North Carolina’s Executive Order – Does It Change The “Bathroom Bill”?

Is Governor Pat McCrory rethinking his position on the HB2 bill?

Last week, we addressed North Carolina’s HB2, or “bathroom bill” as it’s become affectionately known.   Click the hyper link and give it a read if you’d like to catch up a bit on what that’s all about (you don’t have to read the entire post, as the first section explains what the HB2 bill actually says).

The bill was signed into law on the night of March 23, 2016, and in that time, public outcry against the bill has been strong.  According to multiple sources, numerous companies have spoken out against the bill, including Google, Facebook, Apple, American Airlines,  and even the NBA.

So what affect, if any, has this had on the governor?

On April 12th, the Governor signed into law Executive Order 93.  According to CNN, the governor said the order “expands the state’s employment policy for state employees to cover sexual orientation and gender identity” and “seeks legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination.”  And according to the Washington Post, “McCrory said he was expanding protections for state employees, which would prevent these workers from being fired for being gay or transgender. He also said he would seek legislation restoring the right to sue for discrimination.”

Hey, fantastic!!  He’s finally getting the message!  Maybe a certain someone who battles me constantly over facebook on this issue was right, and things are improving now.

Yea, not so fast.  Lets look at what the actual order itself says.  You can see this order here: https://ncgovernor.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/documents/files/McCrory%20EO%2093_0.pdf

Summed up, the order says

In the provision of government services and in the administration of programs . . . public agencies shall serve all people equally, consistent with the mission and requirements of the service or program.

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I hearby affirm that the State of North Carolina is committed to administering and implementing all State human resources policies . . . without unlawful discrimination on the basis of” – then goes on to list a number of protected groups, which this time includes the LGBT community.

However, the order does not reverse HB2, and only emphasizes that LGBT people will still “receive services” from state agencies.  It goes on to state LGBT people will be provided “reasonable accommodations of single occupancy restrooms”, but that order only applies to “cabinet agencies”.  It does nothing to change – and the even lists them – “private businesses, non-profit employers, local governments, cities, counties, the University of North Carolina system, and the North Carolina Community College System”, stating that these are merely “invited to make similar accommodation where practicable”.

“Where practicable” is nice.  Because what happens if you just don’t have single occupancy rooms?  “Welp, not practicable then, LOL!!!”

The order goes on to emphasize that private businesses are still completely allowed to discriminate.  And if a private business leases state property?  Yep – still allowed!

Section 6 of this order states that the governor encourages the state to take steps against “wrongful discharge based on *unlawful* employment discrimination”.

Cover my assHowever, discrimination against LGBT people is not unlawful.  Remember bill HB2?  It specifically omits LGBT people from such protections, and the order itself only stipulates that “state human resources policies, practices, and programs” will be administered without discrimination against LGBT people.  Therefore this does nothing to protect us from any unlawful discharge.

So what does this order actually do then?  What’s the point?

The only real elements of note here are that “cabinet agencies” are required to provided single occupancy restrooms to trans people *if they are available* (and if they aren’t, tough luck), and that LGBT people will receive state services.  It still allows pretty much everything else.

However, because these changes are mentioned, the governor can now claim that he’s backing up on his earlier decision and is now protecting LGBT people.  It’s a classic move of CMA (Cover My Ass) and an attempt to take some heat off him and his state.  What’s more, any future complaints can be answered by saying “Well there’s an executive order!” – keeping in mind that most folks are not going to actually read the order itself to find out what’s in there.

Nice try, McCrory.

 

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Response to Paul Joseph Watson on Transgender Bathrooms

You asked for it, baby cakes.

This is a response post to a video released a few days ago by a youtuber named Paul Joeseph Watson.  Here’s the vid:

This video is a fine compilation of misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding the “bathroom bill”, so go ahead and give it a watch before we break this down.

1. What The Transgender Bathroom Bill (HB2) Actually Says

Paul’s first point is that according to the bill, only state and public restrooms are regulated by the HB2 bill, and private businesses are unaffected, so that trans people entering a private business “can use either bathroom”.  But that’s not what it means at all.  You can see HB2 here: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015E2/Bills/House/PDF/H2v4.pdf .  The bill does more than just prevent trans people from using bathrooms matching their gender identity on state property; it also specifically omits discriminatory protections for people of the LBGT community, and also overrules any local or municipal ability to pass any alternative form of legislation.

So in state and public restrooms, discrimination is mandatory.  In private businesses, it’s optional.  This is not okay.

When we say “state and public”, we’re referring to quite a lot of different places, yet Paul speaks of this like it’s no big deal.  This includes all public schools, for instance, and public parks, and any state run agencies.  Private businesses have the option to discriminate, and again it’s not just against who can use their restrooms, but also regarding who they will hire.  People can now be terminated from their place of employment for being an LGBT identified person.

A little bit of background is also important here: as of February 22 of this year, the city of Charlotte in North Carolina had passed an ordinance that would have *expanded* discrimination protection to LGBT people, which also would have allowed them to use the restroom of the gender they identified with.  What’s important to note here is that the law was an expansion of protections, and not merely granting the right to use the proper restroom.  The HB2 bill passed by the state was made primarily as a response to this move by the city of Charlotte.  Religious conservatives, like the state’s governor Pat McCrory – who has a history of opposition against the LGBT community – wanted to stop the city’s ability to expand discriminatory protections.  This is why everyone is up in arms over North Carolina’s decision to go forward with this.

Is this beginning to make sense?

This also completely defeats the notion (as has been argued by a certain someone) that businesses can simply deny anyone the use of a restroom, because while it’s true a business can turn down service to any individual customer, they *CANNOT* turn away someone just because they belong to a minority group.  You can’t say blacks aren’t allowed to use your restrooms, for example, and treat that as your right to refuse service.  The bill restricts who’s entitled to protected from discrimination, specifically omitting LGBT people, and so it allows businesses to target transgender people.

At around the 00:20 mark in the video, it’s stated that private businesses can allow transgender people to use whichever bathrooms they choose – but again and just to clarify, this isn’t the issue.  It’s possible that private businesses *might* do that, but it’s also possible that they can now target trans people specifically and disallow them from using the bathroom on the grounds of their trans status, or, allow them to use the restroom, but force them to use the bathroom corresponding with their biological birth and not with the gender identity they have now.

Now you might be wondering what ought to happen if a person who is born male and identifies as female, but clearly doesn’t look female.  In this case, we would say she doesn’t “pass”.  “Passing” is a term that means your appearance matches your gender identity.  Some of us have to work at it more than other.  This comes up again in a bit, so hang in there.
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2. Who Should Be Protected From Discrimination, and When Does It Not Matter?
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The next point Paul brings up in his video is that 0.3% of population is transgender, and therefore wouldn’t affect enough people to matter.

