There are, I suppose, many flavors of feminism. The behavior of some feminists cannot reflect on all feminists any more than the behavior of some libertarians reflects on all libertarians.
But many feminists, like many libertarians, are barking mad.
I recently wrote a post on the nonsense of the Enliven Project’s “truth about false accusation” infauxgraphic. One of my commenters wrote a comment (cross-posted elsewhere, which is annoying, but what the hell) and prefaced it with, “Rape is a heinous crime that, in my opinion, should merit the strictest penalties that the law allows.”
Why would anyone feel it necessary to say this?
To the Mad Feminist there is no such thing as honest disagreement with feminist orthodoxy. There is either enthusiastic agreement or misogyny. On the topic of rape, you toe the line (false accusations are rare) or you are a “rape apologist.”
I suspect that my commenter was trying to head off the accusations from the Mad Feminists that he is a misogynistic rape apologist.
But such efforts are in vain. Like the borderline personality I documented here, the Mad Feminist sees anything you have done as justification for what she’s about to do (Rule 7).
For an example, see the discussion between the hapless “Daniel Z” and the malevolent “ginmar” starting here. Be warned: it’s like watching a cat eviscerating an especially dim chipmunk.
Feminists say that where an injury has been done “intent doesn’t matter.” This is not an unreasonable position to take: while even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over, the intent doesn’t affect the severity of the injury.
But unlike “feminism,” “misogyny” only has one meaning. It is all about intent, and by calling any statement that offends “misogynist” the Mad Feminist is talking about nothing but intent.
Here’s how a typical conversation with the Mad Feminist goes:
You: [Something offensive to MF’s sensibilities.]
MF: That was misogynistic.
You: It wasn’t meant that way.
MF: Intent doesn’t matter.
This sort of discourse is vile, of course: claim evil intent, and then act as though intent doesn’t matter. But that’s the Mad Feminist’s castle in the sky, and nobody is going to talk him down from it.
It’s a shame that people who disagree with the Mad Feminist’s orthodoxy feel they have to describe their bona fides—“I am opposed to rape” before engaging, but here’s a tip for those who would engage feminists online, where there are likely to be Mad Feminists polemicizing: don’t. If you are a misogynist you are not going to convince the Mad Feminist otherwise; if you are not a misogynist you are not going to convince the Mad Feminist otherwise.
If you have doubts about whether you hate women, work these out with the women in your life. If you don’t have such doubts, and if the opinion of the Mad Feminist still matters to you, you are far better off spending your time in therapy than trying to convince the Mad Feminist that you really don’t hate women.