The Mad Feminist

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. 

That's a good point for you to smile and back calmly away (all 10 rules). 

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.

4 responses to “The Mad Feminist”

  1. The thing to remember is that in the final analysis Mad Feminists don’t really believe in the rule of law – a concept, which you – and presumably everyone following your blog, by definition – happens to like.

    They don’t believe in fair trial guarantees. They don’t believed in fundamental freedoms. They never did. Remember, in our students days, they were part of the “Loony Left” wanting to ban everything – paranoid about wholly imaginary issues of sexual politics, without any real existence.

    But the difficulty for criminal defence lawyers is that they have now grown up, still ideologically pure, permeating academia and public office – relentlessly corrupting pliable governments in most of the western world in the perversion of criminal justice policy

    The problem is that sex cases are the Trojan Horse undermining your Constitutional rights/our ancient liberties/human rights in every other aspect of the criminal law.

  2. Arguing with a feminist is a bit like trying to argue religion with a true believer. They truly have an ideological belief system and will flatly reject anything that might challenge that belief system. If doesn’t matter just how many plain facts support your argument. You are simply a misogynist or a rape apologist.

    Your post on BPD is truly a thing of beauty. I think it should be required reading for all lawyers. I noticed you used the word “she” but I actually have a theory on why you see predominantly female BPDs. My theory is that most men who have that type of personality are usually in prison. The women who have it are the ones generally walking the streets.

  3. Now hold on just a minute.

    One thing that needs to be established is that the infographic debacle (which, mind, has caused significant criticism across the board) is that it’s a failure of statistics, rather than reflective of a broader ideology. Feminists are no more interested in bad data than anyone else. One should be careful, therefore, in ascribing an ideologically tainted mangling of data to a broad group rather than to an individual.

    Another, more important point is that it is CERTAINLY possible to be misogynistic – or racist/homophobic/classist/what have you – without intent or knowledge. I would think that a member of the criminal defense bar would be acutely aware of this. We deal on a daily basis with a system that is heavily weighted against poor people of color, which treats the fundamental presumption of innocence as an inconvenience, &c. That bias is not perpetuated by hooded Klansmen but by people who think they are being right and reasonable and who are largely unaware of the irrational prejudices that they have turned into laws and prosecutions.

    Whether a given individual is able to civilly discuss the biases of another, of course, is an entirely separate matter. Some folks are good at unearthing deeper prejudices, drawing them out and changing minds through intelligent conversation. Some folks are, well, definitely not.

    The point, however, is that people want to believe that they are reasonable, fair, just, and coherent, and are very good at pretending that their biases are simply The Way Things Are. It’s not just a matter of conscious intent.

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