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Firstly, I’d like to say “Hi!” to my new friends, readers and subscribers, both on my blog and on my YouTube channel. Welcome to my world. It’s small, but make yourself comfortable. :)
I think a number of my readers will appreciate this post, mostly the ones still on the fence about feminism. If you’re the kind of feminist I’m talking about, and disagree with something in particular that I say, try appending “whether they know it or not” to the sentence and see if that clears up what I mean a bit. I don’t mean that to be patronising, but I don’t want to have to suffix every statement with it.
I’ve been keeping a critical eye on feminism lately, most notably on its hand in the goings-on of the A+Theism movement. I should clarify: like Richard Dawkins, I too am sympathetic for ‘true feminism’ (if there is such a thing among the straw-Scotswoman mania) – the kind of feminism that is about equality between the sexes, in letter and in practice. Equality is awesome, and it’s something worth fighting for. (Non-violently, if possible, please!)
But that’s not where feminism is now. Feminism has become an irrational gender ideology over the course of the last two decades (at least); one that has recently scrubbed up and donned the suit of pseudo-skepticism over at (most notably) FreeFromThoughtBlogs and Skepchick.
The reason I rail against feminism is because it stands in the way of true equality, and its significant political and social influence is not one I can ignore. There are many horrifying stories that simply go untold.
Let me recap quickly why feminism ≠ equality. Feminism starts with feminist theory. These are the presuppositions that feminists have to accept as true. The gender narrative: men have been oppressing women for decades/centuries/millenia (the wording varies from source to source) and have created a society in which men are inherently superior and women are inherently inferior. This generally falls under the term “Patriarchy”. I’m not a history buff, and I was born in the ’90s. But it doesn’t make sense to me that for these “centuries” women stood idly by until now to seek liberation. It makes more sense that this is a re-interpretation of history to coincide with an ideology. From that standpoint, equality is “levelling the playing field” to bring “women up to the status of men”. In other words, ‘positive’ discrimination. It’s okay to discriminate against men, because they have the upper hand. Women’s issues are more important than men’s issues, because we live in a male-dominated society. They could just fix men’s issues at the drop of a hat if they wanted to. This, for many reasons, is a delusion. It is the same kind of delusional thinking involved in blaming Satan for all the evil in the world. Start with a false premise, come to false conclusions. And beliefs inform actions, which ultimately come back around to you and I.
While feminists’ goals are, in letter, ‘equality’, they are in fact making things worse. Here’s why. Feminism shoves the ideology that women are always the victim down your throat. Repeat it with me. “Women are the victims of the world.” Say it enough and it might start to sound true. There are many, many statistics that feminists love to bring up but you must keep in mind that many of these statistics come from feminists in academia. (I exposed the 1-in-4 statistic in a previous post.) This is about as acceptable academic work as creation science, but laypeople do not make any distinction. Feminist science is pseudoscience. Feminists attribute almost everything partly or wholly on “The Patriarchy”; and an explanation that explains everything explains nothing. I won’t go as far as to say that Patriarchy theory is complete bollocks, but it’s definitely used as a fill-in-the-gap explanation/justification for way too much.
For example, any woman who seeks the attention or acceptance of men, or agrees with MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) are only doing so because their Patriarchy-programmed brain is telling them to. Excuse me? I’m sorry if I have the audacity to hold the opinion that women are capable of making their own decisions, and are responsible for their actions, as adults.
The infantilisation of women is a recurring theme within feminism. Implicitly, and explicitly. It’s just one of the things that they’re supposedly against, but they are also perpetuating. I’ll just say this right now: if we want equality, that is for men and women to treat each other like adults, then we have to do away with this special treatment business. We have to not jump in to defend women from their own decisions as if they were children. Your daughter should not indefinitely be “Daddy’s Little Girl”. And we have to respect and acknowledge their decisions as their own. It sounds like common sense, doesn’t it?
Feminism claims to offer freedom and liberation for women who are “oppressed by men.” The “radical notion that women are people.” Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And that’s what it is; nothing but a feel-good ideology for privileged women, and it’s time to expose it for what it is.
The male feminist is a bit more of an interesting case. I think there are a few facets to this, but I won’t go into depth:
- The visceral urge to protect women and put them above men, which generally manifests itself in “white knighting” and chivalry
- The need to fit in with others in a social circle who hold that ideology
- Being misled with regards to the true nature of the ideology; i.e. thinking that feminism is actually about equality and isn’t anti-male.
I’ve said before that we need a more principled approach to gender equality, and I’ll just expound that statement: we need a method that is based in reality, not based on exaggerated fears and feelings.
And what do these fears and feelings bring us? Schrödinger’s Rapist. Fear mongering has gotten to the point that it’s just a matter of pragmatism to consider every man a rapist. It’s just convenient to assume every man wants to hold you down and violate you, because you don’t know who is and is not a rapist. This is stupid for a number of reasons. Firstly, I thought it was common knowledge that most (somewhere around 4 in 5) rapes occur between people that know each other well. And, I might add, that the only statistic this is based on is an uncited “One in every six American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime” – really just the token statistic to justify “creepy men scare me.” But if you want to live your life in child-like fear, that’s your prerogative.
Forget violent assault, mugging, and the other n things a stranger could do to you that aren’t in your best interests. Do I hear anyone on board for black men to be labelled Schrödinger’s Mugger?
On the other hand, if she is turned towards you, making eye contact, and she responds in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to her, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.
Thanks Phaedra, for giving permission to us slobbering dogs we call men to communicate with you on your terms. More on this here: Schrodinger’s Rapist a breakdown
Two of the top comments on neolplum99’s rant about this demonstrate just how ridiculous this is:
(Thanks to Tony for pointing this out.)
A lot of heat has been pouring down on the MRM (Men’s Rights Movement.) Take the recent poster tear-down extravaganza for instance:
and this Jezebel piece on it: Men’s Rights Activists Don’t Deserve the Benefit of the Doubt which contains this gem: “Do the members deserve the right to free speech?” …
I have a real problem with the institutionalised othering that goes on within feminism and to a larger degree A+Theism. I’ve talked briefly about how divisive it is and why it causing a schism is bad. A few thoughts on this- empathy and peace are begotten by understanding and celebrating our similarities instead of finding our differences. Hatred, violence and abuse are enabled by distancing and othering. Look at any major conflict in history. There is an element of “They aren’t like us, we’re the good guys and they’re the bad guys. That makes it okay for us to eliminate them/silence them/etc.”
Isn’t othering what enabled the KKK to go on about on its hateful way?
I’ll just leave that as some food for thought.
A quick note here though, one of my readers left this childish remark in my last A+Theism piece:
Hate on these guys all you want I guess but your hissy fit seems far more “us vs them” and divisive then the stuff you linked to.
I hope it’s clear that my criticism isn’t intended to be hostile or divisive- and there is no hating going on or “us vs them” apart from that which you have so creatively invented. Unless you view a discussion in which parties do not agree with each other as “us vs. them”. I would not be surprised with the latter, as the notion that “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” isn’t novel amongst A+Theists.
Some atheists who have dropped their religious dogma have just as excitedly adopted feminist dogma. And it’s unfortunate that some of the big name atheists have sold out on being free from dogmatic ideology and latched onto something…more ‘exciting’. More volatile. More page views!
That’s all for now, have a nice day.