Monday, November 10, 2008

An Ode To The Mangina

Once again the comment section of Womanist Musings is the inspiration behind a new post.  I was recently honoured by a visit from Barry Deustch aka Ampersand from Alas A Blog.  I am a huge fan of his.  In the comment following his,  he was referred to as a "mangina" by an ignorant MRA commenter who uses the alias MetalOver30.

Since this was a direct attack I briefly flirted with the idea of deleting it until I realized that it was meant to insult Mr.Deustch by inferring that somehow being feminine,or having female sexual organs is demeaning.  Once again we see the rise of the female as pejorative.  It is quite similar to saying someone throws like a girl; thus equating femininity with inferiority.

Despite the rhetoric of equality the MRA clearly feel that women are less than.  This is not unique to this hate group, in fact it is the basis of patriarchy.  Woman as an inferior being allows the privileging of masculinity and the perpetuation of misogyny.  I am sure MetalOver30 did not see the sexism in his commentary because as an "equal rights" activists, the MRA  are only trying to ensure that men are respected.

There seems to be a social idea that a man that has a feminist out look on life is somehow emasculated.  The idea that a man can retain all aspects of his masculinity, while at the same time wholeheartedly agreeing that women are his equals, is attacked by patriarchy because the very idea destabilizes the male inalienable right to control and power based in sex and gender construction. The opposite is in fact true.

For a man to stand up and assert that women are his equal and openly advocate for an end of the systemic inequalities that gender disparity causes is indeed a courageous act.  Consider the attack that a stay at home dad faces.  Though the role of parenting is indeed challenging, when performed by a male it is even more subject to ridicule.  Nurturing and masculinity are deemed to be at social odds.

A man that owns the feminist identity is very quickly attacked as an effeminate loser.  This is just one of the ways that sexism hurts men to.  A masculinity that must constantly present an image of control, aggression and power is limiting in that it does not allow men a wide range of experience or emotion.

While the term mangina is meant to be an insult, I believe that we should see it for what it is, a man that refuses to allow the world to dictate who and what he should believe simply because he has a penis.  It takes a real man to stand up for what he believes in the face of constant attack.  Let us reclaim the magina from the pantheon of pejoratives; thus reducing the stigma attached to feminist identified males.  Having a vagina or sympathizing with women who seek to create a world in which all genders are equal need not be a mark of weakness if we fight against it.

So to all the manginas in the crowd...keep on rocking it and rest assured that there are many who see your daily struggle and applaud you for it.

35 comments:

space said...

Yes...sexism hurts men by making it taboo for them to be "womanlike," which can make them afraid to be themselves, and hostile towards people who exercise repressed aspects of themselves. It's unhealthy. If there is a social advantage women have over men, it's more freedom of gender expression...unless, of course, that woman steps "above her station," as Hillary Clinton did while running for Prez or you do while opposing white privilege and male privilege, and then said woman does get derided for being too masculine.

MetalOver30 said...

Thanks for the free publicity!!

Macon D said...

Well said, especially this patriarchal-logic destroyer: For a man [to] stand up and assert that women are his equal and openly advocate for and end of the systemic inequalities that gender disparity causes is indeed a courageous act.

The bullying that pushes men into properly domineering attitudes is pervasive. I saw it again recently when I accompanied a male friend to a car dealership. He chose a car and was hesitating about whether to finalize his purchase, and he especially wanted to talk with his wife about it (she was at work).

You can guess what the male car salesman said: "Your wife? Come on, you can make this decision on your own, can't you? Do you really need HER advice? On a CAR?"

And I realized, there it is, that pressure on men to consider themselves superior to women. And in the case of a life-long partnership, unequal partners. I pulled my friend out of there, and he did talk to his partner. (And they won't be buying the car.)

Octogalore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Octogalore said...

It's unbelievable. I've never heard mangina, it's right up (down) there with "you throw like a girl."

Ultimately, the men who aren't daunted by such phrases and understand their toxicity are the ones with confidence and often, "oomph." I used to love the joke "did you know there's a drug that can be given to men to double their IQ?" Punchline: estrogen. Now I'll acknowledge that doesn't apply to all men. But to those who make "mangina" jokes? Yup.

