Either Time magazine is engaged in an internal competition to publish Most Clueless Commentary On Feminism or they are prepping us for their MRA coming-out party (BYOB because equality, ladies).
The first entry into the competition was, of course, Time's 2014 poll asking if the word "feminist" should be banned in 2015. Needing to make a splash in the New Year, the magazine has thrown its second competitor into the ring: Cathy Young, a contributing editor at Reason (a libertarian publication) who attaches scare quotes to terms like "rape culture," "rape joke," and "sexualization"; doesn't believe in patriarchy; thinks misandry is a real thing and rails against "toxic feminism." Some choice quotes from Ms. Young's recent work:
The feminism of male demonization and female victimhood has become an insidious force that, despite its faux-progressive trappings, stands in the way of genuine equality. Whatever its flaws, GamerGate is a politically diverse movement of cultural resistance to this brand of toxic feminism.
The anti-'rape culture' movement on campus… has capitalized on laudable sympathy for victims of sexual assault to promote gender warfare, misinformation and moral panic.
…in the end, [the #YesAllWomen] response not only appropriated a human tragedy for an ideological agenda but turned it into toxic gender warfare.
…the worst possible answer [to the shooting] is a toxic version of feminism that encourages women to see themselves as victims while imposing collective guilt on men.
In its present form -- as a secular cult that should call itself the Sisters of Perpetual Grievance -- feminism is far more a part of the problem than part of the solution. It clings to women's wrongs and turns women's rights into narcissistic entitlement. It is far too easily prone to bashing men while painting women as insultingly helpless and downplaying their human capacity for cruelty.
…Of course the patriarchy -- at least here in the West -- is dead. Whether feminism deserves to survive it is up to the feminists.
I'm not nominating Thicke for Feminist of the Year. But I did go on Amazon.com and buy the "Blurred Lines" CD -- and I'm not even much of an R&B fan. Why not do the same as a message to the would-be censors? Just say no to Big Sister.
It was hard to decide which quotes to include here because my options were outstandingly vast… Needless to say, Young is actively and relentlessly anti-feminist and is so extremely detached from the movement that she believes Christina Hoff Sommers to be a relevant, respected, and representative voice of the movement.
If "Feminism! What the heck!" is Time‘s intended approach, they're starting off strong and if this is the soft launch of their MRAs-are-the-new-feminists brand rollout, I look forward to next month's installment, "Is feminism going to open that jar for you?" Otherwise, Time's decision to publish Young's opinion on how feminism should or could be doing "better," straight-faced, is a true mystery.
But, hey -- maybe Time's editors weren't aware of Young's extensive resume of raging anti-feminism. Pretend, for a moment, that none of us knew.
But even if we were all ignorant to Young's agenda previous to reading this piece, laughably titled "A Better Feminism for 2015," it becomes transparent early on. Young writes:
The #YesAllWomen Twitter hashtag created in response to Elliot Rodger's shooting spree and his YouTube rants about female rejection elicited a groundswell of sympathy for women’s stories of violence and sexism -- but also unease from pro-feminist men and women who felt all males were being unjustly shamed. A social media group called Women Against Feminism sprung up, many of its members stressing that they were for equality but against male-bashing, gender warfare, and contempt for traditional choices.
Oh dear. Young not only tries to convince readers there was a notable push-back from within feminism against #YesAllWomen (there was not), but she positions Women Against Feminism -- a series of social media posts made by women who misunderstood feminism so badly their signs and tweets read as satire -- as a relevant and rational response to the hashtag, rather than the joke it was.
Young goes on to provide a series of "guideposts" for those of us still hoping our little fight to end patriarchy doesn't inadvertently become irrelevant. (Check media coverage, Young. Feminism, rape culture, and violence against women was at the center of public conversation throughout 2014 in a way I had yet to witness in my lifetime. We're doing ok, relevancy-wise, thanks.) She writes:
Feminists, humanists, egalitarians, even (gasp!) men's rights activists -- why not work with anyone who shares one's overall goals? A gender equality movement can only have a future if it's a big tent.
You guys, if you'd just open up your tent to the people who think men are the real victims and that feminists are responsible for all social ills, maybe this movement would stand a chance.
Equality should not mean that men and women must be identical in everything -- it should mean treating people as individuals regardless of their gender.
Oooooh. Oh. Ok. Because I thought that feminism was about making ladies into bros. Or bros into ladies. Or, like, about everybody wearing the same T-shirt or something. (The T-shirt will be brown and men's size XL.)
The other side of sexism must be recognized. Former Jezebel editor Lindy West has argued that such "men's rights" problems as unequal treatment of fathers in family courts or bias against male domestic violence victims are rooted in patriarchy and that feminism is already addressing them. Unfortunately, facts say otherwise. On these and other issues, feminist activists and commentators have tended to side with women, oppose measures to help men, and promote women-as-victims, men-as-bad-guys narratives. Such double standards need to be confronted.
Allow me to translate: SEXISM AGAINST MEN! SEXISM AGAINST MEN! SEXXXXISMMMM AGAINST MENNNNNNN!
If feminism is ever going to be taken seriously by MRAs, we're going to have to start siding with MRAs instead of women. It's the only way. No more of this "women are the victims of patriarchy" crap.
The perception of pervasive, one-sided male power and advantage can create a disturbing blindness to injustices toward men -- even potentially life-ruining ones such as false accusations of rape. A true equality movement should address all gender-based wrongs, not create new ones.
Women lie about rape. Also, for the next 30 seconds we're going to pretend that "gender-based wrongs" is a real term that wasn't just made up by Young in her attempt to change the term "feminism" to "samesies."
The personal is not always political. Men behaving badly to women in personal relationships -- unless such behavior has social and institutional support -- is not necessarily a gender issue.
Male violence against women isn't a gender issue. It's just a personal, private, random act of violence that just happens to be perpetrated by men, against women, every day. You know, just because you see something happening over and over again for centuries doesn't make it real.
Feminism is now battling the alleged scourge of men who take up too much space on public transit by spreading their legs? Not only is this selective male-shaming (social media users quickly noted that female riders are guilty of different-but-equal sins), it is also a comically petty grievance that could suggests the aggrieved have no real issues.
Wait a minute. Weren't we just talking about rape and domestic violence a few seconds ago? What about the real issues??
Also, a million LOLs at "male-shaming."
Could such a movement get its start in 2015? In the waning days of 2014, it looks like an idea whose time has come.
And to that, I say "Yes please!" (We're still talking about the male-shaming thing, right?)
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