Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Lack of posting

Sorry for the long gap. I just got so fed up with seeing so much anti-women stuff wherever I went that I just couldn't find the energy to write anything. Now the computer has been re-loaded and I've lost my favourites list I don't think I shall be seeking out the men's rights sites any more. They just depress me. So I have stopped reading them - for the moment.

Instead I'm busy reading e-books because I've just bought an Amazon Kindle. Not too many feminist books available for it yet but I'm sure that will change! I am reading a great many of the free classics available such as Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, etc etc. Free books are always a good thing.

I was thinking the other day about Jane Austen's attitude to marriage as demonstrated in her books. It seems clear to me that she thought the ideal marriage was one of equals - not necessarily in the financial sense - but in the sense of well matched characterwise. Emma and Mr Knightley don't always agree and Emma has no qualms about arguing with him. The same with Elizabeth and Darcy.

Nowehere in her books are there downtrodden women subservient to men - except to point up the moral as in Colonel Brandon't first love and her daughter. In fact it seems Jane Austen thought the idea that women should regard men as superior to their own sex was rather stupid. Was she ahead of her time? Maybe not as I think the idea of women playing a more equal part in society had started to emerge - most notably in Mary Wollstonecroft' Vindication of the Rights of Women published at the end of the 18th century. Talking of which - I'm off to find a free copy to download!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Women and drinking

I have done my share of drinking in the past but rarely drink very much at all now. This is partly because I never know when the other half might suddenly need driving to hospital and I really would hate to have to say sorry I've drunk too much. So my drinking is mainly confined to Christmas and a wine box which usually lasts me well into January. I do have the occasional vodka and tonic as well - when I remember to buy the tonic.

I don't understand the attraction of drinking to excess so that you're falling down drunk and have a hangover in the morning. I have had my share of hangovers and I basically don't like them - which is another reason for not drinking to excess. That said I really don't like to see anyone in public drunk - whether it's a man or a woman. I find it odd the the media only ever seem to concentrate on young women who get drunk. Don't men get drunk any more?

I came across this comment on a Daily Mail story about the ladette culture leading to promiscuity and abortions which had me laughing out loud - not probably the reaction the author intended:

Young unmarried women should not be allowed to purchase or consume alcohol when not under the supervision of a man. It has too much of a destructive influence on their brains which have developed through evolution to be suited to bringing up a family and making a home for their man, not engaging in the complexities of social networking. We need sensible moralistic laws to ban this behaviour.

So men have a monopoly on wisdom do they? This is the sort of patriarchal attitude which feminism was set up to challenge - it seems women are still not capable to thinking for themselves - well not according to some men who might find themselves more at home in a previous century. As someone once wrote on a similar story - 'The Dark Ages just rang - they want their attitudes back.'

Friday, 13 August 2010

Fat women are easy lays

I read an article on the Daily Mail's website yesterday about several women who were prepared to say how many lovers they'd had. One of them was still a virgin from choice and another had had fifty lovers. To me all the article demonstrated was that everyone's an individual. There were photos of all the women featured and they varied from skinny to pleasantly plump - well that was my opinion anyway. None was outstandingly beautiful by current standards. It was the comments which had me screaming at my computer monitor and foaming at the mouth.

The lady who had had fifty lovers was the pleasantly plump one and the one who seemed to be enjoying life the most and who had made a success of her career and was relatively recently married. But the comments from men and women were mainly along the lines of: fat women are easy lays because otherwise they wouldn't get anyone; it's a well known fact that fat women are promiscuous; can't imagine why anyone would want to sleep with her - they must have all been drunk etc etc.

Identifying the stereotypes and pre-conceptions:

  • Fat women sleep with anyone who asks them
  • Fat women are desperate to get a man
  • Men don't fancy fat women
  • All women lie about sex
  • All women are desperate to have a man in their lives

I've never been skinny. I've always had at least one man in my life since I was about 17 - and often more than one. In total I reckon I've had 14 lovers and unless my current partner dies before I do I'm unlikely to have any more. I've probably turned down at least as many. I've never really tried to attract anyone to me and I've certainly never gone out looking for men. So I'm sorry but I don't fit into any of those stereotypes/pre-conceptions and I doubt if most women do.

And finally - there were far too many people commenting that women should be virgins when they marry but men should have as much experience as they can before marriage. There was also a joker claiming he'd had sex with 1000 women - what's the male version of slut anyone?!!

Sunday, 8 August 2010


I've just skimmed through an article on this site www.henrymakow.com and come across this written by someone who lives in Denmark.

'Gender role confusion is rampant: particularly in young men and teenage boys. My own step son has confided in me many times that he just doesn't understand what girls expect of him. He tells me they are impossibly argumentative, confrontational [and] show no respect for the masculine at all. He says he would like to meet a nice girl and settle down, but he cannot imagine ever meeting one'.

So this guy thinks there should be gender roles - why? What is wrong with men doing traditional women's jobs or vice versa? Why shouldn't women argue? If men say something women don't agree with are women supposed to just accept it because the man is always right? In my book respect has to be earned, it should not be granted just because a man is a man or a woman is a woman.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Driving a wedge between men and women

Many men - and some women - say feminism was designed to drive a wedge between men and women. But is this really true? I don't think so. Feminism was - and is - aimed at giving women equal rights and equal responsibilities as well as equal opportunities as men. How can this be wrong?

Of course some men see women gaining power and independence as taking power away from them. But is this really true? I don't think so. If you as a man have to negotiate on equal terms with the woman in your life in order to decide where you go on holiday, whether you have children and how you bring them up - how can this be wrong? Femimism is all about giving women choices. It is not about depriving men of anything. The reason why so many men don't like it is that they're no longer allowed to beat their wives for their own good. Women can earn money just the same as they can and therefore are not dependent on the man dishing out the money as they see fit.

Is the reason why men don't like feminism that they can no longer control the women in their lives and tell them what to do? That's what I think it boils down to. If a woman can earn money she is always going to be in a position to say to a man she doesn't want him in her life - just as men have always been able to do to women. Men obviously prefer being in a position to call the shots and don't like it if women can do the same thing. I think there is an increasing trend for men to just want women for sex and nothing else - which is worrying. Did they ever want to have a real relationship with women? Obviously some do but an increasing number don't.

Men also seem increasingly worried that women only want them for their money but surely it was always like that - just dressed up in nicer clothing. Before it was possible for women to work outside the home they always needed to marry someone with at least some money. Men also married for money though they conveniently forget that. I would think that now women are able to earn money they're less likely to put money at the top of their reasons to marry.

So all feminism has shown is something that women probably always knew - there are some men who just want you for one thing. In that feminism has shown up many men as being shallow and not really worth bothering with for a serious relationship I suppose it has driven a wedge between the sexes - or has it caused many men to be displayed in their true coloours for the first time?

Friday, 23 July 2010

New blog - MFIF

The new blog called My Fault I'm Female is well worth reading. It has only been in existence for 8 days and has received over 60 'entries'. It's about those really irritating incidents which happen in every day situations because people make incorrect assumptions about women. www.myfaultimfemale.wordpress.com or there is a link at the top of this page. Brilliant reading - long may it continue. Except that you could say it would be a very pleasant world if there was no need for it . . .


I find the sheer unpleasantness of some people involved in bolstering the egos of down trodden men completely incomprehensible. The comment posted on my last entry demonstrates the vitriol quite nicely. I say I can't understand anyone wanting to subvert the justice system in the way www.avoiceformen.come advocates and they respond in such a violent way. I thought men were always held up to be the reasonable and logical sex?

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that they're not at all reasonable and certainly not logical. They're always on about how all laws favour women and men are side lined. If men are really side lined - which I don't accept - then they only have themselves to blame. They have - in some cases - not adapted to the modern world and the way society has changed. It is no longer acceptable to behave as though women are inferior to men and just a little bit thick.

Unfortunately some men do not seem to have realised that and want to turn the clock back to when women knew their place. If that actually happened and women were returned to the home and not allowed to work unless they were unmarried - how would this benefit men precisely? They complain now that they have to pay child support when there is a divorce. If they had a stay at home wife who had never worked they would find a divorce would cost them even more. Or are they saying they should be allowed to keep everything and throw their wives on the street when they want to trade them in for a younger model?

