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MRA: Women Couldn’t Vote.That Was “Oppression?”

Women campaigning for suffrage for no real reason, because not voting was just what women did back then.

I swear, sometimes I wonder if the entire Men’s Rights Movement is an elaborate hoax.  Our old friend Fidelbogen weighs in today with a typically pompous post on the cutting-edge issue of women’s suffrage, posted with the almost-too-good-to-be-true headline: Women Couldn’t Vote.That Was “Oppression?” If I didn’t know better, I’d be tempted to dismiss it as half-baked satire – except that FB is serious, deadly serious.  (And deadly dull, too, most of the time, but I’ll try to keep this snappy.)

Fidelbogen’s thesis:

It annoys me to hear the feminists say that women were “oppressed” because they didn’t have the voting franchise in olden days. Excuse me. . . oppressed? I would take exception to the semantics in this case, for is not a bit clear to me that what was happening ought to be called by such a heinous name.

While most people are either for or against women having the right to vote – though I’ve never met any of the latter group outside of MRA blogs – FB bravely declares himself “a third way thinker upon this subject.”

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen, because Fidelbogen is going to get all philosophical on us:

 I would submit that women’s historical lack of voting rights was neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Rather, it was a morally indifferent state of affairs, based on a cultural consensus that was shared by men and women alike in the past.

Hey, it was the olden days. People wore silly hats and watched silent movies and no one had iPhones.

Our ancestors lived in a very, very different world than we do, and their cultural norms were very, very different from ours, yet undoubtedly befitting to their world — a world mysterious and unknown to us nowadays. Who are we to judge?

I mean, really, how dare we offer any sort of moral judgment of anything that happened in the past. The Holocaust? Stalin’s purges? Hey, it was the mid-twentieth century – people were just into that shit back then.

Well, FB doesn’t mention either Hitler or Stalin, but he definitely considers women’s former lack of voting rights to be just one of those things that, hey, people were into back then:

[W]as it really, inherently, such a horrible thing after all, that women could not vote? … Why should it even matter? Did the average woman in those days honestly feel that voting was “all that”? Seriously. . . who are we to judge the men and women of past times for their very different way of life which we can no longer entirely fathom?

And besides, most men had been denied the vote earlier, so even if it matters and it totally doesn’t, what’s the big deal if the dudes in charge decided to deny the vote to the ladies for a while longer? As FB puts it:

[W]as it really such an unspeakable crime that the female population couldn’t always go to the polls during that comparatively trifling span of years?

Or is that entire concept nothing but feminist historiography, meant to wring pathos out of history for present-day political purposes by the device of retrojection? That would certainly conform to standard feminist tricknology, wouldn’t it?

Seriously. Those feminologicalnists are totally retrojecting the fuck out of the pastological period using their standard sneakyfulogicalnistic tricknology.

And besides, even though we’re not supposed to judge the past, and even thought that whole denying-the-ladies-the-vote thing was totally a “morally indifferent thing which ought to concern us very little,” FB thinks that maybe it was actually sort of, you know, cool.

I believe a case might be constructed that it was a positive good in the context of those times.

FB decides to leave that case unmade, and returns to the whole “who the fuck cares” argument.

Once upon a time, women didn’t have the voting franchise because societal norms found nothing amiss about such an arrangement. Then times changed, norms changed, and women were admitted to the franchise. That’s all. And women were never, at any point along that general story-line, “oppressed.”

Besides, the whole idea of “rights” is, well, just like, an opinion, man.

Furthermore, women were never at any time deprived of any rights. You see, women’s “right” to vote simply did not exist in the first place — or not during the period when the so-called deprivation occurred. I mean that “rights” are only a figment. Only a mentation. Only a notion. Only a construct. Rights do not exist in their own right. They are not some mystical pure essence which hangs in the air all by itself — they must be conjured into existence by a strictly human will-to-power, and fixed by law or custom.

And so, if the dudes of the world denied the ladies these “rights,” well, uh, it was “morally indifferent” yet also probably good for some reason.

In conclusion, shut your pie holes, ladies:

So in conclusion, I wish that second and third-wave feminists would shut the hell up with their dishonest, self-laudatory rhetoric about “the vote”. They need to quit tooting on that rusty old horn. It is getting really, really old.

Well, unless they’re this lady. She’s actually pretty good at tooting a horn.

