Caught in a peculiar place in the debate of Is Feminism Hate I’d been shelving my arguments of the torrent of half-truths spilled at me in response to my “Feminism is Not Hate” video (because as the argument stands it seems we do little else but check the accuracy of one another’s claims) I turned to my sister, who incidentally does not identify as feminist, with some help on the fact-checking ’cause there is a lot to work with in a 40 minute video.[EDIT: I don't know that I should bother to explain here but I didn't go running to big sis for help cause ppls on teh internets were mean. She's been a participant in the discussion for awhile and I just tend to give her my blog as a platform] originally we intended to collaborate on a video but between the comments sections, and video responses I’ve ended up stating most of the points that I would have used for clarification. Big shout out to Russ who elevated the conversation back into the realm of proper debate, by defining terms and sticking with the topic. Allowing scope creep makes for a watered-down argument.
Penny decided not to bother with a rebuttal, and over the course of the discussions I have been following I’m tending toward the belief that she is right. While GWW generously declared that I had the integrity to respond to the challenge the only thing I have learned is why others do not bother to engage. I don’t mind the conversation, but I do hate the never-ending time-consuming vacuum that this debate has become. We’ll return to more meaningful discussion after this–there’s a full day’s work in feminism without bothering to argue with people who respond only with condescension at best and ridiculous insults at worst. Don’t call me anti-science and then apply anthropomorphic moralization to female Bonobos.
Combined with this, and a lengthy rebuttal from Russ Lindquest’s video I really don’t feel like there’s much more bashing my head into brick walls left to accomplish. That is to say the debate has sparked the conversation both sides have been looking for…hopefully some good can come of intersectionality.
Below is my sister’s comments. I editorialize no further.
Dear GWW (Karen):
This is, rather than a rebuttal to your ridiculous gush galloping techniques, simply pointing out the fallacy of your argument and why it isn’t worthy of debate.
The statement that the architects of feminist theory use selective facts is redundant. When anyone is trying to demonstrate a point, as you, yourself have done, they will select facts that will illustrate the point they are trying to make.
To the problem you find in assuming that a person in charge would, or would not care about the other gender, that could certainly be quantified by the rights and privileges assigned to one, but not the other gender, and also by the fact that, indeed both sexes have been oppressed under most governments.
You may not have 100 years of activism, but you do have thousands of years of doctrine at your disposal, which does place what argument you could have made at an advantage. Let me substantiate that, and also address “That verse in the Bible about women being obedient to their husbands if they wanted to stay on the right side of the man upstairs”, with some quotes from The Bible, and to refute what you seem to suggest was the totality of women’s obligation;
“And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.” (Leviticus 21:9)
“When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.” (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)
“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.” (Leviticus 12:2)
“But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.” (Leviticus 12:5)
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (I Corinthians 11:3)
“For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” (I Corinthians 11:8-9)
“Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” (Revelation 2:22-23)
“Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.” (Judges 19:24-25)
“Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Timothy 2:11-14)
“If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silvers, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saeth the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (I Corinthians 14:34-35)
Perhaps further study of evolution would be necessary if you are going to argue sexual dimorphism. Real science explains that sexual dimorphism is actually related to male competition rather than “who had things harder”. Darwin’s own theory of this is sexual selection, meaning the females prerogative to choose a mate.
Evolutionary adaptations have decidedly little to do with size, “survival of the fittest” illustrates the process of naturally selecting adaptive traits that would render the animal more suitable for its environment such as, with homo sapiens (lacking effective defensive or predatory physiological attributes, such as claws, speed, jaws and teeth) an adaptive and creative mind capable of inventing and utilizing tools for those purposes, furthermore, we are not comparing two different animals, we are comparing sexes of the same species.
Bonobos social structure is actually very little like you describe. Sex is very prevalent in their social order, males with males, females with females, males with females. It’s almost like we would use a handshake. I thought that was common knowledge, but apparently not. In fact, it has been noted that females dominate the social environment.
