Our Shared Shelf discussion

note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
Archive > Mens "Penis" March

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Smart | 347 comments A friend of mine who is authoring a book on child punishment posted the following on her FB page today:

"One of the women on my FB Friends list posted a thought wondering what would happen if millions of men were protesting the election of Hillary Clinton wearing knitted penis hats. My question is, are the women and men marching with knitted labial hats going to don penis hats next weekend to speak out on behalf of boys and men and their human rights? It pains me to see that even mothers of sons refuse to open their eyes to the sexism, shaming and abuse of boys and men in our society, despite all of the information I have posted over the years. Tragically, few speak out against the abuse of boys and men and the human rights violations against them. It is so painful to be the mother of a young adult son who is so vulnerable in this culture and know that none of those protesters care about Male Genital Mutilation, sexual abuse of males, domestic violence against males, the toxic anti-male hatred in this country and the fact that there are hundreds and hundreds of federal, private, corporate, United Nations, NGO, grassroots and nonprofit organizations and initiatives for girls and women and next to NONE for boys and men, their protection and their needs."

I wanted to hear your responses to this and how you all felt about it.

The response I posted on her FB was as follows:

25 years ago back in high school being as shy and closed as I was I sat alone and observed so many things, both in school and outside of it. Not aware of it at the time but very aware now that the thought process I had going through my head whilst observing everything was the core of feminism and gender equality. All I new back then was that my thoughts were true to my heart and the right way of thinking.

ALL OF THIS has to do with patriarchy and domination of which can be done by both males and females alike ii includes what you believe in. That at it's core is where it is all derived from. Every last bit of this is one big symbiotic circle to where everything is interconnected or linked in some way with each other. One thing cannot and will not be achieved without the other. When true gender equality is achieved both sides will be lifted up equally and what you believe in will be realized. You need to understand that by standing and fighting against them you are in essence fighting against yourself and what you believe in, whether you believe it accept it or not they ARE your Allies.

Am I right or am I wrong please discuss and let me know your feelings on this.

message 2: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 16 comments Thank you! This is something I've questioned for so long... it's nice to hear someone else speak about it. I feel like feminism (the title) is wrong and broken. If feminism is all about equality for all, than why does the title imply that women are the only important ones in the group? Is there something equal to feminism and even this OSS community that focuses on helping the male population with societal pressures? I hope that one day these kind of titles won't be needed anymore and we can all live as equals without any speak of gender/race inequality.

message 3: by James (new)

James Corprew Robert wrote: ".whether you believe it accept it or not they ARE your Allies. "

I think your response was good in theory but not really ingrained in reality. I know im beating a dead horse here but the issues i have brought up before about "inclusiveness" within feminism simply does not exist. To me there is still too much dysfunction within the movement with no real solidarity or leadership. You still have way to many pockets of variation and its quite difficult to get on board or even understand what the movement wants. You have some spokeswomen saying one thing, another saying something else, and so on.

Look no further than what happened today in DC. This particular group of feminists were not only excluded and dropped from the partnership of today's events but were also bullied out of it. If everyone is welcome to be included than why are we still seeing divisiveness and exclusion? Where are these leaders (Steinem, Watson, Johansen, etc) calling this bad behavior out? Why are they sweeping this kind of stuff under the rug without addressing it?


As to your friends post i can only say that i agree with her stance but also understand that society has not yet caught up with the idea that men and boys can be abused, raped, etc. Society still tells us that its simply not possible for that to happen to them so as a society we simply do not take it serious enough when we should.

I think the overall point your friend was trying to make is that while women currently have the shorter end of the stick it is equally as important to talk about men's issues as well if you are using the platform of gender equality. I think what turns people off is whenever events like this go on it is always based on the premise of anti-male rhetoric. A lot of today's speakers spent a lot of time talking about love and coming together only to follow it up with insults and cursing at Trump.

Whether or not Trump comes around out of the dark ages is anyone's guess. But if we are to truly strive for a better world than we need to show that we can be better than the ones who oppress others. It does not good and serves no purpose to combat hate with more hate. There were certainly some great things addressed today as well so i dont want to sell them short but again many messages were simply littered with more animosity and unfortunately thats how we got here in the first place.

Its ok to be angry, but we need to be smarter about it and we need spend less time contradicting our message if we ever want to achieve gender equality. We cant expect to convince people to change if we cant do that ourselves.

message 4: by Gerd (last edited Jan 22, 2017 02:28AM) (new)

Gerd | 428 comments 1. Hilary wasn't elected, so that point is moot.

But still what would happen if millions of men protestet wearing penis caps?
Nothing much they just would show their dick headedness more honestly than usual.
I don't believe that Hillary every confessed up to or encouraged abuse of men, did she?
I don't think that Hillary ever openly posed as a homophobe or racist, did she?

