By Sasha - 17 Feb 2012

We Need to Talk: Sluts & Whores

I’ve had intelligent people tell me that women need to accept some responsibility for incidents of sexual harassment at conferences and online because some women “dress like sluts and act like whores” which creates a sexually charged atmosphere that contributes to men harassing or assaulting women, even the ones who don’t act all slutty and whorish. I think you know what I think about that, but today I want to find out what you think about sluts and whores and what those words mean.

Is there a difference, as some have told me there is, between saying a woman “dresses like a slut” and calling her a slut?

Is there a difference between calling a man a whore and calling a woman a whore? Please explain why you think so.

Are women responsible for the sexual behavior of men around them if they dress a certain way? Where does that line get drawn? What does that say about men and their agency as humans?

Why is it that rape and sexual harassment are often mitigated because of the behavior of the victim but murder and robbery usually are not?

Lets discuss.

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By Sasha - 16 Feb 2012

Calm Down, Guys

It seems as if a lot of men get really upset when feminists talk about gender-inequity. We point out sexist language and misogynist ideas in society that people have internalized and we say they’re not cool. We talk about privilege and ask that people be aware of the unearned privilege they might have and take that into account. Then we get told that we’re overreacting and need to calm the fuck down and stop being so emotional. Well, I don’t get told I’m being emotional, because I’m a man and “everyone knows” men are the rational ones. (Did you know that the stereotype used to be flipped? Men were capable of robust emotion and women were coldly calculating and rational.)

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By Sasha - 15 Feb 2012

Let’s go deeper on privilege for a minute

In an earlier post I talked about how privilege is itself diverse. That is, everyone has a little privilege over someone else. I want to go into more depth on that today. Our identity (how we see ourselves) and our role (where society imagines us to fit) can be said to be constructed, in many ways though not completely, by where we happen to fall in the social or cultural categories most people “see”. Some of these groups are more privileged than others. When I say privilege in this sense I’m talking about those special advantages or immunities enjoyed by a member of a certain group.

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By Kaoru Negisa - 14 Feb 2012

I Can’t Believe We Have to Cover This Again

So, Sasha touched on this a few days ago, but it’s time to touch on this again. And we’re going to keep touching on this until people learn. I’m patient.

The most insidious form of douchebag is the Misunderstood Douchebag. You know the type: he’s really not that bad, people just don’t understand his ways. If only people got that what he was doing was noble and not at all in the blind pursuit of getting into girls’ pants, the world would be a much fairer place. The Misunderstood Douchebag is the genus of the species Nice Guytm.

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By Sasha - 13 Feb 2012

What motivates a “real man”?

A reader hipped me to a video recently. I watched it. I can see the appeal, since it’s a video all about being awesomer to people. Something about it didn’t sit right with me, though. Here, you watch and then we’ll get back together after the jump and compare notes.

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By Sasha - 10 Feb 2012

Matt Foss: Why I’m a Male Feminist (And Why Our Movement Needs More of Us)

[This article was originally posted on August 29th, 2011 at Skeptic Freethought.]

Hoping that I don't sound like this.

“Feminist” is a polarizing word.  You’ll generally see it used in one of two ways: as self-identification by people who consider themselves feminists, and as a pejorative by people who do not.

It’s a word with an ugly connotation in many people’s minds, not unlike the word “atheist”; people hear the “-ist” suffix and infer an ideology that seeks feminine supremacy rather than gender equality, just as many see atheism as a rebellious denial of God rather than an affirmative acceptance of a godless universe.

To be sure, there are differing opinions among those who consider themselves feminists regarding what it means to be a feminist. There are disagreements about its implications regarding sexuality, marriage, reproductive rights, and parenting. There are disputes about what reforms are needed in modernized Western societies compared to developing nations.  There are debates about who gets to call themselves feminists, particularly about whether this label can apply to men.

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By Sasha - 09 Feb 2012

What the “Amazing Atheist” and Penn Jillette say about secularism

Unfit for civilization.

In the last day much has been  said about “The Amazing Atheist”, most notably (from my chair) by Jen McCreight, Greg Laden, and PZ Myers. Until this morning I didn’t  intend to address it in this space until reading the comment’s on PZ’s piece filled me with such a dark, bleak sense of despair about the state of humanity and the atheist/skeptical community. So, I’d like to start out by stating, very clearly, exactly how I feel about this “Amazing” guy and his defenders.

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By Matt - 08 Feb 2012

Diversity in Skepticism: One White Guy’s Perspective

Like many within the skeptical community, I have been reading with interest the recent discussion which has been waged (or, should I say, raged?) on the topic of diversity within the skeptical movement.  Apparently, it all goes back to this article – Why White Men Should Refuse to be on Panels of All White Men – which led to this blog post over at Skepchick.  It also seems that there is a bit of a “storm” of controversy swirling as a result of the discussion generated by these articles.  I think Amy Roth, the author of the aforementioned Skepchick article, articulated it well with the following commentary:

What do you think? Are women and minorities just being ridiculous? Are the majority of public panel seats going to white men because they are the authorities on the topics and have the most interesting and valuable things to say? Should the members of minorities politely and quietly wait in the shadows until someone asks us to be on a panel? Should white men in positions of power speak up and refuse to sit in these circumstances? Is this favoritism, racism or ignorance?

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By Sasha - 07 Feb 2012

Crommunist: Trying to tread privilege

[This piece was originally published on January 30, 2012]

One of the most frustrating phenomena in the realm of talking about out-group discrimination, whether that be racial or gender or otherwise, is the common appeal to “some”.

“Why do you say ‘white people’ have privilege? Not every white person has racial issues! Shouldn’t you say some white people?”

“Why do you say that men objectify and abuse women? Not every man does that! Shouldn’t you say some men?”

“Why do you say that atheists have to be more welcoming to women? Some atheists are women! Shouldn’t you say some atheists?”

It is a particularly stubborn and tedious argument to have. A large chunk of it is people’s failure to distinguish between universal and general statements. This is a very superficial explanation, though. After all, we have no problem when someone on the news says “New Hampshire went to the polls today.” There aren’t any pedants who jump up and down screaming “don’t you mean some people in New Hampshire? Not everyone in the state votes!”

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By Sasha - 06 Feb 2012

Help Wanted

I’m gratified that people seem to be enjoying what we’re doing here at More Than Men, and have had some exciting contributions from some great guys. We need more help, though. Please don’t hesitate to contribute to the project. We don’t need a commitment and we don’t need glorious prose. We want guys talking about diversity. If you’re a guy who is reading this without having a rage hard-on, you are one of the guys we want to have contribute. Tell us your story. Tell us what made you care about diversity. Tell us what you do to make things better. Don’t hesitate, don’t think “I don’t know what to say.” The simple fact of being someone who wants to include people different from them makes you rare and makes your voice important. Please share with us. (And don’t worry about angry mean people, those comments seem to be saved up for me alone.)

In addition to seeking one-time contributions, we’re looking for one or two new staff bloggers. Please send me a message (sasha AT womenthinkingfree DOT org) with a little bit about yourself, a couple samples of your writing, and a drive to promote diversity in our communities. (You will have a salary of imaginary bacon, which is how we pay people around here. Yes, it’s vegan.)

Thanks for an interesting month, and an upcoming interesting year,

Sasha Pixlee

 

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