So What are you doing on April 25th?
March 30, 2004 11:51 AM   Subscribe

March For Women - because America is not a great place to be a woman. The time is right for a public demonstration of historic size in support of reproductive freedom and justice for all women. Threats to these rights have never been so systematic and coordinated, and the lives and health of women have never faced such peril. See ya there! I will be the woman in the embroidered denim jacket - the one my mom wore when she marched for the exact same rights, 40-odd years ago. sigh.
posted by kristin (123 comments total)

 
I'll be there to lend support...
posted by jonmc at 11:55 AM on March 30, 2004


Heh -- timely post. I just spent the better part of this morning trying to find a hotel room in dc. Not easy. I am looking forward to the event; I'll be there representing all my other white male brethren. Or not.
On a serious note, it saddens me that marches like these are still necessary.
posted by hummus at 11:56 AM on March 30, 2004


I'll be at the Poor People's March for Economic Human Rights.
posted by mcgraw at 12:07 PM on March 30, 2004


Sing it, hummus. It's a shame that the status of women is actually going down under this administration.

Thanks for being a dick, jonmc. Knew we could count on you.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:16 PM on March 30, 2004


Everywhere I hear the sound of marchin' chargin feet boy...

A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side


Deja Vu all over again, yo.

on preview: Little Miss Cranky-unclench, it was a joke. Try not to contribute to the stereotype that feminists have no sense of humor.
posted by jonmc at 12:18 PM on March 30, 2004


By the way, there are much worse places in this world to be a woman. Not sayin' America can't be improved, but still...
posted by mcgraw at 12:21 PM on March 30, 2004


If you're from the Boston area and planning to go down you can buy Bus tickets from Boston NOW

I hope that wasn't too promotional. It seemed revelent, and no one is making any money. I know about it becuase I put the site together
posted by rschroed at 12:23 PM on March 30, 2004


Where is it a good place to be a woman, if not America? Seriously--are women clearly better off in other countries?</not being sarcastic; genuinely curious>
posted by vraxoin at 12:25 PM on March 30, 2004


Why, vraxoin, women are have been without justice here in America for a long time. Haven't you noticed?
posted by mcgraw at 12:30 PM on March 30, 2004


Totally unclenched, jonmc. You know what I think is super funny, though? That your being an unfunny dick is somehow my deficiency.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:33 PM on March 30, 2004


When, as with the affirmative action issue, will feminists begin to reexamine their commitment to abortion rights? What if feminists put all their energy into increased access to, and use of, contraception and sex education? The biggest abortion rights victory was a court ruling, which isn't really a victory at all. Isn't it time that the things we can change got changed?
posted by ewkpates at 12:34 PM on March 30, 2004


vraxoin: America 4 years ago comes to mind.

LittleMissCranky: It's funny 'cause it's a golf pun.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:35 PM on March 30, 2004


LittleMissCranky got the syndrome "P-M".
posted by mcgraw at 12:37 PM on March 30, 2004


Totally unclenched, jonmc. You know what I think is super funny, though? That your being an unfunny dick is somehow my deficiency.

It is. Sice you seem to think that your pet "ism" is so sacred that it can't take a joke at it's own expense. But, hey, keep being humorless and self-important, it'll gain you followers. Thank goodness most feminists can take a joke.
posted by jonmc at 12:40 PM on March 30, 2004


What have women lost in the last four years? What have women lost in the last twenty? Where there may be room for improvement, what's all this talk of rights and power being eroding and threatened?

the lives and health of women have never faced such peril

See, that right there is complete garbage. Are you kidding?
posted by techgnollogic at 12:48 PM on March 30, 2004


Self-important? Nah. Here's the thing, though: Offensive things can often be very, very funny. However, just because something is offensive does not mean that it is, in fact very, very funny.

As for my "pet 'ism,'" hold up a sign that says "pick my cotton" at a NAACP rally. See how far it gets you. It seems that we all have "isms" that we hold dear, don't we?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:50 PM on March 30, 2004


When, as with the affirmative action issue, will feminists begin to reexamine their commitment to abortion rights?
Gosh, I don't know, maybe when the other side stops fighting tooth and nail every day to take this most basic of reproductive rights away from us?

What if feminists put all their energy into increased access to, and use of, contraception and sex education?
"The feminists" are fighting this battle, as well as many others, as is to be expected from such a large and diverse group. It's not necessarily our fault that abortion-rights battles get all the media attention.
posted by hilatron at 12:53 PM on March 30, 2004


Thank goodness most feminists can take a joke.

And thank goodness you're here in record time to trot out a tired unfunny joke. After all, the most important part of anyone's struggle is how well they take having a random dickhead poke fun at them.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:58 PM on March 30, 2004


It's funny mainly because it's ridiculous. So ridiculous that I fail to see how anyone would be offended by it. It's like the Man Show boy telling young women they look 40 as far as I'm concerned.

And for the record, I'm pro-choice and if the ERa came up again, I'd vote for it. Although many feminists (Catherine McKinnon and Andrea Dworkin come to mind) are completely full of shit.

I have no "ism's" that I hold dear. Today's liberator is tommorrow's dictator. Many of the oppressed would be horrendous oppressors if they only had the power.
posted by jonmc at 12:58 PM on March 30, 2004


Commenting as a man is this thread is like wandering into a woman's toilet room; you not allowed nor will you understand...have fun women.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:00 PM on March 30, 2004


I'm for total equality of the sexes and I'm so pro-abortion that a lot of people find it off-putting. However, this is really just another outing for a club. One's presence there won't do a thing to advance the cause of equality. No one's going to occupy lunch counters.

You could get more done by agressively taunting the fundamentalists outside your local Planned Parenthood and making them think twice about restricting access.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:01 PM on March 30, 2004


"...the lives and health of women have never faced such peril."

It never ceases to amaze me that some people will fall for that same old Chicken Little "The sky is falling!" routine over and over again. Once again sensationalism and fear mongering trump truth and rational thought.
posted by MikeMc at 1:02 PM on March 30, 2004


What have women lost in the last four years?

Both the fetus protection act and the "partial-birth" abortion ban were openly pursued (and, when Bush signs the former in coming says, both will be law) as a tactic to begin hacking away at Roe V Wade and a woman's right to have an abortion. Women in the US--and all over the developing world--have had their family planning options seriously limited by the Bush administrations injection of fundamentalist doctrine into decisions regarding foreign-aid allotment and "faith-based initiatives." Condoms, family-planning in general, and abortion rights are all hallmarks of societies in which women are more than second-class citizens.

True, subjugating and disempowering women may not be as important to Bush's fundamentalist base and buddies as, say, the Total War for the souls of man and a pre-emptive strike against the coming rise of Nicolae Carpathia, but it's clearly on the list somewhere.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:06 PM on March 30, 2004


The solution to problem of women's control of their own bodies shouldn't depend on the courts, it should depend on the education and action of women and the communities that support women.

As long as we keep the focus, through activism and whatever, on issues that the courts ultimately decide (rights issues) and not on conduct issues (using birth control) feminism looses ground by disempowering itself.

Abstinence education doesn't work, and third trimester abortion doesn't work. Its time feminism focused more on personal responsibility than legal activism.

I don't understand why political feminism in this country is more about killing babies than preventing them. I've always voted prochoice - but I'd rather vote procontrol.
posted by ewkpates at 1:06 PM on March 30, 2004


I have a house in DC metro area (in MD) and have some spare sleeping space in my house. I plan to attend the march. If you need a place to stay email me (I think my email is in my little profile). I'll go check and will post if it's missing.

It's still funny to see people in the favored group (men in this case) telling those in the less priviledged group (women in this case) that 1) they have no sense of humor when they are being put down 2) they really don't have it as bad as they think they do or 3) they really should focus on something "more important/moral/to my liking."
posted by Red58 at 1:10 PM on March 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


Many of the oppressed would be horrendous oppressors if they only had the power.

