My question is about masturbation as i find is my weakest link, specially regarding the argument that masturbating thinking in women or with images of women is degrading to them by converting them into a sex object. Argument to  which i hypocritically agree. My questions are, is this argument reasonable? are there other ways to approach that action? Is there a proper rebuttal besides the slippery-slope of "If it is not with woman, guys will start looking for pictures of animals or ..."?

Tags: Argument, Christianity, Religion, Sex, question

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You're the one making the claim. You're the one that's supposed to provide the evidence. 

Oh. If you're honestly a newbie, then let me explain:

You made a claim. I feel that claim is unsubstantiated. I asked you for evidence. Instead of providing it, you asked for counter-evidence.  This is called the 'Appeal to Ignorance' or 'Burden of Proof' Fallacy. 

It is generally a tool of religion, not civil debate.

The person making the claim is the one obligated to provide the evidence. 

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/burden-of-proof.html

I think I've found a successor --

Gentlemen, most feminists LIKE men, and want them to like us, respect us, and we want those we choose as partners to lust after us.  But, there are also lesbian feminists who can do nicely without men.  Feminism is a big tent.  There are men in here too!

Hi, I have just been reading your debate and have to agree with you. I have been a feminist for life - my mother was one of the second wave British feminists instrumental in getting professional accounantcy qualifications opened to women.  She was refused a mortgage on the grounds that she was a woman too.  I have identified as feminist simply to state that I am in favour of women having equal rights to men and my views truly are for equality. The demonisation of men should have no place in feminism and I angrily denied that it did. On joining feminist organisations I was saddened and bewildered to find that feminism does now do this to a considerable extent. 

I find this feminist concept of the objectification of women to no longer have any validity in mainstream society. If you look at films from the 50s and 60s and even 70s you will see women being objectified - they are there to look pretty and be chased by men in various comedic ways - think Carry On films. The men are constantly trying to get sex and the women 'give it up' eventually. This is buying into the whole idea of women as passive objects. If you look at sitcoms from the 90s we have 30 something men and women expressing sexual attraction for each other, having sex lives  and no-one being used by this. This shows how far we have come. I stopped identifying as feminist for a while having been made aware of some vilifying of men in mainstream feminism - constant focus on the female victims of domestic abuse and rape and an implication that this somehow proved the violence of men generally. When I ventured an opinion that as it is admitted that 75% of domestic abuse is psychological and women are at least equally able to perpetrate this kind of abuse and as female survivors of rape are coming forward in far greater numbers than male rape survivors, we should consider the fact that men are not receiving as much support as they should I was shouted down. I suggested and still believe that feminists who claim only women can be victims are themselves saying that women are inferior. Yes, women who are abused need support but by constantly making men the aggressors and women the victims, feminists endorse an essentialism which is contrary to the whole concept of feminism.

I joined a MRA group as well at this point because the whole ideology which has women as natural mothers and men as natural earners does not only stop women advancing in careers when children come along, it is the root of men being denied equal custody rights which is devastating. This is two sides of the same coin and should be addressable by giving men equal flexibility in the work place (I am in the UK where women get maternity leave which they cannot share with men, new mothers can present their employer with a way to work round their childcare responsibilities and employers have to try to accomodate them but men cannot do this) and also give men  equal parenting rights which would not always make women the one who becomes unreliable and thus less promotable and give men equal custody rights. I believed feminists and MRAs should be able to work together to tackle the same gender stereotypes which affect both sexes because they both claim to only want equality.

That was stupid idealism. Feminist organisations want women to have the options of being devoted to their careers and share child care but retain the primary parenting privilege claiming a moral superiority over men. MRA organisations want to demonise women who actually do just want equal rights. return women to the full time responsibility for child care at the expense of their careers at the same time as complaining that women are parasites who just want men for their money.  It is complete nonsense.

I recently began to identify as feminist again simply in regard to Abrahamic religions which I feel is the only area now where women still are genuinely seen as inferior to men and there is a call for women's rights being asserted again - Islam of course is the main culprit here. You are correct that mainstream feminism is still very much orientated towards woman as victim and man as oppressor. Most women with feminist sympathies do not realise this and do want equality but there is simply no organisation which wants to tackle the problem from both sides and even up the whole idea of women having the same rights to a career as men and men having the same rights over children as women even tho those two things go together! If anyone can find me one, I would be so grateful. I am persona non grata with both feminist and MRA groups now cos I don't think they should be different.

I tried to follow all the indentations, and if I am right you are largely agreeing with ME? It seems so from what you wrote. Thank you.

Yep.  I can get a bit wordy!

"I find this feminist concept of the objectification of women to no longer have any validity in mainstream society."

I have to disagree. Not that we haven't come a long way - for sure we have! But we're not home free yet, in the reel world, or the real world.

Have you heard of the Bechdel test for movies? It's a pretty simplistic, but remarkably enlightening: Does the film have at least two female characters, with names, who talk to each other about something besides a male? That's the test. Next movie you watch, ask that question. Then flip it to ask the same thing about the male characters. It's not always cut-and-dried, but asking the question does shed some light on the portrayal of women in film.

I always love it when female characters take the lead in action movies, sci fi, and thrillers. Milla Jovovich in the Resident Evil movies comes to mind.

At the same time, if every female in a movie was contrary to stereotype, most people would find the story frustrating and unbelievable. This is because stereotypes are based on general truths. Do men more often like sports, whiskey, and action movies? Do women more often like celebrity gossip, white wine, and "chick flicks." Yes. Very few stereotypes are formed contrary to general truths.

But let's have more women who care about more than their relationships in movies. I agree with that.

That's what's so interesting about this simple question. A movie can actually 'pass' the test and still be total crap in its portrayal of women. And even a  movie with a woman in a strong lead role might 'fail' the test. The point is not to say that only movies that pass are good movies, or that movies that fail are bad - far from it. It's just a tool to help elucidate just how lopsided Hollywood is. I'm telling you, ask this question the next couple times you watch a movie - you may be surprised at how it changes your perception of the film.

I think the Bechdel test illustrates two important points:

The first is as you mentioned: it illustrates imbalance.  While the test can be applied to any minority group, it's most interesting with women because they aren't technically a minority considering half the population is female.  If you reversed the test and applied it to men, an incredible number of movies would pass.  Even if you remove all movies where the story and setting reasonably preclude them from passing the test, the result is still lopsided.
 

The second point is that it forces you to question what you take for granted. For everyone who is surprised by the result of filtering their movie recollections through the test, at least one question naturally arises: how the Hell was I so surprised by something that should have been so obvious?  Well, it's not necessarily a difficult question to answer, but it should make you  wonder if there are other cultural values which you simply take for granted as acceptable.  When I heard that certain television stations wouldn't run Speedy Gonzales because the lazy mice portrayed Mexicans with a negative stereotype, I objected as a knee-jerk reaction.  "I grew up watching that so it's okay!"  While I still have mixed feelings on the subject, I realized that my knee-jerk reaction was bullshit, and if I want to hold an opinion on the matter, I should probably put some actual thought into it.

The Bechdel test takes its name from the author who worked the idea into her comic strip (Dykes to Watch Out For[?]) back in the 80s (I think). I'll wikipedia it up later unless someone fills me in before then.  It's a bit sad that after two or three decades of supposed cultural progression, it's still salient.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to a movie that very likely won't pass the test.

@kylebates feminist don't want equality, they want empowerment

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