About Feminist Watch
Men and women desperately need a new form of adult discourse between the genders
We value equality between human beings above all else. We recognise that there are bad women and bad men. We believe that there are very many more good women and good men. In our view, gender feminism (its dominant form¹, and the form that is the object of this exercise) harms good women by infantilising them as much as it harms good men by demonising them. We believe that men and women desperately need a new form of adult discourse between the genders, and an improvement in the quality of debate. Our aim in this publication is to contribute to that improvement.
The problem with gender feminism
Gender feminism is an ideology and a political program founded on an absurdity.
Women, as a cohort, live years longer than men. Men are three times more likely to be victims of homicide than women, four times more likely to end up homeless than women, five times more likely to commit suicide than women, and eleven times more likely to die in workplace accidents than women. Women, meanwhile, are on track to own more than 60% of all wealth by the end of this decade.²
Yet gender feminism claims that women are, in fact, oppressed victims of a ‘patriarchy’, in which they are systematically disadvantaged by their male oppressors. From this, it is argued, a political program of restorative social, economic, and legal privileges are both mandated and legitimised.
Perceived directly, the contradiction between feminist hypotheses and observed life outcomes would be sufficient to dismiss gender feminism as merely another power grab by one social grouping over another. So feminism has, over the course of 40 years of well funded advocacy, perfected an elaborate discursive process for accommodating this contradiction. The purpose of Feminist Watch is to reveal this discursive process in action.
It does so within a few loose categories, as follows:
Feminism, like astrology, is unfalsifiable. However, to the extent that reasoning processes are involved, those processes are susceptible to inspection. We inspect various gender feminist claims and show they invariably degrade into non sequitur. For example, propositional logic’s affirmation of the consequent fallacy shows up everywhere in feminist discourse as the basis for establishing the monolithic category “men” required by its “patriarchy” hypothesis.
There comes a point in any discussion about gender feminism where arguments that were never intended to bear the weight of serious inspection collapse under the weight of it. Feminism has a number of mechanisms for dealing with this. The most obvious one is offensiveness for its own sake — literally, repulsiveness — to deflect attention from weak argument or mask the absence of one. We examine the role it plays.
Another powerful device for protecting the incongruity of gender feminism’s core hypotheses is to convert them to axioms — statements which are regarded as established, accepted, or self-evidently true. In its advocacy-driven academic literature base, it achieves this by elevating contestable claims through repeated, pyramidical referencing to the status of seemingly respectable ‘common knowledge’.³ Another mechanism is to maintain an ahistorical account of social relations, within which counterfactual evidence is excluded (for example, the incompatibility between feminism’s active role in exploiting disenfranchised men and promoting warfare and its various claims about equality and pacifism). The effect is to establish a canon of widely held but ultimately false explanatory beliefs, or myths. These in turn are exploited to support a rich body of begging the question fallacies while, under the guise of synthesised moral outrage, discouraging inconvenient examination.
The ad hominem fallacy — the attempt to refute an argument by attacking the opposition’s personal character — occupies such a critical role in gender feminism’s discursive methods that it deserves special mention.
With some inevitability, it will be claimed that the person questioning feminism is evincing one or more of a range of pathologies invented by feminism for the purpose of deflecting inspection of its claims and methods. A typical tactic will be to invoke the ubiquitous affirmation of the consequent fallacy to claim that, since the worst of the men’s activist sites make some of the arguments that we do, we must therefore make the arguments that the worst of the men’s activist sites do. So we will be accused of misogyny, of ‘mansplaining’, of advocating violence against women, of ‘revealing our privilege’, etc., From there it is a short step to the loaded question fallacy, stopping conversation.
So let us be clear.
We assume that, if you post your opinions online, you are willing to have those opinons inspected in the spirit of respectful, vigorous debate of substantive issues. We are. As a site hosted by Medium, we abide by Medium’s Rules as we understand them, and respond quickly to fix any problem Medium brings to our attention. We don’t depend on ad hominem fallacy or offensiveness to make our points, and we will not take offence at (or notice of) any reliance on them you may need to make yours. You can debate us through the discussion facility, or contact us directly and in confidence.
We are neither academics, nor journalists. We will take reasonable efforts to check our facts, and provide references where we can. We approach this exercise with an open mind and an awareness that there are things we don’t know that we don’t know. Where we discover errors, we will acknowledge them and put them right. We expect you to do the same.
London, August 2017
¹ Sommers, C H. 1994. Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. New York: Simon and Schuster
² Smith, Julia Llewellyn. 2014. “Womenomics: Why Women Are the Future of Our Economy.” The Telegraph, April 27.
³ See, for example, Greer, E. 1999. “The Truth Behind Legal Dominance Feminism’s Two Percent False Rape Claim Figure.” Loy LAL Rev. for an examination of this process.