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Comment: Re:I call BS on this one.... (Score 1) 575

For example, Republicans have been pushing voter ID laws which include stricter ID standards, more bureaucratic hoops to get ID, and the closing of offices to get IDs in areas which, by some crazy coincidence, are where black people live. None of these things are racist on the face of it, but the result is that its harder for black people to vote, and thus that fewer blacks vote. The Republicans and their supporters know this, but bristle at accusations of racism because, hey, its not like they used the N-word or anything like that.

If what you say about republicans is true, then democrats are akin to the khamer rouge. And please, I live in Canada, I've lived in Europe. The US is one of very *few* western countries that doesn't have a requirement of voter ID.

This has nothing to do with "making it harder" especially when states are willing to hand out the ID for free. It seems to me, that democrats would be much happier to let people vote as many times as they can and "call it democracy." I mean it's not like there haven't been a string of democrats having been charged in the last year for election fraud or anything right? I mean there was one two days ago, that was charged with 19 counts I believe.

None of what you said address the fact that a certain percentage of people don't have valid ID, and that these people tend to be poor and black. The Republican party has a clear incentive to push tougher ID laws, and coincidentally that is exactly what they have done. Given their other un-democratic tendencies (eg Gerrymandering), and their history of racist rhetoric, I'm not as inclined as you are to give them the benefit of the doubt. I shouldn't have to say this, but the Democratic party is also pretty unethical in my book, so please don't accuse me of defending them again. On the issue of race there is a clear difference, whereas the US used to have 2 racist parties, after 1964 one party has at least made an attempt to join the modern world.

I'm sorry you can't see that the US is still a deeply racist society in many ways. The legal system is incredibly biased, harassment by the police is a major problem, and the Republican party still finds mass appeal in certain states with dog-whistle, coded racism. Its a bigger social problem, not the fault of one party, but the Republican party has chosen to be the standard bearer of that racism (see the Southern Strategy, still in effect).

The US is a deeply racist society? I haven't read anything so funny in all my life. I'm guessing you've never traveled to japan, s.korea, malaysia or anything. You want to see deeply racist, try looking there. Or better yet, go look at the middle east...you'll see what a deeply racist society looks like. I do find it funny though that you use key words and talking points right out of the various left-wing pundits though. Perhaps you're so biased, and so deeply ingrained in your own bigotry that you can't see what you're actually saying.

I don't disagree with your take on those other societies, but its irrelevant. I don't blame you for wanting to dodge the subject however, as that would require you to defend a position that is pretty obviously stupid.

As for your comments about bias, its obvious from your posts that you have extremely strident right-wing ideological commitments. I chose to respond to the post and not the poster. For what its worth I'm not politically committed one way or the other, I just believe that on this particular issue the Republican party, and American right (which you seem to identify with, despite being Canadian) are dead wrong, and I don't mind saying it.

If you are really interested in exploring the ugly side of US racism I would recommend 'The New Jim Crow' by Michelle Alexander. Their justice and prison system are appalling. Read that and tell me that 'deeply racist' is too strong.

Comment: Re:I call BS on this one.... (Score 3, Insightful) 575

The 'race card' is a phrase which means to point out or discuss racism. The new consensus for Republicans is that overt racism is ugly and unacceptable, as is discussing it, but anything else is fair game.

For example, Republicans have been pushing voter ID laws which include stricter ID standards, more bureaucratic hoops to get ID, and the closing of offices to get IDs in areas which, by some crazy coincidence, are where black people live. None of these things are racist on the face of it, but the result is that its harder for black people to vote, and thus that fewer blacks vote. The Republicans and their supporters know this, but bristle at accusations of racism because, hey, its not like they used the N-word or anything like that.

I'm sorry you can't see that the US is still a deeply racist society in many ways. The legal system is incredibly biased, harassment by the police is a major problem, and the Republican party still finds mass appeal in certain states with dog-whistle, coded racism. Its a bigger social problem, not the fault of one party, but the Republican party has chosen to be the standard bearer of that racism (see the Southern Strategy, still in effect).

