Recently, a group of feminists and social justice warriors made a YouTube video called “Reasonable Questions for Anti SJWs“. The first thing to note is that the SJWs in question simply could not restrain themselves from virtue signaling in the title—they just had to add that “reasonable” to the standard “Questions for Xs” title. It’s almost as if our default assumption is that SJWs would be unreasonable—which is of course a safe assumption and borne out very well in this video.
I want to discuss one “question” by Kristi Winters, which wasn’t a sincere question, but an attempt at politically correct shaming couched in the form of a question. She asked, given the loathing of feminist misandry among anti-SJWs, whether the anti-SJW community would “call out” instances of what Kristi Winters asserted were cases of misandry in the anti-SJW community, specifically the use of such terms as “beta male,” “cuck,” and “mangina,” particularly towards male feminists.
There is a slight amount of cleverness here, in that Winters is trying to catch the anti-SJWs out in a moral contradiction, of practicing something they condemn when feminists do it. Unfortunately, her attempt fails. And I am going to explain why.
Feminist misandry is grounded in a genuine hatred and/or fear of natural, healthy masculinity—invariably stigmatized by feminists as “toxic masculinity.” Hatred of nature is one characteristic of feminism, which leads very easily into biology denialism and, as a consequence, science denialism.
The main trope here is “gender is a social construct,” which anyone who has bothered to investigate the science of the matter knows to be false. Human beings are a sexually dimorphic species, conditioned by hundreds of thousands of years of natural history. Men and women are, in short, different by nature, and everyone not deeply in the grip of an ideology knows this.
If gender were not grounded in nature, it would be shapable by society in radical ways—anyone could, more or less, “choose” to be transgendered. But transgenderism and gender dysphoria are real conditions that people have. They are not choices. Similarly, we have overwhelming evidence in the case of John Money’s disastrous attempts to have boys born with abnormal genitalia raised and “socialized” as girls. For years, he assured parents that gender was a function only of socialization and that a child raised as a girl would, in effect, be a girl. This led to monstrously cruel suffering on the part of the children he had forcibly misgendered, placing their parents in the the unwitting role of tormentors of their own children, whom they only wanted to help. I refer you particularly to the sad case of David Reimer, thoroughly documented in As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl.
Now, it is true that gender expression is in part social and variable from culture to culture. But what is necessary to keep in mind is that CULTURE is always built on the foundation of NATURE. In this way, gender is somewhat analogous to language. It is natural for human beings to speak language. It is not, however, natural to speak any given language, e.g. English or Chinese; this must be learned. It was once assumed that human language was infinitely variable across cultures, that is, socially constructed in a way totally unconstrained by nature. We now know this to be false. Languages do vary in superficial respects, but all human languages reflect a universal underlying human grammar—this is what makes translation possible, among other things. So, while gender expression can and does vary somewhat due to social factors and conditions, it does so within natural parameters. There is, in other words, a kind of natural grammar and syntax of gender.
And again, we all know this. Men and women do not act just alike or interchangeably, but with their own characteristic masculine and feminine modalities.
What does all this have to do with the matter at hand?
This: Kristi Winters and feminists like her, female or male, are misandrists because they hate or fear and want to suppress, extirpate, and replace natural, healthy masculinity (and to a large degree natural healthy femininity as well). This is what misandry is—a hatred of men grounded in the way men are by nature.
Now, it is also human to become either virtuous or vicious (as Aristotle says) and the two sexes have their own characteristic “styles” in this regard, men being manly, and women being womanly. It is probably going too far to say that men and women have different virtues, but I would say they perform the virtues in different ways—the virtue of modesty is a case in point. No matter how much and how often feminists whinge about double standards, promiscuous females are always going to be looked down on in a way promiscuous males are not. There are reasons for this.
What do terms like “beta male”, “cuck”, or “mangina” signify? Are they misandric? Do they reflect a hatred of men?
No. They reflect a degree of natural contempt for males who are, in one way or another, failed men. Such men are emasculated males, who fall short of the proper realization of their masculine nature, for whatever reason.
They are contemptible, and especially so to women, who are not attracted to such emasculated males. It is something of an open secret that feminists despise male feminists—at least as potential mates. Here is a literal cuckold, virtue signaling about how good a feminist he is to let is wife sleep with other men: What Open Marriage Taught One Man About Feminism. This man’s article was greeted with near-universal contempt. And rightly so. I defy you to read this article and not hold this man in contempt. I have no doubt that his wife holds him in contempt. If you succeeded, congratulations—you have managed to eradicate your natural sense of contempt by means of ideological brainwashing. Good on you.
So, no, Kristi, we don’t hate men. That’s your thing. We do, however, have a degree of contempt for failed men. I know you think that their failure is really a “victory” over “toxic patriarchal masculinity”—but you are wrong, and the dating and mating preferences of women prove it and will keep proving it again and again. Pathetic, contemptible beta males will never be valuable commodities in human sexual interactions, no more than ugly, fat feminists will be, no matter how much both groups whinge about how unfair nature is. Beta positivity is as doomed as body positivity.
I don’t mind being the one to break it to you: Nature is anti-SJW. Nature could not care less about gender fairness.
And human beings will always judge others by the standards of judgment which are natural to them, because these are the natural standards.
When you declare war on nature, Kristi, you can’t win. All you can do is make a lot of human beings unhappy if they listen to your bullshit.
I recommend listening to a couple of Romans on this point:
Definitions depend on usage. For example, anyone is free to stipulate the definition of any word. One could, if one wanted to, define feminism as ‘the doctrine that women are fundamentally inferior to men and should serve them.’ This would certainly create an odd sort of ‘feminist,’ which is the main reason we try not to do that with important words. Definitions are meant to make something clear. Dictionary definitions are meant to make clear how a given word or term is actually used or has been used in a given language.
