Monthly Archives: January 2013

Why the MRM should reject terms like cis-gendered!

I recently had an exchange with a few reddit MRA’s about gender terminology. One reddior in response to a post about accepting gay men into the MRA, something I support 100%, mentioned that we also needed to invite trans people as-well as cis-gendered people. My comment is and it’s responses here.

Before I dive in to why I think terms like cis-gendered need to be rejected I will talk about feminism. One of feminism’s core ideas is that gender is a social construct in other words, in a feminist conception of reality gender and gender roles are independent from the biological sex of an individual. This is such a part of feminism that you can’t have one without the other. It is the idea that allows feminists to say that they are not opposing men, just “traditional masculinity.” Naturally if gender is just a social construct then male bodied men could reject masculinity, or reshape it to become more acceptable to feminist sensibilities. It should be noted that feminists have also contradicted themselves on this point multiple times.

So what’s the problem with this view of gender? Simply, most people don’t experience their gender as disembodied. In other words the majority of men and women alike experience their gender as inextricably linked to their physiological gender. Feminists say this is just because they were raised a certain way, but that is false, the suicide of David Reimer and other other boys like him shows that even when someone is raised as the other gender they feel wrong, and often end up with psychological problems.

Back to the point of this post, why is cis-gendered such a horrible term? Cis-gendered is a word that means someones physiological gender is matches their psychological gender. Basically I am a cis man, meaning that I am a male bodied man. As cis women would be a female bodied woman. The problem is that as I have pointed out above, gender and physiology are linked, even in people who are trans-gendered they are trans-gendered because they are physiologically different they did not choose to be trans-gendered, they just are. When someone says that someone is cis-gendered their saying more than their just a male bodied male or a female bodied female, their saying that gender is separate from physiology, that for instance I as a man have chosen to be masculine and that if I wanted to I could choose to be different. That’s as insulting to me as it would be to tell a gay person that being gay is a choice. Or telling a trans-gendered person that they could choose not to be trans-gendered. Because, quite simply, I don’t experience gender as separate from my body, and I am not alone in that experience. Does that mean trans people are wrong? No! It means that they are physiologically different, and those differences are what make them trans.

Finally it was stated in the comments above that “I don’t need to label myself cis-gendered” it’s a term that is only there to help trans people identify people like us (presumably non-trans-gendered). But that is just as bad. I don’t want anyone to define me aside from myself, and I doubt that if you were to ask a bunch of trans people “do you like being defined by others?” that any of them would say yes.

The problem with words like cis-gendered is deeper than just not liking the term. Cis-gendered is part of a system of gender categorization based upon the false assumption that gender is independent from physiological sex and is used to promote the idea that a man could be better if he just choose a different gender role. This is misandry like any other, it’s a way of subjugating men by sex and claiming that because they don’t choose a different gender they are even more evil than the would be had they not known better. Because a man who doesn’t know he can choose his gender can’t be fully accountable for his supposed patriarchal nature, but a self identified cis-gendered man not only knows that he is evil but chooses to stay evil. That I find offensive.

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Bros before hoes… No seriously!

I’ve written about this before, not here, but I think it’s worth mentioning again, perhaps even repeating over and over and over. There is a saying, it goes “Bros before Hoes” it’s a good saying but all too often thats all it is. I think one of the most important things men must start to do is take the “Bros before Hoes” motto to heart. Because in my experience women came and went from my life, some were fun, some were annoying, some even stayed for a while and yet they all leave eventually. Sure each women I’ve been with has told me that I was special and she never wanted to loose contact with me. But each of them after, we broke up, drifted away. I don’t think women lie about this, when they meet a man they like I think they genuinely believe that they want to know that man for ever but of course that’s not true. It’s just a thing women seem to do. But many of my male and female, non romantic, friends have been in my life for over a decade. They are people I can talk to, rely on, and more or less know won’t leave at the drop of a hat.

This is why it’s so important to realize that your friends, are and will always be more important than your women. But there’s more.  Yes, there is a zeitgeist of feminine sisterhood. Girl talk, and the like, and although I believe that through out history there have been pockets of brotherhood, and “Guy talk” I think the brotherhood has been far less frequent and much weaker. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is the frequent urge for a man to see himself as competing with his peers. I have to admit I have fallen into this trap many times myself. But despite these tendencies of men to see each other as competitors there has always been a male drive to congregate with other men in male only spaces. This actually gives me a lot of hope.

One of the most important things that men must do is try and see other men as brothers, allies, not enemies. And to start and take the notion of Bros before Hoes to heart. I think in many ways we’re already doing this, but we need to vocalize this with deliberate intent. Let’s be proud to spend time amongst our peers and let’s not see them as weird or losers.  Empathize with them, understand how you could end up in their shoes and stand with them, so that when you are in need they may stand with you. Male brotherhood is not something that is “Gay” or silly. So stop thinking your better than the men around you, because you have a girlfriend and they don’t.

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Why we need men’s rights.

Sometimes I question the need for a men’s rights movement. Sure I know rationally that its needed, I know that according to statistics its needed. But the thing is on a day to day basis I don’t deal with a great deal of discrimination. I have a girlfriend who shows me respect, I go to a university which is refreshing not as political as some others, not that we have no protests just very few. In general if I didn’t choose to be an MRA, active on MRA sites, and generally surround myself with MRA material, I really don’t think I would even think of men’s issues. They would simply cease to exist. And that is sort of a depressing though. But its not true. Today I had an experience which made me remember that the need for a men’s rights movement is real. It took the form of a joke one which was very poignant.

My class needed to enter into an equipment shop, there were two mechanics showing us some things. The one mechanic, a young man introduced his assistant an old man of maybe 50 years. The younger of the two men pointed out that the older man should have retired, but said he couldn’t because if he does now his ex-wife would get 60% of his retirement. The joke fell flat, and there was awkward silence before he began demonstrating something else.

All I could think of was this poor man, he was old, had a speech impediment, had worked hard for many years in a dangerous job of all people he deserved to be treated better than that. These are the moments when I am reminded just how real the need for a men’s rights movement is.

A new blog.

I started a blog on here about a year ago, it has a total of 8 posts. But I feat that it was a bit more angry, and a bit less though out than I wanted. Although this username is still very anonymous, Chicago is a city of 300 million, I have started posting comments across the net using this alias. The goal of this blog is to be similar to my other blog, more throughly though out and less rant like. Basically this is the blog that I won’t be embarrassed if someone sees.

This blog will be dedicated to discussion of men’s issues from a man’s perspective, including my on male female relationships, the experiences of my childhood, and my perspective on our current culture and its effects on the well being of both men and women.

Background I’m a student finishing a BS in a lucrative field. I came of age through the midst of the last decade. I am passionate about what I write; however, I also believe that critical though is central to what I write. Therefore I welcome all comments critical or otherwise so long as they further the analysis of the topic discussed. Disparaging, violent, or specious attacks will not be tolerated, and will result in a swift ban.

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