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If You're Anti-Discrimination
You don't get to specialize.

Regarding abortion, I am, of course, pro-choice. But, I defend your right to be against abortion and to speak out for the anti-choice side. Accordingly, I defend this student's right to start an "anti-abortion club" at her school; just as I defend any student's right to start a GSA -- A Gay/Straight Alliance club at their school.

And here's a comment I left on Glenn Sacks' site, on an entry with a remark from a man-hating woman envisioning a world without men:

There are many women out there like me who are appalled by what feminism has become -- they're just not the ones screeching and waving signs along the barricades. I will either tell people I'm not a feminist or that I'm a "humanist" or an "Elizabeth Cady Stanton feminist," meaning I'm for women having the right to vote and making equal pay for truly equal work, but not for what feminism, these days, has become: too often thinly-veiled man-hating (or in-your-face man-hating) and a way to sell special treatment for women by pretending to be for equality.

The women I know and respect are those, like me, who don't speak out against injustice along gender lines, but are as enraged at injustices to and lies about men as they are about discrimination against women.

Posted by aalkon at October 4, 2007 11:31 AM


Just ran through the Glenn Sacks thread. I honestly had no idea that this was the face of "feminism" these days. A world without dicks to ride & play with? You can count me out.

Posted by: moreta at October 4, 2007 8:04 AM

That's the face of modern feminism, it's devolved into a big puddle of "It's okay for me, but not for thee." You can go down a long list of issues and see how if a feminist does "A", it's okay, but if a man or a non-feminist woman does "A", then it's oppressive.

And it's hilariously arrogant about its knowledge while demonstrating a complete ignorance to the world.

For an amusing demonstration, read what Tracy Clark-Flory posts about Turkey in Salon's Broadsheet today. Because Tracy is amazed to learn from her readers that conditions and needs in Turkey may differ from her conditions and needs South of Market.

Posted by: jerry at October 4, 2007 8:55 AM

moreta -

My partner's take exactly.

I have to really appreciate the commenter their that mentioned this would not be a move towards an all women society, but a move to a sexless society. Oddly enough, I know a few people who could dig that. The whole exchange of bodily fluids thing, just makes them shudder. For myself, I rather like the sex. I am also very glad that not all women are ready to give up the dick.

Although, i have to disagree with the commenters who were perpetuating the ridiculous notion that there is work women won't do. When I worked as a roofer (a very physical, "manly" sort of job) one of the better employees I supervised, was a women. She worked her ass off, working everyone under the table and giving me a run for the money (I felt it imperative that, as the boss on the job, I outproduce everyone under me. At least when I was I was able to actually work, rather than supervise).

Posted by: DuWayne at October 4, 2007 9:02 AM

But, men do generally do the more dangerous and risky jobs. There are those few women who take the risky, physically challenging jobs, but I would venture there are very few women who are ironworkers or even construction workers.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 4, 2007 9:18 AM

It's what I call have-it-both-ways feminism: Modern feminists want equal rights, but they also want to be able to get back up on the pedestal when it suits them. Although I didn't always agree with them, I do, looking back on it, have to respect the old-school feminists who walked the walk that they talked. They gave up their traditional feminine privileges to rough-and-tumble it in the man's world.

Amy, a question: Would you say that all or nearly all of the goals of the old-school feminists have been accomplished?

Posted by: Cousin Dave at October 4, 2007 11:18 AM

Amy, a question: Would you say that all or nearly all of the goals of the old-school feminists have been accomplished?

Depends which school you're talking about. That's a pretty broad brush. Can you narrow that down?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 4, 2007 11:30 AM

But, men do generally do the more dangerous and risky jobs.

Very true...however, for most of human history, pregnancy and childbirth were very risky for women, and that was a risk assumed by only one gender. (Or, as I once said in a Glenn Sacks thread in which a guy was complaining that, in a certain historical time period, no women had lost their lives fighting in a war - exactly zero men have died in childbirth since the beginning of time.) And historically women had relatively little say as to whether you got pregnant or not, unless they managed to pull off that celibacy thing.

