Monday, 7 April 2014

Does Feminism actively harm men?

Reblogged from Ugu~

Sorry, but I am not being sarcastic.

There has been virtually no known example anywhere of feminists trying to kill people or actually, seriously trying to pass any laws just to harm men, whereas women are killed and tortured around the world by the thousands every year quite literally just for being women at all.

Even environmentalism, another cause I am completely behind, has its insane terrorists. Feminism at worst has faux-radical internet trolls.

Bogleech, as a fellow science enthusiast you understand that I’m going to have to hold you to incredibly high standards of intellectual honesty, right?

By saying this here, you have opened up a second can of worms that I have to address before we even get to how problematic your original statement is.

Here is your original claim:
Yeah there are literally no feminists who actually “go too far” or get “too extreme.” There aren’t any feminists hurting people or actually trying to create policies that infringe on anyone’s rights anywhere. The idea of the extremist evil feminist is pure fantasy and every single example anyone tries to come up with is literally just a woman who said mean things. BAWWWW FEMINAZISMS.
Do you see the disconnect here? If not, I’ll make it clearer.

1. Your original claim was that there aren’t any feminists hurting people, that there aren’t any feminists lobbying for legislation that infringes upon anyone’s rights, that harmful extremist feminists are pure fantasy, and that any example of feminists being harmful is just those women saying mean things.

Your second claim was that that there are virtually no known examples of feminists trying to kill people, or pass laws with the explicit malicious intent to harm men.

These are two very different claims, which you are trying to pass off as the same claim.

Your second claim has erased two of the original claim’s parameters, while moving the goalpost on the remaining two. “No feminists are hurting people” has been changed to “Almost no examples of trying to kill people,” and “Feminists are not seriously trying to pass laws that infringe upon people’s rights” has been changed to “No feminists are seriously trying to pass laws just to harm men.”

The disparity between these statements is massive, and could easily be construed as intellectual dishonesty, or just as easily a complete lack of self-awareness.

Because of this dramatic differences in the two claims you are trying to paint as the same claim, I am obligated to treat the second statement as an attempt to control the conversation by narrowing and polarizing the parameters of the base claim.

Included in this shifting of goalposts is an attempt (conscious or otherwise) to place the burden of proof onto me that feminist organizations have lobbied for harmful legislation with malicious intent, which is far outside what you first said.

I will have to hold you to your original claim because allowing you to narrow the conversation the way you have is inherently unethical, because it would accept a perversion of basic logic through blatant fallacy.

2. “women are killed and tortured around the world by the thousands every year quite literally just for being women at all.”

Appeal to worse problems, a form of non-sequitor.

It’s sad, true, but it’s irrelevant to your original claim that the worst feminists have ever done is say mean things.

The endangered status of the Bornean Orangutan doesn’t negate that wetas in New Zealand are threatened.

The Holocaust doesn’t morally balance Israel’s expulsion of Ethiopian Jews from its shores.

Christians being fed to lions by the Romans doesn’t mean that the Catholic Church couldn’t give the go ahead on the Spanish Inquisition.

Women being killed and tortured around the world doesn’t mean feminist organizations are incapable of doing wrong.

3. “The idea of the extremist evil feminist is pure fantasy and every single example anyone tries to come up with is literally just a woman who said mean things. BAWWWW FEMINAZISMS.”
Feminism at worst has faux-radical internet trolls.”

Before I address what’s wrong (logically) with this particular bit, we have to go back to Revereche’s original post:
Who the fuck are these hardcore feminists everyone is ashamed of associating themselves with? The most extreme individual I can think of is Val Kilmer, who went out and shot a man, and he survived and said afterward that he was just sorry he’d pushed her to that point as a friend.

All there is is this nebulous cloud of people that so many insist they don’t want to be associated with (how often have you heard people saying they “don’t want to make this a feminist issue,” or don’t consider themselves a feminist because of “what the movement has become”?), when the first worst thing a feminist has ever done in the name of feminism is hurt someone’s feelings.

