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Dudes’ Republic of China

The inhabitants of Reddit’s Men’s Rights subreddit seem to have developed a sudden crush on the authoritarian Chinese government. Why? Well, it seems that the lovable tyrants have decided to crack down on evil golddigger bitches. According to an article in The Telegraph, linked to in the subreddit,

In a bid to temper the rising expectations of Chinese women, China’s Supreme Court has now ruled that from now on, the person who buys the family home, or the parents who advance them the money, will get to keep it after divorce.

“Hopefully this will help educate younger people, especially younger women, to be more independent, and to think of marriage in the right way rather than worshipping money so much,” said Hu Jiachu, a lawyer in Hunan province.

The ruling should also help relieve some of the burden on young Chinese men, many of whom fret about the difficulty of buying even a small apartment.

Never mind that the lopsided demographics in China today — where young men greatly outnumber young women, making it harder for young men to find wives  — are not the result of excess feminism, but the result of a toxic mixture of cultural misogyny and the authoritarian regime’s “one child” program. As William Saletan explains the logic in Slate:

Girls are culturally and economically devalued; the government uses powerful financial levers to prevent you from having another child; therefore, to make sure you can have a boy, you abort the girl you’re carrying.

The result? 16 million “missing girls” in China. Ironically, the skewed ratio of men to women gives young women considerable leverage in chosing whom to marry – and that’s what the Men’s Rightser’s seem to see as the real injustice here.

As Evil Pundit wrote, evidently speaking for many (given the numerous upvotes he got):

Wow. I’ve always disliked the authoritarian Chinese government, but for once, it’s done something good.

I may need to reconsider my attitude.

IncrediblyFatMan added:

China wants to become the next superpower and world leader. They aren’t going to do it by allowing the kinds of social decay that rot away at the competing nations.

Revorob joked:

If they brought that in over here, most women in Australia would be living on the street.

“Or,” Fondueguy quipped in response, “they could learn to work.”

At the moment, all the comments in the thread praising the Chinese government for this move (and there are many more)  have net upvotes; the only comment in the negative? One suggesting that the Telegraph isn’t exactly a reliable source.

Speaking of which, here’s a more balanced look at the issue on China.org.cn that examines some of the consequences of the new ruling for Chinese women.

Let’s look at some of those. According to one Beijing lawyer quoted in the piece:

“[H]ousewives, especially those in the rural areas who have no job and are responsible for taking care of their families, will be affected most by this new change,” she said. “If their husbands want a divorce, they are likely to be kicked out of the house with nothing.”

Luo Huilan, a professor of women’s studies at China Women’s University in Beijing, agreed.

In rural areas, she said, men have the final say in family matters. All essential family assets, such as home, car and bank deposits, are registered in the men’s names, and women fill the roles of only wife, mother and farmworker.

“Their labor, though substantial, hardly gets recognition. Without a good education, they have to rely heavily on their husbands,” Luo said. “In case of divorce, a woman is driven out of her husband’s life, home and family, and finds herself an alien even in her parents’ home. No wonder the new interpretation of the Marriage Law has aroused concern among women.”

And no wonder it’s drawn cheers on the Men’s Rights subreddit.

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Magpie
10 years ago

Brandon, mate, stop digging. Why don’t you come up and play on the new ‘cheer up MRAL’ thread? 🙂

Pecunium
10 years ago

Brandon: re women and negotiating. The thing you are missing is this, a man who asks for things is seen as, “a go getter, forceful, dynamic, someone who gets things done.”

He asks for a raise, and he is more likely than not going to get one. Maybe not as much of one as he wants, but it’s not seen as a black mark.

A woman who does the same is, “demanding, bitchy, hard to work with, someone who isn’t a team player.” She isn’t anywhere near as likely to get the raise, and is more likely to be shunted to a new dept., and kept out of management positions.

Those two different outcomes make the cost of asking for a raise riskier for women, which suppresses the rate at which they make them. It’s a pretty straightforward case of rewarding men, and punishing women; for doing precisely the same thing.