Rj said...

"Masculinity" is a social construction, and so long as White men retain the power, they will continue to uphold the beliefs which have kept them in power, and spit in the face of anything in opposition.

Instead of admitting their privileges though, they turn around and play the victim role--odd, because they are the ones calling the shots--and yet somehow the blame lies with women about the fact that they (men) are "afraid" to talk about domestic violence, or that they are "afraid" to be called a sissy or a pussy.

MRAs are reminiscent of the KKK.

Vera H. said...

Great post. I listen to lots of sports radio, and one of the greatest insults, to them, is to be compared to a woman. Many say it with such ease, I doubt it doesn't occur to them what they are really saying.

New Friend said...

@RJ

MRAs are reminiscent of the KKK. I have to agree with you on this one. In fact they are discussing at this very moment whether the crazy MRAs who dressed up as superheros and scaled a building of a judge or someone in a similar position and they wonder why the residents of that house were afraid. Umm okay lets think logical here. I see two men dressed as superheros. It is NOT halloween. They come into my yard (granted possibly through an unlocked gate, but they still enter my yard). They set up a ladder next to my building. They climb up this ladder and sit on my roof. Police show up and they refuse to leave. They unfurl a banner with stuff about dad loving you on it. They still refuse to leave. They finally get arrested.

Okay now to me this seems to be a no-brainer. Of course this would cause fear in the home owners heart. And these MRA are again over there justifying their choices and name calling - now against this home owner. I just do not get this anymore. Have we as a society gone this far down?

I do know this though lol. I have a hidden blog (only invited readers right now) and this post on his site will give me tons and tons of material. They are all condoning what these nutso superhero dads did.

Sandalstraps said...

If only I could have the honor of being called a mangina!

T. R Xands said...

Mangina. Wow. I bet that hurt.

Ugh, this isn't even my blog but I'm sorry this MRA infestation is just getting insane. I don't think anymore time/"publicity" should be given to them, the ignorance is just a headache and a half...you know, like those migraines that just sit between your eyes and throb annoyingly.

Renee said...

@T.R I have no plans to do anymore stories on the MRA for awhile on the blog. I felt the magina thing was necessary to talk about though because it directly relates to how sexism hurts men to and why feminism is a necessity. I also wanted to say thanks to all the feminists identified males because I feel that the MRA give good men a bad name.

Arum said...

As far as I know, 'Mangina' is from The Mighty Boosh, and was meant to be a fucking joke! Good grief, people are using it as an insult? Watch the Boosh. It's supposed to be funny, not an insult!

Renee said...

@Arum the first time I head the term mangina was in the movie Deuce Bigalow. Though it was meant to be funny, I found it offensive even then.

Arum said...

I have to admit that I found Deuce Bigalow funny - it's one of my (many) guilty secrets! The episode of the Boosh that introduced 'mangina' to a British audience is called 'The Legend of Old Greg'. Be warned, it's very British humour (ie, anyone who is not British may well sit there with their mouths open thinking "What the fuck is this?"). Old Greg is a weird fish-person with a mangina. As a result, it just doesn't have the bite of an insult to a British person!

tlonista said...

Arum: The Mighty Boosh was the first thing I thought of! That episode was the first I ever saw.

"Ever drank Guinness out of a shoe?"

"It was a funky ball of tits from outer space!"

"I'm Oooooold Greeeegg!"

...er...ahem. I figured "mangina" as an insult was more transphobic than straight-up misogynist, but who's to say we can't have multiple axes?

It would be kind of nice if female genitalia had a positive connotation for once, though.

Sloth Womyn said...

I only date manginas!

foo said...

Despite the rhetoric of equality the MRA clearly feel that women are less than.

Once again, you project from one person onto the entire group.

Does that mean that all of you feminists are like The Biting Beaver, who wanted to kill her teenaged son because he looked at pornography?

Does that mean that all feminists are like you Renee, who had to apologize for her othering and dehumanizing language?

Or are all feminists like RJ who labels anyone, male or female, that is interested in Mens Rights as a KKK member?

The illogic here, the race bating, the sexism, the racism, the name calling....

Renee, you are not part of the solution.

Anonymous said...

