did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Trauma

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Wow, what a story.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 8:55 AM
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Wow. Gobsmacked. It pains me how hard it is for people to turn to therapy given the trauma they have lived through. I hope the shame that's associated with going to it will soon disperse. I go to therapy two times a week, too. And ain't never gonna stop.


Posted by: Catherine Andrews | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 10:23 AM
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Catherine!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 12:49 PM
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Let just take everything horrible, mush it all together into a single story, and send it out by a broadcaster in president's friend's network recently enlarged by the president's friendly FCC.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 5:46 PM
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4 Something about David Hogg really makes the wingnuts lose their minds.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 7:21 PM
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If you won't threaten to sexually assault a minor, do you even love freedom?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 7:35 PM
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I was thinking 5 too. More than Emma Gonzalez or the others.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 7:58 PM
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That was me.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 7:59 PM
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Before we switch subject, I'll note that the article linked in the OP is very powerful and worth reading -- I just don't know what to say. It's somewhat overwhelming.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 8:47 PM
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Delurking to say that anecdotally, my dearest male friend has been working through the aftermath of a rape (by a woman) a few decades ago. It was in many ways a classic situation: he was drunk, he said no multiple times, when she didn't stop he finally froze and his body performed despite his utter distaste for what was happening. He did not fight her off for all the reasons women do not fight in those situations: because all of his social programming said that he should not hit a woman. Plus he knew that if it came down to he-said she-said that nobody would believe him. Basically it is a case where if he was a woman and she was a man nobody would doubt it was a rape.

Yet when he (after much, much shame and angst) confided in a few friends about it after the fact he was told things like "good job!" and "men can't be raped" and "women can't be rapists." Classic victim-blaming stuff. He was (is) a good feminist, as were his friends; indeed, his rapist was herself a very outspoken feminist. This reaction -- combined with being exposed to constant cultural messages about rape -- caused him to gaslight himself about it for decades, to blame himself, etc etc. I would say the cumulative effects of that were almost worse than the rape itself.

Somehow through all of it he has managed not to become an MRA (because he is fundamentally a rational and very good person) but I can see why this kind of experience might lead one in that direction. They are nearly the only people who are offering validation of his feelings: that women can also be instigators, that it's okay to feel shame and anger, that what he experienced was unfair and wrong. The #metoo movement has actually been deeply painful for him, because nearly EVERY way they talk is so deeply gendered in the wrong direction for him. Hell, the slogan itself is "believe her" which seems to take as a presumption that men cannot be raped and women cannot be rapists.

The whole experience has made him viscerally angry at a lot of feminists. Honestly, as I've been helping him through it, I've gotten pretty angry too. I am a cis female who in many ways would call herself a feminist. While I completely support equal rights etc, it really is awful how much of the rhetoric of feminism denies the feelings and emotional realities of cis men (not just about rape: about many, many, many things). Most modern feminism does not appear conceptualise how men might be victims of the system or women themselves, or how women might sometimes join into oppression. If pressed people will say things like "we're all victims of the patriarchy" but it usually feels like lip service: every discussion flips right back around to invalidating men's lived experience, telling them to shut up when they try to ask questions or offer nuance, blaming them for internalising their own socialisation (while using that as an excuse for women), etc. It sickens me to be honest.

Sorry. I wandered far afield. I agree that that essay is super well written.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 04- 9-18 10:50 PM
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10: That does sound horrible.

The New Yorker article is powerful too. The collateral damage of the rape on all of those other people is pretty striking. You wonder what, if anything, anyone could have said that would have got him into therapy sooner. The people (girlfriends and their families, and his friends) who loved him didn't know how to get through in a way that could work.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 3:24 AM
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10: That does sound horrible.

The New Yorker article is powerful too. The collateral damage of the rape on all of those other people is pretty striking. You wonder what, if anything, anyone could have said that would have got him into therapy sooner. The people (girlfriends and their families, and his friends) who loved him didn't know how to get through in a way that could work.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 3:24 AM
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I get uncomfortable with phrases like "most modern feminism," just because I really don't know how to quantify "most," but I kind of agree that our way of talking about men can get really inhumane. I think there's a role for people in a subordinate class expressing their bitterness and pain and rage really freely, even including the point of allowing a little dehumanization of the members of the oppressor class, but the movement of those conversations to public fora online winds up being an overcorrection, IMO. I know you're also talking about how people reacted to your friend in person; that's horrible. (I will say that the #metooing in my social media included men and I saw nothing but warmth, love, and support expressed to them. That's why I just don't know how to evaluate "most".)