It seems some men only ever read The SCUM manifesto. They haven't read any of the thoughtful and thought provoking writing by such feminists as Natasha Walter, Kat Banyard, Sheila Jeffreys, Rosalind Miles et al. But of course they write in rational language quoting research studies to back up their statements so they aren't of interest to these men - I would say they needed a higher IQ than they possess to even understand them. I always compare such writers favourably with Neil Lyndon and his personal rant - No More Sex War - in which no reserach is quoted and women are the ONLY source of trouble in the world. I still haven't managed to finish that by the way because it is just a rant and not cogently argued at all.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

How would you vote?

If you were picked to be part of a jury and the case you were hearing was a rape case - how would you vote?

Speaking for myself I hope I would consider all the evidence as objectively as I could and decide whether the defendant was guilty or not guilty on that basis. I would not decide in advance that the defendant was guilty - whether or not there was sufficient evidence against him.

But this is what the web site www.avoiceformen.com is advocating in an article posted on 20 July 2010 entitled 'Jury duty at a rape trial? Acquit' - except that the article says the writer will vote not guilty - regardless of the evidence. Because women lie. Men of course are plaster saints who never ever tell a fib - not even a white lie - and will always admit if they are guilty of such a heinous crime. And I'm the Queen of Sheba!

Whether this article is talking about America or the UK I think it is disgusting and disgraceful and I would be saying that even if I found something similar on a feminist web site saying the writer would always say the defendant was guilty.

And they say men have a sense of justice and fairness which women lack? Men are always logical and reasonable? No I don't think so somehow.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Roman Polanski

So Roman Polanski will not be extradited to face jail for raping and drugging a 13 year old girl. He admits he committed the crime but says he's got away with it because everyone including judges and juries would do the same thing if given the chance. That was the gist of what he said. What message does this send out to everyone? That such 'crimes' aren't really crimes at all - or they aren't if you've made some good films. Art excuses bad behaviour I suppose.

I for one will never watch a Roman Polanski film again - though I'm sure that won't bother him. I am just completely disgusted by the whole thing and equally disgusted by the men and women who have defended him in the media by saying the girl grew up without any problems and anyway she'd been abused before so it didn't matter - or she wanted it so that's all right. NO ONE wants to be raped - unless perhaps they have some sort of mental illness.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Body modifications

I've just been reading something about voluntary surgery to change the appearance of female genitals. As ever my question is why? In conversation with MJR he said some people might feel very miserable because their genitals didn't look right. My answer - what is right? He'd seem a programme in which someone felt really worried about having sex because she didn't think she looked normal and so she had surgery to change the appearance of her labia. But I still say - as I always do - whose to say what's normal? We're all different and why would we all want to be the same?

I don't have pierced ears. I have had many people say - why don't you get them pierced so that I can buy you earrings? I used to wear clip ons at one time - but having left them in many different places by accident I stopped wearing them. I've never felt the need to have my ears pierced - and certainly not so that people can buy me presents of earrings! I think I must be in a small minority as most people seem to have pierced ears. As for piercing anything else - no way!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Twilight and other things

Why have so many people gone all 'holier than thou' about the Twilight films and books? Many journalists have commented - favourably and unfavourably about the appeal of both films and books to middle aged women and how dangerous this is. Well why? I haven't read the books or seen the films because vampires don't really interest me - though I can understand the attraction. But I really cannot see anything wrong with middle aged women loving the books or the films. If you don't know the difference between real life men and vampires by that age then you probably have other problems as well for which you possibly need expert help.

I don't understand the sheer vitriol directed at the adults who enjoy this latest vampire craze. Taste in books is always going to be personal and shouldn't be a matter of snobbery, shame or guilt - unless perhaps you're indulging in something that is forbidden by law. Twilight is as far as I can gather not breaking any laws. So why criticise someone for liking it? Too many people have this idea that if a book is aimed at children then it should not be read by adults. Yet the books were written by an adult, printed by adults, published by adults, sold by adults . . . . .

This seems to be yet another stereotype - adults read books for adults; children read books for children. Oh right then - not sure what that makes me since I read Harry Potter and I do read so-called children's books from time to time - and very good they are too. No I'm not ashamed of it and no I don't think it makes me any less of an adult.

I came across an excellent comment in a book by Mike Pannett - a Yorkshire policeman - about rape stating categorically that rape is a violent crime and has nothing to do with sex. We are getting somewhere when members of the police say that. The book in which I read the comment is called Not on My Patch, Lad.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Sexist advertising

I don't watch television but from what I read there are an increasing number of advertisements which portray men as helpless when it comes to domestic tasks. I am against stereotypes of any description so I don't like the idea of this at all. Really all these adverts are doing is perpetuating the myth that women are all good at household tasks and that men are all hopeless at them.

Men unfortunately have contributed to the stereotype that they are now objecting to. Most men are capable of performing domestic tasks - many make a mess of them so that they are not expected to do them again - and some of them even admit they do this. So this is a myth that men will need to do something about dispelling. Though I'm not suggesting that women should pretend to be bad at domestic tasks even if they are good at them but we need to stop seeing people as good or bad at things according to their gender.

It does make a change though to have men laughed at for being helpless and hopeless - now they know how women have felt for centuries. Neither sex can be said to be generally good or generally bad at anything. Individuals have skills - or not - as the case may be.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Why some things are just not said

I'm sure I'm going to offend someone by this post but here goes.

Someone made a comment on an Amazon forum about Down's syndrome children stating that in his opinion they should never have been born. OK the comment wasn't expressed very well but we have freedom of speech so I didn't really have a problem with the comment. The lynch mob of course appeared threatening to report the person for hate crime and me for supporting his right to make the comment- even though I didn't agree with it or the sentiments behind it.

No one will address the apparent opposition to the comment and the right enshrined in law of the mother of a Down's syndrome foetus to have it aborted. It seems as though - to me - they're fudging the issue. You can't say it - but you can do it - legally.

I deleted most of my posts in the end because I did not want to be part of the argument - especially when people were threatening legal action though I have made one or two pretty tame posts since as other people have got involved in the argument pointing out the inconsistencies. Some also can't see the irony of the thoroughly nasty insults being hurled at me and at the original poster. It's apparently acceptable to bully and denigrate people whose views you don't like but not ok to express controversial views which go against what the majority think are right. Of such things are lynch mobs made.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Pregnant women and smoking

It is fairly well known that smoking is not a good idea if you're pregnant but I found the idea that pregnant women will be breath tested to see if they smoke. Why test them to see if they smoke when they know whether they do or not? What about passive smoking - which is apparently just as bad? Shouldn't they be targeting the pregnant woman's partner/husband as well to make sure they're not smoking? This is bad as the supermarket worker who refused to serve the pregnant woman with soft cheese in case she ate it herself.

What are they going to do to the woman if she is smoking? Lock her up and take away the fags?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Is feminism a trade union?

I've never understood why some people describe feminism as a trade union. What does a trade union do?
  • Provision of benefits to members - in a similar way to Friendly Societies
  • Collective bargaining
  • Industrial action
  • Political activity

Does feminism do any of these things? Political activity perhaps but that's about it. Feminism in the 21st century is much too diverse to be considered any sort of organised activity. As women don't have one employer or one type of work I can't really see how anyone can think of it as a trade union. http://www.theantifeminist.com/ has a bee in his bonnet about this and seems to think referring to feminism as a trade union is to insult it.

Sidney and Beatrice Webb's definition of a trade union is ' a continuous association of wage earners for the purposes of maintaining or improving their conditions of employment' Does this really fit with feminism? Individual women may belong to a trade union to do with their employment but are we saying they are also 'employed' in their private lives? If so who by?

Friday, 18 June 2010


I have just read an article on the F Word which has totally outraged me. An individual called Dr Dix Poppas in the USA is performing operations on small girls to reduce the size of their clitorises which he deems to be too big. www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2010/06/first_do_no_har

The follow up annual checks are just plain disgusting. How on earth he got this past any ethics committee is beyond me.

