amarielah:

I should probably state for the record that I don’t actually hold people’s basic human psychology against them. We’re wired to make generalizations as a basic safety measure. We get bitten by a snake, and our brain generalizes that we should probably be cautious around snakes. Our brain didn’t evolve to operate on large scales, or to take statistics into account. We can’t help the involuntary physiological or psychological effects of a fear — whether that fear is “rational” or not. And to expect an individual to just suck it up and live with the intense discomfort of anxiety is pretty ridiculous.

There’s a big difference between holding people’s basic human psychology against them and identifying the results of that psychology as problematic.  Having those types of knee-jerk reactions doesn’t make someone a bad person, but it also doesn’t make the resulting bigotry any more acceptable.

This kind of involuntary generalization only becomes a problem when it causes harm to others. But I don’t think most of the men who complain that women (their generalization, not mine) are afraid of them are doing so because it causes them genuine harm, such as affecting their ability to find a job, or puts their family in danger of violent reprisals. It’s to do with how it affects them on an interpersonal level: that is, individual women might not want to be alone with them if they’re only acquaintances, or may not accept a lift from them. Most of the “bigotry” (some) women engage in as a result of mistrusting men as a group has to do with regulating her own behavior, such as what she chooses to wear or whether or not she’ll walk alone.

Perhaps this is bigotry in the strictest sense of the word, but it’s not comparable to bigotry that actually causes people unfair disadvantages, or puts people at risk of violence. So why does it make some men (and women) so angry? 

Bigotry itself is objectionable, regardless of the actions taken based on it.  Even if we do take those actions into account, though, there is still a very big difference between “less bad” and “not bad.”  You also seem to be vastly underestimating the wider ramifications of the “harmless” generalizations you’re justifying, particularly the degree to which they end up driving law and public policy.  While the connection may not be obvious at a glance, those generalizations do create unfair disadvantages for men and play a significant role in the additional risk of violence that men as a gender face.

As for people’s reactions, most people don’t like being treated with distrust and suspicion purely based on something they didn’t choose and cannot change.  As a society, we’ve collectively agreed that such treatment is particularly inexcusable when it’s related to demographic characteristics like sex, gender, race, age, religion or sexuality.  Is it really such a surprise, then, that people tend to take offense?

It’s literally getting angry at people for regulating their anxiety in a way that causes no precipitous harm to anyone. And that is so bizarre to me. I honestly can’t wrap my head around it.

Honest question: if we reformulated your entire post to refer to another group, say, black people, would you still be okay with the views being portrayed?  If so, you’re both logically consistent (yay!) and about to be smacked upside the head by the rest of the Tumblr SJW community (less yay).

Few people would be comfortable with someone who displayed the type of mistrust towards any racial minority that you excuse when displayed towards men.  Equally few would be comfortable with someone who displayed that type of mistrust towards women, even in cases where that mistrust is the result of severe personal victimization.

You find it difficult to wrap your head around this particular instance, but it seems like you’re doing a pretty good job with all the rest.

babblingbug:

permutationofninjas:

cataradical:

idk man went on the #MRA tag and there’s a number of posts saying “if this happened to guys, women would laugh/it’s okay” etc and basically shitting on feminism

no that’s not what feminism is about

But it’s what feminism is doing.

we don’t think the abuse, rape, etc of men is something funny nor is it a matter to be taken lightly; we don’t laugh or roll our eyes at women (or men) beating up guys or forcing them into sexual positions and think “lol you guys deserve it”

The gals over at Jezebel might have something to say about this.  Or the nice lady from the CDC who helpfully pointed out that rape doesn’t count when it’s a man victimized by a woman.

that’s not what being a feminist is; you equate the movement so often to “women wanting to be powerful over inferior weak men” when it’s not

Apparently some many of your friends missed the memo.

we just want equality; we want the same respect men get that women do not in this messed up society. this also fixes some backwards shit in the patriarchy for men that includes shitting on men if they’re feminine, if they cry, etc; it’s to tear down that issue as well. to benefit men. it’s all about being equal and treated fairly. it has nothing to do with “HAHA YOU MEN DESERVE THE MISERY YOU WENT THROUGH WE’RE HERE TO CONQUER THE WORLD”; don’t equate an honest, good movement by slandering it with nonsense posts like “if a woman smacked a man that’s not abuse durr feminists durr you think ur so better than us dudes”

When the rest of your movement gets around to it, we’d be happy to help.  Until then, part of our job as people actually working towards the equality you claim to want is doing our best to minimize the damage they cause in the mean time.

real feminists don’t find all those disturbing topics funny, or right. real feminists think it’s equally wrong and disgusting. if any woman mocked a man who was raped or abused by a loved one/stranger/whomever, no matter the gender/sex of the abuser, then they are not a feminist—they’re a disgusting human being.

