What We Missed

House majority leader Steny Hoyer said the House will likely take on ENDA this year, as well as may vote on repealing DADT.
Heinous: There is a #itaintrape trend on Twitter.
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity & Reproductive Rights (COLOR) has announced their new Executive Director, Solicia Lopez.
The New York Times picks up this new Male Studies bullshit. Ugh.

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  • dawn_of_the_bread

    I don’t get the feminist reaction against male studies. One programme at one institution hardly compares to the enormous feminist influence in tertiary education – not just women’s studies depts. The intense dislike of male studies seems to indicate an unwarranted insecurity in certain sectors.

  • Becca

    The twitter link doesn’t seem to work anymore – maybe they removed it?

  • Gina Christo

    Why is male studies bullshit? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to women studies to understand and learn about where the behaviors men have that negatively effect women come from?

  • saraeanderson

    I was confused by the itaintrape item. I was like, “‘I taint rape;’ what does that mean?” But then I figured it out, and was as pissed off as everyone else.

  • EndersGames

    “The New York Times picks up this new Male Studies bullshit”
    It’s hard to imagine how else the organization could be framed, given that any account of evolved/biological sex differences evokes a knee-jerk negative reaction from many mainstream feminists. In feminist academic scholarship, any acknowledgment that there are evolved differences between men and women generally results in one or more of the following:
    1) It’s met with a strong knee-jerk reaction claiming that our minds are blank slates when it comes to sex differences (even though we know there are anatomical differences that lead to observable physical and behavioral differences, such as puberty, ovulation, and changes in women’s behavior that occur around the time of ovulation);
    2) Claims that if there are sex differences, culture norms and institutions completely rewrite them anyways (a claim that is partially true, of course, but also one that is written about a great deal by evolutionary-minded researchers);
    3) Claims that if there are any differences, we shouldn’t talk about them because they will get soaked up by the media and general populace who will twist them into justifications for further segregating men and women (I agree that is a major problem, but not one that justifies promoting ignorance of how culture shapes biology/psychology and how biology shapes psychology/culture. If we ignored evidence just because some it is threatening to one view of morality, then we would stand with the creationists who believe that acknowledging evolution means the end of moral and ethical behavior.
    4) Claims that anyone who believes in biological differences in behavior is simply naively reifying cultural patterns of behavior in (even though evolutionary anthropologists and psychologists conduct some of the most rigorous cross-cultural and cross-species comparative studies).
    There are of course biologists that feminists love, but these tend to be biologists who focus on the way that cultural context shape the way that men and women organisms develop (e.g., Anne Fausto-Sterling) while strenously distancing themselves from claims that
    Men’s studies in particular faces this problem. If you attempt to reference evolutionary/biological causes of anything in a men’s studies paper, reviewers will have a knee jerk response against it (unless you are arguing that sexual orientation is biologically determined and therefore unchangeable, then you’re mysteriously in the men’s studies mainstream).
    So this all leads to a problem. If the vast majority of mainstream feminism and men’s studies is hostile to any serious reference to the evolutionary or biological influences on sex differences (and it is), it leaves biological/psychobiological/evolutionary researchers who are feminist or feminist allies in an awkward place. You can’t join Male Studies (because, by the look of it, it’s going the other extreme, though I can’t tell for sure because only one member is quoted), but you can’t join most gender studies, because of the knee-jerk distancing from evolutionary approaches and vast misunderstandings of evolutionary approaches (oh, and yes, this is definitely the case).
    For those who are interested in how evolutionary researchers actually do account for sex differences rather than the absurd accounting of these perspectives in sociology and psychology of women texts and bad news reporting, I’d suggest the following:
    1) Mothers and Others; Mother Nature; and The Woman Who Never Evolved – All by Sarah Hrdy.

  • asseenontv

    If someone wants to throw away four years of their youth studying why feminism is evil, and whining about why it’s hard to be a man, I almost think they should be encouraged to. It’s kind of it’s own punishment.

  • Brittany

    It ain’t rape, eh? They can keep thinking that when their dick’s been impaled with barbs.