What might occur to someone feminist or not, is the evidence that points to the contrary of your assertion that the most extreme patriarchies occur in the harshest living conditions. For example: The women from Changthang Plateau have a relatively high social status. The Tuareg from the Sahara Desert have high status compared to their Arab counterparts and are largely matrilineal. Quite interesting are the Nenets from Siberia, who actually have a matriarchal social structure.
Your implication that women are incapable of hunting or surviving extreme conditions is a fascinating and bald assertion. For various reasons women did hunt in the Inuit culture. Men also helped with what you claim to be “lesser women’s’ duties”. To be honest, I don’t understand why you would classify the Inuit as an “extreme patriarchy” at all. It would be very helpful to your argument, if you would elaborate on your points, or even quantify them, considering your assertions tend to go against any empirical evidence
Addressing the thought that Inuit men would have chosen not to risk and sacrifice like they did, if all they got was the same rewards and status as Inuit women. A person that does anything for the implicit reward of controlling, or placing themselves above another person may well be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, so if those men were narcissists, then probably not. This argument, however, largely ignores the fact that throughout any determinable hominid history we are social animals, and although it may have been the prerogative of individual men to leave the social structure, they likely wouldn’t have.
It is laughable that you look to mythology to attempt to illustrate that point. Even still, the reason for Siddhartha Gautama “walking away” was his attempt to ease the burdens that he saw, which he had a deep empathy for, rather than renouncing his supposed responsibility to provide for anyone.
I am not myself a feminist, and I find it difficult to defend positions I don’t agree with. Feminism, in my understanding is about equality on all fronts. I would adamantly include risks and dangers that men need to take. In the instance of certain labour practices and especially conscription, I really don’t see why anyone would fight to attain those. It would seem, to be fighting for their own oppression. I don’t know why men haven’t stood up and abolished that practice, but to say that feminists are hateful or even “not really for equality” because they aren’t championing men’s causes is ridiculous.
By definition children are subjugated. They are under the control of the parents and the government. I’m guessing as a mother of three kids, you don’t let them run around and break things, put random objects in their mouth or get themselves into dangerous situations by their own will. There is a big difference between an adult and a child being subjugated. An adult can reason, and children do attain this (at what age is another debate) but until they do it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that they are safe, even from themselves.
Did you ever think that just maybe your “epiphany” that marriage was a way for either a man or a woman to enslave the other, speaks to nothing but your own motives? I am entirely grateful that I don’t have to stoop to manipulative tactics for my own survival, or a better quality of life. I have the agency to take care of myself and be free to choose a partner because of his personal qualities, rather than what he can provide me with. This was probably the single greatest gift of feminism; men no longer have to worry, with a resourceful woman, if she is giving herself over to him purely out of desire for his resources.
I know my sister’s love of debate. I also know her empathetic nature, and that she uses debate largely as a means to mutual actualization. Both of us have concern for men’s issues, and have attempted to gain a deeper understanding of them. That said, I am sorry that I encouraged her to engage in this debate, I wasn’t aware of your propensity for distorting fact.
I would now encourage her to wash her hands of this “debate”, nothing useful can come from conversation with someone who has no appreciation for fact or reason. The only thing she’s accomplished is opening herself up to abuse from your peers, and a misappropriated condescension from you.
I would also encourage her not to bother with comments, as I doubt anything remotely useful can come from someone who actually takes you seriously either.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology Volume 103 Issue 1 – Intrasexual Competition and Body Weight Dimorphism in Anthropoid Primates – J Michael Plavacan, Carel P Van Schiak
Origin of Species – Charles Darwin
Status of Women in Transhumant Societies – Veena Bhasin
Primate Info Net – National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin
Firstworldwar.com – Encyclopaedia – White Feathers
7 things Bonobos can teach us about love and sex http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-dawn/201202/7-things-bonobos-can-teach-us-about-love-and-sex
Storify: The #MALAT feed from the January 16th collaborate sessionA # feed with some pics and resources from the Tony...