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Does the new Facebook friends icon prove that feminists are man-hating female supremacists? One lady MRA says yes

Female supremacy in action?
Female supremacy in action?

So Facebook has been making some tweaks to some of its graphics. The company recently changed its already unexciting logo to one that is … even less exciting, but apparently easier to read on mobile devices.

But it’s what Facebook has done to its “friends” icon that has one lady MRA up in arms.

In a post yesterday, A Voice for Men’s still-banned-on-Twitter “Social Media Director,” known as JudgyBitch, declared Facebook’s “Feminist designers” to be “as shitty at designing as they are at equality” and offered them a virtual middle-finger in the style of Facebook’s iconic thumbs up icon.

fuck-off

So what has JudgyBitch in a snit this time? Well, a few months ago, Facebook design manager Caitlin Winner was struck by the fact that the site’s “friends” icon depicted the silhouette of a woman standing behind a larger man. This didn’t sit right with her. In a Medium post explaining the new graphics, she wrote

As a woman, educated at a women’s college, it was hard not to read into the symbolism of the current icon; the woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in.

My first idea was to draw a double silhouette, two people of equal sizes without a hard line indicating who was in front. Dozens of iterations later, I abandoned this approach after failing to make an icon that didn’t look like a two headed mythical beast. I placed the lady, slightly smaller, in front of the man.

She also removed the silly spike in the man’s hair and gave the woman a cuter ‘do as well. (Scroll back up to see the old and new icons side by side.)

Facebook quietly rolled out the new icons, as well as several other icons Winner had tweaked (including an androgynous figure that can be read as male or female or neither). But not everywhere just yet: while the new icons seem to have made it into the mobile app, the old icons remain on the site’s web version. No one seemed to have even noticed the change until Winner posted her explanation earlier this week. The reaction has been mostly positive.

But to JudgyBitch, the fact that the woman is now in front of the man is yet more proof that feminism isn’t about equality at all, but female supremacy.

I honestly think a good number of women who call themselves feminists have swallowed the lie that feminism is simply about equality between men and women … 

Hire a woman’s who went to a woman’s college if you want to see real feminism is action. … 

Facebook is not making a business decision – our demographic skews heavily female, so we have changed our friends icon to reflect that – they are making an ideological one: men’s proper place is in women’s shadow.

Well, if you ignore the fact that the figures are now the same size, and simply look like two people standing close together.

JB also posted an assortment of generic icons of men and women to show that Facebook could have depicted a man and a woman together without one being in front of the other, or without the two looking like a two-headed monster.

Here’s one of her examples of icon equality in action:

icon5

You may have noticed that the man is in front of the woman. JB evidently didn’t.

Hey, the Men’s Rights movement needs a steady supply of phony outrages to keep itself going, and JB has provided it with yet another one.

H/T — @TakedownMRAs

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Mari
Mari
6 years ago

Good point, Orion. There was another situation recently where I was called on my lack of perception in a similar matter, that of a woman reluctant to leave her boyfriend. I wouldn’t have been that obtuse a couple of decades ago. I put it down to having been the main wage earner in my marriage for a long time.

Another area of unconscious privilege to work on.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Infant and child circumcision is easier because a) reduced bleeding risk (you’re removing WAY less tissue) and b) no general anaesthesia or sedation. The child’s limbs are strapped to the operating table to immobilise them instead. “Traditional” circumcision of infants is performed without any topical or local anaesthesia, which is monstrous. Medical circumcision of infants is performed under local anaesthetic injected into the kid’s penis. Some practitioners believe application of topical anaesthesia is sufficient but its really, really not.

Adult circumcision is performed on people who have problem foreskins so, yeah, saying goodbye to them is no big deal for the patients. The incision, which is around the shaft of the penis and along where the frenulum in removed, is big and poses a bleeding risk AND dudes have it done under general anaesthesia. That’s two things that make recovery more difficult and complications more likely for adults than children.

It’s still fairly low risk and a relatively easy recovery. Totally worth it for dudes who will benefit from it.

The Mad Cow
The Mad Cow
6 years ago

Alan Robertshaw,

The stereotyping can work against women though when they commit ‘unladylike’ crimes. Female child abusers tend to get much more severe sentences than men. There’s an element of ‘how could you go against nature and harm a child’. Women are supposed to be nurturing and all that.

