I mean, thinking more on this (and naturally past the Edit window)… what you are saying is literally like getting a biopsy of a suspicious growth and then blaming the doctor who gives you the news that it’s malignant for giving you cancer.
The doctor did not give you cancer, the cancer was already there. The doctor just put a name to it, so now you can undergo treatment.
Activists did not cause these imbalances, these societal cancers; they were already here. They just put names to them.
You say people are entitled to their opinions, but is not protesting a group merely exercising your own opinion/freedom of speech?
And in the very next line, you acknowledge that some opinions “are bad.” As in, peoples’ opinions can be wrong. When the Creatonist guy debated Bill Nye, it was his belief that the universe was created despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary; his opinion was wrong.
" it is impossible for people to be sexist or racist against white men. This perpetuating the differences between us and creating separate classes of people."
No, it is identifying that separate classes of people and imbalanced power structures already exist in our society. It is not creating problems, it is naming the problems that already exist with the end goal of ultimately correcting them.
“If you are truly an egalitarian you would believe that all people, no matter sex or skin colour deserve to be treated with respect and equality. "
I’m not an ‘egalitarian.’ Frankly, I think ‘egalitarianism’ is a naive movement for privileged folks who want kudos for believing in equality without doing the hard work to examine their own privileges and the ways in which they contribute to different layers of oppression.
Equality for all genders, races, sexualities, etc IS the end goal, yes. But it is the goal, not the process.
If you have $1,000,000 and I am flat broke, and we each are given a dollar a day, at what point will I be equal to you? Never, of course. You cannot address systematic inequality by turning a blind eye to it and pretending it does not exist.
Men are already treated differently because maleness is held above all else in our society. That’s like saying you shouldn’t go get a suspicious-looking mole on your skin checked out, because calling it melanoma just might make things worse.
Serious question: If a white supremacist group came to speak at a campus, would you fault students for protesting it?
Serious question #2: In my hypothetical scenario, you would weight my opinion as heavily as you would that of the physics professor?
I also note that you have not actually responded to any one of my points, nor have you cogently argued any reason why I am “part of the problem” other than pointing to individual assholes.
“But most men alive today haven’t been around long enough to have any impact on that control.”
Uh, for one, that isn’t just a “it used to be like this, now it’s like this” scenario. Men, living today, are STILL the ones largely in charge of everything. We control culture (look at who produces fiction), we control politics (look at the makeup of our elected officials), we control business (etc etc). So yes, we have impact on it.
And even if we didn’t, we still benefit from it! Even the gentlest, most anti-racist/sexist white man still benefits from a society that holds whiteness and maleness above all else.
“With people like you continuously and perpetually shoving history in the faces of all men you just reinforce it again and again.”
This literally makes no logical sense. I can’t even get at what you’re trying to argue. By asking us to examine and question how we still continually today benefit from the actions of those who came before us and set up an imbalanced society, we’re… reinforcing it? Que?
Are you not familiar with the adage about those who are unfamiliar with history?
“Discussion needs to happen without pointing fingers and saying YOU HAVE PRIVILEGE therefore your opinion doesn’t matter.”
If you were listening to an argument between me (a layman) and a physics professor on the behavior of quantum particles, and I relied on the dictionary definition for quantum mechanics whereas the professor had a more innate understanding of it, surely you would weight my opinion less than that of the professor’s, right?
That’s all this is. If you have never experienced oppression, your opinion holds less weight than that of someone who has. They have experienced it for themselves, and you and I have not.
Why do you think your opinion should count for more than theirs?
Lol, that’s the worst you can come up with? Sure, in every movement there are going to be extremists and bad eggs. At least the extremists in my movement don’t murder 14 people.
“Also, why is it mens fault that we are “socialized to be STRONG AND BRAVE AND MANLY” and not womens fault when they are socialized to be feminine."
I don’t believe I mentioned anything about womens’ gender roles, I was specifically talking about men. Both are the fault of a restrictive patriarchal society.
“It’s always men, every corner you turn the fault lies with men for people like you. You perpetuate the gender roles and sexism more than any MRA.”
It’s always men because men have been largely in control for recorded history. We’re the ones who wrote the laws, who set social norms, who controlled access to education, etc.
MRAs love to blame feminists for their issues but fail to realize that feminism is a relatively modern movement (150 years old TOPS at least in Western society) whereas “mens’ issues” have been problems much longer than that. I wonder who could be to blame?
Well, we focus on women because at the moment they are more disadvantaged by a patriarchal and misogynist society. But people of ALL genders would benefit from said patriarchal society going down the tubes.
