YouTube: For Every Man Who Never Called Himself A Feminist

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21 Responses to YouTube: For Every Man Who Never Called Himself A Feminist

  1. Beste says:

    Tekanj,

    “Because it’s so much simpler to tell ourselves that rape is only from a man grabbing you from behind in a back ally-way. That’s it’s not the boy next door and it’s never the man that says he loves you. So rape remains only..” ???**I listened to it a couple of times and I can’t decipher what she said at that point**

    I no trouble understanding the rest of her peom though.

  2. arielladrake says:

    Beste,

    “So rape remains only ‘male about 5’10” or taller, wearing jeans and a t-shirt’ because we all know that little johnny and tommy and ronnie would never do something like that, so we never put his face to his penis.”

    That’s what I heard, anyway.

  3. arielladrake says:

    Also, tekanji, thankyou for finding and sharing. That was awesome.

  4. “male about 5’10” or taller wearing jeans and a T-shirt” is what she says next.

    Any idea what the event is that she’s speaking at? The audience reaction was interesting–supportive at the end, but they did get some complete silence going at the start.

  5. Nicolas Juzda says:

    Beste, the rest of that sentence sounds to me like “only ‘male about 5’10” or taller wearing jeans and a t-shirt’ because we all know that little Johnny and Tony and Ronnie would never do something like that.”

  6. D. Edward Sauve says:

    You know, I spent the past year breaking our baker of the habit of addressing all the women on staff that so much as annoyed him as “bitches”.

    It’s not enough. I have to keep speaking. It gets tiring.

    But I’d rather deal with the guilt of “not enough” and “so much more to do” than the guilt of “I didn’t do anything”.

  7. Ragtime says:

    “Man, 5’10” or taller wearing jeans and a t-shirt” — spoken in a male ‘local newscaster’ voice.

  8. Jo says:

    The lines after that are:

    “So rape remains only male, about 5’10” or taller wearing jeans and a t-shirt because we all know little Johnny, Tommy and Ronnie would never do something like that. So we never put his face to his penis.”

    Need more, or was that it?

  9. Pingback: Here we go. « The Geek Side

  10. Sara says:

    and of course, it only takes one asshole to ruin the comments:

    Verlch (3 days ago)
    Single mother households produce 85% of the criminals in the world!!!

    All feminists think all normal sex is rape!!!

    When did motherhood become oppressive!!!

    There is 15,000 rape convictions per year! Out of 150 million men!

    We have 1000% higher rape accusation rate of any other country as soon as they started compensation programs for so called victims.
    (Reply)

    Verlch (3 days ago)
    There are 1 million false allegations levied by women against men per year. Mostly to give women a leg up during divorce so men wouldn’t stand a chance to get their children. Despite the fact that women gain custody in 90% of divorce proceedings. And women get 40 billion per year paid in child support.

    Despite all of that, 75% of all single mothers live below the poverty line!!!

    Thankfully, Richie already did a little digging, and we now know this guy’s just a worthless troll.

    Still. Is there a word for that kind of behaviour that isn’t an expletive?

  11. Jo says:

    Sara said:

    Still. Is there a word for that kind of behaviour that isn’t an expletive?

    I believe “asinine” comes to mind.

  12. How about pitiful?

  13. edie says:

    I’d say “frantic”.

    Great vid.

  14. cristi_cobzarenco says:

    Hey!
    I found this blog by accident and I’m amazed of what I’ve found here, and this vid is a perfect example for what I mean.
    Women have achieved legal equality for some time now, but in people’s minds there are still huge differences between the two genders. I, however, would never call myself a feminist, that’s just deepening the gap: taking one side or the other means accepting that there _is_ a difference.
    Wouldn’t you think that a more balanced solution would be, to simply be an anti-sexist. I mean, there is discrimination on both sides (although, I do agree, it is more severe when it comes women), the custody example is a perfect one and you all know it, I’m sure.
    Also, the fact that women are afraid to walk the streets at night, has nothing to do with men, it has to do with police efficiency, there are lots of men who are also afraid to walk the streets alone, because, even though they can’t be raped, they can still be robbed and beaten up to disfiguration.
    So, anti-sexim in general, seems a much better cause than feminism which is just accepting there is a difference.
    And why do some feminists have a tendency to become fanatics? While I belive there is a problem, “a big ‘f*** you’ for all” doesn’t seem the proper way to address it.

    Anyway, I hope I made some sense, hope to hear an answer soon.

  15. tekanji says:

    cristi: I need some time to properly answer your first question; I need to see if I can find some helpful links and make sure that I formulate as complete and answer as possible.

    As for your second part:

    And why do some feminists have a tendency to become fanatics? While I belive there is a problem, “a big ‘f*** you’ for all” doesn’t seem the proper way to address it.

