Hate Speech at Stanford

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University of Michigan law professor Catharine MacKinnon, the surviving half of MacDworkin, gave a speech at Stanford University the other day about how every day is Sept. 11 for women in America (or should that be "Amerika"?). Noting that "the number of people who died at [the terrorists'] hands is the same as the number of women who die at men's hands–every year," MacKinnon asserted, "A kind of war is being fought, but there is no name for this war in which men are the aggressors and women the victims."

It's true that about 3,000 American women and girls are murdered every year (about 10% of them by other women). Of course, that number is dwarfed by the roughly 10,000 males who are also murdered every year, but never mind: "Just like terrorist attacks, acts of violence against women are carefully planned, targeted at civilians and driven by ideology." This is, of course, nuts. There may be a few woman-killers who are driven by misogyny, but MacKinnon's broader claim is akin to the notion that every interracial violent crime is part of a race war. This analogy brings to mind another point. Anyone who blamed African-Americans as a group for violent crimes committed by black perpetrators, or Arabs or Muslims as a group for radical Islamic terrorism, would be branded a bigot—and rightly so. Yet MacKinnon can say things like, "half of society is attacking the other half"—and it's "incisive" and "thought-provoking," according to one female law student who attended the talk.

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  1. It’s always incisive and thought provoking to be told you’re the victim of a vast conspiracy. Makes a person nod and feel righteous indignation. It’s somewhat less thought provoking to be accused of one.

    The truly sad part about Ms. MacKinnon and the late Ms. Dworkin, is that the nuggets of truth the uncover get lost in their overgeneralizations and angry rherotic.

  2. It’s this kind of frothing at the mouth that obscures the real problems that need solutions. People like her are their own worst enemy.

  3. As outrageous as MacKinnon is and Dworkin was, I still think the worst is the woman who referred to Newtonian physics as “Newton’s rape manual.”

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go solve the wave equation in a heteronormative manner before oppressing some lesbians of color.

  4. However, it would actually be nice if the government prosecuted the war on rape as vigorously as the war on drugs. But, the “man” is more interested in what you put in your body as opposed to what someone forces into another’s body.

  5. Jon, you’re presuming that MacKinnon genuinely cares about solving the problems she professes to be concerned about. It’s more likely that her chief interest is the advancement of her career – and in that endeavour she’s quite successful.

  6. “…the lecture, which was sponsored by the Women of Stanford Law, a student group, and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.”

    Wonder how much her (tax dollars and student fees supplied) honorarium was for this. Oh, and the reimbursement for travel expenses.

  7. She would bitch if her nuts were in a vise!

  8. As I’ve pointed out before, generalizing about all men and all women as MacKinnon does fails to realize that only individuals oppress or are oppressed. To call all of a group guilty, or innocent, or victims or villains, should be considered speech that is beneath the minimum level required for debate.

    How foolish that it is considered worthy of publication, praise and dissemination as serious discourse.

  9. I know I’m not the only one who is sick of “x causes a 9/11 every day/week/month/year.” Like saying “look at the monkey” when making an argument.

    ?This is a real war that has gone on for millennia.?

    Indeed it has, and it has been pretty outrageous. Yet, wouldn’t one think that at this moment in history, more women exercise more freedom and have better quality of lives than ever before IN HUMAN HISTORY??? Yes, there are far too many cases of disgusting violence against women around the globe as well as in the States. But any rational discussion of the issue should at least acknowledge that the glass is 7/8 full instead of claiming that the 1/8 of the glass that’s empty is some kind of calculated, planned armageddon.

  10. She also leaves out the incredible abuse many many men experience from women. Yes, it’s not physical abuse, but that doesn’t make it much better.

  11. Anyone else ever tell a woman in bed that you were “not in the mood.”

    Men, you do not have the right to expect sex from a woman, but you’ll soon find out that they expect sex on demand.

    Men, Arise! Don’t be used as a sex toy any longer.
    Uh, wait. Strike that.

    Men, Stay flacid. Frustrate them until they beg for it.

  12. It’s not like a racial claim at all. It’s what Wittgenstein called “grammatical,” concerning the relations between men and women.

    Take it as poetical violence, rather than literal violence. Her literal violence is figurative for it.

    Men violently reduce unsettled situations to facts, boil things down, resolve problems. Women synthesize and relate in complex situations.

    The man brings that to an end.

    There is no such difference between races.

  13. Man, that’s really shallow. Either you are acting for the purpose of advancing a political cause, or your actions are completely bereft of ideological meaning?

  14. And Cathy, on behalf of the men, you can stop leaping up to defend our honor from “hate speech” like this any time now.

    Really. We’ve got it from here. Thanks.

  15. I rely on Berkeley Breathed to diffuse this bomb.

  16. Damn joe…are you channeling Gunnels?

  17. joe,

    You seem to be implying that, because she’s a woman, Cathy shouldn’t be bothered by misandry. If I’m white, should I not be bothered by racism?

  18. “Heartbreak,” was the title of Dworkin’s memoir…”Heartbreak,” just think about it, when they were the fungus on the most radical and effective movement of the 20th century.

    I guess because of the terrible proliferation of porn! Boo-hoo, women can pay their way through college and men can masturbate efficiently…boo-hoo-hoo, rape.

    Should gay men be allowed porn? Can they photograph themselves for this purpose? Should other men merely rely on their memories of naked women? Are they allowed to draw tits for themselves?

    Dworkin’s fat head explodes like Captain Kirk taking out a computer with a logical quandary. Rot, you obfuscater, you sullier of the great freethinking heroes of humanity, rot.

  19. And Cathy, on behalf of the men, you can stop leaping up to defend our honor from “hate speech” like this any time now.

    Heh. You just don’t get it, joe. This isn’t about women defending men. This is about most women being frustrated with the fact that idiots like MacKinnon and Dworkin appointed themselves defenders of womanhood.

    If you think Cathy is writing to defend men, you really need to pay closer attention.

  20. Actually, Steve, what I was implying is that Ms. Young shouldn’t be bothered by misandry because it is about as important and harmful a problem in our society, measured by the harm it causes, as a drug store running out of press-on nails.

    So, is anyone else going to offer an opinion that it is “nuts” to claim that there is an ideological dimension to husbands and boyfriends using violence agains their wives and girlfriends?

  21. Joe’s supposedly pro-feminist comments are just a form of macho posturing in disguise. “We’re men! We’re strong! We’re powerful! No amount of sniping from these pathetic little women could possibly hurt us!” Personally, as a woman, I find this attitude insufferably condescending. I think equality demands that women be held equally accountable for hate speech as men.

    And by the way, Dan, this is partly about defending men. There are a lot of men who have suffered due to false or inflated charges of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, etc. That doesn’t negate the fact that other men have gotten away with such offenses, of course. But I believe that misandry does have consequences.

    Is there an “ideological component” to men’s assault on their wives and girlfriends? Judging by the well-documented fact that domestic abuse is no less prevalent among gay couples than among straight ones (and that a lot of violence in heterosexual relationships is initiated by women, though they generally don’t do as much damage because of the average differences in size and strength), I think the ideological interpretation of domestic violence is profoundly misguided. I’m sure that in some cases, abusive men believe it’s their “right” to control “their” woman, using force if necessary. However, I believe research shows that domestic violence is far more strongly correlated with various mental/emotional disorders than with patriarchal attitudes.

    In any case, MacKinnon is not simply saying that there is an “ideological” component to male intimate violence against women. She is saying that it is strategically planned and driven by a conscious ideological agenda. Yep. Definitely nuts.

  22. And by the way, Dan, this is partly about defending men

    Well then, I stand corrected. Do continue. 🙂

  23. NoStar,

    You got that right. Peg has been hounding me all day .. now excuse me while I take a peek at ‘Jugs’ and head upstairs.

  24. The latest figures from the National Institutes of Mental Health show that in spousal abuse events, men are the victims in 51% of the cases. Where “violent” spousal abuse is involved (serious bodily injury or death), men are the victims in 59% of the cases.

    You don’t hear men whining about this sort of stuff.

    Gals, just suck it up an move on.

  25. Cathy,

    Feel free to take on any goddamned (would-be) tyrannical crazies you come across, regardless of race, sex, creed, whatever. We love you for it.

    Joe, drop back ten yards and punt.

