188 Comments

Behold, a master class on how to lose your audience:

"Why don’t decent men speak up against such men [rapists]– and in defense of their [rape] victims?"

How can you take someone seriously who implies that rape is not illegal with a heavy penalty, or that "decent men" or even average men don't think rape is horrific and vile, and consider rapists monsters? She is clearly so divorced from reality, either in her conception of men or her definition of "rape", that she is hardly worth reading.

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"In any case, how is a libertarian like Bryan so comfortable with the notion of unpaid labor?"

Slightly off topic, but I don't see any reason a libertarian would be uncomfortable with the notion of unpaid labor. I've seen people online complain about the existence of unpaid internships as being unjust and exploitative, but it seems to me that when a person chooses to do an unpaid internship despite clearly having the option to work somewhere like McDonald's that they must be getting some other non monetary compensation that they feel is worthwhile.

If I'm living alone and I do all the housework, I receive no pay for my labor, and yet there is clearly no injustice. If I then get married and continue to do all the housework, my partner has not wronged me in any conceivable way.

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“Fair enough, but it’s worth noting that it’s nearly always men who rape both men and women - and engage in spousal rape and abuse.” - I want to fact check this.

Scientific American: “Sexual Victimization by Women Is More Common Than Previously Known” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sexual-victimization-by-women-is-more-common-than-previously-known/

The Atlantic: “The Understudied Female Sexual Predator” https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/the-understudied-female-sexual-predator/503492/

Washington Post: “Sexual Assault Against Boys is a Crisis” https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2021/02/22/why-we-dont-talk-about-sexual-violence-against-boys-why-we-should/

The TL;DR is that women and men are assaulted are roughly comparable rates. The vast majority of assaults on males involve boys and men being forced to penetrate rather than being forcibly penetrated (rape by envelopment rather than rape by penetration). Part of the reason why this is so unknown is because it was not criminalized in the US until 2013. Of rape by envelopment (also known as “unwanted sex” or “unwanted contact” in the literature), women make up the overwhelming majority of perpetrators. I don’t want to overlook that women still make up ~60% of victims when aggregating all the studies. But for male victims, women are overwhelmingly the perpetrators.

For spousal abuse, there’s a 60/40 split for perpetration of physical abuse and a 40/60 split for perpetration of emotional abuse. The assertion that it's nearly always men who engage in spousal abuse is flatly wrong.

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Got to this:

"Fair enough, but it’s worth noting that it’s nearly always men who rape both men and women - and engage in spousal rape and abuse. Why don’t decent men speak up against such men – and in defense of their victims?"

Tried to read more, but every new word caused that insulting lie to resonate.

Badwhar seems unconnected from reality. Decent men abound. They do speak to this. In fact, men in prison for other anti-social behavior murder the worst of these rapists on a regular basis.

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On the first point, it's taken for granted that men don't stand up to "the patriarchy". I think this points to a very narrow focus feminists have on what sacrifices have been made to create a better world for everyone by men. What was the declaration of independence and revolutionary war, if not challenges to an authoritarian "patriarchal" system? What was the bill of rights? What were American men doing in the Civil War, or WW2?

And that brings me to the argumemt that it was always men who were on the bad side. Well, I don't think you can complain that men don't fight the "patriarchy" (wrong) while at the same time complaining about the maleness of the patriarchy. If men are the good guys and the bad guys, it's not much of a complaint against men. Only by minimizing their sacrifice do you get to criticize them.

But I'd ask, what was the nazi woman doing in WW2? What was the southern white woman in the civil war? Were they not benefiting from the patriarchy? Why didn't they stand up en masse? And why not draft all of our women to fight the nazis if they were such an existential threat? These questions are taken for granted by feminists, who by today's logic, should have been rushing to lay down their lives to defeat our authoritarian opponents if they care so much about the "patriarchy".