Words have completely failed me at the moment but I may add to this post later.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


It has been suggested in various places that domestic violence will increase during the World Cup. Many reasons are put forward for this. But why is no one looking at domestic violence with men as the victim? I have read many books which include sections on violence in the home but it is not always instigated by men against women. I'm not trying to downplay or trivialise violence against women here but trying to raise awareness of violence against men as well.

There are more men in prison than there are women so I think few people would deny that more men commit crimes of all types including violence. In young men up to the age of 24 the most common cause of death is violence I think. But this is men on men violence. Why then do men frequently argue when domestic violence against women is discussed that there are more male victims of violence all together and that is a more important subject? It's as though they're trying to play a game of one upmanship - my risks are greater than your risks and this attitude doesn't help anyone.

Why aren't men's rights groups campaigning for reducing violence? Aren't they missing something here? Instead of attacking women as though they are the enemy they need to look at the enemy within their own ranks - the men who think it is acceptable to settle an argument, however trivial, with physical violence. Now there's something worth tackling.

Do women have a sense of entitlement?

I frequently read comments on the Internet - usually from men - about how women always have a sense of entitlement. But what exactly does anyone mean by this? You often see it attached to news stories about sexual harassment or discrimination claims made by women. I would say yes anyone - male or female is entitled to the following:
  • To be treated politely
  • To be offered the same goods and services at the same prices and not to be offered less favourable terms because of their gender
  • To have a safe working environment
  • Not to be constantly harassed by sexual innuendo, physical harassment or pictures of nude members of the opposite sex
  • To feel safe in their own home
  • To feel safe when they go out at night - whether on their own or in groups

If that is having a sense of entitlement - then why not? Don't most people want these?

I think what people who make this comment usually have in their minds is the perception that women feel they are somehow more entitled to better treatment than anyone else. But I haven't come across any woman who thinks she somehow deserves more and better treatment than a man because she's a woman. Equal treatment would be just fine.

Monday, 14 June 2010


This seems like a good site www.nomas.org

These are men against sexism and pro feminism and gay rights. Their 12 steps men can take to end sexism are excellent and should be a way of behaving applicable to everyone - not just men.

Reclaiming the F Word: review

Reclaiming the F Word by Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune is excellent and well worth reading. It provides a round up of feminist activity going on today and shows the sheer diversity of feminism. The authors show conclusively there is still a need for feminism. The laws have changed but culture and people's opinions haven't changed at all. The misogyny has become much more subtle and insidious and therefore much more difficult to fight. It is almost impossible to challenge humour and thus stifling gender stereotypes continue to be propagated - to both men and women.

The book is written in a very down to earth and approachable style with plenty of references to research and other printed and electronic material. The authors analysed a survey to provide some of their material for the book and the survey results are reproduced in an appendix at the end of the book. There are notes to each chapter and a useful list of further reading arranged under the chapter headings.

I found the book fascinating reading and it does highlight the relevance of feminism today and shows how people can become involved. It also analyses the way women are manipulated into looking and dressing a certain way as though their bodies are imperfect in their natural state. Advertising and the media are discussed and the way they portray gender stereotypes analysed. Politics and religion are covered as are work and home life.

It is clear to me from reading this and other recently published books that both men and women need to study their own behaviour and see if they are not making some very dated assumptions about the people they come across every day. The quotes from individuals who have experienced discrimination and prejudice are enlightening - and frightening. I find it shocking that statements made about women in the media and on the Internet pass almost without comment yet if the same things were said about people of colour they would be unacceptable or even illegal. sexism is alive and well in the UK today and this is what everyone needs to challenge as we are wasting the talents and abilities of too many people because of gender stereotypes.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Women clergy in the Church of England

I was astonished to read that Tessa Sanderson - the Olympic athlete - refused to be married by a female vicar. While I am all for freedom of choice I can just imagine what would have happened if she'd refused to be married by a male member of the clergy. I can understand why some people might wish to discuss their health with a member of their own sex - impossible where I live as our GPs are three men. But I actually cannot understand the preference when it comes to almost any other service. When it comes to professional services I'm far more interested in someone's qualifications than I am in what they wear, what sex they are, what religion they practice or what country they come from.

I am concerned at the slant the media will put on it. There will be all the comments about if woman can't even support each other why should anyone else support them?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Inventing the wheel

I was musing last night about the oft repeated statement that if it had been left to women we'd still be living in caves. But how do they know? How does anyone know for example that it was men who discovered fire, smelted metal to produce weapons and tools or invented the wheel? The answer is of course that no one knows who invented/discovered these things. I imagined this scenario:

Caveman: That mammoth isn't where I left it this morning. What have you done with it?
Cavewoman: I had to keep climbing over it so I got together with the neighbours and we moved it
Caveman: (Snorting in disbelief) You're just not strong enough to move it even if you all get together. A man must have helped you.
Cavewoman: Believe what you like - we moved it.
Caveman: (Scratching head) Well show me then.
Cavewoman: (Hands on hips) You don't believe me?
Caveman: I can't see how you did it.
Cavewoman stumps off to the other side of the clearing and points to mammoth - skinned and partly dismembered on a platform of round logs and matting.
Cavewoman: (Pointing) Like this. You just have to push it then you can move it wherever you want it to go. (demonstrating)
Caveman: So how did you manage to attach the mat to the logs?
Cavewoman: Reeds - how do you attach the thatch to the hut stupid!?
Caveman: That's really good I'll have to tell the lads - but I'm sure you women can't have done it without the help of a man.
Cavewoman: (Stomps back to the hut in disgust muttering about nothing getting done if it wasn't for women)

Could it have been like this? Who knows and we'll probably never know but this is just as likely as a man inventing the wheel. How do we know it wasn't a co-operative effort as many scientific advances have been?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Reclaiming the F Word

I've started reading Reclaiming the F Word: the New Feminist Movement by Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune. It is excellent!! Really really good. I would urge anyone who is interested in the relationship between men and women today and the position of women in society and culture to buy and read this. If you want to get it at a discount then visit the F Word - http://www.thefword.org.uk/ where you will find a code to quote.

I will post a full review when I've read it.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Valerie Solanas

Do any feminists reading this actually treat The SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas as their Bible? I've actually never read it and I'm not sure I will be doing so any time soon because it seems just too extreme. I agree if you want to make fundamental changes to society and culture you've maybe got to start from some sort of extreme position if only to get people thinking about the things they take for granted. But the bits I have read just strike me as being totally insane and the ravings of someone who doesn't have too great a grasp on any sort of reality that I recognise.

I suppose you could treat the idea of getting rid of all men as a joke - like men of a certain type - such as Danny Dyer - make obnoxious comments about women as a joke. But of course if you start making nasty comments about men as a joke or satire then you shouldn't be doing it because you run the risk of people assuming you are actually deadly serious. Because women don't have a sense of humour so they must mean everything they say . . . .

Maybe I'd better read the SCUM manifesto even though I don't think anyone takes it literally these days. You come across it mentioned in feminist and anti-feminist books but modern writers seem to just treat it as one aspect of the second wave of feminism. Strange that men's rights activists don't like it yet they are in favour of Manhood Academy which is the male equivalent of the SCUM manifesto. But of course that's all right because it's the men saying nasty things about women.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Double standards

I have just read an article about two men - one of whom committed suicide - who were accused of rape by the same woman. The man who committed suicide was never charged and was told by the police that there would be no action taken against him. The second one was found not guilty by a jury and the judge made some very trenchant comments at the end of the trial as in his opinion that case should never have got to court because the the woman had previously made a similar accusation against another man.

I'm not going to link to the article (Daily Mail) because it really does not need any more publicity in my opinion. The reporter obtained a few comments from Miss X who wisely refused to give up her anonymity, but the rest of the article consisted of a few comments from the man who was found not guilty and from the mother of the man who committed suicide saying how much he'd suffered because of the allegation.

Now I have no means of knowing what actually happened in either of these cases but the comments on the article and the way the article is written suggest that the majority view is Miss X is guilty of perjury and should go to jail. Yet many also criticise the way alleged rapists are pilloried before the trial and treated as though they are guilty.