Today, of course, childbirth (in First World countries, anyway) is both voluntary and low-risk, unless you're an idiot who wants to try unassisted homebirthing for a triplet delivery or something. Plus, most babies survive to adulthood, so we don't need to have women acting as baby factories just to maintain the population. As a result, the fact that men take on many more of the dangerous jobs is more dramatic. Assuming that the dangerous jobs offer a reward commiserate with risk, I would expect increasing numbers of women to take them on...but, more and more, it's the non-physically-risky jobs that get the big rewards.

Anyway...this thread is reminding me of why I rarely describe myself as a feminist without some sort of qualifier. Do I think women should have "special rights"? Well, I think that there are SOME allowances that should be made for pregnant/breastfeeding women that don't have an equivalent for men. Beyond that? I don't want someone giving me "special allowances," thank you.

Posted by: marion at October 4, 2007 12:24 PM

> dangerous jobs offer a reward
> commiserate with risk, I would
> expect increasing numbers of
> women to take them on

Danica Patrick comes to mind, though I know blood sports weren't your topic. Here comes a wide tangent.

Auto racing is a freaky little corner of sports & entertainment where the attraction felt for performers isn't readily correlated to their performance (as it is for Jordan and Tiger). Sexual allure in a broad sense probably has a lot to do with why this or that driver is a favorite. But masculine beauty isn't the same as feminine beauty anyway. Many a racer's been given a set of distracting or disfiguring burns in mid-career with no impact on their popularity (Mario comes to mind.)

I think about this because I grew up near Indianapolis back when it had been the world's premiere race for fifty years, and I was able to hang around the track a little bit. Every now and then you see some knarled figure way down the lunch counter, and you'd ask "Whoozat guy?" and be told "Oh, that's Lenny. Turn 3, lap 117, 1958."

Racing's safer nowadays... By which I mean that it still maims and kills with caprice. If pretty girls in sports cars is a trend, then we'll soon find out how much room the world makes for woman who's had her looks taken away by harsh fate. Personally, I'm betting that means she gets no more covers of Stuff and Maxim. Will the women still feel comfortable coming to the track to socialize?

Posted by: Crid at October 4, 2007 1:20 PM

Gnarled... y'know

Posted by: Crid at October 4, 2007 1:22 PM

I'm actually a Michael Schumacher kinda gal, myself, Crid. But Danica's doing us ladies proud. I'd like to tear it up like that - tricky driving can be extremely sexy...

I went to a NASCAR race once...but it didn't convert me from F1.

Why would men be phased out? I can find many uses for them; uses which no woman could ever fulfill.

Posted by: Gretchen at October 4, 2007 2:35 PM

I know you're a girl and all, but you might find this interesting.

Posted by: Crid at October 4, 2007 3:08 PM

Ashley Force makes Danica look, umm, a bit mannish. And slow...

Posted by: Radwaste at October 4, 2007 3:24 PM

This reminds me of the days when I was a little girl and my mom took me to her rosary society, which met every week. There were only women there, and they would recite the rosary together. At the end of each dedade of the rosary, they would pray together, "Glory be to the Father, the son and the holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning world without end amen." I misheard and thought they were saying, "world without men amen." Made sense to me at the time since everyone there was a female.

Posted by: hrc at October 4, 2007 3:26 PM

Men have always taken risks to get chicks. Men care less about women's accomplishments and more about a woman's looks. No, not every man wants a bimbo -- or can get one. But, note that you see a lot of really rich guys with beautiful but dim women.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 4, 2007 4:28 PM

Well, Amy, it's not like men of accomplishment are always admired for their candlepower, exactly....

Posted by: Crid at October 4, 2007 4:52 PM

Danica Patrick comes to mind

Danica Patrick - the Anna Kournikova of racing?

Ashley Force makes Danica look, umm, a bit mannish. And slow...


Posted by: justin case at October 4, 2007 5:31 PM

Look, not trying to be all Susan Faludi here, but why are people resentful of Kournikova for being a mediocre tennis player, or of Patrick for not winning in a ferociously competitive field?

Don't hate them because they're beautiful, Justing...

