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December 21, 2006



Yay for reposting. This sentence in particular requires preservation for posterity: Believe me, feminism can't even convince women that having a labiaplasty might not be the best idea, and that's just common sense. as it is funny, sad, and true.


I'm so glad you posted this again. Despite the (entirely justified!) white hot rage, it makes a lot of sense. I wish I could be this articulate when angry. Excellent analogy with third world citizens and Aboriginal people, too. Bloody brilliant.


Zoe and Ariel, ta. Dunno about articulate, but it's something to aim for.


good on you for reposting! some things should not be left unsaid.

Mark Richardson

"No, I am a Man-Hater, in a world where the institutions of power favour the XY chromosome, where women are regularly raped and abused and murdered, where child abuse is rampant, and where my gender guarantees I'll make less money than a male colleague. Are you seeing a trend here, perhaps?"

This is not the best evidence to provide for the existence of a patriarchy. As it happens, more men than women are victims of violence; most acts of child abuse are committed by women not men; and women are paid equally to men if they choose the same work with the same hours and accept the same promotions.

I wonder too what the female response would be if men really did try to act against their own masculine nature. What if we refused to take on a provider role or made public displays of weakness or became readily emotional?

We would be scorned to the ends of the earth. The only way the feminism you promote can work is by pretence: if men assent to the idea of non-masculinity, whilst still upholding a traditional masculinity which will appeal to women.

But why bother with the pretence?


Well done, Mark, for combining the frankly incorrect with the entirely non-sequitur in the same sentences.
Oh, and to answer your question:

What if we refused to take on a provider role or made public displays of weakness or became readily emotional?

We might live longer.

Mark Richardson

Liam, if you were in a debate and all you said of an opponent was "he is incorrect" you wouldn't score too many points.

As it happens, the first two points I made (that men are most of the victims of violence and that most children are abused by women not men) are indisputable. I have never read any survey, not even a feminist one, which claimed otherwise.

And why would men live longer if they displayed feminine emotion?

And even if it could be shown that low-income, effeminate men live longer, would this really outweigh the associated costs, such as a reduced ability to marry successfully?


two minutes in google later

Most fatalities from physical abuse are caused by fathers and other male caretakers. Mothers are most often held responsible for deaths resulting from child neglect. However, in some cases this may be because women are most often responsible (or assumed to be responsible) for children's care (U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1995).

Now if we were, as they suggest, to take neglect on rates of carers by gender then we'd have to say that your indisputable point is not only clearly disputable but most likely bollocks.
Most victims of violence are men hey? And most perpetrators?

Tsk. Such clumsy dishonesty Mark. Quite the role model for young men I don't think. (And if you are reading young men out there - the ladies just aren't impressed by repressed men, or Lynx for that matter. More later dudes!)


I'm glad you put this back up because I missed it the first time. I love how 'man-hater' is supposed to put women back in their boxes cause women are supposed to be nurturing and caring etc. People who use that term should not that 'hell hath no fury...' is true. Just try hurting my family or my friends and find out. Women are nurturing and caring, and hell on wheels when we have cause. Keep up the good work Kate.

Mark Richardson

Anthony, this pie chart makes the situation very clear: here

The chart, produced by the US Department of Health & Human Services in 2004, shows that the mother acting alone was responsible for 31.3% of child maltreatment fatalities and the father acting alone 14.4%.

If you include the mother acting with others, the figure rises to 41%, and the father acting with others 15.6%.

So there is a very large gap between fathers and mothers in terms of who commits child abuse fatalities: it's much more likely to be the mother.

It's true that women spend more time looking after children and that this would help to account for the difference.

However, this doesn't help the "patriarchy" theory argument, as it shows that child abuse is not so much related to assertions of systemic male power, but to some other cause connected to the stresses of spending longer hours with children.


Wow! Out of nowhere Mark turns up to help us out with this hard stuff!

Your concern is palpable. Thank you for sharing it.


I have often wondered just why it is that women spend so many more stressful hours with children than men do. Mark is right, it's obviously got nothing at all to do with patriarchy.


Great post Kate.

