What about discrimination against men?

Everyday Sexism
Image by Amayita via Flickr

In my recent encounter with sexism, one argument was often put forth by the males of Reddit. It went something like this:

If it is discrimination to setup male-only poker tournaments, then it follows that it must be discrimination to setup female-only poker tournaments. Therefore the guy did nothing wrong to use anti-discriminatory laws in order to take part. And if you would root for a female taking part into a male-only tournament and winning, so we are justified in rooting for a the guy in this case.

This is actually an argument that makes sense, unlike the rest of the misogynistic strawmen, and thus deserves a more detailed counter.

The short answer is no, it’s not discrimination when women do it. You’re not justified in rooting for a male crashing the women’s tournament. No, this is not a double standard. Why? Because of privilege and existing domination.

You see, we do not live in a gender equal society and many many sports and hobbies are male-dominated without particular logical reason (ie unlike some physical sports where the male physical build gives a distinct advantage) but rather as a historical continuity. This changes the environment and thus the ethical considerations we have, with which to decide if the label of discrimination can be assigned. You see we cannot judge as if the environment was already equal and so act as if we’re simply trying to maintain this equality. The environment is not equal and men are the privileged party in this case.

How are they privileged? In this particular case by dominating all such events (ex: poker tournaments). Why is this privilege? Because of a few things. First, a man playing in such an event, is not automatically assumed to represent the whole of his gender. If he wins or loses, he’s a good or bad player respectively, while women are treated as if they represent every other woman. Second, they don’t get to feel like an external no matter the event. There will always be a majority of males which act and speak in manners comfortable to other males. This by default makes it an uncomfortable environment for women, instantly putting them on their guard and accentuating their alienation. Finally, and this follows partly from the previous point, there will be a natural hostility of males, who now have to conform more with mixed-gender social standards, and thus will feel bitter that they cannot be as relaxed as they were. I believe it will manifest as a subconscious attempt to turn attending women off the sport.

So these are all effects that any woman entering a male-dominated hobby will face, something I’ve seen personally from my RPG/Tabletop gaming groups to the IT sector where I work. Even when there are people who wish to have more girls involved, their eagerness can inflame the problem rather than help (think of the awkward sweaty gaming geek trying to be nice to a shy girl joining the group, while leering at her boobs half the time.)

So all of these constitute the privileged position of males in a sector and thus an inequality that will remain until sexism is abolished. In this situation, someone who strives for equality, cannot simply act as if equality already exists. This is simply living in a dreamland and giving your silent consent to sexism at best, or actually acting like an unwitting apologist to misogyny at worst. Rather, someone who strives for equality roots for the weakest party until such time as equality has been achieved.

And this is the ethical aspect that determines that a women-only event in a male-dominated hobby is not discrimination.

You see women do not host such events in order to avoid losing to their “natural superiors” as sexists like to imply, they do it as a reaction to the fact that it’s impossible to avoid the male privilege in all such events. It’s impossible to avoid the subconscious hostility, patronization or over-eagerness that exists in male-dominated events and thus a specific event needs to be organized for fans of the hobby in question in order to play in a more relaxed environment. To call this setup discrimination is wilful ignorance which serves as an excuse for asshole-ish acts against it.

So to put it plainly, when there is a male-dominated hobby or job, any attempt to restrict entrance to females can rightly be called discrimination as the reasoning behind it is simply to maintain “purity.” On the other hand, when in the same male-dominated hobby or job, an attempt by the few females that exist to organize a female-only event cannot by any strain of imagination be seen as an attempt to restrict males, since they already dominate. Rather it is an event of solidarity which serves to avoid the very real effects of the male domination.

The same reasoning just as well applies to other marginal groups in different settings. Blacks setting up black-only events in a society dominated by whites and crypto-racist sentiments is also an understandable reaction. And not only that but when the roles have been reversed, when say you have a women-dominated hobby/job, in that case any attempt to restrict entrance to men can rightly be seen as discrimination against males.

In closing, things are not simply black and white on the issue of discrimination. It is the whole of the environment around any such act which provides the ethical considerations we need to in order to decide on the issue. Those ignoring them and simply looking at one such decision in isolation in order to jump on the high horse are simply using intellectual dishonesty in order to hide their sexism.

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  • Aerik

    Thanks for being one of the few people I’ve ever known who describes part of their worldview as libertarian while simultaneously not being a sexist douchebag.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      That's because I'm a Libertarian Socialist ;)

  • mikespeir

    How are we going to know when sexism is abolished?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      It can only be truly abolished when equality has been achieved and the whole environment is counter-productive to Patriarchy. This is why I say that simply feminism is not enough.

  • mikespeir

    "It can only be truly abolished when equality has been achieved and the whole environment is counter-productive to Patriarchy."

