Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why I can't read Femininsting.com

I rarely read feministing.com because its world view is akin to a cult, with tenets accepted by its devotees that are flatly contrary to the accepted beliefs and common experiences of the vast majority of Americans. Assertions are posited as fact without any supporting evidence, based on nothing more than the serene ipse dixit of its authors. The readers who comment on the posts opine with a self-righteousness and a certainty usually reserved for the "straight-man" characters in a comedy film -- you know, the ones who will end up with a truckload of horse manure dropped on their heads before it's over.

In short, that site so reeks of anti-intellectualism that it can aptly be called bizarre. (I will, of course, await the de rigueur sarcasm of that blog's devotees, who will take issue with the fact that this blog speaks out for a class of victims they insist does not exist.) I inadvertently stumbled onto a link at that site to a post by one of their writers named Courtney, called The Question of Accountability in Feminism. This is an example of what I am referencing:

". . . it does seem critical for men interested in doing feminist work and identifying with the feminism to be accountable to certain basic ideas--like the notion that men have, for too long, possessed a disproportionate amount of power in our society."

Ah, there it is. In black and white. The central tenet of modern feminism, and the raison d’ĂȘtre for that blog's existence. Read it, re-read it, and memorize it. "Undeserved" male privilege. Men haven't acted as they have -- inventing and building pretty much everything, risking and often giving their lives through perils of every kind and nature, struggling against all adversity to be providers for their wives and femilies -- out of a social compact to which women have been willing participants if not prime instigators. Oh, no. Men are nothing less than oppressors and subjugators of women, lording over them with brute strength and singularly intent on retaining their "power."

And I have a bridge in Jersey I'd like to sell the readers of Feminising.com. There is an ancient legal word for their central tenet: horseshit. It is so out of step with reality, nobody buys it outside of Womyn's Studies classes and one dark and twisted corner of the blogosphere. It is scarcely worth bothering to refute since it is self-evidently wrong.

Wait. There's more. You'll really like this.

"This means that in feminist spaces, men should be cognizant of how much they talk, what sort of influence they exert, what kind of leadership they inhabit. But then again, shouldn't men and women always strive to be cognizant of these things."

I am loathe to try to attach meaning to something so strangely worded. I don't know about you, but it reminds me of how the head maid talks to the newly hired help in a very wealthy household: "Do not speak unless you are spoken to; you must know your place . . .."

There's more:

"And, of course, real accountability would come in creating a world where everyone gets to express their gender identity in whatever way feels most authentic, a world where no one would be forced to exist within a gender binary that didn't feel right for them."

Right. Except that if men want to act in a way that feministing.com disapproves of, men had better be prepared to be branded as evil. So much for expressing your gender identity.

There was a time when I could write a very lengthy piece ridiculing a post like this. I now realize it isn't worth my time. Virtually nobody is buying this nonsense, aside from very impressionable (and dare I say often troubled) young people and angry older women, who feel so terribly disenfranchised that they blame "men" for whatever ails their twisted psyches. The central tenets underlying their movement are simply wrong, by any measure, and their blog isn't worth reading or refuting.