Monday, May 13, 2013

Gill/New Statesman: Interweb Feminist Groupthink

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That's going pretty easy on them, actually...

The new othodoxy there, as I've been informed in no uncertain terms by certain feminists online, is that no one should ever say anything to any woman about how to avoid rape.

Oh, sorry. That should read: NO ONE SHOULD EVER SAY ANYTHING TO ANY WOMAN ABOUT HOW TO AVOID RAPE!!!!!!! SHITLORD!!!!!!

An insane thing to say, of course, but I've encountered the point several times of late.

This is how such points evolve after the lunatics embrace them. We begin with a reasonable point, roughly: y'know, the most notable responsibility here lies with the rapist to not commit the crime.

But because there is so much social pressure to radicalize in certain sectors of feminism, soon reasonable points aren't good enough, and so they get pushed to their most radical extreme. And thus we go from, roughly: (a) in an ideal world, we wouldn't have to tell women how to avoid rape to (b) it is wrong in the actual world to inform women about how to avoid rape.

Among the many loathsome features of this nonsense is the associated willingness to sacrifice the lives of real people to a really stupid abstract point. (Which is not to say that I have any problem with people deciding to sacrifice their own lives for sensible abstract points...) Yes, it sucks (to say the least) that women need to know how to avoid rape, but giving them this information is in no way incompatible with trying to discourage people from raping. Telling people how to minimize the chance of rape no more condones rape than telling people how to avoid mugging or carjacking condones mugging or carjacking. This point is as simple as points get, and it's not exactly to the credit of the relevant feminists that it must be explained to them. Relatively more liberal and mainstream feminism needs to speak up against the irrational extremists in the movement--mostly because it's the right thing to do, but also because such people weaken feminism. I hesitate to mention this latter type of point since it's the only type of criticism one is allowed to make of feminism--you're allowed to suggest that something might weaken the movement, but not that it simply wrong and stupid. But the weaken-the-movement criticism is actually of secondary importance; the more important criticims is that the point is wrong/stupid.

In fact, the more willing feminism is to countenance such points, the more the movement will deserve to be weakened.

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