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Yes, All Feminists ARE Like That

Videos of feminist protests at Toronto University have apparently put on display some prime examples of a serious pest problem within the feminist community: an infestation of extremists who, according to other feminists, don't represent the movement.



We hear it after every action they take. As MRAs discuss the violence and vitriol, the attacks on free speech, the irrational statements and spewing of venom, feminist apologists trickle into these discussions to offer the same sorry, tired, worn-out old argument:



Really?

If not all feminists are like that, what are the other feminists like... and where the hell are they? Because all of the overt, effective action we've seen has involved feminists who are exactly like that.

We've seen feminists lobby for discriminatory law and policy.
We've seen how some of those laws and policies are abused, often up close and personally.
We've seen feminists advocate for discriminatory social standards.
We've seen feminists attack the due process rights of men.
We've seen feminists attack men's speech rights... and consistently, at that.
We've seen feminist violence, even attempted murder.
We've seen feminists attack and condemn discussion on ways to prevent boys from falling behind in education, and other men's issues.
We've seen feminists oppose the success of civil rights efforts unless they're allowed a free ride on another movement's coat tails, even at the understood risk of derailing the entire effort.
We've seen feminists fight to deny assistance to abused men.
We've seen that fight extend into an overt effort to deny facts and hide existing factors related to abused men.
We've seen feminists propagate a culture of tolerance for female sexual violence against men by denying its existence, denying its severity, and when all else fails, denying its significance in relation to its gender counterpart.
We've seen feminists actively, deliberately vilify the entire male gender, treating the dysfunctional behavior of some as if it were a gender characteristic.
We've even seen them use the slander of innocent men in their campaigns.

The one time feminists point to as an effort to promote equality, they didn't advocate to remove a discriminatory factor from impacting men, but instead moved to become equally abused: When presented with the opportunity to advocate for the abolition of the United States Selective Service's outdated and unnecessary mandate that men make themselves available to be drafted into the military, feminists instead fought to be included in it. It was more important to them to be included than it was for them to right a wrong. I have often seen this effort presented as an argument that see, feminists care about men's rights, too. In reality, it's an example of the solipsistic nature of feminism. Rather than realize how important it is to end this one remaining vestige of overt slavery in the U.S., their main concern was their own exclusion from it. This was not an effort at elevating the treatment of men, but instead an effort at removing an area where the discrimination was obvious.

On a side note: I bet most feminists who have argued for "joining" the "draft" haven't gone to the level of effort that this one did. I don't think MRAs should take any feminist assertions on women in the military seriously until feminists do this en masse. If they really, honestly are for this, then they should be expected to back it up with action. If they won't do that, then we're justified in assuming that their advocacy on this is completely hollow and meaningless.

Back to our regularly scheduled topic: As stated, we have seen various feminist group attacks on men, men's rights, masculinity, and the public's perspective thereof. We haven't seen feminists put any effort into curbing the rampant and blatant extremism in their movement.

Think about what feminists do when they have a cause to promote or a factor to oppose. They don't sit around and simply deny association with it.

They act.

They march en masse, in protest, with shouted slogans and carried signs.
Social media campaigns spread outward from the central effort like ripples in water disturbed by a dropped rock.
Their various activist groups organize media contact efforts to promote their position.
They execute email, phone call, and letter-writing campaigns to government officials.
Public influence efforts include blogging, vlogging, and extensive discussion in the comments under each.
If the issue is with an entity, such as a business, university, or other organization, there are social pressure campaigns targeting the entity, as well, using anything from stern criticism to threats of boycott and public shaming.
If legal action is an option, it is taken, as well.

So, if "nice" feminists are the mainstream... if "nice" feminists represent the majority opinion, the majority effort, and the majority of activists within the movement... why haven't we seen any action from the "nice" front?

Why has not one feminist from anywhere shown up to these events to stand up against this "extremist" position?
Why have none of the Feminists who are Not Like That raised a counter-protest against those embarrassments to their movement?
Why have none of the Feminists who Support Men's Rights shown up to escort men through these pickets, protect the human rights posters, shout down the vitriol, and assert their place as the mainstream of feminism?
Where are the feminist-written blogs condemning the acts of harassment, violence, and vandalism that these "extremists" have committed?
Where are the popular, widely viewed "mainstream feminist" blog and vlog posts arguing the right of men to address and discuss men's issues among themselves, and on their own terms?
Where is even the slightest public "mainstream feminist" criticism of this type of behavior?