Pecunium
10 years ago

Brandon: Re your not insulting people who get married:

Marriage breeds co-dependency for men and women. We should be promoting self-sufficiency for everyone.

All people who marry are breeding co-dependency, which you describe as unhealthy. No insult there.

Marriage basically turns love into a business deal. Which is an absolutely absurd idea and concept… I am anti-marriage for anyone (straight, bi, gay, trans, etc…). I see it as a pointless institution that binds people together thus limiting their freedom.

You repeated this theme later:

@Sharculese: Human relationships only become more business-like after marriage. Right now, I very much enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and it is fun and loving and completely not business-like at all. Marriage would turn it into a business which I want to avoid. There is a place for business and a place for love and intimacy. I don’t think it is good to intertwine them.

Yep… nothing insulting about calling people’s marriages pointless business deals, and an absurd idea and concept.

Marriage is also the most limiting relationship around. What about swingers, polygamy, polyandry, polyamory, etc… .

But when people point out that relationships aren’t limited to one:one binary pairing, you tell them they are speaking of marginal outliers, and dismiss it as not-relevant, and go on about how “committment = monogamy but monogamy should not = marriage. In that you manage to insult those who are married, and non-monogamous twice.

You equate people not agreeing with you as defending marriage:

@Rachel: Are you NOT defending marriage? I have not heard one person on this comment thread say “Ya, Brandon I feel the exact same way about marriage as you do”.

Not feeling the same way as you do is not the same as being pro-marriage (which is, I think, what you mean when you say, “defending marriage, which aren’t the same at all, but I digress).

I have not, actually, defended marriage. I have said your positions on it are 1: daft as regards replicating it, and 2: based on a sexist view of marriage.

Those are completely independent of my views on the institution.

I didn’t call women freeloaders. I just pointed out that the benefits of marriage benefit women more so than men.

No, that’s not what you did.

I guess now I see why so many of the commenters where defending it…you girls get a lot of perks.

That was after a long list of things you said were of no, or negative, benefit to men.

I see it as a way to “break a horse in” while other men do not.

Which of the partners is the horse in this equation? From you comments it seems to be the man (I think it is a tool to reign in men). Too what is he being broken?

I didn’t call women freeloaders. I just pointed out that the benefits of marriage benefit women more so than men.

The proper phrasing is, “If there is a divorce, and one partner has been supporting the other”. You might even have put it in the personal, “If I am supporting my partner, and we get a divorce, I, as the supporting partner, am obligated to support her.

You didn’t. You chose to make it a gendered issue, by saying it was by virtue of being a man. You kept at that by saying, “97 percent of alimony is billed to men”, while ignoring that the vat majority of supported partners are women.

Again, falsely implying this is a gender issue, and one in which men are treated unfairly. It happens I do think this is a place in which men are are treated unfairly, but not by the law. I think the societal pressure which make it hard for men to be the stay at home partner need to be fixed.

And don’t try to tell me you meant it to be an issue of gender neutrality and phrased it poorly (which is the basis of your facile defense of the, lenghthy, rant you went on about the draft, about which more later) because you defend you reasoning, consistently with the refrain, I didn’t call women freeloaders. I just pointed out that the benefits of marriage benefit women more so than men.

So all in all, you’ve insulted people who are married, or think marriage a good thing. You’ve insulted, and/or marginalised people who are in non-dyad relationships, and you’ve made a case that the only people who benefit from marriage are the women; because they get to break men like horses, and get all the perks.

And you wonder why this isn’t greeted with paeans of agreement.

Then there is some of the basic underpinnings of your position both of which, in the terms you have presented them(i.e. marriage rates are falling, and the probability of divorce makes it a 50/50 gamble), are false.

Marriage Data from the CDCSummary

According to these analyses, the majority of men and women will marry at some point: The probability that men and women will marry by age 40 is over 80%.

So that to the marriage is dying out.

Divorce rate Data, from DivorceRate.org

What is the current divorce rate in America?
It is frequently reported that the divorce rate in America is 50%. This data is not accurately correct…”50% of all marriages in the America end in divorce.”
The above statement about the divorce rate in America hides all the details about distribution, however.

