Since this is a post about feminism, I think it would be fitting to have a trigger warning before we get into the meat of the post. Sorry if I offended any vegans out there (Damn it, off to a bad start already!). Ok, I have a lot of criticisms against feminism. This doesn’t mean that women don’t face challenges or discrimination in society. They do and so does every race, gender, sexuality, and socio-economic group that you can think of.
My biggest problem with feminists is their wild use of language. I don’t know a lot about Confucius, but I think he was on to something when he said “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” When talking about society and trying to improve it we must use accurate and clear language. Feminism has a serious problem with this. I know that there is a wide variety of thoughts and motives in the feminism movement, but at best the individual feminist’s vocabulary is unclear or at worst it is deliberately dishonest.
I am sure that all feminists are tired of people pointing out that the word has a gender-bias. I’ve heard plenty of feminists say “But the Webster dictionary defines feminism as promoting the equal rights of both men and women!” All I have to say is, “who cares?” It also defines it as “organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests”. It also defines “fem” as “female” and “feminine”. Besides the obvious gender-bias in the term the loudest feminist voices certainly don’t act like they have any concern about men’s issues.
There is a large and very loud portion of the feminist movement that is actively hostile to men and boys. They consistently cast all men and boys as potential rapists and aggressors. Their hostility towards men and boys goes completely unchecked by any other feminists in the movement (If I’m wrong on this then show me some evidence. I would love to be wrong on this). Recently a group of feminists issued so many death threats at the organizers of a conference on the issues that men and boys face that they had to throw a fundraiser to pay for additional insurance and security for the event. I saw no backlash from feminists condemning the threats made by other feminists (again, If I’m wrong, then show me some evidence). Feminists showing up to harass meetings like this is not uncommon, but backlash against it is.
Many feminists take great care to use accurate terms for every possible flavor of human sexuality. There’s lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-gendered, queer, asexual, intersex, cisgender, and so on. That’s all fine and dandy with me. I can appreciate efforts to create accurate vocabulary. Why don’t feminists apply equal precision to the label they apply to themselves? Saying that feminism is focused on both sides of the gender equality coin is like saying that lesbians also love having sex with dudes. This contradicts both the common understanding of the prefix “fem” and the actions of loudest feminist voices.
When a feminist is finally cornered into admitting that men and boys also face injustices in society, they usually pull out “patriarchy” card. I suppose that “patriarchy” is a gender inclusive term as well, right? Lets define the word before going any further. Webster defines it as:
“social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power”
In feminist theory, as described in Wikipedia, patriarchy is this:
“Feminism defines patriarchy as an unjust social system that is oppressive to women. As feminist and political theorist Carole Pateman writes, “The patriarchal construction of the difference between masculinity and femininity is the political difference between freedom and subjection.” In feminist theory the concept of patriarchy is fluid and loosely defined. It often includes all the social mechanisms that reproduce and exert male dominance over women. Feminist theory typically characterizes patriarchy as a social construction, which can be overcome by revealing and critically analyzing its manifestations.”
The general rule at work here is that feminists feel free to bend the meanings of words into whatever is useful for them. “Feminism” is gender inclusive and “patriarchy” isn’t. Patriarchy’s meaning is “fluid and loosely defined”. This is nothing short of the weaponizing of words. If you disagree with a feminist goal or idea then you hate women, but you are also against men because feminism is gender inclusive. They will use whichever definition that is most useful in making you look like a sexist.
Patriarchy is used in a similar fashion. If you disagree with that idea men dominate all of society and that creates systemic injustices against women, then you don’t care about women. If you point out that feminism doesn’t do anything to explain the issues facing men and boys, then they will tell you that the patriarchy causes those problems too. The only thing that is consistent is the idea that men are the root problem. There is no parallel social construct called the “matriarchy” where men can pin their injustices on the collective actions of women. By their rules, if the collective actions of groups can be blamed for the negative effects on other groups, then there should be “matriarchy” theory and other theories along racial or economic lines. That would be a great way to make every group hate every other group because they would have a reason to blame others for their problems. Is that really how we can create peace in society? No, the answer is no.
The same “patriarchal system” that is an “unjust social system that is oppressive to women” has done many things for the benefit of women. Society still follows the rule “women and children first”. It allows them to chose who they marry. The majority of commercial spending in the economy is controlled by women. The government only drafts men against their will to go to war and possibly their death. Over 95% of workplace deaths are men. Finally, society (mostly men) created a workplace safe enough for women to enter it and allowed them to! Feminism’s lust for high positions in industry hasn’t been quenched fast enough, though.
Of all the weaponized words that feminists use “rape culture” is probably the most visceral. Again, this term is only loosely defined and there are disagreements on any exact definitions. Feminism has been around for a while. Why can’t they came to any common and specific definitions? If this subject is so important you would think that they would have made more headway in creating a complete ideology. Oh well. Here is the definition that Wikipedia gives:
“Rape culture is a phrase used to describe a culture in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender, sex, and sexuality.”
As feminists commonly use the phrase, it implies that society trains men to consider rape either not entirely bad or even an activity that is not morally wrong. Since the patriarchy is in control of society and men are the patriarchy, then according to feminist thought-I use the word loosely- this is fundamentally a male created environment. On the surface feminists make an effort to appear gender inclusive, but as we can see, the further we go into feminist terminology the more biased they are towards labeling women as victims and men as aggressors.