There are of course many dictionaries, and thus many “dictionary definitions” of feminism (and everything else), but this is the go-to one used in most public discourse on the internet, the one given by Google when you type “define feminism” into it:
Definition is something people do for a reason. It is an action that has an end, namely, to make clear the meaning or usage of the term being defined. It is thus possible to fail in giving a definition, by failing to capture the actual usage of a term. And like other human activities that aim at a definite end, definition has rules or guidelines; these rules are not compulsory rules, in the sense that “you morally ought to obey them,” but are similar to logical rules, in the sense that “if you violate these rules you will fail at your task”—whether that task be “making a valid argument” or “making a term clear in its usage.”
Briefly, the criteria of sound definition are
A definition must be coextensive. It must catch every instance and exclude no instance of what is being defined.
A definition must be unambiguous. Ambiguous terms in a definition cause the meaning to be unclear.
A definition must be concise, not lengthy.
A definition must be positive, not negative.
A definition must be literal, not metaphorical.
A definition must be non-circular.
I grant that, as far as I can see, the “dictionary definition” of feminism meets criteria 3-6.
Where it fails are 1 and 2.
The first point is fairly clear, and it is why most people get very annoyed when feminists appeal to the dictionary definition of feminism. It is annoying because they are very clearly NOT trying to explain what feminism IS, but trying to SELL IT to you by creating a false equivalence with something that sounds (and is) much better than feminism, viz. egalitarianism, as applied to the sexes.
This point is so stupidly simple, it can be put in the form of a diagram that even a child can understand. I apologize for insulting your intelligence, but it really IS necessary to hammer this point home with this lack of subtlety—because the people who cite the dictionary definition aren’t even trying to be honest, it is necessary to rub their faces in how wrong they are:
This is the basic problem. The sets of “feminists” and “people who advocate for women’s rights on the basis of social, political, and economic equality with men” are just not coextensive. Yes, they overlap somewhat, but there are very many feminists who do not advocate for equality, and very many people who do advocate for the equality of the sexes (and I am one of them) who are not feminists. And the reason that so many of us advocates of women’s equality are NOT feminists, is precisely because so many feminists are NOT advocates of equality.
Since feminism (femin-ISM) is an ideology, and ideologies are belief-systems, no one can force anyone else to subscribe to an ideology against their will. And yet, this is what those who cite the dictionary definition of feminism are trying to do: they are trying to FORCE you to self-identify as a feminist, on the basis of some of your beliefs, and they are trying to do it with a FALSE definition of feminism. And one thing that is, or at least should be, anathema in a pluralistic liberal democracy is attempts to FORCE others to believe as you want them to believe. In a free and democratic society, we use PERSUASION rather than FORCE, and ideally, RATIONAL PERSUASION, which is different from COERCIVE PERSUASION and MANIPULATIVE PERSUASION.
To be clear, I was using “force you to identify as a feminists” in the looser sense of “coercively and manipulatively persuade you to.” There have only been a few attempts to use genuine force (so far), as when a member of the E.U. Parliament attempted to make it a CRIME to criticize feminism. And of course, governmental FORCE was what Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn were asking for when they went before the UN, asking that the UN put pressure on national governments to implement feminist ideology by law. However benighted and ridiculous Emma Watson’s HeForShe campaign was, at least she wasn’t advocating that the UN take steps to see her ideology implemented by force of law.
So, while most feminists would LOVE to use actual FORCE to punish anyone who dissents from their ideology, they usually don’t have the power to do this, except in limited areas. Rejecting feminism will indeed get you fired as a matter of course at many colleges and universities in the United States, where feminist ideologues essentially control those institutions.
But let me explain why this is DISHONEST PERSUASION: it is (1) COERCIVE PERSUASION in the sense that feminists will do whatever is in their power to harm you if you do not agree with them, and it is (2) MANIPULATIVE PERSUASION in the sense that feminists deliberately distort the truth in order to sell and push their ideology. The basic move in the appeal to the dictionary definition is an appeal to shame. In a highly egalitarian society such as ours, people are very vulnerable to being socially shamed if they hold anti-egalitarian views. Feminists, by simply equating feminism with the egalitarian view in regard to the sexes, attempt to socially shame and stigmatize anyone who does not identify as a feminist or accept feminist ideology as being an anti-egalitarian or sexist.
This tactic is of course not limited to appeals to the dictionary; many feminists as a matter of course label anyone who disagrees with their ideological position as “sexist” or even “misogynist.” This is DISHONEST because it isn’t true. Most people in the modern West are egalitarians with respect to the sexes—ironically, the largest group in the modern West of non-egalitarians with regard to the sexes are certain kinds of feminists, who are female supremacists. So, a feminist tells a LIE (manipulative persuasion) by saying feminism and egalitarianism of the sexes are the same, and attempts on the basis of this lie to SHAME and STIGMATIZE you (coercive persuasion) for not being a feminist on the false basis that not being a feminist is equivalent to not being an egalitarian regarding the sexes, or worse, is being a sexist, or still worse, is being a misogynist.
All this seems pretty obvious. I’m only bothering to spell it out because I enjoy laying things out clearly.
The SECOND reason the dictionary definition of feminism fails is that it is not unambiguous. The problem turns on the word “equality.” As the philosopher Roger Scruton has observed, there is hardly a more important word in modern political discourse that is so entirely resistant to clear definition:
Almost everyone in the modern West is “for equality,” but at the same time is completely unable to say what it is, how we would get it, and why it’s so desirable in the first place. Almost no one, in the West or anywhere else, thinks that people should be treated “equally” in every respect. Nor is it clear exactly what it even MEANS to “treat people equally” in many cases.
Which brings us back to the problem with using such an unclear term in a definition. There are simply too many ways to take “equality” for the definition to actually make clear what it is talking about. Let me give just two examples of why this is bad:
(1) Since one kind of equality is identity or sameness, a stupid person who desires “equality” will tend to desire what we could call exactly-the-same-ness. The problem with this is the context of the sexes, is that men and women are NOT the same, but rather different in fundamental ways. This doesn’t mean, of course, that they should be treated unequally in the sense of unfairly, but remember, this is the stupid person’s reasoning we are going through. “The only way to achieve equality is by sameness,” the stupid person reasons, “so equality requires that men and women be treated the same, and even more, that they be made the same. And since it is a moral imperative that they be made the same, they must really be the same, metaphysically. So we must ignore any evidence of natural difference, for example, biology, and indeed more than ignore it, condemn it as sexist.”
