The Uncommon Man

May 26, 2006

Pro-Feminist Men = Men Haters?

I know a number of men who have taken women's studies classes and have had to endure lots of questions from male friends. I have never taken a women's studies class. But I did endure a situation after leaving a Take Back The Night rally about a decade ago. I was walking alone not-too-far from the rally and a carload of young men drove by. They whipped a bottle at me, which missed, and yelled out "faggot". I was startled and a bit scared, obviously, at almost having a bottle smash into my head. And I was disturbed by the obvious homophobia. But I was blown-away at the idea that these guys were most likely trying to assault me because I was attending a rally that was about keeping women safe. Such transparent misogyny.

The post below reflects a bit on this phenomenon.

via Real Men Are Not - “You took women studies 200? It’s not just a bunch of angry lesbian man-haters is it?!”

Posted by Russell at May 26, 2006 06:27 AM


Wow, luckily nothing that bad has happened to me (yet) but I have gone through a good amount of ribbing from men (and women) for studying what I study. You should see what university students here do when a guy passes out drunk at a party. They take giant felt-tip markers and draw penises and homophobic remarks all over the guy's face and in essence again the ultimate insult becomes homosexuality. I hope this is just an isolated Seattle thing...but I doubt it.

Posted by: Luke Lee at May 26, 2006 07:41 AM

Nope, it is not an isolated Seattle thing, I've seen it happen here in Massachusetts - unless its only a east coast-west coast thing...

Posted by: Russell at May 26, 2006 07:30 PM

I think you deserved that bottle in your face.

The "violence against women" campaign is disgusting, since women are not the sole victims of violence, not even close.

All the boys that are beaten by their parents, or even adult men who are battered by their wives (yes that does happen), or elderly men beaten by their children - you are completely ignoring their suffering, as if only female victims deserve compassion.

The most disgusting thing is that you ignore little boys who are beaten by their mother or father. I've heard some very horrible stories.

But you don't care about that.

Posted by: ____ at June 2, 2006 03:14 AM

I am not quite sure how you get to the idea that because I speak up about a particular type that of violence, that I am ignoring all other types of violence (much less deserve a bottle thrown in my face). If this were a site about alcoholism, would you malign me because I wasn't talking about addictions to cocaine? (By the way, I do care about all the types of violence you mentioned, and I don't know of any feminist who says that women are the sole victims of violence - never heard that one.)

Posted by: Russell at June 2, 2006 06:49 AM

So, have you ever gone to a "violence against men" protest, for the sake of balance? Do you even know of a such thing?
Anyway, I don't see the point of separating victims of violence by gender. What's the point of focusing on female victims only? And if so, how come no one ever focuses on male victims only?
If someone had, they would be called sexist, wouldn't they?

It's as stupid as if there was a campaign to help, let's say, lung cancer victims, but only male. That's sexist. Is that understandable?
How would a woman who has lung cancer feel about this?
(Interestingly, there are already organisations ( that raise funds to prevent heart disease, but only for women.
I guess I missed something when I was growing up...
Because I just don't get it.)

Why can't we simply say that both males and females suffer from violence, because this is true? And give help and compassion to both?
When you donate money only to help female victims, or when you raise awareness only about female victims, it's sexist.

Every DV ad out there shows only women as victims. We see stuff like a sillhoutte of a man hitting a woman, women with black eyes, bleeding lips, etc.
Why isn't the victim ever male?
It's already more acceptable for a girl/woman to be a victim of violence. Isn't it a good idea to raise awareness about male victims too?
How hard is it to say that both genders can be victims?

Personally, I hate abuse. I feel sorry for people who get abused. I would donate to anti-DV projects, but there is one thing.
If I donated, my money will be used to help only women. And that's sexist. And unjust.

Posted by: ____ at June 2, 2006 09:47 AM

Personally I think the conversations fit the numbers. When it comes to domestic violence, a lot more women are hurt by men and even more women are killed by boyfriends, husbands, etc. And a lot of this violence happens because they are women.

Everyone I know who does this work also acknowledges that men are victims too. And all of the victim's programs I know of also work with men. There are also plenty of organizations that work with violence in general and not specifically focused on violence against women. I encourage you to donate your money to those organizations. Good luck...

Posted by: Russell at June 2, 2006 08:23 PM

"Personally I think the conversations fit the numbers."
Strange. Isn't it feminists who complain about words like "chairman", or professions like programmer always referred to as "he".
The conversations fit the numbers, so stop complaining!

Equality goes both ways you see, but feminists have a tough time with this concept. They just don't get it.

"Everyone I know who does this work also acknowledges that men are victims too."
It doesn't matter that you "acknowledge" it when asked. In action, you still pretend that all victims are female. Because you never _speak_ about men (or boys) as victims, only as abusers.
What's the point? <-- that was a question, could you answer?

I never got the name "violence against women".
Why does violence against women get special legal attention, Russell? Can you explain please?
Why is your nation concerned with violence against __women__, and not people in general.

Does a guy who gets beaten to a pulp by a bunch of thugs deserve less sympathy than a woman?
What about a boy who gets beaten by his father so hard, that his arm breaks?

What conclusion IS someone suppossed to make from the campaign? What is the correct response and the correct conclusion?

Posted by: ____ at June 2, 2006 11:33 PM

Listen, I am not here to convince you of anything. You don't have to agree with the work that I promote here - fine by me. I feel very strongly about and have thought deeply about the work I do. What I will say, as my final comment on this is: I am against ALL violence against ANYONE.

Posted by: Russell at June 3, 2006 02:16 PM

You don't have to convince me though, I'm just curious. I apologize for the angry tone of my messages, and for the verbal breaking of a bottle on your face. :)

You say you thought about it deeply. Can you explain your thoughts please?

Posted by: ____ at June 4, 2006 10:31 AM

Thank you for the apology.

It would take up too much space and time for me to explain my thoughts on this to the degree that you've been asking(and actually it isn't just thoughts - I've seen how violence against women happens over and over again in the work I do. It exists).

Don't get me wrong, but this website isn't about me, its a site that links to others who write about these issues. If you want to read about the thoughts of a pro-feminist man, I suggest going to Hugo Schwyzer's blog which you can link to from the main page of this site. I also suggest picking up the new book by Jackson Katz called "The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help". I understand the desire (and maybe even part of the frustration) at trying to understand the issue of "violence against women" and how it fits into the world of general violence prevention. These are two resources worth checking out.

Posted by: Russell at June 4, 2006 07:55 PM

Well as far as I am concerned. Violence is horrible whether it is commited by a man or a woman. If you are a violent person by nature whether you are : male, female, black, white, hispanic, jew, protestant, catholic, atheist, etc. You should forfeit the right to exist in society and be shipped to some isolated island off the pacific. We need stability in society. Most individuals that head certain organizations are no different then Osama Bin Laden... a bunch of loser idiots who make money off of societies problems... they deserve nothing but destruction and that is what they will get in the end.

Posted by: David M Brooks at December 29, 2006 09:55 AM

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