Strong point, jonmc. As Nietzsche has said:

Battle not with monsters,
lest ye become a monster,
and if you gaze into the Abyss,
the Abyss gazes also into you.
posted by mcgraw at 1:11 PM on March 30, 2004


Unfortunately I live in New York -- we don't have any idiots outside of the Planned Parenthood (that I can find).
And besides, I'm going to support the feminists. I figure I need to make friends now before Bush rounds us all up and puts us in the camps.
You are a feminist
posted by hummus at 1:12 PM on March 30, 2004


Red58,

How are men favored and women not?

You, kristen and LittleMissCranky are full of shit.

LittleMiss, women have endured difficult times in the PAST in this country, but they do not equate to slavery. For gods sake, they're half the fukken population, not minorities who forty years ago had to use separate restaurants and schools. To suggest that women are oppressed in America (as kristin and Red58 have) is ridiculous.
posted by mcgraw at 1:18 PM on March 30, 2004


jonmc's post is actually very funny. IMO. It is so obviously "a joke" that anyone who takes it seriously is the butt of the joke. Someone once said that with Political Correctness we lost humor, we lost the ability to laugh at other people, and to laugh at ourselves. IMO humor will never die but political correctness will.

Another joke would be to see the pro execution, pro victims rights people stage a demonstration at the same time.

Anyway, I'll be there photblogging and putting people up at my house from out of town. There are so many marches in DC after a while the issues don't matter as much as the traffic.
posted by stbalbach at 1:20 PM on March 30, 2004


I don't understand why political feminism in this country is more about killing babies than preventing them.

I don't think that I've ever heard any american, feminist or otherwise, advocate infanticide.

Oh, you were just using an inacurrate description of abortion. Contraception isn't a de facto option for a lot of people-- life is convenience-based now and many, many people can't be bothered to think about the consequences of their actions like that. It's easier to lie about contraceptive failure when you turn up pregnant. So abortion ends up being the only solution. Focus on contraception and let abortion slip and we'll have even more unwanted children. Certainly, contraception education is very important for the segment of the population that can be bothered, though. It will save them an invasive medical procedure and having to wade through crowds of fanatics waving gory placards.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:20 PM on March 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


Commenting as a man isn this thread is like wandering into a woman's toilet room; you’re not allowed nor will you understand...have fun women.

See while trying to understand some of the comments here, screwed my comment up, sorry...[stumbles out of thread like most baffled men, *trips*falls*gets up & looks back as nothing ever happened*]
posted by thomcatspike at 1:22 PM on March 30, 2004


Someone once said that with Political Correctness we lost humor, we lost the ability to laugh at other people, and to laugh at ourselves.

Ever notice how the someones who say this are mainly interested in laughing at other people?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:28 PM on March 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


It's still funny to see people in the favored group (men in this case) telling those in the less priviledged group (women in this case) that ... they really should focus on something "more important/moral/to my liking."

I merely stated that the gathering is a group hug with no real effect on actual conditions. But you're certainly right to discount my opinion based on my sex organs. The left isn't fractured enough! We need more division.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go foster paternalism and use my penis as a weapon.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:29 PM on March 30, 2004


There are currently only 13 women in the Senate and 61 women in the House. As you say, mcgraw, women are "half the fukken population", yet they are obviously a much smaller percentage of our elected representation.

Is that not an obvious example of how men are favored?
posted by hummus at 1:39 PM on March 30, 2004


So where are all the people with the senses of humor going to be on April 25th? I know I'm going to be marching in the 'End Humor Block' I assume with my sister mefites. After all, if you don't enjoy sexist jokes; you surely must be frigid.

But, back to those with humor, I want to know, were they indeed kidding, or are they just lazy and privileged and don't really care if international contraceptive clinics don't get funding anymore? My sense of humor is pretty brutish, I don't 'get' most jokes - for those less nuanced than yourselves, can you explain it? Where are you going to be on April 25th? That was the question, wasn't it? I mean, it's pretty easy to make fun of an oppressed, despite what mcgraw might want to believe, group, but are you taking your 1.25 on our dollar and going to DC? After all, you've been doing this whole getting-to-be-involved-in-the-political-process-thing a lot longer than we have, so you must have it down pat.
posted by goneill at 1:42 PM on March 30, 2004


Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go foster paternalism and use my penis as a weapon.

Do you use yours to bludgeon people or push them off cliffs? I can never decide.

Ever notice how the someones who say this are mainly interested in laughing at other people?

So what else is new? Every group and sub-group has it's batch of people they love to make fun of. And within reason all the the butts of said jokes should take a joke. The alternative is we all tiptoe around eachother like we're fragile little beings or some self-appointed arbiter of etiquette gets to decide who's sacred and who isn't.
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on March 30, 2004


There are currently only 13 women in the Senate and 61 women in the House.

Well, hummus, your only problem, there, is that women have equal voting rights as men. Nobody is throwing away women's votes, in favor of men's. Now, why aren't there more female candidates?-- I don't know. But you can't blame the 13 female senators on oppression or unfairness. Women, with each of their votes, have the ability to elect more females. They have equal access, under the law.
posted by mcgraw at 1:47 PM on March 30, 2004


just my two cents:

Im ALL FOR a woman's right to decide what goes on with her body. If you got a hunk of cells inside you that you don't want, have is sucked out. I don't think she should have the right to kill a little human living inside of her. The line between the two is important.

Ive heard that brain waves (not just synaptic activity, but patterned activity in the cortex - suggesting an alert and functioning mind) begins at around 6 months. In my opinion, this is where the baby shaped meat makes the switch to little human. 6 months is PLENTY of time to have it sucked out, rape or not. After that, the mother's life had better be in danger.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2004


Do you use yours to bludgeon people or push them off cliffs? I can never decide.

Go with the latter. Even the tiniest pin-prick can make someone jump.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:53 PM on March 30, 2004


To suggest that women are oppressed in America (as kristin and Red58 have) is ridiculous.

mcgraw is absolutely right! How dare American women consider themselves oppressed? They should be grateful they make less money than men for the same amount of work, have courts made up of men decide their reproductive rights, and are told they "got the syndrome "P-M" so they know when they are being uppity and should shut up!

Those fucking fukken ingrates!

Well, hummus, your only problem

Uh, no. hummus' problem is trying to illustrate how women are oppressed to a person who won't even admit that they are. Sometimes people are just so wilfully ignorant (see also "Now, why aren't there more female candidates?-- I don't know.") that initiating dialogue is a waste of time, and really all you can do is mock them for the entertainment of others. hummus, shame on you! Consider this a learning experience.
posted by lia at 1:54 PM on March 30, 2004


Jonmc, I think you're being called a dickhead because you waited all of four minutes to pounce on this thread with a pretty tired joke, most likely derailing discussion. Turning it, instead into "Let's discuss whether jonmc is a dickhead or not."
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:56 PM on March 30, 2004


I mean, it's pretty easy to make fun of an oppressed, despite what mcgraw might want to believe, group, but are you taking your 1.25 on our dollar and going to DC?

I'll be sure to mention that to my numerous female superiors here at work who make roughly 5 times what I do.

But, back to those with humor, I want to know, were they indeed kidding, or are they just lazy and privileged and don't really care if international contraceptive clinics don't get funding anymore?

I'm not trying to attack you here, but wording like this is where you lose people. Telling someone who is economically just scraping by and who answers to economic superiors and outside authority all day (ie, most American men [and women too]) about how "priviliged and lazy" they are is just going to alienate people who might agree with the basic ideas. Yes, I care about availability of contraception and even though I personally don't believe in abortion, I believe the option should remain available. But I hear the "priviliged evil white male" outta the mouths of priviliged white females and it makes me (and I imagine plenty of other people) feel extremely unwelcome and alienated and thus hurts your cause rather than helps it.

After all, if you don't enjoy sexist jokes; you surely must be frigid.

Just out of curiosity is any joke that pokes fun at gender difference sexist? Is the old chestnut 'What's the useless peice of flesh around a penis? A man." sexist? Cause it's funny, too. My idea of equality is when we can all bust eachother's chops comfortably. Cause that's the only way that everyone is infact truly equal: we're all equally fucked up.
posted by jonmc at 1:58 PM on March 30, 2004


mcgraw: They have equal access, under the law.

Better than equal access. Among those of voting age, women are a majority.
posted by trharlan at 1:59 PM on March 30, 2004


Tell me, Lia, you've engaged in Lincoln-Douglas debate before, no?

