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Author Topic: Men's involvement with feminism
martin dufresne
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posted 27 August 2008 11:13 AM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's not something I have written, but "The F Word Collective" has just put up on its Web site a conversation we had last Saturday morning - on Vancouver's Coop Radio - on men's involvement with feminism, which went rather well, I think.
If you can stand hearing me for that long (45 min., songs included), I would love Babbler feedback on the ideas and realities discussed.
Thanxxx

[ 27 August 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 27 August 2008 12:51 PM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've been able to listen to about half of it, and it's fab so far. Something that made me a bit sad was the clear lack of a significant number of male allies of feminism, as the host mentioned when she talked about caring less about what allies call themselves (feminists, male allies against sexism, etc) than about them existing in the first place. I think this is true across many different social justice struggles, it still makes me sad.

And dulcet tones indeed! You're a great speaker, martin. I will be back with more comments when I hear the rest.


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 27 August 2008 01:29 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, I would love to hear it, but can't, as 45 mins, would take me 3 days straight, and doing nothing else on the comp, to download in order to hear it.

But as an aside to speaking about men's involvement with feminism, or even with things pertaining to women, I would say that the world is still so men focused that it can't happen to any great extent, yet.

For example, a scientific report was released this week on a study done on diverticulitis. The study was conducted on 40,000 men, covering a 18 year period. However, the report had to say that as only men were studied, they do not know if their finding would hold true for women.

So, in a study with the significant size of 40k, they could not even make half, or a quarter, of them, women. Moreover, it was started in the early 90's, long after the heath care oriented scientific community knew that there were significant differences between the genders, and that scientific studies on just men, could not be applied to women, to any great extent.

[ 27 August 2008: Message edited by: remind ]


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 27 August 2008 10:46 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Oh, I would love to hear it, but can't, as 45 mins, would take me 3 days straight, and doing nothing else on the comp, to download in order to hear it.
Arrgghh, have you tried "streaming" instead of downloading? I am hopeless about things technical but maybe that can help.
I totally agree about the generally "men-focussed" character of investigation, analysis, discourse... Imagine if those scientists had decided to purposefully shut out of their study POCs and FNs and yet presented their results as applying to all...
It even happens around gender issues. When I am asked to speak about men's involvement with feminism, I ask that there also be as guest who is a front-line feminist organizer, in order to have her own POV about issues such as male bejaviour in mixed groups, (un)accountability, resistance to feminism, what type of men do right, etc.
The F Word producers decided to provide that themselves in our conversation, and it worked out fine.

[ 27 August 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 28 August 2008 05:45 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by martin dufresne:
Arrgghh, have you tried "streaming" instead of downloading? I am hopeless about things technical but maybe that can help.
How do you stream, as opposed to downloading?

From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 August 2008 05:48 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I think streaming IS basically downloading, isn't it? It just means it's playing as it's downloading. Basically, what YouTube does?

Unless I'm mistaken, which has been known to happen.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 August 2008 05:51 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm listening, but I'm just getting music - I'm on the second (or maybe third?) song now. Is that the intro?

Anyhow, I like it, so it'll be a good backdrop to working. Looking forward to hearing you, Martin!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 28 August 2008 05:52 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Remind, you can't stream it because you're on dial-up. Downloading is your only option, but as you say, it'll take time.

It won't take 3 days, though! It's only a 29 MB zipped file. I estimate 3-5 hours with a clean dial-up connection, and you can still babble simultaneously.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 28 August 2008 06:00 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you go to the site linked to in the opening post, you'll see that you have the option to download a compressed (zip) version of the file that you can then unzip and listen to. That would be the option for dial-up users.

In a general sense, all internet activity involves downloading including viewing this page. But in this context there are differences. When you stream an audio or video file, you need to have enough bandwidth so that the file plays properly, i.e. so that the data comes in quickly enough to simulate "real-time". Try looking at a YouTube video on a dial-up connection to see what I mean. If it plays at all, it isn't worth watching. But if you want to download that zip file, your download speed doesn't matter as long you're prepared to allow the download to complete. (So let it download overnight?)

