Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Indoctrination at Marquette: Feminists Don’t Hate Men, Do They?

We just returned from a panel discussion at Marquette that was part of a program called “This is What a Feminist Looks Like Week.”

As the Marquette Tribune explains:
As a part of “This is What a Feminist Looks Like week”, two student organizations will hold panels and discussions on sexual violence and gender roles today and Thursday.

The week is sponsored by feminist student group Empowerment and seeks to remove the stigma of feminism.

Today at 7 p.m. in Cudahy Hall 001, Violence Opposition in Community Education is sponsoring “Men, Masculinity, and Sexual Violence: A Discussion.” V.O.I.C.E. is a sexual violence prevention peer education group run through the Counseling Center, according to Christopher Daood, assistant director of the Counseling Center.

In the panel, five professors will discuss masculinity, male gender roles and male involvement in sexual violence prevention, Daood said.
It’s interesting that the article says that feminism has a stigma. Philosophy professor Theresa Tobin admitted, in her talk, that the stereotype of feminists is that they hate men. She insisted that this isn’t so.

But did her talk (and the others) really show this?

Ed de St. Aubin

The first speaker, Ed de St. Aubin from the Psychology Department, discussed how, if you dress a boy baby up in pink, people will make comments appropriate to female stereotypes, and if you dress a girl baby in blue, people will make comments reflecting male stereotypes (“look at that kick!”). This, to him, showed the evils of patriarchy, and the “hegemony” of males.

He mentioned the usual litany of evils, including the “fact” that women make “less pay for the same work,” apparently unaware of the literature of labor market economics which shows that women make choices which lower their incomes -- but may be very fulfilling in other ways.

St. Aubin insisted on the “social construction” of gender roles -- shorthand for saying that there are few if any real inherent differences between men and women (although he did admit, in the face of massive evidence, that there are real hormonal differences).

So what is at fault for rape? “Gender rigidity” and “hypermasculinity.” He insisted that the U.S. is, among nations, particularly “rape prone” (an extremely dubious proposition) and that this is the result of the “rigid differentiation of the sexes” and the lack of “nurturing parenthood.”

What is the solution? Pretty much the standard liberal agenda, from Title 9 to chemical castration of sex offenders (which he admitted is controversial), to men doing more housework.

Theresa Tobin

Tobin started off with standard and, if you are used to it, bland politically correct cant. The goal of feminism, she said, is “overcoming gender based oppression.” She said that early feminists stressed legal equality, but that society has to move beyond that.

But the root cause of inequality, she said, is “patriarchy.”

At this point her talk turned interesting, in much the same way that a rant at a Klan rally would be interesting.

Tobin rejected the notion that rapes should be seen as “acts of morally corrupt individuals.” Yes, guys, the fact that you have never raped any women and would never rape any woman doesn’t let you off the hook. You are still part of the “deep social and political causes” of rape.

Why? Because you are part of a system that involves the “use of violence to keep systems of oppression in place.”

In fact, according to Tobin, you are part of a “protection racket.” Because of the threat of rape, a woman “needs to be protected by men against other men.”

And what is wrong with men protecting women against rape? For Tobin, the system “forces compliance with traditional norms.” And further, “the penalty for being protected is to conform.”

That’s right, guys. If your girlfriend gets uppity and gets a job in a traditionally male field, you’re going to let her be raped. It’s your devious plot to keep her in line.

Who is at fault? For Tobin, “we are all responsible.”

R. Clifton Spargo

The final speaker was R. Clifton Spargo from the English Department.

While he didn’t exactly accuse all men of being rapists, like Tobin he got pretty close.

He rejected the notion that rape is “merely aberrant, deviant behavior,” and told the male members of the audience “you are living in the rape culture.” Where? “On Campus. In the bars.”

He discussed a continuum of behaviors, including at one end actual rape. But then there was making demeaning comments about women and the use of pornography.

But also on the continuum was tolerating rape (by not reporting a known case, for example) and tolerating demeaning comments that “objectify” women, and tolerating the use of pornography. He admitted these are not equally morally culpable, but insisted they are all part of the phenomenon.

He clearly implied (and St. Aubin said) that if a buddy of yours sees an attractive woman on the beach and says “wow, what a babe!,” it is your responsibility to rebuke him. And presumably, one is required to war against Internet porn, else one is “tolerating” the kinds of attitudes that lead to rape.