Hate speech is a term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, hair color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting.

In Canada, advocating genocide or inciting hatred against any 'identifiable group' is an indictable offense under the Criminal Code of Canada with maximum terms of two to fourteen years. An 'identifiable group' is defined as 'any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.' It makes exceptions for cases of statements of truth, and subjects of public debate and religious doctrine. The landmark judicial decision on the constitutionality of this law was R. v. Keegstra (1990).

Renee, I live in the US and think hate speech laws violate free speech. You live in Canada....

But I am curious what you believe the difference is between the hatred you incite here and the hatred we can easily find across the net at Stormfront, or against gays, and minorities.

Hate is hate Renee. You have the right to speak it.

What's terribly sad is how willfully ignorant you are. Most MRAs I've encountered can tell you about feminism, about the good things feminism has accomplished and the bad.

By your statements, you truly don't know the slightest thing about MRAs. You haven't listened to our stories. You haven't visited our websites. You have no idea what we are about.

You just know you hate us, and you preach that hate.

Renee said...

@Foo

If you feel like that then don't read my blog. FUCK THE HELL OFF. NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR FROM A WOMAN HATING MRA. RETURN TO THE CIRCLE JERK FROM WHENCE YOU CAME.

Renee said...

@ANON actually this post is very male positive. I thought you MRA's were in favor of people recognizing men...who that's right only when the men are advocating hatred for women, homophobia, racism and abelism do they count as men to your lot.

julie said...

I think it is good to tell men that women support them. I don't want to upset the post because it is positive but I do want to give some quotes men who are not feminists have had to put up with from the feminist side.

“I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig.”
Ice And Fire - Andrea Dworkin

“Men who are unjustly accused of rape can sometimes gain from the experience.”
Vassar College. Assistant Dean of Students - Catherine Comin

“All men are rapists and that’s all they are.”
Author; (later, advisor to Al Gore’s Presidential Campaign.) - Marilyn French

“I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”
Ms. Magazine Editor. - Robin Morgan

“I claim that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own genuine affection and desire.”
Ms. Magazine Editor. - Robin Morgan

“‘To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.”
Scum Manifesto - Valerie Solanas

“(Rape) is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear”
Against Our Will p.6. - Susan Brownmiller

I don't think calling a feminist man a mangina comes close. But tit for tat is not going to help the situation. So pulling up men for saying it is as important as pulling up women for what they say.

BTW, can a man be a feminist? I thought men pro feminist were socialists?

Anonymous said...

Julie; as a feminist, I find those comments pretty offensive. Violent and dehumanising language is always going to be violent and dehumanising language, no matter who says it in what context. But if you're trying to parallel that handful of disgusting comments with the abuse women receive every day of their lives it's not gonna fly. Men probably haven't had to "put up with" those comments unless they've actively sought them out, but women hardly have to search hard to find someone using offensive language against the whole gender.

julie said...

@ Anonymous. I would never make women's needs less. That is not what I am about.

I really appreciate Renee for allowing me to make comments here.

To me; It is our turn to change the world. And it is up to us to find the balance for what the generation did before us.

I see hate and I understand it. It can creep up on you without you even realising it. But I can never condone it.

foo said...

Renee,

Misrepresenting another groups words and concepts does not make for a positive post.

When members of a group inform you that you are misrepresenting them, and invite you to take another look, and your response is to call them names, other them, dehumanize them, that does not make for a positive post.

In this case, taking one persons words and attributing them to the entire group is painfully wrong. I think Julie's quotes should demonstrate why.


@anon22, perhaps you should listen to the stories men tell of what they do go through on a daily basis. Perhaps too, you should consider your basic argument is that the injustice done to you makes it okay for you to perpetuate that same injustice onto another group. Is that really what you want the philosophy of modern feminists to be?

(Renee, fyi: a few times tonight, I have received an error message: "Your request could not be processed. Please try again." That's using FF.)

Renee said...

@FOO

Right continually forcing yourself into a space where you are clearly not welcome is going to make anyone believe that your objective is anything other than patriarchal control. Look, you MRA have no power here...You are not wanted, or welcome. I have no desire to engage with you people as your positions have been made more than clear not only this blog but throughout the internet.
If you don't want to be labeled misogynists, racists, and homophobes stop acting that way. Every single time one of you posts all you do is reinforce everything I have ever said about you. Now enough FUCK OFF, YOU ARE NOT WELCOME.