So trial by media is not acceptable - but they're willing to try MissX that way because she's been judged a woman who tells lies. Double standards? Seems so to me. In any case shouldn't they also run a story about women whose allegations were not believed before John Worboys - the rapist taxi driver - was finally convicted?

Saturday, 29 May 2010

I have just finished laughing . . .

http://www.the-spearhead.com/ is always good for a laugh and/or for making me absolutely blazing mad. An article posted there on 27 May called Feminism and the SAD (Standard American Diet) made me laugh but it also made me seriously angry. The gist of the theory is that Americans are all fat because of feminism.

The theory is that the second wave of feminism told women to stop cooking for their families and got women into the workplace doing low paid jobs producing fast food for the masses. Ergo Americans were fed on fast food and got fat and developed serious health problems. This wouldn't have happened if feminism hadn't existed.

Yes, well . . . . words almost fail me.

Especially as the whole argument is based on a fallacy - that feminism told women not to cook for their families. Even Betty Friedan didn't say that! The women she talked to who were happiest with their lot in life were those who worked part time or full time at a job which made them feel they were contributing to society in a meaningful way whilst still having time to keep their houses and families to the standard which was acceptable to everyone. In fact she found that those who were good organisers often had more time to themselves even after working full time and cooking for their families.

The theory also overlooks the role of men. The article states that men couldn't cook because they were too busy earning money - which is a cop out in my opinion. It's basically saying men don't want to do household chores because they would somehow emasculate them and as for cooking - well men will only do this if they can do it on TV and make millions out of it.

I personally don't agree with that idea but it seems to be what the article is saying. In fact it suggests men stood by and let this happen without doing anything about it themselves because it was 'women's work'. The sub text of the whole article is that women should go back to the home and stay away from things they don't understand because that way all the ills of an overweight population will be solved by a bit of home cooking. One of the comments suggested that the guy writing it would probably have been 3 inches taller than he is if his mother hadn't been a feminist . . . .

Riiiight! So it's the old ' Not me Guv, the other guy did it' excuse.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

2 boys and a girl

I am of course referring to the recently concluded trial at the Old Bailey of two boys for sexually assaulting a girl. Most of the coverage of the story and the public reaction to it is frankly disgusting but I'm not sure I can get my own thoughts in any sort of rational order. Part of me says was there a mountain made out of a molehill? Were they just satisfying the curiosity many children feel about each other's bodies? Another part of me says whatever it was it shouldn't have happened and the children need to be told that it is not acceptable behaviour.

Should the girl be prosecuted as well? In my opinion - no she shouldn't. Her story was consistent right up until the end of her cross examination by the defence barrister. Of course many people are saying women learn to lie about rape at an early age without taking into account the way barristers question witnesses. Most of us could be tricked into contradicting things we were absolutely sure of and it is probably a major area of concern for our adversarial system of justice. The jury were obviously convinced by the rest of the evidence and there was medical evidence as well - which I gather from seeing only one reference to it - has not been widely reported.

As for those saying that the case only went to trial because the mother insisted - well words fail me! The CPS does not ask the victim - or anyone connected with the victim - whether trials should go ahead. If they did a lot more cases would go to court than do now. They clearly felt there was enough evidence for a conviction - and their decision was correct in the light of the jury verdict.

Whether or not children should be tried in adult courts - with or without wigs and robes - is another issue and should not be used to confuse debate over this particular case.

If you don't show children at an early age what behaviour is acceptable and what is not they grow up to be adults who attack others.

Strange story - and strange reactions

The known 'facts' of the story are as follows:
  • A woman phones a female friend and tells her she has just been raped by a friend of her husband.
  • Said friends tells a man who knows the husband in question and the alleged rapist
  • Husband goes round to the man's house with a friend and a brick and a mallet and beats the man unconscious.
  • The police - not unnaturally - arrest the two men

The 'full' story is on www.the-spearhead.com As it correctly states no one knows what happened. What I really take issue with is the suggestion in the article that if the woman was lying she should be arrested and charged with assault. I had to read it twice and both times my reaction was WHAT!!!!!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The English Marriage

The English Marriage: Tales of Love, Money and Adultery by Maureen Waller is interesting reading. It traces the history of marriage in England from Medieval times to the 1960s. Long after Europe reformed ins marriage and divorce laws England's laws were still heavily dependent on the rules of Medieval theology. The status of married women was little better than slaves or lunatics. All their property, until the late 19th century, belonged to their husband and they had no status in law as individuals.

It was very difficult for anyone to obtain a divorce. The poor didn't bother and simply walked away from the marriages and probably committed bigamy at a later date. The rich - because land and money were involved - resorted to law. A woman could be divorced for a single act of adultery. But if she wanted a divorce herself she had to prove cruelty as well as adultery.

When husbands were allowed to beat their wives, starve them and keep them shut up it was virtually impossible for a wife to prove cruelty. There was no doubt who was in charge until the 19th century when women started fighting back and several pieces of legislation improved their lot in life. Paradoxically widows had the best of it as they had virtually the same legal powers as men.

It is always difficult to look back on history and try and judge the events of the time through the eyes of the time. But comparing marriage and divorce in England with the same laws in other countries it is easy to see the English legal treatment of women was draconian even by the views of the times. Financial arrangements before marriage did seek to secure the income of wives if they were widowed in the main but that was all. There was no way out of an impossible marriage if you were a woman.

It was not until 1839 that women could expect to keep custody of children under the age of 7 after divorce - and then only if they successfully petitioned the Lord Chancellor and could prove they were of good character. Husbands would use access to the children as a bargaining counter in divorce or separation negotiations as access was wholly decided by the man and not the courts. Maybe we have gone too far in the other direction now.

Anyone who thinks women have never been oppressed and it's all a feminist con needs to read this book as the individual stories were taken from court records and the correspondence of the individuals concerned and at times show a horrific picture of the treatment of women by the law.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Accused in rape trials to be anonymous

Having read Sue Lees' Carnal Knowledge I can only think this is a bad thing. It will be the only crime where the accused has a right to anonymity. As rapists are getting more sophisticated and taking the trouble to get to know their victims before striking this will mean that these serial rapists are even more likely to get away with it. The conviction rate for rape where the victim knew their attacker is very small - I'm not going to quote figures because I have not looked up the latest ones and I don't want to post incorrect data. Stranger rape is more likely to result in a conviction - provided the accused is identified and caught.

At the risk of going against my own sex I would almost say it is better to have no anonymity for accused AND victim rather than losing the chance to have other victims come forward when the accused is publicly named. Many women waive their right to anonymity in any case - so will this proposed change mean that the rapist would also be named? Not enough information available yet I think.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Not an easy subject and I don't think there's ever going to be an easy answer to the problem. The law in the UK allows abortion up to 24 weeks gestation. Up to that time it is highly unlikely the foetus would survive outside the mother, though there are and have been exceptions. How do I feel and think about it?

I think women need to take responsibility for their own actions and for contraception if they do not want children. I also think men must take some of the responsibility -i.e. if they know they do not want children why aren't they insisting on using a condom - regardless of what the woman says about her contraception method?

Contraception - in the UK - is easily available - and free if you visit a Family Planning Clinic. There should be no excuse for not using it. If you don't want to go medical about it - buy condoms (male or female) from a chemist. If you're not sure how good the contraception you used was - them make sure you get the morning after pill. We've all been carried away by the passion of the moment - but at least do something about it the next day.

I would not ever have been prepared to have an abortion - unless I'd been raped, the foetus had abnormalities, or my life was in danger. But that is MY choice, no one else's. However I am in favour of abortion being legal - because ultimately it is about personal choice and personal circumstances. But with personal choice goes personal responsibility - to use contraception wherever and whenever possible.

I can't see how men can ever have any legal say in abortion. That is not just because I'm female. How can someone say to another individual - I am ordering you to carry that child for me and then put your life in danger by giving birth to it? There is no equivalent situation in which a woman could place a man. Yes it's not fair on the man - but then if he had insisted on using a condom (or not having sex) there would have been no conception anyway - which is where personal responsibility comes in again.