Here’s the problem: those feminists are real feminists.  They’re part of your movement, they’re responsible for a great deal of your policy and activism, and your enabling of their actions has serious real-world consequences.  Feminism is responsible for the Tender Years Doctrine, primary aggressor policies, the Duluth Model, and the erasure of millions of male victims of rape and abuse.  Feminism isn’t all bad, sure - but by sweeping these bad feminists under the rug, you’re making the problem worse rather than taking even the first step towards solving it.

it’s funny how far people will go to derail a good feminist argument.

you look like you’ve read cataradical’s post, but it doesn’t appear as if you’ve comprehended any of it.

How so?  Are you sure you’ve comprehended our post?  Are you sure you’ve read it?

Individual feminists are often fine.  The feminist movement often isn’t.  Individual Republicans are often fine.  The Republican Party often isn’t.  Saying “oh, no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge” is not a good argument to the contrary.

Is this really that complicated a concept?

mr-morden-speaks:

permutationofninjas:

We often talk about how radicals have tainted the feminist movement. Most feminists aren’t willing to even admit that there’s a problem, but the few that do tend to ask a simple question: “how do we fix it?” This is for you guys.

Or just say feminism met all it’s goals decades ago. Dismantle feminist laws and shut down all feminist organizations and departments.

While feminism met most of its concrete goals a long time ago, that doesn’t mean that the overall objective of gender equality isn’t still a work in progress.  By the same token, many “feminist” laws and organizations don’t need to be dismantled so much as they need to be equalized, complimented and made more gender-inclusive – they aren’t all bad ideas, just ideas implemented badly.  The fact that the modern feminist movement has gone off track isn’t necessarily a reason to throw away all the resources it has built up over time, especially when those resources can be repurposed to effectively promote actual gender equality.

stevita:

also, in reference to that post I just reblogged about shitty mras: men who are victims of domestic violence are denied support and not taken seriously because of patriarchal expectations, but where are the so-called “men’s rights” activists when it comes to supporting them? huh? 

Well, they’ve been busy setting up shelters for abuse victims and fighting gender-biased domestic abuse legislation.  Unless we’re terribly mistaken, that falls under “supporting” them – “supporting” them far better than you probably have or ever will.

MRAs are not homophobic as far as I have seen. Unless you think somehow gay men are not men, idk where you would even assume this prejudice. — Anonymous

witchchad:

jeysiec:

witchchad:

lmao MRA’s only care about straight white cis men and you fucking know it

Actually, this is news to the many, many LGBT, female, and/or PoC MRAs out there. (Lejacquelope here on Tumblr is a PoC MRA, off the top of my head, and he’s very outspoken on issues facing PoC.)

Also, you make it sound like even all straight white cis men live in the lap of luxury and freedom from problems, when actually many folks who fit that description are unemployed, homeless, disabled, living in poverty, aged, chronically ill, suffering discrimination in areas where bigotry and discrimination is based on things like religion or ethnicity more than skin color (way to be America-centric there), and/or any number of other major issues.

Do you people ever peek outside your bubbles and actually talk to the people you’re criticizing before doing so?

BREAKING NEWS: human males are subject to bad things just like everyone else. in other news women and queer people are being murdered for existing, unlike straight white cis men. 

You seem to have missed the point.  We’ll try and help you, but we’re not sure that’s even possible.

Anon: MRAs don’t seem to be homophobic.  Unless you think gay men aren’t men, what you’re saying makes no sense.

You: lmao MRAs only care about straight white cis men.

Jeysiec: That still doesn’t make sense.  There are many MRAs who are not straight white cis men; why would black, queer, trans or female MRAs not care about others like them?  Separately, you’re painting a picture of gender privilege that is highly inaccurate and ignores or discounts the effects of things like religion, ethnicity and class.  In conclusion, you’re an idiot.

You (completely and utterly ignoring what Jeysiec said): FINE.  I admit that not all men have it perfect, but that doesn’t matter because I believe some other groups have it worse.  I have no idea whatsoever how this relates to my original claim that MRAs are homophobic, or my claim that MRAs only care about straight white cis men.  If I’m lucky, the people reading this won’t notice that and call my ignorant ass out on it.

Hopefully, you can use this breakdown to find the point that you missed.  You’re free to contact us if you still can’t figure it out; we’d be happy to help you further.