  26. Todd,

    It’s physical abuse too. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen young women hit men. Playfully. And sometimes really hard. Ha, ha. That’s a pattern of abuse that is continued into adult life. You piss her off and she hits you. You don’t dare hit back, because then you’re a domestic abuser and the kids don’t have a daddy.

    It’s a one sided game, and it needs to be fixed, yesterday.

    Charlie

  27. Aside from the Roe v. Wade effect, do you suppose that right-thinking virtuous hostility between men and women might make leftists diminish in numbers? The left seems to be on the path to oblivion, like secular Shakers, since they are either unwilling or unable to reproduce. Godspeed to them! Conservatives should subsidize Dworkin’s and MacKinnon’s publications.

  28. Check it out. MacKinnon doesn’t understand the implications of what she’s saying…

    MacKinnon:

    “International law today doesn’t capture the reality that half of society is attacking the other half”…”This is a real war that has gone on for millennia.”

    So if these men on women murders are to be seen as part of a war, then this makes these crimes a more collective guilt and tends to absolve the guilty *individuals*, the way that soldiers on both sides of wars are absolved for their taking of lives. For MacKinnon to make her point, she has to deny to the murders part of their individual thought, and thus responsibility. And what are we to make of women on women murders in MacKinnon’s scheme? Are these simply the actions of traitors who have switched sides in this “war” that MacKinnon has concocted?

    Also, all of us, men and women, need to defend our freedom of speech against MacKinnon’s obnoxious anti-porn proposals.

  29. I wonder what the late Ms. Dworkin would have made of Attorney General Lockyer of California’s comments about how he wanted Ken Lay to meet “bubba” in prison.

  30. HeyBub:

    The latest figures from the National Institutes of Mental Health show that in spousal abuse events, men are the victims in 51% of the cases. Where “violent” spousal abuse is involved (serious bodily injury or death), men are the victims in 59% of the cases.

    That sounds a bit fishy to me. What’s the source?

    (According to the National Violence Against Women Study, men are victims in about 38% of domestic assaults every year.)

  31. To think, I’ve spent the last 10 years snooping through my husband’s things looking for his Patriarchy Membership Card, and I’ve just realized that was the plan all along. Just imagine all the time I wasted doing that instead of reinventing masculine medicine and curing cancer. Which, you might note, when you say it aloud, sounds a lot like Cans-Her. Damn that oppressor!

    Charlie: Plenty of women are just as appalled by the behavior you describe. Men are told, rightly, that they should control their temper and not hit people just because they are angry, and some women go slap-happy at the least provocation, and think that’s supposed to be okay. I told one young woman years ago that one of these days she was going to smack a less well socialized male and get punched for it.

  32. Joe,

    There is an ideological component to men on women violence.

    It is well studied and well known. Some men spend years studying its tennents.

    The theory even has a well known name.

    Islam.

  33. M. Simon,

    Lets distribute the accusations equitably. Fundamentalist Judaism has a strong anti-women component. Does Hinduism? I’m thinking that in India, violence against women by men has a pretty high degree of social sanction.

  34. Let me see here:

    Orthodox Jews represent Oh say, maybe 5 million total men and women. If you leave the fold you will be shunned.

    Strict Moslems represent maybe 300 million, maybe 600 million. Maybe more. If you get femminist ideas you can get “honor killed”.

    So yeah. The Jews and Hindus (of which I am less familiar) are no doubt the more serious threat to women.

    Beside ask any Islamic. They defend the rights of women.

    My point is: if you want to find opressors of women perhaps secular America or even Judeo/Christian America is not the best place to look. Perhaps a certain amout of cultural blindness is evidenced by the current passions of the “movement woemen”.

    And yes, I do know how to spell. Occasionally. This may be one of those occasions.

  35. i wouldn’t want to be born female in a conservative religious house of any stripe, even in america.

    but i look forward to the whole islam kerfluffle which will ensue.

  36. “International law today doesn’t capture the reality that half of society is attacking the other half”…”This is a real war that has gone on for millennia.”

    And yet there are more women alive today than at any time in history.

    DAMN, we’re LOSING!!!!

  37. “MacKinnon’s broader claim is akin to the notion that every interracial violent crime is part of a race war…”

    Since when is this not a leftist position? See “hate crime.”

    As for us men “losing,” I’m not so sure. Ten thousand years ago we tended to get killed a lot, and there were two women for every one of us. Was that a good or bad thing? Hm.

  38. MacKinnon asserted, “A kind of war is being fought, but there is no name for this war in which men are the aggressors and women the victims.”

    *raises hand, gingerly clears throat*

    Perhaps women would be less likely to be victimized were there more of them willing to purchase, practice, and carry a pistol or other defensive arm.

  39. The girlfriend tells me that at the refugee center, they have to tell immigrants that they can’t beat their wives here like they could back where they came from. There’s a half-kernel of truth to what MacKinnon says, ie, that there has been an underlying assumption throughout most societies throughout most of history (and pre-history) that men were in charge and were largely allowed to do what they wanted with women. And that’s why her message is so seductive, which in turn is why her absurd overreaching, fact warping and blindness to modernization’s improvements are so maddening.

  40. Strict Moslems represent maybe 300 million, maybe 600 million. Maybe more. If you get femminist ideas you can get “honor killed”.

    Gee Simon, don’t tell my mom (#3 in her bank in Egypt) or my aunt (respected genetic researcher in Egypt, lest they get honor killed in Egypt. Orthodox strains of all religions are pretty anti-women, It’s not a solely Muslim thing. At the same time, many of the strong, independent women I knew were Muslim too and they claim that strength came from that religion. I know that doesn’t jibe with your preconcieved notions, but it is, what it is.

  41. It appears that the societal and familial orders that will win out in the end are the ones that lead to the highest sustainable rates of childbirth. In our time, the colonial momentum has reversed: European, American, and Japanese women have been exercising their “reproductive” freedom since the 1970s. Meanwhile, the oppressed women of India, the muslim countries, and China have spent the last several decades actually reproducing. One hears tales that the population boom is slowing, but it seems altogether too late for dwindling Europe and elderly Japan. The outcome in the United States is doubtful, where men and women can still sometimes be bothered to have babies. Some of you will no doubt hear an echo of Mark Steyn when I say that I don’t understand how we can count our feminist order as such a fine thing when it appears it’s not even destined to last throughout our lifetime.

    Never mind all this trimming back and forth as to who’s the real feminist, who’s the real hater, etc., etc. The precise degrees and kinds of our decency or indecency toward women scarcely matter if we’re just going to be overrun and killed or squeezed out, anyway. I propose that the members of both the sexes drop this nonsense and get busy doing the one thing that justified there being two sexes in the first place.

  42. Right on the money. I had 4 years of this at the liberal arts college I attended. I can’t believe they’re still selling this to young minds.

    bohemian like you

  43. Catharine MacKinnon to my knowledge never had any problems with Bill Clintons treatment of women. So, now I model my behavior the same as his.

  44. What drives me nuts about these “men are evil” rants is that even heroic men who would give anything–including their lives–to protect a woman against rape are lumped into the same “male” category with rapists/abusers.

    Reminds me of when a college feminist group wanted to make a statement by banning all men from campus certain evenings. They were overruled on the grounds that with no men around they would be creating the perfect rapist hunting grounds and the school would have to pay for extra security.

  45. “Perhaps women would be less likely to be victimized were there more of them willing to purchase, practice, and carry a pistol or other defensive arm.”

    You beat me to it. We are such a nation of pussies. We are totally conditioned to expect government to watch over us like playground moms and make sure everyone “plays nice”. If one child gets wronged, he/she is expected to go crying to the playground mom instead of taking care of the problem themself.

    Abused women have brothers, fathers, male cousins, etc.. where the fuck are they?

  46. Who cares what law students think?!

    They only exist to perform menial research and write memos. The princesses who’ve been told they’re geniuses their whole lives make the most memorable faces when you tell them how idiotic their ideas are. That’s right, princess, your “Motion to Stop the Thingy” is ill-thought, childish, and no judge on earth would take me seriously ever again if I signed it. Now, Super Lucky Happy Cleaners closes at 7, so shake that pretty tush downstairs and get my freaking shirts.

  47. Mo, Rick Barton: that was stupid, no-one serious says that Islam is in all forms incompatible with civilisation. But a quick google suggests that honor killings are frequent and condoned in most arab-sphere countries. This includes, I’m sorry to tell you, Egypt: you might ask your friends about the law there!
    Hindus do not seem much better off, in fact, but I did not, of course, get any results for Jews or Christians of any stripe.

