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&AThose Screwy Feminists launched as Straw Feminist Discussion: From YKTTW

Working Title: Those Screwy Feminists: From YKTTW

Fast Eddie: Angry. This entry is so angry. Kerosene on the fire?

Nezumi: ... Unfortunately, I wish I could say this wasn't an example of Truth in Television. Most feminists aren't so severe... but... I've seen some that say downright psychotic things directly in line with this... calling Sexual Reassignment Surgery "medical sadism" and veiledly denying the true "femaleness" of any MTF who undergoes it... claiming that BDSM play is entirely the result of the patriarchal establishment, and anyone who disagrees is simply blinded by their own involvement in it... yeah. The problem isn't that these types don't exist (which is what is implied by calling it a "Strawman"), but that it's treated as if all of them were.

grendelkhan: Yeah, that's the endless war between second- and third-wave feminists. The second-wavers claim that they're the real radicals, because transpeople are either trying to steal male privilege and stop over the heads of their sisters, or are fake women trying to steal their oppression points. Third-wavers claim that they're the real radicals, because their views can't be confused for those of a fundamentalist bible-thumper. Also, they don't try to redefine "lesbian".

Eh. Denying the legitimacy of transgenderism is not exactly limited to radical feminists. Not to excuse it — being aware of sexual oppression SHOULD extend to varieties other than the plain-old-man-on-woman variety — but I think it's hardly fair to treat transphobia as something particular to feminists.

Unfortunately, acknowledging transgenderism is to oppose gender-theory, which is the heart of second-wave feminism. Gender theory sides completely with nurture, that there's no innate neurological difference in behavior between the sexes. Instead, the sexes are indoctrinated to behave the way they do through the Patriarchy, which makes up the basis for gender roles, which enslaves everyone, but especially women. This is believed to be the heart of Patriarchy, and must be destroyed. Transgendered people existing makes the argument for nature, that it is possible to be born "a woman in a mans body", which refutes gender theory. In other words, feminists see transgendered people's condition as a problem of society to fix, while transgendered people see their own condition as a medical problem.

While some feminists are intolerant to the transgendered for this reason, not all are. Many openly feminist blogs, organizations, and people are very supportive of transgendered individuals. Of course, they don't often explicitly discuss which "wave" they are with... As to whether the patriarchy imposes gender roles on us, consider - a transgendered individual may feel like a woman trapped in a man's body. She may get surgery and difficult, expensive treatment, and deal with many problems in her personal and social life to transition from a male to a female body. And then she may well continue to enjoy her motorcycle repair hobby, continue being a sports fanatic, and enjoy other stereotypically masculine things along with more "feminine" ones. While it seems that biology can indeed tell us whether we are male or female on the inside, it is still true that how each gender is "supposed to" behave is cultural, just as feminists believe: One can feel like a woman on the inside, strongly enough to go through a lot of difficulty to be recognized as a woman, and still enjoy traditionally masculine things and activities. If anything, transgendered individuals provide strong evidence that our culture indoctrinates us into gender-specific behaviours: Here we have individuals who are absolutely certain of which gender they are, based on neurology - and yet many of them will still happily engage in behaviours that do not at all match the traditional roles of the sex they'd go through so much difficulty to adopt.

I completely agree with what you say, I just want to point out this was not always the case, especially with second-wave feminism, and why second-wavers historically had a problem with transgendered people, which stems from ideology. Specifically, they equate all behavior, not just expectations (what we consider gender roles), from the sexes as being artificial. In other words, gender identity itself was artificial. Since there was no difference in wiring between the sexes, men and women were mentally identical, the only difference being their bodies, and how their behavior reacts to hormones released by it. So transgendered people insisting they feel like they're one sex trapped in another sex's body was ignored as, at best, poor souls who had been confused by Patriarchy's social conditioning. The idea that it was medical was rejected. From a feminist perspective, this would be a reasonable position to adopt when you are a sex that has been traditionally barred from better opportunities based on your supposed innate predisposition to hysteria or supposed lower acumen. I agree there are many trans-women that chose to stay in interests traditionally assigned to men, as there are heterosexual women. There are also trans-men who are homosexual. However, that was not the issue the second-wavers had with the TG community that prompted them to exclude them. Instead, it was the third-wavers who were willing to extend their hand to the TG community, with second-wavers jumping on belatedly.