Did you just make up this claim out of whole cloth? Maybe things are radically different in the UK, but the norm in the U.S. is that men are punished more severely for that category of crime.

I’d be interested to see any support for your claim, if it was not created from your imagination.

isidore13,

@Madcow, I notice you don’t address the suggestion of a possible cause for women being treated with more leniency than men as being a part of patriarchy – because in patriarchy, women need to be protected and coddled. Thoughts?

I haven’t addressed causes because I don’t know what they are, or even have a guess. Up to now the studies have tried to tease out answers, such as the hypothesis that judges take pity on a woman’s children, so that would account for the bias (and possibly represent a social good). However, that didn’t pan out. There are women without children who face the criminal court system, and they strongly benefit from leniency compared to men without children — or, for that matter, compared to men with children. When it comes to sentencing, it’s better to be a woman without children than a man with children, so children certainly don’t explain the bias.

The bias is displayed by more than just judges as well. Prosecutors have enormous discretion to pursue charges, reduce charges and ask for a certain sentence from the judge (who will rarely give more than the max asked for by the prosecution). Getting charges reduced is one of the best things that can happen to a defendant, and prosecutors more than judges are responsible for reducing charges. So any investigation of cause would have to look at both prosecutors and judges, who each may have different influences.

Even criminal defense attorneys may play a role, since virtually 100% of them who have experience are quite aware of the bias (outside of We Hunted The Mammoth, it’s not a secret) and expect a female client to do better than a male client in similar circumstances. Perhaps their own expectations figure in in some way.

Starr is not eager to offer any conclusions about causes:

After estimating the amount of disparity left unexplained by the arrest offense and other control variables, the paper explores “why these gaps exist—and, in particular, whether unobserved differences between men and women might justify them.” Prof. Starr explores several potential mitigating factors, such as the “girlfriend theory” (that “[w]omen might be viewed as…mere accessories of their male romantic partners”), the role of women as primary caregivers to their children, and the “theory that female defendants receive leniency because they are more cooperative with the government.” Although each of these theories found some support in the data, they did not appear capable of explaining anything close to the total disparity that Prof. Starr found.

Prof. Starr emphasized that it is not possible to “prove” gender discrimination with data like hers, because it is always possible that two seemingly similar cases could differ in ways not captured by the data. Given the size of the apparent gender gap and the richness of the dataset (which allowed many alternative explanations to be explored), however, Starr believes that there is “pretty good reason to suspect that disparate treatment may be one of the causes of this gap.”

As far as patriarchy being responsible, I am not aware of any studies on that.

Orion,

It looks like you were wrong. Unless I misread it, the Starr study only looks are people who were arrested and charged with a felony. The chance of being arrested is not controlled. The chance of the charge being reduced to a misdemeanor is only partially controlled, because (I think — it was a complicated section) the chance of a lesser charge is lumped in with the chance of acquittal, dismissal, or transfer to another jurisdiction.

Can you point out to me where I’ve gone wrong?

Yes, I can. I did not write that it was only Starr’s study that supported the list. I wrote, “Starr’s study (which controls for factors such as prior offenses) and other similar studies have shown that…” I see now that could be read to imply that all referenced studies support all items on the list, but that was not my intention. Most studies are too specific to study the entire criminal justice process from arrest through conviction.

However, that list is accurate in that there are virtually no studies that find no bias against men whatsoever. Different studies find different amounts of bias depending on various factors, but they all find that there is something there. The studies that find the least amount of disparity tend to be those that focus only on those cases that make it all the way to trial and sentencing. For example, the Berkeley study focuses only on sentencing. It does not account for all of those cases that were either dismissed or were reduced in plea bargaining to charges too low for the study’s focus.

Starr’s study is unique in that it does take into account plea bargaining, including bargaining down to a misdemeanor from a felony. Since plea bargains, not full bench or jury trials, are the norm, what happens at this stage is enormously important. Starr discovers that since the bias against men is present at this stage, the previous estimates of the actual disparity in sentencing were too low. Female defendants/arrestees benefit at every gateway in the process, and these benefits add up. For example, a female defendant is likely to benefit not only from an early reduction of a crime to a lower charge (meaning she faces a lower maximum sentence) but also favorable treatment (compared to a man) when she is later sentenced for that lower charge. In contrast, a man is more likely not to get the reduction in charge, and, on top of that, when he is sentenced for the higher charge he gets a heavier sentence than a woman would get for that same higher charge. He gets shafted twice.

