"Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it?"
Such is my newly adopted position on arguing with feminists. It's an impossible task, akin to repeatedly banging one's head against a brick wall. Hell, as they say, is the impossibility of reason, and feminists seem to provide evidence of Hell on earth.
This isn't my normal position, I've been repeatedly and in many different places deemed a "contrarian". Which is fair enough. I don't just disagree for the sake of it, as the term implies, but pretty much whatever I hear from any side of any argument I instinctively pick holes in and come to oppose. And the louder and more dogged and dogmatic someone is about their own brand of bullshit the more likely I am to oppose it. Well, you don't get a more fanatical band of bullshit peddlers anywhere than internet feminists. And there bullshit is so egregious I can't just say "eh, never mind, each to his own". Like this guy, I just can't back down from the argument:
Well feminists, as with all bullies, are very quick to play the victim. Obviously with feminism that also forms the basis of their ideology, that women are and always have been a persecuted and oppressed class along with their alleged advocates in the feminist movement.
Now, obviously, the rigint board has always been quite friendly to the feminists. You wouldn't know it if you were to be stupid enough to listen to them, mind, as one of their constant claims is that the board is "hostile to women", in some ephemeral way incapable of proof. The fact that the two moderators are outspoken feminists supposedly doesn't disprove this, or that the feminist contingent never hesitate to spread their bile in any thread that takes their fancy.
Most recently a bizarre and absurd thread was posted with the OP taken from a review of a book about the witch-trials, claiming those to be a patriarchal conspiracy to terrorise women into a life a subservient housewifery and involuntary labour for men, which somehow brought about the capitalism system. You don't need to be too much of a historian to see the flaws in this.
The review made a big deal of the psychological terror caused by burning witches and attributed to this the rise of capitalism, for fucks sake. Capitalism arose in England, where a grand total of 2 witches were ever burned. A very large minority of witches prosecuted were men. A majority of heretics, a far larger group than witches, prosecuted were men, and they actually were burned. Where does that leave the theory that witches were burned as a psychological warfare exercise againt women to force them into servitude to men and the capitalist state?
And, you know, housebound female work with men working out of the house didn't really become the norm for anyone but the rich until the twentieth century, the books laments the fall of serfdom, and so on, it's a big long pile of bullshit. But, that's characteristic of feminism, if you look at something you have to find a way in which in indicates the eternal subjugation of women, even if that means looking at it dishonestly.
And, obviously, rigint was full of feminists willing to defend this claptrap. More than that, full of feminists who started another thread about misogyny to spread the debate a bit wider. Claiming all of society is, and forever has been, some sort of conspiracy against women.
Obviously what those threads, which went to dozens of pages, eventually produced was nothing. Rather, the feminists maintained that they were right, that society is inherently misogynistic, that the board is hostile to women, and so on, with no evidence or argument, or even something as simple as a definition. I mean, an argument like "the misogyny of society is shown by the level of violence against women" can be refuted by showing statistics for violence against members of each sex. An argument could be made that the forms of violence, limited as they are, of which females are the majority of the victims, which are sex crimes, are somehow more oppressive to women. I could have argued with that. "It just is", however, isn't a reasonable argument.
More alarming, on a board which is normally civil and well-humoured, is the sort of vitriol which comes out of feminists. Contrary to their claim that the board is inherently hostile to women I was just about the only poster who was even sceptical of their most absurd claims, the rest of the participants in the thread steadfastly avoiding conflict or, more often, siding with the feminists. A poster going by "wallflower", for example, who was in sympathy with the feminists was hesitant to post, as a man, to a gender issues thread. Rightly so.
On the other hand Project Willow, one of the more feminist inclined posters, saw absolutely nothing wrong with accusing me of being a physical threat to other members of the board, conjuring up images of female posters reading my messages about how women have nothing to be afraid of due to being statistically unlikely to be victims of violent crime and reacting by cowering in their homes of a night, armed and waiting for the arrival of I, the teddy-bear of Damocles. And obviously she has repeatedly called for me to be banned, which to my mind is a faux pas. It's a bookable offence in football to call for the booking of another player, but football is a fairer place than the internet. For that matter if I'd been accused of being a lurking ever-present danger to harmless and terrified women, ever on-guard against my feared approach in a national newspaper I would currently be benefiting from a generous libel pay-off.
Incidentally I've always quite liked the idea of being wrongly branded a murderer by the Mail or Express, both of which have done so to others in the last few years and ended up paying out million-pound compensation.
So as I say, it's a very hostile sort of place for anyone not following the established feminist dogma on the board. I was getting pretty tired of arguing about it to be honest, although arguing isn't really the right word. As if I had a load of sandwiches and then said "I've had enough chocolate". But the point is, I'm not hungry any more, the only experience you ever have arguing with feminists is presenting facts and argument, the building blocks of debate, and getting nothing but personal abuse in return. Most feminists go in for LaSalle's Law, the ever-increasing likelihood during a discussion with a feminist that she will at some point insult one's sexual prowess, but at rigint they like to pretend to be on the side of the angels, so they accuse you of being a misogynist. Don't believe society is inherently misogynist? Well, that's because you're a misogynist.
But rigint has now jumped the shark, as they say. Formerly it was a place where it was worth arguing, rather than letting feminist dogma go unchallenged, due to its usefullness on other, less feminist-related topics, but they've gone too far now. I didn't mind when they made Canadian_watcher a mod, after all barracuda was already a mod and a more abrasive and irrational person it would be hard to discover.
No, the straw which broke the camel's back, as it were, was a decree from on high that no more debate on the issue of feminism was allowed. It has been announced from on high: women have been oppressed, continue to be oppressed and no questioning of this position is to be allowed under any circumstances. The first response to this was from someone scared of making jokes in case he violated the new law. Now I like Jeff Wells, he seems alright, his blog was one of the best around, and I can see why he might want to minimise discord on the board and so forth, and no doubt behind the scenes he's had complaints from the large and extremely vocal feminist contingent on the board. However, what he's done is take a board already overshadowed by a feminist gang and eliminate discord by banning opposition. He now has a board where people are scared of making jokes, where the mods admit the official policy is stalinist and where men are afraid to post to feminist-related threads even if they agree with the feminists, and now where opposition is simply forbidden by executive fiat.
Well, it would seem to be the logical way to do things. If you've been arguing that society is misogynist, and in response to evidence that women are, in fact, a priveleged class* you can only make personal accusations the only alternative to looking foolish is to lobby for banning of the opposition to which you have no logical response. That's the chilling effect of the feminist caucus on the board. You can argue on the basis of the accuracy of the evidence, of the relevance of the evidence, of the train of logic which leads from evidence to conclusion. Or, you can simply shout insults until your opponent goes away or is forced away.
Moral of the story: those with the loudest voices have the quietest enemies.
* On the basis that women have lower incarceration rates, lower unemployment rates, lower chance of being victims of violent crime, and are basically better off in every objectively measurable way.