    Okay; and how do we tell when that's happened?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      We're in anarchy

    • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Firstly, We'll be in anarchy

      • mikespeir

        I guess what I'm trying to get from you is, Who decides when we can end this reverse discrimination and what are the specific telltale signs that he/she should go by to make the decision? It can't be something vague like "when equity has been achieved" or something. There has to be a bright line drawn, a definable threshold. Otherwise, this will become as open-ended as Second Coming prophecies.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

          This is why I'm replying the way I am. I do not consider that we can end discrimination in the current society and have some obvious way to see it.Very much like poverty, to tackle it, we must act outside the box and break down the things that cause it.

  • Demosthenes XXI

    Your explanation doesn’t work within the doctrine of fairness, DB0. Basically you are saying that because men have always discriminated against women, women are incapable of discrimination against men; their actions are only reactions to the aforementioned discrimination against them.

    That’s just like saying that African Americans cannot discriminate against Whites because they have been the victims of discrimination by whites…oh, wait. You did say that.

    In the doctrine of equality and fairness, discrimination by any party is still discrimination. That is just like the issue regarding the “women only hotel floors” and “women only lounges” that have recently made the news. There is no logical defense for those things. The rationale I have read includes “these would be places where women can feel safe and comfortable away from males who would bother them.”

    It’s funny; the men who were defending the men and whites only businesses/clubs were using those exact same arguments to justify the reasoning that they excluded women and African Americans from their establishments. Just because the roles have been reversed does not mean that the formerly discriminated-against party gains the “right” to act in a discriminatory manner against their former oppressors.

    It either has to be equal for all or equal for none; any other reasoning that diverges from this is only going to skew the balance for one group or the other and there will still be an inequality.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Basically you are saying that because men have always discriminated against women, women are incapable of discrimination against men;

      No I'm not. I've already gave an example which would be considered discrimination against males. What in fact I am saying is that in situations of inequality, giving more leeway the the weaker party is a way to proceed towards equality. As such, my argument is to be taken on a case by case scenario, not a general "women can't discriminate against men."

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Zedge Zedge

    Moma' always said; you kin pack all yer wrongs in a suite case butcha' ain't gonna find anthing right in there when ya open 'er back up agin!

  • http://urbandissent.wordpress.com/ Royce Christian

    "Even when there are people who wish to have more girls involved, their eagerness can inflame the problem rather than help (think of the awkward sweaty gaming geek trying to be nice to a shy girl joining the group, while leering at her boobs half the time.)"

    I like the article, and I agree. And I know I'm being a bit pedantic, but the only thing I disagree on was the example given above. The sweaty gaming geeks are themselves socially awkward at best at entirely socially inept at worst, as a result of being left out, ill-treated, belittled, beat up and ostracised by everyone because they are thought of as inferior for whatever reason. It's more a psychological issue regarding conditioning as consequence of their circumstances. When you have never associated with a women as a person inside a wider social context, you don't learn to respect them because you can't. Instead, to them, women can only appear as a sexual object. Though I don't want to excuse them of responsibility, it's just that, for many, their behaviour is a result of their own experience with a different inequality and contrasts to the usual variety of sexism.

    A more apt example would be the gym — even though it's not necessarily a sport. Many men would say, outright, that they would love to see more women at their local gym, and yet, when one decides to give it a try, they greet her by treating her as nothing but a sexual object. I've had female friends that couldn't understand it. At first they thought the men were just being hostile to a girl at their gym, and they couldn't understand why. It was then explained to them that the guys weren't being hostile, but that they were staring at them like they were meat. Once they understand this, many prefer to go to a female-only gym where they feel safe, accepted and comfortable.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      And I know I'm being a bit pedantic, but the only thing I disagree on was the example given above. The sweaty gaming geeks are themselves socially awkward at best at entirely socially inept at worst, as a result of being left out, ill-treated, belittled, beat up and ostracised by everyone because they are thought of as inferior for whatever reason.

      Having been in this position myself, I can claim that it's a bit more complex than that. While social ill-treatment plays a role, it's not as important as you would think. That might be what actually caused them to become geeks, and therefore end up in a male-dominated environment, but it's the later which creates their awkward social skills. The fact that one has withdrawn from a mixed-gender environment (because of various possible reasons) and spends most of their time in a male-dominated one is, imho, what creates this reaction when women are invited.

      So I don't think we're saying anything terribly different. Perhaps you assumed that I was claiming that geeks were sexist which is not what I was saying at all (of course, some are) but rather what the effects of being in a male-dominated environment are to male psychology and how that may manifest.

      • http://urbandissent.wordpress.com/ Royce Christian

        I totally understand. When I was much younger, I want through something similar. I guess my criticism wasn't so much a criticism your overall argument but your choose of that particular analogy and its rhetorical impact, as it gives critics the chance to poke holes in your overall message, particularly as it is an empiricle observation. But like I said. Being pedantic. ;)

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  • asfa

    I disagree with everything. This article was complete bullshit. You're confusing equal numbers with equal opportunity. If you host
    female only tournaments that is discrimination. Eliminating sexism isn't as hard as people think. Hold tournaments that allow both male
    and female players. By doing so you have eliminated discrimination.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Way to miss the whole point.

