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  1. Quote

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    In the real world, not all men want to be “breadwinners”, just like not all men want to be violent, or to have power over women. What men do want, however, is to feel needed, and wanted, and useful, and loved. They aren’t alone in this – it’s one of the most basic human instincts, and for too long we have been telling men and boys that the only way they can be useful is by bringing home money to a doting wife and kids, or possibly by dying in a war. It was an oppressive, constricting message 50 years ago, and it’s doubly oppressive now that society has moved on and even wars are being fought by robots who leave no widows behind. Laurie Penny, ‘We need to talk about masculinity’

    (Source: Guardian)

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    'Who is Bridezilla? Is she a marketing construct designed to sell dresses? It is possible. I know that women are self-hating enough to spend money to cultivate a stereotype that disparages them, because I have seen Vogue, and I have watched women sign up for pole-dancing lessons with my own amazed eyes. But perhaps women exercise control in wedding planning, because they have little to control elsewhere. (I will not bore the boob-honking lobby with the statistics on female employment, prevalence and seniority.) A wedding day is a tiny empire, it is true, but one in which a woman can exercise complete, if tiny, autonomy and this must be mocked – perhaps this is the egg that hatched Bridezilla?' - Tanya Gold

    'Who is Bridezilla? Is she a marketing construct designed to sell dresses? It is possible. I know that women are self-hating enough to spend money to cultivate a stereotype that disparages them, because I have seen Vogue, and I have watched women sign up for pole-dancing lessons with my own amazed eyes. But perhaps women exercise control in wedding planning, because they have little to control elsewhere. (I will not bore the boob-honking lobby with the statistics on female employment, prevalence and seniority.) A wedding day is a tiny empire, it is true, but one in which a woman can exercise complete, if tiny, autonomy and this must be mocked – perhaps this is the egg that hatched Bridezilla?' - Tanya Gold

    (Source: Guardian)

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    This week the hashtag “#Killallmen” started trending on Twitter – a rhetorical scream of rage that was quickly, unsurprisingly, criticised in the strongest terms. People are right to be wary of anything that promotes an “us and them” mentality, not just because most men clearly abhor male violence, and an enormous number fall victim to it, but because if there’s an us and them in this debate, it’s between those who support and speak up for victims and those who, tacitly and otherwise, support perpetrators.

    I’d love more men to get involved in this conversation, speaking out against the threat of male aggression we all live under, pushing the message that victims are not to blame, that issues surrounding consent must be taught in schools, that alleged perpetrators must be named – not to name and shame, but to name and protect, as rape campaigner Jill Saward put it this week. I’m sure there are many men who have felt just as appalled by these stories as I have. Let’s hear more from them.

    Kira Cochrane, ‘Men are victims as well as perpetrators of sex crime. So why aren’t they talking?’

    (Source: Guardian)

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    The issue isn’t whether Danny Brown was sexually assaulted; it’s how the media reframes or dismisses evidence of sexual assault when the victim in question is an adult man. By and large (online trolls aside), the media has thankfully come along way from shaming female sexual assault victims and scolding them for tempting men. But when men are victims, our inability to conceive of them as vulnerable to assault and rape dangerously desensitizes us Emily Shire, ‘Can adult males be victims of sexual assault?’

    (Source: Guardian)

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    Within the feminist movement, the answer is less clear than one might hope. Trashing each other and exclusion have been hallmarks since the movement began, and each generation of feminist activists seems to suffer the same in-fighting. But contrary to simplistic ideas about catty, back-stabbing women, feminists don’t fight each other because women are uniquely competitive or cruel. Though we care about the movement, it happens because we’ve internalized a narrative of scarcity: we act as though we’re fighting for crumbs. Jill Filipovic, ‘The tragic irony of feminists trashing each other’

    (Source: Guardian)

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    Everyone’s favourite dieting guru and carb-botherer Gwyneth Paltrow came under fire this week, but surprisingly it wasn’t for putting her children on an elimination diet (do you feed your offspring eggs, wheat or deep-water fish? Can you name a deep-water fish? No? Shame on you!) but for selling a bikini designed for pre-teen girls on her alluringly named website, Goop. [Read more]