Seriously, there are probably a lot of shitty baseball players, too.

Posted by: Crid at October 4, 2007 6:43 PM

Amy -

There are very few men who will walk iron. I have no fear of heights, have very good balance (used to, inner ear injury fucked that)and enjoy a challenge. Problem being I hate working on a safety line and like life. A lot of the work is not really all that dangerous any more. The worse, rescue diving, is actually fairly popular among the gals, still majority male, but not by a huge margin. But I take your meaning. I think that it has more to do with physical extremes, than danger Humping bundles of shingles around a roof all day, is brutal and painful. The actual activity of laying the shingles is hard on muscle you'd never know you had, before roofing.

I do think that women are plenty capable of an awful lot that many men assume they aren't though. Not just some women, but many, possibly most. I know you're not all that fond of the great, raw outdoors, so I doubt you would sympathize. But I have, for much of my life, judged potential partners, by their ability to go for long hikes, knowing that there is not going to be a bathroom available for quite some time. I have found that I am not likely to be happy with a women who would have issues squatting behind a bush (or just stepping off a ways to do so).

The last place we lived in MI, I worked on our house (and others owned by my landlord) for our rent. My partner was persistent about finding things to do, to contribute. Her skills are limited, but she went at it with a gusto. I have every confidence that when we actually buy a home, she'll do exactly the same, with a baby strapped on if necessary. That's my kind of women.

My girlie actually likes to be lady like on occasion too though. She likes me opening the door for her, she loves our son and I buying her flowers and enjoys dressing up once in a while (admittedly, she likes me dressing up in her teddy once in a while too, but that's a whole different deal). But she is perfectly fine, getting her hands dirty and working her ass off too. I have to admit, that I whine about it more than she does. . .

Posted by: DuWayne at October 4, 2007 8:59 PM

There are very few men who will walk iron, but almost no women. (If any.)

"it's not like men of accomplishment are always admired for their candlepower"

Accomplishment is sometimes more about alpha-ness than brains, and some dim dudes do make it through brawn and raw physical ability.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 5, 2007 3:13 AM

Thanks for the video, Crid.

Posted by: Gretchen at October 5, 2007 4:20 AM

When I was younger (in my 20s),I worked in construction for over 2 years, as an apprentice electrician. I can wire in series and parallel, go me! I couldn't do the math. My boss used to sit with me on a scaffold at lunch time, having me do square roots on a piece of 2 X 4. I just couldn't do them! Shortly after I started night school at the local vo-tech, the company I was working for folded and I took an office job. I still do electical stuff around the house when necessary, and I've always been good with my hands. I can change a flat tire, switch out a fuel or water pump, change the oil, and once I even replaced a thermostat in the radiator in my car.

Posted by: Flynne at October 5, 2007 6:07 AM

Don't hate them because they're beautiful,

I'm not hating. It would just be sweet if they were champions, is all.

Posted by: justin case at October 5, 2007 6:34 AM

In addition to our day jobs, my husband and I are building a house. And I don't mean sitting around talking to a builder about what we want, but actually taking up hammer and nails and building. I've always been fairly handy and was the one out in the garage with my dad when I was a kid, but I have come to recongize and accept that I am just not as strong as a man. I use technology as much as I can to compensate...where power tools just make the job faster for my guy, they make certain jobs possible for me. I've got the knowledge and skills to do the technical parts of the work, but when it comes to lifting 2x6 walls, already sheeted in 3/8" plywood, its my man who's carrying the load. Me and a lesbian partner with my same build (all girl) just couldn't pull off the work.

Posted by: moreta at October 5, 2007 7:30 AM

It’s nice to see real women’s reactions to the linked comment about men being obsolete. Men’s Rights Activists (MRA’s) definitely come off as shrill whiners sometimes. They need to learn to present themselves better if they have any hope of advancing their agenda. But it is useful to look at a compilation of some of the things MRA’s are responding to when their comments seem to be no more than hateful bile:

“Responses to “Anti-Feminist News Coverage Is Bad For Your Health”
lindsay Says:
March 28th, 2007 at 11:44 pm
Oh but you know inequality is just heaven for women. Cause then we get noticed by our husbands so much that they beat us and still force us to make dinner for them and make their babies. And then we can go into the street at night to fetch baby some formula cause you ran out and your husband didn’t bother buying any on his way home from work because he doesn’t take care of the 5 kids you have, so how’s he supposed to know you need it? Then on your way home you can get raped and the offender can run off, and then nine months later the baby the rapist impregnated you with is born. And the husband blames you for it all cause you know you did wear that skirt and all, and it came just over your ankles so he had every right to take advantage of you.”