Mark: Shut up. Your ignorance is just boring.

You're a bitchgrrrl, and you've gone too far, cause you know it don't matter anyhoo

The intriguing aspect to this debate is that Mark seems to have missed the crucial point to this post, which is that the line is:

"Oh-oh here she comes, she's a manEATER"

Hall & Oates: the Paragay of Pop


Mark: To date, it takes a man AND a woman to have a baby. And, as you acknowledge, the responsibility (with all the attendant stresses) of taking care of said baby is likely to fall on the woman. Which, of course, has nothing to do with 'patriachy'.


Your way with statistics is dazzling Mark. However I am too imbued with Christmas cheer today to play 'duelling percentages' and also I am bad at maths, because I am a girl and we all know the reason why there aren't many female CEOs and astrophysicists and politicans is because we're bad at maths.


I applaud the sentiments. And the post.

I do think the most interesting point in this discussion is where we point our finger and yell "she IS a man-hater", then turn and do a running leap through the air, landing in a shmick forward somersalt before throwing ourselves into a series of scary-arse spins. All in a very sexy black leotard with grey ribbed leg warmers. The leg warmers are the most important part.

Feminism is all about natural rhythm, accessorising and the art of pun.

Our detractors are simply jealous.

...incidentally, I too am a feminist and don't hate men. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just become a lesbian separatist, and hate men. But then I realise that patriarchy is complicated, my quibbles with the status quo are complicated, and so I need complicated solutions and explanations.


Right on, sister.

I couldn't stop thinking about this post as I sewed pink Christmas presents for my little girl yesterday. Thinking (with my still placenta softened brain) about how an ocupation is still an occupation even if the occupied are on friendly terms with the ocupying forces. Even if it's been so long that freedom from is unimagineable (what would a world without patriarchy look like? can't even begin to imagine). So it's freedom with that we have to work with. And like everyone said it's complicated.


This is a fantastic post. Thank you for providing us so many pithy, quotable parts.

I can't help wondering how many "feminist surveys" Mark has read from which he could draw statistical conclusions of any kind. Hell, I can't remember reading many feminist surveys myself, and I'd actively seek them out.


"Thinking (with my still placenta softened brain) about how an ocupation is still an occupation even if the occupied are on friendly terms with the ocupying forces. Even if it's been so long that freedom from is unimagineable (what would a world without patriarchy look like? can't even begin to imagine)."

Great point Janet. I love the analogy.


Kate, this was a brilliant post. I'm a proud feminist, and you've just provided me with the most succinct reposte for those (men AND women) who claim that the patriarchy is a sham cooked up by 'the feminists' whose only agenda is to oppress men. The labiaplasty, the Aboriginal injustice analogy - brilliant.


Oh, and Mark - saying that women would earn the same money as men if they accepted the same promotions is exactly the same kind of argument as suggesting that Aboriginals wouldn't be so disadvantaged in our society if they just respected themselves in the same way that we whities do - ignorant and facile.

Jennifer Cascadia

You say: "The idea that showing weakness is essentially unmasculine is a huge problem".

This is a very interesting facet of social life, and it is very correct of you to point it out. What I have found out about "weakness", though, is quite interesting. Sometimes -- if not usually -- there is actually no correlate between what is perceived as weakness and a genuine condition of debility, or inability to act and think, at all.

So, I find that very often somebody will take something I say or do as a kind of confession of weakness (rather than, well really the opposite state of being -- a condition of being really honest about myself because I am thick skinned and quite able to show the contempt I have of uninvited value judgments, via a genuine indifference.) Well, I find that this indifference, because it departs from the norm and looks like a confessional mode, is treated like weakness. And I find that those who make this assumption usually expose that pallid vein in the neck a little too readily.

What I am hinting at, in a roundabout way, is that it is almost not even necessary to exert much aggressive energy, one way or another, when someone assumes my strength to be an indication of weakness. They expose their own actual weakness, and somehow walk away being hurt.

It's really magic!