  • MandyV

    The Shame of Honor: Global Activists Resurrect the Voices of the Dead
    Asma. Rukhsana. Zakia. Duaa. Fereshteh. Somayeh. Heshu. Samera. Amneh, Zahra. Semse.
    As an investigative journalist, Rana Husseini had no intention of shifting careers to become a human rights activist until she was given an assignment in 1994 to cover the intentional death of Kifaya, a sixteen-year-old girl in Amman who had been poisoned by her older brother after being raped and forcibly married. The town’s ambivalent response to Kifaya’s murder shook Husseini to the core, and so with the backing of her editors at The Jordan Times, she began to investigate such deaths in order to expose the unconscionable crimes to what she believed was a willfully ignorant public. Ignoring threats of violence that followed each of her published stories, Rana Husseini became the voice of the dead.
    The Bay Area’s Safetyfest Queers Anti-Violence Activism
    Folks in the Bay Area are in for a ten-day treat this month with the community focused Safetyfest, a “celebration of all the fierce ways queer and trans people in the Bay Area stay safe and strut our stuff.” Beginning on April 8th, this cooperative effort will bring together anti-violence artists and activists from groups like Community United Against Violence (CUAV), Mangos With Chili, The Bikery, EL/LA, and the Self-Defense for Self Determination collective to provide innovative workshops and community building events focused on LGBTQ safety. Part fun and part fundraiser, all of the offerings at Safetyfest are either free or sliding scale, and no one will be turned away.

  • LurkinMerkin

    Comedic gold from the comments on the NY Times article:
    Finally some academic justice where men do not feel the need to apologize for producing the best of what the world offers today. The ridiculous notion that you can somehow rewrite history through the lens of feminism has finally been exposed as the harmful and untruthful propaganda it really is. We should celebrate white males every day for successfully leading our civilization out of the caves and adding life expectancy consistently over our existence.
    It is not the fault of white men that we are so successful. End the envy and the hate.
    Translation: White dudes ARE the center of the universe! No one appreciates that! What about us??
    I love the assumption that male studies automatically equals white male studies in this person’s mind. Also, I’m pretty sure this comment sums up exactly why “male studies” does not need to exist.

  • SamLL

    Men’s studies is the thoughtful academic discipline; “male studies” is just a bunch of dudes who hate and fear feminism, recently founded in direct and explicitly stated opposition to men’s studies.

  • SamLL

    I’ve had such a long experience with being presented by a series bad-science, bad-reasoning fallacies stemming from evolutionary psychology that I’ve developed an allergic reaction.
    It seems like just about everything out of that branch that I hear is either a just-so story, an is-ought confusion, or a hasty generalization from hundreds of thousands of years ago to today.
    So, claiming evolutionary & biological causes for behavioral sex differences to feminists is a lot like comparing people to Hitler on the internet: maybe you have a point, but so many quacks have done it before you in a superficially similar way that you are going to have a tall hill to climb to prove that you should be taken seriously.

  • dawn_of_the_bread

    EndersGames (great book) gives a well-rounded reply below, so I’ll just point out that you haven’t addressed my question.
    I’m asking why male studies draws such a disproportionate level of criticism from feminists when it is so marginal.
    I mean, feminism really is mainstream in academia… Just consider that men’s studies operates within the feminist paradigm. This is one course at one college.

  • IAmGopherrr

    Are you kidding me? Lionel says that feminism exists to denigrate men and has ever since the second wave. Its a big DUHHHH why thats wrong and if they allow that is this not the beginnings of a continuing unhealthy trend? Like other posters have illustrated for you this isnt a course about masculinities (which exists within gender and womens studies programs), which looks at depictions of masculinity through diverse cultures and eras within a critical and analytical lens. This is a faux course thats really PR for what the what ‘about teh menz’ women haters. A campaign built to supposedly reinstitute an archaic and unhealthy construct of masculinity which they claim has been dismantled by feminism.

  • IAmGopherrr

    But this isnt what its about. Did you even read the article?

  • IAmGopherrr

    Like it!And all the faux science (even one claiming that rape is an evolved behavior) is the kind that gets published and popularly perpetuated by lay people to excuse bad behavior or to maintain archaic and myopic gender roles. Amazingly women do as good as boys in math but supposedly it was popular to claim back in the early and mid 90’s that girls were never going to be as good as boys in math do to brain differences, but…low and behold, unsurprisingly they were wrong. Not to mention, a guy that believes that feminism existed only to denigrate males should not be trusted whatsoever with gender science. Its quite clear that he would only use any gender science in a selective manner to come to his own gendered myopic conclusions and abuse the authority of his position to push this misogynistic tripe down students throat. Not good.

  • IAmGopherrr

    LOL! I know!I read that comment too and was absolutely disgusted!