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 5:53 AM
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Yeah, I agree that "most" is hard to quantify, and probably is also incredibly variable between different individuals with different experiences and in different environments. I do think that online fora and social media, even well-moderated ones, are far more toxic in general (in most ways, not just about gender) than in-person conversations. Unfortunately online is where a lot of the cultural dynamics occur and where the conversations are shaped.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 5:58 AM
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Most is greater than 50%. "Modern feminism" is harder to define.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 5:59 AM
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I'm going to mansplain sexism, apparently.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:04 AM
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You're expert-splaining statistics, which is unobjectionable.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:06 AM
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I will say that the #metooing in my social media included men and I saw nothing but warmth, love, and support expressed to them

Wasn't there a fairly prominent African-American man who spoke about his being sexually harassed/assaulted? Maybe a big sports figure or something. I can't recall.

Also, that sounds horrible Forza, your friend sounds like a very resilient person.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:13 AM
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18.2: Terry Crews.
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/10/terry-crews-groped-sexual-harassment-twitter-1201885842/


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:26 AM
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Sort of tangentially, I don't know when MRAs started to go rancid, but when I first glimpsed the ideas in the early 1990s, there really were some structural things that seemingly nobody was talking about: divorce and custody customs were quite tilted in mothers' favor; that the guys might have previously benefited from structures in their favor did not change the lived experience of their pain after the end of a marriage.

That many people's response was (and is) "Suck it up, be a man" rather illustrates this particular problem.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:50 AM
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I don't remember what they called it back when Robert Bly wrote a book about the struggle to be a man in the modern world But I do remember that everyone laughed at me when I decided to write my master's thesis on male librarians that run with the wolves.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:04 AM
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Because wolves are matriarchal?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:06 AM
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21: ...learn their language, rise to a position of leadership, and then charge with their packs into battle against their arch-enemies, the architects.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:08 AM
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21: Somebody gave me that, back when I was on the verge of becoming a man in the modern world. Something about a knight who kept getting sent back to the kitchen because he wasn't ready to fight yet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:10 AM
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24: Did he wind up becoming a chef? And then he sexually harassed his staff, because he didn't feel like a real man?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:17 AM
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I think he became a knight. I don't recall exactly. I think it was called "Iron John."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:18 AM
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26: Yes, I think you're right. And obviously he became a porn star.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:20 AM
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Nothing's more brutal than a knight shift in a busy kitchen.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:20 AM
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Anyway, it is very true that masculinity is a huge problem for men, even straight men. I have no idea what the solution is, but I reserve the right to be more dubious about men claiming to be hurt by it than women claiming to be hurt by it. Because Bayesian base rates.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:22 AM
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You just say "Bayesian" whenever you want to preemptively stifle debate for ideological reasons.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:24 AM
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The thing that weirds me out is when injuries being done to men by rigid gender roles (sometimes specifically by women exploiting rigid gender roles) get attributed to feminism, which is generally (and imperfectly, everything's imperfect) in opposition to rigid gender roles. Like, the jump from "A woman hurt a man" to "Feminism has gone too far!" seems to get made very easily.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:30 AM
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And, sorry, that was at Forza, and was more elliptically phrased than it should have been. And of course I don't have your friend's experiences, and it is perfectly possible that he was abused, in the aftermath of the initial assault, by women abusing him from an explicitly feminist position. But, boy is that terrible, incoherent feminism, which makes no theoretical sense as feminism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:33 AM
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In playground and twitter spats, feminist theory gets reduced to, "girls rule, and boys drool."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:38 AM
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The thing that weirds me out is when injuries being done to men by rigid gender roles (sometimes specifically by women exploiting rigid gender roles) get attributed to feminism, which is generally (and imperfectly, everything's imperfect) in opposition to rigid gender roles.