    I wouldn’t call Ms. Urdang a “fanatic”, at least not based only on this poem (which is all I’ve seen of her). She’s a poet, one using a particularly emotionally charged form of poetry with a particularly emotionally charged subject. There are times and places for gentle argumentation — a tactic I often try to employ on this blog — but there are also times and places for undiluted anger, for telling it like it is, and not having to worry about hurting the feelings of those who can, and do, use their strength to hurt us.

    And, anyway, she didn’t say that she was giving a big “fuck you for all”, she said this [emphasis mine]:

    And as we try and convince ourselves that it wasn’t our fault,
    I want to give a big “fuck you!” to all the men who make my anger possible
    And yes, I am blaming you
    I blame all the men who think they are better
    Who think that women don’t know what hate is, even when it’s running down our thighs
    I blame all the men who allow their friends to yell “bitch” and “ho” while telling themselves that they are not like them
    I blame you for the degradation, humilation of my sisters
    I blame you for every time you don’t speak up
    Because God knows that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who did nothing

    She’s saying “fuck you” to rapists, rape-apologists, and those who stand by and allow rapes to happen. If you think that it’s “fanatical” for her to feel, and express, anger over this, if you think it’s “fanatical” to call out those who are responsible for perpetuating a rape culture, then what do you mean when you say “anti-sexism” because I can’t think of any crime more deserving of strong language than rape?

  16. Ruben Schade says:

    G’day,

    I don’t exactly remember how I came upon your website, but after seeing this video I thought it appropriate to submit some form of a response.

    I am a young man who has grown up in a female dominated family (aka my mother and sister) due to my father’s constant business traveling. Perhaps because of this I feel as though I’m more aware and genuinely troubled by the many issues and challenges that face women around the world than perhaps some other men. Rape absolutely sickens me and literally boils my blood, and the way religions, governments and companies continue to degrade and justify the margianisation of women in specific circumstances and in general continues to baffle and anger me.

    I belabor all this life history to put into context the insult I felt after watching this film.

    I lived a large portion of my life in Singapore where “guilt by association” is a punishable offense. The argument is that if you are a close enough witness to a crime, through friends or even through proximity, you share some of the responsibility. This never sat well with me because it assumes that you share the same moral convictions of the person who committed the crime, so if a friend of mine raped or killed someone while I was with him, I therefore must approve of his actions.

    “Because God knows that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who did nothing” sounds awfully similar to this scenario. She makes a valid point that as a man in society I have a responsibility to treat women with respect and dignity and I should actively pursue a lifestyle that does not enforce negative stereotypes and attitudes.

    I draw the line though when she assumes that because other men do horrible things, and the fact I haven’t proactively done anything by her definition to stop it, I’m guilty by association and will be reserved a place in hell. I find that line of reasoning demeaning and downright insulting.

    I do hold out hope that I have misinterpreted her comments. Am I a bad person for only living a responsible life myself and not trying to change others? Seems to me to be a self-defeating argument. I hope I’m wrong :(.

    PS: I love your commentary about the objectification of women in video and computer games. I frankly find it insulting as well that a game company thinks that I’m such a shallow consumer they can affect my purchasing decisions by simply showing me some skin on a game character. No thanks, I’ll stick to my SimCity and Sudoku puzzles ;).

    Cheers
    Ruben

  17. Ruben: I know your comment was directed at tekanji, but I’m responding because she and I feel similarly about this.

    This never sat well with me because it assumes that you share the same moral convictions of the person who committed the crime, so if a friend of mine raped or killed someone while I was with him, I therefore must approve of his actions.

    This comment of yours doesn’t sit well with *me*, because it sounds like you’re saying you could sit by and watch a friend rape a woman and not consider yourself at all culpable. But you say that rape “absolutely sickens” you, so I don’t think you really mean this.

    No, someone who watches a man rape a woman is not the actual rapist. But that person is partially culpable because they could stop the rapist – or even run away and look for help, if they were afraid of confronting the rapist. The bystander has the capacity to stop the violence.

    Consider the perspective of the woman being raped. It doesn’t matter if the bystander feels bad for her, hates rape as much as she does, etc. – if the bystander doesn’t actually *do* anything, the woman is still raped. And she would be justified in assigning some blame to that bystander, for having the opportunity to help her, and failing.

    Similarly, women who are victims of other forms of sexism need allies who *do* something. Sympathy from men is a great first step. But if those sympathetic men only give verbal support and never help out by educating their fellow men, or speaking up and stopping sexist behavior – in other words, if they talk the talk but fail to walk the walk – then they’re not true allies. If they tell me that they oppose sexism, but fail to step up and support me when I’m actually facing a form of sexism, then I don’t feel that I can count on them.

    Am I a bad person for only living a responsible life myself and not trying to change others?

    There’s no black-and-white division here between “good” and “bad,” like only proactive anti-sexist allies are “good” and bystanders are lumped in with rapists as “bad.” I would say that, if you lived responsibly yourself, that’s great – it’s better than a lot of people do. But you could not count yourself as an anti-sexist ally unless you chose help change others in *some* way – and changing others includes just talking with your peers, not necessarily organizing marches and making speeches. Because if other men know that you’re personally not misogynist, but that you’ll put up with their misogyny, you’re facilitating their sexism and letting them continue to hurt the women around you.