Yea, that’s really an argument being made here.

First, I’m not sure if we had an all-white town, that it would be okay to have discriminatory policies against black people just because there’s not enough of them to “matter”.  According to information from the Census Bureau, Native Americans make up only 2% of the US population: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2014/cb14-ff26.html – yet we wouldn’t dream of saying an anti-discrimination ordinance on their behalf simply “doesn’t matter” because there’s not enough of them.

To put this in perspective, the 0.3% number comes from the Williams Institute, which performed a study on LGBT demographics in 2011: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/census-lgbt-demographics-studies/how-many-people-are-lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender/ .  In that same study, it was also found that only 1.7% identified as gay or lesbian.  So that’s clearly not enough to matter, and we don’t need to, say, legalize gay marriage, right?

Quite frankly, if 1 single person in the entire United States of America is gay, I want that person to have the same exact protections that all the rest of us have – and no, it is *NOT* too much trouble to expand the language of the Civil Rights Act to protect them.  You could slip that in rather easily between some of the other classes that are protected: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm .

And as far as state law goes, if you can pass a state law saying it’s illegal to take a lion to the movies http://www.examiner.com/article/seven-of-the-craziest-laws-on-baltimore-s-books, you can’t walk backwards and eat a cheeseburger http://www.examiner.com/article/strange-ways-to-get-sent-to-jail-oklahoma-city, and you can’t have a gorilla in the backseat of your car http://www.dmv.org/articles/bizarre-driving-laws/, then I doubt it’s too much trouble to draft up some legislation protecting an LGBT person.

Back to the video, we hear Paul say that a few people may “be embarrassed for a few minutes” by requiring individuals to use the bathroom of their birth.

Paul doesn’t seem to consider that a fully passing trans-man, who has to use the women’s bathroom, is going to embarrass a lot more than himself every time he goes in.  Everyone else is going to be bothered by this too.

Imagine your husband using the same bathroom as the woman, or your girlfriend in the same bathroom as the dude. This is what HB2 would mandate. No one wins here.

Imagine for a moment your husband using the same bathroom as the woman, or your girlfriend in the same bathroom as the dude. This is what HB2 would mandate. No one wins in this situation.

Remember, for *state and public properties*, this kind of thing would actually be required, and private businesses can require this as well (if they decide not to outright refuse service outright).

Another point brought up here is that “trans women who make the effort to look like women won’t get noticed”.  That is, if you’re a trans woman, and you’re trying to “pass” as we mentioned earlier, then no one’s ever going to suspect that you were ever anything but a non-trans woman.

That’s just not how it works.

Trans women do make the effort, and still get misgendered sometimes.  In fact, according to a study from the DC Trans Coalition, up to 70% of trans individuals surveyed reported having problems using the restroom, with 68% reporting having been denied access, or verbally and/or physically assaulted.  You can see that report here: https://dctranscoalition.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/our-survey-results/ . This also happens to non-trans women:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/detroit-woman-mistaken-man-thrown-eatery-lawsuit-article-1.2254972 (expanded upon here: http://www.peacock-panache.com/2015/06/cortney-bogorad-mistaken-for-man-kicked-out-of-womens-bathroom-11127.html) .

It is simply not the case that everyone who tries will pass, will pass so well that no one else notices.  I don’t want someone violently trying to “out” me when all I want to do is use the bathroom really quick and not bother anyone, especially after I *do* go through all the effort needed to pass.

Hey, here’s an idea!  Lets write some sort of law that says if my gender ID is female, that I can use the women’s room and not have to worry about my safety!  You know, like the city of Charlotte was *going* to do before the state legislature enacted the HB2 bill.

3. So What If Perverts / Pedophiles / Offenders Pretend To Be Trans?

At around 00:55 mark in the video, the issue is brought up regarding a pervert putting on a dress and walking into the girl’s locker room.

First, if you want to talk about rarity, this is where we should start.  If you’re familiar with my Response to Rape Culture series, you might be familiar with some actual statistics on rape and sexual assault.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2013, the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in America for college aged women was 0.43% (for not-college aged women it was 0.14%).  *NONE* of these cases, to my knowledge, involved “a pervert putting on a dress and walking into a girl’s locker room”.

So far I’ve not found a single incident of someone pretending to be trans in an effort to commit rape or sexual assault in the women’s room.  But have there been any incidents of men trying to do this in an effort to sneak in and commit other indecent acts?  I’ve been working on this post for about 2 days now, and I’ve done so many searches that my eyes are starting to cramp.  But yes, as a matter of fact, I was able to find a few cases, and the author of this vid does mention a few of these.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/cross-dressing-man-arrested-for-exposure-at-walmar/nQddG/ <– This 51 year old went into the women’s room of a Walmart and began undressing in front of children.  This individual reportedly has a history of exposure issues.

http://komonews.com/archive/police-man-in-bra-and-wig-found-in-womens-bathroom <– This 18 year old reportedly went into the women’s locker room, wearing a wig and a bra, to gratify himself.

http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2016/04/01/california-man-dressed-woman-busted-videoing-womens-bathroom/ <— This man put on a dress so he could film from inside the locker room.  However, it is already illegal to video record anyone in a locker room, so a non-trans woman could very well have tried the same thing.  Moreover, this person didn’t need to be trans to try doing this, which brings us to our next example.

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/02/01/mcmorran-locker-room-filming/79631876/ <— here’s one of a non-trans male simply going into the women’s locker room and attempting to film women from a stall.  Just so we’re clear, it’s not just people dressing up like women.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/wa-man-women-bathroom-test-transgender-ruling-article-1.2535150 <– Then there’s people like this.  Apparently this guy wanted to test the limits of the law, and decided to go into the women’s locker room and simply undress in front of everyone.  Although this person wasn’t pretending to be trans, so again this isn’t really the same thing.
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Finding such incidents is not easy, because they’re so exceedingly rare.  And finding a person pretending to be trans that does this is so rare that its difficult to find any more than a handful of examples.  In a country of 300 million, this would account for something like 0.00001% criminal acts (have no idea what the actual math is here, but it’s somewhere close to about that low).
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But we do have to admit that this has happened, and may at some point happen again.  There might at some point be a guy thinking it’s a thrill to put on a wig and walk into the women’s room to see if he can get away with it.  So lets entertain this possibility for a moment.  What if, somehow or another, a sudden outbreak of people pretending to be trans decide to start using that as a cover to infiltrate women’s locker rooms so they can see someone getting undressed, not unlike what they could see at home with a simple google search.
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Personally, I’m not against having a staff person simply by ask for ID, and going by whatever the ID shows.  Now before my trans friends grab their torches and pitch forks, let me finish.  I don’t see this as unreasonable, and it would also quell the fears of anyone on the other side of this issue who points to the above cases and asks “what if”.  This provides them a better answer than “it probably won’t” and “it’s frequent enough to worry about”.  After all, we check IDs for alcohol purchases.  I remember working in Georgia, where we had to ask the person’s ID on every alcoholic purchase they made, no matter how old or young they looked.