Fascinating!
posted by mcgraw at 1:59 PM on March 30, 2004


Global

The Mission
To establish the connection between foreign and domestic policies that harm women worldwide and to assert reproductive freedom as a basic human right.

The Reality
The current administration has reinstated the "Global Gag Rule," which denies US funding to non-US family planning organizations that perform abortions, provide abortion referrals, or advocate for reproductive justice—even if they use their own money to do so. The United States has also refused to fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)—an organization that gives millions of women and families access to reproductive health care and information to plan and space births. Planning and spacing births reduces the incidence of maternal and infant mortality and improves the overall health of families worldwide.

posted by homunculus at 2:01 PM on March 30, 2004


How are men favored and women not?

Equal pay for equal work?
posted by yoga at 2:02 PM on March 30, 2004


They should be grateful they make less money than men for the same amount of work.

A tired old canard, usually preached as gospel.
posted by trharlan at 2:02 PM on March 30, 2004


New Front in the Abortion Debate

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which, for the very first time, will put into federal law the concept that life begins at conception. Though I offered an alternative that would have had the same effect in criminal law without addressing this profound and deeply divisive question, anti-abortion advocates defeated the measure.

On Family Planning, US vs. Much of the World

In a series of regional meetings on population and development, the US has pressed other countries to back down from goals in family planning and women's reproductive rights, targets set in tandem with development plans and adopted with strong US support a decade ago. At the most recent meeting in Santiago, Chile, earlier this month, 40 countries rejected a US move to stress abstinence over contraception in a declaration, and thus bring it more in line with Bush administration priorities.

The Health Care Crisis for Women—There Is a Solution

Women are the majority of the 40 million Medicare beneficiaries and their well-being under the new plan is at great risk. If you are a woman over 75, you are likely to be single (widowed, divorced or never-married) and very poor, with two or more chronic health conditions which require at least three prescription medications. Where will these women go when traditional Medicare collapses?

jonmc: on preview: Little Miss Cranky-unclench, it was a joke.

No, jonmc, it's pretty clear you have the deficiency. I'm sure everyone "got" your shitty, bigoted attempt at humor, including LittleMissCranky, and "got it" even before you felt you had to try to explain "the joke" and start to backpedal. 'Course, your "humor" is completely classless..... kinda like if you held up a "Relax and enjoy it" sign at a rally for rape victims, right? Heh. Hell, is it still Black History Month, and time to "joke" about African Americans and watermelons and rhythm? Heh. "Humor". Gee, maybe then you could once again immediately retreat from your asinine little statement by self-righteously protesting "it was just a joke". "I was just joking." Kind of a way of feebly trying to make a statement, all while not taking any responsibility for it, right?

Just more of that straddle thing, eh jonmc? Talk about a "fragile little being" who can't stand being poked....maybe you could provide us a count of the number of times in this thread you've felt it necessary to protest "it was just a joke" after you got called on your lame bullshit.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 2:03 PM on March 30, 2004


"Do you use yours to bludgeon people or push them off cliffs? I can never decide.

Go with the latter. Even the tiniest pin-prick can make someone jump."


Now that's funny.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:04 PM on March 30, 2004


ewkpates :I don't understand why political feminism in this country is more about killing babies than preventing them. I've always voted prochoice - but I'd rather vote procontrol.

WTF are you going on about? We don't have access to a sizable number of birth control methods available in most parts of the developed world (links will have to wait until I get home from work, sorry). We have an administration that makes it a policy to push abstinence-only sex ed in schools, withhold funds from agencies in developing country that even mention abortion, and issues directives to the CDC and NIH to remove sexual health information from their websites.

What do you think we're fighting for? Abortion might be the spotlight grabbing issue, but the same groups that are trying to protect access to it are also trying to protect access to contraception and sex education. And believe it or not, some of the same groups working to make abortion illegal would also like to outlaw certain forms of contraception, like IUDs and birth control pills. It's not on their front burner, but they would love to see it happen. They also are working to make sure that we don't get access to methods that are freely available elsewhere (again at work, links later)

And since you're so bloody concerned, what the hell are you doing about it? Or do you believe that, like birth control itself, it's the woman's job to take care of it?
posted by echolalia67 at 2:06 PM on March 30, 2004


"...but are you taking your 1.25 on our dollar..."

It must be cliche day here at MeFi! Seriously folks if all things being equal women worked for 25% lower wages men would be in serious trouble. After all what employer with half a brain would ever hire a man when a woman would do the exact same work at the exact same level of productivity for 25% less money. There's more to this wage disparity issue than simple gender bias. Score another victory for sensationalism over substance.
posted by MikeMc at 2:07 PM on March 30, 2004


mcgraw -- who runs the political orginizations that get a candidate to the polls? Think really hard.

And if you don't want to talk about elections, how about the fact the only 22% of the Supreme Court is female. Furthermore, only 20.6% of Federal Judges are female.

You do realize that it's okay to look out from under that rock every once in a while, right?

On preview:
Lia - that's why I don't typically bother dealing with people like mcgraw.
jonmc - don't you bother to check your audience before telling an off-color joke? If not, is your mouth a little stretched from the constant insertion of your foot?
posted by hummus at 2:07 PM on March 30, 2004


'Course, your "humor" is completely classless

Well, 'scuze me for pissin' in the punchbowl, sir foldy! Pardon my foul ettiquette.

Fine foldy, women are sacred fragile beautiful immaculate beings who could never dream of having an impure thought and we men, we're just evil drooling beasts who all rape nuns and murder children for the sheer joy of it.

Just more of that straddle thing, eh jonmc?

More "with us or against us," huh, foldy? Were you frightened by binary code as a child, because it seems to affect the way you think?
posted by jonmc at 2:12 PM on March 30, 2004


I'm still a little bit confused, could all the men in the thread who are making sexist jokes, or arguing about feminist tactics let us know what they do to combat sexism?

Thanks.
posted by goneill at 2:12 PM on March 30, 2004


Gee, hummus, I guess you and the other ladies in this thread are right. Men DO have it easier than women do in America. Well... now, what are we gonna do about this?

Should we set up a special political party just for women?

Are you suggesting that women need special assistance or something? That sounds a bit demeaning to me, but since you're women, I'll defer to your superiority.
posted by mcgraw at 2:18 PM on March 30, 2004


I'm still a little bit confused, could all the men in the thread who are making sexist jokes, or arguing about feminist tactics let us know what they do to combat sexism?

1) As someone pointed out earlier, women are now a majority of the electorate. Vote sexists out of office.

2) Those numbers also equal economic power. Build female freindly businesses and organizations.

3) Educate us men. But don't do it in a hostile confrontational manner or it merely creates resentments where their werent any before.

4) reproductive freedom isn't only a female issue, nor is rape, or equal pay/equal work. All us men have mothers, sisters etc.
posted by jonmc at 2:19 PM on March 30, 2004


Suffragists Speak
posted by homunculus at 2:20 PM on March 30, 2004


So this anonymity concept lets the real you come out, right jonmc? Because I'm thinking that it would be funny as hell to see you get slapped from here to next Tuesday for doing something like that in public. But then again, I don't think you would have the guts to do that in person.

You are the obvious reason why this march is necessary. It's not for abortion rights, salary rights, or any of the other myriad reasons. As long as a neanderthal like you continues to think that such jokes are funny, marches like the one on 25 April will need to happen.

And mcgraw, you silly, silly little boy: I am a man.
posted by hummus at 2:25 PM on March 30, 2004


uh huh, that's putting the onus back on me. I already do plenty to fight sexism. I can provide you with a laundry list if necessary.

What are YOU doing, besides making sexist jokes to fight sexism?
posted by goneill at 2:27 PM on March 30, 2004


But don't do it in a hostile confrontational manner or it merely creates resentments where their werent any before.

Just so we're clear, this is coming from the guy who opened up the thread with an "iron my shirts" joke?

Kudos!
posted by Skot at 2:28 PM on March 30, 2004


Damn. Scary thread up in hurr.

And yeah, I can see how some of you guys might be offended, because you probably aren't sexist in your day to day life on an individual and interpersonal level. However, that's not all there is...
posted by fillsthepews at 2:31 PM on March 30, 2004


Men DO have it easier than women do in America. Well... now, what are we gonna do about this?

