The following excellent item was posted by Paul Parmenter as a comment to the recent CF post titled Dare to Call It Feminism.
paul parmenter said...
A thought provoking post as usual, Fidelbogen.
My experience and long observation has driven me to conclude that feminism (but see below) has three fundamental characteristics that simply never change, no matter how many shapes and colours the old chameleon turns itself into. Those characteristics are firstly female supremacism (so our different experiences accord exactly on that one). Secondly, hatred of all things male. That does not necessarily have to go hand in hand with female supremacism, but in this case it most certainly does. Thirdly, the remarkable propensity to tell awful lies.
We should not be surprised at the lies, considering that feminism is grounded in one of the biggest lies in history, that all men have been oppressing all women since the year dot. If you adhere to that whopper, you simply have to keep creating more lies to justify it, until you lose yourself in a maze of contradictions and deceit; or simply implode into dust. Feminism is nicely poised between the two right now.
But instead of trying to nail down any definition of feminism, which is rather like trying to get a grip on an angry eel covered in soap, I find it easier and more productive simply to deal with real live feminists.
Now whether we should regard our enemy as feminism or feminists, is a very interesting question. I might be out on a limb in my belief that it is the latter. But I simply think that if feminism refuses to allow itself to be defined, or resorts to lies when it does define itself, or has endless definitions depending on who you speak to, then I won't waste my time on the matter. I will just confront the beast wherever it appears in human form. It is after all only through the agency of real people that any ideology or "ism" can inflict damage. The concept that I am a monster who must be destroyed is totally harmless to me until and unless a real person believes in it and sets out to put that belief into practice.
But again, if you cannot pin a tail on the donkey that is feminism, can you fare any better with feminists? If the ism has multiple faces, then so surely do the believers in the ism? I solve the problem by simply recognising "people who call themselves feminists"; and that is the easiest way to describe them. Never mind who they are or what they think feminism is, or whether they would fit some esoteric definition of the term; if they call themselves feminists, we should at least do them the courtesy of accepting that that is what they are. They should certainly know.
And my approach works. I find that people who call themselves feminists invariably do indeed display the three characteristics of feminism that I outline above. Of course they do; that is how I arrived at my definition of feminism in the first place. And it is very satisfying, although also of course irritating, to find that my definition consistently holds good. I will accept that there are a very few people who call themselves feminists who do not display all the three characteristics; but they are so rare as to discount themselves. In the overwhelming majority of cases, when you encounter someone who calls himself or herself a feminist, you will find yourself dealing with someone who believes in female supremacy, who hates all things male, and who tells lots of lies.
Which makes them extremely obnoxious people to deal with.
Of course we have to accept that there may be plenty of others who have the three characteristics but who don't or won't call themselves feminists; but they should not fool anyone. As you say, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck...
It is very easy to prove that people who call themselves feminists are liars. Their favourite lie is to insist that they believe in equality between the sexes. And you can catch them out in this lie very simply. Just ask them if they have ever lifted so much as a finger to help close the disgraceful gap in life expectancy between the sexes; or to equalise the gross imbalance in health care funding between male-specific and female-specific diseases; or to address the appalling underachievement of boys in education compared to girls; or to give fathers anything approaching parity with mothers in our misandric family court system; or done anything at all to alleviate the inequality in any number of other vital areas in our lives where males are without question treated as inferior citizens.
I can give you a cast-iron guarantee that the person who calls himself or herself a feminist will not give you a straight and honest answer to any such question, even though you both know exactly what that answer is. Instead they will avoid answering it any which way they can think of. I can give that guarantee because there is no other way they can react. Their dishonesty will bar them from telling the truth, and their inflated opinion of their moral standing (they always believe they stand on the moral high ground) will not allow them admit to you, let alone themselves, that they have been caught with their pants down. So their only recourse will be "fight or flight". They will either run away into denial mode, or change the subject instantly, most probably to complaints about hard done by women are; or they will switch to the attack with a venom that can only be summoned up by those who are in the wrong and know it.
That's because when they told you they believed in sex equality, they were telling lies.
By their fruits shall ye know them, indeed.