Khym Chanur: But isn't presenting the extremists of a cause as representative of the group also a strawman argument? A false representation of an opponent in order to make knocking down that opponent easier? Just because the falsehood is only 99% false doesn't make it stop being a strawman argument.

BT The P: It's an entry about a character type that is always quite angry as a primary trait, so if the entry wasn't kind of angry, it wouldn't really get the point across. I think I did sufficient self-explanation throughout that no one is going to mistake it for a condemnation of real feminism. And yes, this character is not a complete, balanced person, that's why it's a Character As Device.

s5555: Is Stan/Loretta from Monty Python's Life of Brian considered a parody of one?

Would Benia and the Zuka Club (a club of Lesbians who advocate "Women Supremacy") from Ouran High School Host Club qualify? At one point they perform a Nazi salute against a backdrop of a flag that says "woman." (Literal "feminazis") They are kind of intended to be over the top, and it's a comedy series, but I still felt like they were kind of Straw Feminists.

Filby: I was actually just thinking of the Ouran example, and will add it.

osh: I'm pretty sure it was a funny way to indicate them being somewhat similar as Benny and Tamaki are pretty much mirrors of each other.

RHJunior: Thing is, it could be called a strawman if such behavior was merely on the fringe. But it's feminist leaders and figureheads doing this sort of insanity, and entire public groups of them engaging in outrageous, misandric behaviour. The mildest thing I've ever seen a group of protesting feminists do was show up with fake "ball and chains" attached to their legs to represent their husbands, brothers, fathers and boyfriends. And that was over twenty years ago! Nowadays they show up topless and set things on fire. Now it's "Marriage is rape" and "housewives are prostitutes," accusing a six year old of sexual harassment for kissing a little girl (at her request, no less), the "potential rapists" banner that had the name of every male student at the college, the freaking Vagina Monologues,..... People accuse me of making "strawman" characters in Nip and Tuck. Reality? Hortense is toned down compared to many real feminists. Attacking a lout twenty times her size is the least that most banner-carriers for the feminist movement will do.

Filby: I wish my rebuttal from the last time this came up hadn't been lost in the database crash.

I'm tired, anyone else want to address this?

And do you go to Ber(ser)kely or what? I know a very large number of self-described feminists and all of 'em are friendly, rational, non-misandrist individuals to a woman (or man in some cases). The radical fringe — 'cause that's what it is, a fringe — that Rush Windbag and his ilk like to point at and compare to Nazis are just a highly visible minority.

Filby: Also took out the bit I had added about Goldilocks; Bill Willingham may genuinely look down on feminists, but it's not relevant to the article. I really need to quit my Fables hate-on 'cause I know it don't deserve it.

Proud Finnish Anarchist: (To RH Junior) I would be quite surprised if you were able to prove even half of your accusations (especially if you claim that they present the mainstream of feminism). I personally don't remember hearing or reading about those cases and I doubt you have that much first hand experience. I am male and a feminist and I have never had any regrets about that. I get along with different kinds of women just fine and no one of them has ever treated me as "potential rapist" or "representative of patriarchy". None of them showed any interest to crush my testicles under their heel, either.

By the way, it is certainly an improvement that you chose to not use your fake Southern dialect when writing that comment. Not to mention your previous habit of using CAPITAL letters in order to show that you were SERIOUS, NOT KIDDING but SERIOUS, buddy, SERIOUS.

Filby: Alrighty. In the name of compromise, I've added a note to the main text of the article that explains that, yes, this trope has a basis in real life. Can we please stop adding Andrea Dworkin as an example now?