Have any feminist groups created information campaigns to help correct this imbalance in their movement?

Where are the "Real feminists don't abuse men" graphics?
Where are the "Real feminists don't deny issues" messages?
Where are the "Feminists can stop male-bashing" campaigns?
Where are the anti-harassment posters with messages like "Hatred is not a feminist value?"
Where is the "mainstream feminist" statement to any major media outlet, condemning the choice of "extremists" to treat the MRM as an enemy force instead of a cooperative effort toward the achievement of social and legal equality?
In fact... where is the mainstream feminist end of that cooperative effort? Is denying association with the part of the feminist movement which effects change all these apologists are good for, or are they going to put their money where their keyboards are, and stand up to those they not-so-openly condemn?

We've seen feminist groups take dramatic action in response to causes they support, or issues they oppose. If "nice" feminists are doing nothing in response to "extremism" within their movement but denying association with it, that doesn't signify opposition. It doesn't even signify separation from it. It signifies tolerance, and acceptance. The lack of action is still a choice - the act of subtly condoning the behavior.

Dissociation of the self from that behavior is not a meaningful argument. It's not enthusiastic dissent. It's a way of letting someone else do the dirty work, so that one may reap the benefits when that work is successful, but have plausible deniability when the hateful nature of it is noticed by others. Denial of association doesn't make up for the continued tolerance by self-titled "mainstream" feminists for these displays of hatred, bigotry, vitriol, and abusive attitudes. It doesn't erase the willingness to continue using these so-called "extremists" as a means of attempting to silence or suppress resistance to the human rights abuses advocated for by feminist groups.

It only shows one's willingness to be unabashedly dishonest about it.


Relevant:  “Nice” feminists: grassroots of a hate movement

10 comments:

kristenjtsetsi.com said...

The voices that are most often heard, in any area of activism, are usually the ones that are the most obnoxious. No one listens to the more reasonable crowd - it's not sexy enough, or it's not incendiary enough, or it's not stupid enough to attract the media (because the media know what people like to watch: craptastic reality TV.)

That said, the reason these feminists aren't out picketing for men's rights is probably because they're picketing for their own. Every group has its own area of focus, and there's only so much time in a day to devote to a cause. Where are the MRAs with their picket signs defending feminists? (The ones who aren't man-haters, I mean - and truly, most aren't. Most feminists are probably feminists by deed rather than by sidewalk display.)

carasci said...

Great article, but in the second last paragraph I think you meant to write plausible "deniability", not plausible "dependability". Feel free to just fix it and delete this rather than posting it.

Gloria Sass said...

@carasci
You are correct. Thanks for catching that. :)

I've fixed it, and I know how it happened. I'm overly dependent on my spellchecker, which for some reason didn't recognize deniability as a word. I've added it now, but when writing, I probably right-clicked and selected the top word in them menu without looking carefully.

Gloria Sass said...

@ kristenjtsetsi.com

"The voices that are most often heard, in any area of activism, are usually the ones that are the most obnoxious."

The problem with that statement is that even the most "obnoxious" men's rights activists are still more reasonable than mainstream feminists are. The ones most feminists object to are those whose writing and other speech have done the most to promote awareness of men's issues. It isn't obnoxiousness that is the objection there - it's visibility.

Mainstream feminists have spent decades advocating for anti-male discriminatory law, policy, and social conditions. That includes groups like the National Organization for Women, who have lobbied for laws which compromise due process rights for men accused of sexual and partner violence, who have lobbied against equal parenting rights, and who, during the worst economic times since the great depression, lobbied to cut in half the dollar amount at which being unable to pay child support would make a man a felon. That also includes feminist groups involved with the domestic abuse victim's advocacy industry, which facilitates female-on-male domestic abuse by refusing to assist male victims, and sometimes even assisting female perpetrators using the system as a battering tool. It includes feminist researchers, who have used biased methods, skewed their results, and even refrained from promoting findings which are contrary to feminist ideology, one of the reasons the DV victim's advocacy industry has been able to so easily continue to ignore male victims - because decades of feminist researchers kept information they had under their hats instead of sharing the facts.