      • egalitarian

        yes. the point being that by dbO's reasoning, one must surely conclude that women are inherently weaker (both mentally and physically), and utterly incapable of standing their own against any man of, or in, any capacity whatsoever, without exception…

        women, then, are objects crafted solely for exploitation by men, the subjects… and so any wrong perpetrated on a man is justifiable because he has, will, or would (given the chance) do the same or worse to a woman.

        after all, given any other reasoning, one could easily, rationally, and justly conclude that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and that there is no fair way to compensate a person for their shortcomings… nor even is there need, given that said person's strengths are undoubtedly another's deficiencies.

        you are impressive, if only in your ineptitude. in the same sentiment, you deftly attribute the worst to mankind, and yet still manage to give the back of your hand to all womankind in passing. truly astounding.

        the more i read, the more i'm convinced that you really don't hate men.

        you hate everyone.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

          Get lost troll.

          • PickRerry

            Nice reply to a fully legitimate response

          • http://sitakali.org sitakali

            It is not legitimate, as it it is one big strawman. It's best to read the post before making a comment.

        • lalalaika

          It is so horribly obvious from this comment that you simply do not understand the way society works with regards to sexism, racism, any -ism. Speaking here as a woman with a background in this area, yes, we can hold our own against men. Women aren't inherently lesser or inferior, especially not with something as silly as a poker tournament. We can hold our own against men, BUT society as a whole is completely stacked against us when we try. The culture is stacked against us. That's the problem, and the reason for women's only events. Pay attention to those parts in this essay about patronizing behavior from men, hostility, basically knowing we aren't wanted there and facing discrimination and sexist behavior because of it. You're probably a white man with no idea what it's like, but believe me when I say no one wants to deal with that, for any reason. When we try in traditionally male-dominated places like this, we face backlash that is uncomfortable and embarrassing at least, and physically and emotionally harmful at worst.

          Just think about everything in the larger context of American society, which is a society stacked in favor of white heterosexual men, and stacked against minorities and women. And quit concern trolling.

  • Pavitra

    To clarify: As I understand your argument, it would be acceptable for a man to use anti-discrimination law against an employer who refused on account of his sex to hire him as (say) a hairdresser, because hairdressing is a traditionally female-dominated activity. Is this correct?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Yes.

      • egalitarian

        a fair-minded answer on its face. but the real question isn't "is it acceptable."

        the real question is, would you support it, endorse it, nay, *push for it*, blog about how unjust it was, stand in a crowd of your own incitation outside the parlor carrying a sign of protest chanting the name of the activist inside… or would you laugh behind your closed door, staring at the frivolity on your big screen, cracking jokes pertaining to long-over-due comeuppances, perhaps even questioning the masculinity of a man who fancies himself a hair-stylist?

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

          Well, I certainly figure out how you would act now. But I don't know why you think your projections are making your case.

  • Mason Macleod

    By the way, you better hope you don't get what you wish for. Equal rights for women don't often fare to well in war zones, which is what true anarchy would lead to. The only hope gender equality has is if both genders are nurtured and allowed to prosper. If you hate us, it would be self destructive to love you. I can only assume you hate men if you don't want us to succeed at anything. Why wouldn't someone of either gender be resentful of being considered irrelevant.

  • Mason Macleod

    By the way, you better hope you don't get what you wish for. Equal rights for women don't often fare to well in war zones, which is what true anarchy would lead to. The only hope gender equality has is if both genders are nurtured and allowed to prosper. If you hate us, it would be self destructive to love you. I can only assume you hate men if you don't want us to succeed at anything. Why wouldn't someone of either gender be resentful of being considered irrelevant.

  • Mason Macleod

    First of all, you are dead wrong. Any discrimination based on gender is wrong. period. If you expect men to embrace a gender neutral society, which I believe most men born after 1969 want to, you cannot allow fairness to take second place to a political agenda. This means we must have equal rights and responsibilities under the law. Period. In my humble opinion, any philosophical opinion which changes when the gender is reversed is wrong. That is the basis of equality. The other false assumption you are making is that when anything bad happens to a woman or child, somehow there is always a man to blame. The majority of child homicides, for example are committed by the mother. That does not mean that all women are child murderers, so it is faulty logic to use similar logic to paint all men with the same brush in any situation. A society in which any form of male success is not allowed to be viewed positively is a matriarchy. The whole patriarchy thing is a myth anyway. Women control the vote (51%), they control the majority of dollars spent, they have representation in high office, they have far more attention in health care dollars spent, a longer life span, far more women only programs paid for by tax dollars, far better outcomes in divorce and custody, I could go on and on, but I won't. You can't abolish injustice with injustice, institute freedom by means of slavery, or expect someone to accept status as a second class citizen to "right a wrong". Equality has a simple meaning. All the feminist rhetoric in the world can't change it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      It's like you ignored all the points I made in the article on why this is not discrimination…

      • Egalitarian

        it's like you ignored the sum of evidence presented by a reality which defines your attitude as discriminatory.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

          Once you say something other than rhetoric, we can talk.

