Backstory: I’m taking a sociology elective over the summer, Deviant Behaviour. Recently, I wrote a paper on moral panics. In the process of doing research for it, I couldn’t help but realize that a lot of the descriptors of a moral panic fit ideas of misogyny and rape culture really neatly.
One quote that jumped out at me the most was, “The ability to define and construct reality is closely connected to the power structure of society.” From a social constructivist perspective, those with the greatest power have the greatest ability to define rules of “good” or “bad”. A moral panic, therefore, is a situation which those in power interpret as a threat to that power. It involves exaggerated and unsupported claims, highly emotional tactics, and a “folk devil” on whom to lay the blame for an “epidemic” or “threat to society”.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Think of all the things that go through this blog on a regular basis. Rape statistics, domestic violence statistics, murder and crime statistics, all of which are heavily falsified, exaggerated, and coupled with sensationalist emotional appeals. The “moral entrepreneurs” in this case — those who stand to gain from a societal panic — are feminists. They have the highest social position, in that their morality is accepted by everyone. The folk devil? Men.
Feminism’s fear-based culture of victimhood is meant to keep us panicking over issues that aren’t nearly as bad as claimed, so we will turn a blind eye to the oppression and victimization of a whole class of people. Just as the African-American poor were blamed for the mythical “crack epidemic”, so are men blamed for the emerging idea of the “misogyny epidemic”.