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 1) 387

Implicit in feminism is the realization that we live in a male-dominated society, not a female-dominated one. In your hypothetical female-dominated society I'm sure there would be something called masculinism. I think you could put both those ideas under the umbrella of humanism, which puts humans and their well-being at the centre of our moral universe.

As a matter of fact, humans used to live in matriarchal societies in pre-literate times: Google "The Alphabet vs The Goddess".

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 1) 387

I don't think you're entirely correct. Feminism -has- done some damage in this area.

People desire status and that is true of all genders. And while I wasn't alive 100 years ago to know with certainty, I do not believe the phrase "...just a house wife" was uttered by same in a self-deprecating tone back then. But I hear it from women on a regular basis in our times. The idea that a woman must have a successful career in order to feel pride is the *fault* of feminism.

Not really, men are subject to the same expectation. I think its natural that as women are able to have careers the same pressures are put on them as men, but I don't see how you could blame feminism for this. Feminists aren't automatically at fault for every problem in our society.

The other four points you make seem to be against something other than GP's points. I mean of course we all want to improve society, of course *no one* is telling western women to compare their lot with Iran and gratefully shut up. And come on, central air and vaccinations aren't really on topic are they?

The post I responded too seemed to say exactly that, that trying to improve women's status in our Western countries was vain when women are treated worse elsewhere. This is like calling the people who run your city's water supply jackasses, because so many people in Africa have no clean water, and they're obsessed with mineral content, chlorination, etc.

I think feminism ( as I see it around me ) really does have it wrong. I think they are trying to actually make men and women equal and that is a terrible idea. If feminists *really* cared about women generally and not only for themselves specifically they would be out in force correcting the economic problems that force women into the work force. Having a choice is great, and I'm all on board with it, but I truly believe that for most women the choice they really want is no longer available to them.

Why is it feminists specifically who have to make our economy more fair? Its everyone responsibility, and in my experience many feminists do argue in favour of a more fair economy.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 1) 387

This Duluth model is your personal bugaboo, so you'll have to explain to me what it is and why I should care.

Also, I told you that only a complete idiot would believe that rich elite men care for other men. I'm not sure how to be more clear on this. Read my original post.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 1) 387

... What if they see "giving women what they say they want" as part of their interests?...

You're looking at the past with rose-coloured glasses. You think the sexism in society was more than fair? That's your opinion. Some women felt it wasn't, and decided to try to change things for the better. These people were called feminists.

Frankly, I feel these women had a better understanding of their place in society than your idealized, nostalgic point of view.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 2) 387

My problem is that it's truthy sounding nonsense claiming the imprimatur of verifiability using sciency-sounding words, and is being used to persecute large sections of the population.

So you accept the notion of widespread persecution, but you think its directed towards men? That is a pretty weird thing to believe in a society where the vast majority of politicians, CEOs, and wealthiest people are men. I just don't see it.

And you see this is where feminism falls down, extrapolating from the "personal is the political" mantra of the 70s feminists point to a few rich people as evidence that all men have oppressed all women forever, despite these few wealthy people never having acted to improve the situation or welfare of men as a class. Your mythical boys club doesn't exist. As for most of the money being in the hands of men, most of the spending power is in the hands of those poor oppressed women. But hey what's a few nuances to the blunt instrument that is feminism.

My original post made the exact opposite argument. The 'boys club' is not interested in helping men as a category, its a handful of selfish men (with a handful of women) pissing on everyone else. If you actually thought this is what feminists believed, no wonder you are so confused.

The spending power is normal people, not the elites. Our society has become more egalitarian over the past few decades, which I personally feel is a good development. It also makes sense in light of the many single mothers out there, and kids being pretty expensive.

I note you haven't disputed the veracity of the description of patriarchy theory given above, nor the effects it has had when applied to real life. The Swedish model is a good one, feminists decided that criminalising the clients of sex workers was the way to go because patriarchy, right, except the end result was fewer and more violent clients. Which a five year old could have told you would be the outcome - criminalise clients and the clients will mostly be criminals. Well done feminists, leaving yet another trail of bodies and broken lives behind you, except this time it's women.