    Everyone’s favourite dieting guru and carb-botherer Gwyneth Paltrow came under fire this week, but surprisingly it wasn’t for putting her children on an elimination diet (do you feed your offspring eggs, wheat or deep-water fish? Can you name a deep-water fish? No? Shame on you!) but for selling a bikini designed for pre-teen girls on her alluringly named website, Goop. [Read more]

    (Source: Guardian)

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    I believe a unified men’s sector can not only peacefully co-exist with the women’s movement, but actually complement it. Feminists want an end to male violence and criminality? So do I. Feminists want equality in the home and the workplace? So do I. The old refrain “patriarchy hurts men too” is undoubtedly true but it is not a solution. It implies that all we need to do is achieve full social justice for women and male-specific problems will simply wither away. That’s not only a bit daft in theory, it is patently not working in practise. Men’s issues must be considered alongside women’s issues, not least because our lives and welfare are intertwined. Yesterday was International Men’s Day”. Our columnist Ally Fogg looks at a day that has been, in recent years, following a peculiar trajectory, fom “bafflement through indifference, hostility and mockery to a grudging recognition and acceptance”
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    Mona Eltahawy: Egyptian women are sexually harassed at every level of society

    Whether rich or poor, religious or secular, men in Egyptian society routinely harass women – and the attacks are often violent and rarely punished, says Mona Eltahawy, a journalist and speaker on Arab and Muslim issues. She describes her own battle to win justice after an assault in Cairo, and calls for reform to Egyptian laws and attitudes to sexual harassment

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    Anthropologists have studied brain scans of couples in love. The ones in the early throes of romantic love virtually dribble dopamine. Their brains, according to Dr Helen Fisher, behave exactly like someone on crack cocaine. They are obsessed and infatuated. Thankfully – for the sanity of society – couples who’ve been together for a bit calm down. Their brains bathe in oxytocin: they feel attached and secure and want to pack each other’s lunch boxes but alas, they’re unlikely to want to snog in the back of a taxi.

    People only started to marry for love in the late 18th century. Marriage was a strategy to form business partnerships, expand family networks, craft political ties, strengthen a labour force or pass on wealth. In aristocratic societies of the 12th century, adultery was considered a higher form of love. True love was thought impossible with a spouse. In the 16th century, the essayist Montaigne wrote that any man in love with his wife was “a man so dull no one else could love him”. It’s therefore ironic that people moralise about the demise of “old-fashioned family values” or “traditional marriage”. The true “traditional” approach to marital commitment had nothing to do with either everlasting love or exclusivity.

    Helen Croydon writes: Monogamy is a fairytale ideal - affairs won’t go away
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    When I was 19 I was invited on a family holiday to Bangladesh where my father, without consulting me, had organised my marriage. I have a vivid memory of those harrowing weeks, the psychological toll they took, and the severe physical impact. I was ill, I lost three stones in weight, I contracted tuberculosis for which I have had to undergo major surgery twice (the scar and occasional pain still brings back the raw feelings, even today). I would never wish this on anyone. Forced marriage, from a male perspective: Ajmal Masroor writes about his ordeal
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    There are many debates within feminism, and the women’s movement ought not to be a monolith of orthodoxy. There are, for example, legitimate arguments on both sides of discussion of sex work – whether the stress should be placed on prohibition or harm reduction, say. But such a debate will not be allowed at RadFem2012. I hate to say this of other feminists, but aspects of their feminism – the anti-intellectualism, emphasis on innate knowledge, fetishisation of tiny ideological differences, heresy hunting, conspiracy theories, rhetorical use of images of disgust, talk of stabs in the back and romantic apocalypticism – smack less of feminism than of a cult.

    Radical feminists are acting like a cult, argues Roz Kaveney, whose presence is not accepted at RadFem2012, the latest radical feminism conference in London, because she “wasn’t born woman”

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    It is difficult for many of us to imagine what it is like to feel trapped in a body that seems to be of the wrong gender. It is so far from common subjective experience of being that a first reaction is often to think that gender dysphoria is a choice and one that must only be made as an adult. But it is not a choice, it is a condition. And in some cases it is so definite that the gender dysphoric person wants to change their body. Philippa Perry writes about gender and the tyranny of the ‘normal’

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