And since I’m probably going to get asked “So you’re saying we have to show our ID every time just to use the bathroom?” – Consider that if I wanted to use the bathroom at Safeway right now, I would have to ask an employee to unlock the restroom anyway.  So having my ID in hand and pointing to the F doesn’t seem like it’s that much extra trouble, and again, this does answer the concerns of those on the other side of this issue.
In conjunction with this, however, states need to allow a person to go through a fair and demonstrated process of changing ID to match their gender.

As most of my regular readers know, I’m a trans woman. I had to have my condition diagnosed by a psychologist, and then needed to begin living full time as a woman (at this point, I couldn’t use the other locker room just yet – which was fine because I wasn’t fully passing yet either). After a few months and more therapy sessions (not that I was in need; these were basically check ins to see how I was doing, if I had any questions, needed any help, that sort – although some people *do* need therapy during this time to help with adjustments), I then needed to get written affidavits from at least 2 social service agencies stating that I had been living full time as a woman, and fill out forms for a legal name change. I then had to post public notice of my name change, and then I had to wait 2 weeks.  Once that time had passed, I came back and signed my papers for my new name.  Next, I had to bring my affidavits, my name change paperwork, and a signed letter from my therapist to court, and swear in front of a judge that I was going to legally change my gender identification, and henceforth live my life as a woman, complete with all the ongoing hormone / medical treatments I chose to take (as there are a number of options).

After all that, I had to make a trip to the DMV, bringing all my papers along, and get a new state ID made!  (And also of course go to the bank and have my records changed, then head down to the post office and do the same thing, etc etc etc to each place individually until I had everything changed.)

…….. **THEN** …. I could use the women’s locker room.

See, I agree that you can’t just say “I’m a woman”, put on a wig, and that’s it.  The hoops I had to jump through were tough, but I think they were fair. Because if you really are transgender, then it shouldn’t be a problem to keep all your appointments and go through the process.

I still remember the day before I was to show up in court, by the way.  I stayed up half the night crying, because this was going to be the biggest day of my life, and I was going to become a completely new person the following morning.  I would live the rest of my life as Athena.  “Miss Athena”.

Again I want to emphasize this process ought to be “FAIR!”  A standardized, federal process should be in place that anyone could reasonably achieve.  If you leave this up to the states, some conservative governor somewhere (you all know what I’m talking about) will make up requirements deliberately designed to prevent anyone from ever being able to transition.

But that’s how you would settle the issue.  You go by what the gender ID states.

As for passing – this would become a common decency thing.  Much like not chewing with your mouth open at a restaurant, you’d want to make sure your face was prepped before heading in the locker room to change.  I go to 24 Hour Fitness pretty regularly, and if I’m too lazy to shave and put on eyeliner, well then I’m too lazy to go to 24 Hour Fitness, aren’t I.  Not everyone can afford the laser surgery that permanently removes facial hair forever, but we can still afford a basic razor.  And if I need to change clothes while I’m at the gym, I go into the bathroom stall and change there.  Respect is a 2 way street; I’m doing my part to make sure everyone else feels comfortable with me being there, and the people who suspect that I’m trans are willing to help me feel comfortable too.

4. A Bunch of Irrelevant Stuff.  Plus, Science!

Between the 1:00 and 1:30 mark, we get some irrelevant stuff.  Pedophilia and it’s definitions are not related to this discussion, and neither is race.  Paul states it doesn’t matter how we identify, because our “chromosomes are never going to change”, and proudly waves his ignorance in the air with “That’s science, bitches!”

Apparently Paul’s understanding of science comes from what his PE coach scrawled across a chalk board in 8th grade gym class.  Women can have a Y chromosome: http://www.isna.org/faq/y_chromosome.  In particular interest from the report: “About 1 in 20,000 men has no Y chromosome, instead having 2 Xs. This means that in the United States there are about 7,500 men without a Y chromosome. The equivalent situation – females who have XY instead of XX chromosomes – can occur for a variety of reasons and overall is similar in frequency. ”  There are a number of other studies on this subject: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141105165209.htm .  There’s also another condition where sexual development does not match chromosomes, called Swyer Syndrome: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/swyer-syndrome .

That’s SCIENCE, bitches!

Ultimately, none of this matters, and is still irrelevant.  How many men / women did you talk to today?  And how many times did you stop to check their chromosomes?  Do you carry a DNA scanner around with you everywhere you go so you’ll know how to treat someone?  Probably not.  And chances are, you don’t check everyone’s genitalia either.  You simply treat someone as female when they present as female, and treat them as male when they present as male.

The fact that you have this “idea” of femaleness and maleness based entirely on how someone looks is why gender is a “social construct”.  There are lots of things we consider “male” or “female” that are not inherently male or female.  Men can wear earrings.  Women can wear flannel shirts.  Once upon a time, men wore high heels, dresses, and skirts.  Look at King Louis XVI.

King Louis

Sorry your Majesty, you might like wearing wigs, dresses, and heels, but your chromosomes will never change!  THAT’S SCIENCES, BITCHES!!

What we consider masculine and feminine changes with time, and it has nothing to do with chromosomes, DNA, or anatomy.  This change happens because gender is a social construct.  Now that doesn’t mean it isn’t important!  The idea of money is a social construct too; there’s nothing inherently valuable about green inked pieces of paper.  Yet the concept associated with that paper is so powerful that people are willing to risk their lives if enough of it is offered.

It’s extremely important you respect a person’s gender identity, by treating them as the gender they identify as.  Ask any trans person how much it seriously hurts to be misgendered.

5. Hypocrites and Double Standards?

The final point brought up that’s worth answering is regarding how Ringo Starr won’t hold a concert in North Carolina, but he’ll tour Russia where LGBT rights are condemned.  Brian Adams likewise won’t show in the state, but he’ll tour Egypt.  Companies like Paypal threaten to pull out of the state, while still doing business in Saudi Arabia.  So why the double standard?

This seems rather perplexing to ask… we protest events that happen in the US, because this is the country where we live.  No one asked Obama to forego healthcare reform because Pakistan doesn’t have a similar measure.  That wouldn’t make sense.  I can’t think of any law or social action in this country that had to pass through a checklist of other countries first to see if it was okay.  We can’t control how life works in other countries, and just look how hard we’ve tried.  We’ve done a hell of a lot more than just withholding a business deal.  For example we had sanction imposed on Iran or ages, and this did very little to change any of their policies in the middle east.  Cuba had sanctions for 40 years?  They successfully remained communist the entire time.  So while we may not be able to strongly influence other countries, we can – and should – control how life works *HERE*, in our own country.  We live in a democracy, and we can change policies through direct actions, like boycotting and demonstrating.  That’s why we treat North Carolina different from, say, Egypt.