I frankly don't know alot about these things, which is why I didn't bite. If you feel these are important issues, champion them yourselves, rather than sneer at other people for not doing so.

Now we can continue this two step as long as you like but the bottom line is that feminism is by its own outcomes based on a particularly hateful central premise. You're waving at the wealthy one percent while I'm talking about police departments being trained to arrest the man in all circumstances, even when he's the victim of domestic violence, which is about half the time.

I mean is this thing turned on or what.

Men are also raped about as often as women are. Again, the problem is that the windmill you are tilting at is not feminism. The world is unfair in many ways, and you would have to be a total idiot to claim that all men live like kings.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 0) 387

1. "Improve things"? Really? There are loads of women who would love nothing more than to raise their children instead if having babysitters do it while they work and feel guilty no matter what choice they make. And for those women who feel fine about abandoning their children to "trusted strangers," How is that an improvement?! Desensitized, unloving, unnurturing mothers?? Bad families raise bad children who grow into bad adults. And when they have children (and that's happening now) they have NO idea how to raise them.

2. Not men as a category? You can't be serious. And why "certain specific men"? And why do feminists in high government leadership positions care nothing about the very REAL anti-woman things going on in other nations and instead make up nonsense about pay gaps and all of that? Study after study shows that the reasons for many gaps and limits on upper-leadership and lack of women in certain jobs (funny, they never talk about how few women do "grunt work" like mechanics, plumbing, elentrcians, HVAC, garbage collection, truck drivers and all...yes there are some, but it's overwhelmingly male) has more to do with lack of interest and/or having other/conflicting interests in life... say for example, being a mother.

There just aren't fights left to fight for "feminism." And the harm it has done to nearly all areas and aspects they have influenced is amazing. Nothing good has happened since the right to vote has been established. (Please cite examples to the contrary) And please. When have feminists EVER demanded equal responsibility to accompany their equal rights? The draft registration is STILL a sexist law and no one cares and if anyone pushed to require women to register you can bet the feminists would be the first to say "no!"

When, thanks to feminism, women have the legal right to walk away from the responsibility of motherhood. Do men? Even if they never knew or saw the child? Nope. There is a need for equality, but equality of RESPONSIBILITY is elephant of hypocrisy in the room.

Nature gives men and women role assignment by gender. Men can't nurse babies without some serious medical modifications. Any and every time "society" thinks it's smarter than nature, and that a political idealism which challenges reality, bad things result. We live in a society where more children have only one parent and either that parent (invariably a woman) is either living on child support and welfare or is working and not taking care of her children. Neglected children cannot POSSIBLY grow up well.

Is feminism really such a great idea?

1) No one is trying to force women to work who don't wish to. Economic forces are what causes that. Strawman argument of feminism.

2) Why shouldn't elected leaders in our society work to improve our society? Western women should see how bad women in other countries have it and just shut up and be grateful? Try that one out on your girlfriend or wife and see what she thinks.

3) Right, so its preposterous to think that anything could be wrong with our society. We're perfect. Even though I acknowledge women's right to vote as a positive change, the changes should definitely have stopped there. And anti-black racism in the US ended in 1964.

4) Damn society, thinking it can defy nature. We should live as cavemen did! Are you by any chance vaccinated?

5) "Is feminism really such a great idea?" Yes, read my original post if you're curious as to why I think so.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 3, Informative) 387

So your problem is that it isn't a scientific theory?

Here's a falsifiable statement: do a small group of elite men dominate society for their own interests? This statement is false if no group dominates society, or if a group of elite women do. Given how subjective many of these concepts are, its not as neatly falsifiable than Newton's laws, for example. Life is complicated. I find it interesting that this theory is basically what people are espousing when talking about inequality and the 1%, its just that the connection to gender isn't as obvious if you are a male. Few would deny that most of the money is in male hands.