Right! The proper way to blame feminism for everything is what Dr. Laura does on her radio show, when women bemoan how they are forced to have full-time jobs because they can't afford to be stay-at-home moms, and Dr. Laura says "Yep, that's what the feminists wanted, and now I hope they're happy".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:41 AM
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30: I'm pretty sure that's what it's supposed to be used for.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:00 AM
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36

See, you're doing it again.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:02 AM
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I guess I should also add that in all the #metooing I've seen feminists in my social media discussing women's responsibility to men, not to get lazy about consent, to notice and cut out their own coercive behavior.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:27 AM
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Because I'm sexist, my brain keeps trying to parse #metooing as #mooing.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:35 AM
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That's because your Bayesian priors aren't leading you to expect "Me Too" to become a gerund.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:53 AM
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The link in 23 is great. And very much true of my own library.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:56 AM
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20: Wasn't there a "Fathers' Rights" group that was semi-prominent in the UK, did a lot of publicity stunts? They always seemed somewhat different from the standard MRA sort by being older and having small, explicit policy goals. I admit I had a bit of sympathy for them, although I don't know if they all became MRAs or what.

I agree with 29. "Patriarchy hurts men" is true and useful marketing material, but shouldn't be the go-to.

35: I'm more concerned about the probability of a stifled policy debate given Bayesianism than I am about the probability of Bayesianism given a stifled policy debate.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 9:11 AM
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In the Twitter stew during the peak MeToo period, I remember Terry Crews's story being part and parcel - making it very clear it's about a power structure that also hurts men. (It probably helped that Crews has been personally talking about toxic masculinity for years.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 9:13 AM
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41: yes. Fathers for Justice. They were mainly about access rights post-divorce, and the ability of family courts to operate in secret. Still going as far as I know though they've been a bit quiet recently.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 9:18 AM
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Purple Bayes all in my priors
Data things shall soon transpire
Countin funny in the intervals
Peruse these on peripherals


Posted by: Psychedelic Andrey Markov | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 1:17 PM
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That's great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 1:18 PM
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Sorry for the lag, LizardBreath, I'm in Australia and was asleep until now!

In my friends' case it really was that feminists were most of the people telling him that it wasn't rape and that his role is to support women always etc. This is probably because that is who he knew and hung out with: his crowd is almost entirely progressives and he especially wasn't going around sharing details of his trauma with anybody other than close friends. So it's entirely possible that non-feminists would have been even less sympathetic (which he totally acknowledges). Still, the fact remains that the damage was done by lots of people explicitly claiming to be strong feminists, I think because they were stuck into such a strong "the woman is always right" kind of mindset.

To be fair to the feminists he knew, some (though not the worst) of the damage was incidental and came from him being exposed to messages that weren't intended for him but that he naturally applied to himself and felt judged by. For instance, a common rhetorical device is to say "you should always believe the woman." Interestingly, it is NOT "you should always believe the victim", precisely because the assumption that men are never victims and women are never perpetrators is so ingrained. Before my friend was admitting to his trauma these messages (that women were to be believed and men were not) led to him further gas-lighting himself and telling himself that he was clearly in the wrong, overreacting, etc. When he got to the point that he could share his experience, he often was met with a little "oh yes, that's too bad you had that happen" kind of thing, but the substance of his point was never engaged with and immediately the conversation would go BACK to the poor women victims and the evil men rapists. I know him personally and it's not because he was doing the toxic mansplaining thing -- if anything he is shy and retiring to a fault, and that made it easy for people to talk over him and dismiss him. He found that whole thing very alienating: their words said one thing (all rape is bad) but the actions, of people being very dismissive of his experience or not believing him at all, really gave the opposite impression and that some rapes were more "valid" than others.

Needless to say, I'm personally a great fan of the #metoo movement and the increasing cultural shift toward people being able to call out perpetrators of this shit. And I do think that much of the time, the dynamic is indeed powerful man vs less-powerful woman. But (as I learned when I looked this up after talking to my friend) something like 1/6 of men are raped at least once in their lives, and about a third of those rapists are women. I was astonished by these statistics. But somehow none of that makes it into the dialogue or the way anything is framed, ever.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 3:47 PM
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For instance, more than once, in a conversation about rape he would share his experience (just as a sharing and seeking-support way, not a points-scoring way) and be accused of trying to make it all about men and this was not the time or the place to do that; this conversation was about women who were raped. But it was somehow NEVER the time or the place to have any other conversation.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 3:52 PM
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You friend is in a crucially more delicate position to talk from, compared to Diaz, because the aggressor was a woman and not a man. It's a position that has gotten severely eroded and discredited over time because actual sexist men cry wolf so often about being victimized by women (but not by being victimized by other men in this particular sex-power-based way.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:01 PM
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Experiencing female on male date rape, as your friend seems to have, would be extraordinarily hard to process on pretty much all cultural sides. With that said, in the original home of #metoo -- the Hollywood workplace -- I am aware of some instances of claimed female/male sexual aggression or misconduct (as well as the more common male/male claims) and my impression is that those kinds of claims are getting taken infinitely more seriously than they would have been two years ago.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:18 PM
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I've lurked (with friends) for 8+ years at this point and never thought I'd write, but the postscript was a bit too inviting to resist. TLDR: +1 to Forza @10.

