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Suffragettes can't save feminism

Feminists unable to defend against criticism of their lobbying history often fall back on the suffrage card. To put it simply, feminists claim that the suffragette movement means feminism is responsible for women's ability to exercise the right to vote. They present the voting card framed in the belief that prior to activism by the suffragettes, women were universally denied voting rights which were universally enjoyed by men, or at least men who were not black. It's offered as a get out of criticism free card, as if this one thing redeems the entire movement's history of anti-male rhetoric, unsupported claims, and agitation for discriminatory law and policy. It does not, but even if it did, there's another problem with the belief.

History does not support their position.

Historically, men did not have the universal suffrage that suffragettes demanded for women. Voting rights were tied to all kinds of terms and conditions. Further, there are examples (with more emerging) of women voting before the women's suffrage movement.

One such example is a recently discovered document listing English women voters in an election which took place in 1843, 75 years prior to legislation recognizing women's voting rights in 1918. At that time, suffrage for men was not universal, but limited to the upper classes, with various groups agitating for parliamentary reform throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. The women recorded in the 1843 document would have had to meet the standards met by men. They paid a fee, and it determined how their vote was counted. Note that the article mentions that the high fee paid by Grace Brown gave her 4 votes, where those who paid less got only one vote. These women also enjoyed a privilege denied to men who did not meet legal voting requirements. Adult men who were not heads of households could not vote.

Prior to the formation of the United States, voting in the colonies was largely governed by the same standards used in England. However, contrary to popular belief, women were not universally barred from voting. As with the women in England's 1843 document, American women who voted prior to the 20th century did so under the same terms and conditions faced by men, save for one: Women were not and still are not subject to being drafted into the military in times of war.

One interesting example of early female voters prior to universal male suffrage is the colony of New Jersey, where gender was not a factor in voting rights until the Democratic-Republican party, which eventually became the Democrat party, took the vote away from Jersey women, minorities, non-citizens, and the poor in 1807 over conflict between their party and federalists.

Even after the U.S. became a nation, men's suffrage was not universal. Voting rights continued to evolve throughout the 19th century, with states slowly letting go of property ownership requirements over the course of decades. After the 15th amendment was ratified, recognizing black male citizenship and voting rights, southern states passed "grandfather clauses" to roll back their rights, and used Jim Crow laws and poll taxes to get out of recognizing them until the success of the civil rights movement in the mid 20th century. This allowed wealthy and middle class white women to vote while many poor and minority men and women were kept away from the polls.

In 1876, the supreme court ruled that Native Americans were not citizens as defined by the 14th Amendment, and therefore could not vote. In 1890, they were told they could apply to become naturalized citizens in their own ancestral land. Laws denying citizenship to various Asian immigrants passed in 1882 (the Chinese exception) and 1922 (Japanese immigrants.) In 1919 Native Americans and in 1925 Filipinos were told they could earn citizenship by risking their lives serving in American wars. Various stipulations, including Jim Crow laws and poll taxes, left the majority of the indigenous population of the U.S. and its territories, along with the majority of Asian immigrants, and most minorities, subject to the rule of the American government without representation by officials for (or against) whom they had the right to vote - the same injustice that sparked the Revolutionary war. Asians did not see their voting rights universally recognized until the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952. Native Americans' right to vote was not fully recognized until 1957, 37 years after the 19th Amendment recognized women's right to vote... 12 years before the first man walked on the moon. It was not until 8 years after Native Americans were recognized, 4 years after the first manned American space flight and 4 years before we put a man on the moon, that the Voting Rights Act passed, protecting the right of all blacks and other minorities to vote. Upper class white women got the vote in 1920. Impoverished black men and women did not truly get theirs until 1965.

Feminists who paint the history of citizen suffrage in starkly gendered terms do so in either ignorance of or contempt for reality. Western civilization's growing pains have not been so clearly defined, nor has the weight of feminism's influence on the evolution of voting rights. It was both separate and tandem fighting by many disenfranchised groups which brought about voting reform in England and the United States, including, but not limited to, women's rights.

The suffragette movement is yet another example of feminists approaching a human problem as if only women are impacted, and only women deserve relief.

KSUM Conference on Educational Equity fundraiser underway

Kennesaw State University Men (KSUM), the first A Voice For Men-sponsored student organization, is hosting a conference on Educational Equity on November 1, 2014 from 3PM to 9PM EST.

Victor Zen (Sage Gerard) has written a series of articles on AVFM about the conference, the process of founding KSUM, and the hurdles that campus men face to simply discussing men's issues on campus. In working to get the organization off the ground, though there was support from some campus officials, Sage encountered everything from bureaucratic stonewalling to outright hostility. He found that some existing student support systems on campus were marketing their services to women but not to men, while some which targeted men weren't helpful. For their interest in having a place for men to discuss men's issues, KSUM's founders have faced opposition from campus feminists.

This conference is KSUM's opportunity to secure its place on campus as an active student organization. It's an opportunity for activists to foster an organization dedicated to providing men with educational support similar to the support offered to women.

There are two ways you can help.

1) KSUM has a fundraiser for the conference. The group needs to raise $13,000. At the writing of this post, they're at $2,362 with 26 days to go. There are rewards for higher contributions, but the site allows any dollar amount. Even small contributions can add up quickly.

2) Spread the word. Even if you cannot contribute to the fundraiser, giving it greater exposure increases the chance that the group will receive the donations they need. There are many places to share this information. Both the fundraiser site itself and Sage's article on AVFM have buttons for sharing in multiple locations. The fundraiser page also has a link you can use to share on sites not listed on the page. 