  48. “Reminds me of when a college feminist group wanted to make a statement by banning all men from campus certain evenings. They were overruled on the grounds that with no men around they would be creating the perfect rapist hunting grounds and the school would have to pay for extra security.”

    Yeah, we had these “take back the night” rallies when I was in college, which basically just reinforced this culture of victimhood. Sure, it was laced with undertones of “we’re mad as hell, and we’re not gonna take it”, but in reality, it was merely a capitulation to the collectivism of “victim” and “villain”. Our school newspaper was ridden, for weeks every year during “take back the night” time, with women’s editorials seeking harsher penalties and the abolishment of due process in rape cases.

    I went against the grain and wrote an editorial about my best friend, who was currently at a college where there was female majority and a large feminist presence. He and some girl got drunk at a party, and they started going at it. About halfway through, she got second thoughts, and took off. The next day, he was charged with rape. They almost kicked him out (without any evidence), but the girl rescinded her bullshit story at the last minute.

    Oddly enough, I never got any editorial responses from the whole “men are guilty until proven innocent” crowd. I’d hate to see them in a real debate…

  49. Look how controversial I am. Publish me!

  50. MacKinnon’s wrong. She’s off by about 600,000+ victims.

    She can’t see the hypocrisy of what she says about violence against women and still support “women’s rights” & “pro-choice”.

    Through ‘choice’ women violate themselves, and wonder why they are victims of violence?

    Where and how and with who a choice is made matters.

    That’s as much for men, as Evan Williams friend found out to his surprise, as for woman, including the girl.

    How can you have objective reality in front of your eyes and not see?

  51. Strict Moslems represent maybe 300 million, maybe 600 million. Maybe more. If you get femminist ideas you can get “honor killed”.

    In the so-called muslim societies, women had the opportunity to hold the highest political position in their countries (heads of state, prime ministers, etc.). Tell me Mr. Simon, when was the last time this happened in America?

  52. Of course, “radicals” of this type never seem to have an unkind word for the Islamic world that sanctions “honor killing” of innocent girls and women, and ritual female mutilation. To intellectually bankrupt individuals such as MacKinnon, that doesn’t count, since we have no right to impose a western concept of right and wrong on another culture. And yet, in true moonbat fashion, all heterosexual relations are deemed “rape.” Really people, does anybody listen to this tripe for any reason other than to get a good laugh?

  53. “Through ‘choice’ women violate themselves, and wonder why they are victims of violence?”

    indeed. it’s why i don’t go to the dentist. it just encourages them.

  54. Patrick: But a quick google suggests that honor killings are frequent and condoned in most arab-sphere countries.

    Since when google hits became a valid statistic to support an argument? I’m curious, what key words did you use for your search?
    The reason I ask is because “Honor killing” is a term specifically used for muslim societies. The general term might be “crimes of passion”. Any one who takes issue with “honor killings” in muslim societies and ignores other “crimes of passion” isn’t interested in righting a wrong, but is ideological blind and only interested in settling scores.

    Check this article for more info:


    In India, for example, more than 5,000 brides die annually because their dowries are considered insufficient, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Crimes of passion, which are treated extremely leniently in Latin America, are the same thing with a different name, some rights advocates say.

    “In countries where Islam is practiced, they’re called honor killings, but dowry deaths and so-called crimes of passion have a similar dynamic in that the women are killed by male family members and the crimes are perceived as excusable or understandable,”

  55. Joe–

    Who’s “we”, kemosabe?

  56. a: I think the point M. Simon was trying to make is that, sure, most “conservative” strains of religions tend to be “non-women-friendly” to a greater or lesser degree. There is only one, however, where the explicit penanlty for leaving said religion is death – and I think we know which religion that is.

    Mo: Sure Benazir Bhuto got to be the (highly corrupt) PM of Pakistan, but does that make up for the numerous honor killings and acid disfigurements that go on in that country. I’m sure all the “sisters” were real proud of Benazir, but it doesn’t make up for getting a face full of sulphuric acid.

    Mo: I’m happy for your aunt and all, but she is pretty unrepresentative of female Egyptian society. It’s great that some upper-class women are managing to break out and secure positions of influence. Tell me – what is the ratio of women to men at the top Eqyptian universities?

    In Jordan (you know, our moderate little buddy) the King has repeatedly tried to implement a law that would more severely punish honor killings – but it keeps getting rejected by the Parliament. Just Muslim men expressing the democratic will of their countrymen.

  57. “Of course, “radicals” of this type never seem to have an unkind word for the Islamic world that sanctions “honor killing” of innocent girls and women, and ritual female mutilation.”

    And yet, American feminist groups were pretty much the only ones calling attention to the depredations of the Taliban prior to September 11. And they were thorougly ignored by the very same politicans who spent 2002 falling all over themselves to work to the word “burka” into every sentence.

    Ms. Young, how does the fact that gay males commit domestic violence upon their partners at roughly the same rate that straight males commit violence against their partners lead you to conclude that males are not socialized to consider violent, controlling behavior towards their partners to be normal? That – the belief in the rightness of using force within a relationship – is the ideology at play here.

    “I think equality demands that women be held equally accountable for hate speech as men.” And I think that Muslims ranting against Jews are to be considered a great threat than Catholics ranting against Freemasons. Muslim anti-semitism, misogyny = big problems. Catholic anti-Masonism, misandry = not big problems. When the number of men sent to the emergy room or the morgue by their partners rises to, say, 25% of the number of women sent there by their partners, this analysis might be revising. In the mean time, insisting that woman-on-male violence is a serious problem that should call into question large sections of feminist thought puts you well into moonbat territory.

  58. I ONCE got so frustrated with my former spouse that I punched a wall, which did far more damage to my hand than it did to the wall. She decided – contrary to five-plus years of experience – on the basis of this one demonstration that I was dangerous. Next argument, when I left the house to cool off, then returned, I found a police cruiser in my driveway. I very much enjoyed listening to her explain that the reason she called was what I had done to some wallboard during a previous domestic disturbance.

    Ms. MacKinnon, I suspect, graduated with my ex-wife.

  59. Joe,

    So now it’s not a war against women but a war against all spouses of males. I don’t think that’s what MacKinnon had in mind. Personally I think there are more likely explanations for violent reactions by men in relationships than that they were taught to consider such behavior normal, but I imagine we could argue that one back and forth forever. Regardless, if women aren’t the target, it would seem to be besides MacKinnon’s point.

    OTOH, you’re probably right that radical feminists aren’t as silent about the treatment of women in fundamentalist Muslim societies as some here have suggested. But I believe I’ve heard them talk like the US is pretty much just as bad, and I suspect they mainly bring up mistreatment of women in Muslim nations in order to claim that the US is tacitly approving of such behavior, as your own post seems to do. Aside from that stupid drug war payment we made to the Taliban, I believe we hardly on good terms with them, and short of invading them pre-9/11, there probably wasn’t much we could do. What did YOU do about it?

  60. When the number of men sent to the emergy room or the morgue by their partners rises to, say, 25% of the number of women sent there by their partners, this analysis might be revising.

    I know a lot of men who would have been better of going to the emergency room (or even possibly the morgue) than putting up with some of the stuff their partners/ex-partners have put them through, things that are in no way appropriate for a public forum. Some men are needlessly violent as a response to their problems. Their female counterparts are much more Machiavellian — and they can afford to be, with so much of the legal and (especially!) social services field favoring them. THAT is why it’s a problem that moonbats like MacKinnon are speaking at law schools, because innocent men are being victimized by theses institutions.

    And is it just too obvious to point out the most obvious flaw in MacKinnon’s justification, that most women are killed for the same reason as most men? For walking around in the wrong areas of our great country after dark? For getting involved with the “wrong” people, or having family members who do? She’s not just accusing abusers of being part of a conspiracy, she’s accusing the drug dealers who happen to catch a female in their crossfire of being in a war against women.

  61. fyodor, dagny, I don’t think MacKinnon gets it exactly right either. Nonetheless, there is a problem that she gets at. And for a writen like Young to pick at the margins in order to declare the entire line of inquiry out of bounds is wholly inappropriate.

    What did I do about Afghanistan? Not much. Not nearly as much as groups like NOW advocated.