In my life, the responses I've had were very similar to Forza's friend in 10: dismissive responses from police, and downright hostile responses from almost all self-described feminists in my life. This included the friends I was foolish enough to talk to about this at the time, as well as most times I've discussed these sorts of things either anonymously or in appropriate-seeming contexts since then. Over the years I've found this social response to be in many ways more upsetting than the official response. Although I don't claim to be perfect, I don't think this hostility is entirely due to me looking for conversations in obviously-inappropriate venues - for example, I would certainly not try to talk about my own story in the context of the #MeToo movement itself, since that is so explicitly related to women's stories.

I'd had enough Steinem, Cixous, etc drilled into me by my parents that I recognized (per LB's comments) that this hostility is not the response suggested by any sort of "coherent" feminist theory. Nonetheless, it has been the absolutely overwhelming experience in my own life. It is hard for me to feel that this is OK, and also hard for me to divorce the many lovely books I read with my parents from the less-lovely experience.

FWIW, the details of my scariest experience were quite different from Forza's friend: an initial not-particularly-forceful incident in which a slightly more senior academic woman committed unmistakable-but-not-particularly-scary sexual assault, escalating over a few years to stalking, forced entry to >1 residence, much scarier assault, and so on. Like Forza's friend, it has taken me a very long time to understand that I was not in any sense asking for this sort of attention, and to begin thinking that the little voice saying "if only you'd been a little more polite, or more clear, or more forceful, or less difficult..." was not a helpful voice even when it was correct. I don't know if something like #MeTooForMen would have helped me, but to answer HG's question I find that I am sometimes angry and resentful that it seems much less socially acceptable.

(I feel a little awful that my first comment here is to argue with LB - I've loved your comments here and at CT over the years).


Posted by: LTL | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:38 PM
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LTL, that sounds terribly hard, and I'm so sorry that people didn't respond appropriately. (For what it's worth, I've never doubted that men can be victims of sexual harassment/ assault, but your message reminds me to make sure that I don't talk about these things in ways that might make my male students feel excluded, so thank you for that).


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:56 PM
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Having people disagree with me is what I live for -- what else would I ever have been doing in blog comments? And I'm trying to quibble sort of minimally here, rather than disagreeing squarely with Forza and with you. That is, I will completely believe that male victims of sexual abuse and assault are unfairly dismissed generally and that some of the people who dismiss them unfairly are feminists (and in the case of someone who only knows feminists, if they're getting unfairly dismissed it will be only by feminists.)

But I want to push back against the idea that they're getting dismissed because of feminism -- that feminists are going to generally treat male victims of sexual assault worse than non- or anti-feminists. Our society generally is really unconcerned with questions of male consent, and while feminists should be better than the baseline, and I think they are (that is, most feminists will at least pay lip service to a gender-neutral concept of the need for consent, and some will take it seriously), better than the baseline isn't good enough. There's a lot of room for feminism to be a force in the right direction even for male victims of sexual assault, and for lots of individual feminists to still behave badly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 6:59 PM
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And I'm really sorry that you had to deal with that, and I hope you've been able to find at least some helpful people to support you through it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:05 PM
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52:

Sorry, I think I was unclear - I definitely don't think that feminists I knew were dismissive *because* of feminism, it is certainly the case that essentially my entire social circle would happily accept labels like "progressive," and I don't have any particular desire to swap them for a group of MRA activists (at least, of the type that I tend to run into online)...

... but even if with many pages of caveats, I think my response to HG's question is still: I felt dismissed, it felt bad to be dismissed (even by groups and people you love and respect), it was oh-so-tempting to take any support I could find (even from groups that you find distasteful or disgusting), and it was easy to find MRA-like people who are supportive... at least for a few internet posts, whatever their real motives are.