You said you were 29. Assuming you were to get married this very minute, the odds of your marriage ending in divorce are between 11-20 percent (the 25-29 cohort is at 22.3 percent, the 30-34 cohort is at 11.6. We can, from the shape of the curve adduce that as age increase the rate of divorce declines, and make a reasonable conclusion that the actuarial odds are closer to 11 than 22, and probably in the 15 range for you, if you were to marry today).

Interesetingly, earlier marriages also tend to fare well. The rate for marriages entered into under 20 is 11.7 percent.

Pecunium
10 years ago

Fuck… too much HTML. Sorry.

hellkell
hellkell
10 years ago

Brandon, honey, feminists aren’t hostile to the majority of men, just the ones who treat us as less than human.

Pecunium
10 years ago

Things one catches the second time around:

Brandon said: What percentage of people are Quakers? Everyone is constantly bringing up the exceptions to the rule…that doesn’t negate the actual rule.

But everytime we point out the rule to you (pay for the license, pay the officiant) you keep talking about exceptions to the rule. It may be more honored in the breach, but it’s still the rule.

Brandon
Brandon
10 years ago

@Pecunium: Whatever dude. If you want to see it as being insulting go right ahead. I see it differently and I am getting tired of trying to point out the simple premise of being against an institution or system but not be against the people within that system. They are not the same thing, yet everyone here wants to conflate the two.

Pecunium
10 years ago

Brandon: About the draft: You say, now, Maybe I should have been clearer. Forcing people to pick up a rifle and shoot at people is immoral. People voluntarily doing it isn’t totally immoral since they are acting themselves without a third party forcing you to do it. It isn’t the draft that is the big issue…it is the government force that I disagree with. And the fact that men are the only ones required to sign up for Selective Service.

This is what you said, then

I just find it odd that we could be forced drafted into a war and half of the population is free from ever having to go…I wish I had that perk.

@Rutee: Ya…getting forced by your government to pick up a rifle and start shooting people is “fairly minor”. It is easy to say that since you will never be forced to do something like that.

@Elizabeth: Because women should be forced to sign up for selective service because men are forced to sign up (and we lose out on financial aid if we don’t…oh and it is illegal to not register). Equality means doing all the shit work men do as well as having all the perks. I also don’t really have an opinion on it per se, just that I can see why both sides approve and oppose Selective Service.

Which is is, strong opinion, or no opinion?

You never made a case for the abstract problem of gov’t force. Every statement there includes you personally being drafted. It wasn’t an impersonal question.

You keep complaining about people “sawing your words to mean whatever they want.

If it happens with one person, or with the occasional comment, that’s one thing. When it happens with lots of people, or regularly with comments, that’s another.

We can’t read your mind. We can only read your words. If you want those words to be reflective of your mind, make them clear.

It certainly doesn’t help that you, consistently (and I just re-read every word you’ve put on this thread) mis-read other people. Sometimes in ways which are at blatant odds to the direct response to direct questions you asked (see the sub-thread on being forced to have a child, which you interpreted to mean, “forced to rear a child for 18 years”, as opposed to “forced to carry a pregnancy to term”, which is the question you actually asked; esp. as the issue of bodily autonomy had already been raised: to avoid quibbling, here is the direct question you asked, @Bagelsan: OK in what possible scenario can a man order you to have a child in the US?

Not, “rear a child”… but have)

You’ve also, with some regularity, made sweeping claims of fact, e.g. @Holly: And that is the reason lots of men don’t like feminists. Because some (most) exclude men, which demand support. Given that you just, in a passive-aggressive way, just insulted feminists, I find this bit, from a little before that @Holly: Again I beg to differ. It seems people here have taken my words and saw them as an insult, when that was not my intention. as pretty amusing.

If you don’t want people to take your words as insulting, don’t include insults in your words.

So really, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for your claim of being mis-parsed. I’ve read all of your posts. You seem to have a grasp of English. You seem to know what you want to say. I therefore have assume, since this is a medium which allows for reflection, it’s not the back and forth of conversation, you have to type it, and decide to send it, that what you say, is what you mean.