Good question! I heard there was this march or something on April 25 in Washington DC to help raise general awareness on modern dangers to womens' rights. Does that count, or is it not patronizing enough for you?
posted by jess at 2:32 PM on March 30, 2004


Where is it a good place to be a woman, if not America? Seriously--are women clearly better off in other countries?

Well, certain organizations have ranked us in the low teens for our treatment of mothers, behind nations of Western Europe, Canada and the Antipodes. This is largely because of our lack of socialized health care and the factthat we don't have legally mandated maternity leaves that can extend up to one year after the birth or adoption of a baby.

However, it is galling to hear American feminists adopting this strident "we're being untenably oppressed, we're in a battle for our very lives!" language, because the inherent lack of perspective is just so very appalling.

Women in countries not so far away from us -- physically, economically or politically -- are regularly subjugated under the onerous restrictions of Shari'ia law. Their bodies are routinely violated as an act of war and even in peacetime they often cannot find relief in law or society when they are sexually assaulted or sold into sexual slavery. That's not even broaching the staggering numbers who are mutilated as a matter of course or the growing numbers who find that increased tensions between traditionalism and progressive changes in society makes them far more subject to "honor" killings for which no punishment will ever be meted out. And millions of women are sick and dying, leaving behind sick and dying infants because they have been rendered incapable of protecting themselves against HIV by societal mores and traditions. Many of these women live long enough to watch their children fail to live to their second birthdays in staggering rates.

Consequently, seeing American women using such high handed rhetoric to rally a mass protest in the streets to complain about how bad we supposedly leaves me fairly disgusting. The very fact that we can march in the streets, that we have the freedom to speak out, that we have the time and the financial means to organize and travel, that we can leave our obligations behind to go off, says that we're better off than women in a lot of places. This narrow world view, perpetuated by women of privilege, is truly about as anti-feminist, anti-progressive and anti-human as it gets, in my book.

As for my "pet 'ism,'" hold up a sign that says "pick my cotton" at a NAACP rally.

Do you really really want to make a comparison between the traditional roles of women in the home and the roles of slaves in the American south? Because as best I can tell that's what this sentence tried to do, and I really don't want to think that you're really trying to draw some sort of equivalency there, hilatron.

And really, all of this jumping down jonmc's throat for a joke that tired, silly and benign (compared to the swarms of jokes easily found online which center around women's stupidity, our hormonal imbalances which render us incapable of "normalcy" and the supposed humor in acts of violence and humiliation perpetuated against us, usually of a sexual nature) only serves to reinforce the negative stereotypes that feminists should only be itching to shed after nearly 40 years. I boggle to think what you'd all be saying if he'd linked to this site.
posted by Dreama at 2:46 PM on March 30, 2004


to complain about how bad we supposedly leaves me fairly disgusting.

Argh. That should read "to complain about how bad we supposedly have it leaves me fairly disgusted." Too much editing.
posted by Dreama at 2:50 PM on March 30, 2004


Dreama, I think you're kinda missing the point. The links were greatly educational, but to compare bad with worse is dismissive, and entirely uneccesary. That's what makes it offensive, yo? If one feels deeply about an issue that affects them directly, requiring that they be more concerned about another is precisely the oppression that women face in this country, at this time. Don't be surprised if your efforts don't go over to well, 'cause they really shouldn't.

Jonmc, in my many years on this planet, I've learned that an apology when I've been a dick shows more respect by far than arguing that what I've done wasn't really that bad. Quit projecting your error in judgement onto your expectations of others, and everyone will be happier, don't you think?
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:04 PM on March 30, 2004


could all the men in the thread who are .. arguing about feminist tactics let us know what they do to combat sexism?

I do the same things that you'll do at the march-- join hands, sing "We Shall Not Be Moved," and just let the awesome power of our solidarity change minds, man!

And again, why suggest that because I'm a man it's not my place to suggest ANYTHING? I know, sisters have been doing it for themselves since this started and they haven't managed to completely alienate every man yet. But keep trying, because it's the bitter, castigating feminists who push many of us towards the side of wanting to see you fail to see if you learn anything.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:05 PM on March 30, 2004


jonmc - if you're going to tell a joke that some may find offensive, just do it - don't try to defend yourself afterwards as then YOU become the joke. Back to Troll School ... oh, and do try to come up with more original material, mm'kay?
posted by pyramid termite at 3:05 PM on March 30, 2004


jonmc - don't you bother to check your audience before telling an off-color joke?

Yo. Hold up. Now I'm not saying that I would have made the joke that jon did, but the setiniment expressed above is exactly what's wrong with political correctness. I guess that a lot of people are deducing from jonmc's joke that he is sexist. I don't necessarilly (or, ya know, at all) concur, but that's beside the issue. The question is: wouldn't you rather mysogonists (or racists, or whoever) open their yaps and step for public dressing down/bitchslapping/opportunity to learn why there statements/thoughts are backwards?

As a white guy, every time that another white guy makes a quiet racist or sexist joke to me, I wish that he was telling it to her instead. In any case the joke was not simply jon saying "women iron clothes." It was a visual gag and a pun. Not a kneeslapper, but hardly a full-scale oafish emission.

But keep trying, because it's the bitter, castigating feminists who push many of us towards the side of wanting to see you fail to see if you learn anything.

Great. Shooting guards who never pass are why my grandfather hates black people (really). Maybe you guys can get some pudding together some time.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:09 PM on March 30, 2004


MCurley, let me ask you an honest question: What the hell would it matter if women alienate every man? Consider the fact that they won't, and that 100 men can produce enough sperm to repopulate the Earth given a viable population of women, and you have no argument, cuz. Your demands for respect are the problem.

You see, in my silly little world, I follow the dictum of "lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way". Act like a roadblock if you want, but asserting your right to do so is just words, meaningless words. You'll still get trampled. Look at it ... you're setting up the opposition here, pal, not them.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:16 PM on March 30, 2004


Mayor Curley: And again, why suggest that because I'm a man it's not my place to suggest ANYTHING?

My question, which none of the men (including you) who complained that Feminists are too concerned with abortion rights and not concerned enough with promoting contraception access and responsible use, is what are YOU doing about it?

I'm tired of all of these armchair quarterbacks complaining about what Feminism is or isn't doing about issues that involve or affect men too. Go ahead, have your say but do something about it, if it means that friggin' much to you.
posted by echolalia67 at 3:25 PM on March 30, 2004


MCurley, let me ask you an honest question: What the hell would it matter if women alienate every man?

I wasn't thinking about biology. I was merely saying that I'm not going to support changing a status quo that already benefits me if the people behind the movement are hostile towards me and don't want my input. That's it.

Feminists are definitely free to discount my input on the basis that, as an accident of birth, I'm a man and therefore an oppressor. However, they won't get far with that attitude because an awful lot of the women that they need for momentum are quislings who will oppose feminist gains on the orders of their husbands. It's going to take more than picnics in Washington and being shrill on college campuses.

echolalia67, please re-read my comment about abortion rights. I said no such thing. I am utterly pro-abortion and I think that the mainstream feminist position on it is very sensible. And I've escorted women into clinics while being spat upon by fundamentalists. Seriously.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:29 PM on March 30, 2004


It's the women not the "neanderthal men" that we women need to educate. (The neanderthals are beyond hope anyways) Many women are still of the mistaken belief that other women are NOT capable of running a country (particularly in the U.S.). Some ex-convicts cannot cope with the outside world and desire to return. Some slaves after the civil war did not understand all this "new freedom" business. Then consider how many evangelical fundamentalist Christians there are in the U.S. who believe that a woman should "submit" to her husband? You know those same ones who so vigoruosly oppose abortion rights? Start asking some of the American females you know "do you think women are capable of being President of the U.S.?". Particularly those not of the activist persausion.....I bet you will be both suprised and disturbed by the number that actually reply "NO they are not".
posted by SweetIceT at 3:31 PM on March 30, 2004


Here's an interesting article from a UK source.