          • egalitarian

            when you present a well-reasoned argument, we can debate.

            any discrimination is wrong? i disagree. heuristics are a crucial survival mechanism. without them, you would certainly go skipping headlong off a cliff, having witnessed a bird do the same moments prior.

            we should be treated equally? i disagree. i have worked hard and toiled long for an education. many have worked longer, toiled harder. the fool asleep in the corner of the class no more deserves to be given a house than he deserves what his poor choices have already afforded him. should society deign to provide him what he failed to labor for, he may count his lucky stars.

            perhaps his parents were lazy. maybe they were neglectful. maybe he has a personality disorder and just can't stand to be around women. we mustn't endeavor to account for, need not excuse, and most certainly can not negate, all unhappy circumstances imposed by life. any attempt to do so inevitably results in a backlash – why consider unfortunate circumstances at all?

            she had a bad upbringing, a bad go of luck… that doesn't mean we should ignore circumstances, but it does mean that institutionalized bigotry is ill-founded from the start. one girl is born rich, and "unfortunately" is also black. another hails from poverty, and – blessed be – she's white. let's do what we can for the former – cuz the latter has had a veritable plethora of advantaged ancestors, regardless of her current sad circumstances. and if 'ol whiteress can't make do, then she can just go on living with her drug-addled step-mom for the rest of her life (who just happens to be chinese/mexican/martian/who-cares-cuz-she's-white). yay affirmative action!

            as the man above said, "any discrimination based on gender is wrong." at least he understands that institutionalized discrimination is unjust, prima facie. you seem to argue for it, predicated on an argument against it? irrational much?

            yes. some degree of stereotyping is necessary. please tell me that when you have a hefty load to carry, you don't avail yourself of the nearest lumbering ox to complete the task at your behest, with a suggestive wink and flirtatious countenance as his only possible recompense . i always enjoy a good tale. relate to me how you push your own car to a gas station when the occasion arises, or wait patiently for a conspicuously large female's assistance to help you move your sofa, dresser, and plasma tv.

            now i ask you, is that sexist? (i won't bother to anticipate any forthcoming rejoinder to my assumption.) are you somehow entitled to his labors? does it matter that the urge that compels his compliance is institutionalized? that you are complicit in his subjugation? do you even care?

            better question (cuz i'm actually afraid to hear your answer). is it really wrong? ask yourself. i already know the answer, so this one's for you. are you a sexist "sow?"

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

            any discrimination is wrong? i disagree. heuristics are a crucial survival mechanism

            That has…nothing to do with discrimination?

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

            we should be treated equally? i disagree. i have worked hard and toiled long for an education. many have worked longer, toiled harder. the fool asleep in the corner of the class no more deserves to be given a house than he deserves what his poor choices have already afforded him

            yeah, keep deluding yourself that the poor are only poor because they're lazy or incompetent.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

            as the man above said, "any discrimination based on gender is wrong." at least he understands that institutionalized discrimination is unjust, prima facie. you seem to argue for it, predicated on an argument against it? irrational much?

            I won't bother with the rest of the nonsense above this point which basically argues that we should engage in some good old social darwinism and let luck sort the "good" from the "bad". I will continue from this point and explain, once again, that my argument is that this is not discrimination.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

            now i ask you, is that sexist? (i won't bother to anticipate any forthcoming rejoinder to my assumption.) are you somehow entitled to his labors? does it matter that the urge that compels his compliance is institutionalized? that you are complicit in his subjugation? do you even care?

            What? Am I sexist to the sofa? You're not making any sense at all.

            better question (cuz i'm actually afraid to hear your answer). is it really wrong? ask yourself. i already know the answer, so this one's for you. are you a sexist "sow?"

            Ok, that settles it. you're a nutter. Go away.

  • Mason Macleod

    By the way, you better hope you don't get what you wish for. Equal rights for women don't often fare too well in war zones, which is what true anarchy would lead to. The only hope gender equality has is if both genders are nurtured and allowed to prosper. If you hate us, it would be self destructive to love you. I can only assume you hate men if you don't want us to succeed at anything. Why wouldn't someone of either gender be resentful of being considered irrelevant, or objectified. Men are often objectified as sperm donors (not honoured as fathers) or financial resources, but we just deal with it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      It's funny that you think the only for someone to be expressing the opinion that I do is when I "hate men", which is simply your misogyny showing. You just can't imagine someone, especially another man, expressing this opinion without being driven by "hatred", i.e. irrationality.

      Bonus points for misunderstanding Anarchism.