I hear too many men saying - 'It wasn't my fault - she told me she was on the pill.' If you'd only just met her, was it wise to trust her to that extent? What about disease? Wouldn't you have been safer using a condom anyway? Condoms, by the way, when used properly are more than 95% effective - very little lower than the Pill - which isn't 100% effective anyway - especially with the low dose pills usually used these days.

Just a few thoughts . . .

Sunday, 16 May 2010


Reading feminist blogs and websites and also reading men's rights sites I am left wondering at the differences between the two. Feminist blogs and websites generally discuss issues such as the sexualisation and objectification of young girls and women; the way rape victims are treated by the courts; the difficulty of juggling work and home life; the rights and wrongs of abortion; pornography and sex workers; and lately the small number of women in the Cabinet formed by the Conservative/LibDem coalition government in the UK. Most of these subjects could not be affected by legislation as you cannot tell people how to think you can only legislate for how they behave. They are cultural issues.

Men's rights sites tend to concentrate on the stupidity of women, the lack of respect for men and the misandry of most laws - though they do not go into specific details the reader is expected to agree with this statement without supporting evidence otherwise they are a troll. Men's rights sites also frequently mention the so-called paedophile hysteria permeating society - i.e. hardly anyone is a paedophile whatever the papers say and women do it to so that makes the men who do it somehow less guilty.

What I'm trying to get at is that the feminist sites are rarely agitating for a change in the law but men want laws which remove inequalities between them and women repealed as they see them as disadvantaging all men. The men's sites come over to me - in many cases - as petulant and childish. They don't discuss things reasonably and the moment they start throwing around insults - mainly taken from gay culture - the discussion degenerates rapidly.

The feminist sites - such The F Word - moderate comments and while they allow many different opinions they don't allow the discussion to get out of hand. Rape and abortion are the two subjects which usually cause most angst here. Most discussions I've seen on feminist blogs are polite even if there are differences of opinion. Unfortunately many are gate-crashed from time to time by people throwing four letter words around and refusing to discuss anything rationally. yet the first accusation many men level at women is that they won't discuss things without resorting to insults.

There are areas where men are disadvantaged; why shouldn't men have custody of their children following divorce?; why shouldn't there be health screening for men? But these don't seem to be things which the men's rights sites are agitating for - they are just useful weapons to attack feminists with. So don't men need to get their act together and campaign for things which would make a difference to them on a day to day basis?

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Strange ideas

Feminism - in my opinion - is about women having more choice of roles than mother or housewife. There are obviously many other concerns which spring from that but that is the basic tenet of feminism. It follows from that - though it is rarely mentioned - that different roles should also be available to men. There has always been the tacit assumption that as men are in charge and if they want to change their gender roles they can do so - though I think someone forgot to tell many men that they can change roles.

I have very little time for the idea that a man should always be the breadwinner in a family. I see it as a joint responsibility and a joint decision - just as childcare and housework should be a joint responsibility. So no I don't, and never have, seen a man, any man, as a walking wallet to be exploited. Do intelligent, thinking women still think like that? Maybe some do but I would think most don't.

Chivalry - why should anyone lie down and let me walk all over them? I don't want that. In my opinion this side of chivalry is outdated. But common politeness - which is usually described as chivalry is still relevant and should be practised by both sexes - holding doors open, helping with heavy bags, giving up a seat on public transport if someone needs it etc. This should not a male/female issue but a polite/rude issue. I have never asked a man to pay for all the costs of a date and frequently have paid them myself.

Feminism - at its best - is not about women having priority over men or preferential treatment. It is about equality. The problem here is one of perception - many men think if others are gaining power they must be losing it - what is often referred to as a zero-sum approach to the problem.

Violence - as I often seem to be saying these days - is not a male/female issue. Both can be victims or aggressors. But you can't get away from the fact that there are more men in prison for violence than there are men and much of the violence is men attacking other men.

Men do dangerous jobs - but that doesn't mean all men have to do dangerous jobs. There are women who join the armed forces, the police and fire service. Women are not allowed on oil rigs - not sure how that squares with discrimination but there we are. Men do dirty jobs - but so do women. I think jobs such as care assistant, cleaner etc - that are traditionally regarded as women only jobs can also be regarded as dirty and dangerous - but these seem to be overlooked and underpaid and men don't want to do them. Should men get preferential treatment because they risk their lives at work? I would say such jobs ought to be well paid because of the risk. But then so should nurses - who risk attack by patients - as do care assistants.

So why are so many men against feminism? Why are so many men - on the Internet and in ladmags - demonstrating such misogyny? I would have thought men would benefit from feminism as it removes the automatic assumption that men should provide the money in all situations. Feminism encourages women to provide for themselves and not to assume men will provide. Many men seem to want women to get out of the workplace because they're taking men's jobs. But they don't want to support women financially themselves.

Now some - and this article was written by a woman - are saying Christianity is against men and is pushing men out of the Church. I don't quite get it myself.


Tuesday, 11 May 2010

No More Sex War

I am still reading Neil Lyndon's No More Sex War published in 1992. I'm finding it interesting but extremely irritating. It comes over as very petulant. I've read about 60 pages and all he seems to do is criticise comments made by high profile women about men - mainly taken out of context. He suggests the media is against men whereas I would say today that much of the media makes its living from criticising women - whatever choices they make in life. He criticises Germaine Greer for famously saying she is surprised women do not realise how much men hate them. A brief trawl of the Internet using search terms such as Men's Rights Activism or Anti-Feminism will soon make anyone realise how true that statement is decades after it was first made - many men do hate women.

He talks about male violence and suggests correctly that men do not have a monopoly on violence. But he fudges the issue of the majority of violence involving males assaulting other males. I do not like the way some women seem to be turning to violence but then I don't like men being violent either. In fact I dislike violence and think it's the worst possible way to solve any argument. I do not think it is only men who are violent in any setting - whether domestic or public and I suspect the majority of people know women can be violent too.

Monday, 10 May 2010


Why do some men insist on doing what they criticise feminists/women for? I'm talking about things such 'All women lie and are incapable of telling the truth; never trust a woman she's always after your money; all women make false rape allegations etc.

And yet the men who make these sort of statements are the same ones who criticise feminists for supposedly saying all men are potential rapists; all domestic violence victims are female. So if women generalise about men - that's bad but if men generalise about women that's all right because it's true. Talk about double standards.

Then there's the well known research that shows from IQ tests that there are more men at the top and bottom of the scale than there are women. This is a statement of fact in line with some research and I have no problem with it. But can you really equate that to the statement that the average man is more intelligent than the average woman? That to me is an inference too far. This research should be qualified in the following way:
  • IQ tests measure how well you can do IQ tests
  • The whole population - or even a large proportion of it - has not been subjected to IQ tests
  • IQ tests were devised to measure a particular type of intelligence. This is not the only type of intelligence
  • The research is not an excuse for excluding women from the top jobs in any field because an individual women can still be more intelligent than an individual man.
  • The research does not prove that all men are more intelligent than all women - the graph would look like two bell curves that never met if that was the case.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Manhood Academy

Reading this site is quite interesting at the moment (www.thespearhead.com) the owner of the site sounds as though he is a pretty reasonable guy even if I don't always (ever?) agree with him. He is currently trying to stop trolls probably from a site called Manhood Academy 101 while at the same time maintaining freedom of speech. As anyone who has ever had anything to do with any Internet forum will tell you it is a completely impossible task as moderators need to delete posts which could bring the weight of the law down on them.

On balance I'm beginning to think that comments which are just a stream of abuse are less dangerous than guys who post comments like this:

My personal opinion is that I will not allow any woman to live in my house that does not sign a binding contract with me which waives all rights including the right to life. I will not allow any woman to live in my house that I could not kill with impunity.

Basically this Manhood 101 site would definitely condone the above comment. I have not registered on the Spearhead though there are women who post on there though I do read it regularly because there are some interesting articles on there - whether or not you agree with them. But Manhood Academy was criticised at length by Paul Elam - one of the more reasonable MRA people - for advocating using pain against women as a way of disciplining them and making them bow to a man's authority. They say they don't mean physical pain but their idea is making the women feel bad if she upsets the man so she won't do it again. This is not treating women as equally valuable people as men - this is treating them as inferior and setting men as the only arbiters of behaviour because women are not capable of being responsible for their own behaviour.

