What’s wrong with men like Ally Fogg?

Ally Fogg is a journalist who often writes articles in the Guardian and Independent. His profile highlights his interests in ‘social issues, environmentalism, politics, music, arts and culture’. He writes about poverty and men in floral shirts. He may be described as a ‘lefty’ politically.

So far so good…..?

He also has a preoccupation with appearing to want to demonize and discredit both feminists and feminism. Mr Fogg seems to spend an awful lot of his time trawling through feminist blogs and twitter timelines for quotes and articles he can brandish under the banner of ‘man hate’.

So here we are…… back to that old chestnut… pesky ‘man haters’.

So what’s wrong with that?

He’s being an ‘equalist’, simply pointing out the injustices men face in an unjust world – apparently overrun with a focus on women. How unfair. How unequal. How dare feminists willfully spend their time challenging the oppression of females to the apparent detriment of males? How absolutely awful, how lacking in ‘concern’ and ‘decency’.

Well, perhaps we can start by defining what feminism is.

Firstly, there’s a clue in the name. It’s a movement primarily concerned with the rights of women while challenging the cultural, social, historical, structural, systematic oppression of females as a class – globally.

So why should feminists make an apology for this?

Do gay activists primarily promoting the idea of gay rights need to apologise for highlighting violence again the gay community? Are they berated for ‘a lack of concern’ for heterosexuals, who may also be the victims of violence, even from gay people?

As a white person, I could spend some time trawling through the blogs and tweets of black rights activists….. and I’m sure I’d find some pretty anti-white sentiments posted. I could be an ‘equalist’. I could take this personally, be defensive, sad, angry….I could tweet this as ‘white hate’.

So why don’t I? Not because I claim to fully understand the effects of racism …..but because I do at least try to understand I’d be viewing the world as if privilege and power didn’t exist and basing my views totally through my experience as a white person and white perspective. I’d be dismissing and ignoring a whole context of racism and racist cultural, social, historical, structural, systematic oppression.

So why are feminists particularly, and not others activists, so often the target of this sort of demonizing by ‘lefty’ men like Alley Fogg?

So why not, for example, target the many trans activists/allies who regularly post extreme abuse on blogs and twitter, such as threatening to burn, rape, stab, torture, murder women they disagree with….? Could it be that violence towards women is more acceptable than an unwillingness for women to accept their subordination?

Could it be that female oppression isn’t really ‘a thing’ or certainly not a priority?

Could it be that most other activism involves males/those socialised as male, and therefore is more deserving of empathy and understanding – even if threatening and/or abusive?

Could it be that feminists are daring not to fulfill male expectations?

Could it be the assumption that women who don’t show absolute compassion for all are not actually fulfilling their ‘caring, self-disregarding’ gender roles?

Could it be that the focus is somehow not in the place it has ‘rightfully’ always been and always should be…..?

Or could it be that it’s always simply easier to attack feminists for problems largely caused by men………..??

So what of the issues men like Ally Fog raise? Fogg himself has, for example, used one blog post about one apparent male victim of female sexual violence, to highlight the utter condemnation of all radical feminists. (Whatever opinion has been posted, the phrase ‘Not all men’ certainly comes to mind here……)

As a feminist, do I personally mind the highlighting of male victims of sexual violence ?

– No.

But what I do mind is a common lack of context within the promotion of this issue.

That this isn’t usually viewed within the wider context of male violence, as the vast majority of male victims are the result of violence from other males (-as are female victims).The fact that when women do commit acts of extreme violence and sexual violence this is often given disproportionate coverage. The fact that this is usually highlighted by men who do little themselves to challenge such issues or indeed who get their own hands dirty in actual prevention, campaigns, support etc. The fact that most particular problems for men have their roots in patriarchy, an oppressive system men themselves as a class both endorse and encourage because of the privileges it affords them.

Should male victims be my priority or that of feminism?

-No. And without apology.

Feminism has to deal with these facts : The fact that male violence, such as homicide in domestic violence, hugely disproportionally results in a female victim at the hands of a male perpetrator………..the fact that nearly ALL women will have suffered from some form of male sexual harassment-sexual violence etc in their lifetime…………….. etc etc etc etc etc etc

Considering the oppression women face, the focus for feminists is already overwhelming.