The Berkeley study misses the effect of the plea-bargaining stage. It assumes all defendants are equal at sentencing and starts the study there. But if the female defendants have already benefitted from reduced charges before this part of the process, that benefit will not be reflected in the data, and the amount of bias will be understated.

Starr demonstrates with her analysis that a bias at the plea-bargaining stage is in fact present and significant. She shows that the multiple opportunities for bias to creep in created even more of a bias against men than was already known. You can’t really determine the overall gender fairness of sentencing if a significant number of female defendants got to have their charges reduced to a lower crime to start with. The final sentencing decision made by a judge is just one significant part of the process, not the only significant part.

It could have gone the other way. Starr’s analysis could have shown that while final sentencing decisions made by judges were lenient to women, the earlier plea-bargaining process was lenient to men. That would mean that judges display a bias against men, but prosecutors display a bias against women. But it didn’t turn out that way. It turned out that both judges and prosecutors show leniency to women that they don’t show to men, and so men were suffering an even greater penalty disparity than was previously known.

She could also have found that men were more likely to have charges dismissed, a factor that would obviously effect overall outcomes. But she found the opposite. She found that at every opportunity for leniency — charge dismissal, charge reduction, sentencing — women found leniency that men did not.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago
weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

The deer, they are teal. So, so teal.

Mari
Mari
6 years ago

@marinerachel

Thanks for the details. It sounds like there haven’t been a lot of changes since I was last pregnant, over 20 years ago. It’s shameful that this procedure is carried out on newborns without adequate anesthesia and usually needlessly.

My husband’s circumcision was due to medical reasons, and there are probably two reasons why he didn’t find it a big deal. First, he had appendicitis around the same time, and I’m sure the circumcision paled in comparison to that pain. Second, he’s not an egotistical asshole who thinks the world revolves around his dick and anything that affects it is monumental by definition.

I know one other man who was circumcised as an adult. He was raised atheist but decided to practice Judaism. Now, he complained loudly and at length about the procedure and recovery. But then, he is an egotist who thinks the world revolves around his dick, so I didn’t really listen, which is probably why I didn’t remember that at first.

katz
katz
6 years ago

Pandapool: You’re improving this experience immensely.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@katz

I could post a picture of a sphincter and it would improve the experience.

Mari
Mari
6 years ago

Nice ones, Pandapool and WWTH. The fact that the last pic is of a deer rather than a cow is fitting, because Mad Cow is working hard to hide that his real species is MRA. With some sea lion genes tossed in.

At least I assume he’s still working on that. I stopped reading the teal deer some ways back.

Bina
6 years ago

Oh lord, is the sealion still at it?

(checks)

Yup, he still is.

Wake me when he fucks off.

mrex
mrex
6 years ago

I’ve read Psychology Today off and on for decades. There have been quite a few articles on the site about circumcision that have convinced me that routine circumcision in infant boys is the wrong thing to do. There are less traumatic ways to gain the medical benefits of circumcision. Pain relief during circumcision is spotty; mostly because some doctors feel the risks of pain relief outweigh it’s benefits and because there is *NO* way to have a completely painless circumcision anyway. Even a penile block only numbs *part* of the penis, and there is still the pain of the injection itself.

I’m always horrified by the idea that “having” to put older boys and men under general anesthesia is a “con”. Of course gen anesthesia ups the risks, but considering that the only reason why infants aren’t put under, is because babies are able to be strapped or held down if they become upset, I hardly consider gen anesthesia a “con”. Think about it this way. If Gen anesthesia is such a problem for older patients, why not perform the surgery awake at all ages? It’s because circumcision is painful and/or unpleasant to go through awake, which to be fair, most surgeries are. It’s the reason why waking up on the operating table is so traumatic. So why do we think it will somehow be less traumatic for infants? Quite frankly, if I will not put an adult through something, I sure as hell will not put a newborn through the same. Sorry, but even newborns remember trauma and abuse.