This sort of thing is dangerous and if it gains too much support could overthrow all the equality legislation the Western world - supported by both men and women - has managed to put in place. The 1970's were never like this. Andrea Dworkin was pretty extreme though she is always quoted out of context. But the above quote makes Germaine Greer look like a pussy cat - with claws removed.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Zoo affair

How can advocating slashing a girl friend's face when you've split up with her so that no one else will want her, be acceptable? Those of you who haven't come across this story yet won't know what the fuss is about. The magazine Zoo aimed - I think - at young men answered a reader's letter about trying to get over the break up of a relationship. The answer was to go out with your mates and get drunk and smash up as many things as you can or slash your girlfriend's face so that no one else will want her. The magazine editor has published an apology on their website blaming it on a production error and saying the magazine will make a donation to Women's Aid. www.zootoday.com

The Guardian quite correctly suggests the whole magazine is very similar in tone and this particular item was only slightly worse than the rest of its normal content. The suggestion by apologists is that it was tongue in cheek advice and shouldn't be taken seriously. Suppose a women's magazine problem page suggested castrating a man you'd split up with - would that be treated as a joke? I very much doubt it and nor should it. So why is it acceptable to joke about physically attacking a woman?

Saturday, 1 May 2010

You can't be raped if you wear tight jeans

This was the verdict in an Australian court. Apparently the woman had been wearing skinny jeans and the judge and the jury believed they couldn't be removed without the wearer's co-operation. Really?? I can think of several ways to do so - especially as they are usually stretch fabric otherwise the wearer wouldn't be able to get them on or off.

The woman only weighed about 7st so even if she'd been struggling it wouldn't take a very strong man to overpower her.


Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Attempting to challenge myths

I've been browsing the anti-feminist websites - which is always going to make me annoyed. What really bugs me - and always has done - is that these sites promote so many false ideas about women which are demonstrably not true.

  • Only men do dangerous jobs - women are fire fighters, police, ambulance drivers, pilots, miners (in America - not sure about here), soldiers etc Many men doing these jobs say they do not want women doing the job.
  • Only men are conscripted - the UK doesn't have conscription and Israel conscripts both men AND women
  • Rape is about men being falsely accused not about women being raped. 91% of rape victims are female and 99% of rapists are male - and this isn't about women? Someone posting on the Guardian said the male relatives of female rape victims suffer more trauma than the victim herself. WHAT!!!!!?????
  • All women are feminists - no definitely not. Some women prefer a traditional set up of bread winning father and stay at home mother and do not agree women are equal - that is their choice
  • All feminists want to abolish marriage - no - most feminists want a more equal relationship and want to play an equal part in raising and supporting a family
  • All feminists think men are inferior - no they don't. Very few feminists seem to hold that view these days. It was originally writers such as Valerie Solanas, Andrea Dworkin who appeared to think men were inferior.
  • Men are more intelligent than women - some men are more intelligent than some women - but this is not the case with all women and all men. We are individuals and should be treated as such
  • Any woman who complains about pornography or the early sexualisation of children is suffering from sexual jealousy. It was a male journalist who campaigned for the raising of the age of consent to 16 in 1885 - W T Stead. His supporters were male MPs - women could not vote or sit in Parliament at the time.
  • All women like dressing up for men - no this one at least, doesn't like dressing up for anyone
  • It is only ugly women who are feminists because they can't get a man - really? Women are openly feminist because they can see that women STILL aren't playing an equal part in society - it has nothing to do with looks.
  • All feminists are lesbian - rubbish!
  • All feminists are pro-abortion and try and impose their views on others - actually pro-life supporters are the ones trying to force their views on everyone else. A feminist can be pro-choice for everyone but anti abortion for herself
  • Women's health care is treated as more important than men's health care - well no actually it's just that men don't like taking part in screening programmes - especially if such programmes involve an invasive physical examination - prostate cancer - men are happy to have a blood test but not a physical examination
  • Men are only in prison because women make them commit crimes - now this is just so stupid it isn't worth bothering with - especially as it suggests men aren't capable of making their own decisions

What does concern me is the huge interest in websites and blogs whose sole aim seems to be to undermine the progress made in society over the last 100 years. They don't want women to be dependent on men but equally they don't want women to earn more than they do and anyway all laws are misandrist. You could write a book about it really - and I might just do so because the Men's Rights Movement is dangerous.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Same old, same old . . .

I look at this site from time to time www.the-spearhead.com and came across this in a comment on an article

"Women need to stop resenting men for being smarter and stronger than them. This is what lies beneath their low self-esteem."

Well that's told us then! Basically the site propagates the same old rubbish about all laws are anti-men, women are stupid and have IQs in single figures if they're feminists, you have to train women if you want to be able to live with them and have a relationship with them. In other words everything in the garden will be lovely when women accept that we're the bosses and tell them what to do. You also get regular comments comparing women with the Nazis - and also blaming female voters for voting Hitler into power - which is a new one on me!! The men apparently could see what would happen and didn't vote for him.

I always want to tell them everything would be equally lovely if they realised that women are smarter than them and that they aren't the centre of the universe any more than we are. The people who post on the site really don't want equality - or not if for any reason it reduces their power in any way. It's all right for them to have the upper hand but nor for women to be in charge - of anything.

I always think when I read this site - and others like it - that we must be getting too close to being an equal society in the West because there is such hatred shown against women. If women were really as contemptible as many seem to think these people wouldn't waste their time commenting at all because we'd all be invisible and irrelevant.

Most feminist websites and blogs that I've come across do not focus on hatred of men. They criticise the state or laws in general, they highlight areas where the sexes are treated differently but they do not propagate hatred of men - unlike many of the MRA (Men's Rights Activist) websites which are not interested in the facts if they get in the way of a good female bashing session and actively egg each other on to be as misogynistic as possible. Some MRA websites do not want anyone to criticise their point of view - most feminist sites welcome anyone's point of view as long as people are polite. Those whose comments have been deleted of course would not agree with this statement.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Carnal Knowledge

I bought a very battered copy of Sue Lees' book Carnal Knowledge some time ago and picked it up again last night just to have a quick look at it. But once you start reading it grabs you and you have to keep going. She raises some very interesting points about rape and the way it is dealt with in the justice system. The revised edition of the book was published in 2002 and many of the fears she expresses in the first few chapters have actually happened.

She was worried that by referring to rapes where perpetrator and victim were known to each other as 'date rapes' they would come to seem less serious than 'stranger rape'. She was also concerned at the trend she could see developing of treating the accused as somehow the victim of predatory females - especially if they are acquitted. The view was growing even then that any acquittal should automatically lead to the prosecution of the person who made the complaint in the first place. Just because someone was acquitted doesn't mean the accusation is false or made with malicious intent.

The law was changed many years ago to stop the victim's previous sexual history being brought up at the trial but there was still room for a judge's discretion in the case and on many occasions it is allowed as evidence. On the other hand the defendant's previous sexual history is in most cases not allowed as evidence. There are still only a few cases where more than one alleged rape is dealt with in the same trial.

The author suggests that some rapists may have changed their modus operandi in that they now take the trouble to get to know their intended victim slightly before striking knowing that any previous acquaintance between them and their victim lessens their chances of conviction.

I've only read three chapters so far but it is frightening stuff.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Both sides of a story

I like having both - or all - sides to an argument so I read web sites which are both pro-feminism and anti-feminism. I also like to know how popular the anti-feminist's arguments are. I also like to know what the far right is doing in America because we often seem to get a watered down version in this country eventually. Are my interests strange? I don't think so. Others do. But then we're all different.

I think extreme feminism and extreme men's rights activism are dangerous as all extremes are dangerous. I don't actually agree with either extreme but it's still of interest to see what they're thinking.