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KathleenB
KathleenB
10 years ago

TS: You want to help male victims of domestic abuse? Find out how to start a shelter or talk to existing shelters about expanding. Depending on where you live, it might be determined that the number of male victims doesn’t support the expense of a full shelter. If that’s the case, set up a support system. Talk to your local low-income clinic about providing medical and counseling services free of charge (or at a discount – you’d still have to do fundraising, but I would think clinic visits would be cheaper than having a doctor on staff). Bitching on the internet about how feminists aren’t doing enough to support your fucking pet issue is getting really annoying. Put up or shut up.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
10 years ago

However, I noticed you dropped the ‘sexism’ part.

What are you talking about, the ‘sexism’ part? The Freemasons? I didn’t say it was sexist for them to exclude women. I just said that the Order of the Northern Star is a different group and it is not proof that women are Masons. That’s like saying because women can be nuns, that means they can be priests. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

Toysoldier
10 years ago

Nobinayamu: Do you know how much state and federals dollars are set aside to grant funding for domestic violence shelters? If not, go and look the information up and then link what you find here, and then explain why that amount of money is insufficient for women’s shelters who claim to assist male victims to allocate money to actually do help male victims. I have no twisted logic, and I do not need to reconcile my two comments as one was a statement and the other was a question. Again, feminists claim they support all victims, so they should have no problem actually doing that. If the issue boils down to money, why can they not simply set aside a certain amount of funds they are granted to assist the male victims feminists claim they support? If it comes down to how many men use the services, would that be affected by those shelters previously turning away male victims?

CassandraSays: The funding is limited to an extent, but we are still talking about hundreds of millions of dollars that go to fund thousands of groups nationwide. Many of these monies are supplemented by private funding, and while that may not cover everything the groups might want to do, the notion that they are so strapped for cash that they cannot help any male is patently false. Those groups decide to assist and then allocate the money, but nothing stops them from taking a portion of the funds they were granted and deciding to use it to help male victims. I would have no problem with them not doing that if they were not using government money and did not turn around claim they want to help male victims.

thebionicmommy: If you think it is a legitimate issue, then why do you demonize men’s groups for trying to create services for male victims and for challenging sexist, discriminatory policies? Think logically, not emotionally. Every shelter in every city is not going to have space. Every shelter is not going to be adequately funded for a variety of reasons, even if money is available. It is very easy for someone say they think something is terrible. It takes more effort to actually do something about it. I find it curious that when asked to do something, feminists suddenly are too busy or want no part in it.

KathleenB: Why do feminists assume that anyone who challenges their sexist nonsense is not involved in addressing issues that concern them? Also, it is good to know you think addressing male victimization is a “fucking pet issue”, and that it annoys you when anyone talks about it. I think all feminists should be so honest with their antipathy towards men rather than pretending they actually give a damn. But I will keep your final comment in mind the next time feminists write about some issue that concerns them.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
10 years ago

TS said

If you think it is a legitimate issue, then why do you demonize men’s groups for trying to create services for male victims and for challenging sexist, discriminatory policies?

If you think helping female victims is a legitimate issue, then why do you demonize feminist groups that try to help female victims? Why should you be the final judge on what it means for someone to care enough about an issue? There are many legitimate issues in the world. Your top priority is battered husbands but mine is tornado survivors. You do your thing, and I’ll do mine.

KathleenB
KathleenB
10 years ago

TS: Wow. you got that I hate men (or have antipathy toward men) from a comment addressed solely to your and your asshole behavior? Unless you’re trolling for lulz, you’re being an asshat AND derailing AND mansplaining. Douchebag trifecta, congratulations.

Look, you have an issue that you feel strongly about. Fine, great, everyone should have one or two. But you seem to expect the rest of the world to Do. Something. Right. Fucking Now!!eleventy! about your issue, and you’re kind of being a jerk about it. You also haven’t shown any evidence that you’re trying to tackle the systemic issues associated with DV, or change shelter policies in your area, or anything but bitch about how horrible feminists are. So you’ll forgive me, I’m not sure at all, for thinking you’d rather cut bait than fish.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
10 years ago

Think logically, not emotionally.

Could you please elaborate on this? I’m not sure how describing Xtra’s dilemna was “thinking emotionally”. I thought she brought up a very good point, that men aren’t the only people who don’t get the help they need when they need it. She was a woman with five children unable to find a shelter after being evicted. She showed the human side to these issues, something that can be overlooked by only analyzing statistics. Facts are of course important in making policy decisions, but they don’t always tell the whole picture.

