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bullying evil women homophobia masculinity shaming tactics

>”Fag bashing,” woman-hating, and Men’s Rights myopia

>

One of the many failings of the Men’s Rights Movement — and “failing” really isn’t a strong enough word for it — is the way in which it ignores or denies real problems faced by boys and men that don’t fit into its grand conspiracy theory in which all the ills faced by men are caused by evil women or by men corrupted and seduced, personally and/or politically, by said evil women.

One of these problems, and it’s a big one, is the “fag bashing” that’s rampant among boys of high school and college age. The atmosphere of abuse has a tragic effect on gay teenagers, as the recent rash of suicides illustrates all too poignantly. And it also has an enormous effect on boys who aren’t gay but who have their masculinity challenged constantly by other boys.

While the MRM is obsessed with the notion of the smug, castrating (Western) woman, the entitled “princess” who looks down on decent, ordinary “beta” males and Nice Guys in favor of jerky, aggressive alpha males, it pays virtually no attention to the daily nightmares inflicted on boys by other boys (and men by other men) by “fag bashing.”

Again, take the recent gay teen suicides. While they have inspired magazine cover stories and ongoing discussion on feminist blogs, the only MRA blog of any prominence that even mentioned any of the suicides, to the best of my knowledge, was the False Rape Society, which essentially used the suicide of Tyler Clementi as an excuse to bash feminism, as I pointed out in a recent post, and (as cat pointed out in a comment here) to turn the story of “brutality against a gay kid” into one “about how hard it is to be hetero.”

While MRAs hate it if anyone calls them “fags” or otherwise criticizes their masculinity, they routinely deride any men they don’t like as a “manginas,” and various other terms to suggest they are not “real men.” A few MRAs, like the folks at the blog No Ma’am, bash gays and lesbians quite openly; they’ve also, you may recall, labeled me a “poof” (among other things)

One of the smartest takes I’ve seen on the phenomenon of anti-gay bullying comes from male feminist blogger Hugo Schwyzer. In a recent post on “homosociality and homophobia,” he puts the recent suicides in a broader context. Drawing on the research of sociologist  C.J. Pascoe, Schwyzer describes the ways in which “fag discourse” permeates American high school:

The discourse manifests itself in the almost incorrigible way in which young men label each other “fags” while seeking to avoid having that label applied to them. According to this discourse, fear of being called out publicly as a “fag” is the primary driving force behind what Pascoe cleverly calls the display of “compulsive heterosexuality.” … Pascoe notes that among young men desperate to establish their masculine bona fides with their peers, what we see in American high schools amounts to compulsive, almost frantic efforts by young men to prove their manhood.

Anyone who has worked with adolescent boys knows how much anxiety many of them feel about their own masculinity. It’s not news to say that our sons, like their fathers before them, often have to endure or participate in physical or at least verbal violence that we tragically and falsely believe is necessary to transition into manhood. … The real stigma in being labeled a “fag” doesn’t lie in the association with homosexuality, but with being seen as feminine.

There’s no easy solution for a problem that is so pervasive, but Schwyzer argues that “perhaps the best way to “inoculate against cruelty”is … to encourage strong non-sexual relationships between boys and girls at every age.” Going back to a review he wrote of Michael Kimmel’s book Guyland, a study of teen boys and young men, Schwyzer notes that

boys who have close female friends are much less likely to exhibit the worst and most destructive tendencies of the Guy Code. After all, the “guy code” is wrapped up in the notion that approval from other men … is the most precious commodity a young man can pursue. Even heterosexual conquest is, ultimately, a means of gaining approval from the guys. Young men who have friends of both sexes are less likely to be held hostage to solely masculine approval; they can receive non-sexual validation from their female friends — and that validation is less likely to be connected to the brutal “sturdy oak” ethos of the Guy Code.

And they are less likely to participate in the relentless onslaught of cruelty towards their gay and lesbian peers.

These are lessons that the Men’s Rights Movement — or whatever rises up to supplant it — will have to learn if it wants to be a movement that really benefits boys and men, straight and gay alike, instead of indulging regressive, self-defeating and often dangerous fantasies of manhood that demonize “fags” and women alike.

