“All movements go too far.”- Bertrand Russell
Feminism as a movement has suffered due to the onset of social media. A movement once advocating equal treatment for both genders is morphing into a politicized, hypersensitive campaign designed to police speech and find fault with innocuous exchanges in society.
Men, of course, are public enemy number one. No longer content with seeking equality of opportunity at the polling booth and at the workplace, the new feminist promotes a highly suspicious view of men, to the point of misandry, labelling them everything from creepy, vile, disgusting, rapey, or even pedophiles. The crux of their world is the notion that men are either genetically or socially conditioned to be exploitative, so caution and cynicism must always be exercised.
Where first and second wave feminists saw real structural injustices in society and sought to resolve them by engaging in open dialogue with the community, new feminism is closed and esoteric, petty and trivial, and offended by the notion that men even dare to engage in the supposed cause of gender equality. Dangerously, it is becoming a closed movement. Inward looking and perpetually offended, mocking, sarcastic and seemingly free of criticism.
Social media activists are doing a disservice to their cause, presenting a world of fear, hatred and rampant injustice to a generation of young women. The movement has become ill with hatred, feeding on itself and reinforcing paranoid and irrational feelings of resentment. Take, for example, the onset of ‘benevolent sexism’, where even polite gestures by men can be reinterpreted as actions that reinforce patriarchy.
Fortunately, not all feminists fit this mould. Many are frustrated with the growing trend and are despairing at the current state of affairs. Take Natasha Devon of the UK, a prolific writer who presented at a feminist society event in one of the UK’s largest and most prestigious universities. She espoused the view that modern feminism is wrong about many of its assumptions on men. Her commentary on the reception of her presentation speaks volumes:
“At the end of the session, one of the Society’s senior members said: “It’s great that you don’t think there’s any misogyny in your world, but I think if you talked to these men for long enough you’d find there were some pretty sinister ideas about women buried somewhere beneath the surface.”
Emma Watson also faced criticism for her fair and reasonable point that men need to be included in future dialogue to further the cause of gender equality. Cue outrage. Clementine Ford’s response: “it is offensive and farcical to suggest that equality and change will come for women as a natural consequence of men being supported.”
The tragedy is that this growing faction of feminism is becoming increasingly prominent and implacable. You will not win an argument against the new feminist. No matter how logical and fair your point may be, the very fact that you are questioning their position automatically condemns you as sexist, or alternatively, in need of ‘education’. From their pulpit, they are the moral arbiters fighting against centuries of injustice, and this virtue renders them correct and free from question in any exchange.
Recently, I was accused of being “against anything that could perhaps progress women’s rights” because I questioned the idea that Senator Mitch Fifield, responding reasonably to a question in parliament, was mansplaining. The tactic of diverting from debate and shouting down opponents as simply sexist and misogynist is common. It’s easier to shut down debate rather than engage in discussion.
This year, the prominent victims of new feminism have included Fifield, Chris Gayle and Stephen Fry. Each accused of sexism for various exchanges, with no room for recourse since the new orthodoxy is that if offense was taken, which it is often, then that is enough.
The ‘incident’ occurs, followed by the predictable social media stacks-on where keyboard warriors get their daily ‘I’m offended’ fix. In response to the outrage, people usually point out similar actions on the part of women that were ignored. Such concerns are dismissed as irrelevant because of the power structures that favor men. In our brave new world, feminist hypocrisy is waved away due to the misplaced idea that being ‘oppressed’ justifies all questionable actions.
We have reached the point where debate is impossible. The new feminist faction has completely and utterly convinced itself of its unquestionable virtue and nobility, thus rendering anyone that raises a concern as irrelevant and in need of silencing via mocking, sarcasm and group bullying.
The sad fact is that if you read this article and agreed with any part of it, you’re nothing but a sexist, misogynist, ignorant pig. Welcome to 2016.