(Besides, I don't understand why those protesters insist on calling their cat-ear caps labia caps, they don't look anything like far as I can tell)

2. "and know that none of those protesters care about Male Genital Mutilation, sexual abuse of males, domestic violence against males,"

This is pure and simple hyperbole.
I know at least one female fb friend who marched who's taking a stand against circumcison of children as well, I have no doubt that she cares about sexual abuse (abuse is abuse, it has no gender!), the same goes for domestic violence wich is just a lot harder to track because society's idea of masculinity makes even harder for men to report this kind of abuse.

3. "the toxic anti-male hatred in this country"

Are we talking about the same country here?
The one that let a rapist go scot-free because a verdict could have hurt his academic career?

4. "the fact that there are hundreds and hundreds of federal, private, corporate, United Nations, NGO, grassroots and nonprofit organizations and initiatives for girls and women and next to NONE for boys and men, their protection and their needs."

Besides, again being hyperbole, stop whining about it and organize!
If you feel that men do not get enough help and protection then do something about it, but don't go out and essentially attack people that just happen to care more about the injustices done to girls and women in the world.

(Yes, I'm angry)

message 5: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments Gerd Excellent analysis. I agree.

One observation Robert why us it when we get these misogynistic threads opened, it is always a women who made the point but had a man raise it. If you believe in what you say declare it or as is the convention put a note saying this is not and you are opening a debate.

For these discussions to have value courage of our convictions is key.

message 6: by Bii (new)

Bii (biileto) | 2 comments I consider myself an intersectional feminist, which means I not only believe in gender equality, but on the end of the minorities oppression (ie, trans, woc, abused men/women). It's about giving them a voice concerning the issues they've been through and that I, a cis white able-bodied woman, have never experienced.
Feminism gives a platform to those who are oppressed in a patriarchy that is mainly ruled by men. I acknowledge the abused men, etc, but I think women's, trans and poc issues are much more relevant these days considering the ammount of oppression they suffer daily.
(Sorry if my english isn't very It's my second language and I'm writing this on the app.)

message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark | 12 comments It's kind of the obvious question to ask of a movement that says it "stands for gender equality of ALL genders". Why doesn't it stand up for the inequality and injustices that groups of men and boys face, as it does for women and all other genders. After all to those involved, be they female or male they need the same kind of help, the same kind of support systems.

Its kind of the elephant in the room.

"the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes".

The answer is in the definition of feminism. The movement is simply not an equality movement.
Indeed from many posts on OSS it has been clear over the last year that feminism, as a movement is reluctant to identify itself as an equality movement. All the emphasis is on the activism for the rights of women and the achievement of equality appears secondary to that, where it exists at all.

This leads to a dual approach to feminism, where for the activist the fighting for women's rights are paramount and equality if need be can be sacrificed, and those who regard the principal of equality as the most important aspect.

So It is a woman's movement for women's rights.
Fighting on the same platform as the MRM groups. And to be honest that is not a problem, it is being true to its definition and historical platform.

Not a problem that is until you make the statement that the movement "stands for gender equality for all genders". Because to stay true to that statement you have to treat all genders equally, you can't achieve equality or come close to equality without doing that. And if you don't then you chance losing all the veracity in that very statement that you say you stand for.

Yes, feminism has taken steps in the right direction in becoming more intersectional, but it still doesn't advocate for all genders, and some of the actions it advocates and the rhetoric surrounding those actions acts to re-enforce the societal stereotypes of not just men but of feminists as well.

So yes Robert I agree, in order to head towards gender equality there needs to be a common approach to dealing with the inequalities and injustices that affects all genders from all genders.

Not sure that I have explain everything that I wanted to say in this post, but thanks to anyone reading this post that has taken time to read it.

message 8: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments Talha, Feminism is about equal treatment irrespective of differences not the elimination of them which is the opposite of equality.

Men and women can be given the same rights and opportunities under law and will be. Nothing in biology or sociology to prevent that.

message 9: by Eram (new)

Eram | 43 comments Talha - Your comment is so not surprising. I would love to trade those rights which I have more than you with your rights. Wanna make a deal?

There's no doubt that women in rural areas are suffering bad. But it seems you think women in urban areas are enjoying equal and as per your statement more rights than men somewhere that I've no clue of. What happened at Karachi where men groped girls, kicked on the belly of a pregnant woman? When girls are harassed while on roads and at work places and they have to ignore all that because of course if they will come out of the house, they should expect that. A girl gets raped and she needs 4witnesses to prove that rape otherwise the man will go scot-free....hurrayyy equal rights.

A girl in a family would use shitty public transport to face harassment and the boy in the family will get a motorbike to commute? Equal rights much.

A boy can stay out of home, hangout with friends, do every kind of shit and will still get a VIP treatment while the girl once back from school/college/office has to stay at home?...wohooo...of course she better sit and sulk at home.

These are very few examples from daily life of a middle class Pakistani urban woman.