> the reason these feminists aren't out picketing for men's rights is probably because they're picketing for their own.

This is also a deceitful argument. Feminists aren't picketing for rights - they're picketing for power, and in many cases, instead of for the rights of women, they're picketing against the rights of men, and against women who don't run our lives by following feminist ideology.

> Every group has its own area of focus, and there's only so much time in a day to devote to a cause.

That this is true only makes your comment more of a bullshit excuse - not because feminists are limited, but because feminists have limited themselves to promoting hatred and violence, when there are real gender issues to address.

Gloria Sass said...

@ kristenjtsetsi.com, continued

> Where are the MRAs with their picket signs defending feminists?

Why should MRAs defend a group whose focus is on creating more discrimination and more social injustice toward men? You want MRAs to defend the group that advocates accepting the idea of false imprisonment for some men so that women don't have to work so hard to get a conviction when accusing men of partner or sexual violence? Because that's mainstream feminism, which has advocated for law and policy which makes defense nearly impossible, even for innocent men.

You want MRAs to defend the group that advocates denying men the same self-determination rights in respect to parenthood that women have under laws they've advocated? That's also mainstream feminism, which has repeatedly argued that men should not have the same legal right to decide whether to parent a child that women have. Feminists argue that if a woman unilaterally decides to bear and retain custody of a child, the father should be held financially accountable for her actions using the child support system, even if he wanted to opt for adoption, safe haven abandonment, or abortion, and she said no to all three.

You want MRAs to defend the group that has argued to marginalize male victims of partner and sexual violence? Because guess what! That's also mainstream feminism, which spent decades denying such issues even existed, or were common, and even now can't discuss them without advocating denial of equal treatment for male victims, on the basis that female victims experience it worse.

You want MRAs to defend the group that advocates against bodily autonomy of males, and for the heinous and abusive act of cutting off part of infant boys' genitals? Yep, you guessed it. That's mainstream feminism, too... and the reasoning is because treating the cutting of male infants' genitals as seriously as the cutting of female genitals would detract from the perception of women as victims.

And that's not even getting into feminist history; white feather feminism, feminists protesting the 15th amendment granting voting rights to blacks, feminists protesting the Equal Rights amendment of 1963, suffragette violence, hate literature from the 60s labeling all men rapists... hate activism from now painting all men as violent, perverse, and predatory.

There is nothing in your movement that is defensible. In fact, there is nothing left in your movement that is righteous, or even dignified. When you all quit pushing discrimination against others in your favor, start actually doing what you claim - fighting for equal rights - maybe you'll be able to attract assistance from other movements. Until then, we are all justified in a complete lack of interest in helping you achieve your goals - especially the ones involving heaping further discrimination and hatred on men.

kristenjtsetsi.com said...

"There is nothing in your movement that is defensible. In fact, there is nothing left in your movement that is righteous, or even dignified."

It isn't MY movement. That I'm a feminist (I suppose - the word has so many meanings, many of them now with negative connotations thanks to posts like yours, that I think I'll just go with "equalist") doesn't mean I am like the feminists you take issue with, nor does it mean I'm like the feminist who sits one desk over from me.

One "feminist" is a man hater who would happily stomp his balls (and in that case, "feminist" - at least, as I prefer to think of the word - is a misnomer); another is one who thinks she should make as much money as men do for equal work. Surely you recognize the difference.

Anyone who hopes to make a convincing or persuasive argument has to be able to let go of blanket generalizations and address specific groups or organizations rather than ALL FEMINISTS (or ALL LIBERALS or ALL CONSERVATIVES), because when you do that, you sound just like the unreasonable people on the other side screaming about you, and no one listens to anyone.

If you have a problem with NOW, address NOW. Not "feminists."

Signed,
A feminist who was raised by a single father and who believes men should have more power in custody cases. (You might be interested in "What Every Woman Wishes Modern Men Knew About Women," specifically the chapter, "Our Breasts Don't Give Us a License to Mistreat You." This is something I wrote under a pseudonym. You may not, and probably won't, agree with the whole book, but that's okay. No one agrees on everything.)