Filby: I'm sure y'all are are sick of hearing from me by now, but please, let's not use this page to talk about real-world radical feminists. Yes, they're real, and yes, they're crazy, but this article is about their use in fiction, and I think the two examples I listed are enough to get the point across.

Some Guy: Alas, I had to delete another one of these. I was actually almost willing to let it slide, but here's the first alphabetical quotation on the site that was linked:

"If anyone is prosecuted for filing a false report, then victims of real attacks will be less likely to report them."

Some Guy: I'm going to go on a limb here and say that isn't really a strawman. And that the site itself nearly qualifies as a living strawman.

Filby: Christ, RH Junior, just give it a rest already.

Andrew: The banner ad for this page is "Feminist Blowjob Ringtones." I'm disgusted and yet I desperately want to know what a "feminist blowjob ringtone" actually sounds like.

To the above: It sounds like the soul of Egalitarianism dying and Feminism eating its corpse.

Lavode: Metal!

Filby: One last time - NO REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES.

BobFrank: I'd have to take the opposite viewpoint. Since there are so many real-life people who *do* fit this trope so well, should it really be considered a strawman?
  • Really? There are so many real-life straw feminists it's not a strawman? And you're basing this claim on?.. Let me guess, your thinking is something along the lines of this: "Ooo, I'm being politically incorrect! I'm AWESOME. Feminists suck cuz, like, they're PC and whatever. Next I'm gonna go write about how we should kill more whales, and then I'll be the coolest person alive!"


Jordan: I had a question if a certain character-type should be added to this page or is something else- Catwoman in Batman Returns as well as Poison Ivy in the movie and animated series, and "Kissing Kate Barlow" in Holes are these characters who start out as mousy and subdued but then have basically a Freak Out! and in their new Bad Ass persona have a hatred of men and the patriarchal system (although the last example is more against society as a whole).

Filby: Hm... that seems like some kind of crossbreed of Straw Feminist and Adrenaline Makeover.


Nornagest: Excised

*** Of course he agreed - he stated repeatedly in interviews that he based most of the characterisation of the women in the series on his own wife - who was also, incidentally, his editor - so clearly he must have liked women with this attitude.
*** This troper would like to go on record as saying this criticism is completely overstated. Women being better then men is less a political statement then a poorly delievered running gag. Constrast Nynaeve with a character like Moiraine or Min. And even Nynaeve herself is remarked (among other things) as learning to enjoy fancy dresses over the course of the series and is nearly as exasperating to her female companions as the males in the series. Wheel of Time is less about Straw Feminist and more about the odd notion that men and women might actually be different. Guess [[Your Mileage May Vary]]

The latter is a Justifying Edit. The former is just natter.

Personally, I think that if Jordan was trying to make a Straw Feminist statement, he chose a conspicuously poor way of going about it. His women are explicitly weaker than his men, physically and magically, and spend all their time indulging in stereotypically feminine quirks and pastimes; there's nothing wrong with that in moderation, of course, but when it drowns out everything else I begin to wonder if it might be hiding some kind of Point. Morally they're no better or worse than his other characters, but that's because personality-wise just about everyone is equally shallow and irritating. You could only make a strong case for individual female superiority in Wheel of Time by taking the statements of a few biased characters at face value, even though his women do have a lot of political power.

However, I don't view Jordan's work anywhere near objectively, which is why I haven't changed or removed the example myself. Feel free to rebut.


Cliché: I'm curious. Is the Powerpuff Girls example evidence that Tropes Are Not Bad considering that it's not attacking feminism itself but the people who take it too far, or is it out-of-place for an article that seems to imply the use of such characters to put down the whole of feminism?