      • egalitarian

        i hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your misandry is most assuredly pungent enough to bury outright any alleged stink of misogyny.

        bonus points for failing to understand the fella's argument. perhaps it is you that requires a review of the terminology in question? anarchy would lead to a state, by definition, of lawlessness and disorder, wherein each and every person (or family where applicable) is forced onto the front lines of battle, so to speak. that is because the front lines would be demarcated only by the line of site between your best weapon's maximum range and the next person who wanted anything of which you were in possession (including your body, depending of course on your gender and said person's preference).

        which is to say, +one for the gentleman, and + one more fail for you.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

          Don't worry, you get the bonus points as well.

  • Mason Macleod

    Sorry about the multiple post. Unintentional

  • John

    I am experiencing a sexual descrimination which is what lead me to this post. I am a father who has taken an active role in my childrens school. I won election to the school board in an attempt to understand and help improve my childrens learning environment and education. I found a very unprofessional school board who constantly oversteps their mandate and responsibility to support the Superintendent. Upon further exposure I have found that the all female teaching staff as well as the all female non-teaching staff have found a way to bypass the male superintendents by (there have been 3 in 5 yrs) decreeing that the male superintendents are disrepectful, intimidating, and overbearing demanding the school board to interact.

  • john

    As a parent, citizen and now school board member I have made an attempt to be at the school more often to observe my children, the school environment and the working relationship between the staff and the Administrator. The result has been a campaign directed towards me for being too involved with the school. Humiliating comments by staff members saying that I must stay at home and make my wife take care of me if I have so much free time. Or that No other father is at the school as often as I am. That I must be gay because I cross my legs when at a school board meeting. All wrapped up in accusations that I intimidate and disrupt the bus driver and secretaries day by being present in the school.

  • John

    Whenever I am at school, there are atleast 2 other parents volunteering or visiting yet no letters or threats to call the police to have them removed. There are budget cuts coming, there are decisions of staffing coming and by hiding behind or utlilzing the sexism approach these women hope to influence the outcome of their future. No regard to the school, the children, the education. In my opinion, and my experience, I have no recourse. The perception that Women can be harassed and descriminated against and that society MUST guard against it, completely reduces the harassment and descrimination that I experience to nothing. FYI – every entity I contact, every search I do results in descrimination by men towards women and no thought or validity to helping a Male Parent, Community member, or Elected official combat Descrimination.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      The experience you've had is simply the bad job that a state can do in normalizing the issues created by a class society. As long as we depend on a state to fix the problems that capitalism creates, such will be the results. Either too little or too much.

  • Egalitarian

    and how would a socialistic, or – dare i ask – communistic, society redress his complaint?

    there won't be male sexual predators in your supposed utopian society? call me crazy, but that doesn't seem like something that could be corrected by stalin himself. or am i not delving deep enough? …there won't be *any* males at all? is that where you're going?

    please, excuse the condescension and explain in detail precisely how your comment addresses, or even relates to, his concern at all…?

    you preach the communist classist doctrine as if it were a panacea for all that ails humanity. but do you then honestly wonder why people assume, given such hollow and baseless "arguments," that you are entirely out of touch with reality?

    there is but one prescription for ending all sickness, hunger, pain, heartache, and injustice… and that is death. is that what you would offer?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      My my, so many strawmen, so little time.

  • Bogdan

    This whole idea of feminism was crazy from the start. What feminist activists want is special rights for women and to discriminate men, what is already happening in some countryes. Women are more sexist than men and they have double standards. If you say in a TV show that women are smarter than men you get false aplause but if you say that men are smarter than women you will be considered a misoginistic pig. That is what feminism brought to society. Let.s ask ourselves why women need to have advantages all the time? Maybe because they are weeker than men in most aspects??? That is a posible answer and it may also be the right one!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Cheezus fucking christ! Get lost misogynist.

    • http://sitakali.org Sitakali

      At the very least, please read the entire fucking post before replying. Which you very obviously haven't done.

  • C.J.

    Do you think in a free society that people should be able to set up private organizations and decide on their own memberships? If men want to have male only poker games, go at it. If women want to set up private organizations, go at it. It seems force equality plays right into the hands of totalitarians.

    • http://dbzer0.com db0

      In a free society yes. We do not have a free society however so as long as the patriarchy is strong, it makes sense to oppose men-only tournaments

  • Mike

    I'll give you my story, as a kid growing up playing soccer, there used to be a state rep female team who were allowed to play down 2 age groups because they were female, these girls trounced their younger male competitors every game.
    Yes, there was a girls league. And they chose to play in the boys league. (note: boys were BANNED from the girls league)
    You offend me by saying that this is reasonable because if we switched the genders in my story you would be in uproar, and evidently biased.

    And also, Demosthenes XXI nails it perfectly. There are better ways to get the right outcome than discrimination, did the civil rights movement teach you nothing?