  62. The people who did the most for women’s liberation are Samuel Colt, who provided the first effective and lightweight means of self defense, and Charles Kettering who invented the electric self starter, so women could travel independently.

    Self aggrandizing loudmouths like MacKinnon contributed not at all.

    My advice to women who do not want to be opressed: learn to shoot, take your potential boyfriend to the range, and then marvel at how his manners improve.

  63. I too am a victim of attempted woman on man violence. My ex wive, caught in an affair, responded by throwing dishes at me. Alas for me, she throws like a girl, and missed. 20 minutes later she had calmed down, and I agreed to put her through medical school rather than pay her alimony. Her later perjurous charges of child molestation against me were shown in court to have no merit. I have not seen two of my children for over 5 years. The court was not interested in enforcing the visitation order, since she was female, and of course her perjury was never procecuted.

    Family courts may have her statue above them, but they have little other interest in Justice.

  64. There is only one, however, where the explicit penanlty for leaving said religion is death – and I think we know which religion that is.

    Howzat? I don’t remember reading anything in the Qu’ran about the death penalty being acceptable punishment for leaving Islam. Care to provide a source?

  65. i remember talking with folks about the taliban in the late 90s, and the only people who knew what they were was womens rights folk and drug warriors.

    the drug warriors were totally hot with them because “hey, they don’t like drugs! fuck yeah! if only we could execute drug users!”

    the womens rights folk were far more reserved in their condemnation. mostly because i think they reasonably understood for the most part that there was no solution as to how to change cultural in foreign countries remotely. we can carpetbomb our american taliban with porn and keep them occupied with the rule of law and pointy sticks; no such luck elsewhere.

  66. joe,

    You’ll (perhaps) notice that I granted that there’s a half-kernel of truth to MacKinnon’s words. It’s not anyone’s fault but MacKinnon’s if she obscures what few good points she has with mountains of bullshit.

    Anyway, I would need more than assertion or the fact that men are more violent than women in all relationships to believe that vestiges of the traditional treatment of women as chattel plays any more than a very minor and rare part in male violence towards women in US society.

  67. Catharine MacKinnon is always saying this kind of claptrap. She is the Ward Churchill of Feminist studies, the Louis Farrakan of women. People like her focus on a groups sadly real and often manufactured victimization and use it as a “justification” for assuming the persecutor role. It is all second rate drama. NEWS FLASH!!!! Hating men and blaming them for everything is not feminist ideology, it is just misandry.

  68. I don’t remember reading anything in the Qu’ran about the death penalty being acceptable punishment for leaving Islam. Care to provide a source?

    That’s a disingenuous question, since virtually all Muslims also accept that Hadith as a source of religious instruction. It contains numerous sayings of the Prophet, who most Muslims believe never gave incorrect religious instruction. So even if it were true that the Qu’ran itself does not demand the death of apostates (and it is possible, though in my opinion not plausible, to read the Qu’ran that way), the fact remains that the Hadith contains many examples of the Prophet demanding the death of people guilty of nothing more than inappropriate beliefs. This page has a good roundup of some of them.

    Commenting on Islam by focusing solely on the Qu’ran is like commenting on Christianity by focusing solely on the four Gospels and ignoring the Old Testament, the letters of Paul, and the centuries of accumulated traditions.

  69. holdfast:
    “There is only one, however, where the explicit penanlty for leaving said religion is death – and I think we know which religion that is.”

    What does that have to do with violence against women?

    holdfast:
    “that make up for the numerous honor killings ”

    “Honor Killings” are not acceptable, but do you have any evidence that they are more numerous than crimes of passion in Latin American countires, for example?

    “Tell me – what is the ratio of women to men at the top Eqyptian universities?”

    I’m not sure about Egypt, but in Arab Gulf countries (including Saudi Arabia, the most conservative of the bunch), the ratio of women in universities is more than 50% (i.e, there are more girls than boys in universities). Source:

  70. Joe:

    Actually, I am not “picking at the margins.” At the margins, I think, is where MacKinnon has something of a valid point: yes, violence against women is a serious problem. What I think is rotten is the very core of her argument: that this violence represents a conscious effort by men to oppress women.

    Because remember, again, MacKinnon is not talking merely about men being “socialized” to be violent. She’s talking about a conscious effort akin to terrorism. Note, too, that she is blaming all 3,000 or so homicides of women and girls every year on this patriarchal terrorist conspiracy, presumably including, as Dagny points out, the drive-by shootings.

    Ms. Young, how does the fact that gay males commit domestic violence upon their partners at roughly the same rate that straight males commit violence against their partners lead you to conclude that males are not socialized to consider violent, controlling behavior towards their partners to be normal? That – the belief in the rightness of using force within a relationship – is the ideology at play here.

    I’m curious. Where did you see a reference to “gay males” in my statement, Joe? I was referring to gay relationships. Last time I checked, that term covers lesbians relationships as well.

    I direct you to a 1994 article by University of British Columbia psychologist Donald Dutton, a preeminent researcher on domestic violence:

    The prevalence of violence in homosexual relationships, which also appear to go through abuse cycles is hard to explain in terms of men dominating women (see Bologna, Waterman and Dawson, 1987; Island and Letellier, 1991; Lie and Gentlewarrior). Bologna et al. (1987) surveyed 70 homosexual male and female college students about incidence of violence in the most recent relationship. Lesbian relationships were significantly more violent than gay relationships (56% vs. 25%). Lie and Gentlewarrior surveyed 1,099 lesbians, finding that 52% had been a victim of violence by their female partner, 52% said they had used violence against their female partner, and 30% said they had used violence against a non-violent female partner. Finally, Lie, Schilit, Bush, Montague and Reyes (1991) reported, in a survey of 350 lesbians, that rates of verbal, physical and sexual abuse were all significantly higher in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships: 56.8% had been sexually victimized by a female, 45% had experienced physical aggression, and 64.5% experienced physical or emotional aggression. Of this sample of women, 78.2% had been in a prior relationship with a man. Reports of violence by men were all lower than reports of violence in prior relationships with women (sexual victimization, 41.9% (vs. 56.8% with women); physical victimization 32.4% (vs. 45%) and emotional victimization 55.1% (vs. 64.5%).

    Most of the references, by the way, are to research by feminist scholars.

    Btw, some years ago there was a hilarious incident in Massachusetts where a high-level staffer at a battered women’s shelter was arrested for beating up her girlfriend. You should have seen the anti-DV activists twisting themselves into pretzels saying things like “Oh, domestic quarrels can be a really complicated matter,” etc. These are, of course, the same people who are usually up in arms about domestic violence being dismissed as mere “quarrels.”

    When the number of men sent to the emergy room or the morgue by their partners rises to, say, 25% of the number of women sent there by their partners, this analysis might be revising.

    Oh, interesting, Joe. Can I hold you to that?

    Victims of murder and non-negligent manslaughter by intimates, 2002:

    Female: 1,202
    Male: 388

    That’s about 33%, actually.

    “Intimates” is defined as current or former spouses or partners.

    And that’s excluding “justifiable homicides,” i.e. self-defense.

    Revising time, maybe? (Of course not — I can see the next round of excuses coming: But all those homicidal women are victims of male abuse *sniffle* *sniffle* … But all those violent lesbians are victims of a misogynistic society *sniffle* sniffle* *sob* …)

    Finally, you say:

    “I think equality demands that women be held equally accountable for hate speech as men.” And I think that Muslims ranting against Jews are to be considered a great threat than Catholics ranting against Freemasons. Muslim anti-semitism, misogyny = big problems. Catholic anti-Masonism, misandry = not big problems.

    I think you’re engaging in (probably intentional) sleight of hand by choosing, as your hypothetical target of “unimportant” hate spech, an obscure and almost mythical group like “the Freemasons.” How about Catholic anti-Semitism, Joe — which, unlike the Muslim kind, is not linked to terrorism? I agree that it does not pose as much of a problem as Muslim anti-Semitism, but does that mean that we should not condemn a Catholic anti-Semite as vigorously as we would a Muslim one?

    Finally, about feminsts and the Taliban. Yes, the National Organization for Women did speak out about the plight of women in Afghanistan. But it wasn’t NOW or the feminists that liberated Afghan women from the Taliban’s rule. It was the United States military. Quite a few prominent feminists, including, as I recall, Gloria Steinem, opposed the intervention.