Joysweeper: Saw an avatar once that read "Feminazi: Because Wanting Equal Rights Is Exactly Like Invading Poland". It's not my feminist avatar, but I like it. Honestly, yes there are batshit insane feminists, just like there are batshit insane everything, but I don't like stumbling on those parts of the Net where the term and others get bandied about and applied to any woman who's not in line with the writer. Two cents of mine, at random.


Femi nazi pops up in Sinfest ever so often as a "dystopian" view of the future. Maybe a entry under webcomics would be in order?
Carcinos: I'm having trouble understanding this new last paragraph:

"One of the unspoken assumptions behind the trope is that real, non-Straw Feminist women have a sacred and inviolable duty to satisfy men by looking a certain way, even if it is painful, expensive, or dangerous or if it gets in the way of their own hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The Straw Feminist, on the other hand, does not dress or groom herself in the way expected by the male protagonist and, by extrapolation, the viewer or reader. This will never be because she has other priorities, is unwell, disabled, older, or poor, or has other things to worry about than what random strangers think of her superficial appearance: the only explanation possible is that she must actively Hate Men, because she is deliberately and with malice denying them their right to T at all times. This permits the protagonist and other men to be viciously cruel towards the Straw Feminist and still remain sympathetic or even heroic, since the Straw Feminist has insulted mankind by refusing to conform. (This troper suspects that the very small number of men in real life who think this way must not know many women.)"

Are they talking about in fiction, or RL? One would assume "fiction," but since it segues from the "truth in television" bit, I'm not sure. Also, it reads as something of an editor filibuster. Potential rewrite: "A common point of characterization for the Straw Feminist is an intentional lack of hygiene. This is a reaction against dangerous fashion trends (whalebone corsets, lead-based makeup, etc) that is taken to the opposite extreme in keeping with the nature of the caricature."

Trouble is, I'm not sure if that's what the cited paragraph was saying or if I missed the point entirely. Any insight would be welcome.

Dead Kennedy: I think this entry was written by Straw Feminists...
Antheia: Pulled the Män som hatar kvinnor example (the English title is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by the way). I'm currently reading the second book of the (Millennium) trilogy and I saw the movie a few weeks ago, and I don't really think the description is accurate. As far as I know (although I may be wrong) the word "feminist" is never mentioned in relation to Lisbeth, and I doubt she'd use the word to describe herself. There's also that little detail where, unlike any Straw Feminist, she doesn't hate men. She doesn't "despise women who aren't as violent as herself", either (c.f. Mimmi, for instance), and the description exaggerates other traits too. In other words, she might have been a Straw Feminist in a different work, but she isn't one here, nor is she made to seem like one (thus Not a Subversion).

Moving cut text here:
  • Subverted in Män Som Hatar Kvinnor (English title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) with resident God-Mode Sue Lisbeth Salander. She is not a "militant" feminist, but a "might makes right" feminist: she will not try to defend her point of view, but put a misogynist man in a 30 km radius of her, and she will either use her peerless hacking skills to break the man's reputation, or take advantage of the fact that she has -literally- the strength of a terminator to beat up and make sure her victim never try to hurt, or even badmouth, a woman again; and she absolutely despise women who are not as violent as her. The subvertion comes from the fact that she is the protagonist of the trilogy, wich could be summarized as "straw-badass-feminist kicks ass and breaks bones. Actually, one "theory" from the fans of the books state that Sweden has one of the world biggest ratio of female members of Parliament because Salander has already killed most Swedish misogynists... Then again, watching a badass Waif treating her rapist in a way that would terrify Jack Bauer is great. If you like it.
    • The movie subverts this even more. Lisbeth is depicted as a borderline-insane genius. This depiction is a lot more realistic - when Lisbeth violently fights back against drunken thugs on a subway, they kick the shit out of her. She does not smile one single time in the three-hour film.

