How not to respond to Women Against Feminism

Just to make it clear: I’m not a part of Women Against Feminism. I’m on the fence about whether the term “feminism” can be reclaimed, but that’s a question for another time. (In case you missed it: here’s my Time.com article on the subject.)

But some of the responses to WAF just make me roll my eyes.

Here’s an example:

First of all: a recurring theme on the Women Against Feminism site is that feminism fought important battles in the past, but those battles have been won and feminism has morphed into something counterproductive. Whether that view is right or wrong, to say that today’s fourth wave (or whichever wave it is) feminists are entitled to women’s allegiance because of the rights previous generation of feminists have won for women is, as my friend Brian Carnell has observed on Twitter, a bit like saying that blacks must be forever loyal to the Republican Party because it was instrumental in ending slavery.

Secondly: while it is certainly true that women pre-feminism generally faced far greater obstacles than men of the same class when it came to intellectual pursuits, the idea that women (at least in the West) were barred from expressing opinions and denied all voice is preposterous. Christine de Pizan wrote books, including ones that defended women against misogynist caricatures, all the way back in the 14th-15th Centuries. There were plenty of other women writers, including popular pamphleteers, whose work long predates anything like an organized feminist movement. In fact, if women had been denied the right to have and publish their opinions, how could (first-wave) feminism even have happened? Mary Wollstonecraft and Olympe de Gouges, two women who can probably be justly called feminist pioneers, both published their work at the end of the 18th Century. (Both, it should be noted, had written and published extensively on other subjects before turning to advocacy of women’s rights.) Feminists certainly did not make it possible for them to get published and reach large audiences.

It is true, however, that women authors–particularly ones who wrote on feminist topics–were often singled out for ridicule and disparagement. They could be mocked as ignorant and stupid, or derided as mere conduits for men’s ideas (because, after all, women couldn’t possibly have the brains to come up with intelligent arguments!), or slandered as immodest and unchaste…

… which is exactly what some feminists are now doing to Women Against Feminism.

 

7 Comments

Filed under antifeminism, feminism, Uncategorized

7 responses to “How not to respond to Women Against Feminism

  1. Male writers and artists who oppose the status quo are also regularly ridiculed and disparaged, but that brings up an interesting observation. Western women, in fact, have always been able to express their opinions with the possible but questionable exception of the Greek Golden Age. Nearly always their expressions begin with assertions that they are not allowed to do so or are discouraged from doing so (as noted above, so are men). The recurring female theme is that they are defying some tradition or other, which seems to be a trope of female expression in every age.

  2. The reason the moronic quote is even possible: almost 100% of social history is written by scholars who were trained to look at history through the narrow, ideologically tainted lens, of “social construction.” This has been achieved by preventing objective scholars from gaining tenured positions. Only those who agree with “our mission”) as it is sometimes described by political correctness missionaries, get to write the Orthodox social history of mankind. We now have a huge of majority that has been spoon-fed fake history. Quiet incremental memory-holing of all dogmatically forbidden aspects of human history, a la 1984. A done deal.

    (For an example, google: Fake History: Deceptive Book About Child Abduction in America”; for some censored politically incorrect history, the masterful book by Ferdinand Mount: An Alternative History of Love and Marriage, 1982/1992; de facto banned in the US for a decade)

  3. Well. We should look at what we think the history of women is with a grain of salt. And recall that, long ago, most learning was done by word of mouth, and most activism was done word of mouth, and so many things so many people were involved in were not written down or recorded. Furthermore, only a small elite were able to be “men of letters” and could read and write, and I sort of think most of them were not ordinary straight men. I think most of them were gay men. One issue we should understand is, lack of modern communication and high speed transportation meant, if you were a straight man and wanted to get married to a woman, you kind of needed to stay there all the time and not be separated. It was dangerous for people to let themselves become separated from one another, because they couldn’t necessarily find each other afterwards. Also, once you had children, you were going to be too busy providing for them (growing food) to spend any time doing much writing.

    If you wanted to be a writer or an intellectual or a philosopher — aka, someone who didn’t work in the field growing food — you needed the support of a King, or Lord who could financially support your intellectual endeavors, and who had a lot of knights to defend his turf and rule.

    Knights who were men. But that’s another thing. Those working for the local lord would travel lots, they would need to, and being a traveler was then fairly incompatible with marriage to a woman. In addition to which, if you are going to work for some local lord, you have to live with him. But how many married men can a local lord with limited resources hire? After all, the lord would need to provide for his male employee AND family. So he’d need to hire the wife too. Which may have happened, but still it just economically works better for sedentary “men of letters” to be gay.

    In which case many of them would be “misogynist” to at least express themselves in such a way regarding women — who are, after all, outsiders to their group. Everytime anyone forms a little group or clique, they always tell each other they are superior and everyone else outside the group is inferior, though. Maybe we should take it with a grain of salt. And some women writers would object, to be sure. But, still, one has to understand, most of recorded history was written by a tiny little sliver of men who did not represent overall society. And, academics love to quote text as evidence more than they like doing other kinds of anthropological studies that attempt to try to find out what more was going on in society IN ADDITION to the small fraction of history that was publicly recorded.

    I grew up in an area of Maine which was the countryside and where some of them live sort of a bit like the way people lived over 150 years ago. At least the culture is the same, I think. I totally don’t think women were marginalized in any way then. If anything, maybe they were running things — farms, etc. — more than the men were. If men are all busy working in the fields, and come back rather tired, and women are indoors all the time and able to visit one another and talk to each other a lot more, who is running the show? Who had more time to “run” things. That, of course, is another factor. Practical reality determines who does what, usually. Not “power” or “status.” I think this whole preoccupation with the “status” of women — notice how “status” is an abstract concept — would be viewed by people living long ago as silly. I suspect women way back when were far more down to earth and considered that what mattered in life was getting your needs met, or what needs to get done. Like, if a sheep needs to get shorn, a sheep needs to get shorn. There shouldn’t be a big huge symbolic “debate” over who is going to sheer it, where a huge amount of energy goes into determining what the “status” of a sheep sheerer is, and whether it is unfair to award the position to one gender or the other.

  4. Keurgan

    “It is true, however, that women authors–particularly ones who wrote on feminist topics–were often singled out for ridicule and disparagement. They could be mocked as ignorant and stupid, or derided as mere conduits for men’s ideas (because, after all, women couldn’t possibly have the brains to come up with intelligent arguments!), or slandered as immodest and unchaste…”

    Isn’t that what feminists do to men who dare question their status in the current Matriarchy?

  5. I believe that todays gender-feminists are going to keep perverting American law enforcement, keep pushing for more and more manufactured statistics Alliances with law enforcement, until we reach the point that guys go “MGTOW” just to retain their basic due process rights.

  6. Dennis

    The idea that women have ever been barred from having opinions is a completely unsubstantiated statement. Women have always had just as much, if not more, freedom to express themselves as men. Feminism started with women speaking out for women, not men speaking out for women. From the women who end the Pelopensian war by denying their husbands sex, to the women who protested outside the Roman Senate for their right to wear jewelry during wartime, to women’s their 1674 peitition against coffee to the king of England, to the Seneca Falls convention that forced male attendees to sit at the back, to suffragettes posting signs that read “Men are only good for war”, women have always had just as much free speech as men if not more.

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