When feminism is used as a tool
Yesterday, much loved and championed porn star James Deen was revealed to be a rapist. Many will stop here and exclaim “but nothing has been proved! Innocent until proven guilty!”. Stop here. Remove yourself and do not return , rape apologists have no place in this discussion. Stoya, a sex worker and most importantly a woman, will gain nothing from revealing what Deen has done to her. Any woman is aware of the risks of coming out and admitting they have been raped (accused of lying, death threats, boycotting, hate campaigns by MRA’s and meninists) — let alone when the perpetrator in question is well known.
James Deen has been hailed as the ideal porn star, his porn is heavily popular and as a person he’s supposedly a treasure to be around. Pro-feminist, valued supporter of Project Consent, and often found snapchatting videos of his cat, none of this causes any alarm bells to start ringing. So when Stoya tweeted accusing Deen of ignoring her safe word and raping her, it caused immediate controversy. Presumably this will be forgotten after a while, unfortunately many accusations of rape are — especially when the man in question has money and a reputation to uphold. Nonetheless, what is so interesting about the Stoya/Deen case is the discussions it has sparked. Mainly, is feminism becoming a tool men are using as a smokescreen for abusive and violent behaviour?
Recently, feminism has exploded back into the mainstream as a type of brand. Of course, feminism has always been there — but something ineffable yet palpable has caused it to be hotly debated and thankfully embraced by Generation Z. Maybe it’s Beyonce, maybe it’s Emma Watson, maybe its Malala Yousafzai, it doesn’t matter really. What matters is that feminism is starting a fire on the tongues of young men and women everywhere, and trash like James Deen is quickly thrown out.
The recent BBC documentary “Am I sexist?” brilliantly explored modern sexism, and many young men partake in sexist behaviour without really realising how damaging it really is, and when they discover it is they are horrified. This is great, male allies are always welcomed and most definitely needed. However, its self proclaimed ‘male feminists’ and ‘allies’ like Deen who are possibly the most dangerous men to be around. They build up fan bases and most importantly gain the trust of women, allowing them to feel invincible concerning how they actually treat women.
Feminism is a movement for equality of all genders. However, when men use feminism as a tool, they are both praised by women championed by themselves for being the “good guy”. This trope is terrifying because of the power male feminists could potentially exert over the feminist movement. At a social and economic advantage, men who claim to be ‘feminists’ who are actually misogynistic trash are the most likely to be excused for their behaviour because, surely, the good guy wouldn't do something like that… right?