“Are you serious? There are many many examples of men being sexually harassed and raped.”
The main thrust of my argument there was street harassment. It is absolutely true that men can be victims of sexual harassment and rape (though statistically, the vast majority of these perpetrators are… other men.) But when you and I walk down a street in a city, we are very unlikely to have people shouting things at us for our gender. No “HEY SHOW US YOUR DICK” catcalls. Whereas things are very different for women.
“Are you SERIOUS?! There are many examples of mens rights groups being completely destroyed because feminists don’t like the idea of men getting together and talking about mens issues.”
Many examples? Oh, please. Provide some. If noxious blatantly misogynist “MRA” groups like Spearhead and AVFM are still around, your campus MRA group is safe.
There is absolutely room for discussion of genuine mens’ issues. Sites like Good Men Project do a very good job of this. And surprise surprise, feminists largely leave them be (except for when they like, hire Hugo Schwyzer).
But that brings me to my next point…
“What about all the statistics of Men dying more in the workplace or more men being homeless? Oh wait, let me guess, it’s the patriarchy and it’s all the fault of men…”
Yeah, actually. Welcome to the many ways in which patriarchal gender roles hurt men. Men die more in the workplace because men are socialized to be STRONG AND BRAVE AND MANLY and provide for their meek little wives at home, so we are conditioned to take on riskier work (and to not complain about safety standards lest we be considered ‘unmanly’ or risk losing our jobs).
More men are homeless than women because men tend to not have strong social networks as women do, and are less likely to ask for help because we are told that REAL MEN DO IT ON THEIR OWN. This is very similar to how, after a divorce, men are more likely to become depressed/suicidal; women have strong emotional support groups with whom they can be vulnerable about their emotions, but for many men, the only person they can be vulnerable with is… their now-former partner. Boys don’t cry, boys don’t talk to their guy friends about how they feel weak or emasculated, etc etc.
So yes, there are legit problems facing men in this society. MRAs just hilariously miss the causes and solutions.
Still wouldn’t be oppressed.
Well… sort of?
The sociological equation goes “*ism = power + prejudice”. As in, any individual white person or any individual black person (or whoever) can hold personal prejudices, but without institutional power they lack means to oppress.
If taken in a complete cultural vacuum, then yes, there should be no difference between a black person personally disliking white people for being white, and a white person personally disliking black people for being black. But because white people hold institutional power, that gives them power to oppress – to support things like Voter ID laws or “Stand Your Ground” laws that disproportionally effect non-whites.
When we talk about “racism” or “sexism” we are discussing institutionalized oppression, not something as base as “hatred.”
There’s nothing to disagree over? Do you disagree with the Earth being round or revolving around the Sun?
White people cannot face racial oppression in this society. Men cannot face gender oppression. Straight people cannot face oppression on basis of sexuality. These are not opinions, these are factual statements.
This is not to say that a white people might not meet a person of color who dislikes them because they are white. That is prejudice, a personal thing. But that same POC has no power to contribute to institutional oppression of white people.
We white men can try and understand by listening to people from marginalized groups, and we can even comprehend it intellectually, but we will never really have the experience of, say, being street sexually harassed or casually facing racial epithets.
A lot of this is actually nurture, though.
For instance, London cabbies’ brains physically change as they acquire The Knowledge, i.e an encyclopedic understanding of the city’s streets and how to get around. Like, this is demonstrable, their brains literally physically form new pathways, etc to handle this new critical information.
How are we then, so sure, that raising a boy to ‘be a man’ and raising a girl to ‘be a woman’ don’t have similar effects?
Saying “straight white men cannot personally understand what it is like to be marginalized/oppressed on behalf of their gender, sexuality or race” is… uh, pretty factual.
Perhaps a better phrasing of her point is “You can’t help it if you were born with privilege; it is your responsibility to not abuse it.”
A straight cis black man has male, cisgender and heterosexual privilege, but lacks white privilege. In matters of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, he needs to be careful not to abuse his privilege. A gay white woman has cisgender and white privilege, but lacks straight privilege or male privilege. She needs to be careful not to abuse her privilege in matters of race.
White men have the vast majority of privileges in modern Western society (there are other important ones like abled/heterosexual/cisgender that she doesn’t specify, and class/wealth privilege is HUGE in the West today, but white and male privilege are arguably the two biggest), and ergo have the responsibility to not abuse and misuse their privileges in matters of oppression and discrimination.
Having privilege doesn’t automatically mean your life is free from hardship. It does, however, mean that on those axes of privilege, you will not experience marginalization or oppression.