Of course another difference is that if you download the file and then play it from your local hard drive, you can play it repeatedly without going back to the source.

Gotta run. The drift police should be along to pick me up any moment now.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 28 August 2008 06:04 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, remind, give it a try. Right-click on this link. Then select "Save link as..." or whatever, depending on your browser. Then don't turn your computer off till it's finished. You'll be listening to martin's dulcet tones sometime this afternoon.
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 August 2008 06:05 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sounds good so far, Martin. But I can't hear it very well from this computer since you're over the phone and my speakers aren't the best here. I'll listen to it when I get home.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 28 August 2008 06:26 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay, thanks unionist and pogge, my dial up connection runs at 24kbps, not at 56. Will try downloading it tonight, overnight and see how it goes.
From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 28 August 2008 07:34 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
24kbps???

Ouch. Is that because of the phone line where you are, or the modem, or what?

By the way, martin is quite hard to hear compared to the interviewer - less than half the volume I'd say - so I'll try later on too when I can crank it up.

Meanwhile, maybe I'll just crank martin up...

[ 28 August 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 28 August 2008 07:52 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
24kbps???

Ouch. Is that because of the phone line where you are, or the modem, or what?


It is the antique phone lines and system here. Everybody in the community has dial up, and the businesses use the same dial up connection for their debit machines. In peak hours of business operations the connection actually gets slower.

From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 28 August 2008 08:01 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, that was interesting. I found Martin, not surprisingly, quite articulate and well-prepared for the interview, whereas the women involved seemed surprisingly inarticulate, unprepared, and downright giggly. The questions were sloppy and not well thought out, but Martin handled them very well, even if I disagree with much of what he said, and even if the conversation strayed from the topic. Martin's original idea to have a front-line feminist organizer on hand would have worked much better.

Ironically, the interview was an example of one of the points that Martin made about men dominating conversations among feminist women. Not that Martin intended that to happen; it's just that he was the interview subject, had a lot to say, and expressed himself well, while the women listened to him and (almost audibly) nodded their heads in agreement.

Is this necessarily a bad thing?

It could conceivably have been a very different kind of conversation had the women chosen to make it so. They could have brought more of their own thoughts and observations to the table, and maybe even challenged or probed Martin and each other a little more. In this case, they seemed to do the stereotypical feminine thing and deflect differences and avoid confronting them.

If it were a conversation in somebody's living room instead of a long-distance telephone interview, would Martin have been better advised to shut up and listen to the women?

I ask this because it is often stated as Rule No. 1 that men have nothing to teach women about feminism and they should shut up and listen and never disagree. I think it would be a shame if Martin followed that rule consistently.

I think women have some responsibility in this regard. If they don't want others - be they men or women - to take over the conversation then they had better come prepared to articulate their own well-considered positions and to challenge the positions articulated by those others.

It's trite to say, but we have much to learn from each other.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 28 August 2008 08:13 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
Well, that was interesting. I found Martin, not surprisingly, quite articulate and well-prepared for the interview, whereas the women involved seemed surprisingly inarticulate, unprepared, and downright giggly. The questions were sloppy and not well thought out, but Martin handled them very well, even if I disagree with much of what he said, and even if the conversation strayed from the topic.

Did anyone else find this to be the case?


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 28 August 2008 09:46 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
It's only a 29 MB zipped file. I estimate 3-5 hours with a clean dial-up connection

Yikes!!


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 28 August 2008 09:53 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by remind:
It is the antique phone lines and system here. Everybody in the community has dial up, and the businesses use the same dial up connection for their debit machines. In peak hours of business operations the connection actually gets slower.

You can bypass dial-up lines by using a satellite internet service (there are several choices to select from here in the USA—so I’m assuming that satellite internet service is also available in Canada). All you need is electricity—so it’s perfect for non-urban areas.

