Saturday, April 18, 2009

Feminist blogs are a marketplace of free ideas. Ah, right.

Feminist blogs are notorious for not allowing free and open discourse that they don't approve of. They routinely censor comments, and ban certain readers from commenting.

Ever wonder how they are only able to tell one side of the rape story and give the impression that false rape claims are a myth? It's not difficult to do when you filter comments.

Certainly it is appropriate to delete some comments if they could be construed as defaming someone or if they are nothing but advertisements. But it's not appropriate to censor comments just because they disagree with the blogger.

A comment from El Barato on this site said it best: "Just one thing I'd like to add: please, under no circumstances should you monitor the comments!Why?Whatever your point is, it will only get full-fledged acceptance if you submit it to the freedom of opinion and opposition. If you can still defend it, you can make a much bigger impact. . . . [C]ensorship only proves that your point of view can not prevail the test of free debate. On the other hand if you pass it, then you can have a much stronger and founded impact.And I sincerely hope you do not want this blog to become an echo chamber. Free speech is the essence of a fruitful debate. Please do leave it this way."

I agree. Feminism will never be embraced by mainstream America until it is able to subject itself to the sometimes-but-usually-not-so-well-honed cross-examination of commentators. The reason feminist blogs refuse to do this, of course, is that it has become little more than a cult that relies on mantras instead of facts; many of its underlying assumptions in the rape field can't withstand scrutiny. When met with even mild disagreement that they allow in their comments sections, the young feminist bloggers (most are typically very young) resort to the literary equivalent of the eye roll and trot out excessive foul language, sarcasm and name calling. Rare is the young feminist who is able to defend her positions rationally or civilly. If feminism were truly about gender equity as opposed to perpetuating the religion of female victimization, then it would have no difficulty withstanding the harshest scrutiny. Gender equity is easy to defend; but females only have a monopoly on victimization in the scrubbed posts of feminist blogs. I often think what a pity it is that feminism has become such an angry, dishonest movement. If it were honest, and if it recognized that, gee, men and boys do suffer unfairness sometimes because they were born male -- and not because of "patriarchy" (a code word for men) -- they'd have a hell of a lot more converts. Instead they are content to being a marginalized, angry little group.

What I enjoy most are the "comment policies" of feminist blogs, which typically read as if they were written by the most constipated and disagreeable of ogres. Here is one such policy -- there may be far better ones -- I did not search beyond this one:

This blog encourages and welcomes comments, debate and discussion among feminists and feminist allies. Comments which are insulting, derogatory or inflammatory will be deleted. These types of comments include, but are not limited to, those that are purposely racist, misogynistic, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, rape-apologist, anti-feminist and/or anti-choice. Particularly, comments regarding sexual violence which I personally find to be offensive for any reason will not be allowed. If you’re not sure whether or not your comment will fall into this category, please don’t leave it here. Comments which are off topic may also not be approved.

Repeat offenders will be banned — and mercilessly mocked. If your actions don’t technically fall into the above categories, but you happen to really piss me off, I still reserve the right to ban you. . . .

There is only one vote: mine. There is no appeals process. So don’t be an asshole.