I'm cringing as I try to write this. I don't have any idea how representative my experiences are, I don't want to defend MRA groups, I've never identified with them at all, I only know enough to write the previous paragraph because a friend connected me with a guy with a similar story and we spent a few months browsing a wide variety of forums together looking for people to vent to.

To try to talk of sides: I am proud of the activist battles that people I know have been part of, including some recent fights related to the #MeToo movement in my field that I have certainly tried to support. I would much rather have the last X years of activism than not to have had it, even if it had been the case that it hurt me a little - the scale and severity of abuse that men and women suffer in this area are very different. But it seems hard to believe that the response I've gotten has nothing to do with feminist activism. Activists get harassed and trolled, and a natural response is to become dismissive of "the other side." I don't *blame* feminism for this response, I think it is a healthy response in this case that I've encouraged in friends, and I guess that many other groups do this to a far greater degree - but it seems wrong to me to claim there is no connection between being an activist and being dismissive of facts that are inconvenient for your narrative or pushed by your enemies. There's a fight going on, and these stories seem to have gotten "stuck" on the wrong side of the narrative wall from our natural allies.

OK, now you can also tell that my field does not involve writing a lot of essays...


Posted by: LTL | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 7:57 PM
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Also trying to disagree minimally here; like LTL I love your comments. (And LTL, all the sympathies)

I agree with you, LB, that there is nothing in feminism's ideology that leads to the kind of dismissal that my friend experienced. So in that sense, no, it doesn't cause it.

Also, I'm fully prepared to think that non-feminist spaces might be even worse. Neither myself nor my friend have tried that experiment.

THAT SAID, I think there are certain elements in the way that feminism is practiced -- meaning, the group dynamics that emerge in feminist spaces when feminist issues are discussed -- that does make it more likely for the dismissal that my friend and LTL experienced to occur. This is a causal claim I'm making.

As one example: I think feminists often approach discussions with strong priors that white cis male contributions are inauthentic or geared towards domination rather than conversation. Now, these priors might not be wrong in general[*], but they do make feminists less charitable or willing to engage when a white guy pipes up with a story like my friend's.

As another example, I think feminist groups (at least the ones I have been a part of) have a tendency to give more credence or at least more conversational space to kinds of oppression that are more systemic rather than individual. Similarly, narratives that fit within a few nice overarching narratives are given a lot more sympathy and focus than narratives that don't fit as well. Perhaps that's not wrong on a tactical level but it does have the unfortunate side-effect that in conversations, experiences like my friend's tend to get dismissed. I think many POC have similar problems with white cis feminism. Few people are being deliberate assholes, but these conversational dynamics are real and alienating, and do actually stem from elements of feminism itself (namely its priors and its focus).

[*] My personal view is that I think they are in the right direction but generally too strong, that there are more false positives (of rejecting reasonable guys as assholes) than there are false negatives (of accepting assholes as reasonable guys).


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:06 PM
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52:

That was much too long. Here's what I was trying to say (and please feel free to delete the previous):

It has felt to me that assault-of-men stories have somehow ended up in the anti-feminist camp, even though they obviously belong much more naturally in the pro-feminist camp. I would very much like to "defect" back to the pro-feminist side, but it has been surprisingly hard to do so. I would guess that the existence of large and entrenched pro- and anti-feminist sides makes all such "defection" much harder, though I'm not a social scientist and have not studied this sort of thing in any serious way.

I would guess that there are lots of other issues that get "stuck on the wrong side" in this way, though it is late here and I can't think of any off the top of my head.