I use satellite at our place in northern Minnesota where our only utilities are electricity and phone service (no gas, cable, DSL, sewer, etc.). The satellite service we use (“WildBlue”) is fantastic (it’s many times faster than DSL and highly reliable).


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 28 August 2008 02:29 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Uh, I would get, or have gotten satellite, here, if I did not live out in the country, in the mountains, where every day that is socked in the satellite service goes out. I would rather have slow, every day, than wait for a week to be able to get it again, for a couple of days. Which is why the stores in town do not have debit wireless services.
From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 28 August 2008 02:48 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We now have satellite internet available here on the coast, but it's a little more expensive than regular dialup ISP internet, and not everyone can afford the price difference. I guess if a user downloads large files such as games the speed difference makes it worthwhile. I almost never download large files so dialup is really all I need, even it's only 48 kbps.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
WendyL
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posted 28 August 2008 03:10 PM      Profile for WendyL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am interested to hear Martin as well but have to wait until Saturday morning when I have high speed at work (hey, the boss knows and does not mind me getting some personal things done if the paid shit gets done too). In my rural part of the world, high speed (cable or satellite) is outrageously expensive. Thanks boss!
From: PEI Canada | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
RevolutionPlease
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posted 28 August 2008 04:24 PM      Profile for RevolutionPlease     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by remind:

Did anyone else find this to be the case?


While they may have been giggly at times, just at the beginning, the questions and intros to them were quite helpful. I think much of the laughter was due to Martin's sharp wit.

I will have to listen to it again as it was very hard to keep up because they tackled a number of subjects with respect to men.

I had some quibbles but they're very trivial to Martin's message, considering the excellent learning experience. Recommended listening for men that would like to talk to feminists.

Skip to 10 minutes in if you want to get right to Martin.

Nice work Martin.


From: Aurora | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
RevolutionPlease
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posted 28 August 2008 04:33 PM      Profile for RevolutionPlease     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
eta: I think the giggly thing is also sexist by males. We laugh like that amongst our brethren.
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Catchfire
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posted 29 August 2008 03:26 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
I ask this because it is often stated as Rule No. 1 that men have nothing to teach women about feminism and they should shut up and listen and never disagree. I think it would be a shame if Martin followed that rule consistently.

I think women have some responsibility in this regard. If they don't want others - be they men or women - to take over the conversation then they had better come prepared to articulate their own well-considered positions and to challenge the positions articulated by those others



Is this true? That 'Rule No. 1' is 'men have nothing to teach women about feminism'? I can't recall ever hearing this on babble, and if I had, I think it would be a minority opinion. What I have heard is that most men have deep-seated entitlement that makes them much more likely to state their opinions with confidence and surety. So when feminist opinions are offered by men, valid or not, and conflict with those of women, it reproduces the entrenched patriarchal power dynamic feminism seeks to unravel. It's a problem to deal with more than a hard-and-fast rule. Martin and other men have given their opinion in the feminist forum with excellent and enlightening results, I'd reckon. What's important is not thinking that you have nothing to offer, but to enter such a discussion aware of the dominant oppressive political dynamic, and remain self-reflexive, cautious and respectful of feminism's larger aims. Less swagger, entitlement and assumption and more readiness to learn, or an expectation to have our social assumptions uncovered and eradicated.

As for the unprofessionalism, or whatever, of the radio hosts, they sounded typical of college or community radio shows which don't have the same bravado-tinged confidence (not always a bad thing) of experienced public or corporate radio presenters. Martin came across as an experienced activist who knows his political philosophy and is used to explaining it to people. Hence the disparity.

[ 29 August 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 29 August 2008 04:53 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought about the dynamic between the hosts and Martin as well, and of course he did most of the talking, they were interviewing him! They were prepared, in my opinion, as they had questions, one shared a story of how a man working in a former workplace had, by his presence and his actions, divided the staff team, and there was a brief reading from a John Stoltenberg book, an author I recommend all men take a look at.