From the article:

There are 20.4 million women living below the poverty line in the United States - 13 million in what the US Census Bureau has accepted as 'deep poverty'. Of those, single mothers - 9.8 million at the last count - are by far the poorest group, with 38 per cent living below the poverty line. This compares to 11 per cent of Americans below the threshold as a whole.


Dreama:

The very fact that we can march in the streets, that we have the freedom to speak out, that we have the time and the financial means to organize and travel, that we can leave our obligations behind to go off, says that we're better off than women in a lot of places.


And some of those places are right here in the good old USA!

As an American woman living a comfortable middle class life I don't feel particularly oppressed. I have a good job and can live independently. For these things I am grateful. I know that not every woman has what I have. For every woman in a position above you just remember that there are a lot of women in positions below you.
posted by whatever at 3:40 PM on March 30, 2004


Dreama, I think you're kinda missing the point. The links were greatly educational, but to compare bad with worse is dismissive, and entirely uneccesary. That's what makes it offensive, yo?

No, clearly it's entirely necessary, because I get the point. I get the point that I'm supposed to believe that my life is at stake, but it's not, and considering the great numbers of women whose lives really are at stake, every single day, just for living and being female in societies where the battles they face are physical and not ideological, it is exceedingly more dismissive and offensive to ratchet up the rhetoric here.

We are not in a battle for our lives. We are not in grave danger. There are women who really are and if we're going to expend time and effort and money to rally for the causes of women, they're the ones who need our help most urgently. In a raging inferno, firefighters concentrate on the people in the flames and the smoke before they give a moment's consideration to the people standing outside who are a little thirsty. We're piddling around crying for some lemonade (or, for some, an extra spoonful of sugar) while women burn to death.

If that's what passes as being progressive and feminist and concerned in this generation and this society, count me right out.
posted by Dreama at 3:49 PM on March 30, 2004


Mayor Curley : Contraception isn't a de facto option for a lot of people-- life is convenience-based now and many, many people can't be bothered to think about the consequences of their actions like that. It's easier to lie about contraceptive failure when you turn up pregnant. So abortion ends up being the only solution. Focus on contraception and let abortion slip and we'll have even more unwanted children. Certainly, contraception education is very important for the segment of the population that can be bothered, though.

I apologise if I misinterpreted you, but you gotta admit that if you were trying to express your pro-choice beliefs, the gist of above quote is murky, to say the least.
posted by echolalia67 at 3:53 PM on March 30, 2004


It's amazing how a tired joke at the beginning of the thread can have such impact-- had jonmc posted his funny foto in the middle of the thread, people would have just dismissed it without a word. Instead it became the centerpiece of the discussion... but maybe that's a good thing, it surely showed where he was coming from on some level-- the subject is worthy of a one-liner.

In any case, none of my girlfriends are planning to attend the march, but I wish those ladies well, personally I think we all benefit when ladies get active in the political arena
posted by chaz at 3:58 PM on March 30, 2004


Have fun, and shout loud, all! (And i seriously hope there are lots of people registering marchers to vote--young women could tilt every single election if they wanted, i've read, due to numbers alone)
posted by amberglow at 3:58 PM on March 30, 2004


party on Dreama. while i agree that women in america deserve better and they have every right demand more, it's always offputting when these types of causes hurt themselves with all this grandstanding.
posted by poopy at 3:59 PM on March 30, 2004


Someone once said that with Political Correctness we lost humor, we lost the ability to laugh at other people, and to laugh at ourselves.
I agree 100% with this - Political Correctness is one of the biggest scourges to inflict the human race in recent memory, as it ends up taking what would otherwise be a good-humoured poke at the idiosyncrasies of our race and turns them into an apparently unforgivable insult. Of course, there are and have always, been people who make comments about and have deplorable attitudes about any minority group you care to name, but the vast majority of people have no issue with either being the butt of jokes directed at their particular minority or of making the same jokes towards others. It is the intent of the comments that matter and, while that is hard to determine at times, we all need to learn to laugh at ourselves and each other a lot more, in my opinion.

There are currently only 13 women in the Senate and 61 women in the House. As you say, mcgraw, women are "half the fukken population", yet they are obviously a much smaller percentage of our elected representation.
Is that not an obvious example of how men are favored?

Are women not allowed to vote? Are women not allowed to stand for public office? The reason that there are less women in politics is that there are far less women interested in public office than men, because they have looked at the childish behaviour, the dishonesty and the incompetence displayed at all levels of politics and moved on to do more important things.

No, jonmc, it's pretty clear you have the deficiency. I'm sure everyone "got" your shitty, bigoted attempt at humor, including LittleMissCranky, and "got it" even before you felt you had to try to explain "the joke" and start to backpedal. 'Course, your "humor" is completely classless..... kinda like if you held up a "Relax and enjoy it" sign at a rally for rape victims, right?
Apples and oranges - the person who held up the sign was obviously making a joke, jonmc was obviously making a joke and the joke should not have been offensive to anyone with the ability to tell humour from insult. There is no way your second example could be taken as anything other than an insult and you display your own inability to tell the difference between the two in using this as an example in the first place.

could all the men in the thread who are .. arguing about feminist tactics let us know what they do to combat sexism?
I do what 95% of men do every day - I treat women with the respect that they deserve. Just because I don't march in the street carrying a sign does not make me anti-feminist. Far more will be accomplished for women by doing what is right and teaching your children to do the same than any number of pointless marches in the street.
posted by dg at 4:00 PM on March 30, 2004


"...the lives and health of women have never faced such peril."

Women live on the average 7 years longer than men. There's a National Office of Women's Health, but not one for Men's. Breast cancer research is funded at about six times the rate of prostate cancer, which is about as deadly to men as women.

"There are currently only 13 women in the Senate and 61 women in the House. As you say, mcgraw, women are "half the fukken population", yet they are obviously a much smaller percentage of our elected representation."

Yet a much greater percentage of women vote than men. Voting those oppressive patriarchs right into office...

On the other hand...

Genital mutilation of infant males is still legal.
Women don't have to register for the draft in order to be able to vote.
Unmarried childless women make 101% of the income that their male counterparts in America do today (i.e. up until the Baby Gap occurs)
Ladies Nights are de riguer at nightclubs
Female-only retail and health establishments are GREAT (yay), but male-only are oppressive (boo) - can you say sexism?
Women make up about 58% of all college students in the US.
Female soldiers are excused from combat.
Most states have laws that state children born in a marriage are legally the responsibility of the husband even if they biologically aren't his child (Paternity Fraud is legal)
Rape Shield Laws don't allow men to confront their accusers or bring their sexual misbehavior under scrutiny (as in the recent basketball team allegations where fortunately one player captured the female's extortion attempts on his cell-phone camera)
Male Rape Occurs with greater frequency than Female Rape (but it occurs in jail so it's not "Real Rape")
Women routinely recieve shorter sentences than a man for the same crimes
There are lower physical standards for women in public service jobs
Women live longer, yet have a lower Retirement Age
Women can choose to have a baby or to kill it or give it to someone else, but the father has no say over the decision, and in fact, cannot have a paper abortion (i.e. have no rights or responsibilities for it).

Now I'm all about equality. for both men AND women. But to claim that women have never had it worse and get all danger-fied over the current situation is about as idiotic as I can imagine.

Women have come a long way. So far in fact, that they can't see where they are today.
posted by hurkle at 4:07 PM on March 30, 2004


Women can choose to have a baby or to kill it or give it to someone else, but the father has no say over the decision, and in fact, cannot have a paper abortion (i.e. have no rights or responsibilities for it).

The last time I checked women aren't allowed to kill babies.

And you're right, the father has no say over abortion, nor should he. You lost your right to an opinion when you decided to have sex. See, that's really simple and everything.

Political Correctness is a modern day scourge to, at the very least, humor. If jonmc had been funny, or framed his picture in a more humourous way, it would have been no big deal. I'm not being politically correct by saying that what he did was, well, just plain stupid.

And I completely agree -- it's always better to let idiots speak. There's nothing worse than not knowing your enemy.
posted by hummus at 4:47 PM on March 30, 2004


Also:
could all the men in the thread who are .. arguing about feminist tactics let us know what they do to combat sexism?
could all the women in the thread who are .. arguing about feminist tactics let us know what they do to combat sexism against males?
posted by dg at 5:06 PM on March 30, 2004


"And you're right, the father has no say over abortion, nor should he. You lost your right to an opinion when you decided to have sex. See, that's really simple and everything."