  • A Human Being

    Before I begin, let me go ahead and say I that I love reading these articles, and the debate that goes on here is some of the most intelligent and mature that I've seen on 'teh internetz.' This blog has caused me to expand my political, and socio-cultural thought more than most websites combined. Expect me to be a frequent commenter in the future, and please let me know if I've crossed the line so I can do better in the future. Anyways, down to business!

    A part of me is concerned that you are confusing 'inequality' between the sexes with men and women simply being different–and their will always be strife, whether spoken or not, between people who are fundamentally different. Men and women are fundamentally different, and think in fundamentally different ways. Please don't get me wrong. These differences aren't bad, they are good! And I'm certainly not suggesting that either sex is superior than the other—after all, if one sex is missing, no one would be here right now, and studies have shown that having the attention of both sexes in our lives is essential to healthy human development. But the fact that women, as a whole, tend to be physically weaker, more passive, more cooperative, and think relationally is not a manifestation of culture, but something written in the genes themselves, and it would be foolish to view such attributes as an indication of some sort of 'slavery'. Likewise, the fact that men tend to be more aggressive, more competitive, think in terms of stronger vs weaker, and tend to be physically stronger is not a manifestation of culture, but is also something written in genes themselves, and it would be foolish to view such attributes as a sign of being a 'slavemaster'. Society, as we see it today, is simply a manifestation of these differences. But this is not to say that society is justified; sexism, as an idea, should be stopped —we all know that both sexes are of equal value.

    • A Human Being

      But I fear that in your quest to destroy sexism, you are essentially advocating women to stop being women, and men to stop being men. Additionally, I think there is much room to argue that women do in fact, have equal power to men. Think about this. Every woman on earth possesses the ability to destroy the life within them, before that life is even born. Women are responsible for forming every single human being in all existence. I mean, how many of us got to choose our own birth?This kind of power is something men could only dream of (and I'm sure many have). In fact, women often times have as much power, if not more power in many ways often times considered the exclusive domain of men, if you consider that women, overall go to college more than men, enjoy unique legal protections designed only for women, and, at the current rate, are likely to eclipse men as advertising targets for products (because women have a lot of purchasing power!). TV shows and movies are also giving women more and more bargaining power. My point here is this: while I doubt women are overall, being oppressed more than men, the oppression that is occurring is diminishing so much that labeling it as in inherent problem with 'the system' is a diversion at best from the oppression all humans receive as a whole.

      The legal protection area, btw, should not be underestimated. In divorces, women, by default, receive custody of the child. Additionally, In many places, it is perfectly legal for a woman to have an abortion, but if someone accidentally kills the fetus within her on the way to the abortion clinic, its considered murder. Women are also subject to the protection by a wide host of anti-discrimination laws. Let's also remember this. Who benefits more from the physical strength of (non corrupted) police protection? The physical strength of the average male or the physical strength of the average female? Of course, it is the average female! In a way, men overall, are subsidizing for the protection of women, especially when you consider that most criminals are male, and that most sex offenders are male. Of course, there will always be exceptions on an individual level, and vary within different cultures, but this is moot when you consider that women overall receive preferential protection from the highest levels of society.

      • http://dbzer0.com db0

        I am not advocating that "women stop being women" whatever that means. I suppose it means for you that women will stop being "passive" and "cooperative" and "weaker" because it is in their genes, which is nonsense of course. A women will not stop being one by becoming stronger, or more active. That's just the expectations of patriarchy that needs to be smashes. Furthermore there's no conclusive evidence that women are more passive and more cooperative than men by default. On physical strength perhaps, but not to the extent that it should create differences in the separation of work and activities.

        • A Human Being

          http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/art

          This article demonstrates scientific evidence that men and women, do in fact, think differently. I'm sure I could find others if I had the time. Culture does not exist in a vacuum; whether right or wrong, it is heavily influenced by our biology.

          • http://dbzer0.com db0

            Actually, this article doesn't. It's all conjecture and hypothesis.

          • http://sitakali.org sitakali

            I suggest that you read "Delusions of Gender" by cognitive neuroscientist Cordelia Fine. It is brimming with peer-reviewed scientific literature that demonstrates that all psychological differences between the sexes are societally based, and that the bullshit pop-psychology that everybody loves (about the different planets that women and men come from) is based on pseudoscience and misinterpretations.

      • http://dbzer0.com db0

        My point here is this: while I doubt women are overall, being oppressed more than men, the oppression that is occurring is diminishing so much that labeling it as in inherent problem with 'the system' is a diversion at best from the oppression all humans receive as a whole.

        Women are not being oppressed because they can have children and are protected from crime that has been historically inflicted only on women? They have more purchasing power because you think they get more targetted advertising? This does not follow. The oppression women face is seen in the proven difference in their wages compared to men (35% lower in many places), in the exclusion from many traditionally male roles (such as management) and from many other places too many to mention.