I also have never listened to this show before, and I haven't heard how the hosts interact with other guests. And the point I made earlier, that there's such great happiness that men are on board the project that there's a giddiness perhaps.

Plus the community radio aspect, which makes me more forgiving towards the hosts. I have some very brief experiences being both interviewer and interviewee, over the phone, live to radio, and it's given me greater respect for both positions in the "thinking on your feet" way and also "being articulate and to the point".

Bravo to Martin and the women form F-word!


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 29 August 2008 02:51 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you all for the feedback, I am taking your support to heart.
When M.Spector writes "it is often stated as Rule No. 1 that men have nothing to teach women about feminism and they should shut up and listen and never disagree. I think it would be a shame if Martin followed that rule consistently," I am of two minds.
I think it is a strawman to the extent that I have not heard women take such an intolerant stand, and I feel he is putting words in their mouths.
OTOH, 1) I actually don't think that I or men have anything to "teach women about feminism." We may be helpful by sharing stuff about masculinity and our lives that men rarely volunteer - as I tried to do during the program - but "teaching feminism"... hello?...;
2) It seems to me we should acknowledge - as women do - that men, as a class, DO disagree with feminist analysis and say/do as much as they can to sidetrack it. This seems much more accurate and useful than to present men as a silenced bunch or a group of misconstrued allies, as I feel M.Spector does implicitly.
Indeed, feminists such as Phyllis Chesler, Barbara Ehrenreich, Susan Faludi, Kate Millett, Andrea Dworkin, Pierrette Bouchard and Christine Delphy - among others - have taught us all a lot by taking men at their word(s).
As for "shutting up," I do learn a lot - and love it - when I manage to listen more than I talk in a conversations with feminists; it just wasn't my mandate last Saturday. (But I'll be listening tomorrow!)

[ 29 August 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 29 August 2008 03:01 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Martin,

What's the difference between the 29, the 30 and the 57 MB file?

There's fast internet here so I'm just downloading the 57, is that everything?

[ 29 August 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 29 August 2008 03:03 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The only difference is the quality of the audio. You get what you pay for.
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 29 August 2008 04:05 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

[ 29 August 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 29 August 2008 07:55 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by martin dufresne:
It seems to me we should acknowledge - as women do - that men, as a class, DO disagree with feminist analysis and say/do as much as they can to sidetrack it.
News flash, Martin: Men are not a "class" and generalizations about "men, as a class" are worthless.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 29 August 2008 08:10 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Let's compromise and agree that men have no class to speak of, OK?
From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 29 August 2008 08:18 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How about we compromise and avoid blanket generalizations about men altogether, OK?
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 29 August 2008 08:19 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wouldn't that be one?
From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 29 August 2008 09:48 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Always seeking common ground, I looked for a few linguistic alternatives to « class » for depicting men as a group.