MRAs would do things for men if feminists didn't stop them. If you type in the URL (remove the spaces) anti-feminism-pro-equality. tumblr. com/badwomen you will find a massive cited list of actions taken by feminists to attack men. — Anonymous

witchchad:

if you type in “women killed by husband” in google, you’ll find a massive cited list of actions taken by men to literally kill women.

If you type “cute animal videos” into Google, you’ll find a massive list of examples (with video proof, no less) of animals being adorable.  It would be about as relevant to the point Anon made as your search, but much more heartwarming.

Is it internaized-homophobic/over-privileged/otherwise-problematic to be a homosexual who feels no connection/affinity to the "queer" label/culture? I don't really know who else to ask about this. — Anonymous

Short answer?  ”No.”  Long answer?  ”Probably not, but it depends.”

There is no one “right” way to be gay: if we have two people and all we know about them is that they’re both gay, literally the only thing we can guarantee they have in common is an attraction to people of the same sex/gender.  (This gets a little more complicated when trans people are involved, but that’s a separate issue.)  In general, this means that there’s nothing at all wrong with someone not having a connection to a particular label, community, or set of values despite sharing a single trait with the members of that community; to say otherwise is to literally deny gay people their individuality and demand that they conform to a particular stereotype, form or mold.

This isn’t necessarily a free pass.  Instead, it shows us that what we really need to look at is why a person doesn’t have that connection.  In some cases that may indeed be caused by things like internalized homophobia, but most of the time it comes down to the exact same reasons that are common in other cases.  We wouldn’t accuse all Jews who don’t feel a strong connection to the local “Jewish” community of being anti-Semitic, and we shouldn’t do the same for sexuality.

aroseinafistedglove:

“Lots of MRAs like to pretend that they care about male victims of domestic violence. But the Men’s Rights movement hasn’t done shit for them. And here, I think, is why: too many MRAs are less interested in helping male victims of domestic violence than they are in providing excuses and justifications for male abusers.”

The Men’s Rights movement hasn’t done shit for male domestic violence victims, you say?  Really now?  Did you bother doing any research on the topic before you decided to make your post?  MRAs have founded men’s rights shelters, started men’s helplines, and have fought for changes to domestic violence policy that ignores male victims.  As an example, Earl Silverman, an abuse survivor himself, created a men’s shelter out of his own home, funding it out of his own pockets.  When he ran out of money, in part because the Canadian government refused to help fund him like they do other shelters, he eventually committing suicide in an attempt to draw attention to the issue.  It’s not like they only help men, either - Erin Pizzey, now a significant MRA spokesperson, founded one of the first women’s shelters in the UK.

In the end, the efforts of MRAs to help male abuse victims are largely invisible for a number of reasons.  First, there simply aren’t all that many MRAs.  It’s easier for larger movements like feminism to cause noticeable change, because they have strength in numbers and often major government funding.  Second, and perhaps more importantly, MRAs are still struggling to raise awareness about men’s issues.  For the most part society still doesn’t even acknowledge that male victims exist, let alone that they deserve equal help and support rather than victim- and gender-blaming.  Third, feminism’s tendency to constantly erase male victims at every opportunity isn’t exactly helping the situation, as it’s led to them directly opposing virtually every attempt on the part of MRAs to act on these issues.

Next time you feel an ill-considered urge to post something ignorant, we suggest you try a dose of Google first.  It might help.

NTS Fallacy?

thedissentingliberal:

ambivalent-feminist:

permutationofninjas:

Now, I’ve read your explanation of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy and I understand how it works and why it totally applies to feminism. But it leads me to wonder, is there ever a time when NTS is actually applicable and not a fallacy? I mean like just feel that there are certain tenets of a group or movement (if it is a legit movement ie. adhering to their set out policies) that really can’t be broken and you really do have to say “No *insert group member here* does that”


Is NTS ever a legitimate point?

I’d say this question is somewhat flawed.  The short answer is “no”.  NTS is never a legitimate point because one of the defining characteristics of NTS is its fallaciousness.  Conveniently, this provides for us a key example of a case where something could look like an NTS fallacy without actually being one: it may seem lik a retroactive redefinition, but it’s always been a core element of what defines the fallacy.

Basically, what makes an NTS fallacy what it is is that it retroactively redefines the premise (definition) to include the conclusion.  Someone says “all X are Y,” is presented with an example of X that is not Y, then says “because it isn’t Y, it’s not really X” even though the original definition of X didn’t include Y as an element.  This causes the argument to become circular, and they basically just hope nobody notices it.

More formally, it’s an ex post facto example of begging the question.

