The 7 Strangest Feminist Ideas

[Note: This is a parody of a recent Alternet/Salon piece called "The 7 strangest libertarian ideas," which was silly enough to warrant a mirror-satirization. Try to decide before section II whether I'm super committed to the implied ideology or not.]

I.

Few movements in the United States today harbor stranger political ideas than the self-proclaimed feminists. The Tumblr school of feminism is at least as far outside the mainstream on the left as, say, a rather doctrinaire old-school form of anti-Masonism on the right. The difference is this: The mainstream media isn’t telling us that we’re in the middle of a “Anti-Masonic moment.” Anti-Masonic politicians aren’t being touted as serious presidential contenders. And all the media chatter we’re hearing about a “Feminist moment” ignores the very harsh, extreme and sometimes downright ugly ideas that are being disseminated under that banner.

It’s great to have allies like MoveTheFuckOverBro working alongside other Americans to defend our civil rights, restrain the GOP and reduce the social conservatives' grip on domestic policy. It’s possible to admire their political courage in these areas while at the same time recognize that we may not care for the environment they inhabit.

There’s another reason to challenge feminists on the extreme nature of their ideology: A number of them seem determined to drive competing ideas out of the free market for ideas—which isn’t very egalitarian of them. There has been a concerted effort to marginalize mainstream values and ideas about everything from men's rights to the role of white people in life. So by all means, let’s have an open debate. Let’s make sure that all ideas, no matter how unusual they may seem, are welcome for debate and consideration. But let’s not allow any political movement to become a Trojan horse, one which is allowed to have a "moment" without ever telling us what it really represents.

Obviously, not every self-proclaimed feminist believes these ideas, but feminism is a space which nurtures them. Can the progressive movement really succeed by embracing this space? Why does the mainstream media treat feminist ideas as somehow more legitimate than, say, the egalitarian principles which guide Great Britain or Sweden?

Here are seven of modern feminism's strangest and most extreme notions, as curated by me, because five seconds' Google search is good enough, so there.

1. All penis-in-vagina sex is rape.

All penis-in-vagina sex is rape.

2. Men must agree with everything a woman says.

Men must agree with everything a woman says.

3. We should eliminate the idea that sex has anything to do with biology.

We should eliminate the idea that sex has anything to do with biology.

4. White "people" aren't really people and don't deserve dignity.

White

5. Maleness is vile.
Maleness is vile.

6. Men have never produced anything useful, only patriarchy, destruction, and sexual violence.

Men have never produced anything useful, only patriarchy, destruction, and sexual violence.

(Emphasis mine.)

7. The sexes should be separate but unequal.

The sexes should be separate but unequal.

II.


Okay, that was all very silly. And while I have critiqued and/or stared bewildered at the Internet-feminist social-justice movement before, I'm not an idiot; I'm not going to claim that everyone self-identifying as a feminist will agree with stuff like "women have invented everything, men just stole it" or "men don't get to have opinions" or "penis-in-vagina sex is always rape, consent be damned." Not even most self-identifying feminists will agree, I'd wager.

But by that same token, you'd be surprised at how many self-identifying libertarians don't agree with Rand Paul, or Murray Rothbard, or Peter Thiel. There's plenty of self-criticism on the libertarian end, and as I came to realize a while ago, libertarianism in America comes in two very distinct flavors, though this isn't obvious from the outside.

Salon's committing some serious hypocrisy here, by portraying "libertarianism" as a single thing as exemplified by some of its noncentral members—while the Pauls, Rothbard, and Rand are highly influential, libertarians are increasingly diverse in viewpoint. On the other hand, Salon publishes multitudes of internet-feminist ragebait articles and often scoffs at any criticism of Internet-feminism. If I were actually notable, I'd imagine many people who nodded along through the libertarian-ideas article would angrily accuse me of setting up straw feminists to attack. They'd be right, of course: I didn't feel like doing the research to find prominent feminist activists who say silly things, though they do exist.

But label fatigue is setting in, and "feminism" is being pulled into the light-suckingly-black hole that is screeching no-reals-only-feels Internet "activism." Where the worst offenders aren't the ones who arrogantly assert that "feminism isn't about equality" but the ones who condescendingly pull out the dictionary definition of "belief in equality of the sexes" as a shield against criticism, but then go back to silliness like saying it isn't statutory rape if the underage victim is male.

And by "silly" I mean "disgusting and reprehensible," but words are mutable things, are they not?

The point, after all of this, is that bad arguments are worse than no arguments. I absolutely hate it when I see a good cause defended poorly, or a bad cause attacked stupidly. Especially on the Internet, which is forever and ever.

In politics, it has been said, arguments are soldiers, but then bad arguments are traitors. Never let a Benedict-Arnold statement pass your lips or your keyboard, lest it be screencapped and posted to some blog you hate as proof that yes, the Enemy (that'd be you) really is that stupid!