My recall of Psychology 101 is good enough to see examples of both Freud and Jung at work here. She secretly craves what she claims to fear the most and despises herself for doing so.

I generally avoid the practice of posting long lists of quotes or annecdotes just because even one or two taken out of context or otherwise stretched compromises the point but I only offer these as an approximation of where the MRA is coming from.
Pearls of Feminism.

And Amy, since you describe yourself as an Elizabeth Cady Stanton feminist, any thoughts on this?

"We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men." Elizabeth Cady Stanton, quoted in " One Woman, One Voice ", Wheeler, page 58.

Posted by: martin at October 5, 2007 8:48 AM

All of you are WRONG! Laleh Seddigh makes Danica & Ashley look like kiddies. Now there's a real racer (and has a PhD to boot). Plus she's beaauuutiiful. And she lives in Iran. And this is an interesting quote from her....

""Every time I want to practice or make a test drive, the track staff ask me for a letter of permission -- even though I am the captain of the Proton speed team. Men never have this kind of hassle."

BTW Crid when Danica first came on the scene there was an editorial that talked about her ruining her "pretty little face".

As for Ashley...Funny Racing (which I hate),
my understanding is that a woman could never be a good driver because she will lack the upper body strenght.

Posted by: PurplePen at October 5, 2007 10:27 AM

"We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men." Elizabeth Cady Stanton, quoted in " One Woman, One Voice ", Wheeler, page 58.

I'm sure there are many things she said and did that I would disagree with. I'm also sure you understand what I mean -- precisely what I said: That I'm for women having the right to vote and equal pay for truly equal work.

And men's rights activists can be just as ridiculous as the feminists (hatred of all women rather than taking personal responsibility for the bad choices they made in marriage and relationships) and I often take them to task for it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 5, 2007 10:46 AM

Well answered Amy but I'd like to see more women describe themselves as "Amy Alkon feminists."

Posted by: martin at October 5, 2007 12:32 PM

> I'm sure there are many things
> she said and did that I would
> disagree with.

No, Amy, that's not permitted! Everything ECS ever said must now correspond perfectly to every factual condition (no matter how recently noted) and every social sensitivity (no matter how recently honed). Otherwise, your entire system of belief is corrupt, and you should be ashamed.


This is what I was getting at when talking about Paglia the other day. It's how Joe pissed me off so badly a few months ago. It's a deep, branching root in political correctness: The presumption that childish, uninformed minds should be able to swap contexts as easy as Garanimals, because how could Jefferson be a great man if he ever owned slaves?

Posted by: Crid at October 5, 2007 1:08 PM

Apologies if I've been too obscure.

Posted by: Crid at October 5, 2007 1:10 PM

Come to think of it, where is Joe?

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at October 5, 2007 2:37 PM

> Laleh Seddigh makes Danica &
> Ashley look like kiddies.

Actually, Purpster, no.

(Is anyone still reading?)

No sports figure operating in such a constrained arena can claim to have competed with the best in the sport.

Personally, I think sports are over as a measure of human achievement. Does anyone really admire Barry Bonds' record? Does anyone really admire Barry Bonds?

(Marion Jones' indisputably sincere tears of shame, heard on NPR during my commute to work this afternoon, fall many years too late for me to be impressed... I stopped paying attention to the Olympics after'76 and have never regretted it.., Even when Knight's basketball team creamed Ivan in 1980).

The point is this: Pro sports, contested either through blood chemestry or state support, are a bullshit measure of human supremacy. And when dickless, fascist Imams involve themselves in the issue, then we can say the issue is grievously fogged, can't we?