One can speak of a(n)…

Ambush (of presidents)
Army (of Ones)
Bale (of the full)
Band (of four skins)
Barren (but warrin')
Bed (of claimants)
Bevy (of heavies)
Bloat (of boasters)
Brood (of brooders)
Business (of owners)
Cast(e)(aways)
Catch (whatever)
Charm (of oblivion)
Clamour (of clams)
Cloud of (clout)
Clutch (of gropers)
Clutter (of cleanliness-challenged)
Colony (of colonizers)
Company (of keepers)
Covey (of coveters)
Cowardice (of cowhands)
Crash (of the rash)
Cry (of the self-absorbed)
Culture (as of bacteriae)
Dazzle (of light-weights)
Descent (of flashers)
Down (of downers)
Drift (of paddle-deprived)
Drove (of road-ragers)
Dule (of dudes)
Family (of Man)
Flight (of male plight)
Float (but barely)
Flock (of pluck)
Gaggle (of guys)
Gam (of gamers)
Gang (of bangers)
Gulp (of admission)
Harras (of stalkers)
Herd (of the heard)
Hive (of hims)
Horde (of hors-d'oeuvre)
Hover (of tops)
Huddle (of hoods)
Husk (of hunks)
Implausibility (of import)
Kettle (of humdrum)
Knot (of dont’s)
Labour (of misconceptions)
Leap (of social lepers)
Leash (of lechery)
Litter (of homeowners)
Mischief (of leaders)
Mob (of family linchpins)
Murder (of Honour)
Muster (of passers)
Mustering (of bluster)
Mute (of the moot)
Nest (of exactors)
Nye (of nay-sayers)
Obstinacy (of obdurates)
Pace (of pacers)
Pack (of Six)
Parliament (of course)
Peep (of peers)
Pitying (of SNAGs)
Plague (of low-costs)
Pod (of putzes)
Pride (of self-lionizers)
Quiver (of indignation)
Rafter (of drifters)
Rag (of the rich)
Richness (of pretense)
Romp (of roomers)
Run (of shits)
School (of underachievers)
Shrewdness (of primates)
Skein (of the skittish)
Skulk (too easy)
Smack (of harassers)
Sord (of every sort)
Sounder (of warnings)
Stud (of wannabes)
Swarm (of swarth)
Swift (of kickers-when-she’s-down)
Team (of terminators)
Tiding (of stuff ahead)
Tower (of strength – and I’d walk out the door)
Troop (of trophy hunters)
Troubling (of water)
Unkindness (of the craven)
Weyr (of weirdos)
Zeal (of male fundamentalists)

Help from Group names


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 29 August 2008 09:52 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sadly, you have clearly abandoned your own thread as a vehicle for serious discussion.
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 29 August 2008 10:21 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rats!
(Not an addition.)

From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 30 August 2008 12:33 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think it is possible to say that many men are opposed to feminism, that a lot of men are mysoginist(just as some women are) and that our culture, such as it is, treats women quite badly.
That said, I don't think that you can generalize about the sexual politics of every Canadian man.(after all, if we are to lump this nation's men into a single, monolithic group, male feminists are in it too).

Human beings are complex, making blanket statements about entire groups of them is never wise.

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 30 August 2008 01:18 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Generalizations are essential to analysis. They don't have to lead to cookie-cutter monolithic pictures of people; they rather help us understand critical differences of position, standpoint, tactics between men and women, culturally constructed as we are.
Early feminists such as Virginia Woolf and Mary Ellman have made the point that women had always been generalized about by male writers, but men remained immune from such impudence unless the generalization was affirming "male qualities." In "Sexual politics", Kate Millett pointed out how male writers such as D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller and Norman Mailer had built a male mythology based on such flattering generalizations. Neo-Jungians like Robert Bly and Guy Corneau still sucker people along with that self-aggrandizing talk.
The rub is when generalizations are less flattering: women have always been getting it in the teeth, but men are, somehow, spared such indignities. In "Pornography: Men Possessing Women", Dworkin argues that one of the tenets of male power is that of naming. Maintaining men's good name - or turning critiques of men into jokes, e.g. Tim Allen's "Men are pigs" comedy routine - is one the attendant functions. Another tack is to try an use generalization to put men above critique and change ("Men Are The Way They Are" - Warren Farrell, "Men Are From Mars" - John Gray).
Do I believe that pro-feminists are included by generalizations about maleness in our culture? You bet I do. Indeed, this gives us entitlement and motivation to speak out about this male culture which, despite its variations among various sub-groups of men, retains general characteristics that spell male entitlement, including that not to be pejoratively generalized about...

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 30 August 2008 01:34 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Translation: Broad over-generalizations about women are bad; broad over-generalizations about men are "essential to analysis".
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 30 August 2008 01:40 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's even simpler than that: "broad over-generalizations are bad"... isn't tautology reassuring?
From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 30 August 2008 01:53 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What!? I thought you said that generalizations were essential to analysis?
From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 30 August 2008 02:08 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
They don't have to lead to cookie-cutter monolithic pictures of people; they rather help us understand critical differences of position, standpoint, tactics between men and women, culturally constructed as we are.