Wow. Am I really reading you correctly? That if a woman and a man have sex, she is the only one who should be allowed to have an opinion about the future of the child that they concieved? If so, then why is the man expected to be responsible for her choice (i.e. child support)? He isn't given a voice in the matter, so why should he be responsible for the consequence of HER actions?

So he loses his right to an opinion, but not to a life of paying for the child, huh? Nice "equality" you got going there.

Also, I am amazed that someone could actually say that men have no right to make decisions regarding their future child. What a sexist attitude. Wow. I am completely blown away.

Finally, though I support abortion and a woman's right to choose (and a man's right to choose, i.e. paper abortions), I still think that it's killing babies. Just because they haven't popped out of the womb yet doesn't mean they aren't alive, or that they are some special subhuman creature. We avoid thinking about this in order to reconcile the need for abortions with children's rights. Just like we avoid thinking about the fact that our bacon came off a living pig's butt.

And last time I checked abortion WAS legal. Though Bushco is trying to stop that.
posted by hurkle at 5:15 PM on March 30, 2004


dg-
I would argue that that is a good subject for another post... IE something on male gender rights. You don't have to fight for one and not the other, this isn't an "either/or" argument.
And as per your other post, again... you are talking about what you do 95% of the day as an individual, but not really addressing other types of sexism against women (in this case, or men in other cases, or racism, and so on and so forth), like the types that have been institutionalized.
posted by fillsthepews at 5:21 PM on March 30, 2004


If you're not willing to support a child, then you should not have sex. Every time you have sex there is a possibility that it will lead to conception -- remember, no method of birth control is 100% effective. So you got it right, hurkle (and for the record, I think "tasty pig ass" every time I eat bacon).

Men have a choice -- they can choose not to have (vaginal) sex.
posted by hummus at 5:31 PM on March 30, 2004


I can't make it to the march, but I'll be there in spirit with y'all.

You could get more done by aggressively taunting the fundamentalists outside your local Planned Parenthood and making them think twice about restricting access.

We don't get many fundies outside PP, but for many, many years, I walked clients through the crowd of fundies outside clinics. I can be a little spooky, and the fundies will generally back away from me pretty quickly. It doesn't hurt that I know their holy book as well, or better, than they do...and they get all confused when you can respond back to them in biblical quotes.

As to jonmc's link...y'all know I get bent out of shape pretty easily about racism, sexism and $variable_ism, and perhaps it's because I remember the brouhaha where the picture was taken, and thus I get the picture in context, but I didn't find it offensive so much as I found it to be eye-rolling "you big goof" sort of amusing.
posted by dejah420 at 5:39 PM on March 30, 2004


I support abortion and a woman's right to choose (and a man's right to choose, i.e. paper abortions),
So, you are saying that men should be able to simply sign away their responsibilities for a child that they created by an act of their own free will? So, to be fair, women should be able to do the same, right? So what do you propose, a situation where whichever parent signs first gets to walk on their responsibilities and the loser gets stuck with raising a child alone? Or do you suggest that parents be able to just drop their kids off at the local orphanage if they don't feel like shouldering their responsibilities? Have you really thought this through? Yes, I am aware that is is technically possible for parents to simply abandon children at will, but you seem to be advocating some sort of institutionalised shirking program.

you are talking about what you do 95% of the day as an individual, but not really addressing ... the types that have been institutionalized.
I believe that, no matter how many laws get passed or focus groups get convened, the only way society's attitude towards sexism or any other ism will change is by society (ie people) treating all members of society in a fair and just way. Attitude cannot be legislated.
posted by dg at 5:46 PM on March 30, 2004


So this anonymity concept lets the real you come out, right jonmc? Because I'm thinking that it would be funny as hell to see you get slapped from here to next Tuesday for doing something like that in public. But then again, I don't think you would have the guts to do that in person.

Don't bet on it. Plenty of people in this thread have dealt with me off site and met me in person. I'm equally difficult and obnoxious in person.

What are YOU doing, besides making sexist jokes to fight sexism?

Again, putting the onus on minor linguistic quirks and "offensive" jokes obscures the actual issues. It's what you do not what you say. As far as changing the actual economic issues confronting women: I don't run companies, I don't set salaries. I don't have the power to change those, except in the same ways I mentioned. And if I saw men actually treating woman badly (physically or emotionally abusing them etc) they're out of my life or if possible in severe physical pain. I've literally stopped associaing with former freinds because of the way they treat women. But if you want to equate a sight gag with full-on misogyny, you go right ahead.

also, dejah, dreama, ignatious, dg, thank you for getting it. We're generally familiar enough with eachother's posting styles to give eachother the benefit of the doubt I think, or do some of you just think I'm too dumb to grasp complex concepts. Hell, goneill, I remeber a cyber-freind of ours who made much raunchier comments (that some-not me-but some might consider sexist) than mine on this site and elsewhere and you were practically his biggest fan. What gives?
posted by jonmc at 5:47 PM on March 30, 2004


I'm equally difficult and obnoxious in person.

This is something you're proud of?
posted by hummus at 5:59 PM on March 30, 2004


dg-
I agree, in a way. But in my short life, and in my studies, I sorta feel like legislation (or in this case non-individual level sexism) lags WAAY behind personal action. And there seems to be some sort of apathy curve that occurs when people assume that since they are acting in a humane manner, everyone else is too, because don't we all have the same interests at heart? I think the short answer is no, we don't, that there are people who benefit from keeping others down, consciously or unconsciously. So, in short, its kind of dangerous to rely solely on individual actions, and then letting the rest catch up... Because someone's gotta do the footwork to get it there, to make the change.
posted by fillsthepews at 6:01 PM on March 30, 2004


This is something you're proud of?

That I don't compromise my personality to please others? absolutely.
posted by jonmc at 6:03 PM on March 30, 2004


jonmc is my champion!
posted by Witty at 6:04 PM on March 30, 2004


Save it, witty. You're not mine.
posted by jonmc at 6:05 PM on March 30, 2004


And?
posted by Witty at 6:09 PM on March 30, 2004


... and i'm jon's, he told me. now back off biatch!

*kisses*
posted by poopy at 6:19 PM on March 30, 2004


that there are people who benefit from keeping others down, consciously or unconsciously.
I don't believe that anyone really benefits from keeping others down. Sure, there are people who feel better in the short term for treading on others, but they don't really benefit - the only way for them to benefit is for them to resolve the issues that cause them to feel the need to trample others in the first place.

As far as legislation goes, I am not aware of any legislation in existence that specifically discriminates against women (true, this does not apply to all countries) as such. I believe that the battle to provide a legislative framework for equal opportunities has been mostly won - the battle now is to inculcate the rights embodied in the legislation into the minds of all people, so that everyone will, by default, assume that men and women are equal without having to think about it. What concerns me to some extent is that, instead of accepting that this process will take a considerable amount of time (generations, probably), there seems to be a push to force more and more regulations down people's throats, which has a negative effect in some ways, making people feel that they have to resist what they see as the eroding of the rights of men.

Certainly, I have seen in my lifetime a steady movement towards a situation where the roles will be reversed and the law will specifically and deliberately force men into a situation of powerlessness and hopelessness. If you doubt this, speak to anyone who has had experience with the Family Court and ask if men receive equal treatment there.
posted by dg at 6:29 PM on March 30, 2004


dg-
If you belive that there are a limited amount of resources in the world, as many do, then there are going to be people who want to keep their power over what they've got, if that makes sense. It's in their best interest to benefit from keeping others down.
Anyways, Im with you on the change taking generations, and VERY with you on not shoving it down other people's throats. I think changes like that are pretty much meaningless unless people come to it out of their own educated choice. But again, with your family court example (and i can imagine that it is true), it doesn't seem to me that if you fight for the rights of women (in a human rights way, at least thats how i do it), that you are by definition fighting AGAINST the rights of men. I consider myself a feminist, and the LAST thing I want is a simple reversal in the power structure, and for men to be powerless. It's more of an equal footing thing.
posted by fillsthepews at 6:40 PM on March 30, 2004


Dreama: I'm supposed to believe that my life is at stake, but it's not, and considering the great numbers of women whose lives really are at stake, every single day, just for living and being female in societies where the battles they face are physical and not ideological, it is exceedingly more dismissive and offensive to ratchet up the rhetoric here.