Because to do otherwise, is unfair to you, and to everyone else. Trying to suss out, “what you really mean”, is a mugg’s game. It is the very thing you say you see happening.

It’s not. You are either failing to be clear, or you aren’t.

Being charitable, I will grant, at this point in time, that it may be some of both. But the burden to fix that, so that what you say is clear, is on you.

Pecunium
10 years ago

Brandon: @Pecunium: Whatever dude. If you want to see it as being insulting go right ahead. I see it differently and I am getting tired of trying to point out the simple premise of being against an institution or system but not be against the people within that system. They are not the same thing, yet everyone here wants to conflate the two.

You said being married was equivalent to being a wild horse, reigned in and broken… and you don’t see that as insulting to men who get married?

That would be the disconnect in our ideas of civility. You think it means not using, “rude language”. I think it means not being insulting.

You think saying a piece that destroys straw-feminists,and calls them c**ts and bitches is fine as an illustration of, “typical conversation with feminists” and shouldn’t be seen as 1: insulting, or 2: an accurate assessment of your attitude towards women.

I call that stupid. You want to dish that sort of crap, you have to expect to get some response, and; all in all, the response you have gotten is probably better than you deserve.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
10 years ago

I am getting tired of trying to point out the simple premise of being against an institution or system but not be against the people within that system.

Lol! How do you think feminists feel?

Pecunium
10 years ago

Brandon: All that, all those words of yours, words which conflated various things with being married, or being female; all the other people who saw the same thing, and all you can do is repeat the idea that you love the sinner while hating the sin.

Sorry. Didn’t work the first time, and it certainly isn’t refutation of the lists above.

Brandon
Brandon
10 years ago

@Pecunium: And I can find statistics that help make my points:

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23465208-marriage-hits-lowest-rate-since-records-began-almost-150-years-ago.do
http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/betseys/papers/JEP_Marriage_and_Divorce.pdf

Practically every link on this page:http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=619&q=marriage+rates+decline&oq=marriage+rates+decline&aq=f&aqi=g1g-j1g-m1g-b1&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=21l9362l0l9663l33l31l3l3l3l0l622l6719l4.6.4.4.2.4l24l0

Article on young adults choosing not to marry from WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703882404575519871444705214.html

Statistics are easily manipulable and even data within the same organizations can conflict with one another.

I stand by the quotes I made on Selective Service and the draft;

1) As long as men have to sign up women should also have to sign up too.
2) Selective service should either be abolished or men and women are treated the same. But the status quo shouldn’t just stay until we get rid of Selective Service (if that ever even happens).
3) Getting rid of Selective Service is a much harder fight than the fight to make it gender-neutral. Hence I see the latter is more achievable. It is easier to change a government policy than it is to remove it.

About marriage:
I personally feel that getting married would be breaking a horse or domesticating me and only me. Other men might not see it that way…and that is fine. Some men want the married life and that is their personal choice. I might think that decision is in bad judgement, but I don’t get to decide what is best for the other person. I support people doing things that will make them happy as long as they aren’t physically hurting others, stealing or trying to defraud others. If getting married will make you happy…go for it. But I can’t see it possibly making me happy and the benefits that marriage would grant me are rather insignificant from my POV.

In the end, it is government force that I disapprove of most. I have no problem helping people, but I despise a third party saying “You must help them” or “I am ordering you to support someone”. It doesn’t seem sincere or that you want to genuinely help…you are just being ordered to do it.

kristinmh
kristinmh
10 years ago

I personally feel that getting married would be breaking a horse or domesticating me and only me. Other men might not see it that way…and that is fine

And we feel that statement shows you to be a sexist douchebag, but other sexist douchebags may not see it that way.

Really, what else is there to say?

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
10 years ago

I have no problem helping people, but I despise a third party saying “You must help them” or “I am ordering you to support someone”. It doesn’t seem sincere or that you want to genuinely help…you are just being ordered to do it.