  71. I was visiting a friend in Atlanta for his birthday. His wife didn’t like me (she actually didn’t like him to have any contact with friends or family), even though I am well-behaved and courteous. Anyway, she comes home one day in a rage, a literal rage, throwing serving dishes through windows and the like. She says point blank to my friend that she’s going to call the cops. He, being innocent of any wrongdoing, says “go ahead.”

    Long story short…she beat herself up, pinned it on him, had him thrown in jail on his birthday, in his slippers. My testimony was not indulged…after all I’m a man. Thankfully they’re divorced (finally) now, but for at least a year afterward all she had to do was threaten to call the cops and he would have been thrown in jail for longer than a night.

    So, sorry when I say that when you bring things to a level of “us vs them”, I just can’t take you seriously.

  72. Good thing that the courts understand that women abusing men isn’t as big a problem as men abusing women. Right joe? To me, violence is violence, regardless of gender.

    Oddly enough, having never hit a woman in my life – and never having struck a man in anything other than self-defense – I have very little patience for anyone who commits violent attacks, regardless of gender. (Ok, there were a few times I smacked my little sister when we were growing up – but she started it!)

    But I also know several men who still carry physical scars from bite marks and other attacks from their girlfriend/wife.

    As fyodor mentions, other cultures have differing views of domestic violence. A friend of mine’s Central American wife recently discovered this when she attacked him in the middle of an argument. Luckily for her, they charged him with domestic violence (for attempting to restrain her) at the same time they charged him (though he was bleeding and she didn’t have a mark on her). Due to the cross-charges, both of their charges were downgraded to simple assault. As the judge explained to my friend, he was lucky to get away with a few stitches rather than jail time. (She paid a fine and never saw the judge.)

    My pet theory, based solely on anecdotal evidence is that women actually tend to be violent more often than men. Some possible reasons: 1) they’re not conditioned to think of it as a last resort and tend to let their emotions sweep them into “violence of the moment.” 2) Because they aren’t as likely to be indoctrinated to be stoic and rational. 3) They’re taught that they aren’t really strong enough to hurt someone else, or that men are too tough to be injured by them. (I’m sure that if I were the presidnet of a mjor university someone would be calling for my dismissal for espousing this theory…)

  73. that last part makes sense, rob, at least in my limited experience.

    however, some people are just nuts. based on a sample set of one, sicilian women are really crazy but surprisingly handy with a frying pan. i wouldn’t consider that incident domestic violence (even if it was, technically) because i was smart enough to duck.

  74. Ms. Young,

    “What I think is rotten is the very core of her argument: that this violence represents a conscious effort by men to oppress women.” This is where you get slippery – the use of the term “conscious effort.” Is a “conscious effort” to keep your own wife from making trouble a “conscious effort to oppress women?” I’m afraid it’s not enough to say that “violence against women is a serious problem.” Tornadoes are a serious problem, too. To describe the pheneomenon as such while lashing out at all those who perceive any ideological meaning is an act that goes well beyond discrediting a “global male conspiracy.” For someone who so doggedly defended the assertion that Joshua Micah Marshall is a self-hating antisemite, you’re become extremely rigorous in your willingness to recognize ideological underpinnings.

    As for your mortality statistics, I’ll be generous an assume there are some language issues that led you to misconstrue the phrase “the emergency room or the morgue” to refer entirely to homicides. You are, of course, free to dig up comparative rates of hospital visitations. I’m sure we’ll be seeing those any minute now.

    The Masons, mythical? We have a Masonic Hall across the street from City Hall.

    We most assuredly should condemn Catholic anti-semitism. What we should not do is seize on the most repugnant anti-semitic ravings of Father Coughlin as an excuse to demonize Catholicism in general.

    “But it wasn’t NOW or the feminists that liberated Afghan women from the Taliban’s rule. It was the United States military. Quite a few prominent feminists, including, as I recall, Gloria Steinem, opposed the intervention.” This is relevant because…?

  75. “Cathy,

    Feel free to take on any goddamned (would-be) tyrannical crazies you come across, regardless of race, sex, creed, whatever. We love you for it.”.

    Absolutely. CY is the meana’ Xena of mental rage and cool demeana’.

    Joe, when you say ‘we’, you don’t mean me.

  76. And is “*sniffle* *sniffle* *sob*” considered an argument in some intellectua circles?

  77. ok, Rob, if you feel that you need someone to protect you and your victimized brethren from those mean, scary feminsits with their, uh, word processors, then I agree: we probably shouldn’t be lumped together.

  78. Cathy,

    Thank you for that last post. I was never caught up in the DV INDUSTRY (thank you God!), but I’ve seen it happen. My mother was a master (mistress?) of inflicting violence or using humiliation, pushing buttons to GET a reaction, and other “typically female” (men do it too!) ploys to GET a reaction, and then acting as the victim.

    What bothers me also about MacKinnons drivel, is that she makes no mention of the rapes of men in prison (let alone gay relationships).

    The (from memory, so be kind) 2003/2004 Prison Rape Elimination Act found that around 10% of all prisoners are raped. And this is not a date-rape situation where the victim gets up, leaves, and can easily seek out support (though it may be emotionally hard), no … these men are often gang-raped. And, in prison, once your status is that of “bitch” (not being offensive, just using the slang he is then called) … that’s pretty much it. And he will be raped repeatedly, traded for commisary items or drugs, and has a HIGH risk factor for AIDS.

    The number of incarcerated men is (about) 2 million? So 200K men are raped REPEATEDLY and the whole “every victim counts” crowd is nowhere to be seen.

    It is only recently that lesbian rape has been seriously studied, and it turns out to be comparable with heterosexual rape.

    Rapists, male or female, rely on fear, the victim keeping quiet (homophobia – in prison of being a “snitch”), and keeping power over their victims.

    It’s sad, truly and without sarcasm, it’s sad, that after 2-3 DECADES of rape literature, rape prevention/recognition classes, and changes in our penal system, that MacKinnon et al don’t seem to have a viable solution, nor a true desire to expost ALL rapists.

    Keeping women in fear and promoting false statistics to keep herself in the limelight, and the victims rehashing their pain, IMO, is just fine by her.

    Nice.

  79. There is a war between the rich and poor
    A war between the man and the woman

    There is a war between those who say there is a war
    And those who say there isn’t

    You cannot stand what I’ve become
    You much prefer the gentleman I was before
    I was so easy to deceive, I was so easy to control
    I didn’t even know there was a war

    Why don’t you come on back to the war?
    (Don’t be a tourist!)
    Why don’t you come on back before
    We all get nervous …

  80. My advice to women who do not want to be opressed: learn to shoot, take your potential boyfriend to the range, and then marvel at how his manners improve.

    I have, on more than one occassion, had the opportunity to introduce people to firearms for the first time, and without fail women are always more willing to listen and learn. Generally first time females will outshoot first time males by a somewhat significant margin.

  81. “What we should not do is seize on the most repugnant anti-semitic ravings of Father Coughlin as an excuse to demonize Catholicism in general.”

    ahh, that’s a good point.

    father coughlin = macdworkin

  82. Joe sidesteps the mortality statistics. Shocker.

  83. “ok, Rob, if you feel that you need someone to protect you and your victimized brethren from those mean, scary feminsits with their, uh, word processors, then I agree: we probably shouldn’t be lumped together.” – joe

    Gee, does that mean I won’t get to come to your “He-Man Man-Haters Club” meeting, joe? Darn… I’m all broken up by that. Is it still held in the treehouse in your Mom’s back yard? (Way to demonstrate childish, by the way.)

    For the record, it’s not women with word processors who scare me (unless they’re throwing them at me). What does scare me is a justice system that is unfairly biased against men who have been attacked and women who get a free pass for attacking other people because of their gender.

    Here’s a little more personal info than you paid for… My girlfriend happens to weigh roughly half of what I weigh. But considering how much time she spends in the gym and the dojo, she’s certainly more capable of hurting me than most men – especially Sensitive, New Age Guys like you.

    She’d never try to hurt me, but I suspect this comes from the realization that the price for violently losing her temper is considerably greater than that of the average woman. But I’m sure you’re such a BIG, STRONG, RUGGED HE-MAN that NO woman could ever hurt YOU.

    Just like I’m sure that women who can’t be empowered without your big, strong help think you’re the Second Coming of Alan Alda. Time for a reality check, joe: Your condenscension towards women comes through so clearly it couldn’t be cut with a chainsaw.