But that's what a generalization is. Whenever we generalize,(at least in terms of sociological analysis)
we make blanket statements about groups of people,
and whenever we make a blanket statement
about a group,
we most often wind up stereotyping , which is very bad. We should stop making sociological generalizations,
although I'm not sure if it's possible to do that.

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 30 August 2008 02:45 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
You bet I do. Indeed, this gives us entitlement and motivation to speak out about this male culture which, despite its variations among various sub-groups of men, retains general characteristics that spell male entitlement, including that not to be pejoratively generalized about...

Okay Martin, you freely admit that male feninists can be flawed, but to the best of knowledge you have NEVER admitted to being flawed or subconciously patrarchal.
Instead you set up a huge false dicotomy in which you are a man of honor in a den of theives(much like Al Pachino in Surpaco) and judge all the other men in Canada as bastards, while you strut and preen like like some latently Jansenist peekock, blissfully unaware of your own shortcomings.
[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scout
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posted 30 August 2008 02:53 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Sadly, you have clearly abandoned your own thread as a vehicle for serious discussion.

And that would be your fault.


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 30 August 2008 03:05 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, take note, CMOT Dibbler, contrary to the picture you paint, I often undercut any "authority" with humour (a feminine trait according to some). And actually, if you read back posts of mine, you will find that I just as often voice critical statements about men in the first person plural. Still, I acknowledge that I am easily dismissed as sounding holier than thou, as if to point out a problem is to necessarily be above it. I am very flawed in a number of ways (my old sig line was an admission of procrastination! -, but how often do these threads wax confessional for us to air such dirty linen? I find it more useful to try and voice accurate critiques and to clarify, if need be, that in no way am I suggesting that I have always managed to live by them or do so today.
Re: generalizations, I think you will find that the scientific method and indeed any knowledge cannot exist without them and that there are multiple ways to avoid having them devolve to mere caricatures.

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 30 August 2008 05:35 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
... and that there are multiple ways to avoid having them devolve to mere caricatures.

How?

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 30 August 2008 06:08 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
OK, here are a few ideas.
1) Acknowledging change. A generality or pattern you observe in a category of folks or things justifies generalizing, but that doesn't mean the pattern is static, or unamenable to change through action, awareness, input, natural evolution, resistance, people wanting to break free of the pattern, our improving the observation, etc.
2) Acknowledging fine structure. Within a general pattern, there may be any number of variations. The general pattern exists because of certain determinants and historical influences, but it plays out in variants, depending on specific conditions, histories, observers, other determinants. Like any picture, it is read one way at a certain distance and produces other pictures at other distances. Each pattern is no less real.
3) Acknowledging the envelope. Any generality is only true within a certain realm. Outside of that envelope, it isn't valid. So time and space act as limits to the scope of each generality, keeping generalization honest and away from any essentialist interpretation.
4) Exceptions. Even within the envelope, generalities often have exceptions and contrary forces that help us think dialectically not only about the patterns observed but about what subverts them and our perspective, the power of the disempowered, for instance.
5) Occam's razor. This philosophical principle reminds us that a generality is simply the most economical solution to a problem, the one with the least unnnecessary assumptions. Yet, we know through mathematics that any problem has an almost infinite number of solutions. ("That object speedingtoward me with 'Greyhound' on the front may be trouble, but it may just be a clever Martian trying to fool me.") So generalization does not have to tie our hands as would a stereotype or a stifling "blanket". It's simply a simple but important rational first step to inquiry (and sometimes survival).
What do you think? Do you find that using generalization is useful in your life and activist concerns, given what you know, even if you keep trying to refine that process?