I don’t have a problem with some mandatory helping, personally. That’s why I’m fine with paying taxes that go to social services and support total strangers even without some kind of “thank you” in it for me. The important thing is that the person is helped, not that you get to feel all warm and fuzzy about it. And if you volunteer to be “ordered to do it,” for instance by marrying, then it’s basically still voluntary, isn’t it? So I don’t see the problem. It sounds like you’re sulking over being told what to do even if you were already planning on doing it — that’s pretty childish.

Brandon
Brandon
10 years ago

@kristinmh: The million dollar question is why do you think that.

Brandon
Brandon
10 years ago

@Bagelsan: If you want to pay more in taxes, you can do that. I am sure the IRS will accept donations.

I am perfectly capable of making donations to causes that I think are important and that help people. I don’t need the government to reach into my paycheck and take that money.

Getting married opens you up to laws that only affect married couples. There are already way too many laws on the books. It seems strange to want to voluntary be held to more laws than non-married people.

I am not advocating marriage so I am not planning on marrying any time soon (or ever). So it’s not like I made a choice and then regretted it. So I don’t see it as childish. If I did get married and regretted it…I would just get a divorce.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
10 years ago

So it’s not like I made a choice and then regretted it. So I don’t see it as childish.

No, what’s childish is that you don’t want to be told to do things you already want and intend to do. That reminds me of kids who stubbornly refuse to do anything they are instructed despite desperately wanting to, and end up sulking and making themselves miserable — except for them it’s a developmental stage, and for you it’s just silly.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
10 years ago

I am perfectly capable of making donations to causes that I think are important and that help people. I don’t need the government to reach into my paycheck and take that money.

People, as a group, are not capable of that. When society is totally dependent on charity to support people those people end up royally fucked and starving in the street. Hell, that’s still the case even with a modicum of government assistance; so how are you currently stepping up to help those people? Obviously their needs are not fully met, so are you contributing extra to make up the difference?

Brandon
Brandon
10 years ago

@Bagelsan: What exactly do you think I want to do?

Are you making the claim that I want to help people but don’t like to be told to help people…and that is childish.

Well for one, ordering people around removes that persons ability to choose for themselves. The government isn’t asking you to help and giving you the choice to say yes or no. They are telling you exactly what you will do.

Second, the person might be ordered to “help” in a way that makes that person uncomfortable.

Third, by being ordered to help you also have no say in where and how that help gets used. What if I wanted to donate to cancer research but am being ordered to donate to the Red Cross. While, the Red Cross is still a respectable organization, I would rather my money go to preventing cancer. I am denied that choice.

Basically being ordered to do things is demeaning and strips you of your individuality and the ability to make your own choices. It treats you as just “a thing” that can be exploited and used for resources and not an actual human being who has their own lives and is free to make their own decisions.

Brandon
Brandon
10 years ago

@Bagelsan: I volunteer at a food pantry that provides food to low income people and serves lunch to local schools that don’t have a cafeteria. That is what I do to help people and make a difference. I do about 8-12 hours a week. That is what I feel I can do without it interfering in other parts of my life.

Also, people as a group voluntarily donate billions of dollars to charity. So it seems perfectly reasonable that people can and do contribute a lot of money to organizations that help people.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
10 years ago

Basically being ordered to do things is demeaning and strips you of your individuality and the ability to make your own choices. It treats you as just “a thing” that can be exploited and used for resources and not an actual human being who has their own lives and is free to make their own decisions.

But your original objection was to being “forced” to help your girlfriend with stuff like medical bills — you seemed pretty emphatic about wanting to do that, but weirdly resistant to being told to do so by anyone even if they only told you to do things you signed up for. That’s not “exploitation” it’s just redundancy. :p

Brandon
Brandon
10 years ago

@Bagelsan: It’s not just the ordering issue…but the stipulations surrounding it. As a hypothetical, the government could order me to pay the whole medical bill…but I only feel like 25-50% is what I can give without it interfering with my other obligations. Thus by making me pay the entire bill, the government is imposing unnecessary hardship on me.

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