Since stupid people tend to equate equality with sameness, they also tend to equate difference with inequality, and so a great deal of modern feminism, as an ideology, advocates biological denialism. MOST PEOPLE who are principled egalitarians and want to see justice between the sexes (which is most people) are NOT signing up for an ideology that requires them to deny biology and other inconvenient parts of reality. The dictionary definition of feminism does nothing to rule out the interpretation of equality as exactly-the-same-ness, which entails biology denialism specifically and more generally reality denialism.
(2) This one is also fairly obvious, given that it has been a point of contention in the West at least since Rousseau and the French Revolution, although it is probably more associated in the popular mind with Marx and Marxism. I am of course talking about the distinction between equality of opportunity, which holds there ought to be a “level playing field” in which no one “begins the game” with any unearned or unfair advantages or disadvantages, and that, so long as the game isn’t rigged, and the players play fairly, justice has been satisfied, even if the outcomes of the players may be widely different; and equality of outcome, which holds that the game must be rigged to ensure that no one wins or loses, and indeed, no matter what the players do or fail to do, they obtain exactly the same results in the game.
The trouble with the Marxist understanding of equality is that it is antithetical to the other primary modern Western value, freedom or liberty. The classical-liberal view accepts inequality of outcome, because it values both equality and liberty. So once again, the dictionary definition of feminism fails to tell us whether a feminist is interested in preserving freedom and liberty, especially and including women’s freedom, or whether a feminist, in Marxist fashion, is an authoritarian or totalitarian who hates liberty because it results in a kind of inequality which is deemed unacceptable. Most people in the modern West place a high value on liberty, and would not sign up for an ideology that is anti-liberty. However, there is also a rather sizable and vocal feminist minority (perhaps even a majority, certainly a plurality) who are more than happy to sacrifice liberty for the sake of their (Marxist) vision of equality—most of them are delusional or catastrophically naïve, and advocate the suppression of liberty on the assumption that it will only be the liberties of others which will be restricted.
I’m sure that if Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn got the censorship laws they advocate put in place, they would expect not ever to be subject to them—but that isn’t how things work, when you give the state broad powers to censor and control. For example, consider a case from the history of feminism itself: Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, thwarted time and again in their attempts to implement censorship laws in the United States (they were repeated blocked by the First Amendment) eventually turned their efforts to Canada, which has no equivalent of the US’s First Amendment. And they partially succeeded! It became part of Canadian law that certain kinds of books could not be imported into Canada nor sold in Canadian bookstores. Really, they should have seen it coming. Now, since the laws banned books that contain thing X, and MacKinnon and Dworkin write books about how awful a thing thing X is, it naturally follows that their books contain thing X—yes, it is there only in order to be condemned, but the law makes no distinction between various uses of thing X. So, to their surprise and horror, MacKinnon and Dworkin found that they had succeeded in banning their own books in Canada and among the most affected by the new censorship laws were feminist bookstores and publishers, who found they could no longer publish or sell feminist books thanks to the new feminist censorship law. Feminism had gotten what it had asked for, and it had succeeded in censoring itself!
In sum, the dictionary definition of feminism fails as a useful definition because it asserts something false to actual usage, namely, the identity of feminism and egalitarianism regarding the sexes—and it does this dishonestly, as a technique to coerce and manipulate by means of appeals to shame made on the basis of this conflation; furthermore, it fails to sufficiently make clear what “feminism” even means, with the result that entire point of giving a definition, to make the meaning of a word clear, is not achieved.
I could talk about some other things, such as the inherent sexism involved in term itself,
but that is more of a meta-criticism of the term “feminism” than the failure of the dictionary definition of it. So let this be enough for now.
Distributive justice is the kind of justice that is concerned with the distribution of goods. Aristotle contrasts distributive justice with corrective justice, which “sets things straight” when there has been a violation of justice, either criminal or civil.
Aristotle further notes that distributive justice always involves some kind of idea of merit or desert, which will serve as the basis of the distribution. Whether a distribution is regarded as just or not will depend on the standard of merit or desert brought to bear.
In some cases, a defective standard of desert will produce an obviously unjust distribution. For example, a racist might believe that his own race deserves more than other races (or that other races deserve less) just on the basis of using race as the criterion of desert. Or again, in many legal situations (not all) Islam explicitly treats one man as worth the same as two women, so if a women deserves X, and man deserves 2X, just because he is a man. Prima facie, these seem to be clear examples in injustice deriving from faulty standard of desert in seeking justice.
The philosopher Robert Nozick has argued that there are two basic kinds of theories of distributive justice, which I will call pattern theories and history of acquisition theories.
A pattern theory of distributive justice holds that a given distribution of goods, honors, wealth, income, and social opportunities is just if and only if it conforms to some sort of ideal rational pattern, e.g. “exactly equal for all” according to radical egalitarianism, or “whatever abstract pattern maximizes happiness” according to utilitarianism.
By contrast, a history of acquisition theory of distributive justice holds that a given distribution of goods is just if and only if all persons have acquired the goods they hold in the right way, e.g. via fair exchange.
Now, there is a good deal to criticize in Nozick, and I’m not endorsing him wholesale here, but this distinction seems cogent, as is the point he uses it to make:
Pattern theories of distributive justice are all necessarily incompatible with any significant amount of freedom or liberty for the simple yet profound reason that freedom disturbs patterns.
To illustrate this with an extreme example for clarity, suppose we adopt a radical egalitarian pattern theory and actually bring it about. We all have exactly an equal amount of wealth. What am I free to do with my property? I cannot give away even the smallest amount of money to anyone, because the pattern would then be broken, and this would be, by definition, unjust.