~~ Removed a bit of flaming against real-life feminism (went under "someone should tell them homosexuality is not a choice..." near end of article.) The text:
  • Or someone should tell them that feminism lost the publics favor when it became more associated with hating men rather than doing something to improve the quality of life and freedoms of women. These days, with most of feminisms original goals accomplished, the remains of feminism center around an incoherent marxism-based conspiracy theory - and irrational misandry. Don't go "but women still earn only 75% of a man" on me. That's a lie that's perpetuated by feminist structures to legitimize their continued existence. Women earn less as a whole because they work part time and low end more often. When corrected for that, i.e. when they work the same job as a man, women earn only 4% less on average than men.

Just to respond to the actual content (since this is the discussion page - the correct place for such things, rather than the article itself), regardless of what you think of their statistics, very few feminists seem to actually hate men (I'm sure there are some... just as there are "extremists who really just hate X" in virtually every political movement). As for ignoring the fact that women earn less partly because they work lower-end jobs and part time (i.e. when taking care of children), well, there are valid questions here: WHY don't women get promoted above low-end jobs as often as men do? And as for taking care of children - that has much to do with the fact that in our culture, women are still seen as the default primary care-givers. If childcare was seen as something men and women should share equally, there would be less of a difference between how much time off women take to take care of children, and how much time off men take for the same reason. So, these are not invalid questions for feminists to ask. Also the fact that a 4% gap remains even when these factors are accounted for should be telling... unless that falls in the margin of error for whatever analysis you used here, of course. And you may disagree with what I said here, but I doubt you can reduce my argument to "man-hating." :P

~~ Undid last two edits to the opening part of the article. They are unnecessary, and the later one obviously had a bone to grind. "Most" is more accurate than "some," since obviously it isn't the *majority* of real-life feminists that fit this trope, and I don't think TV Tropes needs to discuss anyone's "mild superiority in social skills and moderate to strong inferiority in most physical skills." For now I've left in the addition that says "One would like to note there is such an enormous self-indulgent need for PC do-gooding in western society today to make up for past sins that these more extreme aspects, if rare, have their roots in a much more widespread negative attitude towards anyone who would challenge the status quo," though honestly I'm not sure what it's doing here.

Also removed: "The majority [of feminists] only believe there aren't any differences between men and women. Et tu <140 IQ population." What's the deal, peoples? I don't think this article is the best place to rant about your dislike of feminism. At least keep it on the discussion page.


Removed:

First, as fashionable as it may be to state that in some circles, it's by no means established scientific fact. In fact, if you look at history and the way other civilizations older than our own dealt with non-heterosexual relationships, a very strong case emerges that there's no such thing as "sexual orientation" at all.


About that whole eroge-ban thing... What happened to Type-Moon? As in, did they pretty much get shut down from it?
  • Same troper, and... WHAT?! MOE BAN?! No more Touhou? NO MORE HARUHI?! WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?!

Removed:

  • This troper knows several women who were extras in the film. The school it takes place at became more famous for feminism due to the movie. Ironically the school is mostly for women who want to marry rich men (or soon to be rich from good schools). Sometimes it does both, with at least one straw feminist who attended the school just to get a rich man.
    • Not true and never was. Wellesley is the oldest women's institution of higher education in the United States, founded in 1875, a time that educated women were probably less likely to get married. Wellesley College students and alumnae have a rather hostile relationship with the film due to its inaccurate portrayal of the school — well-known alums of the classes portrayed in the movie include: Odette Alarcon (Physician and Sex Educator), Helen Hays (Ornithologist and Conservationist), Niramol Bulakul Suriyasat (Business Executive and Thai Senator), Anna Faith Johnson Jones (Foundation President and Philanthropist), and Anna Mc Cann Taggart (Archaeologist).

Took this out. Why? Because fuck your natter your natter sucks your natter is a sex-negative term I dislike natter that isn't funny.

