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Feminism and Trumpism

Entry 1909, on 2018-04-10 at 23:22:59 (Rating 4, Politics)

During a visit to fix a computer issue today I got involved in a "vigorous debate" regarding the overbearing politically correct agenda currently favoured by the left. I emphasised to the person involved - who I respect and agree with far more than I disagree with - that I share her broad political agenda, but think that some of its extreme positions are counter-productive.

For example, I said that I basically reject feminism because of the way the more extreme advocates of that view have made it look ridiculous. She looked offended and reminded me that she was a feminist. I said that there are a range of views held by feminists and that her brand was likely to be more reasonable than the type I object to. But was I just being accommodating in order to avoid an argument with a person who I fundamentally agree with? Maybe.

I told her that the more extreme feminists are the problem, but she denied these even exist. I guess this depends on your view of what is far enough from the norm to be classed as extreme, but surely she was being naive because there are extremists in every group, and why should feminism be any different?

For example, I would say a feminist who says that it is OK for false accusations against men to result in their social destruction is an extremist. As is one who says that all men are rapists. And the view that micro-agressions, such as "offensive" comments, are equally as bad as physical agression, such as rape, is also extreme. These views have all been shared by feminists recently. They exist.

But because this woman identified as a feminist she had to defend, or possibly deny the existence of, these ideas. In other words, she had lost touch with reality, which just happens to be my number one complaint about feminism, along with all the other -isms. (see my blog post, "No More -isms" from 2018-02-10).

This is an example of the tribalism which is currently making fair and reasonable discussion almost impossible. Because she belongs to the feminist "tribe" she has to defend it, even when it is wrong. And every group is wrong at various times.

Maybe the saddest and most ironic aspect of this is that she criticises Trump supporters for being single-minded and supporting him whatever the situation, yet fails to recognise that she is doing exactly the same thing herself. This lack of self-awareness is a sure path to delusion.

There is no doubt that some groups are far more susceptible to this than others. And some groups have a far more fact-based and reasonable world-view from the very beginning. So although all tribes suffer from these defects in some way, not all tribes are equally bad.

So how does feminism compare with Trumpism in this regard? Well you could say the fundamental aim of feminism is to attain equality for women, and that is a noble aim. But you could also say the fundamental aim of Trumpism is to make America great again, which sounds OK too. Are either of these aims any more real or worthy than the other? Well, to some extent they are, but they are also both quite delusional, because the stated aim often has very little to do with the actual activities of the group.

And that is why I don't belong to any groups. I look at every issue in a neutral way... well, let's be honest here: no one really does that, but at least I do it unencumbered with the inherited beliefs of any particular tribe.

And, as I said in the post I referenced above, the tribes I could possibly be associated with - such as atheism - aren't real tribes because atheism is just the refusal to belong to a any religious tribe. And a similar argument applies to skepticism, although I agree the case for claiming that is non-tribal is less strong. But I will say is that there is plenty of stuff I hear from the leadership of skepticism which I think is nonsense, often motivated by that same dreaded left-wing, politically correct agenda.

As I have said on several occasions in the past, I don't just thoughtlessly and automatically criticise Trump like most people on the left do, but I do disagree with many of his political positions. And I agree with most of the stated aims of feminism, even though I disagree with many of the details of how these aims are allegedly achieved. So I guess I would rate feminism ahead of Trumpism... but not by much!

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Comment 1 (4900) by Jim Cable on 2018-04-11 at 14:39:03:

As one who has contested your views on past odd occasions - I cannot disagree with anything you've postulated here.

As for attempting to discuss anything rationally with a fixated feminist female, in my experience it cannot be done. They automatically assume a male is out to undermine their stance full-stop - and so do not, or cannot, listen to whatever reason is being promulgated. Rarely if ever will they even let you finish a sentence when responding to points made by them - points to which you've patiently and politely listened without interrupting or interjecting.

Despite their outward bravado, I think most "extreme feminists" are actually disguising the fact that they have very low personal self-esteem and have never known the sort of balanced happiness that comes from successful heterosexual relationship. Normal balanced people who can see life for what it is don't trend towards any belief in the superiority of either males or females.

Put more succinctly: When the best man for a job is a woman, so be it.

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Comment 2 (4901) by OJB on 2018-04-11 at 16:15:18:

Plus there is the other trick they use to shut down the discussion: that is that, as a male (usually a privileged male), I cannot comment on the subject under discussion. Interestingly the fact that they are females doesn't seem to stop them commenting on matters more relevant to males.

But it is this unevenness which is probably most annoying. There is a failure to apply standards to themselves which they insist on trying to apply to everyone else.

Two more comments: 1, male extreme feminists are at least as bad as the female versions; and 2, moderate feminists are usually OK, although no form of feminism is good in my opinion (for reasons I described in the post) but at least moderate feminists are tolerable in small doses.

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