And this will be the case regardless of what the pattern is: the free choices of agents will necessarily disrupt the pattern, which will then have to be restored, and for that matter, constantly maintained by coercive authoritarian force.
In other words, pattern theories of distributive justice necessarily destroy liberty and require authoritarian or even totalitarian policing to constantly force things to fit the pattern.
It goes without saying that Marxism is a paradigm case of a pattern theory, both in theory and in practice.
I also note that Social Justice is a pattern theory (not surprising, since it is cultural Marxism)—even if SJWs can never manage to say what the end state pattern is supposed to look like exactly.
Let me give another example. I’ve been playing a lot of Fallout 4 recently (fun game, highly recommended), and one of the things you do is manage a number of Settlements, assigning your settlers to different jobs. You need food providers and guards, and you can have stores, including a general store, clothing store, weapons store, a medical clinic, and a bar.
Let’s say I have the following set-up
2 slots for farmers
3 slots for guards
1 each of the 5 types of store.
Suppose I have 10 settlers, 5 men and 5 women.
And now suppose I want to use a feminist pattern theory of justice that requires 50/50 representation in all jobs.
It should be obvious that I can’t have a static pattern. The guards can’t be 50/50 male/female because there’s 3 slots: it would have to be 2 men and 1 woman, or 1 woman and 2 men. As for the stores, each is unique, so there can’t be 50/50 representation there either. Each merchant must be either male or female. I can have 1 male farmer and 1 female farmer; that’s about as static as I can get.
So, to achieve “feminist pattern justice” I would have to rotate jobs around such that the male settlers and the female settlers changed jobs 50% of the time.
The math would get somewhat complicated, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that I could indeed do it. (It wouldn’t be that complicated: my famers are already 50/50, I keep one full-time male guard, and one full-time female guard, which leaves 6 jobs: I just make 3 sets of 2, and switch them back and forth between a male and a female.)
I would now have ACHIEVED feminist pattern justice in my settlement where every job is worked exactly equally by men and woman, either full-time or 50% of the time.
Now suppose that my settlers were real people and not video game characters who will do whatever I tell them. Suppose I have it set up as described above: both farmers and two guards static, the others switching 50% of the time, including a male and a female who switch between the weapon store and the clothing store.
Okay, now suppose this: My full-time female guard would rather farm and my full-time male farmer would rather guard, and they WANT to switch jobs (which would leave me with only female famers and always more male guards than female guards! Also, my 50/50 weapons store/clothing store minders talk it over, and the woman wants to work at the clothing store full-time (rather than half the time) and the man wants to work at the weapons store full-time rather than half.
May I allow them their “liberty” for their “pursuit of happiness”?
I may not. To do so would necessarily to be to disrupt the pattern as dictated by feminist pattern justice. It would not only not be morally allowable for me to allow these deviations from the pattern, it would be morally obligatory upon me to force my settlers to fit the pattern.
And what if they grew angry and resentful at me for thwarting their freedom to make life choices which they (rightly) believe to be in their personal best interest, in their interests of happiness and a maximally good life? What justification can I give for my totalitarian interference with their liberty and my deliberate thwarting of their happiness?
Why, justice of course! Specifically, SOCIAL JUSTICE.
Under the rubric of Feminist Pattern Social Justice I not only may act in totalitarian matter, crushing the freedoms of others and significantly impairing their happiness, I MUST DO SO.
(SOCIAL) JUSTICE DEMANDS IT.
Yet it seems evident that by controlling the choices of others in a directly totalitarian manner in order to force actual living individuals to conform to an abstract pattern is extremely unjust. It is, in fact, evil. Obviously evil. It would deny what some have described as self-evident truths that all persons have unalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Following the ideal of Feminist Pattern Social Justice morally requires that I disregard the rights of others to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Nozick regards this as reductio refutation of pattern theories of distributive justice. The argument in simplest form would be:
Pattern theories of distributive justice entail an unjust from of authoritarian control to force people to fit the pattern and the eradication of whatever freedoms that would disrupt the pattern, including rightful freedoms.
No theory of distributive justice can be correct or just if it entails unjust authoritarian control over people and the eradication of some or all of people’s rightful freedoms.
Therefore, no pattern theory of distributive justice can be correct or just.
This seems basically sound to me, and a fairly obvious point. If justice requires distribution according to an abstract pattern, then a great deal of coercive force will be needed to implement the pattern (I’m thinking of Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot as real world examples) and an extreme and perhaps total curtailment of liberty will be necessary in order to prevent persons from using their liberty to make choices that disrupt the pattern.
And so I return to one of my perennial themes: ‘social justice’ is ethically wrong, because it violates justice, justice in its ordinary sense, without need of a qualifying adjective.
Therefore, I will continue to fight against social justice and SJWs in word and deed, wherever and however I can.
So, Buzzfeed has a quiz, “How much of a feminist are you?” and it is the sort of thing you find on Buzzfeed, which should be enough to tell you it’s basically worthless. But I thought instead of taking the quiz by ticking “yes” or not, I’d actually ANSWER the questions.
1 I would be willing to give up some of my salary if I had to, so that equal pay in my workplace could be a reality.
No, I would not. It would be unjust to ask anyone to give up some of their salary in order bring about some kind of Marxist equality. The problem is that the questioner probably believes that the earnings gap between the average of all men and the average of all women proves that women are being treated unjustly.
Let’s take a simple example: Imagine two married couples, Alice and Bob, and Clara and David. Alice makes 100K annually. Bob and David both make 80K. And Clara works only part time, bringing in about 20K. In this group, the average earnings of the women, Alice and Clara, is 60K. The average earning of the men, Bob and David, is 80K. The women, on average, earn 75 cents on the dollar compared to the men, on average.
Is this in any way proof of sexism or inequality? No, why would it be? The women make less than the men because Clara doesn’t make much, mostly because she chooses to work only part-time. And that’s not even considering things like the different jobs they all have. Or their skills or experience or seniority at their jobs.