I've just started reading Neil Lyndon's No More Sex War which was published in the early 1990s and has sunk almost without trace. In his preface he lists several situations in which men are disadvantaged. 75% of those have been remedied since he wrote the book - which I think is encouraging. There is now a right to paternity leave; men can be dependents under social security laws; women will no longer be able to claim the state pension and other connected benefits at 60 as of this April and the age increases on a sliding scale; men getting custody of their children after divorce or separation is increasing; women can no longer expect to be supported for life except in very specific circumstances following divorce; men can be named on birth certificates even in they're not married to the mother of the child.

The book will make interesting reading I'm sure - out of date though it is.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Men's rights activism on the rise in Germany

There's an article on www.mercatornet.com today with which I actually agree. Maybe men and women in some quarters are singing from the same hymn sheet at last. The Greens in Germany have added a 'Green Men's Manifesto' to their policies.

Why have I suddenly come out in favour of Men's Rights? Because this is what they say:

'We want less pressure to perform, better health care and more quality time. We don't want to be heroes of work; we want to live. We want to share power, responsibility and duties and to tear off the corset of gender roles. We want new horizons for men in the 21st century.'

Isn't this what we all want? Isn't this what feminism has been saying for years that rigid gender roles harm everyone not just women? Feminism only happened because women wanted to throw off the chains of gender stereotypes and try something else on for size. Now men - at last- are saying the same thing.

Let's just pray they don't see the only way to get it as imposing fixed gender roles on women

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Banned from a Men Rights Activist site!!

I have been reading this site from time to time - http://www.theantifeminist.com/ and first posted a comment after the article I mentioned in an earlier post about the age of consent being an example of misandry. The owner of the site has taken exception to my mainly factual comments about the changes to the age of consent in the nineteenth century and the reasons behind them. His attitude was it is my middle aged sexual jealousy which was motivating me to comment and that the first thing women always do when they get any power is stop men having fun and turn everyone into Puritans.

He has told me he is going to ban me from his site because he knows my IP address. I have access to more than one computer all with different IP addresses and there is software which will hide your IP address so if I really wanted to get round the ban I could. He told me this in a comment on the blog Love Letters from Hell - post of March 16 2010 (link in favourite blogs).

When I tried to access the antifeminist yesterday I got a warning message saying the site had been reported to Microsoft as unsafe. He says I'm lying about it - which I'm not. What a storm in a teacup and all because I chose to post a few verifiable facts and point out that feminists with any influence were conspicuous by their absence in Victorian society in the 1870s. It's a shame really that some people aren't interested in dialogue only in laying down the law.

Monday, 12 April 2010

I came across this . . .

In my Internet browsing I came across a rival to Wikipedia - Conservapedia - www.conservapedia.com It bills itself as 'the trustworthy encyclopedia' The name should give you a clue as to where its bias lies and it reads like the world according to the right wing Christian fundamentalists. I looked up the entries on feminism and anti-feminism. The feminism article is - as far as it goes - factual but it only uses quotes from the most extreme of feminists such as Andrea Dworkin and Valerie Solanas and tries to perpetuate the stereotype of ugly middle aged mad hating women being the only ones who are really feminists.

The anti-feminist article is full of quotes from the Bible - naturally out of context - showing that it is God's will that women obey their husbands and be meek and modest and unselfish. There is a very fine line it seems between Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists - they both want to keep women under control as though they resemble some dangerous explosive. If women were really like that as individuals then there would be no need to train them in this behaviour - just a thought . . . . .

Friday, 9 April 2010

Age of Consent part II

I came across this story today:


The child bride aged 13 died from internal injuries and bleeding from the genital area. It is the most cogent argument I can think of for keeping the age of consent at 16. The article suggests this is far from being an uncommon event.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Prostitution and sex workers generally

I'm not anti prostitution - well I don't think I am. I'm inclined to believe it should be legalised and regulated like it is in Holland. But I do have mixed feelings about it. One half of me says if men are silly enough to pay for something they can get free then women are probably exploiting men. The other half says it's demeaning to actually sell sex instead of giving it to a man you love in a loving relationship. But this is far from a simple issue and I'd be the last one to say it is. If that is how women want to earn their living then that really is their business.

If you are going to try to abolish it then you have to provide women with a credible alternative means to earn their living. I would have expected prostitution, lap dancing clubs etc to be diminishing at present because of all the women and girls apparently willing to sleep with anyone and everyone. But it doesn't seem to be the case so there's obviously more at work here than is obvious to the naked eye as it were.

I don't understand why men would want to pay for sex anyway especially as so many men these days seem to want women who conform to the stick thin large breasted stereotype and most street walkers I've seen do not conform to that at all! So it has to be something more than that. All the men I know say they wouldn't go to a prostitute anyway. I can only presume it's because men want sex with no strings and without the need to hold a conversation though some prostitutes say men just want to talk to them. Very odd - all of it - and I really must try and get my thoughts in some sort of order about it.

I don't actually think it's an exclusively feminist issue anyway - it's more something that society as a whole - both men and women - needs to look at and discuss and agree on what's acceptable.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Age of consent

I came across a post on a men's rights blog saying that the age of consent is a misandrist law because it was militant feminists suffering from sexual jealousy who got it implemented. So it's anti men. Well actually I thought it was pro children to prevent them being forced into prostitution at the age of 12 or younger.

I'm not linking to the post because I've already been accused of harassment by even posting the fact in the comments that the age of consent affects both men and women and applies equally to boys and girls; as well as that the age of consent was enshrined in law in the Victorian era - which was hardly a high point for women's rights. The age of consent was raised to 16 from 13 in 1885 - as a result of campaigning by W T Stead.

Apparently since girls mature sexually much earlier than boys it would be better to lower the age of consent - at least for girls - so that men wouldn't be criminalised for having sex with girls under the age of 16. So if we change the law so that theft is illegal there won't be so many people with criminal convictions? And they say men are the logical sex.

I can see the arguments for lowering the age of consent but there is no consistency across the world and it is as high as 18 in Turkey and Malta and varies between 16 and 18 in the USA depending on which state you're in. It is a complex issue and cannot be dismissed as being anti men since it affects women as well.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Distortions used to push a point of view

I am an occasional reader of this web site www.mercatornet.com It is, as a brief perusal of contents will show, a right wing opinion site. It is basically anti women's rights, pro life, anti choice and it seems pro Roman Catholic because the Pope supports the things they believe in. Which leaves them in something of a quandary over the current paedophile revelations.

While I agree that some of the media coverage of the scandal is sensationalist I really do not think it is widespread conspiracy to discredit the Roman Catholic Church because it supports the family and marriage and is anti-abortion.

"Only the voice of the Pope and the Church is being raised to defend life and the family. The reading of certain articles in the media shows that very powerful lobby groups are seeking to silence this voice with the worst possible defamation . . . '

When you consider that the author of this article is an Italian Sociologist of religion you can see where he is coming from. He uses statistics to try and show that the cases involving priests frequently involve children over the age of 16 - so that isn't paedophilia. He glosses over this even though it is a serious breach of trust which could scar young people for life, because, he says, it is less serious than paedophilia.

He also goes on to argue that as there are far more - not sure where his figures come from - cases in protestant denominations. So that's all right then and it's all been greatly exaggerated and is all designed to silence this voice crying in the wilderness against immorality. Or even if it isn't exaggerated all the good things the Catholic Church believes in should more than make up for a few rotten apples - which you get in any walk of life.

The title of the piece is 'Moral Panic Flares Again' and it was posted on 3 April 2010. It is one of the most interesting - and distasteful - pieces of moral wriggling on the point of a dilemma that I've seen for a long time.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The vexed question of access to children

I am half listening to a recent TV programme about the way fathers are effectively excluded in many cases from seeing their children following divorce or separation. Obviously it is not just fathers who suffer - it can be mothers as well. What I have never been able to understand is that both men and women use their children as pawns even while they are arguing they themselves know what's best for their children.

It is never going to be an easy situation but I cannot subscribe to the theory that women always lie and always seek to keep children away from their fathers. I have known several single mothers and all of them have been adamant that while they no longer love their husbands, these men remain their children's fathers. They will grit their teeth and remain civil often under extreme provocation because they believe the children need a relationship with their fathers. I'm sure not all women behave like this but I'm also sure not all men are plaster saints.