Feminists, in other words, are a contemporary variety of prudes. If the old-style prudes thought that letting people read Lady Chatterly’s Lover would lead to the dissolution of Society as We Know It, the new prudes believe that any appreciation of feminine pulchritude will lead to rape.

Conclusion

One might ask what the point of an event like this is. There is plenty of room to argue pro and con on gun control or government health insurance, but who argues for rape?

The answer the feminists give is: you have to embrace our entire political agenda or you are a rapist or at least an accessory to rape. If you oppose Title 9, or women in combat roles in the military, or affirmative action to guarantee that women are half of all business managers, it’s your fault.

The event was very well-attended, largely because several professors had promised their students extra credit points to come.

And students who came without being bribed were doubtless a self-selected bunch who went believing the usual feminist shibboleths, and had their beliefs reinforced.

But would anybody be convinced that feminism doesn’t resolve, essentially, to man hating? The feminists who deny it aren’t lying. They don’t think they are man haters, they just think they are working for “gender equality.”

But then, the average Klansman would probably insist he has “nothing against Negros.”

In the world of the feminists, the villains are the white males.

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wasn't at the lecture, so I cannot really argue with your summary of the speakers. However, you implied that the wage gap between men and women is mostly false by linking to a post about the different kinds of jobs that men and women choose. The argument is not that male engineers get paid more than female elementary school teachers- of course they do. The argument, as you so aptly stated is "LESS pay for SAME work", which you provided no evidence to de-bunk.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if women were only paid 77 cents for every dollar men make for so-called "equal work" (which is what feminists have claimed) why is it that employers don't hire more women? They could make a boatload more by hiring women over men.

Also, check out Dr. Warren Farrell's book "Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap and What Women Can Do About It."

10:31 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

I know what the claim is.

I'm saying that's bogus.

Please check the link I provided. The fact that women self-select into "softer" fields, and interrupt their careers for childbearing explains the vast majority (and perhaps all) of the wage and salary differential.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

As a woman, I find feminism in its modern form demeaning and insulting.

I am not a man. I never will be. I don't WANT to be.

There are no laws in this nation that do not equally cover men and women. There is no "gender inequality" except the false myths of less pay for equal work, etc.

Modern feminism is NOT about equality. Modern feminism is about forcing women to accept feminist ideology or face scorn, ridicule, and punishment. Need further proof? Look at how feminists treat stay-at-home mothers.

I am not a feminist and I'm proud of it.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe people should get paid the amount that they negotiate.
If women are willing to work for less or if they negotiate lesser terms, I shed not a tear. It sounds to me like a perpeptual victim pity party with a pre-ordained orthodoxy of blaming men for everything from tooth decay to trench foot.
To victimize more than 50% of America and blame the other half is silly.
I'd wager that most of these unhappy intolerant liberals voted for a rapist. Bill Clinton.

6:03 PM  
Blogger pst314 said...

John McAdams, thank you for a fascinating post. Those feminists sound just like the nazi-like feminists that I knew at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee back in the 70's and 80's.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PST314, you are correct. Campus "feminists" who are bank rolled much like "Native-American or African-American" victims will exist so far as their non-sense is considered MAIN STREAM by the liberal powers that be.
Much like "pony tails" or "beards" are status quo in Lib land, be it Madistan or even Marquette, the idea nay the IDEAL of FEMINISM is accepted in LIBERAL QUARTERS. Femimism is ACCEPTED science. Whatever the fuck FEMINISM is SUPPOSED to mean is law. All liberals have accepted the "right thinking philosophy " that Feminism or Liberalism CANNOT be CHALLENGED. Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw HAVE SPOKEN.

1:13 AM  
Anonymous mediamatters said...

What a silly headline for a series of very thoughtless posts. To challenge the wage gap is irresponsible and unsupportable. Most major studies support that fact that such a gap exists. Most women who have actually worked in corporate American can attest to this anecdotally. What is most puzzling about these posts, however, is that they veer so far from a discussion about what was covered at the Marquette forum. Frankly, as a woman, I am pleased to know that there are professors (and male professors at that) willing to discuss violence against women and explore ways to address it. According to the Department of Justice, a rape occurs every two and a half minutes in this country (most advocates believe that stat is on the reasonable to low side). We need more, not fewer, men willing to talk about this.