Posted by: LTL | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:07 PM
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Both 52 and 56 make sense, and are valuable comments. I appreciate having one which feels (relatively) unfiltered and also the more considered version, so thank you for sharing (and sympathies).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:39 PM
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Yes, thank you to both Forza and LTL for delurking and chiming in.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 8:52 PM
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Some random thoughts from my experience...
I was sexually abused by a minister (male), and as a male, I clearly remember when I was trying to come to terms with everything in the 90s, that I distinctly remember feeling left out or almost disregarded by narratives that only talked about female victims. There was a book I found then (Victims No Longer) that was geared specifically toward men recovering from incest and sexual child abuse. It was helpful to me at the time to just acknowledge the perspective of men/boys who had been victims of abuse. [Disclaimer -- its been 20+ years since I even cracked that book open.] It often bothered me at the time that I often felt that my experiences were often disregarded (men are abused too!). And in my college days, I tried to get involved with the feminist group on campus, but didn't feel like that went well, though no one ever treated me badly there. I do imagine that female --> male abuse would be an extra level of fuckedupnedness separate from my own experience. And I'm glad that the current #MeToo movement has included some stories of males being treated badly--even though most accounts have been with other males as the perpetrators, and clearly the other direction has happened too.

Its difficult for me to imagine how difficult it would be to experience people talking about being assaulted and being treated as badly as described in some of the accounts in this thread.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 9:17 PM
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Some random thoughts from my experience...
I was sexually abused by a minister (male), and as a male, I clearly remember when I was trying to come to terms with everything in the 90s, that I distinctly remember feeling left out or almost disregarded by narratives that only talked about female victims. There was a book I found then (Victims No Longer) that was geared specifically toward men recovering from incest and sexual child abuse. It was helpful to me at the time to just acknowledge the perspective of men/boys who had been victims of abuse. [Disclaimer -- its been 20+ years since I even cracked that book open.] It often bothered me at the time that I often felt that my experiences were often disregarded (men are abused too!). And in my college days, I tried to get involved with the feminist group on campus, but didn't feel like that went well, though no one ever treated me badly there. I do imagine that female --> male abuse would be an extra level of fuckedupnedness separate from my own experience. And I'm glad that the current #MeToo movement has included some stories of males being treated badly--even though most accounts have been with other males as the perpetrators, and clearly the other direction has happened too.

Its difficult for me to imagine how difficult it would be to experience people talking about being assaulted and being treated as badly as described in some of the accounts in this thread.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 9:17 PM
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So difficult I posted twice,apparently,


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 9:18 PM
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62

Nothing to add, but there is real courage involved in speaking up on this particular subject, so thank you.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 9:49 PM
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63

I too have nothing to add, but this has been a great discussion and much appreciated.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-10-18 10:28 PM
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64

I find myself wondering a couple of things, and not sure how to figure out any of them.

First, are there any MRA-type communities that are worth saving (worth saving, I sound like I'm piloting drones considering wiping them out. That have redeeming social value, maybe?) Like, if there are people offering genuinely useful emotional support for assault victims, even if they're under an MRA rubric, possibly the kind of men's community Heebie was wondering about is out there, and it just needs to evolve away from the awful aspects of MRAishness. (Or, possibly they're all terrible. All I know about them is the hostile online presence.)

And second, what's going on with feminist communities and male victims of sexual assault. That is, I piped up with a defensive #notallfeminists, which I still think is justified, but I'll believe there's something, not universally but systematically for some part of the class of feminists, dysfunctional about how lots of feminists interact with male assault survivors. It's not a dynamic I've seen in operation, so I'm not getting what the drivers are of bad behavior. I mean, it might be just baseline 'People generally treat assault victims, male and female, badly, and they treat male assault victims more dismissively than female assault victims, and feminists aren't immune to that class of bad behavior', but if there's something specifically about feminists driving it, it'd be useful and interesting to know about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 8:14 AM
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65

Feminists are just awful, except compared to all existing alternatives.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 8:25 AM
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66

"To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 8:28 AM
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To try to respond to 64: I haven't seen actually-existing MRA communities that I would want to preserve, even ones that were supportive to me when I was trawling around a few years ago.

I guess that most of the bad reactions I got were "generic" bad reactions (e.g. "but she's hot - what's the problem?"), but the ones that I would call hostile and "systematically" bad were mostly people who sounded somewhat defensive (the following is not a quote, but several people said things that I heard as: "you shouldn't say that sort of thing about women - it's important to focus on the big picture of trusting women talking about assault in the workplace, and not provide ammunition for the skeptics by nattering on about very rare counterexamples (sotto voce: if anything like that happened at all)"). To be honest, it didn't take too many reactions like this before I stopped talking non-pseudonymously and I don't want to pretend that this is some sort of universal phenomenon - maybe I was just unlucky! Certainly I wouldn't have posted in this thread if I hadn't had these responses, and maybe there are a much larger number of lurkers who never did and have no reason to post.

