Due to your recent admission to me that you are an adherent of the ideology of feminism, I regret to inform you that our association as co-workers, colleagues, friends and team-mates is hereby discontinued.
Although it may be the case that you are, individually a well intended, thoughtful, and humane person, your acceptance and defence of feminism signals an undeniable danger to my personal safety, a threat to my career, a danger to family and to my future.
In all likelihood you probably regard my expressed caution as hyperbole or paranoid fantasy. If so, I consider that a good sign that you are rational, albeit misinformed. On the other hand, you might respond outwardly to this letter with open accusations of hyperbole and paranoia, simply for effect, without your own conviction behind such accusation. In either case, this isn’t a negotiation, it’s a goodbye.
However, what remains is an attempt to explain with as much clarity as possible, the reason.
In feminism’s self-descriptive rhetoric, it is touted variously as “equality for women”, “the radical notion that women are people” and sometimes as “women’s rights”. These characterizations portray a benign movement to which no well-adjusted person could object. You may even believe these descriptions to be true. In fact, if we believe these slogans, then objection to, or opposition to feminism must logically be equivalent to hatred of women, or if not hatred, then at least disdain for women’s basic human rights. They are very powerful slogans. Unfortunately, they are not true.
What feminism says it is through self-descriptive rhetoric, and what it demonstrates through organized action are two entirely different things.
Assuming for now that you are, or believe yourself to be a decent and good person; you likely see feminism through the lens of that ideology’s common description. This is understandable and logical. You both identify as a feminist, and are in the sexual demographic for which feminism claims to care.
I, on the other hand, am not in the demographic for which feminism claims to advocate, and so quite naturally I see it from another angle. Obviously, I am familiar with the ideology’s self-descriptive language. How could I not be? I grew up, as you did, submerged in a culture of feminism. My mother was part of the second wave, and I was fed the talking points from infancy onward. Please don’t delude yourself that I am somehow ignorant of the details, or that I operate from incomplete understanding. I was raised by a feminist to be a feminist and it was not until late in my life I discarded much of my lifetime’s accumulated feminist point of view.
But as I mentioned, I’m male, and therefore, not an insider to feminism’s rhetoric. Having had the rhetoric drilled into me, I do not need to be told what feminism says about itself.
However, remembering I’m male, I also have the view from outside the fence. What feminists and their organizations DO turns out to run in a wholly different direction than what the self-descriptive language says. What feminism says it is, and what it demonstrates that it is, are entirely contradictory.
What consistent elements have I seen in feminism’s organized actions, running against the self descriptive claims made in feminist rhetoric?
Censorship, intimidation, personal smear campaigns, purposeful false accusation, threats of violence, threats of death, actual violence, organized in-person stalking, vandalism, extortion, systematic academic fraud, calumny, and a consistent thread of hatred. That’s what I have seen in overwhelming proportion vastly overshadowing the rhetoric which claims “feminism is about equality”.
I began my list with censorship, and I could have stopped there. What is it about “equal rights for women” or any other self-descriptive feminist talking point that leads to an urge to silence and suppress any disagreeing opinion? The censorship is real, pervasive, and when resisted, violent. Picture a mob of 20, armed with box-cutters to stop one man with a human rights poster. Or better yet, imagine an esteemed scholar giving a talk at a university about something as socially relevant as suicide rates and educational problems, yet having attendees harassed and intimidated, trying to enter that talk through doors blocked by thugs, all because individuals identifying as feminist did not like the speaker.
In answer to my own question, there is no relationship between censorship and “women’s rights”. Censorship, whether practiced by feminists, or by the state police of a brutal and dictatorial regime is driven by totalitarian impulse, as well as fear and hatred.
It is not just the right of the person who speaks to be heard, it is the right of everyone in the audience to listen and to hear; and every time you silence somebody, you make yourself a prisoner of your own action. You deny yourself the right to hear something. In other words your own right to hear and be exposed is as much involved in all these cases as the right of the other to voice his or her view. ~Christopher Hitchens.
But setting aside the organized actions of feminism, as well as the self-description, there is also at the heart of that ideology, a short list of claims about the world.
The first is patriarchy. According to feminist theory, patriarchy is a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships based on male supremacy and oppression of women. This “theory” does not explain how almost all war dead through history have been men, or how workplace safety throughout the world emphasizes female safety to the near exclusion of protection for men. 93% of workplace fatalities are male, and it is historically not until women colonize a trade or a profession that safety becomes a major concern. Women also spend 80% of disposable income world-wide, comprise the majority of the voting public in democratic nations, and continue to enjoy female favouring affirmative acton in education, despite a growing 65% dominance in educational outcomes in higher ed. So setting aside the blatant, overt, glaring falsehood of such theory, it also assumes or implies that the vast majority of men are sociopaths, by virtue of being male.
That I am not a sociopath does not make me “one of the good ones”. My non-sociopathy is normal, and the “theory” implying all or most men are basically evil is itself, vile bigotry which has, over 40 years, exhausted my forbearance.
Another claim about the world is rape culture. This is the dogmatic insistence that our culture endorses, or promotes, or enables the violent crime of rape, committed against women, by men.
Rape culture is certainly real. But it is not a phenomenon of male-on-female rape enablement, it is real in the sense of being a political and social narrative kept alive by it’s proponents. Rape culture is an item of popularized social belief. The phrase, by the way is a retooling of the second wave feminist rhetoric “all men are rapists”. That item of popular agitprop being no longer acceptable to utter in public, big box feminism has re-phrased several times in the past few decades, keeping the message alive with a better politicized delivery. “Men can stop rape,” and “Rape culture” are two such examples. “Teach men to not rape” is a slogan appearing on hundreds of posters carried in the public parades, called Slut Walks, emerging around the world since 2011.
“Teach men to not rape,” implying that men, without instruction are rapists by default. Nothing from any history of hatred or bigotry is the equal of this message in sheer malice. Secondary to that most overt message of hatred is the implication that rape and sexual assault are exclusively or even mostly male perpetrated. Without a distracting meander into cited example, it’s not. The still popular advent of Slut Walks in cities around the world are unambiguously hate rallies. If you’ve participated in these hate rallies, shame is the appropriate emotion for you to feel on reflection.
And that’s why your recent expression of support for that ideology requires my departure. I cannot pretend feminism is anything less offensive, destructive or malevolent than an organized, purposeful and depraved cult of violence and hatred. And you claim to support it. That it is publicly accepted, supported by politicians, and mainstream makes no difference at all. You are an adult, you have no excuse.
Now what I’ve described is overt hatred. But as a self-professed feminist, you may claim to support no violence, advocate no hatred, and you might believe yourself to be a kind, loving human with none of the malice I have just described.
Aside from the aspect of patriarchy theory implicit claiming all men are sociopaths is the victimhood of all women. The attachment of innate victimhood to female identity excepts women from accountability for any violence, overt or otherwise. The killing of children is excused. The killing of men is excused. The brutalization of men is comedy. The sexual mutilation of a man by his wife is the punchline of a joke on daytime TV. You are a self described feminist, and as such, I know you will not recognize my humanity if I am anything except a convenient utility to you. When I cease to be of use, I will become invisible as a human, and my pain, or my damage, irrelevant, or perhaps funny.
In receipt of this notice, you may decide that rather than the truth, carefully and clearly expressed herewith, my reason and motivation is other than what has just been expressed. I hate women, you might decide. If that, or some variation should be your conclusion, shame on you. Shame on you for cowardice, dishonesty and solipsism. Shame on you. And goodbye.