Mysticpenguin: Color me confused: is this trope about feminists who are scary foamy Lady Land Amazon-wannabes, or about media that uses characters to represent feminists as scary foamy Lady Land Amazon-wannabes? If it's the latter case, then why does this have a Troper Tales page, seeing as there's no such thing as a real-life fictional representation? Looking over the TT page, I see maybe two or three examples that might count under the trope, and a whole lot of self-congratulation and Complaining About Ideology You Don't Like. ___

Mercuryinretrograde: "Look, Rob, we know you want your world to be crappy and noiry where even the protagonist can be immoral and unethical, but sometimes you can take it too far." Because false accusations don't happen? Wow.

Personally, I find one of the major premises of feminism to be absurd. Namely that women are somehow not responsible for society, or less responsible then men. Thus Men Are the Problem(tm). Funny how feminism manages to buy into such an archaic notion of gender, that women can't possibly be responsible because femininity and feminine roles are impotent(thus blameless.) Right from the mouths of 19th century patriarchs!

Also, there are some horrendous negatives to the male role: conscription, workplace injury and death, being considered the lesser parent legally and socially, greater risk of murder and assault(no solid idea about rape considering how often men report), grotesque legal inequalities in terms of bodily autonomy(perfectly legal to preform a cosmetic surgery on your son's genitalia), etc. etc. Yet feminists aren't interested in appropriating these aspects of the male gender role for women or even accepting their existence in their men-have-it-better redux of a complex situation.

Yep. Men are actually pretty goddamn vulnerable in our society. Luckily average dude has feminism to shore up his sense of invulnerability and omnipotence; I guess the average guy would rather feel like a Magnificent Bastard then a hapless nothing. Fucking humans.

Dracocron: You're slightly, um, off base. And by that I mean that you're looking at this from entirely the wrong angle.

For your first paragraph... well, women have traditionally been lacking in the temporal power department. It's true, men have been making the majority of laws.

Secondly, feminism isn't even remotely to blame for any problems of traditional male gender roles. Those are problems caused by, well, traditional male gender roles that can in some cases be just as damaging to men as to women; the reason, I suspect, that there isn't a movement as large to get rid of them is that men still get more power out of their traditional gender roles.

MecuryinRetrograde: I'm looking at it from a radically new angle in which women bear some responsibility for society due to their role in socializing children. And I hate the 'just as damaging'... the male role is often more damaging. IMHO, men's 'power' does not seem to work when they need it, namely when they're vulnerable. Anything society does to female victims, it does to male victims ten times harder, if it even acknowledges their victimization to begin with. From that to conscription to legal genital mutilation to all the psychological baggage of homophobia, I look at the male role and I thank god I'm not a man. Yet we continue to blame men for their own problems(and women's problems, those men, is there any end to their bastardry?), it's very fashionable and oh-so-attractive these days.

Whatever. Men are Magnificent Bastards and want to be seen as such, and women are perpetual Damsels in Distress and want to be seen as such. I guess I'm just crashing the party. Maybe in one hundred years people will start to see what I'm saying. Eh. Or I'm bat-shit insane.

~~

@Above: Well for starters, I'd point out it's not fashionable at all, as the recurring flame wars over this very article make clear. Feminism is not at all a popular position these days, and most people — including people who share a lot of basic feminist beliefs — really see all feminists as embodiments of this very trope.

Also, you seem to be implying feminism is about blaming individual men, or men as people. But it is about culture and society as a whole. In other words, it's not about some literal conspiracy of men out there keeping women down (though in limited form such *do* exist, like old boys' clubs in some industries and the like), but about an overall culture in which both men and women are raised and taught that men and women are different in some ways that restrict and hurt both, and lead to inequality between the sexes. And yes, you are right that women are complicit in propagating this culture too, and not just men. It's about opposing sexist culture, including the roles that women play in keeping it sexist, not about opposing men themselves.

Anyway, you are right that all this hurts men as well, and in some ways, arguably worse than women. When one looks at poorer men in the working classes especially this is true. But it's worth noting that the vast majority of people in the most powerful positions of society have historically been men, and while this is changing in parts of the world, it's still unequal, and the impact of history is obviously still very much there. Today, men have disproportionately more power in huge fields like politics, business, media, etc., and together these fields have a huge influence on culture, and help perpetuate sexism and inequality. Obviously, this doesn't let other people — including women — off the hook, but it's worth keeping in mind.

