(no subject)

I hope this is an appropriate place to post this; I thought I would get a different response here than a more traditional feminist community.

I'd like to get some perspective on something that happened at my workplace. Collapse )
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The Strawman Fallacy

It seems that a favourite accusation in Feminist forums is to declare the use of a Straw Man fallacy, usually as justification to discontinue a line of argument. Now, I've studied my share of Philosophy and have always enjoyed learning techniques of critical thought and formal logic. This means that many basic logical fallacies scream out at me when reading some of the more passionate rants. Most of the time, one way or the other, people tend to work out the kinks in their logic, but it seems that many have heard this term "Straw Man" and taken it to mean that any disliked rephrasing of an argument can be declared fallacious.

For the benefit of my sanity then, below is an excerpt from the SkepticWiki definition of "Strawman" on the misuse of the term:

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Appologies if you get this crossposted.

Gunning Down Romance

[Reposted from Official Blog.]

There have been quite a few discussions lately (On Hugo Schwyzer's blog, at Punk Ass Blog, and at Pandagon (also this post), and Neurath's Boat, about young men who think that feminism and heterosexual male sexuality are incompatible. (Which is even more interesting given the discussions here and Putting the "Fist" in "Pacifist" about how most men aren't feminist *enough* to be worth getting involved with.)

I originally started this post as a "how-to guide" for these (presumably) sincere but frustrated nice guy types (I'm probably giving their professed sincerity more credence than it deserves, but the ones who are just the larval form of MRAs don't really deserve much mention - I'm talking more about the ones Protagoras calls "Shy Feminist Men"), but was quickly overwhelmed by how much "how to" would be needed, and it was increasingly obvious what was fueling these misconceptions.Collapse )

For Teh Menz

sabonasi has an interesting post in feminist about A Feminist Man's Guide To Interacting With Women in Public. [Reposted with permission.]

It's a good list, but it's another "what not to do" list. In the wake of the latest glut of complaints by "nice guys" that there aren't enough (a bit more about this later), is there more "positive" advice out there? The best I've been able to come up with is to recognize that is keeping these guys from the meaningful interactions they presumably want isn't the feminist message of "don't be a harasser" so much as it is patriarchical assumptions about sexuality and agency.

2nd Carnival of Empty Cages

Lake Desire has hosted the 2nd Carnival of Empty Cages over at my blog. Although not a specifically feminist carnival, many of the links deal with the intersections between oppression. There's even a section dealing with the recent Burger King commerical and how masculinity in Western culture is often tied to meat eating.

I particularly like the excerpted post from Flogging the dead cow:
Note the way that meat is associated with strength and - at least impliedly - sexuality. Your very manhood is determined by whether or not you maintain a sufficient intake of dead animals. If you should fail in your duty to maintain this intake tean it is incumbent upon your female partner to gdragh you to an appropriate meat dispensary (cooking it at home is clearly insufficient) and put this right. Maybe you should go the whole hog and move to the States while youfre at it. Just to make sure.

I also discussed the BK issue in detail, and I know it was brought up on this forum, but I was wondering what y'all thought of the issue of meat and masculinity specifically?

Frankly, the only thing I can come up with as for why the two issues are seen as so closely linked is because meat eating is seen as a primal energy, and the dominant paradigm for men is that they're animalistic beasts at heart.

X-posted to: feminist and phmt.
summer nights
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I watched this film again last night and there's a scene which always makes me feel uneasy.

Late into the film, just after Our Hero (Tobey Maguire) decides to stick out the nastiness of the changes occuring in Pleasantville and ignores the pleadings of the cable repairman, he sees his mother being harrassed for being "coloured". Earlier on he was angsting over how everybody else was turning coloured but nothing he did would pull him from his monochrome appearance. However, when he runs up and punches his mother's attacker he magically springs into technicolour.

My sarcastic response is usually to say "he's a real man now". I saw his fundamental change being that of assuming the 'courage' and bravery of Men. My friend Polly though suggested that his changing was due to his decision to finally take care of his mother. I don't agree with this because I think he more than takes care of her in earlier parts.

I'm not sure I really have the vocabulary to express what I'm taking issue with in this case. Has anybody else seen this movie? What do they they think about the 'defining moment'?

Shaving is manly!

Have any of you seen this yet: Philips Bodygroom? It's a flash advertisement for an electric razor.

It's... special. Not only does it play on the whole cavemen mentality (it's about being a MANLY MAN!!!1), but it also introduces something that women have been familiar with for ages: body hair shame.

Part of me wants to do a better analysis of it... the other part of me wants to close the browser and never go to that site ever again.

Universal Manhood?

Over at feminist a debate over "universal womanhood" is raging. One of the threads turned into a discussion over whether or not universal manhood was an unchallenged concept or not.

My argument is that it is indeed challenged, and carries with it the same problems as universal womanhood (that it's a privileged narrative that erases intersections and leaves all men who don't fit into it out in the cold). I used specific examples of minority narratives (in this case the Asian American men stereotypes seemed appropriate), transmen, and then mentioned the narrative of REAL men (as expressed by the BK commercial).

What do y'all thing? Is the idea of a universal manhood unchallenged in your society? Do you believe that the idea holds water, do you agree with me that it's a privileged narrative, or do you think something completely different?