The earnings gap is society isn’t any different. If you control for different choices people make, it vanishes entirely.
Please understand this: a free society in which individual persons make significant decisions about their own lives will always necessarily result in inequality, but this sort of inequality isn’t anything bad—it is the result of equal opportunity, equal treatment, and most of all equal freedom to make different choices.
2 I believe that men and women should be equal.
“Define your terms.” If you mean de Tocqueville’s “equality of liberty,” then yes. If you mean “equality in restraint and servitude” then no.
I believe men and women should be treated fairly, with justice, which does not necessarily entail that they be treated identically. In fact, to treat unlike persons alike is sometimes the very definition of injustice.
In other words, what we should care about is justice. No one should care about equality for its own sake.
3 I can’t help but be bothered when a song includes misogynistic lyrics, even when I otherwise like the song.
Some lyrics bother me, some don’t. I’m sure some of the things a typical feminist would consider misogynist don’t bother me at all. As philosopher Alan Soble once suggested (in a chapter on the prudery and sex-negativity of feminists),
I’m sure a nice double standard is in play, where if a rapper calls a woman a slut, it’s misogyny, and the feminists will immediately organize a slutwalk to protest the words ‘slut.’
4 I know who Bell Hooks is.
My first reaction is to say, “Well, I know who bell hooks is, but not Bell Hooks.” Apparently you don’t know who bell hooks is, or you would know that she spells her name without capital letters.
IRONY: using knowing who someone is as a touchstone for one’s feminist cred, and getting her name wrong.
You go, Buzzfeed.
5 I can define intersectional feminism.
Yes, I can, as much as anyone can.
How does that make me “more” of a feminist? “Know your enemy” and all that.
6 I don’t use the phrase “hey guys” when referring to a group of people that includes men and women.
I do use the term “guys” as a generic gender-neutral group term. I use it in my classes. I do, however, tell my students that I use the word in a gender neutral way. I also ask if anyone is bothered by it, and if they are, then I don’t use it. (They then have to deal with me saying “y’all”). I have never had anyone, female or male, tell me that it bothers them.
7 I have taken a women’s and/or gender studies class.
I have not. I’m an academic, though, and I’ve read plenty of academic work concerning gender difference, feminism, evolutionary psychology, and theology.
Have you read Alice von Hildebrand, for example, O alleged person who cares about women?
8 I think it’s important to encourage girls to pursue science and math as a career.
I don’t think they should be discouraged. Best answer: not especially. I think a child of either sex should be encouraged to pursue the career they want to pursue, unless they are clearly deluding themselves about their own abilities (e.g. wanting to be an actor when they can’t act).
9 Women should be allowed to apply for a job if they fulfill 60% of the job requirements.
No. That is straight up sexism.
One should fulfill 100% of the requirements. That is what “requirement” means. It means something that is required, not something that is optional.
“Required for men, but optional for women” is obviously sexist discrimination and unjust.
10 I think we should change women’s bathroom symbols to not include traditionally “feminine” clothing (skirts, dresses, etc).
This is a trivial issue. No one thinks that these signs mean that there is something wrong with women who don’t or aren’t wearing dresses. What would be the point of this? What harm or injustice is here? None, I can see.
11 I believe trans people should be able to use whichever bathroom they identify with.
This question has nothing to do with “how much of a feminist” you are. There are certain radical feminists who would argue, on the basis of feminist theory, that this would allow men to invade one of the few societally sanctioned women’s spaces. In other words, there is strong feminist argument that not believing this makes you more of a feminist. Sorry, but radical feminists are feminists. It’s in their name. And trans-exclusionary radical feminists are also feminists. It’s also in the name.
[UPDATE: A radical feminist group is now SUING the Department of Justice over this issue.
Here’s the scoop:
A national group of “radical feminists” more commonly associated with fights for abortion and gay rights has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two Albuquerque women they say are at risk of greater violence, discomfort and oppression because of transgender policies in public schools.
The group, Women’s Liberation Front, or WoLF, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque on Thursday saying two of its New Mexico members who are identified in the court documents as “AB and AB’s mother” have a “well-founded fear” they will have to “share such facilities with people who are biologically male” and that puts them at “imminent, traceable” risk.
WoLF described its complaint on its website in a brief overview:
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) have abruptly enacted a new policy, defining the category of “sex” in Title IX to include “gender identity.” This effectively renders Title IX meaningless, as females can no longer be recognized as distinct from males. Indeed, Title IX, the legislation used to champion the very creation of female sports, is now being used to dismantle them, as male athletes demand access to female teams, dominating the competition.
The reinterpretation of “sex” to include “gender identity” also means that girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms must be opened up to any male who “identifies” as female. Girls’ rights to personal privacy and freedom from male sexual harassment, forced exposure to male nudity, and voyeurism have been eliminated with the stroke of a pen. Schools that do not comply with the demands of any male student to access to protected female spaces will now lose federal funding.
End of update.]
Cue the ‘no true feminist’ fallacy.
And look how the question is worded. Do any trans people identify with a bathroom? Personally, if we’re doing rooms, I identify as a study.
12 I believe it’s important to encourage women to negotiate.
Not really. People will negotiate if they choose to.
13 I believe Jennifer Lawrence should earn as much as her male costars.
I don’t know or care who Jennifer Lawrence is. Your question is unanswerable, as asked. Is her part as prominent as theirs? Is she a better actor, or more famous than they are?
14 I do not think a movie should be released unless it passes the Bechdel test.
NO. This is straight up censorship. The “Bechdel test” has no scientific status. It’s just a made-up political test that proves absolutely nothing about anything. The Bechdel test eliminates most of Shakespeare, for example.
15 I believe all genders are entitled to the same social and political rights.
If you mean actual genders, and not Tumblr genders, then “for the most part.” I don’t think a right to maternity leave makes a lot of sense for men.