The whole thing becomes really easy to demonstrate when we replace the symbol with the substance.  (See also this.)  The classic argument becomes thus (substituting the definition in for “Scotsman”):

1. All [people from Scotland] do not sugar porridge.
2. Person X is a [person from Scotland] and does put sugar on porridge.
3. Well, then, person X is not really a [person from Scotland].

This makes it pretty easy to see the problem.  What they’ve done is created a new label of “true” Scotsman, with [does not sugar porridge] as part of its definition.  The argument now goes something like this:

1. [people from Scotland who do not put sugar on porridge] do not put sugar on porridge.

Silly, right?  The original argument was intended to imply that you can infer from one characteristic [person is from Scotland] another characteristic [person does not sugar porridge], but in the modification we’ve ended up with a clearly obvious tautology.

The reason I’ve done all this explaining is partly as a review for people not familiar with all this, but also because this shows the direct definition for NTS.  This makes it easy to talk about what you’re thinking of, specifically as it applies to feminism.

The case with feminism involves some implied portions.  (That is, things that are presumed but not stated outright.)  They’ve been marked in italics.

1. (Definition)  All [_______]  are [feminists].
2. All [feminists] are [supporters of equality].
3. Therefore [person X] who is [feminist] is [supporter of equality].
4. (Counterexample) [person X] who is [feminist] is [rampaging bigot].
5. (Rebuttal) therefore, [person X] is not in fact [feminist].

Whether or not this is valid reasoning all depends on the contents of the [______] block up in (1).  [______] is basically our definition of what constitutes a feminist, as it then transitions to the label [feminists].

If our definition is something like [people who call themselves “feminists”], this is NTS because that definition says nothing about their beliefs on bigotry or even sexism.  The worst misogynist in the world could call themselves a “feminist” and by definition be one, meaning that (5) is actually a redefinition of [______] to include the element [supporter of equality].  On the other hand, if the original definition was [people who call themselves feminists and support equality] this is a classic logical membership test.  We ditch (2) and (3) entirely because this information is not being inferred from [feminists], and it looks like this:

1. All [people who call themselves feminists and support equality] are [feminists].
2. Is [person X] who is [calls self feminist] but also [rampaging bigot] a feminist?
3. No, because the characteristics of [person X] do not match the definition of [feminist].

This then becomes something completely separate from a logic problem, because it raises the question of how much of the “feminist” movement are not defined as “feminists” in the eyes of the speaker, and why (if this is the case) they aren’t doing anything about it.  The definition of “feminist” that goes “calls themself a feminist and supports equality” excludes huge portions of the feminist movement today, so by all rights we’d expect anyone who subscribes to it to be on a righteous crusade of movement-purging.  Instead, it only seems to come up when they want to avoid the backlash from the actions of a given person or group calling themselves “feminists”.

The long answer, thus, is “sort of.”  There are indeed circumstances under which you can say “no [group member]” does this, in cases where the definition of [group member] is clear and includes the elements in question.  However, this leaves one vulnerable to hypocrisy if it’s later found that people who did not fit the presented definition of [group member] were allowed to be involved with the group and treated as members.

The No True Scotsman tag is a wonderful thing.

I’ve wondered about this, too. I think I’ve come to a similar conclusion, in that while being a Scotsman is a non-debatable thing (either you’re born in Scotland/hold Scottish citizenship or you don’t), whereas something like feminism is based in ideology, so theoretically, self-avowed feminists could (and do) embrace ideology that contradicts feminism, and therefore not be feminists. I believe the OP hints at that. (Although I’m an enthusiastic movement-purger.) 

That’s a key point, yes: the act of self-labeling as a feminist is entirely independent from adherence to ideology (albeit with considerable correlation), even though both ideology and identification on their own are about as undebateable as someone being born in Scotland.  (More difficult to test, mind you, but that isn’t relevant here.)  This means that depending on what you use to draw the boundaries for the group you label as “feminists” (ideology, identification, some combination or something else entirely) you can get very different results in terms of who’s considered to be within the group and who is excluded from it.

Thinking about the Scotsman example, consider these cases: someone who was born in Scotland and is a Scottish citizen, but is living abroad; someone who was born in Scotland, but has since moved and renounced their Scottish citizenship; someone who has Scottish citizenship, but has never lived in Scotland; someone who has Scottish citizenship and lives in Scotland but was not born there; someone who has Scottish ancestry and a legal claim to Scottish citizenship that they’ve never exercised; someone who has Scottish ancestry but no legal claim to Scottish citizenship; and someone with neither Scottish ancestry nor legal claim to Scottish citizenship, each of which also may or may not label themself as Scottish.  It’s possible to include or exclude particular cases almost at will, simply by altering which criteria are being used and how they’re being weighted.