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One last thing I would suggest, and this goes out to everyone who has a concern on this issue…

It seems like a lot of hysteria happening over this is coming from a place of simply not understanding who transgender people are.  Paul speaks of trans people with such admonishment, and even tries to draw parallels between us and pedophilia, so he strikes me as someone who probably has never actually tried getting to know a trans person in real life.  Because if he had, then he wouldn’t think this way.

We are not “men in dresses”.  We are women, but we were born with slightly different anatomy that we did not ask for.  Think of it the same way someone might be born with a disability, but then one day science discovers a way around that disability so it doesn’t have to control our lives anymore, and we can finally live the way that feels right.

We aren’t coming into the bathroom to “rape you”.  And we’re not coming in after your kids either – lots of transgender people have kids of their own.  We’re coming into the bathroom, believe it or not, because we have to pee.  That’s probably the same reason you’re there.

At least try getting to know one trans person before passing judgement on what restrictions we need to have because you feel scared of us.  When the apprehension fades, so will the prejudice and the urge towards discrimination.

The Complete and Final Resource on Patriarchy in the US

Decided to make an updated post on this topic.  “Patriarchy” is the cornerstone that most other 3rd Wave circular arguments rest upon.  We know the wage gap is caused by sexism because of Patriarchy = We know patriarchy is real because the wage gap is caused by sexism.  We know male privilege is real because of Patriarchy = We know patriarchy is real because of male privilege.  Etc.  You can find a complete resource responding to all these points here.

This post includes info from another post, but I feel some people are perhaps less inclined to review that one because it takes the form of a debate.  So I’m basically starting with the info from there, and expanding upon it.  I’ll also include the most common arguments I’ve seen, so you’ll know how to respond to them.

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Patriarchy corner stone

Patriarchy is the cornerstone for the entire faith-based movement of 3rd Wave Feminism

First we’ll begin by using the absolute loosest definition of patriarchy so that it has the greatest possible chance of survival against rational inquiry; it’s a system wherein “masculinity is favored over femininity”. That’s it! That’s the only definition we’re using, because with that definition, you can build up towards anything you want that’s more specific.

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If that were true:
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— Why is it totally okay to beat a man in public, but men can’t even LOOK at a woman without it being labeled and denounced? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRCS6GGhIRc – here’s another example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOyrYThlOag .
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— Why would we have laws allowing women to file charges of sexual harassment because of a swimsuit calendar in your cubicle? http://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2012/06/can-you-recognize-sexual-harassment-when-you-see-it/ – Why would saying “hello” and “god bless you” be considered shocking forms of street harassment?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XGPvbWn0A .  Shouldn’t men get a free pass if masculinity were valued and femininity were denounced (at least in saying such horrible things as “hello”)?
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— Why would we lower the physical requirements of women joining police departments (http://www.pstc.nh.gov/faqs.htm), the military (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Physical_Fitness_Test), and remove tests for fire departments altogether (http://nypost.com/2014/12/11/fdny-drops-physical-test-requirement-amid-low-female-hiring-rate/), even when it’s been repeatedly demonstrated that women who actually bothered training would have no such need? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3fD-L-Gdjg
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— Why would I, as a woman, be allowed to board the bus ahead of someone who was clearly standing in line before me? Why is it when I drop something, three different men reach to pick it up? Why am I always allowed to use the restroom when the sign clearly says “no public restroom”? Why do I not have to pay for my own meals on dates? Why can I use the men’s room if there’s someone in the lady’s room, yet if a man tried that, he’d probably be arrested? http://www.katu.com/news/local/Portland-business-owner-in-battleover-bathroom-access-260064661.html
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— Why are convicted killers of women more likely to get the death penalty? In a patriarchy. Where masculinity is more valued than femininity. http://www.presstelegram.com/article/20150627/NEWS/150628436
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— Why are women almost never given the death penalty? In a patriarchy. Where femininity is not as valued as masculinity. http://www.businessinsider.com/women-and-the-death-penalty-2013-9
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— Why do we punish men just for the accusation of rape with no evidence, but there’s virtually no recourse at all towards women who falsely accuse men of rape? If we valued men and not women, shouldn’t this be… reversed somehow?
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— Why would the suicide rate for men be 3 times higher than for women? In a society where they’re more valued? https://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures
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— Why are you able to stand up in public, anywhere in the modern day US, and shout “WOMEN ARE SMARTER THAN MEN!” – and get applause, yet if you did that same exact thing and shouted men were smarter than women, you’d get beaten up? No need for hyperlinks here – just go out and try it yourself.
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— Why is it I can walk into a club wearing lipstick and eyeliner and have men fawn over me, yet for a man to have women fawn over him, he’d have to be a billionaire? What does money matter when men are more valued than women?
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— Why would the Justice Department have an entire branch set up just for violence against women, even though domestic violence has been shown repeatedly to happen at equal rates to both men and women? http://www.justice.gov/ovw
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— Why would we have Rape Shield laws?  http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/rape-shield-laws.html.  How did those get passed in a patriarchy?
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— If a building is on fire, how many people would rush in, risking their lives, to save Bob, the big fat bald-headed accountant? How many would rush in to save Tammy, the bikini model? Almost everyone goes for the model – but why, when Bob is more valuable because penis *cough* I MEAN “patriarchy”?
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— If a woman is inside her house naked, and a man walks by and looks in the window, he’s a peeping tom, and gets arrested. Yet if it’s a man inside the house naked and a woman walks by, it’s still the man who gets arrested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JRdFf8qtSc
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— Why are we all okay with men being called nearly ever name under the sun (http://verbalabuseofmen.com/ ), but we need to “ban bossy”? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ban_Bossy
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— I have a pass that allows me to eat dinner at some of the shelters around town.  Every evening when dinner is served, the women get to go first.  Why?  When we’re not as valued?
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— Why does 97% of alimony cases go to women?  http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmajohnson/2014/11/20/why-do-so-few-men-get-alimony/ – shouldn’t it go to men?  Who are in power?  Who are in charge?  Who can just FORCE THE WOMAN to hand over her money and belongings to the man after a divorce?  (You know, like they do in the middle east?)
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— Why is Hillary Clinton beating Bernie Sanders?  An old and well-off white man?  I mean the patriarchy isn’t just letting her win, they’re letting her cheat her ass off and get away with it scot-free.   http://www.sansmemetics.com/2016-the-year-americans-learned-their-elections-are-rigged/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork
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If you want to see what patriarchy looks like, just imagine a world where we flip all of these around. Imagine living in a country where is the exact opposite of everything we have in the US now. That might arguably be a “patriarchy”.
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Is there any such place on earth that exists right now? Are there places where women are treated like trash just for being women? Why, yes, there is, as a matter of fact, glad you asked!!
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hate men is patriarchyAnd that’s probably the best indicator that we DON’T have that in the US. And that’s the answer to the original question put forward; yes, patriarchy is real, but not in any developed first world nation.
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The job 4th Wave Feminists have in front of us is to acknowledge legitimate women’s issues and get to work on them, while debunking the myths created by the 3rd Wave that hurt everyone.
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The above should be enough to pretty much slam shut the case on patriarchy, but we’re not done.  As I stated earlier, lets go ahead and answer the most popular arguments for teh existence of patriarchy.  Any new arguments I find may be added later.  This will be the final and most complete resource in shutting down this nonsensical claim once and for all.
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        —————————————————————————————————
           Most Common Arguments for the Existence of Patriarchy in he US
        —————————————————————————————————
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1. “What about our all-male congress?  Why aren’t there any women?  Men are clearly in power!”
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Probably this is the most common argument and is the immediate go-to point on the subject.  It also reveals just how little thought goes into making this claim. To begin with, we live in a free and open society, where anyone can run for any position in our government.  Men are elected to congress because people vote for them, and over 50% of voters are women.  In 2012, 53% of voters were women, and they backed Barrack Obama.  There were similar numbers in the 2008 campaign, where more women than men voted, and when Obama was first elected.  If you’ll remember, that’s also where Hillary ran her first campaign, and lost the democratic nomination to Obama, because that’s how most women voted.  We currently have an old white hetero-normative male running against Hillary in our current election season, and women plenty of women are voting for him instead of her.  At no point in any election process is being male a requirement.