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Lisa H.
11 years ago

>Ah yes, the male supremacist's use of "the inferior subhuman" as ammunition to maintain or increase their control over other men who might be led astray from the pack. And out the other side of their mouths, they accuse women in general, feminists in particular, of using language meant to control men through shaming tactics and of having a "herd mentality"."The real stigma in being labeled a “fag” doesn’t lie in the association with homosexuality, but with being seen as feminine."Yes, because it is VITALLY important to keep men and women believing that we are EXACT OPPOSITES of each other. That way we can lump all the GOOD characteristics of humanity under the Masculine category and all the BAD characteristics of humanity under the Feminine category. And being that we are exact opposites, men MUST be kept soley in the Masculine category and women MUST be kept solely in the Feminine category (and kept under the authority and control of those in the good, the Masculine, category). And we call this "natural".

John Dias
11 years ago

>David Futrelle wrote (quoting Hugo): "The real stigma in being labeled a 'fag' doesn't lie in the association with homosexuality, but with being seen as feminine.That is true. But there is a counter-stigma that says that masculinity itself must not have a clear definition, and this lack of clarity is what feeds the first stigma. Boys who oppress other boys with the "fag" epithet are probably themselves trying to carve out what qualities distinguish men from women. Deep down they know that the chief distinguishing quality of manhood is masculinity (compared to the chief distinguishing quality of womanhood, which is femininity). The biologically natural urge to be true to oneself is not in itself destructive. But the feminist belief that masculinity can mean whatever you want it to mean hinders the quest of boys to emulate masculine ideals as they approach manhood. Clarity can be your friend.

ScareCrow
11 years ago

>@David Futrelle:You are claiming that being "gay" is somehow more of a hardship than being "straight" in adolescent years.Can you back that up?I didn't think so.I wonder – how many straight boys commit suicide in teen years versus how many gay boys commit suicide in their teen years….I wonder what the percentages would reveal.I'd like to say nice article – but – you fail to back up your main claim with any statistics.Things like this, in my opinion – simply propagate ignorance – and will do nothing to solve such problems.

wanderer
11 years ago

>Now this is the kind of post I'd like to see more of. Nice job. However, in reference to Schwyzer's quote about guys who have lots of female friends being less likely to engage in homophobia, as a few MRAs will likely tell you, women can be as viciously homophobic as men, if not more so. I mean, look at the poor rutgers kid–one of the perpetrators in that tragedy was a girl, IIRC.Secondly, I'm not sure the 'fag-bashing' by MRAs is as virulent, comparatively, as you make it out to be. In the no ma'am post, for instance, the OP explicitly says that he has no problem with men doing what they do with other men so long as they don't shove it in his face. Most genuine homophobes would say that no matter how 'normal' a guy may act, if he's even slightly attracted to guys he's a "fag." This isn't necessarily to say I agree with the no-ma'am guy, but I think there is a difference between a homophobia that actively seeks to ferret out and make miserable the lives of anyone who isn't set on a single place on the sexuality continuum and a homophobia which, at the end of the day, really just wants to be left alone.

Lisa H.
11 years ago

>I agree with you, in part, John, the biologically natural urge to be true to oneself is not in itself destructive, but the societal (or worldly) urge to dichotomize people into hard and fast categories of masculine and feminine IS destructive, in my opinion. Males and females are not identical, I do not subscribe to that, but we are not polar opposites, either. Magnetism in human attraction (be it on a sexual or platonic level) does not work the same as magnetic poles in physics, and the push to ensure that men and women remain as "opposite sexes" might be what encourages hypermasculinity and hyperfemininity, both of which can be quite destructive.

Wanderer
11 years ago

>Scarecrow, the percentages might…not be exactly what you'd expect. Like half a second of Googling gave me this:http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED334503.pdfOn page 16 of this government report, it says "gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other young people." Now, in terms of raw numbers, straights still make up the majority of suicides, but that's because we are waaaaaaay more than two to three times the number of gay people. The fact that gays are *disproportionately* represented among suicides indicates it really isn't easy for them.

John Dias
11 years ago

>Lisa H. wrote:"but the societal (or worldly) urge to dichotomize people into hard and fast categories of masculine and feminine IS destructive, in my opinion."What is destructive is the social tendency to apply definitions of gender that are rooted in political ideology, rather than biology. When it comes to masculinity, our society spends little time defining it. Instead, we destructively take the feminist approach and fixate on what masculinity is not. But this has a counter intuitive effect. Just like the public thought that Richard Nixon was more of a crook because he said he was not a crook, boys without fatherly guidance think that being a man means to oppress other men because feminism spends so much time associating masculinity with oppression. Boys are then left to their own devices to grope for the true definition of masculinity. Notice that the most violent boys in our communities come from fatherless households, where manhood could not be taught by fathers to sons. Those boys spend their time trying to figure it out on their own, with only other directionless boys to compare themselves with. It would have been better if they could compare themselves with a clear masculine ideal (i.e. a concept), and that comes from fathers.Unfortunately, the lack of clarity about what constitutes "masculine" has now reached the maturity stage, and formerly directionless boys are becoming directionless men, still groping their way to a clear definition of manhood. What then can they pass on to their sons, except to tell them what not to be?