  84. Mr. Sensitive New Age. That’s me. Heh. Except when I’m condescending towards women, or think I’m a big strong he man that no woman could ever hurt. Hmm…you might want to work on that.

  85. Very little work required – I certainly can’t take the lion’s share of the credit. You did all the heavy lifting for me as soon as you hit the “Post” key.

  86. Joe, dear: get your left-of-center bloggers straight. It’s not Joshua Micah Marshall, of whom I’ve never had a bad thing to say. It’s Eric Alterman, who is utterly and completely irrelevant to this discussion.

    And is “*sniffle* *sniffle* *sob*” considered an argument in some intellectua circles?

    Well, I’m not sure, Joe. Probably no more so than snide comments implying that your foreign-born opponent has problems with English comprehension, or sneering at the masculinity of an opponent who’s afraid of (ha-ha!) women and, worse yet, doesn’t mind other little girls coming to his defense. These supposedly “feminist” comments are oozing contempt for women.

    As for the statistics: I made a reference to homicides because MacKinnon was talking about murders, in the article I linked at the start of this thread. If you’re interested in nonfatal injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control about 15% of those seeking emergency room aid for injuries inflicted by a spouse or partner are males. It’s reasonable to assume that this figure understimates male injuries from domestic violence because (1) it’s a well-known phenomenon that men are less likely to seek medical aid than women with comparable problems, and (2) a man would be far less likely to disclose that he was injured by a female partner than vice versa. Meanwhile, a comprehensive analysis of domestic violence studies by British researcher John Archer (published in Psychological Bulletin in 2000) finds that about 38% of those injured in heterosexual domestic violence are men.

    (By the way, I notice that you chose to completely ignore the data I presented on lesbian violence.)

    I am not denying that domestic violence is a more serious problem for women than for men because, on average, men are bigger and stronger. (I’m sure the disparity in injuries would be greater if men weren’t held back by the Western cultural prohibition against using force toward a woman.) On the other hand, men are far more vulnerable than women to other forms of abuse, such as false accusations.

    I’m afraid it’s not enough to say that “violence against women is a serious problem.” Tornadoes are a serious problem, too. To describe the pheneomenon as such while lashing out at all those who perceive any ideological meaning is an act that goes well beyond discrediting a “global male conspiracy.”

    Not enough for what? To qualify as an enlightened human being in the World According to Joe?

    Incidentally, I don’t “lash out” at everyone who believes that male-chauvinist attitudes play a role in some or many male assaults on women (a view shared by a number of researchers, such as Murray Straus, who also take a larger and more nuanced view of domestic violence that includes female aggression). I am “lashing out” specifically at Catharine MacKinnon, who believes that, basically, all men are waging a war against all women (“half of humanity is waging war on the other half”). This despite the fact that severe and chronic spousal violence happens in maybe 3% of heterosexual couples.

    Incidentally, a growing number of feminists are now recognizing that the MacKinnonite model of domestic violence as patriarchal oppression is false. Ellen Pence, a leading feminist battered women’s advocate and a founder of the Duluth, Minnesota Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP), writes in a 1999 essay:

    By determining that the need or desire for power was the motivating force behind battering, we created a conceptual framework that, in fact, did not fit the lived experience of many of the men and women we were working with. The DAIP staff … remained undaunted by the difference in our theory and the actual experiences of those we were working with. … It was the cases themselves that created the chink in each of our theoretical suits of armor. Speaking for myself, I found that many of the men I interviewed did not seem to articulate a desire for power over their partner. Although I relentlessly took every opportunity to point out to men in the groups that they were so motivated and merely in denial, the fact that few men ever articulated such a desire went unnoticed by me and many of my coworkers. Eventually, we realized that we were finding what we had already predetermined to find.

    (In Melanie Shepard and Ellen Pence, Coordinating Community Responses to Domestic Violence, Sage 1999.)

    In my view, the ideology of domestic-violence-as-patriarchal-terrorism has done incalculable harm to efforts to combat domestic violence, leading the “domestic violence industry” to ignore not only female aggression but also such crucial factors in male violence as mental illness and substance abuse. (In many PC-dominated jurisdictions such as Massachussets, state-certified domestic violence counseling programs are actually forbidden to focus on substance abuse or psychopathology because, well, that would go against the dogma that battering is “ideological” male terrorism against women and we can’t have that, can we?)

    So yes, I’m going to “lash” out at this insanity, because in my view it’s hurting both women and men (and children).

    The Masons, mythical? We have a Masonic Hall across the street from City Hall.

    What I’m trying to say, Joe — as you know full well — is that Masons are not really an identifiable social group in American society. Men are.

    We most assuredly should condemn Catholic anti-semitism. What we should not do is seize on the most repugnant anti-semitic ravings of Father Coughlin as an excuse to demonize Catholicism in general.

    I agree with that. However, if leading Catholic institutions welcomed raving anti-Semites as their spokesmen (the equivalents of Dworkin and MacKinnon), they would only have themselves to blame if all Catholicism was “demonized” by association.

  87. I bet she will not go even 1 step further and describe how babies/fetuses are 9/11’d by women everyday. Oh wait…killing babies is a choice that we women get to make. Excuse me.

  88. Rob said:
    “For the record, it’s not women with word processors who scare me (unless they’re throwing them at me). What does scare me is a justice system that is unfairly biased against men who have been attacked and women who get a free pass for attacking other people because of their gender.”

    I would second that.

    (slight stereotyping here – full disclosure)
    Since women are generally smaller they don’t have to hit you.

    It’s called Violence By Proxy (specifically using the state). Any person can pick up the phone and make spurious allegations, with full knowledge before-hand that they face little in the way of recriminations if the allegations are proven false.

    This applies in DV cases, to be sure, but the scary one is a false allegation of rape.

    I can hear the cry from MacKinnon et al now:
    “They can be charged! But false allegations rarely happen!”

    Yea, sure, you betcha. Charging a false accuser of rape with “filing a false police report” is like charging a rapist with disorderly conduct: it’s not much of a deterrent and it trivializes the magnitude of the crime.

    And as to the “rarely happens” idea: “The 2% of rape allegations are false” comes NOT from a federal crime data base, not from a national study, but from a single source.

    In (from memory) 1974(?) Susan Brownmiller wrote a book about rape. “Rape: against our will”. In it she cited this now famous, but eroneous, statistic.

    Where did she get it? Well, for years she wouldn’t say. But finally she admitted that this was from the opinion on a memo from one appealate (?sp?) judge in one district in one city.

    Brownmiller must have looked around good and hard and finally found a “statistic” that supported her position.

    In contrast there have been two actual studies (and if anyone knows others – plz do chime in) concerning the false allegation of rape.

    The first was done by the USAF. In this **60%** admitted lying just as a polygraph was to be administered. That’s a pretty rock hard floor. Notice I didn’t say the investigators determined if the charge was valid: the accuser admitted lying.

    The second was done by Eugene Kanin (often called the Kanin Report). Short version: of the cases he included (all the cases from one mid-sized city – full disclosure) he found that in just over **40%** of the cases the woman admitted to have falsely accused. No other criteria was allowed except her confession as to make the case a “false allegation”.

    Some could say: “but, maybe some confessed falsely”
    to which I would reply: “yes, and many probably didn’t confess to lying”.

    The problem is one of a complete lack of deterrent to false allegations.

    Hope I added to the discussioin.

  89. MacKinnon asserted, “A kind of war is being fought, but there is no name for this war in which men are the aggressors and women the victims.”
    Let’s see. Arlington national cemetary is filled with hundred’s of thousands of men’s bodies.
    We live 7 years less. Are the target of violent crimes 80% of the time. suffer 95% of the job-related deaths. More likely to get prison time for the same crime & record. Can have our children,homes & possessions stolen from us on one woman’s say-so. Have one-tenth the funding for our health issues. And have to die on sinking ships when the life-boats run-out.

    If there is a war men have lost it. And Catherine MacKinnon’s battle cry is:”NO MERCY! NO SURRENDER! SLAY ALL!”

  90. Steven – Violence by Proxy sounds like when my aunt (Mom’s sister) threw herself against a few walls and then charged my uncle with domestic violence.

    That accusation was good enough to make sure she got everything in the divorce settlement – kids, house, both cars, a big chunk of alimony and child support. I STILL feel bad for the guy. Not as bad as I do for my cousins, tho. They’d have been better off with the stable, non-alcoholic, non-delusional parent.