Also, "anything society does to female victims, it does to male victims ten times harder" is hugely debatable. For example, it is true male rape victims are much less likely to report abuse, and are rarely treated at all fairly or compassionately when they do. But on the other hand, as a male, I never have any second thoughts about going out alone late in the evening or at night, which — from what I've heard from women — is very much not the case for women. So that's an aspect of culture that definitely hurts women more than men, even if individual men who are sexually assaulted are almost always treated worse than women in the same position.

In other cases, the disadvantages men suffer can still be traced back to women being viewed by culture as a whole in a more negative light. For example, men die in military service, obviously, far far more than women do. But the reason for this is because culturally, women are discouraged (and in most countries, aren't even legally allowed) to serve in the military in the same risky roles in which men serve, even when they want to. This is patronizing, perpetuates limiting stereotypes about appropriate "women's roles," and, after all, a gilded cage is hardly really an advantage.

Also, even as gender roles change some inequalities remain that hurt both women and men, but have a more immediate impact on women. For example, women are still seen as "naturally" being primary care-givers and home-makers (and even your own comment reflects this a bit). Today, most women work. Most of these women *want* to work. And it is a cliché that women have a very hard time balancing work and family. There's a great solution — men doing their equal share in housework and child-rearing, so that the burden is distributed more evenly, and neither parent has to go insane trying to find a balance. Men would also benefit, perhaps getting the chance to bond more with their kids, and probably enjoying a healthier and happier relationship with their partner. And yet, both men and women are reluctant to change this aspect of old-fashioned gender roles.

In the end, I'd agree that sexism hurts both men and women, and in some ways it definitely hurts men a lot — but feminism isn't about blaming men, or portraying women as eternal victims. It's about trying to change our culture to give both men and women more dignity, more equality, and more freedom to be who they want to be, instead of being limited by rigid perceptions of gender.

MercuryInRetrograde: You're a guy? Well, all I can say is that I'm glad I'm not you. You will be considered the legally and socially inferior parent if you should happen to have children. You probably have had parts of your genitals stripped off. I have all my parts, btw. You are far more likely to be violently assaulted or murdered (jury is out on rape since we have absolutely no real clue how often men are raped) so maybe you should be more afraid then me when you walk outside. If you're in a situation where your partner beats you, god help you if you want to get out. You're legally obligated to pay your partner's way after her obligations to you have ceased. You do more time for the same crime. You're more likely to die or be mutilated on the job. You're legally obligated to the state for conscription. You comprise a smaller amount of the voters then people whose genitals resemble my own. You also have far less spending power and don't have as much savings. Nobody cares if you get hurt, are kidnapped or mutilated. Really, they don't. That happened to me? There'd be a manhunt. You? Maybe a one-line note on page ten about the wife and children you lefte behind. Your relationships to other people whose genitals resemble your own are anemic and circumscribed due to homophobia. Finally, your reward for being male? You get to jack-boot all of this female social privilege onto other men. If you're one of the very small percentage of men who gains any real power. (There's more to power then having it, there's also what you use it for. And men in power have a long track record of benefiting women over the men of lower classes. There's a huge difference between helping men and perpetuating men's _role_.)

If I were more of an asshole, I'd rejoice in being female. As it is, I'll just be slightly amused at your concern for my gender's welfare. Thank you, but... yeah. Sorry. Men aren't Magnificent Bastards, and I'm not a Distressed Damsel that needs to be saved from them.

@Mercury: "In the end, I'd agree that sexism hurts both men and women, and in some ways it definitely hurts men a lot — but feminism isn't about blaming men, or portraying women as eternal victims. It's about trying to change our culture to give both men and women more dignity, more equality, and more freedom to be who they want to be, instead of being limited by rigid perceptions of gender."

