It’s official, feminism has infected Freethought Blogs.
Groupthink. You’re not immune to it just because you fancy yourselves the pinnacle of reason. In fact, you’re more prone to it. “If I’m a critical thinker, and these other critical thinkers have come to this conclusion, it must be a reasonable conclusion. Furthermore, contending this stance would probably give off the impression that I lack critical thinking,” is how I imagine it goes down. It’s certainly what has gone through my head at least once in the past.
Feminism encompasses a very broad range of ideas and notions. A lot of them I agree with, but I’m hesitant to call myself a feminist. When I talk about feminism, I’m not talking about women’s suffrage. I’m not talking about champions of gender equality and human rights. When I’m talking about feminists, I’m talking about the delusional, gynocentric, self-righteous bullies who have hijacked the feminism movement and corrupted the voice that the movement has given them. I’m talking about the tumblr pseudo-feminists, the man-haters/misandrists, the near-sighted bigots who think their opinions on sexuality and gender should be enforced on the world. [The topic of sexuality might manifest in another post.] The half-blind champions of social justice who only see and want to repair half the problem: that which affects women. I’m talking about those who trumpet feminism and wave the feminist flag for its own sake.
Arguably, I don’t have any problem with feminism. I have a problem with that big fucking tumour that is growing on feminism’s back. And it’s getting bigger each day. It’s taking feminism further from its noble goals of gender equality and pushing it towards becoming a fringe group for the superiority of women.
The recent drama involving Thunderf00t’s expulsion from Freethought Blogs (FtB) and my growing criticisms of both the content and the atmosphere (in the comments section) on FtB is indicative of the malignancy of this tumour. We’re oh-so-ready to defend anything and anyone who writes anything ostensibly in the name of feminism, and hail it as glorious.
As said by TF:
1) The disproportionate amount of attention it gives to sexism compared to other issues.
2) The way that those who disagree on the matter of sexism are attacked with a disproportionate amount of strawmen, invective and branding (misogynist, MRA, etc etc). This is a behavior more in line with bullying than free thought.
When it’s plain and simple that a criticism shield is being erected, alarm bells should be ringing. I mean, look what happened with religion. It had the biggest criticism shield of all time, for a while. And look what they got away with.
I’ve unsubscribed from FtB, at least until people get their shit together on gender equality. Slapping “I’m a feminist” on your author bio to pander for views and that pat on the back from your fellow bloggers is petty. Let’s all jump on the feminism bandwagon, hooray!
And if you don’t? Well, TF found out the hard way. If you don’t agree with us, you’re an enemy. You get kicked out, and demonised. Straw-manned. Is this really free thinking? Or is this popularity-driven drivel?
Of thirty-six blogs on FtB, all are either pro-feminist (differing definitions of feminism) or neutral.
I’m not going to take sides here. PZ Myers and TF are both bright chaps. And I’m going to continue reading what they have to write, because a lot of what they do write hits it right on the mark. I accept that which I find in good evidence, and reject the rubbish. That is what critical thinking is.
If you ask me, we need to ditch the term ‘feminism’ altogether. Even from the outset you’re given a one-sided view of the issues we face. It’s like, “welcome to the
cult club, here’s the lens through which you will henceforth view the world. It’s all about women.” In the very name ‘feminism’ it’s giving the idea that these are problems that only, or primarily affect, women. That everything else being equal, women come out worse, and men’s problems simply aren’t relevant.
Gender equality and gender role issues affect both men and women, on different levels and in different ways. (A lot of feminists agree.)
Let me restate: gender equality and gender role issues are people problems. Not women’s problems, which happen to affect men too.
Don’t give me the crap about how “women get the short end of the stick.” Unless you’re willing to provide me with statistical evidence and proper research that confirms this first-world oppression you speak of. And don’t give me your unfounded opinions: “it’s obvious, because I thought about it!” or, “women feel more oppressed, that means they are more oppressed!” Even so, by claiming to give “preference” to one genders’ issues over the others’, how are you not being flagrantly slap-in-the-face sexist??
You can enumerate, until you’re red in the face, injustices against women. You’re still not closer to proving or justifying that we need to condemn men’s problems to a void of irrelevancy and focus entirely on women’s needs. We need to solve the underlying problem, not tend to the symptoms. This is important.
Did someone go and tally up all the sexism against women, and the sexism against men (if you don’t think it exists, you’re either indoctrinated by crazy feminists into thinking that this categorically cannot exist, or you need to open your eyes) and find them about equal in number and severity? You can’t just focus on one issue or one set of issues and claim that is representative of all issues. That goes for everyone.
And if you dare conflate third-world oppression against women with your first-world woes, shame on you. It is insulting to flex your first-world privilege like that, to say the least.
I just don’t think anyone should uncritically gulp down this presumption that men still wield all the power in our first-world society. From there we get justification of discrimination:
The short answer is no, it’s not discrimination when women do it. No, this is not a double standard. Why? Because of privilege and existing domination.
That’s right, “it’s not sexism when women do it.” Yes, it is a double standard. How can anyone ever think that it is justified to hold that opinion? And call it equality?
Do we just let blacks bash up whites and say “It’s fine, they’re oppressed”? Do we let homosexuals get away with murder because they were bullied in school? No? Well it seems to be green lights when a woman does it to her abusive husband, and I don’t hear feminists complaining.
Oh, it’s fine to be a bit sexist to men here and there because it “shakes it up a little”. Sometimes it’s “necessary”. Yes, it’s necessary to take justice into your own hands, subvert everyone else’s opinions to further your own, because it’s “right”! Welcome to bigotry.
We need to ditch ‘feminism’ and rethink the issue here. We need to stop offering safe harbour for misandrists and gender-narcissistic bigots. We need to be more inclusive and cut out the “every man is a rapist/evil oppressor/dangerous thing” bullshit. I agree with Christina’s final words on this in that we need to stop with the gender narcissism, come together and fix this problem as humans, not men over here and women over here.
It’s not just that feminism only works on women’s problems in it’s quiet little corner and it “kinda sucks” that it’s not more inclusive. No. This divisive strategy of interpreting all gender issues as “women’s problems” is actually counter-productive. Women’s problems and men’s problems are inextricably linked. We don’t live in a vacuum, certainly not one where we can affect only one gender. We need to be more upfront about sexism. If we’re all up in arms about sexism against women, we need to have that same consistency when it’s against men. Or at least not just sit there apathetically, or worse, use it as a form of entertainment. That isn’t what I’m seeing. I’m seeing discrimination and injustices against men going under the radar, unspoken of, irrelevant.
Which brings me back to FtB. Taslima’s acid attacks piece is exemplary of this. The final words,
We are more abused, harassed, exploited, kidnapped, raped, trafficked, murdered by our lovers, husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, or men we know well than by strangers. Whatever happens to us, we never stop loving men.
are the key here. The whole post is about blaming men for all this violence against women. Yes, let’s just perpetuate the gender stereotypes that women are the weak and victimised. Let’s just gloss over the fact that 32% of victims were male. Let’s ignore the significant number of female perpetrators, and concentrate on the data that supports my view.
Which part of that was free thinking, again?
To be absolutely clear, I’m not completely blasting the feminism movement ipso facto. I’m blasting sexism, in all forms, and a lot of what I see has come from that which is labelled “feminism”. Also, I’m not concerned in this post with patriarchy; a term which I’m convinced has had the hell abused out of it. I’m not trying to pull all the attention on to male discrimination issues either; that would be to miss the entire point of my post. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about women’s issues. It’s just the way in which we go about solving issues is very important.