    I know I know… It’s third-hand and anecdotal. But it was part of my Mom’s advice not to be alone in a room with my now ex-wife while we were getting divorced. Advice I STILL appreciate her giving me, tho I can’t imagine my ex would have done anything so bizarre.

  91. I’d always thought that in cases of deliberate false accusations (as opposed to honest cases of mistaken identity and such) the penalty should be equivalent to the penalty the accused would have suffered. So if I accuse one of you guys of raping me and this later turns out to be false, I should face the same sentence that YOU would have faced, had my lie remained hidden, and you found guilty.

  92. Jennifer,

    I completely agree with you as to appropriate punishment this this heinous crime, but the rad-fems will fight it probably more rabidly than on any other front.

    IMO, their bread and butter is that “women don’t lie”, “women that DO lie do so for a ‘reason’” and that this crime (a false allegation) is “not so bad”.

    It’s a HUGE amount of power in any angry woman’s hands. Now, don’t mistake me, most women won’t use that power as it is inherently evil. But, for them to admit that:
    1) it happens more often than they admit
    2) that the effects are life shattering and life altering
    and
    3) that the laws need to be reforms (in regards to DV allegations and rape sheild laws)

    If those were to be admitted (never happen by MacKinnon et al) then their WHOLE IDEOLOGY of “patriarchy”, “violence (even violence by proxy) is a male problem”, and their whole sets of INDUSTRIES would be proven to be frauds.

    Last thing they’ll admit it.

    (sorry the post was disjointed)

  93. I’m sorry I got here so late. This is one rollicking argument. Or several actually. I agree completely with Jennifer about the penalty for falsely accusing someone of a crime — any crime, obviously.

    As someone who used to be an academic and who still works in academia, people like MacKinnon make me cringe for two reasons: because her views are so shrilly ludicrous, but also because they’re exactly the sort of thing conservatives are always looking for to rally support against higher education. If I were just a little more inclined to conspiracy theories, I’d suggest that she was an operative of the fundamentalist Christian right, because she’s promoting their cause as effectively as she’s promoting her own brand of academic fundamentalism.

  94. Abused women have brothers, fathers, male cousins, etc.. where the fuck are they?

    Often male relatives are the abusers, and if they are not the current abusers, may have been abusive to the victim in the past. Not neccessarily a good bet to rely on.

  95. “However, it would actually be nice if the government prosecuted the war on rape as vigorously as the war on drugs. But, the “man” is more interested in what you put in your body as opposed to what someone forces into another’s body.”

    This person is obviously not a male on modern day college campuses. Talking about persecuted groups. This year I’ve personally been obligated to go to multiple obligatory sessions regarding rape and sexual assault, throughout all I was treated as a potential criminal.

  96. Jack C. said:
    “This person is obviously not a male on modern day college campuses. Talking about persecuted groups. This year I’ve personally been obligated to go to multiple obligatory sessions regarding rape and sexual assault, throughout all I was treated as a potential criminal.”

    I’ll be you have. And so have many of the R.A.s, R.D., and campus administrative staff.

    But, riddle me this: how many lectures have you been to, informational packets have you been handed, or objective statistics have you gone to (lets alone were mandated) about false allegations.

    I’m just a simple kinda guy, but I’ll guess: 0

    And, even for an objective academic who really wants to learn this and *gasp* pass it along you will find it hard going.

    That’s not academic discourse, that’s political indoctrination.

  97. Hi Cathy,

    I am a male freshman at Stanford. Thanks for writing this article, because I highly doubt that anyone is going to criticize MacKinnon over here (unless I decide to put my neck on the line with a letter to the editor). I did not attend MacKinnon’s first talk mentioned in the artice, but I attended the one the next day (on her book “Women’s Lives, Men’s Laws”). She was of course advertised and introduced in ecstatic, completely non-critical terms as a “pre-eminent feminist legal scholar.”

    One of her main premises was that laws were biased against females because they were mainly written and interpreted by males and consequentially reflect the “male experience.” She was not specific on exactly which laws she was talking about, or what time in history (which allows her to blur the line between women’s past legal inequality and current status).

    To be fair, perhaps MacKinnon backs up these claims with real evidence in her book. But I don’t have to be a legal scholar to see that laws made by males don’t necessarily advantage men and disadvantage women. Just because a law is written and interpreted by males, it doesn’t follow that the law will necessarily benefit males, unless you believe that all men are conspiring to protect some kind of male “class interests.” Unfortunately, MacKinnon probably does believe something like that.

    In reality, there are plenty of laws enacted by men, or by feminists with male cooperation, that do disadvantage males. MacKinnon is completely ignoring the way paternalism and chivalry can influence male lawmakers to enact laws that discriminate against males and advantage females.

    Some other random things from the notes I took:

    – She eulogized a bit for Andrea Dworkin.
    – She spoke in glowing terms of VAWA and her hand in making it.
    – She talked about her experience helping female victims of various stripes, such as Linda Lovelace/Boreman. This allowed her to make a bunch of unsupported generalizations about the “oppression” and “exploitation” inherent in pornography.
    – She believes that privacy as a doctrine is dangerous for women (because men supposedly have more power in the private sphere)
    – She also made some convoluted PC statement about how “male dominance is what is damaging gay men,” and that “homophobia is a form of male dominance.” That seems like a very simplistic view of homophobia, because it implies that homophobia always comes from male dominance. Yet homophobia also comes from other sources, such as some types of Biblical interpretation (but maybe the Bible is “male dominance” also).
    – Throughout her speaking, she referred to “men” and “women” as collective entities, which is not surprising consider that it is a staple of radical feminist rhetoric. I wonder if she has ever heard of category errors and fallacies of composition.

    During the question and answer period, only ONE person gave her anything remotely resembling a challenge (I would have, but I didn’t raise my hand until time had nearly run out because I was a bit intimidated being the only freshman in a room full of law students). He asked her about false accusations of rape and what their punishment should be. MacKinnon said that they should not be punished harshly because it would deter future victims from coming forward, and that she was skeptical of situations where women recanted accusations of rape. She didn’t really address false accusations as a problem, of course.

    Anyway, if you have any questions about the environment at Stanford either now or in the future, feel free to let me know.

  98. Cathy Young should know about the ideological spin Radical Feminists in general, and MacKinnon in particular, have given male-female relations in this country, since she co-authored a pioneering paper on Feminist Legal Theory in 1996 for the Cato Institute.

    MacKinnon’s attempt to fuse heterosexual relations with a narrative template featuring a marxist-derived “conflict-theory” is a deliberate strategy. By doing so, she has managed the rhetorical feat of applying the ideological model of law as the Hobbesian dominance of the power over the powerless to gender relations.

    However inadequate this model may be to actual relations between men and women, as Cathy has noted in posts above, this model is very much accepted in academe, particularly in those disciplines that are heavily marxoid: literary studies, history, and sociology. I spent a quarter of a century is a middle-size private university with academic feminists, and they are people who live lives of anger every day of their existence.

    MacKinnon means literally what she says: she believes that males are at war with women, and that belief justifies her using the law as a weapon (something that marxist Critical Legal Theory calls for) in a marxoid class war between (capitalist) oppressors and (proletariat) oppressed. This assimilation of gender relations to marxist economic relations was already outined by Engels in his notorious essay on male-female relationships.

    If anyone on this list wants to do something practical, go after the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education for its retaining the Norma Cantu-generated “Sexual Harassment Guidance of 1997,” which attempts to implement precisely MacKinnon’s war strategy. It treats males as the enemy, and violates due process by calling repeatedly for “instant correction on the occasion of complaint,” a “correction” which of course implies guilt upon accusation. This document is the law of the land re: sexual harassment in schools in this country.

    This document is available on the DOE’s website. The gender war may be “absurd” and “crazy” but it’s real. Every day I entered a classroom I knew there were women students in my class who had taken the Women’s studies courses that egged them on to be hostile to male professors, and on any given day of the week I knew that I could be accused of creating
    hostile environment sexual harassment for anything that I said at all. The university would have had to respond because the 1997 Guidance evokes Title IX which means that school officials who do not make a “correction” when a male is accused are subject to having their federal funding cut off.

  99. Thanks for the comments, all.

    I’m not sure what to make of the very high rates of false accusations of rape reported by Kanin and in the other study mentioned here. All these studies relied on the use of polygraphs, and I do know of cases in which women failed polygraphs tests and retracted their claims of rape only to have these claims vindicated later. I think better studies are needed on the subject.