From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
WendyL
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posted 31 August 2008 02:33 AM      Profile for WendyL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yesterday's shift at work was busy so I only got to listen to about half the interview. That being said, I think you did a fine job Martin.

I don't agree that Martin spoke too much or dominated a feminist conversation. He was the interview subject. I dislike when the interviewer(s) dominates the conversation and we don't get to hear what the interviewee has to say. The topic of the interview was men's involvement with feminism from a pro-feminist man's perspective. That's what we got. As well, while there was some laughing, it was appropriate to the quality of community radio/cable shows and it was appropriate to the conversation. I think the use of the word 'giggling' as a descriptor has provided an incorrect framing of this issue. As for the issues, there were many discussed and I would like the time to listen to the rest of the interview before commenting.

Why is this thread now so far off the topic of men's involvement with feminism? Personally, I am not looking for an answer to this question.


From: PEI Canada | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 31 August 2008 08:16 AM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bump!
From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 03 September 2008 05:31 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For people who have the interest and the time to dig in, here is an exceptionally no-B.S. essay by Australian activist Bob Pease: 'Engaging Men in Men's Violence Prevention: Exploring the Tensions, Dilemmas and Possibilities', available to download on the website of the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse.
.pdf version
.rtf version

quote:
Extracts: The aim of the paper is to encourage participants in such programs to critically reflect upon their policies, conceptual frameworks and practices in light of the issues raised. I am hesitant about raising some of these questions because I know that men’s involvement in this work is still relatively rare. However, I think that naming the dangers and potential misappropriations of this work is part of the process of improving and strengthening such projects.

Thus, while I support the involvement of men in violence prevention, I believe that particular conditions need to be met and that specific principles need to be adopted to address the potential problems associated with such involvement. Furthermore, I believe that the theoretical premises underpinning men’s violence prevention need to be based upon both feminist theory and the critical scholarship on men and masculinities. I further emphasise that we should be careful not to promise too much from men’s involvement and should be alert to the pressures for cooption that such involvement can elicit.
(...)The White Ribbon Campaign was established by a group of men in Canada in 1991, on the second anniversary of a massacre of fourteen women in Montreal by a lone gunman. The White Ribbon Campaign encourages non-violent men to wear white ribbons as an expression of their public opposition to men’s violence. In 2003, the Australian office of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, partnered with men and men's organisations to make this a national campaign in Australia. It is a good example of a community-based intervention by men, which is now supported by federal government funding and involves full-time salaried program managers and coordinators. With the shift to government funding, however, there appears to be a diminishing focus on men’s responsibility both in the organising of the campaign and in the wearing of the ribbons. Women are often the key organisers and the focus has now shifted to encouraging ‘everyone’ to wear ribbons. While this could be seen as an appropriate alliance between feminist women and profeminist men, it can also undercut the message of men’s responsibility for violence. In Canada, the White Ribbon Campaign has been criticised for colonising and appropriating women’s experiences (Spark 1994; Goldrick-Jones 2004), and some feminists have raised concerns about re-centring men in such anti-violence work (Marchese 2008).(...)


The paper runs thirty pages but is really worth the read to get beyond the too-common cooptation of honest efforts by a patriarchal establishment.

[ 03 September 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 03 September 2008 07:05 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Something else by Pease and a colleague, demonstrating that he's not just blowing smoke...
quote:

Refugee Settlement, Safety & Wellbeing: exploring domestic & family violence in refugee communities, by Susan Rees & Bob Pease (2006) for Immigrant Women's Domestic Violence Service, 292 Wellington Street, Collingwood 3066, Victoria, AUSTRALIA, dvirc@dvirc.org.au, www.dvirc.org.au

A study that examines cultural, psychosocial and economic factors in the safety & wellbeing of refugee families experiencing domestic & family violence. This study identifies the vulnerabilities specific to immigrant & refugee women.

Consultations with different communities resulted in a recommendation for using a multi-level framework to illustrate violence prevention strategies in partnership with refugee communities.



From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged

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