I'm at least grateful that you think that rural women are suffering. Now you blame NGOs and ppl who do documentaries to highlight issues, earn fame and go back.
Please tell me what do you know about NGOs who are working? They are working on grass-root level, they are working closely with the communities...they aren't just funding those community based organisations on health, education and women empowerment issues but also funding their income generation programs.

On macro level - the law against domestic violence which was approved in Sindh Assembly was because of the efforts of The Asia Foundation and Aurat Foundation.

Now the documentaries - what do you expect them to do? Do their work to highlight the issues and give us food for thought to work on those issues or do our work too? Of course, you expect them to do our work too cuz we are not going to move our ass and work on those issues.

Please keep your half baked knowledge to yourself and stop telling women that they have equal rights because we DO NOT have equal rights.

And another thing...please stop quoting Islam everywhere to prove your point. Thank you very much.

message 10: by Eram (new)

Eram | 43 comments And Talha there's a whole presentation on web about discriminatory laws in Pakistan. Google it and go through it. I hope you would know how women in Pakistan, both urban and rural, are NOT enjoying equal rights.

message 11: by Felicia (new)

Felicia (feliciajoe) It's simply wrong to assume that feminists don't care about violence against males, or sexual abuse against males, or male genital cutting. If you asked those protesters, most of them would have strong feelings about these issues.

Feminism is about equal rights for everyone. It just also recognizes that it's women, not men, that are being structurally oppressed. This doesn't mean that feminists hate all men, and I feel like these exact words have been said a hundred million times, and sometimes I wonder why we still bother to say it, since clearly no one is listening. The thing is that a lot of other issues would be solved along with sexism. Men, too, benifit from feminism. With feminism, a boy would never have to hide from his friends that he does bakket, or that he likes having a nice handwriting, or whatever else that is considered "girly" at the moment.

When violence against women goes down, so will violence against men. When sexual abuse against females goes down, so will sexual abuse against males.

Feminism is for both genders, and the name comes from centuries of opressing women. There's nothing wrong with the name, and I'm tired of discussing that instead of the issue.

Feminists care. Just look at the signs from the marches.

message 12: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments Men will benift but we are also the problem. I am a man becuase that what I am. I am feminist becuase it is right.

Men have more of the whole than women that is wrong simple. Women are making a stand to redress that becuase that is right. long trem when we have equlity it will be the same for eveyone until then men have to help , hinder or move aside.

Heforshe has shown there are many men some committed to feminism other not willing to help. The ones that oppose have a shared fear. that is not the same as a shared commitment.

what is a higher human calling than standing for what is right even, maybe particularly because it does not immediately benift you personally.

for those that maybe wondering why myself and men all over the world are here doing this, making a stand, simple because one woman Emma Watson was brave enought to ask us too and make us ask ourselves why we would not.

message 13: by Prpages (new)

Prpages Felicia wrote: "It's simply wrong to assume that feminists don't care about violence against males, or sexual abuse against males, or male genital cutting. If you asked those protesters, most of them would have st..."

I agree! One of the main points of feminism is the dismantling of the patriarchy which harms men too. Especially in regards to sexual assault, toxic masculinity, reinforcing gender norms etc. Because of this I do think it's important to include men in the conversation. Namely the ways the patriarchy might negatively affect them. There also needs to be more inclusiveness across all spectrum's in regards to race and gender. I think anyone that doesn't aim for this doesn't really understand the point of feminism, which is, equality for all.
Here are some good articles on ways in which the patriarchy harms men:

message 14: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Jo (jo_9) | 373 comments Mod
Felicia wrote: "It's simply wrong to assume that feminists don't care about violence against males, or sexual abuse against males, or male genital cutting.."

I agree with everything you say. :)

I'm the only female in my household, and the health and happiness of my sons is my primary concern.
It is therefore wrong to assume that the woman that marched in the marches around the world are ONLY concerned with woman's rights. Ask anyone at the march an i'm sure they will tell you that they believe in EQUAL rights which includes ending sexual assault and violence towards boys and men.

But, even in the cases of sexual assault and violence in males, the abuser is more often than not - Male.
I understand that there will be exceptions, some woman do beat their husbands and boyfriends which is of course WRONG and they should be sent to prison as any man doing the same to his wife should.

I think if their was ever a 'penis march' it would just look a bit...ridiculous.

Besides you just had a penis march through the streets of Washington...his name is Donald Trump.

message 15: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Alan | 1 comments Agree! :)

message 16: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1086 comments Mod
I look to others here for guidance, but I believe the argument for gender roles under patriarchy are reletively young. Where we are now, what fights we are fighting now have given us an understanding that women are not inherintly weak or delicate nor are men stoic and tough.

This distinction is evolving as is our awareness and conversation. So, continue to champion this for your boys. They can be nurses. They can be house husbands. They can emote. Teach them.

back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.