I was watching a hangout a while back where some friends of mine were asked if feminists have ever had a march, rally, or conference for men. It was an on the spot question, and pretty much was meant to leave the feminists either floundering to try to find an answer, or to be a “GOTCHA!” moment. Questions like this need research, and it is surprisingly difficult to find answers to these sorts of things due to the amount of venom and anger being spewed all over the place by non-feminists and anti-feminists. But there are other problems with questions like this.
Questions like this also exist in the religion debates, where Creationists (mostly) or hard core religious people will throw questions out there as a way to go, “SEE! You didn’t know the answer to THIS question so therefore everything you say is wrong and I’m right!” (See people like Matt Slick, Kent Hovind, Ray Comfort, and so forth).
But let’s get back to the question posed by the anti-feminists. My big issue with questions like the one they asked is that not only is it a gotcha! question, but it also removes responsibility from anti-feminists for dealing with men’s issues. Think about it for a second. They are expecting feminists to not only be working constantly for women around the world (But what about 3rd world women?!) but now they are also demanding proof that feminists are doing stuff for men as well. Yes, there are male feminists, and yes there are a lot of things feminists are doing for men, but if it’s not a rally, or a march, or a conference, apparently it’s not good enough.
We’ve all seen the “conferences” put on by people like AVFM and whatnot. They are pretty much nothing more than “blame feminism for everything”. There is very little advocacy on the part of non-feminists for the most part, and yet they are expecting feminists to step up and do double duty. When many of the bigger anti-feminist groups out there admit that they aren’t planning on actually doing anything for men, but instead are just there to attack feminists, then it winds up falling on feminists and those who don’t identify with either side (non-feminists) to pick up the slack. These anti-feminists are demanding that feminists show proof that we’re not evil on a constant basis, and then turn around and provide the fuel to make us look evil by creating straw-feminists or finding the loudest voices on the fringe and claiming those people speak for all feminists.
When you’re fighting not only to help people, but also having to constantly prove you’re not evil, that you’re not a horrible person, and having to constantly show people that you ARE working tirelessly to help all sexes and genders, it becomes overwhelming. Things begin to slip through the cracks, people who could have been helped if feminists weren’t having to fight a constant battle on all sides wind up not getting helped.
If feminists focus on something going on in a 1st world country, such as the stripping away of abortion rights, they are vilified for not fighting for rights in 3rd world countries.
If feminists focus on fighting for rights of people in 3rd world countries, they are vilified for trying to push western culture on societies and that they are not taking into account that country’s culture and systems.
If feminists focus on fighting for rights of people in 3rd world countries, they are then vilified for not focusing on the problems of their own countries.
If feminists focus on helping men, they are told they are not wanted and that they are trying to take over something that some other group started.
Basically, feminists can’t win for losing.
I personally would like to see what is being done by anti-feminists on the issues. I would like to see them actually do something, like a march or a campaign that is about raising awareness for issues affecting men WITHOUT them blaming feminism for the problems.
On top of all of that, why are we (feminists) being required to basically know EVERYTHING that goes on in feminism, while these guys can’t even be arsed to lift a finger to google this shit for themselves? To put it in context of religion (yeah I know, bad context, bear with me here), that would be like expecting the tiny church out in the middle of nowhere to know everything going on about every other church in the world and be able to draw upon that at a moment’s notice.
Feminism is HUGE and demanding (“asking”) a feminist on the spot to name certain things is bullshit. It is a massive double standard and it gets old REALLY fucking fast in my book. They want to find out that shit, they can google it like the rest of us. They want to know the answer to that question? They can go and dig through pages upon pages of hatred and misogyny being spewed against feminism to find the information, just like the rest of us plebes. (Seriously, when I have to do a google search and spend more time adding exclusions just so I can find relevant information to my search than my actual search, I get cranky).
If they actually want to know if feminists have put on marches, rallies, or conferences for men, they can look that shit up on their own. I don’t even let my own kids be that lazy, what makes them think I’ll let some guy on the internet be lazy? It’s like working on a group project and being expected to do all the work while the others sit back and get credit for it.
Or, as I so politely said to the last person I worked with in a group during college who expected me to do the work for him…. “DO YOUR FUCKING OWN WORK YOU PIECE OF SHIT LAZY ASS CRAP BASKET!”
I got tired of that double standard back when I was doing my religion videos. I got tired of people demanding that I not only provide them with evidence, but that I pretty much read all of the evidence and then sum it up nicely for the person so that they don’t have to do any of the work. If I provided a list of links for a person to backup my claims, or provided a list of sources, they were thrown out the window because the person didn’t want to take the time to read it all. They wanted me to not only provide the sources, but they wanted me to explain it for them.
I did that…ONCE.
You know what my result was when I did that? The person threw EVERYTHING out that didn’t already match their paradigm and told me my point of view was shit. From that point on, I started really looking at the people who were asking or demanding for proof of stuff. Were these people genuinely asking for help to understand? Or were these people like the assholes I dealt with constantly in college and now here on the internet who want everything spoon fed to them and still want to make a mess everywhere. The image that comes to mind when people do that to me is of an infant being spoon fed and then blowing raspberries and flinging the food everywhere.
If you genuinely are interested in knowing something, do the research like the rest of us.
If you genuinely want to know an answer on something from a person you are talking to, don’t throw it on them in the heat of the moment when you know that it is something that will take time to research or look up.
Basically, stop being a fucking asshole and do some of the work yourself!
And on top of all of that, if you DO get answers back, don’t fucking shift the goal posts or ignore the evidence. For example…
A while back Sargon of Akkad sent a tweet to Kristi Winters asking if prostate cancer was a feminist issue.
Several feminists responded, including myself, saying that yes it was an issue. I pointed out that there are male feminists as well as transgender feminists who are affected by prostate cancer.
Then it turned to “Is any activism being done by feminist groups?”
I said yes and pointed to several groups, including transgender groups, that were attempting to raise awareness towards prostate cancer. I also pointed out that there have been problems with pushback from groups when feminists try to take part in things, such as Movember and other forms of activism.
Then it became, “Are there any well known groups or corporations that are doing activism for prostate cancer that are feminist?”
I presented Planned Parenthood, an organization that he himself has called a feminist organization, and who are known for working towards raising awareness for many issues affecting men.
He later claimed victory in a video that there weren’t any, and ignored everything I said. Instead he found some of the more out there answers and showcased those instead of people who actually provided him with sources and answers that went against what he wanted. If it didn’t fit the model he had made, it was thrown out.
Either you want to actually get an answer and learn, or you just want to be an asshole like Matt Slick and make someone look bad for not being omniscient on a subject. Unless you have some sort of problem physically to where you can’t do research yourself, or you have some sort of barrier preventing you from doing the research (If you’re online making videos I fucking call bullshit on that), then you can do the research your fucking self like the rest of us. You don’t get to sit there with your little crown of self righteousness and demand others do the work for you.