  18. Ruben Schade says:

    Sigel Phoenix,

    I appreciate the time you took to post a response, and I’m glad you picked up on what I was saying. I mostly agree with you.

    That said though, your sentence “The bystander has the capacity to stop the violence” I found disturbing. It’s all well and good to say victims needs allies who *do* something, but in the real world it’s often easier said than done.

    For example a close friend of mine becomes paralyzed when scared, by your definition if his friends (if you could call them that if that’s what they do to women) were engaging in rape and he was confronted with the situation, he probably wouldn’t do anything due to shock and therefore he isn’t an ally. It wouldn’t matter that when he’s with friends he discusses how women are equal human beings because he doesn’t have rippling muscles and doesn’t beat people up.

    I think you need to make a distinction here between “making a difference” as you say by actively talking to people and trying to spread feminism, and being an unwanting observer.

    I’ll give you an example from my perspective. I consider myself an Atheist. I think religion has severely hurt us as a species and it continues to hurt us, whether it’s the bombing of buildings and killing of innocent people, the marginalisaion of women and homosexuals, the blocking of vital medical research… I could go on.

    I could argue that because *you* are not actively encouraging your friends to help eradicate religion or at the very least give up their own faith in the supernatural (you don’t need to be “organising marches and making speeches”), you are not part of the solution, and therefore *you* are blocking stem cell research, denying homosexuals dignity and the right to wed, and so forth. As you said in your response to me above, you’re facilitating [the above atrocities] and letting them continue to hurt the [people] around you.

    I know it’s a crude step to comparing rapists to people who practice religion, but I hope you can see my point of view. I am not trying to be disrespectful, I’m very concerned that you insist on spreading shame onto people like me who have never laid a finger on a women and have give women nothing but respect and dignity with the same knife you spread shame on the rapists themselves.

    Believe me, I was molested in a school bathroom when I was a little kid and I still have nightmares about the man who did it to me. But sure as hell I don’t place the horrified children who ran away in the same league as that disgusting, vile, worthless human being who has forever scarred me and made me afraid of doing so many things even now. I’m sorry, but I stand by my original statement that “I find that line of reasoning demeaning and downright insulting.”

    Thank you again for your reply, at least I’m learning something.
    Ruben

  19. Ruben: I don’t think we actually disagree with each other. Please reread my comment, specifically these parts:

    There’s no black-and-white division here between “good” and “bad,” like only proactive anti-sexist allies are “good” and bystanders are lumped in with rapists as “bad.”

    But that person is partially culpable because they could stop the rapist – or even run away and look for help, if they were afraid of confronting the rapist.

    But you could not count yourself as an anti-sexist ally unless you chose help change others in *some* way – and changing others includes just talking with your peers, not necessarily organizing marches and making speeches.

    I never said that bystanders were the same as rapists, or that they deserved the same amount of blame. I also did not say that feminist allies must single-handedly stop rape in order to count themselves as allies.

    (I think it would also help if you read a post I wrote about allies, because I use the term “ally” in a fairly specific way. I don’t mean just any person who is polite to women, but someone who engages in feminist efforts. This might be the source of some of our disagreement, so I apologize for not clarifying earlier.)

    All allies must do something. Whether that means physically stopping assaults or verbally changing minds, I need to know that I can count on them to join the fight. Otherwise – if they, as individuals, treat women with respect, but always fail to back women up against sexist men – then they are not allies. Not rapists or harassers themselves, certainly. But also not allies.

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story about yourself about your childhood molestation – I appreciate your being so open about your own experiences. I agree that children are not responsible for stopping pedophiles themselves. But imagine if this were an adult situation – such as when women are either verbally harassed or physically groped in public. In such a case, adults who let it happen without stopping the perpetrator or running away to get help would have failed in some way.

    As for your analogy to atheism, I would agree – since I do not actively promote atheism, I would not be an atheist ally. However, your analogy falls apart when you say that I cause things like the lack of stem cell research, since I would be a bystander and not a perpetrator.

    As for facilitating those things, I actually disagree that religion causes them. For instance, homophobia/heterosexism is something that I think is beyond/outside of religion. But, we could say that unless I actively campaign against homophobia, then I wouldn’t be an ally. And I agree – my own activism for queer rights is lacking, and it’s one of the areas I’m working to improve upon. I treat my queer friends with dignity, sure – but unless I step up to help them by combating homophobia all around me, I am still facilitating homophobia to some degree, and I am not a full ally.

    In the end, this matter is not about shaming or insulting people. I understand that you can feel insulted by what I (or the video above) say, but that’s not relevant to the question of whether bystanders are allies. Calling for feminist allies is not about feminists trying to make men feel bad – it’s about getting the necessary support that we need to combat sexism.

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