I also want to know why you demand that Nobiyamu find out how much federal and state grants go to shelters. Why don’t you look it up yourself? It’s not polite to expect other people to do your research for you. She knows what she is talking about, because she has real experience in this kind of work. I noticed you avoid all of her questions about the nuts and bolts of operating a shelter, and it’s making me doubt that you have real hands on experience yourself. Otherwise, you would speak and up describe what you do for male victims in the real world.

Finally, I need to bring up the fact that some shelters are funded privately. I believe that they have the right to determine what gender they will help. For example, a faith based shelter should not be expected to house men and women in the same facility because it goes against their moral beliefs. Sometimes private donors specifically dictate they want their money to go to certain types of victims, like victims of a certain religion, nationality, etc. This is also okay, because they are giving the money and have the right to decide who the money helps. This is where it is important for MRA’s to actually pony up some money themselves so they can have more say in how money is spent at domestic violence shelters.

I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish here. Is complaining to feminists fun for you? I don’t get it. If you have a goal, just say what it is and get on with it already.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
10 years ago

When I mentioned people earmarking donated funds for a specific type of victim, I was thinking of how local shelters have had donations made to help Spanish speaking victims of dv. The money is used to hire translators to help the victims communicate with English speaking staff members. Donors saw there was a need and helped to meet that need. This is something the MRM could learn from. They could also hire people to offer counseling service specifically to male victims since this is their top priority.

KathleenB
KathleenB
10 years ago

Also, TS: Most of the feminists I know walk the walk. They give to causes, they sign petitions, they us the web and social networks to raise awareness, they hold rallies and marches and fundraisers. Many write books (Jessica Valenti, the founder of Feministing has written several), teach classes, hold seminars and workshops to help women learn to help each other and everyone else. Now, I can’t do a lot of that because of monetary and physical limitations, but I do my best. As far as I can tell, you come to feminist sites to troll and stir shit and refuse to take responsibility for your actions or consider that a mere female, and a FEMINIST at that, might have a point.

You. Are. Being. An. Asshole.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
10 years ago

Eh, if he wants to be an asshole he has the right to make that choice. It’s the fact that he seems to be useless to his own cause that I find kind of depressing. Slacktivism – it’s infesting the body politic like virulent weed.

KathleenB
KathleenB
10 years ago

TS: When I say that you refuse to take responsibility, I am in no way referring to your past. You bear no responsibility for the actions of your aunt, and I didn’t mean to imply that you do. I hope that you can come to find some peace with your past – I know what it’s like to be haunted by what others did.

My references to taking responsibility are to your actions here – derailing a thread into a browser-freezing monster, not accepting any logic other than your own, seeing insults where none are meant, etc.

KathleenB
KathleenB
10 years ago

CassandraSays: I’m kind of hoping that spelling it out in plain english will make him take a look at his actions and maybe try to do some actual good. What can I say. I like charging at windmills.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
10 years ago

I’m still suprised that TS believes the women’s auxiliary of the Masons, the Order of the Northern Star, is the same thing as being an actual Mason. It makes me wonder if he thinks the Columbiettes are actually Knights of the Columbus. Again, feminists aren’t protesting fraternal orders anyway, not even Stone Age ones like the Loyal Order of the Water Buffaloes.

Toysoldier
10 years ago

thebionicmommy: Questioning sexist policies driven by feminist ideology is hardly demonizing feminists for helping female victims. Again, this should be something feminists support since they claim they oppose sexism and want to help all victims. I asked Nobiyamu to look up the information because he/she appears to know that information and should therefore have no problem listing it. Nobiyamu asked no questions, so there was nothing for me to answer, and I am already aware of the processes Nobiyamu mentioned. Yes, privately-funded groups can do whatever they want, and must comply with the conditions placed on them by their funders. Again, why do feminists assume that anyone who challenges their sexist nonsense is not involved in addressing issues that concern them?

KathleenB: Yes, so when you called my concern for male victims a “fucking pet issue” you really meant that you think I am a despicable person? And you expected people to know you meant that… how? I did not derail the thread. Feminists randomly attacked men’s activists for being concerned about domestic violence against men, and I responded to that. As for your complaint about me expecting other people to get involved, that it is the pot calling the kettle black considering how much time feminists spend expecting the rest of the world to Do. Something. Right. Fucking. Now!! eleventy! about their issues, and being jerks about it. But it is good to know that holding feminists to their own word makes one a jerk. As for the other matter, most of the men and men’s activists I know walk the walk, despite having to put with feminists who actively oppose their efforts. And spare me the faux sympathy. I could not care less whether you or other feminists think I am responsible for my past.

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