Welcome to the new home of The Masculine Mystique!


“The Masculine Mystique” is now called “XY Feminist”. I’ll be blogging here on an irregular basis, or contributing to one of my other related projects:

  • The List of Male Privileges – The project that started this whole blog. This list serves as the summary / table of contents for the majority of this blog.
  • Feminist Game Reviews – There’s a ton of sexist and misogynist video games out there, as Feminist Frequency has shown in her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series. So I’m posting reviews for the rare games where you don’t get stuck playing  sexist stereotypes, and where the female characters are not degraded or assaulted. Submissions are also welcome!
  • The Arrow – A blog covering my first attempt to write a radical feminist science fiction novel. I’m looking for suggestions and feedback from anyone interested in the project, so I will be tossing out my ideas about sci-fi and occasionally posting drafts as well.
  • Ad-response stickers – An old project from my college years. After some particularly misogynistic ads went up in a nearby subway station, I made these nifty little stickers so that people could make their objections to the ads known. Unfortunately, this shit happens all the time, so I’ve kept the stickers online (sold at cost) for anyone else who wants them.
  • Goodreads – Where I post some of the great books that I have read, and occasional reviews of them as well!

I hope you find something useful here, and comments are always welcome.

A Cis-Male-Excluding Solution to the Trans Bathroom Debate

“Should transwomen be allowed in women’s restrooms? Yes or no?”

This is the mantra of pundits everywhere whenever the subject of transpeople is broached in the mainstream media. The mostly cis-male pundits lean over their tables, looking down at one of the few, publicly accepted, women-only spaces in the country with the same scrutinizing gaze I imagine the English had when they were drawing colonial boundaries across the world. They are more than happy to carve up someone else’s space while continuing to enjoy the excesses of their own.

Meanwhile, no pundits ever question men’s spaces. Few concerns are ever raised by media outlets about transmen in men’s bathrooms, because the foregone conclusion (that it’s open season on any transman who is found in a men’s room) is one that the mainstream media is happy to condone and ignore. And since transmen are still well under the radar of public concern [1], while women still don’t have the privilege to govern their own spaces (Virginia Wolfe’s A Room of One’s Own is, sadly, still relevant in 2015), the media is happy to draw the “battle lines” between transwomen and women’s restrooms.

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Of Skunks and Sea Lions

After Anita Sarkeesian mentioned me on Twitter last week, the trolls and MRA’s came out of the woodwork for a good ol’ fashioned dogpile.

Or as women on the internet would call it, Monday.

However, since I am male, the number of death threats that I received during the whole furor was precisely zero (see the Male Privilege of Relative Safety).

But among the usual witless h8ters were two especially insidious kinds of trolls: the sea lions, and what I call the skunks.

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The Ugly History of the “World’s Largest Provider of Scholarships for Women”

Before John Oliver’s takedown of the Miss America scholarship program, few people realized that the Miss America pageant is the world’s largest provider of scholarships for women (even when you take their accounting fraud into account). But fewer still are aware of the of the downright ugly history of the Miss. America pageant itself, and how it got involved in women’s scholarships in the first place.

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Intersectionality and Male Privilege

Recently, I received this comment from Nar on my List of Male Privileges FAQ page:

 “I am bi-racial (Native American & Black). I am also male, and as I went down your list I found that none of those “male” privileges are afforded to me. I have a strong understanding of feminism and it’s importance. I also understand that there is rampant misogyny and violence against women within both the Native American and Black communities. I am just asking to please be specific when you’re talking about privilege.”

Thank you for your comment, Nar. Especially since it lets me dive right into the subject of Intersectionality.

In short, you are only partially correct (and also incorrect) when you say that many of the male privileges on this list are not afforded to you.

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Frozen 2?

I have several insightful and in-depth posts in the works, but they’re going to take some time to research and fully flesh out. In the meantime, here’s some feminist-themed speculation about everyone’s favorite slightly less sexist than usual Disney princess movie, Frozen.

It’s already a given that Disney will grow Frozen into as big a franchise as humanly possible. By lightening up a bit on the traditionally regressive Disney princess formula (and letting a woman direct an animated feature-length film for the first time in the company’s history), the movie has fired up young women everywhere and saved the company’s earnings for 2014. And for all that Disney lacks in creating new, progressive, risk-taking franchises, it more than makes up for in monetizing existing properties for all that they’re worth. (Expect the Broadway version of Frozen to run for at least a decade.) But that said, do you think Disney has enough creativity and resolve to continue down the path that Frozen has laid out? Can they actually find it within themselves to build a bigger and better Frozen 2?

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