A recent discussion over a parody video has become my muse for this post.
The parody was Thunderf00t’s aping of Anita Sarkeesian with the genders reversed. Something even “da f00t” called, “just for fun”. I won’t debate the merits of the video here, except to say that I thought it was over the top (as a parody should be) and mildly amusing. The issue arose when I saw some one criticizing the video based on the title and without having watched it!
Of course, since Anita was the person being parodied, the subject material being parodied was feminism. The conversation evolved along a predictable path. A path that anyone who has ever tried to question, dispute, or argue against any specific part of the ideology will find comfortably familiar.
Feminism, it will be/was stated, is nothing more and nothing less that the movement for equal treatment of men and women.
Please disregard the fact that perfectly equal treatment of all members of a sexually dimorphic species is a practical impossibility. Why? Because biologically, women and men are inherently unequal.
Before you get your pitchforks and torches out, let me explain. I’m not saying either sex is inherently better or worse than the other. I’m simply saying that… I can’t give birth. No matter how hard I try to get myself pregnant and birth a baby, it’s not going to happen. This one inescapable fact of biology means that exactly equal treatment cannot occur. I have no right to terminate a pregnancy while any woman does. The consequences of that one fact are sweeping in family law, medicine, and other aspects of modern human life. There are other differences between men and women (when looked at in aggregate) that I’m going to ignore for brevity.
The pursuit of complete and total equality therefore, is NOT what feminism is striving for. If that were the case either men could demand abortions too or no one could. The heat death of the universe will likely occur before feminists allow the former to be enacted, so the only other way to achieve complete equality is to remove all options once a pregnancy occurs. Another way of saying that is that women would have the same rights after a pregnancy occurs as a man: none (“he should have kept his pants on” and “he made his choice when he decided to have sex”).
Feminism seeks for women all the rights that men have ( I would argue this is already achieved) plus additional rights. I have asked many times in my discussions with feminists for the specification of just one right that men have in western societies, that women do not. I have yet to get that question answered. (feel free to propose one in comments)
Whenever feminists disagree over any minor thing it is/will be presented as proof of diversity of thought.
In the next phase of the discussion, issue was taken with Thunderf00t’s use of the word “feminism” in his video title. I opined that the term was fair game since Anita’s YouTube channel name (and website) are titled “Feminist Frequency“. This line of thinking was, of course, rejected.
An analogy to Deepak Chopra was drawn, with Chopra standing in for Anita. The analogy went something like this: Anita calling her channel “Feminist Frequency” was like Chopra calling himself a physicist. This analogy came from one of my interlocutors. I responded with something along the lines that Deepak is widely called out by real physicists on his woo. Who calls out Anita and who are the “real feminists”? A link was provided to a Storify, ostensibly to show her being “called out” by other feminists. The part I missed at the time was that Anita was not being called out on the major theme, evidence, or conclusions of her video, but for the use of an impolitic phrase. The main thrust of her video was lauded!
No one person, or even one organization, speaks for all of feminism.
I asked this question directly. Who speaks for feminism? The answer was refreshingly honest: “no one”. The very fact that there’s no set established orthodoxy was bemoaned as a problem. I think it’s actually more of a strength than a weakness. If no one is accountable for keeping the theories and beliefs of the ideology collated and available for examination, then no one is ever a “true feminist”. It can be claimed that “That’s not my feminism”, or as many will have heard, “Not all feminists are like that”.
The very nebulous nature of the ideology works in the favor of it’s proponents. Any core belief, things being taught in university courses, or pronouncements of “feminist scholars” can be disavowed in public discussions while simultaneously be used by the political movers and shakers to effect public policy. In a word, it is a brilliant strategy.
To be fair, I make this criticism of the MRM as well. Rather, I would if the MRM had any influence on public policy makers. The fact that just holding a conference to talk about men’s issues arouses so much vitriolic antipathy in mainstream media and among feminists (but not True Feminists®, mind you) certainly gives clues to the observant about where the political and social power lies.
Feminism uses inherent human biases to gain political power.
When I tell people that humans are biased in favor of women, I often get viscerally negative reactions. “Just look around and see almost exclusively men in ‘positions of power’”, they say. (Strangely enough, I also hear the “just look around” phrase from creationists). There are studies, however that demonstrate the deference afforded to women by both males and females. My claim is that this bias means that when women complain about something, both men and women are motivated to “correct” the problem being complained about.
This basal psychological bias is used by feminism (the ideology of equality for women) to keep agitating for more and more concessions from government and corporate entities. Thus far this bias has resulted in some unequal allocation of resources weighted in favor of women.
In the US, a wonderful amendment known as ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) was opposed so strongly by conservative women such as Phyllis Schlafly that the amendment was narrowly defeated. Why was the amendment defeated? In my opinion, it was because society no longer had a clear idea that the ERA was what women wanted.
Mrs Schlafly began her opposition after 28 states had already ratified it. She and her group successfully managed to block the ERA. Ironically, I believe this event was the best thing that could have happened to political feminism, even though NOW and other feminist groups were opposing Mrs Schlafly at the time. In my reading of history, this event (the blockage of the ERA) was the beginning of feminism’s departure from “Equal rights for women full stop”. Had the ERA passed, I believe feminism would have begun to slowly fade into the background, losing political and scholarly power since their goal would have been achieved.
Presently, even though I can’t think of a single right men have that women don’t, feminism is in full throat. The reason is that it isn’t about equal rights any longer. It has no stated goal (other than the nebulous “free democracy from patriarchy“). It has no end point where feminists can say, “Whew, we’ve done it. Mission accomplished”. This lack of a “finish line” coupled with the innate biases for women, means that advocacy can continue indefinitely. Power will be exerted and monies will be collected far into the foreseeable future.
Although I have no power (and very little readership) I’m asking feminists to get the major players in feminism to agree to and publish a set of specific conditions that would meet all its goals. I’m asking for a finish line scenario, if you will. I won’t get one, but I think it’s important to ask.
In the interests of fairness, I’m also asking for any members of the MRM to provide the same type of “finish line” results that would allow the dissolution of the MRM.
Get some time.