Jewish baby boys are supposed to be circumcised within so many days by religious mandate. AFAIK, for every other religion, male circumcision is optional. I know for a fact that it’s optional for Christians, so there’s no real social reason for Christian boys to be circumcised in the West. None.

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

Mad Cow:

And the Berkeley study you cite says the opposite of what you say it does. It specifically says that men with dependent children are treated worse than women with dependent children. The paper first cites previous research:

Daly’s third major finding was that family circumstances had more pronounced mitigating effects on outcomes for female defendants, particularly black females, than for male defendants. Daly attributed this to the combined effect of the fact that “court officials see more ‘good’ mothers than ‘good’ fathers” and that judges view childcare (typically provided by women) as more essential to the maintenance of families than economic support (more often provided by men).

I’m not sure you read what you think you read. Let me point out the important part. The argument was that it was usually women who were taking care of the children were given more lenient sentences. And that thing you quote specifically says, ““court officials see more ‘good’ mothers than ‘good’ fathers” and that judges view childcare (typically provided by women) as more essential to the maintenance of families than economic support (more often provided by men).”

See? that? They view “childcare” more important. You are expanding “dependent” to providing child support payments. As if men being primary caregiver never entered your mind. The next part is expanded to “women with children” and “men with children” while not explaining who is the primary caregiver… Which was the whole argument you were responding to.

isidore13
isidore13
6 years ago

@mad cow: fair enough. Could I ask you for a favor? I am not, I think, understanding the point you’re trying to make about leniency in male vs female offenders. Can you state your point clearly and concisely, please?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Can you state your point clearly and concisely, please?

comment image

The Mad Cow
The Mad Cow
6 years ago

@mad cow: fair enough. Could I ask you for a favor? I am not, I think, understanding the point you’re trying to make about leniency in male vs female offenders. Can you state your point clearly and concisely, please?

It exists. It matters.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago
isidore13
isidore13
6 years ago

@mad cow: why is this the appropriate place for this?

LG.
LG.
6 years ago

Of course men are given longer sentences. That’s evidence of the prison industrial complex. Men in patriarchy, particularly poor men and men of color are more likely to have their bodies commodified as laborers or soldiers, whereas women tend to be commodifed as breeders or sex slaves (things the private prison industry currently has no means of setting themselves up to exploit).

It makes no sense to blame this on feminism and it makes no sense for feminists to resist these facts.

epitome of incomprehensibility

@mrex – well, I did have a (very small) surgical procedure today, awake. I had to get one of my wisdom teeth pulled out because it wasn’t grown in well and its roots were growing in two different directions. I was kind of terrified just at the concept, even though lots of people have wisdom teeth pulled out and it didn’t turn out to be very painful or scary (but ow, did my mouth hurt when the freezing wore off). I guess the thought of a thing wouldn’t be the problem for babies. Sometimes lacking a conceptual framework helps, I guess, though there’s the issue of consent as well as pain.

Perhaps that’s irrelevant, as I don’t have any strong for-or-against opinion on circumcision (for me I don’t mind leaving the decisions up to families, but to teach safety and hygiene so that parents can be well informed, whatever they choose to do – like teaching family planning). If I had boy children (a big “if” about having children at all) I don’t think I’d have him/them circumcised, neither would I have kids’ ears pierced before they’re old enough to understand the procedure (I’ve seen babies wearing earrings and thought it strange; of course, pierced ears don’t change your appearance much and can heal easily).

Khane's Mom
Khane's Mom
6 years ago

I am wondering, regarding the sentencing thing…do any of the studies take motive into account? I understand that they are comparing “the same crime” but a dude that murders his ex in a jealous rage (looking at you OJ), and a woman that kills a man that has hurt her before and may again. Both are murder, however, I don’t see those as the same at all.

Is it possible that the circumstances under which the crime occurred may influence the final outcome?

bvh
bvh
6 years ago

“but to teach safety and hygiene”

This is what it comes down to: American sexual repression making the idea of a permanent surgical surgical solution to hygiene sound more reasonable than simply teaching boys to clean themselves. That is insane.

I’ve known uncut men and none of them have health or hygiene problems. I suspect the ones that do, do so for the same reason women of the same background have health and hygiene problems. Ignorance, etc.

We need bidets. Countries with bidets don’t have this “debate”.

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