

        You have every right to that opinion. I will argue it no further.

        “You argue that you havent once made a mental health diagnosis, well there is one right above this reply. You call me self delusional.”

        Cambridge Dictionaries Online:
        Self-delusional – “the act of allowing yourself to believe something that is not true”

        Dictionary.Com:
        Self-delusional – “the act or fact of deluding oneself.”

        I certainly had no intention of giving a mental health diagnosis, and the definitions on hand support this. I was talking about a specific opinion that you held, not your mental health. I can offer no more than that. Again, I will argue it no further.

        “To be honest, if I interpret your words differently to how you mean them, you have no inkling that it might be you that is treading on other people’s toes with your huge arrogance”

        Again, you have every right to that opinion.

        “you simply say that all around you must be simpletons or self deluded because they dont think like you do”

        I have never mentioned or questioned anyone’s intelligence or any such related term.

        I don’t I think I have an issue with people “not thinking like I do”. I make arguments against the points I disagree with, but I don’t attack the person disagreeing with me, question why they are here, or claim they said things that they haven’t.

        “When I ask you not to talk anymore to me you do, thereby showing you have consent issues too.”

        You criticised me personally, repeatedly, without providing any worthwhile evidence to back up your points, and then asked me not to reply or defend myself. That is unreasonable.To suggest that I have ‘consent issues’ because of my desire to answer the criticisms against me is also unreasonable.

        For example, you said these things:

        1) “im not really in the mood for someone argues with my lived reality”
        2) “your lack of respect for other peoples experience”
        3) “You need to learn how to learn without shouting mad liar”

        If you would like to provide specific examples of quotes, in context, taken from my writing which back up these assertions, I will answer for them. If you wish to end the conversation that is fine, but parting shots fired at my back are not the way to go about doing that.

        “Whatever you’re doing on this site isnt about learning … I suspect you enjoy baiting women about their experiences as a type of harrassment and I’m not going to play this game with you.”

        Now you are accusing me of harassing people on their experiences, despite the fact that I have never questioned your personal experiences, and have never at any point been talking about your personal experiences. I don’t know how to respond.

        It is clear there is little further point to discussion. This is simply going round in circles. Ms Davis has hinted strongly that I should leave, and given that this is her blog I will clearly do so. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that any accusations fired at my departing back at least have quotes to back them up.

        Like

  11. Ms Davis says:

    I would just like to make a general point here. Feminists do not live in an ‘echo chamber’ where everyone agrees with what we say. We live in a patriarchal society that largely privileges men and oppresses women. Feminist spaces are important places for women to come together and talk about their experiences without always feeling the need to defend their experiences and opinions against men. Please respect this and remember that this is a feminist space.

    Like

    1. Adam Cook says:

      “Feminists do not live in an ‘echo chamber’ where everyone agrees with what we say. We live in a patriarchal society that largely privileges men and oppresses women. ”

      I completely agree. I would never suggest feminists in general live in an echo chamber. I was attacked for even being here, and so I was explaining why debate and disagreement can be a positive thing. That is all.

      “Feminist spaces are important places for women to come together and talk about their experiences without always feeling the need to defend their… opinions against men.”

      That seems fair enough. If you would prefer me not to get involved I can leave.

      “…defend their experiences”

      I don’t think anyone has had to defend their experiences against me. I have taken everyone’s experiences completely at face value.

      “Please respect this”

      I was not aware you did not wish men to get involved on your blog. Any breaking of this rule was therefore unintentional. I will leave.

      “…remember that this is a feminist space.”

      Hence the very reason I got involved. 🙂 Disagreement does not mean that there are any of us here who do not want equality between the sexes.

      Like

  12. sellmaeth says:

    It is interesting to look at the comments here … I would estimate that half or more than half are written by the same male, with several women’s comments only making up half of it.

    Now imagine this was taking place in a classroom.
    If I had a daughter, I would do everything in my power to send her to a girls’ school. Preferably one with only female teachers. Just so that she can get to say her opinion.

    Like

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