Gloria Sass said...

@kristenjtsetsi.com

"It isn't MY movement. That I'm a feminist (I suppose - the word has so many meanings, many of them now with negative connotations thanks to posts like yours, that I think I'll just go with "equalist") doesn't mean I am like the feminists you take issue with, nor does it mean I'm like the feminist who sits one desk over from me. One "feminist" is a man hater who would happily stomp his balls (and in that case, "feminist" - at least, as I prefer to think of the word - is a misnomer); another is one who thinks she should make as much money as men do for equal work."

This is one of the big problems occurring within the feminist movement - rather than exercise even the least amount of oversight, you dissociate. Rather than decry, you deny. The "Not All Feminists Are Like That" argument does not matter - it is not persuasive, and it doesn't excuse your choice to associate with the movement described in my post. It is, however, the most commonly offered reply when the abuses commited by mainstream feminist groups are listed off. This doesn't show that you're better or nicer or more reasonable than feminists who advocate for discriminatory law, policy, and social conditions. It shows that you are willing to work with them to get what you want, even though you're aware of the harm they are doing.

You have two potential choices if you want to be taken seriously by MRAs. You can

1) Stand up to the bigotry and hatred within the feminist movement and actually effect some reform

2) Stop calling yourself a feminist.

If you're really the "equalist" you say you are, one of those options will make sense to you. If not, you'll see them both as attacks on the movement, just as you've labeled my blog.

Regarding that, it's very telling that you cannot handle criticism of feminist behavior without blaming the criticism and not the behavior for the public image that feminist activists have earned for the feminist movment. You may not realize it, but you just told me that you feel entitled to immunity from dissent. Guess what: You're not. In fact, if the overt, measurable actions of your movement (and as long as you wear the label, it is your movement) cannot hold up to scrutinty, then you should be examining why, not bitching about people pointing out the wrongs. The "any which way we can" attitude feminists have taken for the last century isn't going to fly any more. Too many people are fed up with the childish temper tantrums, the violence, the lies, the bigotry, and the hatred. You can cry foul, bury your head in the sand, and pretend your situation is prettier than it is, but it's not going to fix the reputation you guys have earned for yourselves.

Gloria Sass said...

@kristenjtsetsi.com (continued)

"If you have a problem with NOW, address NOW. Not "feminists.""

This, I've seen before. If you're going to tell me that the biggest feminist organization in the U.S. is not mainstream, we're done. That's a level of irrationality that isn't even worth my time.

I do find it interesting to know that you wrote a book, the title of which stakes the claim of being the arbiter of "what every woman wishes..." That is another typical feminist abuse of title; you are not the arbiter of female thought, attitude, desires, interests, or rights. You claim not all feminists are alike, and feminists don't represent each other, yet your own writing starts with a title that is a claim to speak for all women.

Do you get why that is not okay?

"Signed,
A feminist who was raised by a single father and who believes men should have more power in custody cases..."

You do realize that the mainstream feminist lobby is against that, right? What you state as a belief matters only inasmuch as you back it up with action. Don't tell me what you believe in. Tell your feminist comrades. Contradict mainstream feminist advocacy on this issue. Write your civil servants at the national and state level to complain about the unequal treatment. Write your local and national mainstream feminist organization to tell them why you disagree with their advocacy. Or, as I said before... you can stop calling yourself a feminist, because if you don't agree with their mainstream, world-affecting advocacy, the really, you're not a feminist. You're just someone using the title because you associate it with its formerly accepted reputation.

pvblivs said...

     Very interesting. On my own blog I have suggested that the only real difference is in level of activity and that the "radical feminists" act simply as a "cat's paw" for the larger organization.

Gloria Sass said...

@ pvblivs

That's a distinct possibility. It does seem that the evolution of the mainstream follows the evolution of the radical edge. However, in the long run, feminism more closely follows the where there is funding.

One thing I have recently learned, as explained in the last chapter of The Feminist Crusades, by Frank Zepezauer, is that feminist organizations are extremely well funded, and some, like the National Organization for Women, receive various federal grants.








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