As for what feminism actually does, I'll trust my own judgement on that thanks. The fact that you mentioned 'bra burners' is interesting as it is actually a myth. I referenced it as an example in one of my posts but I don't literally think it is something that happened.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 1) 387

I didn't say I have no opinion, I said I didn't care enough to express one, so you didn't think my post was meant as an agreement or disagreement with the rest of your arguments, which I don't feel like getting involved with.

Fair enough, maybe I was feeling a little suspicious of your motives. I'm glad we can keep this civil.

You wouldn't happen to be talking about women when you say "approximately 50% if its members", would you? Careful, someone might take that the wrong way.

Yep, that's exactly what I meant. What is the 'wrong way' to take that statement?

"Shouldn't have to" is a pretty non-informative statement. Children shouldn't have to die of malaria, but they do. I was telling you what approach I think has the largest chance of neutralizing the venomous effect of radical feminism/Islam/atheism/etc.

I take your point about what is vs what should be. I'm not quite as fatalistic about people's attitudes, given that we raise the next generation with our values. Given the huge progress we have made on these social issues, I don't think telling radicals to tone their attitudes down will make progress happen faster. Simply, I disagree with your suggested strategy.

It's a matter of tone, really. There's not a huge difference between what is meant when one says "feminism isn't about hating men" vs. "I am a feminist, but I don't hate men and the things I fight for are good for both genders", but one of them leads down a rabbit hole of accusations of "no true scotsman" and links to tumblr pages, while the other one has a slightly better chance of getting at least one person to think "hey, maybe I shouldn't be afraid of feminists?" Your claim that it's all men's fault that the term feminism has been poisoned isn't helping, either.

I don't get the difference between your two tones here, or which one you think is me. Maybe you could explain this a bit better. Also, I never said it was all men's fault the term has become poisoned. Some women have misogynist attitudes, and even help spread them. I'm a man who is a feminist, I would be a hypocrite if I didn't reject identity politics.

I have, unfortunately, seen enough Internet arguments to know how those things go. Fear and mistrust are too powerful. A single story about someone getting fired over saying "dongle" is worth a thousand people like you arguing what feminism "actually" is and who it's good for. Being a little more proactive about counteracting that effect can't hurt.

Again, looking at what is vs what should be, I think you're probably correct. I wrote my post to try to convince any logical, interested person who read it. I can't do anything about people being fired for whatever.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 4, Interesting) 387

I don't care enough to express an opinion on the rest of your post and the debate you're in...

I find it pretty weird that such a logical, clear thinker has no opinion on the question of whether society is unfair to approximately 50% if its members, but fair enough, your choice.

... but this part strikes me as very false. A conspiracy theory is completely unnecessary to explain the "poisoning" of the term feminism. It's entirely believable that, as radical elements of feminism naturally arose (and they did arise naturally; there's no way in hell that's a false flag operation), both non-feminists and those with actively anti-feminist inclinations lumped those radical elements with the less extreme versions of feminism. That's a story as old as time, same has happened with Islam, atheism, race relations, LGBT issues, etc. People are really bad at ignoring threatening extremes. It's a natural impulse, no deliberate poisoning necessary. As far as I know, the only viable means of fighting this trend is for the more moderate (but still similarly aligned) elements to actively, loudly disavow the radicalization of their views.

I wouldn't describe it as a conspiracy, but as a group of people attacking an idea they view as immoral or dangerous, in the most effective way possible. This often involves picking isolated sentences out of context to make a different impression that you would get reading the entire book, or blog post or whatever. Its very effective in our soundbite, 'gotcha' culture. I think the exact same thing happens to the other groups of people you mentioned, usually by the same reactionary people.

People are really bad at ignoring threatening extremes. It's a natural impulse, no deliberate poisoning necessary. As far as I know, the only viable means of fighting this trend is for the more moderate (but still similarly aligned) elements to actively, loudly disavow the radicalization of their views.

