This is part one of a three part series on the “Social Justice Warrior” version of feminism.
I used to think feminism was relative equality between the sexes (general equality of treatment, opportunity, basic appreciation, etc.). Unfortunately, some people have tried to complicate it over the years. In some cases, they seem hellbent on subverting feminist equality entirely, essentially wanting to “turn the tables” and bring women to the tippy top of society, while all the male scum slides down to the absolute bottom. And who are the male scum? Well, all men, according to some ridiculous self-proclaimed feminists — who are often nowadays called “social justice warriors,” or SJWs. However, in contrast to all men, women might be elevated to positions of flawless goddesses under this narrative. After all, only men are rapists, molesters, pedophiles and murderers, right? Well, not quite.
But sometimes we’re not supposed to consider the full reality. We’re just supposed to think statistically, and not consider possible exceptions to the rule, or exceptions to a half-assed narrative of female moral supremacy. The sole issue is supposed to be a higher degree of male deviants, and we are to pretend that women are basically perfect (then, of course, women will complain about societal expectations of perfection, too).
But this is not what feminism should be. In fact, I now prefer the term “gender equality” over feminism, because gender is more than a flashy new “liberal buzzword,” and cuts more to the core of the issue. “Feminism” even sounds like it’s more about females than about equality. Also, from raw, every day experience, I know some women can be just as crappy as men (they can be just as sick and depraved, too). To drive the point home, one of the worst serial killers of all time was female. In fact, some believe Elizabeth Bathory killed as many as 600 women (!). She may be an exception to the serial killer stereotype, but quite an exception indeed.
This is partly what I’m talking about here. Maybe men can be awful, but let’s not let women off the hook. I also don’t want to demonize the SJW crowd, or say they’re all 100% wrong. However, as time goes on, it gets harder to stand by and not challenge any of their views, especially when they’d be so damn quick to challenge any of mine (even for the mere fact that I’m a white, heterosexual male).
For more context, the blog snippet below comes close to matching my feelings about modern feminism:
“I try to stay informed about modern feminist theory. And I do actually consider myself a feminist – much to the chagrin of some online acquaintances who consider themselves part of the ‘men’s rights’ movement. But I’m not big on the Angela Dworkin school of thought and I’m quite sure that most feminists don’t actually believe…all men are latent rapists who should be castrated at birth.”
All that being said, I have offended feminists — or self-proclaimed feminists — in the recent past. In one instance it was in a humor forum. I made an admittedly dumb generalization about women’s tastes in music. It wasn’t a masterfully told observational joke, but the reaction from some people was pretty amazing. It was well beyond the light critique it should have merited. It would be one thing to dismiss my comments as dumb or unfunny, but a number of rabid “social justice warriors” jumped on my comments, greatly exaggerated how offensive they were, and, of course, made me out to be the biggest misogynist on planet earth. And, again, this was in a humor forum, where you’d think people would be a little more relaxed. In fact, it was a Facebook forum specifically created for making useless, unpopular and unsuccessful complaints. That was the title of the group, in fact (or UUUC). The irony was, my comments fit that description perfectly. Still, one lady went so far as to visit my Facebook profile and make fun of its details in the group. That produced yet another irony: She was being a considerably bigger bully than I was in my post. In fact, it was comparable to some of the worst things I’ve done in my whole life.
Normally I might laugh something like this off, but I quit the group. Not only did I have that experience but, after studying the group’s description more closely, I noticed they didn’t even allow old people jokes. Now, what kind of humor place can’t tell old people jokes? Honestly, old people themselves are often the first to joke about their advanced years. Maybe you think I;m getting sidetracked here, but this suggested to me that modern SJW feminists dislike ANY humor that could be considered offensive. Problem is, some of the best humor is at least somewhat offensive. In fact, in the aforementioned group itself, jokes and observations that could offend conservatives were allowed, while countless arguably benign jokes were shunned. Well, isn’t that nice? Something’s only offensive when you have feelings about it, I guess. Anyone else with different feelings can just take a hike, right?
And this is how they get you, so to speak. You’re supposed to take every offensive thing seriously, take serious issue with it, and believe you’re seriously going to solve this problem by haranguing people for telling rude jokes. Serious! No joke! Or, if you don’t like this approach, you’ll get offended and argue with them, and start a cycle. Instant drama! It’s like a cultural argument mill. But don’t worry: In reality, you can still be a feminist and laugh at offensive jokes. You can even tell them. Don’t believe what these humorless clowns try to tell you. Oh, and you can also be wrong about something if you’re a feminist. Apparently none of these fuckers got that memo.