3:54 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Media Matters:

To challenge the wage gap is irresponsible and unsupportable. Most major studies support that fact that such a gap exists.

Of course a gap exists, but the "gap" is mostly (and perhaps entirely) the result of choices that women make.

No amount of feminist rhetoric can cover that up.

Frankly, as a woman, I am pleased to know that there are professors (and male professors at that) willing to discuss violence against women and explore ways to address it.

Reciting feminist tripe is not a plus if you want to "discuss violence against women."

You really don't seem to get all this, do you?

You actually think that "discussion" is a great thing, even when absurd things are said.

Do you really believe that all men are implicated in a "protection racket" to use rape to keep women down?

If not, you should object to that kind of rhetoric.

According to the Department of Justice, a rape occurs every two and a half minutes in this country (most advocates believe that stat is on the reasonable to low side). We need more, not fewer, men willing to talk about this.

And just what about this rape statistic makes it a good thing to say silly and absurd things?

If you want your comments to be take seriously, you need to address the points I made, rather than simply recite the standard rhetoric.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one who was at the panel, I have to say that your summary is a bit selective about points made and misrepresents the panelists' arguments, especially Dr. Tobin's.

Anon 1:13 - To suggest MU bankrolls feminist groups or agendas is not only ill-informed, but laughable for anyone who knows much about MU's institutional politics.

I can't imagine the comments here coming from people who actually went and listened to the panel (excepting Dr. McAdams), because they are all so contrary to what was actually discussed.

On an unrelated note, props to Dr. McAdams for allowing comments finally. Holla.

3:44 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Anon.,

My summary quite precisely mirrors what Tobin said. She most certainly did use the term "protection racket," and used it in the exact context that I quoted.

If you can produce an audio recording of the proceedings, I would be quite happy to post it.

Indeed, I think we all should pressure MUTV a bit to videotape most substantial campus discussions and put them online.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Peter-Jon said...

Quite a deft argument,two thumbs up,though some of the comments seem a little left off center...

5:34 AM  
Blogger Raoul said...

In the interest of accuracy in this (and all) discussion I offer the following comment.

In response to Amy's post stating that "I find feminism in its modern form demeaning and insulting. I am not a man. I never will be. I don't WANT to be." it would help to understand what "modern feminism" actually is. Although this term does not actually exist the more contemporary thinking in feminism is called difference feminism. Difference feminism acknowledges the inherent differences between men and women such as biological and hormonal differences, naturally tendency towards different careers and motherhood...etc. This new thinking in feminism embraces Amy's proclamation that, "I am not a man. I never will be. I don't WANT to be."

5:25 PM  
Blogger KellyMac said...

Marcella Chester wrote what I am sure she thought was a very clever article proving that anti-feminists condone and promote rape. It was based on an article written by John McAdams at Marquette Warrior about a panel discussion on “Men, Masculinity, and Sexual Violence”.

He said that one of the speakers said, in her talk, that “the stereotype of feminists is that they hate men. She insisted that this isn’t so.”

He then went on to question this assertion based on the speakers’ presentations. Chester took a little bit of his conclusion and attempted to twist it into support for rape and rapists. The following has been lifted from her article, with my comments in bold:


McAdams: But would anybody be convinced that feminism doesn’t resolve, essentially, to man hating? The feminist who deny it aren’t lying. They don’t think they are man haters, they just think they are working for “gender equality.” But then, the average Klansman would probably insist he has “nothing against Negros.” In the world of the feminists, the villains are the white males.

Chester: Ah, yes. Feminism and the Klan are parallel movements in every way except their target. This parallel construct would imply that Klansmen think they are working for "racial equality."

1. He said Klan attitudes toward blacks are similar to feminist attitudes toward men. Hardly the same thing as the two being parallel movements. More like the level of willful ignorance in the two are the same.

2. Nice deflection of the actual argument. Considering the following statements made by famous feminists, how can you say that feminism is not “man-hating”?