The Aboriginal argument is completely facile. They were a people with a self contained community and culture, and have now been pushed to the margins. I do feel, however, that attempting to blame all of there problems on everyone else helps to hold them back, as there is nothing empowering in blaming all of your problems on others. Anyway, one of the negative things that has been done to aboriginals is for some pompous non-aboriginal to come along and act as if they know what their problems, aspirations, and issues are. I would have hoped we would be over that particular intellectual trap by now! As for the Chinese factory worker: these people work in factories because the powers that be in China (i.e. the communists) have decided that they can increase their power and wealth by encouraging these establishments. NOT because some evil white man has decided to exploit these poor defenceless coloureds! Cast your mind back to the mid 19th Century and the working conditions in industrial England, or North America, before the rise of trade unions. I don’t think you’d claim that the Chinese who bought their products were in anyway “exploiting” them.

I take issue with a number of these claims, particularly the one where the author claims being female guarantees that she will earn less than a male colleague. This is plain wrong, and if she'd bothered to think about it outside the prism of anti-maleness she would realise this. Take Hillary Clinton, for example. She was often portrayed as a wildly successful woman as she ranked in the top 100 attorneys in the US. This means, obviously, that she earned much more than most of the thousands of faceless, "also rans" of the American legal profession, many of whom are men. I don't doubt that Hillary Clinton was a better lawyer than most of them were, but she still earned more, despite the claim that her "gender" guaranteed that she didn't!

I've noticed that Mark Richardson was accused of quoting Kate out of context. The pay imbalance comes from a number of sources. One is that many mothers work part time to earn a little extra money, but don’t seek full time employment because they want to be there for the kids. Another is that pay scales are weighted towards senior positions, and it is only in relatively recent times that women in significant numbers have been moving into those positions. Now you can regard this as a victory for feminism (I suppose it is), but if so, why deny the reality of it. The only area where you can have a level of complaint is that pay scales differ across different work areas. Top lawyers get paid far more than nurses; accountants far more than secretaries; engineers more than child care workers; stockbrokers more than social workers. Complain about this if you will, although I’m not sure how you would set pay rates. Dealing with children can be hard work, but the skills required are more common than those needed to design a plant to make antibiotics. In any case, I’m not sure that many women would like childcare workers to be paid as much as chartered accountants, considering how much childcare costs at the moment any way! However I know for a fact that I’m not paid more than the woman sitting on the other side of the coral. I AM paid more than the girl who was working in Doc Control: but I had to spend years at university, and am held responsible for anything that goes wrong, whilst her position is one she took after leaving school. She’s good at what she does, but is it wrong that our pay rates are different?

The final issue that I take is this idea that it’s OK to hate men because you (i.e. Kate and her fellow travellers) have “no power”. I have “no power”. Does this give me the green light to hate women, Catholics, Asians, Italians, Americans, aboriginals, New Zealanders, and Dutchmen? I’ve had at least one negative experience with members of all of the above “groups”. Or do you think that as a man, and a white one at that, I have the “potential” for power which means that I have no right to such thoughts, or that they somehow make me sinister because I have some indefinable influence over “institutions” which you think you do not? There are institutions that are feminist dominated. Universities, which despite their ivory tower reputation (somewhat deserved) are very influential in influencing public policy, and in indoctrinating future generations are heavily influenced by feminists, and often radical feminists at that. This is something that I do have a direct experience of. You not only have women’s studies units, but much of the university bureaucracy is staffed and run by women. My university had a feminist vice-chancellor, feminist faculty Dean (in Arts, and in Science) and sub-Dean. The Arts Faculty itself was strongly feminist in it hierarchy, and was growing more feminist with each year. Hatred of men in these circles certainly does matter, especially as women, despite the continuing denials, are moving into decision-making positions in ever increasing numbers.