Sharing the links is vital, as increasing the exposure the initiative gets will increase the chance for contributions. Even if you can't add to the pot, you may draw the attention of those who can and will.Be sure to spread the word.

Dark horse walks into a bar

Precious, you poor little dear, so pitifully lacking in any understanding of the beast in whose belly you've made your nest. You seem to be operating under the delusion that you're a journalist.

Let's start out with a little clarification. Make no mistake about what you actually did, versus how you have represented it in your self-aggrandizing attempt at sounding whimsical and creative. Your entire post can be summed up in one single, stark, unspun paragraph.

"I misrepresented myself, stalked a group of people who had made abundantly clear in the past they wanted nothing to do with me, and flirted with a man under false pretenses while he was drinking. I then took advantage of his trust by photographing him. Now I have written (sans evidence) a narrative I think sounds damning, and shared it along with that photo in a crappy, blathering blog post. In my arrogance and bigotry, I see nothing wrong with this and have actually had the nerve to presume my behavior 'investigative journalism.'"

Having met him and spoken to him at length myself, I don't find your story credible, but even if it were, it's not a very good condemnation of anyone against whom you intended to use it.

It hasn't even occurred to you to think of what you've said about yourself and other women in that narrative of yours, has it? Whispy as it was, it was still quite obvious that you were trying to portray one adult in a bar as a predator with nothing more than the unsupported but also not so damning claim that he reciprocated interest communicated by the approach and advances of another adult.

My word, how scandalous. You claim that you flirted with a dude in a relaxed setting, and heaven forbid... you say he took the unthinkable step of flirting back! My god, girl. It's a wonder you got out of there alive!

Your fantasy aside, what you describe with intent to infer predation is merely an interaction in which you chose to participate, and for which you obtained his consent through deception. As is typical of feminists, your writing attempts to slander in a way that relies on infantilizing yourself and other women.

You were apparently grown enough to enter that bar under your own supervision.

You were apparently grown enough to strike up conversations with strangers.

You were apparently grown enough to approach a man without invitation and initiate conversation.

By your own account, you were apparently grown enough to recognize the value and usefulness of your own aesthetic advantage, and to exploit it.

You were apparently even grown enough to disguise an image grab as use of your camera as a prop to engage your target's interest. If all of that is true, then you are grown enough to be above the bullshit you wrote about the experience.

If you're not mature enough to socially interact with people older than yourself, you're not mature enough to be out at night under your own supervision, much less in an establishment where alcohol is sold.

If you're not mature enough to determine your own behavior based on your ability to handle various responses to it, you're not mature enough to initiate social interaction with an adult of any age.

If you're not mature enough to engage in honest discussion without pretense or subterfuge so that others have the opportunity to respond to the person you are instead of the person you pretend to be, you're not deserving of the attention and regard you so voraciously hunt.

If you're so unprepared to interact with a man without requiring that his response flatter your ego that when you don't get what you want out of him you have to invent and spew badly composed adolescent fantasy, you're not stable enough, much less mature enough to deserve a man's trust.

If you're so helpless, so childish, and so fragile as to consider the scenario you described worthy of complaint by anyone except the man you willfully deceived, then you are not mature enough to exercise the simple, amateur coquetry you described in your post.

The experience of reading your writing was both disgusting and funny. It was disgusting to note that any individual capable of stringing a full set of words together to form a complete sentence would be so stupid as to degrade herself by using such tactics to damsel and mewl for attention from the likes of /r/againstmensrights redditors, David Futrelle, and their readers. It's funny how little substance it takes to earn their regard, as long as it's presented with some attempt at dramatic flair and a lot of homage to their belief system. The whole post struck me much in the same way as watching a cat chase a laser light on the floor. I honestly suspect that you just couldn't help yourself.

Even more ridiculous is your lack of foresight or any understanding of what you did.

Surely you did not, with intent to harass or intimidate, pursue your targets across state lines and engage in a course of conduct that could be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to those involved. Certainly you didn't try to use stalking and slander as a means to shame or intimidate people into silence just because they are, or are supporting, men. I mean, targeting folks for attack on the basis of their sex or the sex of those they support... that's something that is done to women, not something women do to others, right? That, according to the feminists who lobbied for it, is why there's a clause in the violence against women act covering that very type of behavior.

Oh, wait. Yes, you did. Lacking credentials and unable to use the conference itself as a setting for the bombshells you promised your financial backers, you resorted to creating your own little melodrama through stalking and harassment. You imposed your unwanted presence on and unwanted involvement in our activities and discussions, engaged people under false pretenses, surreptitiously surveilled us, and you even claim to have recorded without the knowledge of those involved discussions of which you were not part (i.e., talk in the parking lot as we prepared to leave.) When that didn't pay off with anything incriminating, you published slanderous falsehoods about the group and one individual in particular, with inferences that carry socially-damaging stigma, but none of which genuinely represented unethical or immoral behavior... and you demeaned yourself by damseling over nothing in order to do even that.

Miss Precious, you are not a journalist, and if you ever want to be one you should stop attaching shit like that to your image before it ruins your chances of ever being taken seriously by a credible publication's administrators.  
And by the way, if "swore by the precious" is a Tolkien reference, you really identified yourself with the wrong character.

Bloodthirsty Shelob, who vainly strives to fill her internal void by damaging and draining from whoever she deems vulnerable, whose hunger so overwhelms her that she never even realizes or cares how she is being used, and who is far too reactive and unaware to know when she has begun to damage herself, would be a far more appropriate fit.

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