So we then get the question “Why aren’t women running for office then?”  The 3rd Wave narrative insists that it has to be patriarchy!  But this subject has been very thoroughly researched, and as you might expect, studies reveal a completely different answer.  You can find one such study here:https://annieslist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/WhyDontWomenRun.pdf

From the study:

—– —–
When we move to the third box in Figure 1 and examine those members of the sample who actually ran for elective office, gender differences again emerge. Twelve percent of the men from the initial pool of prospective candidates actually threw their hats into the ring and sought elective positions; only 7 percent of the women did so (difference significant at p < .01). At first glance, this might seem like a small difference, but, in reality, it reflects the fact that men are 71 percent more likely than women to run for office.
—– —–

Long story short: women simply choose not to run for office.

You can find another study here: http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/building-women2019s-political-careers-strengthening-the-pipeline-to-higher-office – this is from a far left leaning feminist organization, which basically reaches similar findings: women simply choose not to run for office, and the ones that do often don’t have the skills to succeed.  Just like at any job, you need skills related to that job, or you probably won’t do well.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12158/full – another study, this one from the American Journal of Political Science.  The study concludes:

—– —–
Even if potential candidates have the same qualifications, harbor the same ambitions, face the same incentives, and confront the same unbiased voters and electoral institutions—in short, encouter identical decision problems—the fact that representatives are chosen by electoral means is enough to dissuade women from putting themselves forward as candidates.
—– —–

– and further –

—– —–
But we also know that when women run for office, they win with at least as much frequency as do men (Darcy et al. 1994).
—– —–

Which just reiterates the point; women most certainly *can* run, and *can* win, but they choose not to put themselves out there and run.  Men face just as much scrutiny and just as many challenges.  The difference lies in personal choice.

Nothing says it better than this line:

—– —–
Women’s entry into the candidate pool increases only if we simultaneously guarantee that campaigns are completely truthful and eliminate the private costs of running for office.
—– —–

Right.  We need to make a bunch of rules!  Everyone has to be COMPLETELY HONEST! (In politics, seriously.)  No name calling!  No mud slinging!  No personal attacks!  Don’t criticize the things I say, or what I do, or where I go, or what I’ve done in the past – then I’ll feel safe enough to run!

Notice how Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren don’t need any of that?  Let that sink in for a moment.  Because *THAT’S* why they made it to the top.  Sarah Palin routinely has her personal and family life attacked anytime she appears anywhere in the media.  Say what you want about her, but I couldn’t do that.  You have to be incredibly damn tough to survive, and even tougher to succeed – just like any man does.

You can find numerous other studies on this subject.  Nowhere will you find “Women are kept out of congress because men laugh at them and send them home” – or any other claim involving patriarchy.

I also have personal experience working with politics.  In 2014, I worked for the Democratic Party of Portland (bet you thought I was a conservative, didn’tcha?)  I got an up close and personal look at just how vicious some of the mud-slinging can be.  If you’re running for office, your opponent has people on their team who will go through your entire personal history and look at every letter you’ve ever written, every job you’ve ever held, and every statement you’ve ever said.  Hell when Ben Carson was still in the 2016 race, journalist went so far as to seek out people he went to grade school with and interviewed them about his childhood!  Utterly nothing about your life will remain private if you decide to run for office.

Most women just don’t want their personal lives in front of the whole world to see.

Most men are willing to to run that gauntlet.

Again, this comes back to personal choice.  If women were being kept out of office “because patriarchy”, how on earth do you explain all the women who *DO* successfully make it in politics?  Was the patriarchy just sleeping when they decided to run?  Did patriarchy leave the door unlocked and the women slipped in, going “SURPRISE!” – then the patriarchy couldn’t kick them out?  Clearly, some women *are* making the personal choice to run, so there goes your “social pressures” argument.  Men face exactly the same social pressures when they run for office (just look at what Obama and others have had to face).  They simply make the personal choice to do it anyway.

Second, women are kept out of power?  Then how do you explain:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carly_Fiorina

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Bader_Ginsburg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena_Kagan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Sotomayor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandra_Day_O’Connor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper

Why would this happen in patriarchy

Jokes aside, why would this be so common and so well understood in a patriarchy? Because in an actual patriarchy, the answer to the question would be “No. You’re wearing a blanket.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gina_Raimondo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Brown

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_Hassan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Fallin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Haley

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susana_Martinez

^ I mean, how is *any* of this possible if women were “excluded from power”?  Going back to the Why Don’t Women Run study from above, we find:

—— ——
Men are significantly more likely than women to identify a state office (17 percent of men, compared to 11 percent of women) or national office (10 percent of men, compared to only 3 percent of women) as their first choice (differences significant at p < .01). These results mirror those researchers who find that women are more likely to focus their political involvement at the local level or in positions that match their stereotypic strengths.
—– ——

So then it makes perfect sense why we find so many women mayors and governors, but fewer women running for president.  You can see a list of female mayors here: http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/levels_of_office/women-mayors-us-cities-2015 (that list is too long to have on this page).  Goes back to personal choice – something 3rd Wavers just hate (given how often we hear the argument “social pressure made me do it / kept me from it!”).