I personally think Danica could kick Seddigh's dusky ass back across ten times zones, and could do it in a Tercel. But we'll never know, will we?

Why would you ask me to doubt it? Patrick has competed against the best. If she ever does take the Big Flag, there will be no quibbling about her excellence.

Posted by: Crid at October 6, 2007 1:24 AM

If there is to be but one gender surviving, I would bet on men any day of the week. If babies can be made without real fathers, why can't they be made without real mothers? Either way, it's an idiotic, anti-intellectual, and immoral idea, just like hate-mongering radical feminism itself.

Posted by: Judge Rufus Peckham at October 8, 2007 6:19 PM

Personally, I think we should get to the point where we can grow babies in Mason jars.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 8, 2007 8:30 PM

You are the advice goddess, but that is an absolutely crazy, wackjob, insane, fascist, bloodless, cold-hearted thing to say. Most* everything that's wrong with liberalism comes from the presumption that souls, especially those of children, can be extracted from the bloody pulp in which we find them for convenient mechanized processing (in the computer science world as "batch", a data processing paradigm impatient with special cases, which is what every person who ever lived turns out to be.)

Seriously. Amy.

* The right to fault left-itude for it's many other sins at a later date is reserved.

Posted by: Crid at October 8, 2007 9:42 PM

Crid, kidding! (Sort of.) If physical pregnancy can be avoided, why not? (We already have fertilizations that start out in Petri dishes.)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 8, 2007 9:57 PM

See this

(Spamfiltering avoidance mode)

Posted by: Crid at October 9, 2007 2:03 AM

And this

(Spamfiltering avoidance mode)

Posted by: Crid at October 9, 2007 2:05 AM

And this:

...Which happened to be on NPR's Talk of the Nation last night just before I read your comment. I know you were being casually flip, but the problem is that people are already pretending that children are witless test-tube quantities with neither blood in their veins nor souls in their hearts.

Last night I was chopping veggies in the kitchen and literally weeping to the sound of the three doctors on the radio patiently (oh-so-patiently!) explaining to the NPR phone-in audience that bad things happen when kids are raised without fathers, and extraordinary efforts are required if the kids are to come out of that without warped personalities.

There's a reason that sane Americans need to be told this. People grow up to live in an economic universe, and spend their adult days making twitchy little adjustments to everything they do in order to maximize utility. The needs of young children are fixed, and not calibrated to the happenstance of their environment. And in adulthood, those needs sit in the deepest mist of memory, whether they were answered or not.

But kids aren't just needy; they're defenseless. And so when you tell them they just aren't going to get the support they might naturally require --a mother, say, or a father, or the continuing presence of that man or woman who was kinda shouty but still present for the first X months of life-- the kids start coming off the rails.

And they're screwed, because there are whole industries of publishing and counseling that tell parents that divorce is the better way to go. The parents have the money, and will pay to bathe themselves (and if necessary, their kids) in soothing (if irrational) rhetoric about the horror underway.

Remember that Saint Louis woman yesterday? If you read enough of those Google-archived Myspace pages, you see that in recent times she was going through a divorce with a young child. All that Goddess Mother horseshit was tranquilizer for a troubled life. Her child appears to be a boy, about seven. I'd hate to see what's going on in his brain during the average Tuesday in grade school.

The Stolen Generation and gay marriage are actually only wretched branches of this... In our generations, divorce is the ugly trunk.

Last night I was discussing this with a friend who'd not discussed it before, and it was appalling how fast the "divorce is better!" chatter started coming out of her mouth. The idea that you could ever ask people to simply marry more thoughtfully to begin with, or hold them accountable when they don't, had never crossed her mind.

I hate that.

Posted by: Crid at October 9, 2007 2:36 AM

And not only that, and I know this is the fourth in a row, abortion is symptomatic of this same insanity. Modern men and women are very pleased with their wisdom about the natural world, but have no real idea about what happens after the trigger is squeezed, and will do everything necessary to maintain that ignorance.

Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week. Tip your waitress and please, drive safely.

Posted by: Crid at October 9, 2007 2:39 AM

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