Not blown up a mall, slaughtered innocents, raped anyone, etc. etc. etc.

Hurt someone’s feelings.

You have far better reasons to want to not be associated with your own goddamn country, for fuck’s sake.

Meanwhile, feminism has continued to stand up for the rights of women in the workplace, in their lives, over their own bodies.

What the hell has feminism done to discredit that sort of positive influence?

If you refuse to associate yourself with feminism, you are guilty of not looking into things further at best, and a sexist piece of shit at worst. (Yes, even if you’re a woman.)
This is a statement you have agreed with. Immediately after you agreed with it you made this post:
You know what I’m really tired of hearing?

Any possible variation on “that’s just a vocal minority!” when discussing shitty problematic behavior in a given group. It’s so common, so widely accepted that the sheer audacity of it is criminally overlooked.

Say anything about the level of misogyny in gamer culture, for example, and some wiener is inevitably going to whip out a statement like “MOST gamers are decent people!

There’s just a few of them making sexism look more common because, like, they’re really loud about it!!”

People often yield to these statements because they’re afraid to look like they’re “negatively stereotyping” a group, but this argument literally only amounts to positive stereotyping, which is equally baseless and in many ways equally harmful.

Let’s think hard about this: what does anybody actually have to go by when they are making this rather bold claim that they justknow, for sure, that most of their fellow gamers/bronies/football fans/christians are good-natured?

What empirical evidence exists to support their positive stereotype over the negative one?

If you’re claiming that good behavior is the norm, then exactly what logic dictates that bad behavior can’t become the norm just as easily? What’s stopping it?

What, exactly, is ensuring that “good” people must constitute at least 51% of your fandom? Just the ambient magic of goodness?

The shitty, awful people often make the opposite presumption, that their bigoted attitudes are representative of their peers. What makes their presumption wrong, and yours right? The fact that they’re not pleasant, and you don’t like them?

I guess the big question is, how the hell do you KNOW? What makes any variation on the “vocal minority” argument anything other than a wild guess based on literally nothing but blind optimism?

An equally big question is, why are you REALLY making this argument? What do you gain from it?

Do you sincerely believe that some mystical force is ensuring that hateful, selfish, abusive people are an inconsequential minority in your chosen group, or are you just afraid of people passing judgment on you for sharing a hobby with them?

Nobody, anywhere, actually believes that playing video games in itself magically transforms rational people into misogynists.

Nobody is actually saying that 100% of human beings who have touched an Xbox controller are enemies of feminism.

You don’t need to stereotype your subculture as primarily good just to defend yourself.

What you should do, instead of turning it into a cry of “NOT ME!,” is maybe just acknowledge that something is a problem.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t even matter if abusive, hateful shitheads are “just” a minority, because that minority might not be so “vocal” if you weren’t so damn complacent about them.

If you haven’t caught the problem here, I’ll explain. You have agreed with and echoed the idea that the worst thing feminists have ever done is hurt people’s feelings. In the very next breath you have complained about misogyny in gamer culture.

Can you demonstrate that misogyny in gamer culture has resulted in anything other than hurt feelings? If it has resulted in anything negative beyond that, then what bars feminists hurting someone’s feelings from having wider negative repercussions?

Do the feelings of someone hurt by gamer misogyny outweigh the anguish of a father who has been denied his children? (Believe me, I’m going to get back to that one). If so, why are feelings hurt by nerd subculture more important than hurt feelings that result from harmful legislation?

But that’s not the only problem. You have decried the argument “not all of us are like that,” and “most of us are good people.” And yet you have downplayed the role of radical feminists as “faux-radical internet trolls.”

Both of the above inconsistencies are examples of hypocrisy.

Now that we have gotten through all the logical problems of your inconsistent statements, we can actually address the base claim.

Your claim: there aren’t any feminists hurting people, that there aren’t any feminists lobbying for legislation that infringes upon anyone’s rights, that harmful extremist feminists are pure fantasy, and that any example of feminists being harmful is just those women saying mean things.