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I don’t intend this to come off as condescending, I often use this same technique myself. I would suggest Neera put a note on her calendar to come back and re-read these exchanges in a couple of years.

It’s amazing what a couple years of time can do. Time to forget the context of the argument, to forget the strong emotions you felt when writing. And even just time to let the old you pass away and read an argument you made in a much more objective context.

I’ve often gone back and read old stuff I wrote and found that I completely misunderstood my opponents argument, or made serious errors in my own reasoning.

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Good on you for letting her have the last word. That is the gentlemanly thing to do and a noble act indeed. Particularly when she is not entirely correct in her assessment, but a man's word should be his bond.

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Blah blah blah. Moms can murder their babies because they are burdened with pregnancy. Any woman who holds this view doesn’t deserve an intelligent response to the rest of the drivel you don’t comprehend.

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My point by point reply:

1. I believe that the more traditional and non-feminist a man is, the more likely he is to support harsh punishments for rape--including the death penalty. Of course, with harsh punishments come high standards for evidence. I'm not sure which men she's complaining about.

2. Nothing to complain about here, except the ridiculous hyperbole calling unregulated workplaces "sanctuary for sexual assaulters".

3. Is she seriously saying that a woman who does domestic labor without explicit monetary compensation is abused? Bryan never said anything about a man "imposing" a situation, he implied mutual agreement. Is this a foreign concept? Also, she apparently doesn't know the difference between the "fairness police" and the actual police. It's like feminism causes people to lose the ability to comprehend English.

4. Not sure she's trying to refute anything, just letting us know that men are terrible. Thanks a lot.

5. This is a valid point, except that there was(in some places) active discouragement of men's immorality. I don't think shotgun weddings are just an urban legend.

6. "In other words, siccing government agents on women’s bodies . . . is no worse than requiring men to pay for the children they fathered." In other other words, siccing government agents on men's bodies(proving Caplan's point). What do you think happens to men who don't pay child support? Most of this point is ridiculous hysteria anyway, since recent laws(like the Texas one) explicitly target the abortionist, not the woman. Finally, many women support abortion restrictions, which hollows out the claims of victimization.

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Personally feel badwar is slightly more right here

Though a lotnof this falls on abortion discussions: im proabortion myself

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Thank you very much for posting this, Bryan.

My latest 3-part on Sexism: https://www.mattball.org/search?q=sexism

Part of: https://www.mattball.org/search?q=bryan

Happy weekend to everyone who isn't angry at women!

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I think that it's not a contradiction to agree with Neera's point that women and girls face all sort of gendered challenges and need advocates for them, and also Bryan's point that "Even when the males are literally dying, it remains rhetorically easier to get people to lament the collateral misery of the women who knew the fallen...claims about the unfair treatment of women capture our attention because men and women in our society especially abhor the unfair treatment of women."

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When I see how women are treated in this world and what they bear on themselves i can echo the sentiment of a phrase I once heard, "Praise Allah I was not born a woman."

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Curious on whether pro-life people here always held their pro-life opinion or were prochoice in the past: and whether they had mostly the same intuitions throughout life

I never had strong feelings on abortion, and moved to pro choice from different thought experiments:

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It is interesting to see the degree of bryan caplans audience that is anti abortion/pro-life: im swedish and 80% of people i know is pro-choice, with the exceptions being some religious people

Personally i think we are kinda geneticlly hardcoded to think abortion is murder or not: peoples opinions are after a certiain amount of learning or experience about the world, suprisingly consistent across time

I dont think i ever felt anti abortion in any way growing up, despite growing up in mormon church: i just took it at face value that it was bad when people mentioned it, and then read a bunch of books and came to a conclusion, and changed my mind: closest thing to beinged chocked around abortion was reading Peter Singers work, otherwise i havnt ever had visceral experiences.

I consider abortion and not getting a baby to about similar in moral badness: im pro natalism, but mostly just want people to get more kids.

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So why give her the last word?

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