    Of course another problem these days is not so much lies as claims of rape based on an absurdly broad definition of the crime. An attorney I interviewed a few years ago told me about an incident in which a Barnard College student went to the police to file a complaint of sexual assault or rape. Her story was that she met a guy at a party, took him back to her apartment, and told him at the start of the evening that she didn’t want to have sex. Later on they started to make out, and one thing led to another — the girl admitted that she never rejected the guy’s advances prior to the actual sex, but apparently her training in various date-rape workshops led her to believe that for him to even try to initiate sex after she said “no” earlier was rape. Seriously. Luckily the police still had enough sense to tell her that there was nothing there to substantiate a rape charge, but with proper MacDworkinite training, who knows?

    Anyway, it’s been a pleasure talking to you all. I notice that Joe hasn’t been back…

  100. CY,

    I’m not sure what to make of the polygraph invalidation followed by vindication of the complaint. I guess once again that you’re right (not a big shock, really…) the only thing for it is further studies.

    Once again, I’m TOTALLY unsurprised that joe has headed to greener pastures.

  101. Cathy,

    I think I may have caused you confusion as to what I said, and if I was not clear I apologize.

    You said:(referring to my posts about the Kanin Report and the USAF studies)
    “I’m not sure what to make of the very high rates of false accusations of rape reported by Kanin and in the other study mentioned here. All these studies relied on the use of polygraphs, and I do know of cases in which women failed polygraphs tests and retracted their claims of rape only to have these claims vindicated later. I think better studies are needed on the subject.”

    The USAF study had the women recanting before (just prior to) taking a polygraph. They admitted it, it was not the interpretation of the investigators nor the results of the polygraph that was the determining factor.

    In the Kanin Report as far as I know, polygraphs were not used as a determining factor. The polygraph may have been done in individual cases though, I honestly don’t know.

    In the Kanin Report the criteria for false allegations was the admission of the accuser as the only criteria to put the case in the “false report” catagory.

    If I explained it wrong and caused confusion I apologize.

    In both cases the accusers recantation was the ONLY criteria allowed to put the case in the “false accusation” catagory.

    I’d have to recheck the USAF one (pretty sure) but I KNOW in the Kanin Report that was the case.

    Hope that cleared it up.

  102. Steven, I assume that by the Kanin Report, you mean this article: False Rape Allegations, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior in 1994. I’ve never heard it cited as “the Kanin Report” before.

    Anyway, in the study, the police in the town where all these cases occurred had a policy of administering polygaph tests to all sexual assault complainants. Those who failed the test usually recanted, and some recanted before the test was to be administered.

    I’m sure it’s possible that some of those were “real rapes.”

    Also it’s important to note that not all of these false allegations targeted a specific individual who was accused. Some of them were false claims of stranger rape with a vague description of the “rapist.” However, it’s also worth noting that a real person who happens to match that vague description could end up being arrested and charged.

    My knowledge of the USAF study is rather sketchy. Another report I’m familiar with is a 1992 investigation by The Washington Post which found that in 1990-91, about 1 in 4 rape charges filed in seven counties in Virginia and Maryland were judged “unfounded.” When the Post contacted the complainants, most of them apparently admitted they lied.

    A summary of that report can be found here.

  103. Cathy,

    I tried to open your link and got gibberish (dunno why) but, and granted this IS from memory, the only ones counted (regardless of polygraph) were the ones who admitted lying (recanted).

    Has my memory failed me?

    As to the USAF one, I do remember that it was mentioned that many recantations were done just prior or just after a polygraph.

    I’ve heard people call the Kanin Study (by Eugene Kanin) as the Kanin Report. Maybe it was an after-thought term coined.

    Again, dunno.

    Steven

  104. Under the definitions of heterosexual intercourse and rape promulgated by “Dominance Feminists” (label current in law journal articles by Feminist Legal eagles) the first is always the second. This is always a semantic shell game, and that should be remembered in any debate on “false charges” of rape in which these people participate. As MacKinnon has held since her 1979 book on sexual harassment in the workplace, where she first announced to the world her position that, since no free consent is possible for the oppressed (i.e., women), therefore no free consent to heterosexual intercourse is possible either, therefore all intercourse is rape, etc.

    If all intercourse is rape, then “by definition” (tautologically) any instance of intercourse is rape, therefore if a woman says afterwards that she was “raped” then she was raped. There are no “false charges of rape” to talk about.

    Same sort of Alice-In-Wonderland logic for hostile environment sexual harassment–this time after Davis v. Monroe, supported by SCOTUS decision: if the woman says she was made to feel sexually harassed, then (tautologically) she was harassed. Of course, logically, a charge that cannot be falsified–as in this sort of case–cannot be proved.

    Also: pornography causes rape–the hobbyhorse of the late, great Big D: and again, no brainer. If pornography causes a man to be sexually aroused, and to desire to have sexual intercourse with a woman in that state (since intercourse is rape), then “pornography causes rape.”

    Dominance Feminism and Feminist Legal Theory are melodramas waiting–the feminists can’t do this because they have no sense of humor–to be replayed as farce.

  105. Wasn’t it MacKinnon who got the current S.H. (Sexual Harassment) laws changed from “reasonable person” to “reasonable woman” standard (objective vs. subjective)?

    That’s what makes those laws such a power tool for anyone with an axe to grind, for the mentally unbalanced, or a person with self-justification issues.

  106. To: Steven

    The exact process for that transformation was as I recall a particular decision in a federal court. The fact is that there’s a small host–as the numbers of law professors go in this country’s law schools–of Feminist Legal Types, both female and male, and the law journals have been in a “print” ferment on that score for a/b the last 25 years.

    The thing that makes SH laws powerful is that they are administered by regulatory agencies such as Labor (EEOC) and Education (Office of Civil Rights), both of which have been in the hands of lawyers with ideological axes to grind. The 1997 SH Guidelines–still in force though it will be interesting to see what Spellings will do–are a collection of different DomFem/RadFem ideological positions already articulated by the middle 1990s in the law journal literature. The federal funding threat, put in place by congress when Title IX was passed in 1972, has been argued to be misused by OCR (Independent Women’s Forum Brief in Davis v. Monroe, Supreme Court 1999). And it is a fact that withdrawal of funds has never happened in a Title IX-generated case. But universities have lawyers, and these lawyers value their jobs, and they tell the university administrators that when the Feds say jump, they should jump.

  107. As MacKinnon has held since her 1979 book on sexual harassment in the workplace, where she first announced to the world her position that, since no free consent is possible for the oppressed (i.e., women), therefore no free consent to heterosexual intercourse is possible either, therefore all intercourse is rape, etc.

    So it was MacKinnon who said: “all sexual intercourse is rape”? There seems to be a denial of this statement, although frankly the exact quotes lead to very similar conclusions.

  108. When MacKinnon says that an oppressor and the oppressed cannot have consensual sexual intercourse … she only means men and women … right?

    Does that mean a white woman is raping a black man, or (holy anti-PC Batman) a white lesbian is raping a black lesbian?

    Her arguments are ONLY applied to gender because any other logical deliniation shows them to be nothing more than hate filled rhetoric.

  109. Don:

    MacKinnon has denied ever saying that “intercourse is rape,” and that denial is literally true, as far as I know. I know of one case where she threatened a female writer who attributed that statement to her with legal action. MacKinnon’s writing is notable for being consistently cagy about stating specific radical viewpoints. You have to do a form of discourse analysis to figure out what she’s actually saying. This is why I put my attribution of this position to MacKinnon in terms of the consent argument, which is one of the circumlocutory means she uses to make the point. She makes the point inevitable if you follow her argument, but then insists that this argument is not to be followed when caught at it. She’s a lawyer.

  110. Ahaa, yes. The “she never said that” defense seems to come up all the time.

  111. hey i liked you stance on the issue at hand. i thought you were incredibly intense and truthful…you should write more you have a knack for it

  112. Wow. All this talk. I don’t know if anyone would care to see this research article, published in 2000. It is a meta-analysis of domestic violence studies and found that 38% of those *injured* in DV incidents were men. The article is titled Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: a meta-analytic review. Other research finds that men initiate violence just as often as women. You read that correctly. I turned the genders around because both women and men perpetrate DV at the same rates. Some studies find even higher incidences of violence among women.

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