You see, many so-called feminists don’t understand this simple thing, which I must emphasize: Offensive jokes exist, and they do not in themselves equal rape, or any other actual violence. In fact, offensive humor can actually be very funny. Even a very offensive joke is not in itself rape, and can be funny. Rape is rape, okay? A joke or offensive statement is a joke or offensive statement. On top of that, even if I am a misogynist (and I’m sure I have my moments), that does not instantly make me a rapist. Okay? And I will say this: If I actually hate women more than I hate men, it’s not by a lot. Both sexes can seem like total pieces of shit to me. I could more fairly be dismissed as a misanthrope than a misogynist. Still, even if (for whatever reason) I would say women are awful and men are great, it doesn’t instantly mean I’m a rapist. What would make me a rapist is that I’ve actually raped someone. There’s kind of a big distinction between the two domains. However, the SJWs seem to look for rape everywhere, and convince themselves that they’ll always find it.
But some other questions emerge for me: Do misogynists hate women all the time? Isn’t it at least hypothetically possible to hate only some women sometimes, and without being a total monster? How about hating most women most of the time, or a good percentage of them some of the time? After all, hate is an emotion, and it’s not always easy to govern those things. But the SJWs aren’t interested in such nuances, or forgiving misdeeds (or mis-thoughts and mis-feelings). If anything, they want to intensify them, put them under a microscope, and pretend a person’s feelings or language use at one point in time encapsulates that person entirely, and that this snapshot moment fits perfectly into a global context. The philosophy is like this: If one man rapes, all men are responsible for it. On the surface, it might not even sound like that bad of a principle. It almost sounds like “An injury to one is an injury to all.” However, it actually is a bad assumption, and reality doesn’t work exactly like that, either. Sometimes people do crappy things that I, a largely separate individual, have practically nothing to do with. And, quite often, speaking out against these things accomplishes little to nothing anyway. Sorry, that’s the reality.
In fact, not even an individual’s demonstrated patterned behavior always fits what society does. At best, it may fit into what some people around the world are doing. And even then it’s probably not a perfect match. In other words, the oft mentioned “rape culture” concept may have slight validity, but it would not and cannot be an all inclusive thing. Society may be partly responsible for producing anti-social behavior, but it’s not like everyone plays an equal part in what goes on, both good and bad. This is precisely why we can distinguish rape from other, more normal behaviors. If rape culture were really that pervasive, no one would even criticize rape. Instead, rape would be encouraged by everyone, not just some macho assholes who think women “want it.” So, rape culture — or something like it — may exist, but I’d say it’s a situational thing, carried on (usually informally) by people prone to such thinking. It’s not for everyone.
In fact, much of American society always saw rape as wrong, and always will. For example, the rape and murder of Madge Oberholtzer is said to have severely weakened the Ku Klux Klan. That would be an example of KKK rape culture being checked by American society, as opposed to American society being entirely on board with rape. Honestly, I also wonder if an organization — even one as bad as the KKK — should be entirely discredited based on one misdeed such as this. I wonder that not because it’s the greatest question of all time, but because I have a damn brain, and I’m not afraid to use it. We’re supposed to dabble in questions like this, and not fear being condemned for every murky thought that pops out of our mouths.
Anyway, with the apparent exception of the US military, rape accusations have been able to significantly damage individual or group reputations. While rape is awful, my brain also wonders if it’s so bad that people cannot move on with their lives. Should we hate accused or convicted rapists unrelentingly? Many feminists go to the point of suggesting severe punishments for rape or assault, such as life imprisonment or even the death penalty — neither of which are progressive solutions. Life is a long stretch, which means it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Death is obviously also serious. But, of course, if you question such penalties, or dare to think think they won’t actually solve the problem (or believe rape will never totally go away), you can always be dismissed as an idiot and a fan of rape. Never mind that US prisons are full of rape, have a tendency to grow street gangs, and are already brimming with people. We are just supposed to consider one aspect of the issue and assume it’s a solution.
