Monday, 20 February 2012

The Monsieur Strikes Back

He follows through spectacularly!  Rarely is the good IOZ serious, but when he is it's something to behold. Anti-feminism, of the direct or concern troll variety, is never a pretty thing to read. It's worth noting that the two anarchist blogs I follow most avidly are the two generally woman-friendly ones: IOZ and Jack Crow.

Interactions between men and woman rest on the foundation of rape; this, as I read it, is a simple expression of rape culture. Every piece of subtle macho posturing, every little joking intimidation would not work without the accepted social position of men as powerful studs who take what they want. Likewise, that accepted social position would not make sense without the awful prevalence of men raping women. Here, maybe, is a radfem twist: even if you don't posture, even if you try to repudiate the idea of a strong, rape-y man, your interactions with women still rest on a foundation of rape - just as a policeman who tries really hard not to use his nightstick still interacts with people on a foundation of violence.  In our society, that's what a policeman is. That, unfortunately, is also what a man is, and that is a direct result (or foundation, whatever) of the patriarchy.


  1. Thanks, Phil.

    And I really like your corollary formulation. I'm linking that in to my referral to IOZ's post, if you don't mind too terribly.

  2. On the contrary, Jack, I'm grateful. Link away.

  3. Sorry, you haven't explained it any better than IOZ. You guys are big on declaration as argument.

    By the logic here, all social interactions rest on a foundation of assault or murder, since it's always an option for anyone.

    Your cop analogy doesn't work. He's got a billy club and by virtue of having it and being a cop, he is signaling his willingness to use it. All of the elements of the state are in on the game. Patriarchy isn't like that. You can't call a rapist to enforce it for you when you don't get what you want.

    Do you think it's impossible for men to see women as equals and to treat them accordingly? Explain to me how, say, a friendly exchange with a co-worker is directed by rape culture.

    Can you also entertain the possibility that objections to formulations of this kind might be theoretical and not misogynist?

  4. La Rana nails it.

  5. Permalink for La Rana's excellent post:

  6. 10:46, I'm not sure we're disagreeing that much here. I'm not claiming that male/female interactions are exactly the same as state/citizen interactions. Nor am I claiming that it's impossible for men to see women as equals and treat them accordingly! What I am claiming is that, just as it's very difficult for a cop to actually protect and serve, the whole seeing-women-as-equals thing is very difficult for men.

    Now a lot of policemen and men in general are going to disagree with this on intuitive grounds, but I think they're wrong. And I think that anarchism means that regardless of whatever crap you believe about biological differences, you're required to treat women (and everyone else) without coercion.

    As for formulations of this kind being theoretical, not misogynist, maybe you're right. It depends on how you define 'misogynist'. However, theoretical or not, formulations of this kind are very much rooted in the patriarchy - just as an argument that blacks are inherently more aggressive is rooted in a whole bunch of racist assumptions, whether the arguer is themselves a flaming racist or not.

  7. You can always tell who cares the most about any particular subgroup by how loudly and how often they tell you they care.