Anonymous said...

First time I ever heard the term "mangina" was a hardcore porn story were one man was coerced into sex with another and forced to use the term to humiliate his unwilling partner.

Just saying.

Maimou said...

Interesting. I am a bit traditionalist but quite liberal/feminist in my self-perception. While I disagree with blanket statements made by any group in a poor attempt to degrade others, I do understand what those commentators are trying to express. However, I agree with anonymous "if you're trying to parallel that handful of disgusting comments with the abuse women receive every day of their lives it's not gonna fly."

I experience it, indeed, on an almost every day basis. I'm a middle-aged white southern American woman, and the sexism runs rampant. Fortunately, I have a strongly supportive male partner, who will openly reject sexist behavior directed at himself in order to empower me. Not to say he rescues me from said behavior; he rejects it when it is projected onto him, providing the "not okay" reinforcement to make other males know this is not acceptable. (Similar incidents to the one that MaconD mentioned in the car dealership have happened to us together, and I've loved the actions of my partner, as well as the reactions of the sexist car person!)

I have come to the conclusion that the men who perpetuate such control, either with full awareness or unwittingly, do so in order to maintain the status quo that makes their self perception so comfortable and easy for them. When you confront them, it's always "No, I don't demean women like that!" in a fervent tone that belies their actual belief systems.

And foo, I find the concept of men's rights comical at best. Men have been dominating the world for thousands of years. I'm sorry, but I want some of those rights back. I'm sick of old white guys telling me what's best for me and my world. I want to hear from other voices, other colors, other religions, other politics. Otherwise, the world continues to exist in a false little tableau of that old white guy's constructs. Could it be that empowering women might cause men to have to share some of the perks that they've built into their tableau?

space said...

Why must femininity in a man negate his masculinity?

Why must masculinity in a woman threaten or negate the masculinity of men who interact with them, as if it were a scarce resource?

The ways we think of masculinity and femininity are strange. Theoretically there should be no problem with having both at the same time.

alterwords said...

Hi Renee. I just found my way to this thread via Daisy's, where you left a comment referring to it. I'm so sorry you've have to put up with this baloney. I'm really peeved about the "feminist" quotes left above. If you google the one by Dworkin, you find pages and pages of references to men's rights and father's rights sites. I didn't by any means agree with every word Dworkin said, but it's completely unfair to take her words out of context, as has apparently been done over and over again, and throw them around as evidence of feminist "hatred". The same for many of the other authors noted. I know most of their work well and I can't imagine that these words, even if they're exact quotes, didn't have a context that changes their meaning substantially. In fact, when one refers to "man-hating" as a parallel to "class hatred", it is a reference to the social construction of manhood or masculinity and not to individual men. These people constantly set up straw men and women so that they can vent what they think is their god-given right to freely express the thoughts that go through their sick minds. They've got their own places to vent their green spleens and I hope you let them do it there and not here.

I must add that I know of no one in the whole feminist blogosphere who is more likely to give men any deserved break than you. Thanks for your terrific work.

John Dias said...

I understand the word "mangina" to be a criticism of a man who is suppressing a part of himself, out of self-loathing shame. Don't you know of any woman who act like this, not being true to their womanhood and projecting their self-hatred onto other women? Well that's what we MRAs claim that so-called manginas are doing.

Masculinity, as I define it, is using your independent judgment. It's ignoring externally-imposed shame, and doing what you believe is right. When someone acts as though men as a sex have some sort of a collective obligation -- that each *particular* man owes something to the world only because he was born with a penis -- that being born male obligates a man to "atone" for his maleness -- this is the lack of independent judgment that I refer to. It's the mentality that defers constantly to others, out of self-loathing. It's the mentality that uses victim vs. oppressor analysis on gender relations. If you're a man with such a mentality, you're going to see yourself as the oppressor, whether you have oppressed or not. Once you identify as a member of the "oppressive sex," you'll assume that it's oppressive and misogynistic even to utilize your own independent judgment.