· "I feel that 'man-hating' is an honourable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them." -- Robin Morgan, Ms. Magazine Editor

· "To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he's a machine, a walking dildo." – Valerie Solanas

· "I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig." - Andrea Dworkin

· "Rape is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear" - Susan Brownmiller

· "The more famous and powerful I get the more power I have to hurt men." -- Sharon Stone

· "In a patriarchal society, all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give meaningful consent." -- Catherine MacKinnon

· "The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race." -- Sally Miller Gearhart

· "Men who are unjustly accused of rape can sometimes gain from the experience." - Catherine Comins

· "All men are rapists and that's all they are" -- Marilyn French

· "Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release." -- Germaine Greer.

· “If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long?” – Gloria Steinem

There are so many more where those came from. I didn’t even mention the fish and bicycle one. It’s funny, though, that while I was googling for feminist quotes, I didn’t come across one that said, “I love men just the way they are”.

If you’re going to say feminism is not a man-hating movement, I’m going to have to insist that you provide links either to sites showing feminists condemning the statements listed above, or feminists telling women to respect men as men.


Chester: Remember all those poor white males who were treated by feminists in exactly the same way the Klan treated black men? How many thousands of white men have the feminists dragged into the street and butchered for public entertainment?

Ah, more deflection. Dragged in the street and butchered, no. Raped by the courts based on the no more than the words of a woman, thousands of times.

Chester: (…blah blah blah Klan and lynching blah blah more deflection...)

Refuse to do nothing as women and girls are raped? Man hater.

Don't believe in assumed consent to sex? Man hater.

Want laws that recognize all rapes as real crimes? Man hater.

Demand thorough and professional investigations of all rape reports? Man hater.

Oppose treating rape victims as if they are guilty until proven innocent? Man hater.

Don't want to look the other way as women and girls are physically abused by boys and men in their lives? Man hater.

You’re implying here that feminism = advocating for victims of rape. You’re also implying that feminists are the ONLY ones advocating for victims of rape. I’m afraid you’re sadly mistaken here, Marcella. Objecting to having a man convicted of rape based on no evidence at all except the accuser’s story, and advocating the right to rape with impunity are worlds apart. Unless, of course, you’re a man-hater. Which, by your implication, means feminist.

Chester: Still support women's right to vote? Man hater.

Oppose sexual harassment on the job or in the street? Man hater.

Support equal pay for equal work? Man hater.

View women as full human beings rather than as men's property? Man hater.

As for this whiny list of victim cards, show me links that prove men and men’s rights advocates support any of the “oppression” you list.

Chester: Funny but the picture this creates of men is a fearful and violent one.

That says it all. Feminism is a religion of victimhood, and you can’t be a victim unless you have a victimizer. Feminism works very hard to portray men as violent and to be feared. If that isn’t hate, I don’t know what is.

McAdams said elsewhere in his conclusion:


“One might ask what the point of an event like this is. There is plenty of room to argue pro and con on gun control or government health insurance, but who argues for rape?

The answer the feminists give is: you have to embrace our entire political agenda or you are a rapist -- or at least an accessory to rape. If you oppose Title 9, or women in combat roles in the military, or affirmative action to guarantee that women are half of all business managers, it’s your fault.”

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not read all of the responses however after reading just a few near the top what seems to be missing - and most vitally, from any critique of the presentation, is that Thelda and other speakers are trying to replace one dogma with another. In paraphrasing 'men are all guilty because of their biology and are accomplacies in the act of rape: for not aprehending the wolf-whistler or looking at porn'.
I can only reason the speaker is trying to either stem a career for herself as an outspoken public policy critic or that she has not yet realised that most men look down on the act of rape.
The are more than likely many men that feel somewhat bereft when reading a newspaper rape article however those that commit the act are the ones in the wrong - a minority not the majority.
I think the notation about equal pay rights is a overly obvious contention that isnt needed to be taken on by the feminist critique - and that is all it is - a theory. If Thelda would like to make this a model for future pulic life i.e policy then it would become a dogma and therefore as transcribed a more ruthless one than what is at present.
Feminist theory has given great insights and learning into modern and historical traditions that despite 'oppression' has been credited with one of the most influential theories to date. The unequal paygap is a minor 'hekkle' at what educated minds do not need to keep on pushing. I might have thought that any thoery of rape would start with a contention of female supression through capitalism though to imply all of masculinity makes women devoid of any responsibility. Enter Magna Carta

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies. the earlier blog response was supposed to not the speaker Theresa (I hope ive got that right)

9:49 AM  

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