Rape is a heinous thing. Any action taken without the consent of all parties involved is immoral. The problem here is that feminists only look at “rape culture” through the lens of their own gender bias. Not as many women are raped as they claim and they ignore the rape epidemic men experience in the prison system. More then twice as many men are sexually assaulted in the US when the prison system is included. More than twice as many! There is much more to be said about the prison system and the war on drugs, but that is for another day. Regardless of your crime you should not be sent into an institution where rape is borderline built into the system. As far as rape is normalized in society, think about this. Jokes about male prison rape are widely accepted. Comedians, movies, and TV can do all the prison rape jokes they want. I have even heard many people say in all seriousness that rape in prison is not a big deal. “They deserve it for being a criminal” is said very often. On the other hand, many comedians are regularly attacked for telling a rape joke where the woman is the victim. Movies and TV never joke about female rape. In this sense society has normalized rape against men while keeping rape against women taboo.
There is an interesting trend in literary fiction for the past couple years. I’m not completely sure how to interpret it, but there have been a noticeable up-tic in the amount of female rape and sexual subjugation in national best sellers. These are books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and 50 Shades of Grey. For a large part it is women fueling the success of these books, especially for 50 Shades of Grey. Are women “normalizing” rape against women? Is this somehow part of the patriarchy? I have run across an article about a study that claims 50 Shades of Grey “promotes violence against women”. Do women play a role in sustaining rape culture? I would say yes, according to feminist rules. Maybe feminists should also spend a little time condemning women who purchase semi-rape porn along side their campaign to “teach men to not rape.”
Rape laws are another area where feminists and society at large show their female bias. A woman can make a false rape allegation against a man and not face any real punishment. A woman can attempt and even succeed in stealing years of a man’s life and not be punished should the accusation be proven false. How is that even remotely fair? False rape allegation is not a small problem either. Several sources, including the FBI, show the rate could be as high as 25%. In addition many times men are assumed guilty. This is especially common on universities.
Both men and women have gotten the short end of the stick in certain aspects throughout our history. There is no male Borg collective that designed society. It is a result of biology more than anything. Men’s attributes made them more suited to go out into the world and subdue it. This made men into work horses and providers, but they also inherited the authority that goes with taking on the risks of taming the Earth. Women’s role in bringing life into the world bound them to the home and child raising. This made women dependent on men for resources, but women’s influence over the next generation and their husbands is profound. Humanity was bound to these general rules until relatively recently. We are in a brave new world of industrialized air-conditioned workplaces and birth control. Feminists need to ditch the gender biased vocabulary and the ideology that comes with it. It down plays the needs of men and boys and alienates the men and women that want real gender equality. That’s just my advice. Feel free to take it or fade into obscurity.
I have no doubt that there are men and women who identify as feminists and give equal advocacy to both sexes. There is no reason to believe that everyone that is a feminist is gender biased, but why be trapped using fundamentally sexist vocabulary and try to battle against the very loud and numerous set of “man hating” feminists? This is why I feel comfortable criticizing the movement as a whole. Feminists of good faith and motive should splinter off from the movement and start a new one with new and clear vocabulary and concepts. Don’t be weighed down by trying to “correct” misconceptions about words like “feminism” and “patriarchy”. Most of all, shun the use of the state. Laws do not make people better. They can only threaten people into acting how you want them to and that would make you a bully. Why have a movement at all if is reduces everyone in it to acting like a bunch of dicks. (For the feminists out there: See, words that refer to male genitals can also be used as an insult. It’s not just words for lady parts that can be used to negatively describe someone.)
Image source via: https://www.flickr.com/photos/46318025@N06/
Threats against Men’s Rights Convention: http://www.avoiceformen.com/allnews/avfms-camaign-for-free-speech-reaches-25k-goal-in-under-24-hours/
First International Conference on Men’s Issues: https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/campaign-for-free-speech
Feminist harassment: http://youtu.be/nvYyGTmcP80
Wikipedia – Feminist definition of patriarchy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy#Feminist_theory
Rape culture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture
Experts React to Campus Sex Assault Bills: http://reason.com/blog/2014/07/31/experts-react-to-the-campus-sex-assault
More men are raped in the US than women, figures on prison assaults reveal: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449454/More-men-raped-US-women-including-prison-sexual-abuse.html
California Legislators Want to Tell College Kids When to Have Sex: http://reason.com/blog/2014/06/05/cali-legislators-want-to-tell-college-ki
Rape rates are at historical lows: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rapes_per_1000_people_1973-2003.jpg
No, 1 in 5 women have not been raped on college campuses: http://washingtonexaminer.com/no-1-in-5-women-have-not-been-raped-on-college-campuses/article/2551980
Robin Williams Forced To Commit Suicide By Divorce Court System: http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/robin-williams-forced-to-commit-suicide-by-divorce-court-system/
Incarceration in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States
Rape Culture is a ‘Panic Where Paranoia, Censorship, and False Accusations Flourish’: http://time.com/100091/campus-sexual-assault-christina-hoff-sommers/
Reform College Sexual Assault Policies to Protect Accused Students, Too: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-henrick/reform-college-sexual-assault-policy_b_2885773.html
False Rape Accusations May Be More Common Than Thought: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/05/02/false-rape-accusations-may-be-more-common-than-thought/
Car Insurer Unveils Plans For “Pink Zones,” So Male Drivers Don’t Kill All The Women: http://libertyviral.com/car-insurer-unveils-plans-for-pink-zones-so-male-drivers-dont-kill-all-the-women/#ixzz3AqtN1VfA
Sharon Osbourne giddy over man getting penis cut off: http://youtu.be/muuFygvXPAM