I can't help feeling the court system could be turning out better decisions than it does but I'm also sure parents need to put their children first and forget their own egos. That applies to men and women.

Equal opportunities and equal rights for women should lead to better solutions to these problems because each case will be judged on its merits and stereotypes will not govern decisions made by judges. Having said that I can't help feeling the situation would improve for many men if they played a greater part in their children's upbringing while they and their wives are still together - then in the event of a divorce they would be able to show how involved they are in their children's lives.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Men can be carers too

I read a story yesterday about a man who has been put forward for a carer of the year award. My first reaction was well yes - men can be carers too. The story, briefly, is that his daughter was born with a rare genetic defect which will kill her in time. He and his partner made a decision that he would give up his job to look after the child 24/7 (not give up his life as the headline put it). His partner went back to her parents as she suffers from depression and the man's comment was that he could not be there for both of them - it was the child or his partner. This was the bit that stuck in my throat.

Now women are slated if they say they cannot cope with a husband with disabilities and young children. There have been a couple of stories recently where women whose husbands were injured in accidents or in the Afghan war and confined to wheelchairs and the wives said they could not cope with both - partly because of how the disabilities had affected their partners' personalities. The comments on all the stories were along the lines of 'selfish women always putting what they want before their husbands and children'.

Why the double standards? Giving up jobs to look after husbands, children and elderly relatives is a common place for women - 99.9% of whom will rarely receive any form of recognition let alone financial reward. A man does it but says he can't cope with ill partner as well and he's regarded as a hero. I admire anyone who makes the sacrifices needed to be a carer - I am one myself and I know how soul destroying it can be at times. What I dislike is that women are expected to do it willingly and pilloried if they hold their hands up and say they can't cope. If a man says I can cope with the child but not my partner he's praised to the skies. Hmmm. Very odd.

Monday, 29 March 2010

The Manipulated Man

The Manipulated Man by Esther Vilar was first published nearly 40 years ago - and it shows. It is described in an extract from a review on the cover as 'a vigorous answer to women's lib'. I suspect whoever wrote that hadn't actually read the book. It contains no references to research and is simply the author's opinions and it castigates the traditional stereotypes of male breadwinners and female stay at home mothers and housewives. So I would have thought it was pro women's lib and more independent women no longer sponging off hard working men.

I'm about half way through the book at the moment and having to read it in small sections because this is the worst misogynistic rant I have read from a woman. She quite plainly does not like her own sex - and she's not too keen on men either as she seems to be saying they are stupid for not seeing through women's manipulation.

Women are brought up, apparently, to manipulate men into supporting them in idleness for the rest of their lives. Women are all completely stupid - though I'm not sure where that leaves the author herself. Women are not interested in knowledge for its own sake. If they start brushing up their knowledge of a subject it's only because they want to impress men. Girls don't play with the same toys as boys - at which I started to laugh. I had a chemistry set and a microscope as well as a collection of toy cars. My brother and I pooled our collections of Lego so that we had more to choose from and could build bigger projects. I never was a girly girl and wasn't too keen on dolls except paper ones though I did like sewing and knitting so I was happy to make dolls' clothes.

Overall I would say this book is actually supporting feminism as the author disagrees with the stereotype of women being supported by men. She obviously hasn't read Betty Friedan if she thinks all women find housework and childcare personally fulfilling.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Iceland - land fit for women

I've just read that Iceland - tiny, cold country of 320,000 people - is on the brink of passing a law that bans lap dancing clubs and strip clubs and virtually closes down the country's sex industry including prostitution. How have they managed to do it? Because both men and women are behind the ban. It could also have something to do with the fact that there are a high number of female politicians and they have a female Prime Minister - Johanna Siguroardottir.

Apparently feminists are virtually completely in favour of the ban whereas in this country feminists tend to be in two opposing camps - one saying that women can choose these jobs if they want and other saying objectifying women, even if women are willing to be objectified, is completely wrong. So - what we need is a united front.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Women are imbeciles

I recently got involved in an online discussion with someone who was trying to say that any country which has women in power will inevitably degenerate into chaos and anarchy. His reasons? Women are incapable psychologically of maturity and will always remain immature. He quoted stuff about Jung's theory of the 'anima' and 'animus' and said women would always project their animus onto the men in their lives but men are able to actualise both sides. Which is not what Jung said at all and unfortunately for him I happened to know more about that than he did and told him he was wrong. Jung said the ideal was for both men and women to actualise both anima and animus but that it was pretty difficult to do and required a high degree of self knowledge.

Then he went on about women being incapable of thinking for themselves and always following the herd. Women are not designed to be leaders - they should always defer to men who are meant to be leaders. I reminded him of several powerful women and he retorted with 'Women are all imbeciles - you are no exception'. Right. OK - I think I know where I stand then and I presume he felt he'd lost the argument because as I pointed out if I had been an imbecile I wouldn't have been reading his convoluted and confused posts in the first place.

If these are the idiots we're up against it's going to take a long time to change the world, Sisters!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Betty Friedan

I have been re-reading Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique having first read it way back in the early 1970s. It examines the trend in 1950s and 1960s America which glorified women's maternal and housewifely roles as being the only roles for women. Early marriage was common as were large families. But equally common were high rates of mental and physical illness among housewives and mothers. Half the stay at home mothers seemed to be on anti depressants or tranquilisers in order to help them 'adjust to their feminine role'.

That phrase, to me, says it all. If so many people need the help of drugs or analysis to adjust to a role which is supposed to be the best thing for them to do with their lives then there is something wrong with the role and not the people concerned. There are some real gems in this book - such as the man who wondered why women took so much time over housework and domestic stuff generally. He took over a household for a few days and in the first day had done a mammoth amount of cleaning and washing as well as baking cakes and preparing meals in advance and looking after the children.

Because they were confined to their homes - like benign concentration camps - the women made their work last as long as possible and turned it into an art form. The author compared two families - one where the mother had a career of her own and one where the mother stayed at home. Where the mother had a career she was able to fit housework into the time before or after work and generally had time in the evening to sit down and read a book. The family where the mother stayed at home the husband had to do a lot of the housework because his wife never seemed to get it all done and she always seemed to be busy and had no leisure time for herself.

The author suggests that if anyone is bored with no outlet for their creative energies they will seek to expand the work they do have to do and probably carry it out to a far higher standard than is necessary. Housework is boring but necessary so you get it done in the shortest possible time and move on to something more interesting.

Housework and childcare for most women are boring and necessary work but society sees them as the be all and end all of a woman's existence. Are we in danger of doing the same thing today? Martha Stewart anyone?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Badly behaved women

Venus: The Dark Side by Roy Shepphard and Mary Cleary is aimed at men and suggests that it is only women who behave badly in relationships and try to destroy men. The book should really have been called 'How to Live with Difficult People' because all the behaviours they describe could equally be exhibited by men. They cover things such a Borderline Personality Disorder, Sociopaths, compulsive liars, narcissistic personalities etc. They also explain how to deal with divorce - don't tell your wife you're divorcing her and take all the money out of the joint account and out it in your own name. Hmmm - not really the way to start if you want an amicable divorce and the advice could be applied to both men and women.

Many of the behaviours they say are suspicious at the start of a relationship are capable of more than one interpretation; for example - turning your mobile phone off, not immediately agreeing to dates when asked, not having sex on the first date. But if the woman was always available, agreed to anything you suggested and had sex on the first date - she'd be called needy and a slut. So basically unless you're a paragon of virtue, constantly massaging his ego, putting his needs before your own - do not think you can have a relationship with any man who has read this book and put all its advice into practice.

There is also a very patronising list of questions a man should ask a woman if he is thinking of starting a relationship with her including questions about her attitude to money, how many previous relationships, did she keep engagement rings, was she abused as a child, what has she done in the past when people have upset her. It even advocates getting your friends to ask her some of the questions and report back to you with the answers and asking her friends about her. The questions could equally well have been asked of men.

The only point in which I do agree with the authors is that ALL domestic violence should be treated equally serious - whoever is the victim.