1.5 “Men can’t represent women’s interests / women are under represented!”

First, saying a man can’t represent a woman because he doesn’t have a vagina is like telling a brain surgeon he can’t help a patient with a tumor because he’s never had a tumor.  It also says nothing about how men are supposed to be represented if we let women into congress; somehow or another, women can represent men’s interest just fine? … well, yes, they can.  There’s nothing about lacking a penis that makes it impossible for you to understand how men live.  And vice versa.

Second, how exactly has a mostly male congress *not* represented women?  They routinely discuss and address women’s issues.  For example, even though every study ever published has shown that the wage gap is a result of women’s personal decisions, it still goes before congress and gets discussed anyway.

In fact, here’s a list of legislation passed by an “all male congress” that almost exclusively benefits women:

— The 19th Amendment ratified in 1920, allowing women to vote
— US vs Ballard, a 1946 ruling preventing discrimination of women on federal juries.
— Hoyt vs Florida, a 1961 ruling which extends US vs Ballard over state juries
— Federal Fair Pay Act of 1963, guaranteeing women are paid the same amount for the same work
— Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  effectively making sexual harassment a federal offense
— Executive Order 11375, signed in 1965, which extended affirmative action to women
— Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 ruling granting all married couples access to contraception
— Loving v. Virginia, a 1967 decision that allowed women of any race to marry man of any race
— Executive Order 11246, signed in 1968, which prohibits sex discrimination by government contractors and requires affirmative action plans for hiring women
— Gun Control Act of 1968, which prevents anyone convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a firearm (passed with almost unanimous support from congress, by the way)
— Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, extending affirmative action to college campuses for women
— Eisenstadt v. Baird, a case in 1972, established the right to use contraceptives
— Roe v Wade, a 1972 ruling that has since made it legal to seek an abortion
— Education Amendments Act of 1972, which prevents discrimination based on gender of any federally funded program (signed by president Nixon, by the way)
— Frontiero v. Richardson, a 1973 decision that ruled against the discrimination of military spouses
— The Fair Housing Act, passed in 1974, which eliminates housing discrimination on the basis of sex
— Sprogis v. United Airlines, a 1975 ruling that prevents discrimination against women for being married
— Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, prevents discrimination for being pregnant
— Kirchberg v. Feenstra, a 1981 decision that overturns state laws that give the husband exclusive control over property that’s jointly owned with his wife
— Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees, a 1984 decision that required many male-only organizations (Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, etc) must allow women.  It’s difficult to imagine this happening to female-only organizations
— Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (or COBRA), in 1985, which allows women to continue receiving benefits from their health insurance policy, if the policy was connected to their job, and they lose that job.
— Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, a 1986 ruling that stated sexual harassment, even if it doesn’t cause any economic loss, is still a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
— The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, allowing women 12 weeks of maternity leave among other things
— Harris v. Forklift Systems, a 1993 decision stating that a woman doesn’t have to show any signs of physical or psychological injury when reporting sexual harassment
— The Violence against Women Act of 1994, which in turn created Rape Shield Laws
— The subsequent creation of the Office of Violence Against Women
— Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994, which prevents anyone from stopping a woman from accessing reproductive healthcare
— Gender Equity in Education Act, passed in 1994, aimed at training teachers in gender equity, promote math and science for girls, counseling for pregnant teens, and prevention of sexual harassment
— United States v. Virginia, a 1996 ruling that stated the Virginia Military Institute was required to accept women who wanted to enroll (just a side note: the VMI considered going private to avoid this decision, but the Department of Defense threatened to pull all ROTC programs if they did.  Patriarchy?)
— Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, extending statute of limitations for suing over wage discrimination cases.

Keep in mind, these are all only federal laws, and supreme court decisions.  This doesn’t include state laws and state supreme court decisions.

Then we have even more laws, statutes, and court rulings that men can arguably benefit from as well, although if we believed the claims of 3rd Wavers, these would have been passed mostly for the benefit of women.

You can see a few such statutes here: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-me/legacy/2012/06/01/Federal%20DV%20Statutes%20-%20September%202010.pdf

Among them:

— Interstate Travel to Commit Domestic Violence
— Interstate Stalking
— Cyber Stalking
— Interstate Travel to Violate an Order of Protection
— Household and Dependent Care Credit Act of 2001, an attempt to offset the cost of raising children through a tax credit
— Apessos v. Memorial Press Group, a 2002 ruling that an employer cannot terminate an employee who requires time off to settle a matter pertaining to domestic violence
— In J.E.B. v. Alabama, a 1994 decision that basically says any challenge whatsoever regarding the participation in the democratic process on the basis of race or gender is disallowed
— The Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) is signed into law in 2010.  Part of this act requires that private health insurance companies provide women with birth control, without co-pays or deductibles.

I actually don’t want this post to go on forever, so I can’t include literally every congressional act, supreme court ruling, and executive order that benefits only women.  You can find another list that goes even further into this here: http://www.nwhp.org/resources/womens-rights-movement/detailed-timeline/ .  But this claim that women “lack fair representation”, as if our “all male” congress (in a patriarchy) has never done anything for women, is absolutely mind boggling.

Can you imagine for a moment congress passing that many laws and decisions that exclusively benefit men?  Yea neither can I.

…………in a patriarchy.

2. “Wage gap!”

Here’s the link again in case you missed it.

3. “Men hold doors open for you because you’re seen as weak / men pay for dates because it’s assumed you cant pay / men do nice things for you because they’re expecting sex”.

Answered this one in a post you can see here.  But if you want the short version: you can’t read someone’s mind.  You don’t *know* that a man is holding a door open for you because he thinks you’re weak.  He could be just trying to be nice.  He could see you as strong and confident and wants to hold the door for that reason.  He might even admire you, and that’s why he’s doing it.  The same goes for all the other suggested motives – you can’t know those are a person’s reasons within those hypothetical examples.  It’s just a story that you’ve decided to accept and interpret the world with.

I have a black friend who was getting nasty looks from his professor in college.  The professor was nice to all the other students, but always seemed tense around him.  Finally one day my friend called him out on it, expect some type of racist motive (3rd Wavers call themselves “intersectional” when they make up motives based on race).  The professor finally levels with him.

“Ever since this semester started… you’ve been taking my parking space.  Could you please stop doing that?”

My friend began parking somewhere else, and things were fine from that day forward.  “Men only _______ because _______” — When applied to men as a whole, that’s just narrative.  It’s certainly not “proof of patriarchy”.

3.5 “So you’re saying it’s impossible to know someone’s motives?”

Of course not.  It’s easy to know someone’s motives – just ask them!  People are generally open if you approach them in a non-accusatory way.  I know that after spending the evening with someone who’s offering to pay for my meal, it’s certainly *not* because they sees me as unable to pay for my dinner.  We’ve been dating for a while, and we know each other.  I don’t have any reason to suspect a hidden motive.

