History according to the MRAs

Women have always been privileged in human history, dontchaknow?

Once again, I have to point out the absurd perspective of MRAs, just because of how unbelievable it is

Read the posts, women are not the victims of sexism and never were. It’s all a propaganda lie. Women are and always have been the most pampered members of this and nearly every society on earth.

oh, that’s not all

Name any society in any period of history where the average man had a better life than the average woman. Quit looking at just the top tier.

All societies serve women above men. Blessed be the womb of reproduction. Might makes right, numbers make might, and women make numbers.

And the funny thing is, that this is not an uncommon sentiment among MRAs. I’ve seen the same thing repeated multiple times.

Obviously these people are pointing out to the ideas of chivalry and how the women were treated as the “protected gender” in history, without really looking one inch deeper than that. They don’t care to understand that women were protected because they were considered far weaker than men, which was also the reason why they were not allowed independence. In most of history, women were literally either slaves (to their family or husband) or outcasts if they didn’t choose this path of life.

And becauseĀ  women were treated as objects, as slaves, as inferior, as commodities and so on, they were protected as an object, a slave or a commodity. Protected because they weren’t considered to have enough agency or strength to protect themselves. And that protection only came as long as they accepted this marginalization, for a woman that wasn’t in her place, became the target of violence; from her father, her brothers, her husband or just strangers. And if violence wasn’t enough, she was ostracised at best, or raped/killed at worst.

Remember, slaves were protected as well, because they were a valuable commodity. But this protection only existed inasmuch as it didn’t harm the slaveholder. Were the slaves to think and act for themselves, they would be put in their place quickly and decisively by their owner or society at large. Their protection existed only as long as they were not allowed to protect themselves.

This idea that oppressed people can somehow have a “better life” than their oppressors, is a very common sentiment within reactionary ideologies, especially those who have a purely materialistic or crassly individualistic basis. So for some MRAs, women had “better life” because they were protected from external harm and didn’t have to work for their wealth. Discounting the in-family violence, the fact that they didn’t own the wealth (i.e. if they lost their husband, they were kicked to the curb) and the almost complete absence of freedom. This is similar to the argument that slaves were better than their non-slave brethren (that some slave owners actually used), because they were protected and fed, discounting again the complete loss of freedom. This is in turn very similar to capitalist rhetoric, that workers of today are better off than free farmers and artisans of the past, just because they have more luxuries available, completely discounting the freedom they miss comparatively.

There’s a reason why so many “men’s rights” are also right-libertarians and have quite a bit of intersection with “white rights” people.

In the end, almost everyone in the world can intuitively understand now at what price such protection and “better life” was provided for women and slaves. Everyone but MRAs, for whom personal freedom was apparently not important at all, compared to ephemeral wealth and shallow protection.

Name any society in any period of history where the average man had a better life than the average woman. Quit looking at just the top tier.

All societies serve women above men. Blessed be the womb of reproduction. Might makes right, numbers make might, and women make numbers.

In which I am told that women in the Dark Ages were not oppressed.

Population advantage clearly proves who holds the power. Which is why the poor have it best of all in life.

Ah MRAs, the group that must be in some of the most startling degrees of denial ever experienced in the human race. I did the mistake of getting into a discussion with such a fine young man, who gladly informed me that women can’t be oppressed because they compose 52% of the population and as such, the numerical superiority proves that it’s impossible for them to have truly been oppressed. When I inquired deeper into the subject of whether women of 500 years ago were not oppressed either (since, after all, they still had similar numbers), I was informed…

Depends on how we want to define “oppression”. Were there gender roles? Oh hell yes. Did both genders have roles? Yes. But if we want to define “oppression” as a relative or comparative term, then no. The average woman had a better life than the average man since… well since recorded history at least.

Right. I have been enlightened.

You hear that females? Ignore such things as not having the right to talk or even participate in discussions or the fact that female abuse (AKA “moderate correction”) was accepted and even enshrined by law. Since you held the majority of the population, clearly that was what women intended to have to improve their life. Not only had we had true equality as far back as the Roman Empire, but things were clearly skewed in your favour.

And now, all this 3rd wave feminist crap has made things even more skewed and the poor ole men need all the help they can get.