Part of being ‘a decent human being’ means at least trying to understand that oppressed people have a right to anger and a particular focus of their own. Oppressed people who have themselves suffered greatly at the hands of their oppressors have a right to be angry at their oppressors . ….And people with power and privilege should at least try to understand that arrogantly assuming they know better is simply ……wrong.

In this light,  the demonizing of feminists says much more about the oppressive arrogance and ignorance of those doing the demonizing.

Finally….

Ally Fogg. Please stop dressing up your ant-feminist agenda in the guise of ‘concern’ and ‘human decency’….

…..we see you.

“Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.”
― Dworkin

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to What’s wrong with men like Ally Fogg?

  1. Abby Boid says:

    Interesting stuff – going to check out fog and see what I make of him.

  2. msvirago says:

    OH God, he is a dreadful arrogant tosser – and I say that having had the misfortune of meeting him once.

  3. Rem says:

    Excellent blog post.

  4. A comment I left on another blog a few months back, if anyone wants a bit more backstory:

    >>>>>>>>>

    You know that AllyF has been doing this *for years*. Way back in the early days of CIF and on the feminist blogs that were around at that time, ongoing attempts to sabotage women’s work – particularly women who speak out about male violence against women – under the guise of being oh-so-concerned about Real Equality.

    Here’s an example for you on Cath Elliot’s blog

    http://toomuchtosayformyself.com/2009/03/08/new-proposals-to-tackle-violence-against-women

    where he pops into the comments with the same old line or talking point as he puts it. But it’s a complete derail: “well of course vaw is bad but let’s talk about men and how it’s all much more nuanced than the feminist idealogues are claiming, and why can’t we talk about women’s violence against men, and I’m just trying to be reasonable and balanced blah blah blah” (paraphrase – but read the thread, note also how he shows his contempt for women in the comment where he complains that male violence, towards women that he knows, doesn’t benefit him as he had to look after said women and deal with the fallout of their trauma, and that was terrible – for him !)

    He uses his platform in the to guardian expound some more

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/mar/10/women-domestic-violence

    Here’s one commenter on the CIF article who has him sussed:

    “The Home Office launches a consultation “Together we can end violence against women” and up pops AllyF like a boy excluded from his sister’s birthday party, to stamp and shout about it not being “Together we can end violence against men and women”.

    Deja Vu. (his reponse to Emma Watson)

    Read his comment on Joan Smith’s piece

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/mar/15/ukcrime-justice#comment-2103444

    This is a man who thinks that being accused of being raped is worse than being raped, that “false accusations” have devastating consequences for men – not merely as bad as being assaulted, but worse.

    More recently he gives a speech to a men’s rights group where he talks about the problem “between supporting the right to justice of victims of rape and the rights of men who may have been wrongly accused of the crime. ” As if it were some sort of 50/50 issue

    http://hetpat.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/intertwined-reconciling-the-mens-movement-with-feminism-speech-transcript/

    You could dip into more or less anything he writes for yet more of the same.

    The links here are just a tiny snapshot – and to show you that five and a bit years later he continues with the “just want a reasonable debate/ just concerned for men and boys” pretence while primarily going after women who try to make a difference for female victims of male violence.

    He really is a grade A shit-stirrer and misogynist, he does not want genuine engaement and however much people get sucked into trying to present a case to him he will continue to bang his poor oppressed men and woman-blaming drum and his record shows that.

    • Wow, great comment and you sum up this misogynist brilliantly. Thanks and cheers for reading this.

    • australopithecene says:

      Yep, for years and years. I remember when he used to just leave comments on CiF, before he got a gig, and I hated him even then. So “what about the menz” all the the fucking time. He just can’t abide women talking about their own issues, classic misogynist. Then, there was a piece about sexual exploitation and abuse in some socialist or labour group, can’t remember which one. A woman recounted being coerced into sex by a senior member of the group. Fogg pops up in the comments to complain that the victim had called her aggressor “ugly”, and that was all he had to say.
      And the time he wrote a huge screed about how a man being “nagged” is equivalent to a woman being beaten up by her husband, without even interrogating the misogyny of a word like “nagging” in the first place.

      I’ve always thought he was a nasty little misogynist weasel. Cannot fucking stand him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s