A few days ago I wrote an article exploring another article that was in turn trying to assert feminism gives women carte blanche to do whatever they want, without consequence. The author, Talon, has written another essay along similar lines – it is by and large, repetition, though framed in such a way that I felt it was interesting enough to discuss.
There is a lot of bad behaviour from modern feminists, of this there is no doubt.
The problem is that it is not socially-acceptable to call out feminist bad behaviour as modern third-wave feminism has created a victim narrative that is specifically tailored to dodge any accountability or criticism for bad behaviour.
Feminists acting in a sexist way? It is impossible for a woman to be sexist because they are an oppressed class. Blatant feminist double standards in gender? This is required because of male privilege. Feminist agendas pushing false rape stories that pervert due process and end up destroying the reputation of innocent men and institutions? Acceptable casualties, you can’t make a feminist omelet without breaking a few eggs- raising rape awareness is more important.
So on and so forth.
I’m sure there is bad behaviour from feminists. Indeed, I have seen posts written by self-styled radical feminists that paint all men as rapists and child molesters. I have read posts from radical feminists that insinuate men are unnecessary and that all men dropped dead the world would be a better place. As a man, this sort of material is highly offensive to me – even more so from my point of view as a father to a young daughter. I would never dream of hurting her in any way shape or form, so the implication that because I am a man I am somehow destined to do so is one that makes me angry.
The problem with posts such as the one above is that it’s all about assuming a false narrative and using the actions and behaviour of a few to taint the rest, whilst at the same time clouding genuine problems behind the notion that we as men are somehow ‘victims’ of feminism. The reality is, women are still far more likely to be victims of sexual assault, more likely to be victims of harassment in the workplace (this link explores what I think is Talon’s home country of Singapore) and overall, more likely to experience online harassment (especially harassment which is gender-specific). Keep in mind that these links are only scratching the surface of what’s out there, globally.
The postmodern nature of Third Wave feminism means it does not need to be internally consistent, what matters is the feminist narrative above all. The facts don’t really matter, what matters is that feminists get to do whatever they want, no matter how unjust, degenerate or evil, as long as they can justify it under the cause of feminism.
While the crazier ilk of SJW feminists may be okay with all this, the more reasonable folk on the fem-bandwagon are getting uncomfortable with just how alienating bad feminist behaviour can be to the outside observer. At the same time however, they know that speaking up against their crazier comrades or taking any sort of steps to restore sanity will inevitably have them cast out of the sisterhood.
As such, you often hear refrains going along the lines of “those aren’t true feminists”, or “there are many feminisms”. This is a mental sleight of hand designed to evade accountability for the toxicity of the feminist movement. See it for what it is.
The thing is, feminism does come in different forms. It isn’t one harmonious movement – radical feminists often disagree with liberal feminists, and within each element of feminism there are sub-elements. The worst elements of any movement tend to be the ones that critics latch onto – but they do not see the wood for the trees, often because they don’t want to – it ruins the narrative they employ.
The intellectual dishonesty of “no true feminist” is demonstrated rather brilliantly in an epic comment on a thread by author Aych:
Here’s a little one-act play I’ve written entitled: “You can’t GENERALIZE about feminism!”
Me: “Feminism has done all kinds of wonderful things, such as raising awareness of discrimination against women and opening all kinds of opportunities for women as well.”
Feminist: “All true!”
Me: “And yet, feminism also has a nasty tendency to endorse double-standards, not to mention often engage in behavior that would be considered objectively “sexist” if the word could be used fairly. Then, there are the presumptions of male guilt, the intellectually-dishonest tactics which are used to score rhetorical points, the occasional specious claims of victimhood, the crass gender-partisanship-”
Feminist: “Now hold-on there, bub! You can’t GENERALIZE about feminism! There are so many different kinds of feminism that no criticism can apply to all of them!”
Me: “Yeah, but when I PRAISED feminism a second ago, there was no need for me to single-out a particular subcategory. Why is that suddenly required?”
Feminist: “There are many feminisms! You can’t lump them all together like a monolith!”
Me: “And yet when I PRAISED feminism, I COULD lump them together like a monolith. See? This is what I mean by intellectual dishonesty!”
Feminist: “Look, there’s Liberal Feminism, Eco-Feminism, Radical Feminism-”
Me: “But when I said GOOD things about feminism, none of that mattered. Why do you play these ridiculous semantic games?”
Feminist: “You don’t get it!”
Me: “No, no, no I get it. Feminism is monolithic enough to praise but not monolithic enough to criticize.”
Me: “And you HONESTLY can’t understand why more women don’t call themselves feminists?”
And yet the ‘play’ above is in itself a hasty generalisation. Talon is quick to apply the sweeping judgement of feminism in blanket terms.
The moderate feminists want you to pet them on the back for all the achievements that feminism has accomplished for women but at the same time ignore all terrible things that feminists have done in the name of feminism as being under “not true feminists” or just “some crazy offshoot”.
Remember that this is just intellectual dishonesty- in reality the crazier expressions of feminism find their close idealogical roots in many mainstream feminist ideas. The moderates want to to pretend that these aren’t an indication of some problem and sickness with modern feminist though and behaviour, but just entirely seperate issues that have nothing to do with feminism.
Evidence for this hasty assertion?
So publicly call them out for it, the more the world see the inherent problems with feminism, the harder it will get for feminists to attempt to use the “no true feminist” cop out. Publicly detailing the problems in a coherent, rational way with feminism in front the neutral observer and defeating the “no true feminist” excuse will also go a long way towards destroying another cop-out that feminists use- and that is all who make criticism of feminism are just misogynistic MRAs and hence can be ignored.
They will be forced to address the issue and pull feminism back from the crazy brink, or have feminism discredited even more than it already has been in the eyes of the public.
Either way you win.
The trouble is, a lot of the critics of feminism are MRAs and MGTOWs – they ignore the facts. Women are more likely to face sexual violence, sexual harassment, workplace harassment and domestic violence. Women are still paid less in many countries (though the pay gap is shrinking). The idea of men as an oppressed class is strictly a fantasy.