        You should start educating yourself on how woman oppression is very very real. start here

        • A Human Being

          I'm not saying suggesting that women oppression is not real, and I did not intend to downplay the suffering of women. Certainly many women across the world suffer, and suffer for no other reason than being a woman. This is something to be stopped, for certain. And while I know your not exactly the biggest fan of the bible, its worth noting that the plight of women was predicted all the back from Genesis, before being kicked out of the garden of Even:

          "Your desire will be for your husband,
          and he will rule over you."

          While I was partially playing devil's advocate by doubting the current plight of women, my main concern lies over a question of semantics and tactics. While there is evidence of privilege and existing domination in some situations, one could define virtually anything as an example of "privilege and existing domination." Privilege and existing domination simply does not give one carte blanche to apply different standards to others as you would yourself…especially if you want to be taken seriously as someone of principle. It's also important to note that maybe there is a reason why these games are male dominated…perhaps…just maybe…competitive games are the left overs of our primordial selves? That's not to say women shouldnt be allowed. But it seems unreasonable to view a bunch of same gendered people doing one particular activity as some sort of "problem". Sometimes people discriminate themselves, based of their own preferences.

          But there is also the fact that there are concerns unique to males and concerns unique to females, and it seems unjust to not allow people to segregate, at least temporarily, to address these concerns. Sometimes men and women feel more comfortable talking about gender specific issues, such as relationships or bodily functions, in the presence of people of the same sex. Surely its not sexist to allow for this, even if such events include, heaven forbid, a one-gender activity that does not happen to pertain to gender like….gasp…a guys football game!

          • http://dbzer0.com db0

            Sometimes people discriminate themselves, based of their own preferences.

            And the fact that women need to organize one such game even for women only should be telling you that women like to play such games just fine but new women players are driven out by male attitude. Which is the truth, not surprisingly.

          • http://dbzer0.com db0

            Surely its not sexist to allow for this, even if such events include, heaven forbid, a one-gender activity that does not happen to pertain to gender like….gasp…a guys football game!

            It's not a problem to allow genders to talk about their issues and this happens naturally (Just see how quickly a man will leave the room when women will start talking about their periods). The problem is not this of course. It's the fact that this segregation is used to keep one gender completely out of one area, such as poker because the other gender is completely dominant in it.

            This is why the dominant gender should not be allowed to block the other one until the roles have been equalized.

      • http://dbzer0.com db0

        The legal protection area, btw, should not be underestimated. In divorces, women, by default, receive custody of the child.

        Blatantly false and classic anti-feminist propaganda.

        • A Human Being

          Perhaps this law is only true in most western societies? But I don't see how stating a fact is propaganda.

          • http://dbzer0.com db0

            Because you don't state the context, such as how this is caused by most males in fact refusing custody of the child.

      • http://dbzer0.com db0

        Who benefits more from the physical strength of (non corrupted) police protection? The physical strength of the average male or the physical strength of the average female? Of course, it is the average female! In a way, men overall, are subsidizing for the protection of women, especially when you consider that most criminals are male, and that most sex offenders are male. Of course, there will always be exceptions on an individual level, and vary within different cultures, but this is moot when you consider that women overall receive preferential protection from the highest levels of society.

        Seriously dude, what you're saying is absurd. Women get preferrential treatment because they are the victim of more crimes against them? What does the physical strength have to do with anything? You're making the completely ridiculous statement that equal protection from crime is a preferrential treatment for women. That's so blatantly sexist I don't know where to begin…

        • A Human Being

          Is not a flat tax, where all taxes are the same rate, preferential treatment for the rich? I'm not saying that women don't deserve such protection. But I don't see how it is sexist to imply that, theoretically, women overall benefit more from institutional protection against violence than the overall physically stronger male counterparts.

          • http://dbzer0.com db0

            Crime does not rely so much on physical strength anymore. Not to mention that the whole point of subsidizing a service is because people recognise that the ones most affected by it should not be because that causes a greater harm overall. What you're saying is as ridiculous as claiming that subsidizing health care is preferrential treatment for the sick.

  • A Human Being

    Now let's get back to the subject of anarchy. As we know, anarchy is simply the state of being without rulers. It doesn't matter who those rulers are, as long as they do, in fact, rule. With this being said, I find it incredibly disingenuous to claim that men ruling over women is oppressive, but women ruling over men, is nothing more than mere compensation for a laundry list of past grievances, whether true or not. This is even worse amongst those who hold current males accountable for the bad behavior of their fathers, as if men could somehow collectively 'pay women back'. This is argument is also true for race as well.

