Setting the Record Straight.

There are certain topics that I don’t usually talk about, or try to shy away from. The reasons for that are varied — sometimes it’s a topic that I just don’t care enough about to fight over (Organic vs. GMO), sometimes it’s a topic that I know I’m one of the few people who care about (Benghazi, anyone?), and sometimes it’s a topic that my opinion on is just too nuanced for the internet. This is one of the latter.

Feminism is all over the social consciousness right now for a variety of reasons. Many of them are very important reasons — Janay Rice, Nicole Holder, Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Jonathan Dwyer… the casualty list goes on. But then there is this… http://www.buzzfeed.com/rossalynwarren/emma-watson-says-that-the-view-feminism-is-man-hating-has-to?bffb&utm_term=4ldqpgp#3uts0ik

Now… first off — I have little-to-no care about what celebrities think. Maybe it’s because I work in media, maybe it’s because I’m too pragmatic, but I do not care one iota about the life philosophy of Tom Cruise, Emma Watson, Kim Kardashian, or Dwayne Johnson… because they are just people who are really good at playing pretend. I am interested in George Clooney for one reason — the man can act. Unless someone takes a turn as a serious philosopher (a la George Carlin), the star power doesn’t do anything to give the opinion more weight in my world.

Secondly, speeches like the one above demonstrate why I can’t, in good conscience, be a feminist. Why? If Emma Watson’s speech is representative of the movement, being a feminist implies many things that I simply can’t endorse. For instance, for all the talk of us needing to adjust out understanding of gender, she suggests putting gender on a “spectrum”. The question is, a spectrum of what? Ultimately, she is still defining gender psychologically. If we created a gender spectrum, you would have “girly” on one side and “manly” on the other… which doesn’t actually redefine gender, just say that most people aren’t 100% male or female, but some weird miasma in the middle — meaning gender confusion is a normative existence for humanity rather than the polished up self-hatred it actually is. Consider this — gender is objective because it is determined by DNA and anatomy rather than a function of psychology. Women can be strong leaders and men can be sensitive nurturers who love fashion and interior design without losing their gender — because it is determined by what they do or don’t have in the “equipment” region, not by the temperament between their ears.

Thirdly, attaching to a movement means separating humanity into camps. “Right” or “wrong”. “Left” or “Right”. “Feminist” or “Patriarch/misogynist”. Do you know what feminism and the MRA’s have in common? The psychos that gravitate to them and show us the logical end of toxic philosophy. To that end, I’m not a feminist. I’m not an MRA either. Ultimately, both groups make me roll my eyes and wonder why people can’t simply have a meeting of the minds or, better yet, just let people live their lives.

Now that that is out of the way — let’s talk about what I actually think. I’m all for gender equality. There, I said it. The problem is that “equality” doesn’t mean what a number of people think it does. Let me give you a strict example:
“I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.”
1) I’m all for women being “able to make decisions about {her} own body”. Unfortunately, knowing what that term actually implies in this context, I can’t endorse on-demand abortion because (a) it’s incredibly dangerous (Google James Pendergraft and Kermit Gosnell if you are still in the dark on that one) and (b) it’s infanticide. Call it what you like, but that’s what it is.
2) There are a number of countries where women can legally be involved in policy and decision-making — and already are. Using Emma Watson’s own Great Britain, I would point out Margaret Thatcher… who she no doubt has no love lost for. Yes, not all countries have this right — seeing as how the exclusion of women is part of some religions (ie, Islam), we would have to apply the same logic to them that we do to Christians in agnostic America… “Do what you do, but you can’t push it on anyone else.” The same would have to be true of agnostics or atheists pushing their worldview on other religions. Otherwise, we have become victims of cognitive dissonance and our opinion should be thoroughly disregarded anyway. So are we allowed to be evangelists or not?
3) There isn’t a single ethical or effective way to legislate respect. You can legislate against discrimination (which most of the west has… several times over), but you can’t legislate against thought crime and have a free society — mostly because the definition of what is a thought crime changes based on who is in charge.

So many of the topics we want to address in the cause of feminism fall into that same category of things that can’t actually be legislated against or are so incredibly nuanced that there isn’t a good solution.
–How about equal pay? Number 1, no two people are going to get paid exactly the same amount because of how nuanced payment is in the business world. A woman who is fresh out of college and a CEO for a $20million company that is 2 years old isn’t going to get paid the same amount as a man with 40 years experience who is a CEO of a Billion Dollar multi-national that has a 100 year corporate history for a dozen reasons that have nothing to do with the reproductive fittings. Law simply cannot be nuanced enough to cover the cases where legitimate business decisions have been made rather than the purely discriminatory ones.
–What about women in Combat Roles for the military? Sure. Why not? I mean there is the logistical headache of worrying about what “might” happen when 19-year-old cocksure PFC Johnson is out in the bush in Afghanistan with a woman (hearing horror stories of what happens when soldiers go on leave in Thailand is enough to convince me that Co-Ed battle platoons is a horrendous idea), but if GI Jane can meet minimum physical requirements and shoot with decent accuracy, I’ll take all the shooters I can get in a battle theater. That said, those physical requirements need to be consistent (not made different between genders) because there are certain realities of a battlefield — like carrying a wounded/dead comrade — that simply don’t make allowances for us trying to be “fair”.
–Women in the PGA? If she’s meeting the same requirements as the other competitors (same tee, same stroke count), I really don’t care and don’t see what the problem is.
–Addressing sexual assault? Incredibly important. Something has to be done. The problem is that it is incredibly hard to prosecute because, absent a restraining order, definitively proving non-consent is next to impossible. Are there things that could be done? Sure… a positive result on a toxicology report could be defined as an automatic denial of consent; an assumption of guilt could be written in to the law; requiring a signed consent form (like California tried to get through state legislature); outlawing sexual activity between unmarried/non-cohabitating adults. The thing all of those choices should illustrate is that almost all of the ideas for legal fixes are bad ones.

If you have further interest in what I think about gender, I would recommend taking a look at my previous posts on the topic (like the one where we examine “Traditional Gender Roles™” or my lengthy look at Genesis 1-3 ). The older I get, the more I find that people are different and don’t fit it little boxes unless you carve them up really fine… which usually results in jail time. At the end of the day, there is too much lunacy and too many lunatics (NSFW) in the Feminism movement for me to feel good about being in that camp. By the same token, Male Rights Activists™ leave me so embarrassed to be male that I patently refuse to associate with them on any level either. The thing they have in common? Lunacy. I’m crazy enough as it is.

Adam

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~ by xristosdomini on September 22, 2014.

2 Responses to “Setting the Record Straight.”

  1. Author’s Note: the above post is designed for a single purpose — clearing up why I tend to object to being painted with the same brush as social movements. For a number of them, the generic idea may be worthwile, but the brush implies a lot of nuance and mental assent that I might not agree with. As with the “equality” example above, there can be a lot of implication within the core doctrine of a social movement that I simply can’t get on board with, and that’s why I will run from the label as fast as my legs can carry me. In this specific topic of feminism, I feel that women are due every basic human respect that men are because both are human (shocking, I know) — but that’s also where I try to stop talking.
    Emma Watson is quite correct, Feminism does not equate “Man Hating” — Feminism also needs to realize that it has been infected by a number of men haters and that gives the MRA™ crowd all the ammunition they ever need.

  2. […] (5) This is not meant as an endorsement of any stance over the other. A more complete rendering of my thoughts on gender can be found here: https://xristosdomini.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/setting-the-record-straight/ […]

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