To all: thanks so much for the kind words. To spew yet more of my personal life to strangers on the internet, I hadn't thought about this stuff much in a few years, but the woman in question started a collaboration in my department a few months ago and I got the (not-so-nice) heebie-geebies seeing her around in the last weeks. Despite this, I don't think my experiences compare to e.g. Rance's - at the end of the day, I was an adult at the time and could have left (and indeed did leave the city after a few years). Certainly they don't compare to the horrific stories of e.g. my grandmother, or for that matter the sorts of abuses that must be engendered by the next story on the blog...


Posted by: LTL | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 8:55 AM
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the woman in question started a collaboration in my department a few months ago

Uggh. That sounds bad to have to deal with.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 9:02 AM
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but several people said things that I heard as: "you shouldn't say that sort of thing about women - it's important to focus on the big picture of trusting women talking about assault in the workplace, and not provide ammunition for the skeptics by nattering on about very rare counterexamples

That is both awful and very stupid of the people who were saying things like that -- your having been abused by a senior person in the workplace isn't a counterexample to women's stories of the same kind of treatment, it's an additional example of the same thing (just like Terry Crews' story isn't a counterexample to the pattern of how women in Hollywood get treated, but part of the same story). And that must be awful seeing her around.

Thanks for delurking! I'd link the fruit basket, but I have no idea where it is anymore and it was a very terrible fruit basket.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 9:07 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised to find most MRA communities are gateways to the alt-right - where they're not already indistinguishable.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 9:16 AM
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67: I don't know... Your situation seems on-going, and it sounds spectacularly horrible that she's shown up in your department. Here's hoping (a) it's a short lived collaboration, and (b) no one breaks into your home (!).


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 9:22 AM
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Thanks for delurking!

Seconded.

It's not a dynamic I've seen in operation, so I'm not getting what the drivers are of bad behavior. I mean, it might be just baseline 'People generally treat assault victims, male and female, badly, and they treat male assault victims more dismissively than female assault victims, and feminists aren't immune to that class of bad behavior', but if there's something specifically about feminists driving it, it'd be useful and interesting to know about.

I have a thought. Not up to the level of a theory, but this relates to something that I've been thinking about. . .

I've been coming to a theory that it's never worth trying to convince people to not care about things that they already care about (be that religion, sports, their lawn, whatever . . . ). Even when there existing attachments lead them to support something bad, it's almost never going to be the best tactic to argue that they should care less about whatever it is. The goal should be to figure out an approach which tries to get them to add something to the plate of items they are concerned with, rather than trying to take something away.

As LB points out, there's no practical or theoretical reason why talking about men's experience of abuse should be seen as competing with or trying to diminish somebody's concern for women. But if that's how they experience it that could lead to an even more dismissive reaction that just the default, "people generally treat assault victims badly."

To test the analogy ban, I was reading this article this morning which argues that Black Lives Matter activists should embrace "Native Live Matter" and not see it as competition or undermining or weakening the message of "Black Lives Matter." This seems obviously true to me, but the fact that the article needed to be written makes it clear that it's an active tension and that some people do feel like it compete's with their existing focus.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 9:25 AM
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LTL and Forza: I am so sorry to hear that happened to you or your friend. It was wrong and never should have. I hope our societal understanding of consent has improved a lot and recognizes men, as it should.

We had a very similar conversation here on Unfogged years ago, with BPhD and me arguing that the guy was assaulted and Ogged providing (the tongue-in-cheek?) 'but he got some!' side of the argument. I bet there wouldn't even be a tongue-in-cheek comment like that now. (Because of SatC, probably.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 9:51 AM
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74

I don't mean this to be read as a my-personal-experience comment because it isn't, but it really seems that there's an evolving openness in play even here where accepting male victims, sure, makes sense, and yet talking about it instead in terms of women as perpetrators is even more of a stretch. I do think this has to do with feminism and the inroads made that concern certain narratives of sexual assault and abuse. The more stories differ from how they're expected to look, the less supportive traction they tend to get.

Forza, LTL, of course Rance, I appreciate that you're talking here.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 10:02 AM
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75

not saying this is one of those cases but sometimes MRAs attack "feminists" when you can tell from the context they mean some larger subset of women like "women in the workforce who didn't vote for trump" or whatever.