16 I can explain why “78 cents to the dollar” is not a fully accurate description of the gender wage gap.
I’m pretty sure I just did do this in the answer to question 1, so yes, I can do it. The term “gender wage gap” is inaccurate. There is no gap in wages. The gap is in average earnings.
17 I believe that women who possess certain types of privilege are responsible for advocating for women who don’t have their level of privilege.
No. I despise the entire rhetoric of “privilege.” Everyone has a moral responsibility to speak against and oppose injustice.
18 If I had a daughter, I would encourage her to be anything she wanted to be.
Of course not. I would try to raise her to be a good and virtuous woman. I would try to steer her away from making bad or foolish choices on the basis of irrational desires.
This is called “parenting” by the way.
19 I would make it clear to my daughter from an early age that her identity should never be defined by her relationship status.
No, I would help her to understand how one’s “relationship status” (what a trivializing term!) in part does define who she is. To be a wife is vocation. To be mother is another. To be a religious and thus celibate still another. These are defining life choices.
20 I believe it’s important to compliment a woman’s intelligence over her looks.
Looks matter to women and to men. You are trivializing something that is extremely important in human interactions. For many women (and men) their looks will be their primary assert, and certainly not their intelligence. I see absolutely nothing wrong with telling a women who is beautiful and not very smart or of only average intelligence that she is beautiful. Why would you not?
Why are you biased in favor of ugly women of above-average intelligence? Is it because you identify “the best kind of woman” as an academic feminist? I bet that’s it.
21 I believe that a woman has the right to choose what happens to her body.
Do you mean that a woman has a right not to be struck by lightning or catch a cold? Do you mean a woman has a right not to grow older, if she chooses not to? That doesn’t seem to make any sense.
But of course your question is just code for abortion.
I believe that a human being’s right to bodily integrity is far reaching. It does not extend so far as to authorize the killing of an innocent, however. A woman is, as far as I can see, under no obligation to remain pregnant if it is possible to end the pregnancy without killing the child. I am not a “forced birther.”
I think there is something deeply spiritually and ethically wrong with a woman who desires to bring about the death of her own child.
As far as I can see, a woman has no “right” to procure an abortion which kills an innocent person than she has a right to “control her own body” by putting several bullets into her superior at work, so she can claim her job or otherwise make her life more convenient.
22 In an instance of sexual assault against a female, I am inclined to believe the assaulted person is telling the truth until proven otherwise.
The way you’ve phrased the question, you have stipulated that it really is “an instance of sexual assault.” If I already know it was an instance of sexual assault, why would I not believe the victim?
I think you meant “In a case of alleged sexual assault.” And why did you find it necessary to include “against a female”? Do you know how many men are raped in prisons? Oh, right, you’re a feminist, and only care about rape depending on the sex of the victim.
See, this is always what happens with feminism. Many feminists will ENDLESSLY QUOTE the dictionary definition of feminism being about equality, but they really don’t want to talk about or hear about any men’s issues, ever. The gynocentric focus of feminism INEVITABLY biases all feminist discourse towards women and away from men. The very nature of the beast does this.
Suppose one did define “Blackism” as “the advocacy of the rights of black people on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to white people.” Don’t you think self-described “Blackists” would end up talking about black issues a disproportionate amount?
One very good reason to hate feminism is that it turns people into sexists.
I would truthfully answer that it would vary on a case by case basis. If the person involved were known to me, I would base my provisional opinion on her character and actions. I would have no “automatic” default. In law, the standard is “innocent until proven guilty.” I don’t see why I have an obligation to form an opinion one way or the other since I don’t know the facts of the case. I know that sexual assaults happen. I know that false allegations of sexual assault happen.
23 I can explain Marlene Dietrich’s influence on women’s fashion.
No. I know she was a popular actress sometime in the past. Does knowledge of the history of FASHION really make a person “more” of a feminist?
24 I know what a “Bad Feminist” is.
25 I believe that women should be able to dress however they want without it dictating how they are treated by society.
I think it is absurd to hold moral principles that are contrary to human nature. Again, why just women? Don’t you think men should be allowed to dress however they want, and not be treated any differently? Why should men or women in business and politics have to wear suits?
The truth is, how one chooses to dress makes a significant difference in how one is treated by others, and it always will. This well never, ever change. Never. Deal with it.
26 I have never said that a woman “asked for it.”
Do you think it is impossible for a person “to be asking for it”? Or do you think it is impossible for a woman “to be asking for it”? It depends what “it” is, doesn’t it?
I have said, for example, in a case where one girl said some things to another girl and got slapped for it, that “she was asking for it.” I said this because she was asking for it.
If this is more “code talk” for rape, I hold that rape is never justifiable. It is a violation of a person’s moral and physical integrity. One cannot be “asking for it,” ever.
27 I am offended by catcalling.
28 I don’t think women should get VIP treatment at nightclubs and bars, just for being women.
I don’t think you know what “VIP treatment” is. That would cause a club or bar to go broke. I think you just mean “special treatment,” presumably things like “ladies’ nights.” I don’t see anything wrong with those.
29 I think police brutality and its correlation with race is a feminist issue.
It obviously isn’t. The only reason one could think so is to think that “feminism” is an all-embracing ideology, like a religion—which of course I’m sure you think it is.
30 I think we should stop promoting models as the ideal female body type.
I think you think that “beauty” is a social construction, but it isn’t.
31 I think we should stop photoshopping women’s bodies in the media.
Let’s be clear: photographs of women are photoshopped. Women’s bodies are NOT photoshopped. You are trying to make it sound as if doing something to a picture of a woman is doing something to her body.
The term for that is “sympathetic magic,” better known as voodoo.
VOODOO DOESN’T REAL.
Much of the media is about imagery and storytelling. That is to say, it is fantasy. I see nothing wrong in principle with idealization of images. It might have some negative effects on some women, but it also has positive effects (or it wouldn’t be done)—human beings like looking at attractive human beings. This is true of both men and women. And human beings particularly like looking at attractive women. This is also true of both men and women, including heterosexual women, where the appreciation of another woman’s beauty (presumably) has no direct sexual component.