The case of Scottishness isn’t actually any less complicated than the case of feminism, just more convenient as an example because there happen to be a couple of common cases that are genuinely unambiguous.  (For example, someone who was born in Scotland, lives in Scotland, has Scottish ancestry, is a Scottish citizen and self-identifies as Scottish is very clearly Scottish, but they still may well put sugar on porridge.)  When looking at feminism, the key aspect to consider is the internal consistency of the definitions being claimed and promoted: either the actions of the person you’re talking to (and those of others they identify as “feminists”) reflect the definition of “feminism” they claim to use, or they do not.

cataradical:

idk man went on the #MRA tag and there’s a number of posts saying “if this happened to guys, women would laugh/it’s okay” etc and basically shitting on feminism

no that’s not what feminism is about

But it’s what feminism is doing.

we don’t think the abuse, rape, etc of men is something funny nor is it a matter to be taken lightly; we don’t laugh or roll our eyes at women (or men) beating up guys or forcing them into sexual positions and think “lol you guys deserve it”

The gals over at Jezebel might have something to say about this.  Or the nice lady from the CDC who helpfully pointed out that rape doesn’t count when it’s a man victimized by a woman.

that’s not what being a feminist is; you equate the movement so often to “women wanting to be powerful over inferior weak men” when it’s not

Apparently some many of your friends missed the memo.

we just want equality; we want the same respect men get that women do not in this messed up society. this also fixes some backwards shit in the patriarchy for men that includes shitting on men if they’re feminine, if they cry, etc; it’s to tear down that issue as well. to benefit men. it’s all about being equal and treated fairly. it has nothing to do with “HAHA YOU MEN DESERVE THE MISERY YOU WENT THROUGH WE’RE HERE TO CONQUER THE WORLD”; don’t equate an honest, good movement by slandering it with nonsense posts like “if a woman smacked a man that’s not abuse durr feminists durr you think ur so better than us dudes”

When the rest of your movement gets around to it, we’d be happy to help.  Until then, part of our job as people actually working towards the equality you claim to want is doing our best to minimize the damage they cause in the mean time.

real feminists don’t find all those disturbing topics funny, or right. real feminists think it’s equally wrong and disgusting. if any woman mocked a man who was raped or abused by a loved one/stranger/whomever, no matter the gender/sex of the abuser, then they are not a feminist—they’re a disgusting human being.

Here’s the problem: those feminists are real feminists.  They’re part of your movement, they’re responsible for a great deal of your policy and activism, and your enabling of their actions has serious real-world consequences.  Feminism is responsible for the Tender Years Doctrine, primary aggressor policies, the Duluth Model, and the erasure of millions of male victims of rape and abuse.  Feminism isn’t all bad, sure - but by sweeping these bad feminists under the rug, you’re making the problem worse rather than taking even the first step towards solving it.

witchchad:

i love how MRA’s totally idolize neil patrick harris because of his character on How I Met Your Mother but totally forget that he’s gay with a husband and two children and just starred in a broadway musical about a transgendered woman

Where are you getting the idea that MRAs idolize Neil Patrick Harris?  Sure, he’s adorable and a very talented actor (both perfectly good reasons, we know), but a brief search on our part has turned up, well, pretty much nothing.  Supposing they did, though, what do you think is more reasonable: that all those many, many MRAs totally missed the absolutely massive secret that is NPH being gay, or that you happen to be just a teensy bit mistaken about the whole “MRA” thing?

garrusdatingsimulator:

On the topic of MRA, I would have NO problem if they focused on actual issues for men, like police brutality towards black men or support for trans men or gay men

A lot of the issues that MRAs fight over are either feminist issues or nonexistent issues

The MRM focuses on those issues an awful lot more than feminism focuses on black women, trans women, and lesbians.  This doesn’t necessarily make feminism’s lack of focus on those things problematic, though; like the MRM, feminism is a movement devoted to addressing issues that affect people along the axis of gender.  They were never meant to completely cover things like queer or black issues, and can at best (and should at most) address those areas where men’s or women’s issues intersect with the issues of other groups.  Sadly, your examples tell us a lot about your intentions: why do you only see police brutality against men as an issue if the men happen to be black?

MRAs fight the erasure of male victims of rape, abuse, and violence.  MRAs fight against a lack of resources for marginalized men.  MRAs fight against inequalities in family law and the criminal justice system.  How are these issues “feminist” or “nonexistent”?  For that matter, how can an issue being “feminist” change anything regarding its importance or need for address?  The way we see it, if anything that makes it worse: if it’s a feminist issue, that means feminism has been mishandling it so unimaginably badly that a whole new movement has had to show up to pick up the slack.