    The fact is, hierarchy is bad, and it doesn't matter who is doing it. Putting one type of hierarchy above another in importance, is simply creating another hierarchy. It seems very petty to argue that sexism against males is a good defense against sexism against females—now all you have done is accepted the legitimacy of the use of sexism! Is not sexism inherently bad? An anarchist who is truly concerned with equality and justice would learn to look above the genitalia and see people for who they are—not what they are! I don't see how picking away at differences all day is going to unite us as people. How are we supposed to unite, if we simply choose to barricade ourselves into isolated subgroups behind a wall of race, sex, or whatever it is that makes us "different?". We should be above that—we all know that society at large profits from us being divided. As anarchist, we ought to be blind to such things, because those things simply shouldn't matter in an anarchist society.

    Look forward to feedback!

    • http://dbzer0.com db0

      I'm not suggesting that women rule over men. Where the hell do you get your ideas?

      I'm not suggesting sexism against men either.

      I imagine that this is what you understood from the article above, but this is not about sexism against males or making women rule. Is trying to equalize things in the current patriarchical society where women's oppression is very very real (which you deny of course).

      Unfortunately, as long as you can't recognise women's oppression in current society, along with the patriarchy and the need for radical feminism, you're not really an anarchist.

      • A Human Being

        I just see in an inherent problem is creating sub groups that encourage us to focus on differences, as opposed to similarities. If anarchism is itself against all hierarchies (which would obviously include gender hierarchies), doesn't that render the need for anarcho feminists groups, and others subgroups like them, moot and unnecessarily divisive? What is stop someone from creating an 'anarcho' group out of anything?

        To give an example of the problem this creates, let's pretend for a moment that coke finally took over Pepsi in sales, and Pepsi went bankrupt. This is a problem for me, you see, as I no longer have Pepsi to choose from, and now, evertyime I go to the store, I'm forced to buy coke….an oppressive hierarchy, as you can see. Do I call on my fellow anarchist to respond to such a loss? Oooh no, I can't do that; anarchy alone is simply insufficient to provide solutions to the unique problem inherent to my lack of Pepsi! I must start an anarcho-pepsi group, where the only thing I see in the world is pepsi drinkers and coke drinkers. Wait, did Dr. Pepper go out of business too? Who cares if it's a result of a similar more fundamental problem that both drinkers share; anarcho-pepsism is where it's at! Wait, coke went out of business and an anarcho-coke group asks for our assistance? Travesty I say; why have coke when you can have pepsi!

        This is partially a joke, but I hope you can see the principle behind the problem of creating a plethora of special interest groups. Sometimes acting in the best interest of one group will result in less interest by another; leading to inevitable conflict, while paying less attention to the fundamental problem at hand—in this case, capitalism. It could be argued that in this example, whether or not pepsi is even worth having at all is tangent on it's ability to eliminate hierarchy. Is it not more important to evaluate all concerns in relation to overriding established principles of thought? This sort of goes into a concern I have with pure democracy, and especially pure democracy without any central concepts of morality; what is to stop the unchecked mob rule that lead to the atrocities of the Salem witch trails, or the creation of arbitrary nation states and definitions of property in this first place?

        • http://dbzer0.com db0

          I just see in an inherent problem is creating sub groups that encourage us to focus on differences,If anarchism is itself against all hierarchies (which would obviously include gender hierarchies), doesn't that render the need for anarcho feminists groups, and others subgroups like them, moot and unnecessarily divisive?

          No, because Anarchism is all about a wealth of tactics. And radical feminism is as much as important tactic in the struggle for human liberation as syndicalism and anti-fascism.

  • Freddie

    Wow! It appears that when males are discriminated against, it's not discrimination. That's real convenient, but obviously pseudointellectualism. About what you'd expect from dishonest feminists.

    • http://dbzer0.com db0

      Yeah, what a discimination it is when men can't dominate an environment…

      • sbj1964

        My favorite description of sexual harassment is things that men do to women that we wished they did to us . That is not true I have been on the receiving end of female sexual work place abuse and can empathize. Men are not the only perpetrators of this kind of activity.Power corrupts everyone !

  • lol

    You act like it's impossible for women to be successful at and enjoy poker when men are playing. Yes, it's more difficult, but that's life.

    There are successful female poker players. And to be honest, women hosting their own private tournaments in a sheltered environment just makes their gender look bad and makes them look weak. They're insulting themselves if you ask me.

    "Oh boohoo, I don't have a sense of humour and can't stand being teased (what they fail to realize is that men make fun of everyone for everything. It's called light-hearted banter.). I'm scared to play against big bad men. Women only!"

    If they want to do that, fair enough. But firstly, it is still discrimination against men and secondly, they shouldn't expect to be treated 'equally' and with 'respect' if they keep doing things like this.

    Bye.

  • Anonymous

    This is garbage, discrimination is disrimintaion!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am unable to join the tennis team, because it is women only. And not all guys are perves, you are such a sexist, how can sexism be abolished, when its end is being preached by peoplelike you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • flyingchickensgrowontrees

    So, in short: Because women can’t stand men behaving like men (whatever this means. I know I act different around a man-only group, but this is more a matter of topics than of behavior), we must allow them into men-only tournaments. Makes completly sense.