You might say that images of beautiful women might possibly make some women feel bad because they do not measure up to such an impossible standard. But if many people take pleasure in the idealized images, why should we ban them because of the oversensitivity of this group of women? Shouldn’t it follow that we should ban all awards and distinctions, since excellence in any form as the potential to make someone else feel bad? Shouldn’t we also get rid of stories about heroes who do above-average heroic things? Those might make some people feel bad. Shouldn’t we ban higher degrees in education, since they can make people without advanced degrees feel bad? Shouldn’t we ban pursuits and occupations that are difficult, since as the sciences or the arts? I am entirely untalented in music. Should I cultivate a sense of shame over my lack of musical ability, and demand that music in general be banned, at least any music which is better than the lowest common denominator, i.e. me?
Those who hate outer beauty do so from an inner ugliness of the soul.
32 I have never called a woman bossy.
I have called certain bossy women “bossy.” Because they are bossy. A “bossy” woman is one who feels entitled to order other people around without any authority to do so. She is not an actual leader or a “take-charge” person. I have also called men “bossy.”
I have also imitated Cheryl from Archer and screamed “You’re not my supervisor!” at them, or quoted Kreiger that “Your authority is not recognized in Fort Kickass!”
Because those things are funnier ways to deal with bossy people.
33 I think companies should offer more child-friendly time and programs to women who are having children.
I think American companies should do a lot more to help the institution of the family, and the government too, since the Western family is breaking down, and destroying our civilization.
34 I believe that a woman should be offered the same opportunities for promotion as her male co-workers.
Ceteris parabus, sure, why not?
35 I believe that if a woman wants to pay on a date, her date should let her.
Case by case basis.
36 I believe that women should have easy access to birth control.
My endgame is that artificial birth control ultimately be recognized as intrinsically immoral, and no one use it.
37 I believe that in a relationship the domestic duties should be shared.
I believe that a couple can work out their own dynamic and you should mind your own business, you moral busybody.
38 I think that a couple should have equal responsibility over the aesthetic and cleanliness of their home.
Again, I believe that a couple can work out their own dynamic and you should mind your own business, you moral busybody.
This is another one of those anti-natural positions. On average, men just aren’t going to care as much about cleanliness and clutter as women, and you can’t make them. It’s like saying “I think men and women should be equally tall.” Not going to happen unless we implement totalitarian breeding programs for hundreds of generations.
No thank you.
I propose that the member of the couple who has the lowest standards set the standards. There: equality. Women need to be taught to get over their obsession with cleanliness and neatness and looks. “Don’t teach men how to avoid clutter. Teach women not to clean.”
Is that reasonable?
Why should one member of a relationship be forced or obligated to meet the standards of the other?
If you have two gay men, one a slob and one a neat freak, is it true that the slob is automatically morally obligated to meet the higher standards of the neat freak? Why?
The “two gay men” question is very useful when dealing with feminists, since it will often reveal that there is no principle involved in the feminist demand, other than: BECAUSE VAGINA!
39 I believe that men should be encouraged to be involved and make choices in the wedding planning process.
Haven’t I said I believe that a couple can work out their own dynamic and you should mind your own business?
Wow, you are an extreme busybody. Did you know that? Is the suggestion the more of busybody one is, the more that one attempts to police and control the lives and relationships of others, the more feminist one is?
No wonder people can’t stand feminists.
40 I believe that men and women have the same emotional strength.
Can you define “emotional strength” in a measurable way? If so, what are the numbers? If they measure as being equal, then they are equal.
41 I do not think that it is the responsibility of a man to protect a woman physically.
I do, actually. It is more of a virtue than an obligation, and as with all virtues, is contextual, and doesn’t apply in all times, places, and cases.
One of the things I sometimes myself in awe of is the willingness of men to make sacrifices for women. To this, the proper response seems to me to be one of profound gratitude. But you prefer to blame and censure where you should be grateful. To take one of many, many, many examples, in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, three women survived the shooting because their boyfriends shielded them with their bodies, taking bullets for them, and dying as a result. They didn’t have to do that. Do you think LESS of these men for doing it? If you do, there is something very wrong with your soul.
Feminism is an ideology filled with spite, envy, and other cancers of the soul.
42 I believe that men and women should be equally encouraged to express their emotions.
I do not believe this. Men and boys are, by nature, less emotionally expressive. To “encourage” equality here is really to demand that men and boys act like women and girls. It is a false equality, a lie, and a very harmful one at that.
I think both men and women should be allowed the freedom to process their emotions in the ways they find most appropriate, without being bullied by moral busybodies like you. Women are more expressive about their emotions; men tend to want to work out their emotions through actions, by doing something, rather than talking about them.
This is one reason I’m an anti-feminist. This question displays one of the most common tropes of feminist thought: The way women do something is automatically “the good way” or “the right way” and what should be done to achieve “equality” is to force men and boys to conform to the female standard.
I wonder if the author of this questionnaire sees how deeply authoritarian and bigoted a view it adumbrates?
43 I have never asked a woman why she does not have children.
I don’t think I have. I have asked women (and men) if they plan to have children.
44 I would be equally excited to have a son or a daughter.
I don’t think it’s wrong to have a preference, but either outcome would be fine. It’s in the hands of God, not mine. Do you think it’s okay to abort a girl because of a preference for a boy? Did your answer just contradict your view in question 21 that women can do anything that they want with their bodies? You wouldn’t really mind as much if a boy were aborted, would you?
It’s always totally amazing to me that murdering an infant girl can be regarded as a “feminist act.”
45 I think American workplace culture is often not structured in a way that is helpful or encouraging to women succeeding.
I think affirmative action quotas that leave women with the stigma of “quota hire” invisibly stamped on their foreheads are not helpful to women. Is that what you meant?
46 I think women have a responsibility to help and encourage other women to pursue their goals.
Are you suggesting that women have special moral responsibilities to other women that they don’t have to men?