To close, a few things for your commentators. Firstly, for Kate I would assume that most astrophysicists are male (although I haven’t looked it up, and I’m quite sure you haven’t either). BUT, to lump them in with CEO’s and Politicians is plain ridiculous. Astrophysicists are not well paid, particularly in Australia, a senior social worker would earn as much or more. As for female Politicians, there are quite a few of them around. This links in with your earlier lament of the “prevalence” of the able bodied and middle aged in “decision making” positions. Unless you think that we should have some kind of aristocracy where favoured individuals are perceived as having intrinsic merit and are thus catapulted to the top without having to either prove themselves, or learn from the proverbial shop floor, then we cannot have someone reaching that type of position before they become middle age, and have some experience to show why they should be trusted with such authority. You could argue that more elderly people should be in those positions, but I can’t see how you can bemoan the lack of youth – and yes I’m still part of the latter category rather than the former. It’s like complaining that in the first years of primary school, kids read Janet and John rather than the complete works of Shakespeare. It’s rather a silly argument. You could look at leading feminist theorists. They mostly come from quite affluent backgrounds, and have never had to worry much about whether their families could afford to send them to uni. This is why they used to assume that all men had these wonderfully fulfilling careers which gave them fulfilment and identity. A far cry from being a coal miner or a farmer!

Secondly, to those who talk about labiaplasty and other forms of “social conditioning”. I have not come across many women who actually want to be with a man who was a SNAG. I’ve also overheard many women talk scathingly and most patronisingly of guys who were still virgins at the age of 19! I HAVE however come across a number of self-described feminists who treat their careers as a source of spending money, and who expect their future husband to earn more than they do – and claim that it would not be acceptable for a man to earn less than his partner. It sounded to me as if they still had the idea that a man should take care of the woman financially, whilst her earnings were her own to dispose of as she willed. Would any of you regard such a “feminist” as a hypocrite who should be disowned or “educated” by the movement? How many of you, incidentally, would be attracted to a man who cried at the drop of a hat? Cosmetic surgery is done mostly for the self-image of the person who obtains it. If I went out to get a nose job it would be because I hate the hooter I have at the moment, and think that I would feel better about myself, and please women more with my appearance, if I got one. It is interesting to note that such things as anorexia seem to be more prevalent now after 30 to 40 years of a fairly strong feminist movement than they were in the “bad old days” of the “50’s housewife.”

Finally the reason why women have the main childrearing role… It is odd that people of the left (and I do think that feminism is basically of the left) can bemoan Nestle on the one hand for selling baby formula in the third world arguing that women should breastfeed their children, and then claim that women being the primary childcares is some nasty patriarchal plot! Nor do I hear too many women complaining about the large imbalance in the awarding of custody of children to the mother. This is because it is naturally assumed that women are the primary childcares – and in any case any man who is seen regularly in the proximity of children is generally viewed these days as a potential child molester. In fact, I notice that a number of commentators were happy enough to categorise men as the main source of child molesting, but to whinge that women nevertheless have to do more of the childrearing. You can’t have it both ways. It’s like moaning about being overweight as you help yourself to a second helping of black forest cake!


What a load of twaddle the above is. Misandrism comes to mind.

Remember dear Feminazis, We men are the product of Womens crutches; whether that be emotional, financial, domestic or litoral. You bare us out, we inseminate you. You are not seperate, but part of a whole.

We men are raised about fifty percent of the time, by women. You have a share in the blame game you play. The modern Feminazi movement is not part of the old order of things, but it is a new phenomenon. You women of this era have created it, not your great grandmothers, nor our great grandfathers.

Therefore, you are going against all past human history, and you are doing it on a platform of wistfull, blithing, irrational and un-anchored fascist hate.

Eventually, despite you suppopsed research, and all the Leftist bias inherent in youre movement, something will go badly wrong.

Lets just hope the wind goes out of the bag, and nothing worse happens.

PS: You dont seem to know a thing about Aboriginal issues. You are running on gossip. You should stop that.

Mark Richardson

There's a good summary of why a wage gap exists here.

The reason is not a discrimination against women in rates of pay. In fact, in some industries female graduates are being paid more than men.

The explanation has to do first with women choosing jobs which are safer and more satisfying, rather than higher paid.

Second, it has to do with women more often choosing to work part-time (and expressing greater life satisfaction when they do so).

BTW, I agree with Paul that there is a contradiction in labelling men as child abusers and then calling on them to spend more time with children.

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