So by that logic, people worried about the erosion of civil liberites in this country should shut the fuck up because people have it much worse in places like China, Burma, and Saudi Arabia? Bullshit. What's that old saying, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance"? And, you know, you CAN be concerned with injustices occuring in other parts of the world and be concerned with things that happen in your own country. The two are not mutually exclusive.

hurkle: Genital mutilation of infant males is still legal.


As someone who has told her fiance that our potential future sons WILL NOT be circumcised, I gotta tell you that in my experience, the people who most vigerously defend the practice are men. I even had a Developmental Psych teacher, a man, who basicly said that only hysterical, neurotic women are opposed to it. Sounds like the people you should be educating about this are your fellow men.

Women live longer yet have a lower Retirement Age

Married men live longer than single men. Single women live longer than married women. Your point?

And elderly/older women with husbands are frequently the sole caretaker should he be incapacitated, like my mother was. Given that men die at a younger age, like you pointed out, is far more likely that

Male Rape Occurs with greater frequency than Female Rape (but it occurs in jail so it's not "Real Rape")

Please provide the statistics - the population of men in prision is smaller than the general female population, so while I don't doubt that there is a epidemic of rape in correctional instutions - even one is one too many - your numbers don't add up.

Again, the people in my experience who make the most light of this horrific practice are men. I can't remember the last time I heard a woman make a "don't drop the soap" or a "buy a bitch for a pack of cigarettes"joke, but I hear men making jokes like that quite frequently. The guards in most prisons are men - the same guards who tell the men who report being assaulted "You have two choices - fight or fuck". Once again, you should be talking to your fellow men about this because most women I know are very aware of this.

That if a woman and a man have sex, she is the only one who should be allowed to have an opinion about the future of the child that they concieved? If so, then why is the man expected to be responsible for her choice (i.e. child support)? He isn't given a voice in the matter, so why should he be responsible for the consequence of HER actions?

And this is the precise reason that men should be taking more responsibility for birth control. You don't want kids? Then use a condom every time or get a vasectomy. Don't assume that "I'm on the pill" means that a pregnancy can't occur - antibiotics can cancel out birth control pills, and, in the case of BCPs with low hormone doses, just forgetting to take one pill can lead to a pregnancy. Want to know whether or not the woman you're with would want to have a child should an unexpected pregnancy occur? Try asking her before you have sex with her.
posted by echolalia67 at 6:54 PM on March 30, 2004


Please don't trot out the "this is going to take time" line. That is unacceptable-- nobody should have to wait to be treated fairly.
posted by hummus at 6:58 PM on March 30, 2004


And elderly/older women with husbands are frequently the sole caretaker should he be incapacitated, like my mother was. Given that men die at a younger age, like you pointed out, is far more likely that

(continuation of sentence) ...a woman would have to take early retirement in order to care for an ill spouse. For the record though, I think any older person who has to care for an incapacitated spouse should get an early retirement with full pension.
posted by echolalia67 at 7:05 PM on March 30, 2004


"Because I'm thinking that it would be funny as hell to see you get slapped from here to next Tuesday for doing something like that in public."

Because violence is always funny eh hummus? And you have the nerve call johnmc a neanderthal.
posted by MikeMc at 7:07 PM on March 30, 2004


Yes, you want the world and you want it now.

We'll fetch you a magic lamp to rub to make everything perfect immediately, hummus.
posted by jonmc at 7:07 PM on March 30, 2004


Ive heard that brain waves (not just synaptic activity, but patterned activity in the cortex - suggesting an alert and functioning mind):

suggesting that brain waves in the second trimester equals an "alert and functioning mind" is really misleading. First of all, there isn't even a brain stem until about 6 months, so the brain is quite rudimentary even in the third trimester. Secondly, the existence of brain waves does not mean the existence of thought. Consciousness is not something that just "happens" - it has to be learned. It probably takes most humans a couple of years outside the womb before they can be said to have "an alert and functioning mind". I'm not saying that means you can kill infants, because abortion is really a quite specific right that doesn't have nearly as much to do with you and what you want as people tend to think (see below). Anyway, 88% of abortions are in the 1st trimester, and 11% in the second, so only 1% of abortions occur in the third trimester, and I expect there must have been serious complications if a woman was willing to go through over 6 months of pregnancy only to terminate anyway.

Wow. Am I really reading you correctly? That if a woman and a man have sex, she is the only one who should be allowed to have an opinion about the future of the child that they concieved?

yes, because the issue isn't actually about designing your future and making everything work out the way you imagined - it is literally about control over your body, in the physical sense that a baby is a parasite on a woman's body, that she must carry around and nurture into being. Abortion rights are not rights to control your DNA. We could make laws that gave us rights to control our DNA, but we have not yet done that, and women no more have that right than men do except by the coincidence of the woman's DNA and the woman's body. If a woman were injected with the egg of another woman and the sperm of a man, and a baby developed, it would be the carrying woman who had the choice about continuing the pregnancy, not either of the contributors to its genetic make-up.

The recent laws that have been passed by the Bush administration are worrying to me. It's easy to say, oh you're just being paranoid / chicken little / etc, but there are just as many examples of the opposite problem (being too complacent and not believing things would ever really get bad) throughout history, that I don't think that's a strong argument. I agree that it's important that washington knows women are concerned about these policy directions & though a march won't save anything in particular, it's still important to keep our government aware that we're invested in these issues.
posted by mdn at 7:19 PM on March 30, 2004


If you're not willing to support a child, then you should not have sex. Every time you have sex there is a possibility that it will lead to conception -- remember, no method of birth control is 100% effective. So you got it right, hurkle (and for the record, I think "tasty pig ass" every time I eat bacon).

Men have a choice -- they can choose not to have (vaginal) sex.


Last time I checked, it still took (at least) two to tango.
posted by Cyrano at 7:24 PM on March 30, 2004


Dreama is a sexy bitch.

hummus - see if this makes sense:

If having sex doesn't lock a woman into the responsibility of birthing a child, then having sex shouldn't lock a man into caring for it.

Once you've accepted that its ok to abort a fetus, the maximum you could demand of the male is the cost of the abortion and perhaps compensation for the unpleasantness of the procedure.

Your argument that 'if a man doesn't want to care for a child, he shouldn't have sex' is funny because its exactly what pro-life fundies would tell a woman. The point is worth zip unless you'd like to apply it to women as well and outlaw abortion all together.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 7:29 PM on March 30, 2004


That is unacceptable-- nobody should have to wait to be treated fairly.
So, of course, you have a brilliant plan to change the mindset of everyone in the world who dies not treat women fairly in an instant? Care to share?

What should be is not always possible - part of any battle is understanding the difference between what is possible and what is not and working within the realms of reality.
posted by dg at 7:38 PM on March 30, 2004


echolalia67:

So if I read you correctly, even though men and women should be equal, it's basically mens' fault and they should take more (up to and including all) the responsibility.

Or is that too broad a stroke?

My point is not that men or women do circumcision - it's that it's legal. Yet people are all up in arms about clitoral circumcision in other countries.

My point is not about married women vs. single men - it's that men die earlier. Which you gloss right over.

You gloss right over everything, pretty much. Male rape, ooh... it's bad. When's the last time you discussed with your friends how horrible it was men were being raped all the time?

Women in America have it pretty damn easy, especially when you consider how it used to be. My point is that marching because women are still so oppressed and in "danger" of their health is a crock of nonsense. March for other reasons. But march for something that's true.
posted by hurkle at 7:42 PM on March 30, 2004


well, losing the clit is akin to having the glans sliced off...
a proper line to draw would be the clitoral hood... but the premise is the same... mutilating a child that has no choice in the matter.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 7:44 PM on March 30, 2004


My point is not that men or women do circumcision - it's that it's legal.