But that’s not what we’re talking about.  “Patriarchy” isn’t what one person does.  The exact definition of patriarchy changes based on who you ask (as it happens in any faith based movement), but all definitions include some type of prevailing culture or system that operates across the entire country and affects everyone.  So even if you were dating someone who paid for your meal because he thought you weren’t able to due to having a vagina, that wouldn’t be proof of patriarchy.  That’s just proof that you’re dating someone who’s very….. strange.

4. “What about rape culture / thousands of rape kits that are backlogged!”

Here’s the complete and total answer to rape culture.  As for rape kits, a 2011 report released from the Justice Department details exactly why that’s happening – and it has nothing to do with patriarchy, sexism, rape culture, or any other 3rd Waver buzz word.

5. “Women are still battling for reproductive rights!”

Review the list we went over earlier, and look at how many laws and decisions have been made regarding women’s reproductive rights.  You have a dizzying array of rights.  Men on the other hand have virtually nothing in this regard.  How in the world has it gotten this backwards?

reproductive rights of women

(Update 5/13/16: The above meme appears to have been successfully challenged by a number of different people.  You can see the full discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=795018017295411&set=a.409712675825949.1073741828.100003616618834&type=3 .  A review of the facts currently shows that women still do have some advantages over men in regards to child support, but the majority of the points in the meme do not hold.  Thank you for challenging the information you see on 4th Wavers.   That’s how we improve.)

This is not to say the system we have is perfect.  It’s fair to say that abortion clinics in certain states have been unfairly shut down, and this is a serious injustice that should be corrected.  John Oliver does a fantastic job of outlining these issues here.  But don’t pretend like women just have no rights a all.  That’s ridiculous.  And while these are issues that people are becoming aware of and trying to correct, nobody is at all concerned about the man’s rights regarding a pregnancy.

If this were a patriarchy, why isn’t this the exact opposite way around?  Shouldn’t the man have a ton of rights, with the woman left out of the discussion?

You know.  Kind of like it is in *actual* patriarchies?  Like Iraq?  And Saudi Arabia?

6. “Women don’t get maternity leave!”

Really?

…. and the reason for this… is because the US is a culture that hates women so much that we just can’t stand the thought of them at home, raising a child?

It might have something to do with the inordinate cost of paying a woman to not show up at work every day for over a year while she stays at home.  That might also be why men aren’t given time off either for having a child.

This is still a problem of course, and one that should be intelligently discussed and considered.  And as a socialist, I’m confident there are solutions that most likely exist outside of the price system.  But this isn’t something caused by men hating women (or femininity being devalued, if that sounds better) so much that they don’t want them to go home and raise kids.

Come to think of it, if the patriarchy’s view of women is that they should stay home and raise kids, then shouldn’t we expect *more* maternity leave?

7. Women are objectified / harassed!

Objectification Theory has been debunked, and women aren’t objectified.  As far as harassment goes, according to 3rd Wave sources, literally anything a man says in public, no matter what it is, can be called “harassment”.  In the 10 hour walk through New York video, which was famously used by the agency Hollaback as solid proof of the “shocking and horrifying” harassment (yes, those were their own words) that women go through each day showed us such horrible catcalls as “Hello”, “God bless you”, and “Have a nice day” (those are some of the first things we hear in the video).

None of these would fit the legal definition of harassment.  And you can’t point to anything someone says that you don’t personally like and claim it’s harassment (well, technically you can, since 3rd Wavers do this all the time – but that doesn’t actually make it harassment).

This isn’t to say that harassment just never happens – of course it does, just like any crime occasionally happens.  Murder, theft, arson, and so on.  That in no way suggests that there’s an entire nation wide culture that thinks these things are okay.  That’s why we have laws against them – and 3 federal statutes specifically against harassment were listed above.

8. Women can’t go topless in public / women are told they can’t breastfeed in public!

I honestly can’t imagine a world where women go topless in public.  As it stands, if you *LOOK* at a woman the wrong way – that’s male gaze.  You try to explain yourself – that’s man-splaining.  You give up and go sit down – that’s man-spreading.  The only way to not “enforce the patriarchy” is to curl up in a little ball, close your eyes, and remain motionless until a woman gives you permission to move.

………… but even then, we’d have “man-breathing”.  Your breathing too hard.  That’s a sign of domination!  It’s patriarchy!

Okay now women are going to go around topless?  Can you just imagine?  Absolutely positively *EVERY* conceivable thing a man does is going to be harassment of one kind or another.  I mean if you think it’s bad now, just wait until the “free the nipple” campaign succeeds.  I’m honestly waiting for rape accusations against men who weren’t even in the same area code.

I’m also not aware of the legions of women who are just dying to walk around town topless.  Like that’s a serious thing all women are wanting to do, and can’t, because patriarchy.

As far as breastfeeding goes – I’d agree, that’s a problem, and personally it’s not one that I understand.  I’ve never really got what people are so hung up about.  Sure breast can be sexual, but that doesn’t mean they always are.  But what does this have to do with masculinity being promoted at the expense of femininity?  It’s more likely just a cultural hold over from more puritanical times centuries ago.

9. Women have to change their names to the man’s after marriage!

This is because marriage used to serve a very different function than it does now.  In fact, marrying someone because you love them is actually a relatively new thing!  Even the practice of getting on your knee and proposing with a ring is a manufactured tradition that started only in the 20th century.

Marriage used to be about alliances during war, land exchange, inheritance, and so on.  If you trace back the original reasons for the name change, it gets rather complex as we go through medieval Europe, and cultures prior to that time.  Marriage has meant different things during different time periods, and the practice of name changing has since gone obsolete.

It had nothing to do with “men are awesome, women are worthless, so you change your name to mine”.  In much the same way chivalry has utterly nothing to do with holding a door open for someone, or treating women in any particular way.  Chivalry was almost entirely about medieval battle etiquette.  The only time it would apply in modern times is if a man were challenging you to a jousting tournament.

10. “The English language is male dominated!  MailMAN, ServiceMAN, etc”.

First, our language has changed over the last few decades, and using gender specific nouns in describing an occupation is becoming less and less common.  That’s not something that should happen in a patriarchy.

Second, gender roles evolved out of earlier survival behavior.  I would like to see the typical modern day blue-haired “I need a safe space” 3rd Waver chop wood, carry stones, then kill a large animal and drag it back to the cave, and see how well she does.  Chances are, she’s not going to do well at all.  Her male counterpart is unable to give birth to children even if he wanted to, and probably also wouldn’t do well sitting around a cave listening to a screaming baby all day.  For survival, they took different survival roles.  These roles eventually became culturally ingrained as gender roles.  It explains why many occupations had “man” in the name for a long while, but it has utterly nothing to do with women being inferior.