MercuryInRetrograde: You can say that feminism isn't about blaming men or portraying women as eternal victims all you like. But as long as the word 'patriarchy' is bandied about, thus blaming men for society, funny how that works, and women's victimization is held to be greater then and/or more important then men's(because men are 'patriarchs' and are thus responsible for their own problems)... I'm afraid I'm going to have to go with the logical conclusion that feminism IS about blaming men and seeing women as eternal victims.

IMHO, what's limiting women is the dynamic of handing over responsibility to men(patriarchy) and seeing themselves as victims (or the double-speak term 'survivors'). I think both men and women are invested in this dynamic. Men like the feeling of being seen as super-potent, and women like the ability to shame men into action. But, bat-shit insane me, would rather do for herself. I consider that EMPOWERMENT. So I do. I embrace nothing that makes me feel like a victim or takes responsibility away from me as prime mover in my own life. Guess what belief system I dropped first?

Sorry, mr. White Knight, I don't have any dragons for you to slay. Why don't you go take a look at the dragons currently holding your fellow white knights hostage. Or is rescuing a Distressed Man just too gay?

@Mercury: Basically, I just don't think feminism is about what you say it is about. "Patriarchy" in the context of feminism does not mean an actual conspiracy of evil men, but is a word for the sexism found throughout our culture, a culture that is perpetuated by the (predominantly male) people in power, but also by average people, both male and female, as you yourself say. And yes, it hurts men too. One of the main reasons I became interested in feminism is because I wasn't a big fan of traditional ideas on masculinity and male stereotypes (as my troper handle may hint). I also think that your beliefs aren't even incompatible with feminism, except that you focus on the way the sexism in our culture hurts men, but don't seem to care as much about the ways that same sexist culture hurts women. In either case, you basically agree with feminists that the way sex and gender are treated by our culture is unfair, that people are treated differently in unfair ways based on what genitalia they are born with, and that it would be nice if this changed. Just my opinion, anyway.

MercuryinRetrograde: Except that I am in fundamental disagreement over who is really in control of this dog and pony show. To illustrate. Most feminists would say that Sarah Palin, should she have gotten into power, would not have advanced 'women's' interests. From this we can conclude that a politician does not necessarily advance the same interests as those s/he shares genitalia with. But feminists are convinced that male politicians advance the interests of men as a group. I am not so convinced. In fact, it seems to me that women as primary parents set the social agenda by conditioning their children with certain value systems. This can be passive imprinting('I value women over men because my primary source of care and nurturance was female')or active('the knight saves the princess from the dragon because that's what god little boys do, they define themselves by how well they protect and provide for women). Male politicians merely enact this social agenda. Now, that's not to say that men in power can't be protective of their roles and not want to give them up to women but they can be protective of men's ROLE, without being protective of MEN. Men in power would have to care about other men for men AS A WHOLE to benefit from the minority of men in power. And, quite frankly, looks like men in power think caring about other men is gay.

So, IMHO, insane opinion, we live in a patriarchal puppet show, in which 'patriarchs'—true to their white knight/damsel in distress programming—seek out dragons to slay for women, acting out the imprinting they received as children. And, god forbid, there ever be any dragons a damsel has to save a knight from.

I'm going waaaaay beyond 'women don't need white knights' all the way to: Men _need_ women to slay dragons for them.

Which is incompatible with a feminist framing of 'patriarchal' society in which men have more power then women.

About the Stargate episode Emancipation. I always felt the primary point there was to show how far the characters should be willing to bend to placate the natives.

When did the entire "Real Life" section turn into Complaining About Feminists I Don't Like? I second the above call to remove real life examples. I also think there are some rather Unfortunate Implications in the fact that the Straw Misogynist page doesn't have an equivalent litany of real-life examples listing every man who's ever committed rape, made a sexist comment or targetted women in shootings (on the basis that "there really ARE men like that out there!!").