This shifts the burden from people who over-generalize to the objects of generalization, to police other people. Trying to control free thinkers and individualists is folly, as is trying to protect the ignorant from their own errors. People who are interested will explore ideas for themselves. Gay people shouldn't need to hide the guy bare-ass in chaps and a cowboy hat, and nothing else, to be respected and have equality before the law. Feminists shouldn't have to hide the bra-burners to have the same rights and opportunities as men.

I also think that for all your example there are plenty of moderates putting their ideas out there, and denouncing extremists, and it doesn't work the way you claim it should. You can't argue people out of positions they were never argued into in the first place. The majority of anti-feminists, anti-gay, anti-whatever people who I have run into have these opinions because of cultural and political identity.

Defensiveness won't get you anywhere, it'll just legitimize the suspicion surrounding the issue further.

I wasn't trying to be defensive, but to defend an idea. I didn't see any good posts defending feminism, and plenty of weak ones attacking it.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 0) 387

1} Not everyone's politics are about blame, I'm more interested in what is, and how to improve things.

2) If blame is the issue, then men (not men as a category, but certain specific men) are literally to blame. If this is the truth then why should feminism pull its punches?

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 4, Insightful) 387

... If they continue to use a term as poisoned as "feminist" then you might look to question their actual motive and intent.

This is the problem right here: the term feminist has been poisoned intentionally. Its similar to the right-wing hit job on 'liberal'; the only way to defeat an idea that most people already accept is to reframe and demonize that idea as something objectionable.

You could find me a billion links to nutty, anti-male websites if you like. It doesn't matter. If you think it does matter than I allow me to discredit all right-wing politics by giving you a link to the American Nazi Party, or to discredit any idea of treating animals humanely by linking to PETA.

Feminism is the belief that women are just as capable and deserving of respect as men. Unless you believe women deserve less respect or fewer opportunities, simply for being female, congratulations, you are a feminist. Being anti-male, wanting to feminize men or de-feminize women, denying basic biological differences, or whatever other stupid idea you have been taught feminists believe, these are categorically not feminism.

Feminism is basically a social criticism that in many spheres of our society an elite group of men has taken control for their own benefit, to the exclusion of others. Keep in mind that women only gained the right to vote last century, as late as 1970 in France, and that people are still alive who remember women not being able work after marriage, legalized martial rape, and a whole bunch of other obviously misogynist practices, and its not a huge stretch to imagine that our society might still not be 100% perfect, or that social groups who were severely discriminated against in living memory still are.

Even if you are 100% self-interested, you should recognize that as women have gained more freedom over the last 50 year so have men, particularly in areas of child care and parental leave. Freedom and rights are not zero sum. The fact is that the same 'boys club' attitude that is bad for women is also bad for the vast majority of men.

I'll leave you with a Germaine Greer quote (paraphrasing):

Aspiring to equality with men is a terrible mistake, since men live and work in a frighteningly unfree and tyrannical society, one built on confederacies and conspiracies, on initiation and blooding rituals, on shared antisocial behaviour, on ostracisms and punishments, practical jokes, clannishness and discrimination.

Comment: Re: The DEA and CIA are both rogue agencies. (Score 1) 120

Not to defend the word 'USian', which is horrid, but this issue is not as clear and simple as you make it out to be. The word 'American' has several uses; someone from the USA is only the most common use.

First, what is the adjective (or demonym) for someone from the Americas? These guys decided it was 'American'. Do you have a better answer?

Second, some people disagree on how many continents there are, with some people combining North and South America, or Europe and Asia. I think there's a stronger case for the second pairing, but using 'the Americas' to refer to a single continent is clearly wrong.

Third, what do we call the native people of the Americas? Historically, that word was American, as an analogue to African, Asian, and European. People make do with Native American, Amerindian, and a whole bunch of of other stuff, but its still kind of a mess. I added this one for historical perspective, but to be fair I have never heard anyone use American in this way.

The person you responded too was clearly a chump, but your refusal to aknowledge the ambiguity doesn't make it vanish. Words can carry a variety of meanings, and we depend on the context to make it clear.

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