Also, some people don’t believe in basing these punishments on guilty verdicts founded on solid evidence. They’ll just think any rape allegation must be accurate, because a woman supposedly would never lie about such a thing. Believe me: I’ve seen people adopt this attitude. Also, because rapists are often seen as villains and nothing else, one gets the impression that rehabilitation is never possible. But, if you point out any problems with that assumption — like the basic premise of forgiveness, or how a person may have made a terrible mistake they now regret and vow to never do again — you’ll probably be regarded as a fan of rapists. There is no leeway here, we are told. Just throw them all away and toss away the key. But that is not a progressive idea, and not something all feminists need agree upon.
My point isn’t that leniency is some ultimate solution. It’s that a one-size-fits-all solution that considers only one aspect of a problem (punishment) will inevitably fall short. Yes, I must again emphasize that feminism does not equal uniform agreement on all issues, no matter what some people will say.
Also, harsh punishments may go for any unwanted sexual advances, if you ask some SJWs. Similarly, there’s a campaign to criminalize “catcalls” in New York. This means anyone whistling or shouting “Hey, baby!” may be considered a borderline rapist, if not an actual rapist. Interestingly, catcalling is also not an exclusively male phenomenon. I can even give a true personal anecdote: While I was walking to work one morning, a drunken lady shouted the question, “Hey, can I suck your dick?” The people she was with tried to make her quiet down, while giggling, but I definitely heard those words. If I were of such a mind, I could have launched a social media campaign to have such women incarcerated, presumably for years. And you know what? Those wanting catcalls banned would logically have to agree with the campaign. And I’m not even a good looking guy. I can only imagine how often such things happen to guys who look better than me.
It could be a serious issue, or something to walk away from. But any such campaign likely wouldn’t get off the ground, because of a perceptual double standard: Only men are capable of such rude behavior, and women deserve special protection from it (and a special right to engage in it). They would just say I didn’t fear rape, whereas a woman getting propositioned at night probably would. Sure enough, I didn’t mind being asked that. But what if I did? As I said, I was on my way to work so I couldn’t take her up on the offer anyway, but it was obviously similar to “catcalling.”
To complicate things for the SJWs, some women don’t mind getting catcalled. Maybe they’re crazy or weird, but such women are surely out there. People respond differently to things, and not everything is a huge social issue, unless we want it to be. For example, I could cite instances where I’ve felt harassed or bothered in considerably worse ways than the last example, but those would certainly also be ignored, simply because I have the wrong genitalia and whiter skin. The SJWs are typically all about enforcing gender (and other) stereotypes, rather than questioning them or disposing of them; Men cannot be victims, and every bad man is representative of all men; Women can’t stand on their own and require special protections, etc.
Of course, the demand for anti-catcalling laws is not a feminist or progressive idea, but a call for moral guardians — not unlike what exists in Iran. And it would be guaranteed to have a similar impact, if seriously enacted and enforced. So, really, SJWs should think a little more about what they’re asking for. Is a catcall necessarily the same as ongoing harassment, stalking and rape, or might it just be some unwanted flirtation? Maybe there is some grey area there, but should that always be up to cops to decide? There can be a major difference between being offensive and being a genuine threat, and there are already usually policies (and folkways, or “rules of thumb”) in place against harassment, stalking and violence.
But, again, such an issue is partly emphasized because we’re supposed to think every man has that “rapey” attitude, and constantly. Women supposedly need more and more protection from it. As another obvious example, the SJWs will say the rapist attitude is pervasive in porn, and that all men supposedly watch porn. And, sure, porn is almost always degrading to women. But even here there’s a counter-narrative surprise: There is plenty of porn that’s uniquely degrading to men as well. In fact, a sizable chunk is like that — more than what most feminists imply. For example, there is porn about pegging — where women “do” men with strap-ons. And, while some porn indeed has men spanking or slapping women, some of it also has women slapping men. Some scenes have women stepping on men with high heels. It’s not particularly rare stuff (not my cup of tea, but I know it’s out there). If that’s not enough, there are pornos where women belittle men for having small penises, sometimes even putting them in restrictive harsh chastity belts. I could probably go on and on. There is rough, degrading stuff for either sex, and also relatively normal stuff. Or, of course, people can choose not to watch any of it.
But I also need to ask: What about gay, male porn actors? Are they all victims, too?
The funny thing is, none of this means I’m defending porn as perfectly moral. Moral ambiguity is actually part of what makes porn popular. It’s just to say not everything fits perfectly into a narrative of female = victim and male = perpetrator.
To be continued. Just see Part Two.