There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see an example of someone online spouting some ridiculous rubbish as if they are revealing some deep truth. I’m not talking about differences of opinion, I’m talking about instances where the briefest moment of reflection would reveal to all but the stupidest person that what they are about to post is utter bullshit. So why don’t these people think before they post? Well, it’s not like they get punished for their stupidity. And they have role models in major media outlets and political parties who *should* be punished when they spew deliberate lies but never are.
So why should anyone care about thinking before they talk shit? Here’s where I start to sound like an idealist. You become a better person when you apply thought and consideration to everything you do. You don’t have to agree with me. Believe it or not, I’m actually mature enough to accept the fact that there are people who see things differently to me, place importance on different things and want different outcomes from life. But if I can take apart your bullshit with a single sentence then you need to shut the fuck up.
My latest bout of frustration was triggered by a young man on Twitter who declared that feminists think all vaginal sex is rape. I’m not naming him because I’m not trying to start a witch hunt, I’m trying to start a conversation. My first impulse was ignore it – not worth bothering with that level of stupidity. Then he followed it up saying how since watching a video that told him feminists think all vaginal sex is rape he’d given up on people. I get annoyed when my twitter stream is polluted with shit like this. Obviously an easy step for me to take would be to unfollow this guy and in many cases that’s what I would have done. I was pissed off at his ignorance but I was also giving him the benefit of the doubt, assuming he could be reasoned with so I responded (in what was quite a restrained way for me) tweeting: “you know you’re talking utter fucking horseshit, right? That is NOT said by feminists. It just isn’t.”
His response was to link to a blog that was the source of his ire. The blog was obviously written by a seriously damaged individual. Or maybe by a dude who’s trying to discredit feminists. Or maybe by a female so desperate for notoriety that she’s fallen into the trap of thinking all attention is good attention. Whoever writes it, it’s drivel and will tell you nothing meaningful about feminism. And being able to trot out actual real humans who believe this sort of crap and identify themselves as feminist is pretty much meaningless. I can give you members of major political parties who seriously believe that a subterranean race of shape shifting lizard people hold every position of power on earth. Does that mean they speak for every other member of those political parties?
Here’s where someone who doesn’t think (him) is vulnerable to someone who does think (me). When someone says/does something I disagree with I don’t simply focus on their words, I consider their motivation. I also consider what they actually said, not what they think they said or what they want me to see.
This guy has mentioned a video but given a link to an extremely obscure blog written by someone who calls themselves a “radfem”. There’s no way this guy has randomly stumbled on this blog so I ask him for his source and he points me to a video made by a well-known anti-feminist neckbeard on on YouTube (who I won’t dignify with a link). This video makes the same ridiculous assertion: because I have found something written by someone claiming to be a radfem it is legitimate to make the all encompassing statement that “feminists” think this. And the comments are a truly horrific parade of hate and bile. For every “get real, this is in no way representative of the feminist movement” there are dozens of “YES IT ARE! FEMIBITCHEZ JUST HATES MENS!”
This is where motivation becomes important. What was the video makers motivation for his statements? He isn’t an unintelligent person. I’ll go out on a limb and say he knows the statement “feminists say all vaginal sex is rape” is a lie. So someone who is capable of intelligent discourse makes a deliberately misleading and inflammatory statement that he knows will whip his reasonably large following into a frenzy. Why? A quest for notoriety? He really hates feminists and doesn’t care if he has to resort to lies to score points? He’s a pathetic, insecure loser who needs to convince himself that all of his failings are someone else’s fault? Maybe a combination of all of these, who knows?
But if you’ve repeated this lie (or similar lies) without thinking, what’s your motivation? The young man who triggered this rant acknowledged (when I pulled him up) that the statement “feminists think all vaginal sex is rape” is untrue. But he tweeted it. Multiple times. And he enjoyed the video. So what’s the motivation for spreading unfair stereotypes without any critical thought? People of all genders, races and creeds are guilty of doing this at some point so don’t get defensive and point out someone else doing it*. You can’t control other people’s behaviour – you can control yours. And using someone else’s bad behaviour to justify yours is a cop-out. The fact that you can point to someone on a different part of the political/racial/gender spectrum who is also saying/doing fucked things doesn’t make you any less fucked. That just means you’re both fucked.
So there’s my challenge for 2014: THINK! Think more. Don’t stop thinking. Acknowledge your error when someone points out your lazy thinking or total lack of thinking. You’ll never know everything so stop pretending you do. As soon as you think you can draw a line under any topic and stop thinking about it, that’s when you start moving backwards. Thinking isn’t always easy. It isn’t always comfortable. But it’s always the right thing to do. Think more. And bullshit less.
*A BRIEF NOTE: I know it’s possible to argue that I’m doing the exact thing I say you shouldn’t do – trying to modify someone’s behaviour. What I’m actually doing is attempting to start a conversation. If you obsess over this one point you’re aren’t clever – you’re insecure and the challenge to think and take responsibility scares you. Grow the fuck up.
P.S. Did it spook you to realise I knew what you were thinking?
5 responses to “One “RadFem” doesn’t tell you anything about feminism – Why can’t people think?”
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Sorry to post on an unrelated post. I am listening to your video about BDSM and wanted to leave a comment about being a FemDom. So many people thing being a FemDom is about dressing up and beating a man. That is just role play by a script. For me being a Domme is about doing things my way, that does not include black leather, corsets or performing to his script. It’s a shame that being a FemDom has become so limited by the rules people put on it. Just as every submissive is not the same, every FemDom/ Domme is an individual person too. You might actually enjoy holding the leash if you were in comfortable clothes, were the one actually making the rules and in charge. However, it has been very hard to find a man who wants a real woman as a Domme versus the McDomme with fries.
Men who show aggression at the mere mention of feminism seem (to me) afraid of having women find power and thus become harder to reach/ get. I can only talk from my own experience but men don’t really put much effort into communication with women. I’ve been on a date where the man looked out the window the whole time and (sitting right beside me) asked me if I wear glasses. True, this was an oddity. However, at the end of the date he asked for sex. I couldn’t even imagine having sex with someone who could not even look at me.
Anyway, I’m a large sized woman and that also seems to bring out violent aggression in some men. As if I am personally attacking them in some way. It is the same reaction some men have towards feminism/ feminists. I know women who deny being feminists, not because they don’t believe women should have rights, but because the very word feminist has become about being against men in their minds (and in media).
Feminism is only about men in passing. However, men I know seem to need to believe everything is about them. Feminists challenge them because they want something different, they want to be equally unique human beings.
I don’t know why you bothered with the vaginal sex/ rape thing. Anyone who would read that and not ignore it or pass it by is already too far gone from reasoning and wants to believe what they have read. People tend to find what they are looking for.
I think ridiculous statements like the one you mention in your post should just be ignored and not given anymore notoriety than they deserve. It’s good you didn’t link to any of them.
I never thought of myself as a feminist until I read a book by Caitlin Moran, a British feminist/author. It’s her view, and now mine, that anyone who views equality for women as a good thing, must be a feminist. Which is essentially all of us! She says, “What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay?”. source: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/939363.Caitlin_Moran
And for the record, traditional sex – that is sex which involves penetration of a penis in the vagina – is the best thing ever and when consensual, not rape at all. So there you are, here is one woman – me – who also happens to be a self-proclaimed feminist, providing proof that the statement “feminists think all vaginal sex is rape” is completely false.
In the brief note, it says “you’re aren’t”.