First Assertion: feminists aren’t hurting people/there are almost no examples of feminists trying to kill people.

A recent example of feminists being physically harmful to people is the November 24 attack on the San Juan Cathedral in Argentina. At an annual feminist gathering, a group of men formed a cordon to protect the cathedral from vandalism. The men defending the church against vandalism were spray painted in the face, spit upon, and assaulted by a mob of 7,000 feminist protestors.

Then there was the Bella’s Friends incident in Sweden. A rape survivor who goes only by the name Caroline was trafficked out of Sweden by a radical feminist organization that called itself Bella’s Friends.

She went to a camp for victims of sexual assault in order to heal, and was whisked away upon arrival because Bella’s Friends was convinced that she was the victim of an all-pervasive satanic rape/incest/paedophilia cult that completely dominated the Swedish government.

Her claim of being kidnapped has been corroborated by Norway’s Executive Director of the Crisis Centre Secretariat, Tove Smaadahl, who housed Bella’s Friends in her own home for a period before managing to negotiate Caroline’s release.

As for trying to kill people, Valeria Solanas, writer of the S.C.U.M. Manifesto and known radfem, attempted to kill Andy Warhol, Mario Amaya, and Fred Hughes. That is to say, a rather loud and much examined feminist writer tried to kill three people.

She succeeded in shooting Andy Warhol through both lungs, the spleen, stomach, liver, and esophagus, and mentally scarred him for the rest of his life. The parameters of your goalpost moving on this have been met.

That sure is a lot of mean words.

Second Assertion: there aren’t any feminists lobbying for legislation that infringes upon anyone’s rights

Are you familiar with the First Wave feminist Caroline Norton? Back in the day in the UK, default custody was awarded to the father because he was legally and financially responsible for his children (up to and including debtor’s prison). She lobbied for the Custody of Infants Act of 1839, which established the legal presumption of maternal custody. This attitude has come to be known as the Tender Years Doctrine.

While it has officially been replaced by the “best interest of the child” approach, over a hundred years of legal presumption that women are the better parent by default doesn’t magically change overnight. In fact, when Father’s Rights advocacy groups in Michigan tried for a more equitable presumption of joint custody, the National Organization of Women fought against it.

Any time someone tells you that presumed maternal custody is the result of sexism against women because they’re believed to be better caregivers, the presumption is the result of early feminist activism, and is a status-quo maintained by powerful feminist organizations.

Additionally, the feminist lobby managed to push through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which funds police officers’ and prosecutors’ domestic violence training. It was originally based off the Duluth Model of domestic violence. If you looked at the Duluth Model’s own website, it discusses its approach to ending domestic violence:

Since the early 1980s, Duluth—a small community in northern Minnesota—
has been an innovator of ways to hold batterers accountable and keep victims safe.
The “Duluth Model” is an ever evolving way of thinking about how a community works
together to end domestic violence.

A community using the Duluth Model approach:
  • Has taken the blame off the victim and placed the accountability for abuse on the offender.
  • Has shared policies and procedures for holding offenders accountable and keeping victims safe across all agencies in the criminal and civil justice systems from 911 to the courts.
  • Prioritizes the voices and experiences of women who experience battering in the creation of those policies and procedures.
  • Believes that battering is a pattern of actions used to intentionally control or dominate an intimate partner and actively works to change societal conditions that support men’s use of tactics of power and control over women.
  • Offers change opportunities for offenders through court-ordered educational groups for batterers.
  • Has ongoing discussions between criminal and civil justice agencies, community members and victims to close gaps and improve the community’s response to battering.
If you can’t discern what’s wrong with that, it contextualizes the perpetrators as male and the victims as female, despite the 221 empirical studies and 65 reviews and analyses that all agree that women are just as likely to be physically aggressive, if not more, than men in abusive relationships. How can you end domestic violence if you ignore half of the perpetrators? This is a legally recognized model.