That is not very pro-equality of you.
47 I think women are equally capable to men to be the President of the United States.
What a bad question! The President of the United States is an elective office that is held by one human being. It cannot be held by one sex or the other.
My guess is that of the set of “persons capable of doing the difficult job of President of the United States” will include considerably more men than women—maybe 80/20. So I think there are probably less women who are capable of the job, but not that those who are capable, are less capable. And it seems likely that it will only be the ones who are capable who will seek and attain the office.
Again, the reason is rooted in human nature. In all human societies without exception, men are the vast majority of the leaders. I suggest you go read Steven Goldberg’s Why Men Rule for an account of how and why this happens.
48 I believe that women have no responsibility to make a conscious effort to always be friendly and polite.
Of course they don’t. Friendliness and politeness are virtues, not obligations.
Since you appear appallingly ignorant of ethical philosophy, let me educate you: some actions are morally obligatory. Those can be called “responsibilities” or “duties.”
Of the set of actions that are not morally obligatory, some of these are nevertheless good to do. These are called virtues.
No one is obligated to be friendly, or “amiable” as Jane Austen would say, but one is a better person if one is, because it is a better way to be. As always, one can miss the mark of virtue by going too far. One fails to hit the mark of the virtue of friendliness if one e.g. “tries to please everyone” or lets oneself by taken advantage of or is flatterer or toady etc.
Remember:virtue is, by definition, “hitting the mark” or “getting it right”; if it misses the mark, it is vice, even if it superficially looks like virtue.
49 I have never criticized a woman for not wearing makeup or wearing too much makeup.
As with clothing, makeup can be done or used well or poorly. I have criticized poorly done makeup. Again, I don’t see why it is necessarily a gendered issue.
In the famous debate, the first televised Presidential debate, Nixon refused to wear makeup—since it wasn’t “manly”—and Kennedy did. As a result, Nixon look awful. Those who heard the debate on the radio thought by a large margin that Nixon won the debate; those who saw it on television thought that Kennedy did. The makeup no doubt had a lot to do with that. I would say that Nixon was foolish for not wearing makeup, although perhaps he wasn’t in a position to know that, given the newness of the medium.
Please tell me you understand this.
50 I believe a woman is a woman if that is what she calls herself, regardless of her physical attributes and makeup.
FINALLY IT ENDS! THANK GOD!
So, you decided to end on another “no true Scotsman” about trans people, did you? No one can be a ‘real feminist’ who thinks that transgendered MtF persons aren’t really women?
Mary Daly didn’t, and she was a famous feminist. Janice Raymond didn’t, and she was a famous feminist. Germaine Greer doesn’t, and she’s a famous feminist.
I notice you didn’t even use the “identify as” language, but simply “calls herself.” You realize that this is going to lead to a world where THIS is reality rather than a parody.
This is also a good place to end, with some comedy. Go watch this and have a laugh:
We need to talk about a serious threat to all of us: WITCHES.
Witches are evil. They are a great evil at work in the world right now, using their evil magic to cause great harm to humanity. I wish to make sweeping changes to our laws and public policies and social mores in order to combat the evil of witches and witchcraft.
But I don’t need to be able to say exactly what I mean by witches and witchcraft. I just have the special ability, based on my personal experience as a victim of witchcraft , to be able to detect it at work nearly everywhere. It may be possible for me to teach you to be able to detect witchcraft everywhere, but maybe not: it could be you are blind to witchcraft because you are already under the spell of evil witches. That’s the thing about witches: they use their witchcraft to make witchcraft undetectable by anyone under the influence of witchcraft.
I also don’t need to produce any evidence that witches and witchcraft exist and are at work actively doing evil to us. My assertions are enough evidence, because I am a victim of witchcraft, and victims of something have special privileges. You may not have had such personal experiences as a victim of witchcraft, so you may not be able to see it. But since I am a victim, you are morally and intellectually obligated to take my word for it without requiring any kind of objective evidence! To ask for evidence would be victim blaming and also helping the evil witches!
I demand the power to conduct witch hunts, to seize witches on the suspicion of witchcraft, to try, convict, and punish witches on the basis of accusations. Witchcraft is so heinous a crime, there can be no defense of it—not even innocence!
If you are not willing to grant me unlimited witch hunting powers to fight this clear and present evil and danger of witchcraft, then you are clearly under the spell of the witches, and I am justified in denouncing you as, if not a witch, then as a witch-apologist. And as a witch-apologist, you also need to be socially shamed and possibly fired from your job.
On the other hand, if you have a problem with allowing me unlimited power to conduct witch hunts and change our laws and social structures and whole way of life, if you have a problem giving me the power to ruin people’s lives with mere accusations, just on the basis of my claiming to be a victim of witchcraft, without being able to
Say exactly what witches and witchcraft are,
Show that witches actually exist, and haven’t been simply made up by me,
then surely you’ll agree that it’s fair for me not to grant you any special status or privileges or social powers or belief for your righteous political agenda to “smash Patriarchy” or “dismantle White Supremacy,” unless and until,
if you are a feminist, you can prove that “Patriarchy” exists;
if you are a leftist neo-racist, you can prove that a “White Supremacy” exists;
Unless and until you can do that, I’ll treat your ideas of “Patriarchy” and “White Supremacy” in exactly the same way I treat far-right ideologues’ ideas of “White Genocide” and “The International Jewish Conspiracy.”
That is, I’ll treat them as the absurd delusions of fanatical ideologues and will fight against making any substantial social or political changes on the basis of these delusions, no matter how much you assert they are real. I don’t doubt you believe these things, but then, neo-Nazis firmly believe in the international Jewish Conspiracy too—strong belief doesn’t make a thing real. If you want to claim virtue or dictate behavior to others or make social policy changes to fight some evil—first you have to prove your evil isn’t imaginary. Your belief in it isn’t evidence, even if you claim to be a victim of it. Remember, I am a victim of witchcraft, and I say witches are real. You believe me, right?