The term mangina refers to this type of man: someone who is ashamed of his male identity, having to atone for it. It's the idea that men have all the power, even a particular man, and therefore to be a good man is to continually surrender.

I *REJECT* that.

Anonymous said...

Good call, John. Any man who NEEDS the approval of women in order to survive is a mangina.

Men are born of women, and so understandably require the approval of women in their early boyhood formative years. However, it becomes necessary at a certain point for a man to step in and wean the boy from the need for female approval in order for the boy to grow up. Since there are so many fatherless boys in our culture, this is not happening, and the result is that we're created a nation of manginas.

Here is where I differ from the politically correct notions; men ARE NOT abandoning their sons en masse voluntarily. They are being forced out of their sons lives via the anti-family courts, the 'single motherhood by choice' movement, and the like. This is creating a fatherless nation. And without fathers, the majority of boys CANNOT grow up.

A MANGINA is a mealy-mouthed 'Yes Dear' type who has no convictions of his own, and who relies on others to establish his worth. Since women actually have no respect for such 'men,' these 'men' are often divorced, cuckolded, and do not last long in relationships.

Then again, you'll probably just delete this post, which you tend to do to anyone who doesn't agree with you.

But here's where you really screwed up . . .

YOU'RE the one who invited MRA's to come here through your public criticism of Glenn Sack's campaign. YOU'RE the one who decided you wanted to run with the big dogs. NO ONE twisted your arm to get involved. You did that of your own free will. In fact, you continue to publicly ridicule the MRA movement, while at the same time complaining that MRA's are bothering you! What a joke! That's typical of people like you; call other people names and play the victim when people call you names back. You're pretty good at dishing it out, but you're not too good at taking it, are you?

Truth is, you were relying on the idea that men would fold under pressure and not speak up for themselves. Sorry lady, but that's not happening on our watch. You want to tangle with us verbally, you get what you ask for. If you don't like it, chose another hobby.

And even if you've deleted this post, I know you've read it, which is good enough for me.

Renee said...

@ANON 31
YOU'RE the one who invited MRA's to come here through your public criticism of Glenn Sack's campaign. YOU'RE the one who decided you wanted to run with the big dogs. NO ONE twisted your arm to get involved. You did that of your own free will. In fact, you continue to publicly ridicule the MRA movement, while at the same time complaining that MRA's are bothering you!


Actually Jackass it is called free speech to which I am entitled to on my blog. Nice to see all you trolls come to the defense of your God Glenn the king of misogynist asshats. I did not invite you to my blog I simply stated my opinion. I will continue to speak the truthful about your hateful movement. You simply cannot stand that women who see through the lies that the MRA tell exist. Well that is just too bad for you. Here is another thing to remember, you comment here on my pleasure. This is a womans space and you have no rights here other than what I chose to extend to you. So complain about the deletion of posts all you want. On my blog I decide what is appropriate.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I don't like men so I don't care wat they or say as long as it doesn't happen to me

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing some women need to know. men are p*ssies. they can stand up to a woman but NOT to a man. like the kkk for example. wen they were racist towards black, black men did not stand there and let violence happen to them. some even told their fellow men that they needed to take power from the white men cause they white racists weren't gonna willingly give it to the. but then u have MLK Jr that didn't want violence. so......if black men weren't so violent and were passive little girls, there'd still be more violence against black ppl. men CAN'T challeng other men like they can a woman. I saw to all of my fellow women......take power and use violence like the blacks. listen to their speeches on taking power from the oppressors. men are p*ssies. now that we have "manginas", which is the equivalent to "n*gger lover", women WILL win. don't let men intimidate u. They use mangina to get other men on their side. those definitions of a mangina is not wat they mean. first of all its not a word. 99% of the time they use it wen they see a a man standing up for a woman. like a man getting punched in the face. so call it wat it is. a mangina is a man that doesn't take crap from other men. he's not a coward like other men. remember "n*gger lover" and "mangina"are the same things. f*ck men and their male privilege. ill knock all u p*ssies a** h*oes in a coma and you're gonna stand there and take it cause MY manginas WILL be on my side. hahahahahahahahahaha. F*ck the male gender