With the mandatory arrest provisions of the Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act of 1994, and the Duluth Model being used as policy by the police, men are arrested as abusers even if they’re the ones to call the police to report violently abusive female partners.
Oh, but I guess all of that is just people getting their feelings hurt.

Third Assertion: Harmful extremist feminists are pure fantasy

I’ve already discussed some radfems who have caused real-world harm to individuals, but they certainly aren’t the only ones.

Ireen von Wachenfelt, head of the Swedish feminist organization ROKS (which runs the majority of domestic shelters in Sweden), admits to believing the conspiracy theory of a widespread network of satanic-rapist-paedophiles that permeates Swedish society. Gunilla Ekburg, who aided Bella’s Friends, was in a position of authority as the government’s special advisor on prostitution.

When confronted by Evin Rubar with questions regarding her facilitation of Bella’s Friend’s trafficking of Caroline, she told Evin that she was “hurting women,” and that if Evin Rubar is ever sexually attacked, she can expect to be turned away from shelters for “betraying” the sisterhood.

(this clip corresponds to 0:51:35-0:55:03 in the documentary K├Ânskriget, which was linked earlier).

And then there’s radical feminists silencing men trying to discuss their issues.

Here are some radical feminists disrupting a forum for battered husbands.

And then there’s tumblr’s own stfueverything, or as she’s affectionately known, Big Red. You may remember her making a spectacle of herself singing “Cry Me a River” when an MRA, trying to debate her at the U of T protests, brought up the 4:1 male/female ratio of suicide.

She, however, is not what I’m actually trying to bring your attention to. She’s just one loud-mouthed idiot. The protest itself ventured into illegal territory when it pulled a fire alarm to silence the lecture being protested, “From Misogyny to Misandry to Intersexual Dialogue.”

Observe them cheering as their opposition is silenced, denying people the opportunity to hear a different perspective and make their own decisions by attending a lecture and then asking questions of the lecturer.

See how they dance as the pulled fire-alarm endangers lives by wasting the resources of firefighters who might be needed at a real emergency at any moment.

But that’s just mean words and hurt feelings, amirite?

Fourth Assertion: the worst thing feminists do is say mean things and hurt feefees.

I pointed out your hypocrisy before, but it needs to be examined with a finer lens.

I have seen you repeatedly rail against sexism (read: misogyny) in nerd culture.

You’ve dedicated longs posts to it, you’ve complained about lazy female character design, and you have even demanded that people stop making the “but not all of us are like that” argument for fandoms and nerd sub-communities. What is all that? It’s hurt feelings.

And yet you don’t hold feminism to the same standard, a standard you expanded further to all other forms of social, political, and cultural groupings. This is called special pleading.

But this isn’t just some minor hypocrisy and a logical fallacy, you are asking us to hold an ideological movement that we trust with rape and domestic violence research, the services for abuse survivors, and our discussions on gender equality and legislation to a lower ethical standard than fucking nerds.

Sexy super heroines, scantily clad videogame characters, and billboard advertisements don’t lead to kidnappings, parents denied access to their children, falsified statistical information, active ignorance of scientific evidence and biased police and court policies towards a person based on their sex, threats to deny sexual assault aid, silenced support groups for abuse victims, or government funded organizations that espouse conspiracy theories about satanic rape-cults, but somehow they are more worthy of criticism than a movement that has.

That’s not just hypocritical, it’s obscene.

And all of this is on top of the fact that the statements made by you and Revereche are patently wrong.

Neither of you have actually looked into the subject of radical feminism, nor why people actually want to disassociate themselves with the feminist movement.

The assertion that the best case scenario for refusal to identify with feminism is the result of ignorance is wrong.

Your assertion that the worst thing that feminists have ever done is hurt people’s feelings is wrong.

The logic behind your case for feminism is wrong.

You are wrong, Bogleech. You are so very, very wrong.

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Please try to avoid logical fallacies!