I do think men are recipients of under-reported levels violence and abuse in heterosexual relationships. Part of the issue is that not being a victim is a way of performing masculinity.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 11:21 AM
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(Because of SatC, probably.)

I laughed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 1:11 PM
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77

(I'm glad.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 1:31 PM
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Lest anyone think that joke was a jab at Buttercup, I should probably say that I was mostly on her side in that debate. I do think there's been big shifts in thinking on this in the past twenty years, although I'm agnostic on SatC as the source. Myself, I'd point to the rise of the feminist blogosphere.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 2:12 PM
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||

This is awesome because I'm arguing with some people on Twitter and I know I'm going to convince a lot of them and solve a lot of problems.

|>


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 2:47 PM
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||

You guys will never believe this, but someone got his feelings hurt and now he is attacking pseudonymity.

Also, you would think that after this many years, I wouldn't have to look up 'pseudonym' every time.

|>


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 3:36 PM
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Thanks to you all for engaging, and to Rance and LTL for sharing.

I think these two comments get at the crux of the issue for me, so I just wanted to repeat them:

74: The more stories differ from how they're expected to look, the less supportive traction they tend to get.

and

75: I do think men are recipients of under-reported levels violence and abuse in heterosexual relationships. Part of the issue is that not being a victim is a way of performing masculinity.

74 is what I was trying to say above, and 75 is exactly what happened to my friend. It was probably more traumatising for him than it would have been for a different person because he already was dealing with many personal issues regarding masculinity, and it interacted with those in a really toxic way. But I think that everyone raised as a boy has a lot of social conditioning to get through to even be able to admit to themselves what happened, much less work through it and persuade other people in their lives of the validity of their experience.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 3:59 PM
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Through the looking glass: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/04/11/the-white-house-would-like-a-mulligan-on-trumps-missiles-will-be-coming-tweet/?utm_term=.524d6bbfa623


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 4:13 PM
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83

Fuck. My dear uncle was diagnosed with leukemia.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 6:23 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear that. That's awful.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 6:29 PM
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Oh, no. :( :( :(


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 7:04 PM
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Sorry to hear that heebie.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 7:30 PM
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So sorry, heebie.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 7:30 PM
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Yikes. Sorry to hear that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 7:31 PM
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Best wishes to your uncle.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 8:13 PM
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So sorry to hear that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 8:50 PM
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Sorry to hear that, heebs


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 10:14 PM
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83: Sorry, heebie.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-11-18 10:20 PM
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83. Sorry to hear that, it's deeply unpleasant for everybody. Which type has he got? Some are more scary than others.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-12-18 1:38 AM
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Very sorry to hear that, Heebie. My friends who have had blood cancers say that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is very helpful.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 04-12-18 3:24 AM
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So sorry to hear that, Heebie. :(


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-12-18 7:26 AM
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Rance, & LTL, thank you for sharing. I am so sorry.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-12-18 7:28 AM
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32 , etc re:LB's point--- the more uncaffeinated, bitter, me has to wonder what the intersection is between any feminists who actually respond to being confronted with FoM rape with dismissal and disbelief, and the anti-Trans feminists who insist that the only violence trans folks faces is from men which somehow validates their position. I lack the demographic or cultural-critique chops to tease it out, it's a gut-hunch at best.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-12-18 7:39 AM
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Also, as far as anecdotes go, 3 straight male friends have confided in me about incidents that I can only process as them having been sexually assaulted by women, and their extreme sense of shame and fear about getting help. I have to guess it's a significant and underreported phenomena.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-12-18 7:43 AM
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the more uncaffeinated, bitter me

It sounds like you're drinking an over-roasted coffee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-12-18 7:44 AM
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indeed, I hate dark roasts, but this morning I would have made do with anything.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-12-18 4:11 PM
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Thank you all for the support. I'm still feeling pretty down.

to 93: what I know (and I'm cut-and-pasting here) is:
Basic diagnosis: AML with myelodysplasia-related changes

Chromosome analysis (I may not have written this down perfectly). Two things were noted: (1). Monosomy 5, del(5q), Monosomy 7. (2). t(2;3)

I haven't googled that yet, and I'm not sure I'd be able to make sense of it even if I did, so if any of you know what those sub-variants mean, I'd love to hear.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-13-18 6:00 AM
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