Correcting The Skeptic Feminist’s attempt to separate “Group F” from the nutcases

I’m sure that you’re well-meaning, but this video does not offer sound reasoning. “If you’re an anti-feminist, that means you are against feminist activism” No. A non-Feminist is one who does not accept the tenets of Feminism. An anti-Feminist is one who advocates against the validity and acceptance of these tenets.

This entire video is merely an attempt at apologia for a label.  Your statements remind me of the Christian who says “We’re not talking about those irritating nutcase bible thumpers. If you believe in being a good neighbour, you’re a Christian. Christianity is merely activism for being a good person.”

No. If I don’t believe there is a god, I am not a Christian. If I am an anti-Theist, I am not against being a good neighbour. If I do not believe that women are somehow overall more oppressed than men, this does not mean that I am against human rights.

Your argument, as you quite correctly say, is not a No True Scotsman fallacy. It is a series of argument by stipulation, compound conflations and equivocations.

“Feminism is literally an activism in the cause of equality” No. It’s not. Feminism is the acceptance of a series of hypotheses based on the notion that women are on average more, or more intensely, oppressed than their male counterparts and it is from here that the value of “equality” is derived. “Equality” is a proposed solution to a stipulated claim. Non-Feminists reject the claim as non-theists reject the claim of the existence of a god.

Further, one may believe these things, yet not be an activist for its cause. Feminism is not activism, Feminist activism is activism.

If one believes that the world is out to get you or someone you love, it makes perfect sense that one would act in anger, and if you don’t understand that the claim is made from the point of view of only half of the population, it makes sense that you would ignore it or dismiss those of the other half and build your world view accordingly. Take the two together, ignorance and misunderstanding, add to that grand-hypotheses, passion and peer-group support and you have a recipe for bigotry. This formula is applicable across pretty much any group.

And it is this byproduct, the bigotry in action, that causes people to move from a position of non-Feminist to that of anti-Feminist.

Your essential error is the failure to recognize Feminism for what it is: a series of hypotheses about how the world works and proposed solutions based on these hypotheses. You second and common error is to conflate Feminism with Women’s Rights/Issues Activism. Feminism is one part of the women’s movement, it is not all of it. The women’s movement, like the men’s movement is one where people seek to resolve goals that affect that particular sex. This can be done without conflating issues or problems for oppression or subjugation.

You’ve offered some recommendations, I offer the following of my own: grab yourself a dozen textbooks or articles written by Feminists and inspect each claim critically. Keep asking the following question: “What is the fundamental underlying presupposition required for this presupposition to be true, how how was it derived?” Here’s a quick-start document. http://faculty.ycp.edu/~dweiss/phl380_feminist_thought/what%20is%20feminist%20theory.pdf

Once you do, what you’ll recognize is that the problems that women experience become more concrete, more local, more solvable. You’ll also discover that there’s no need to blame large groups such as “men” or “institutions” or “society.” That will change the entire character of your activism.

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