Anonymous
11 years ago

>What possible benefit is there for men's rights advocates to take up the mantle for gay men when gay men are already aligned with feminists? We're supposed to help the friends of our enemies now? MRA's have enough on their plate without getting into the futile attempt to sensor negative "bullying" words that offend gay men. Random Brother

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>Random Brother, well, if the MRM isn't going to deal with the issues of gay men, it should probably rename itself the Straight Man's Rights Movement. Also, the fact that the MRM sees feminism as the enemy is (a big) part of the problem.

Anonymous
11 years ago

>So the men's rights movement should change it's name to please feminists? Also, feminism IS the problem. Feminists pass laws that ruin men, that's the problem. BTW, how in the hell are Glenn Sacks and the False Rape Society in your enemies list? Glenn Sacks is about the most liberal leaning MRA possible and TFRS just tells the truth. WTF?Random Brother

Anonymous
11 years ago

>Plus, heterosexual boys who aren't totally masculinity compliant – say they're of slight build, have artistic inclinations, don't hate girls – get gay-bashed too."In the no ma'am post, for instance, the OP explicitly says that he has no problem with men doing what they do with other men so long as they don't shove it in his face."I have no problem with men doing what they want with women, as long as they don't shove it in my face. Look at this disgusting display:http://blg.murakamiphotography.co.uk/blog/2008/td_dorset_wedding_ceremony_processional.jpgWhat am I supposed to tell my children when they see something like that? Perverts.

Anonymous
11 years ago

>…gay men are already aligned with feminists…Ha! If only.

ScareCrow
11 years ago

>@Wanderer:Well, that PDF file did not open.I did however get to read the first page…It was published in 1989 – 21 years ago…Got anything more recent?

Anonymous
11 years ago

>Funny David said this, because accused of being a fag is a common shaming tactic used by WOMEN when a man complains about anything wrong women do.

Nick
11 years ago

>Also, the fact that the MRM sees feminism as the enemy is (a big) part of the problem. Another BIG part of the problem is that feminism see's the heterosexual male/white male as the enemy. Feminism did to begin with. That's why the feminism movement has been bashing us constantly for the past 40 odd years, 24/7 365 days.But of course, we should not retaliate. We should just turn the other check and let this destructive movement keep going on its cause.

Anonymous
11 years ago

>hahah what a retarded faggot 🙂

Wanderer
11 years ago

>Scarecrow: Which browser are you using? It opened fine for me in firefox. But okay, if you want more recent studies…http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/123/1/346This one, done in 2009, found: "LGB young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide"You might say it's just one study, fair enough. Okay, assuming this isn't good enough for you, I'll ask straight out, let you tell me. What, exactly, would convince you that gays really do have it "hard" during their teen years? Tell me what sort of stats you're looking for, what you consider to be "recent," and I'll try to find em.

Anonymous
11 years ago

>But noooo a straight heterosexual male could never have it hard. Life is so perfect and easy for a heterosexual white male *rolls eyes*

Rob
Rob
11 years ago

>Lol! What a Twit you are Fucktrelle. I bash "gays" by intellectually criticizing their political positition…. but you are defending them by calling them fags in the title of your post. Lol! What a fucking clown. Can't you challenge me with a better argument than that? This is kindergarten stuff. I thought you might be able to give me something to write against – guess not.

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>From the article I linked to on your blog: "Small subsets of gay men are legitimately gay, while the rest are just freaks."

Rob
Rob
11 years ago

>I should sue you for libel, you dumb fuck. But bring it on. I like fighting with assholes like you. In fact, I built my activist career upon it. Btw. I didn't write that post, smart stuff – but it did write the post linked at the bottom.

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>I didn't say you wrote it. It was on your blog, though. How on earth is it libel to quote a post on your blog?

Wonder Woman
11 years ago

>Aw, cummon now, does someone need a hug perhaps?

Rob
Rob
11 years ago

>How on earth is it libel to quote a post on your blog?You have to prove I am a "fag basher" — YOUR TERM — before you can publicly declare, on the internet, that I am one. If I can prove you were being malicious – which you were – and it affects me in any way, which it might professionally – I can sue you to the poor-house, asshole.

Anonymous
11 years ago

>David's whole stance against the MRM is based on straw man tactics, what else is new.

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