In fact, in all ancient civilizations, when these roles were first developing, women were the ones in control of society.  They ran the government, owned all the property, and men were unmistakably second class.  Centuries later, while the man was out plowing the fields under the hot sun in medieval Europe, the women was inside *not* getting sunburned, mosquito bitten, or called off to war anytime the king got bored.

Gender roles are not patriarchy.  And neither is gendered language.

————————————————————————————————-

I hope by now the myth of patriarchy is clear, and how it’s ultimately the driving force behind the 3rd Wave agenda.

How can you believe that men run everything just to hurt women (patriarchy), that men are somehow inherently valued over women and are given power over them (another definition of patriarchy), that women are oppressed by men and excluded from any form of power or decision making (yet another definition of patriarchy), that men are given advantages only because they are men (because of patriarchy), that men see women as objects (due to patriarchy), even when absolutely none of these things have any truth to them…

…. and not call that “man-hating”?  How is it possible to believe all that – none of which have any evidence – and not call yourself anti-man?

growth

Simply brilliant, and could not have said it better myself.  As a trans-woman, I’ve also changed, grown as a person, and this really connects with me.  Thank you to whoever made this.

3rd Wave has nothing to do with women’s issues, and sure as hell has nothing to do with equality.  It’s focused around, and centered on, hating men.  It criminalizes masculinity and victimizes femininity.  “Patriarchy” is just an pseudo-academic way of making this look like a social theory from an activist group rather than an ideology from a hate group.

That’s why 4th Wave exists.  We’re checking 3rd Wave back towards reality, and hope that one day we can rescue feminism and return it to what it was originally about; empowering women, and focusing on legitimate social justice issues.

Why are Rape Kits Getting Backlogged?

If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you might have come across this little jewel:

Where Samantha Bee comes to the aid of 3rd Wavers everywhere, reinvigorating their faith in the myth of rape culture by bringing up a topic that is years old, and of course presenting it the way that fits the narrative that most of us are familiar with at this point.

Lets get straight to it.

Why are there so many untested rape kits?

BECAUSE PENIS SEXISM PRIVILEGE PATRIARCHY CULTURE!  (Of course)

The US Department of Justice released a study in 2011, produced in part by the Attorney General, detailing the problems surrounding the use of rape kits in criminal prosecution. You can see the report here: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/233279.pdf .

The opening line of the report…

—– —–
Untested sexual assault evidence is being discovered in police evidence rooms all across the country.
—– —–

Straight away, this establishes the issue. The report goes on to discuss the particulars, but just as we’ve seen in the wage gap myth, the question of “why” can very seriously change what this all means. So what’s really the cause of this?

There are a few reasons why rape kits (referred to in the report as sexual assault kits, or SAKs) are handled so poorly.

From page 6 of the report:

—– —–
It is unknown how many unanalyzed SAKs there are nationwide. There are many reasons for this, but one of the primary ones is that tracking and counting SAKs is an antiquated process in many U.S. jurisdictions. A recent National Institute of Justice (NIJ) survey found that four in 10 of the nation’s law enforcement agencies — 43 percent — do not have a computerized system for tracking forensic evidence, either in their inventory or after it is sent to the crime lab.
—– —–

Also, from the same page:

—— —–
Not all evidence collected in an alleged sexual assault is going to be probative. In cases where “consent” is an issue (the suspect admits sexual contact but maintains it was consensual), detectives may conside that the SAK does not add any important information to the investigation. Evidence also may not be sent to a lab for analysis if charges against the alleged perpetrator have been dropped or the suspect has pled guilty.
—– —–

Some additional reasons:

—– —–Rape kit
Forty-four percent of the law enforcement agencies said that one of the reasons they did not send evidence to the lab was that a suspect had not been identified.
—– —–

– and –

—– —–
Fifteen percent said that they did not submit evidence because analysis had not been requested by a prosecutor.
—– —–

It’s also important to point out that during this same investigation, it was found that the police had also not submitted forensic evidence, including DNA, fingerprints, firearms (that’s right, actual weapons) and tool-marks to crime lab in 18% of unsolved rape cases, but also in 14% of unsolved homicides, and 23% of unsolved property crimes. This very heavily blurs the possibility that police are selectively not submitting SAKs involved in rape cases, and strongly implies that it’s due to a systemic failure and points to administrative issues.

The report goes on to list numerous other causes for why SAKs sit idle. Over 20% of officers surveyed said evidence was not submitted because they didn’t know if or how the evidence would help. This came from mostly very small departments (having 25 or fewer officers – think Andy Griffith and the town of Mayberry); in other words, the cops were just stupid, and lacked proper training. They literally may not have understood how DNA evidence works, and that the crime labs have an interconnected computer system that can identify suspects without an identity already at hand.

Case in point:

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Policies and practices for evidence retention vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, with one in five agencies saying that they were not sure whether they had such policies.
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When a department doesn’t know what it’s own policies are, you’re not dealing with the sharpest tool in the shed.

Back to more reasons: 11% said they didn’t bother because the crime labs could not produce results in time, and 6% said the crime labs wouldn’t accept new evidence due to backlogs. In fact, the National Institute of Justice has provided a block grant to the Los Angeles police department just so they could have money to start processing some of these SAKs!

But but but…. PATRIARCHY RAPE CULTURE PRIVILEGE MEN HATE WOMEN BECAUSE PENIS!!! – Yes, we know, facts for 3rd Wave Feminists are like the points on Whose Line Is It Anyway. “Welcome to 3rd Wave, where shit’s made up and the facts don’t matter!”

As for the issues with rape kits, it’s all pretty f*cked up, and I think we can agree on that. However, nowhere in the report is it found that any significant portion of these SAKs were left sitting on the shelves in a deliberate effort by police to avoid prosecuting rape crimes. I mean there are almost as many homicides and property crimes have been treated the same way, because the same problems within the system are causing those too.

And why on earth, as Samantha Bee pointed out, are police departments DESTROYING rape kits???!! – it’s simple. Cases can be canceled for any number of reasons. Sometimes the victim withdraws the charges. Sometimes the suspect is found innocent through other means without using the rape kit. Other times the suspect is found guilty through other means without using the rape kit.  Still other times the investigators simply conclude that no new information will come from the SAK, and then there’s other outlying reasons – like maybe the rapist dies.  Whatever the reason, you do not need to keep the rape kit FOREVER. There’s limited space on the police evidence room shelves, so when a case is ended, the evidence is generally cleared out.

I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty more discussions on the interwebs where 3rd Wavers decry living in a horrible hell hole like the United States, where 5 out of 1 women are raped every 20 minutes (or whatever crazy statistic they come up with next) and “rape kits aren’t tested because patriarchy!”  Go ahead and link this page into the discussion, sit back, and watch he heads explode.