Okay, it's legal, but it's not mandatory, which is often the case with female circumcision in other countries and cultures. Also, male circumcision is an important religious practice for many Americans, and therefore not a simple binary issue.

men die earlier

Agreed, although this strikes me as possibly more of a biological fact than a social one. (I could be wrong.)

When's the last time you discussed with your friends how horrible it was men were being raped all the time?

Really, honestly, about two days ago. There was a prison rape joke on some television show, and I commented to my friends that I thought it was terrible how jokes about male rape are considered acceptable. And yes, "oooh... prison rape is bad". I'm not sure what further response you're looking for, aside from cowing women into being quiet about their own concerns over rape. Seriously, what would you like women to do to help stop male rape? I'm certainly willing to fight with you.

Seeing as you used "Ladies Night" as an argument for institutionalized sexism against men, I don't think you're actually interested in having a practical discussion. However, I wanted to respond as a feminist who is interested in equality, and more than willing to fight against inequities for men as well.

(Oh, and for the record I thought jonmc's link was both funny and poorly timed.)
posted by jess at 8:05 PM on March 30, 2004


"But march for something that's true."

What I meant in my last post was march for something like getting women out of poverty or homelessness (though it's mostly men who are homeless) or something like that. Like marching to include women in the draft! Or for presumptive joint custody!

And Tryptophan-5ht, that was the best argument for a paper abortion I've heard. I've never been able to be that succinct or clear.
posted by hurkle at 8:08 PM on March 30, 2004


It's unfortunate how people like hurkle apparently feel the compulsion to belittle others by complaining about oh how oppressed they are, without ever bothering to listen to what's going on inside the feminist camp, and see what's really in the works there.

Because I think you'd be surprised to find people talking about how men suffer from sexism as well. But, since most of the men who feel really oppressed also label feminists as oppressors, there aren't a lot of people out there to look at these issues, and honestly try to figure out how that oppression works, and change things for the better. Men do suffer quite a bit from the current gender bias - the court-sanctioned madonna-view of maternity is a very solid example of this. That particular example is a great reason for men to get involved as feminists to get rid of the bias that is hurting them.

But to sit on your perch and say that feminists are missing some kind of vital point is, well, a both mean-spirited and ignorant position to take. Because women, from what I have seen, know what they are put through quite well. To say 'oh, your life isn't really so bad!' is to deny people the right to interpret their own experience. What makes you such an (a)moral authority, to be able to say that your suffering is so much worse than hers? You do have a priveledged position. Otherwise, you would make no such assumption.

My advice, as an active male feminist, is to turn down the bile a few notches and go read a book. "Egalia's Daughters" is a good one that I think you might enjoy. It's about a world with the tables reversed, where the women have the upperhand over the men. Comedy and gender movement ensues.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:19 PM on March 30, 2004


That I don't compromise my personality to please others?

Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.

posted by y2karl at 5:32 AM on March 31, 2004


I liked Egalia's Daughters, but I would have to discuss to to figure out whether or not I'm being fooled by the author or being shown something important. Manwym. Heh heh. That got to me by the last third of the book.

It is an obvious LIE to claim that the lives of health women "never faced such peril". When women couldn't vote, were sold as property, and were considered by many not even to be human, their lives and health were certainly in more peril.

If two people have sex, they are equally responsible for the baby it produces, and should have equal say in what happens to it. If you don't want to carry the baby OR you don't want to support the mother and child, then don't have sex.

Say what you like about problems making contraception available and people having trouble being responsible... If this was a Contraception and Sex Education Rally, this country would be a better place.

Abortion is a loosing issue. It pits like minded people against each other, and it encourages men and women alike not to take responsibility. Responsibility = Power.
posted by ewkpates at 6:21 AM on March 31, 2004


Responsibility = Power

Exactly. Choice gives women the responsiblity and power over their own bodies.
posted by hummus at 6:35 AM on March 31, 2004


Um, no. Insisting on contraception (Responsibility) gives women and men power (Power) over whether or not they'll have children.

Responsibility and Power mean that you can do something about it. Getting a doctor to do something about it isn't really responsibility or power. But it is a nifty substitute.

I'm not saying abortion should be illegal. I'm saying that feminism has been distracted from its highest purpose. Suffrage was about political activism. Abortion isn't. Abortion is reactive. Birth control is active.
posted by ewkpates at 6:42 AM on March 31, 2004


mcgraw -- …Think really hard.

You do realize that it's okay to look out from under that rock every once in a while, right?

that's why I don't typically bother dealing with people like mcgraw.

And mcgraw, you silly, silly little boy: I am a man.


hummus, you may have a dick, but you are 100% pussy.
posted by mcgraw at 1:55 PM on March 31, 2004


I'll vote for a "paper abortion" law but only if it comes with affordable, accessible abortions. I don't want some woman/girl hung out to dry because she was too young, too poor, or lived in the wrong place.

I have no sympathy for a man bitching about the fact his lover had their baby aborted against his wishes. Before you get into a sexual relationship you should know how your partner feels about children. And if she wants an abortion, that doesn't bode well for her mothering abilities.

On the other hand I see no reason why a guy should be forced to support a child for 18 years just because of an ill-planned sexual encounter. I have no sympathy for women that get pregnant and then demand to have the baby against the father's wishes.

It seems pretty obvious that forcing people to become parents doesn't make for great parenting.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:11 PM on March 31, 2004


My point is not that men or women do circumcision - it's that it's legal. Yet people are all up in arms about clitoral circumcision in other countries.

As others have pointed out, it is an optional procedure. A boy wouldn't be a social outcast for having a foreskin - and for it to be equivalent to female circumsision, you'd have to cut most of the penis off, open the scrotum, encase the remainder of the penis within it, and leave a small opening for urine to escape. That doesn't make male circumsision fine and dandy in my book, mind you, but since your point seems to be "you bitches don't know how good you have it" it seems appropriate to remind you how good you have it.

My point is not about married women vs. single men - it's that men die earlier. Which you gloss right over.

No, you ignore my point...men die earlier. However, married men live longer than single men - the prevailing theory is that most men tend to ignore warning signs about health problems, but men with wives get nagged into going to the doctor when symptoms occur and therefore their health problems get diagnosed earlier than single men. Single women tend to live longer than married women - I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because they can focus their energy and attention exclusively on their own well-being.

You gloss right over everything, pretty much. Male rape, ooh... it's bad. When's the last time you discussed with your friends how horrible it was men were being raped all the time?

Probably a lot more than you do. The fact that prison rape is tolerated is inhumane and cruel beyond belief and the ramifications to society, although mostly ignored, is staggering - especially when you consider how many people are in prison for non-violent drug-related offenses. Rapists get their behavior and mindset validated by the neglect and depraved indifference of prison authorities to punish them and men who are the targets of assault are severely traumatised and the problems that lead them to be incarcerated in the first place are magnified a thousand fold. Now, women who are incarcerated are frequently coreced or raped by prison guards - does that concern you, or do you minimise that as being "not as bad as the men have it"?

SLoG: Word. Since so many are harping on "responsibility", I think it's important to stress that people should communicate their wishes about an unplanned pregnancy to their partner before having sex. People deserve to know that stuff up-front.

My question, however, is what happens to the children in the case of "paper abortions"? Seems like they're pretty much fucked from the get-go. How do we as a society deal with the consequences of such a thing without completely fucking over the ultimate innocent victim - the unfortunate offspring of the two irresponsible idiots who brought him/her into the world.
posted by echolalia67 at 12:09 PM on April 4, 2004


McGraw,

Hummus may be 100% pussy, but I am 100% sleeping with your wife.
posted by dfowler at 2:02 PM on April 6, 2004


...even though I have a vagina.
posted by dfowler at 2:18 PM on April 6, 2004


dfowlwer , You don't have the rights making comments about anyone members's spouse, friend or ect...grow up and you may be treated equally.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:22 PM on April 6, 2004


he can have her, thomcatspike.

take her, fowler... just fukken... YOU CAN HAVE HER

..that damn bitch.
posted by mcgraw at 12:14 PM on April 7, 2004


http://wifeswap.metafilter.com - coming soon to a browser near you.
posted by dg at 3:56 PM on April 7, 2004


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