Do we need more direct action than debate on inclusive spaces?

Does oppressive speech merit censorship? We explore this question on reddit.

The 1932 Soviet poster dedicated to the 8th of...
Image via Wikipedia

As the recent /r/anarchism drama slowly dies down, we keep having discussions on the merits of the various courses of action we’re considering. I just wrote a lengthy reply on the issue of “aggressive censorship” on the subreddit that I thought was interesting enough to share ((I think I’ll start doing this more. My blog remains silent while I write essays over in reddit. Perhaps I can hit two birds with one stone)).

The background here is the ban of a Men’s Rights Advocate (MRA) who started hanging out in /r/anarchism making civil but strictly anti-feminist comments. He continued doing this for a while and many people expressed how annoyed they were by his presence, especially since it coincided with the subreddit being linked from others ones, and thus waves of the classic redditor (which takes casual sexism to new heights) started coming in and upvoting this MRA’s comments. His multiple derailments led me to give him a warning and after discussion among the regular members of the reddit once he outright refused to stop this behaviour, we decided to ban him.

The following is one of the discussions that followed

db0: The problem is not that he’s wrong, but that he’s derailing discussions left and right and is unwilling to stop. I had no problem with him being wrong. I have a problem with him being disruptive. And even though it doesn’t bother me especially, I’m a privileged person in this situation so this doesn’t mean much. His attitude is still creating an atmosphere which is alienating to the people we’re trying to attract, such as women.

humanerror: Personally, I’m highly distrustful of aggressive censorship in the name of attracting alienated persons. I recognize that the intentions behind it are good, but I think it’s essentially wrongheaded and counterproductive. I don’t think making this place into a walled garden where everyone has to walk around on tippy toes for fear of giving offense will succeed in attracting anyone. If an alienated person comes and encounters alienating speech, I trust they will also find that speech downvoted to hell, and probably a dozen other users calling the speaker an asshole. If anything, I expect that that’s the kind of display that would make an alienated person feel welcome. Because they really are welcome, and we don’t need moderator action to make that true.

db0: I was on the same boat, but by reading more about it and talking to such oppressed classes, I can now understand their view better. While it’s OK for us to ignore such comments until they are downvoted, or to rationally argue against them; for such oppressed classes, every instance of casual misogyny hurts and every instance of a privileged comrade treating it as if it’s worthy of a rational response, is giving it credence, and hurts.

We don’t rationally debate things such as holocaust denial (unless we’re just looking to waste time) for example, because to do so would assume that they are not ridiculous to begin with. Of course, we don’t feel the need to ban holocaust denialists (anymore) because everyone knows they are ridiculous and laughs or insults them out of the room. Same with monarchists or pro-slavery people. But sexism, racism and others like them, are still very much accepted and preserved by a large number of people, who are actively maintaining oppression through them to this day. This sheer amount of conscious or casual support means that those ideologies get some serious backup always, and unless we act to marginalize them, this place will not be an inclusive space. The oppressed classes will feel as oppressed here as they do elsewhere. Perhaps marginally less so because there’s more outspoken critics of oppression here, but as we get more and more lurkers who skew votes and swamp us with comments, this organic anti-oppression cannot keep up.

humanerror: I think as a general rule we should be extremely tolerant of sincere dumbasses. Participation in this community is an ongoing learning experience for all of us, and some of us are always going to be further along than others.

db0: Again, I agree, but only as long as those dumbasses are not stubborn. People should understand that this is an inclusive space and act accordingly, by accepting some of the same premises we all do. To give you an extreme example to signify what this means: An accepted premise is equal voting rights for all. If one were to come here, being a sincere dumbass, and ask, “but why do women deserve to vote?” and keep asking this on every democratic decision we’re making and refusing to drop it, then this is derailment.

You may think that they would obviously be ignored which is true in this example, because those premises are now widely accepted. But there’s other premises, such as those of modern feminism, that aren’t, and for feminists, challenging them is as frustrating as the above question. And yet non-feminists do no see this because of their privilege. The extreme question I posted above was considered a “valid” one a 150 years ago or so and this is what made it frustrating to first-wave feminists of that time.

This discussion is still ongoing along with many others like it. What is your perspective on this issue?