Sunday, March 27, 2016

Why Feminists Are Never Satisfied

So I was listening to the Honey Badger Radio podcast earlier, the episode was The Horrors of...MANWORKING!!!, and the ladies were trying to figure out the motive of feminists in being constantly offended. They weren't making much progress in this and were getting fairly frustrated because they couldn't wrap their heads around the constant offense-taking that feminists engage in. One, I can't remember which, came to the conclusion that feminists essentially want a world where everyone already knows what offends them and pre-emptively avoids engaging in the offending behavior. But this isn't the goal, and I can't blame the Honey Badgers for not coming to the conclusion I did. Honestly it just hit me while I was hungover and washing dishes, so for me it was more of an epiphany where a bunch of dots suddenly connected and I could see the 'end goal' of feminist offense taking. And I'm sure I'm not the first to figure this out, honestly there are people far more intelligent than myself who are currently trying to figure out the seemingly contradictory behavior of feminists, and they have far more reach. But, fuck it. I had this epiphany and I think I should write it down somewhere, and here is as good a place as any.

The truth is that there is no end goal. Feminists do not hope for a world wherein nobody does anything that could possibly offend them. That may be what it seems on the surface, but digging deeper into the mindset and looking at how they are constantly being offended by more and more ridiculous shit that nobody with a functioning brain should be offended by, it becomes clear (or it became clear to me in what I hesitate to call a flash of insight) that they don't want to fix a goddamned thing because that would negate their purpose.

Think about it like this. I'm going to set up an hypothetical situation that will be a good analogy of what feminists are doing. Say that the oceans are filthy, absolutely disgusting cesspits full of garbage and oil and all kinds of icky crud. Now imagine that there is a group of people who have banded together to ostensibly clean up the oceans. There just so happens to also be a lot of money in this endeavor. These people work for decades, and actually do affect the levels of ocean trash to such a degree that there is almost none of it left. At a certain point, it becomes clear to these people that their jobs are soon going to be obsolete for the most part, because the oceans will be clean and nobody will need to go out and pull trash out of coral reefs or clean up oil. Their livelihoods are officially in danger, and they realize that if this is allowed to continue they will eventually have to go out and get real jobs. So instead of admitting that their job is done and moving on to other things where they could conceivably actually help in a bad situation, they make up problems that magically only they can fix. This ensures the continuation of their business, and indeed monopoly, on ocean cleanliness. They create nonexistent problems to justify their existence, thereby securing that they will continue to get money for essentially doing nothing and will never have to go out into the proper job market and acquire a day job to keep the lights on. They keep the lights on through sheer deceit. And since the light bill comes every month and will continue to come every month, they need a steady stream of income for doing little to nothing in order to keep that light bill paid.

This is what feminists are doing. Anyone who's actually done research into feminism, or just thought about it seriously for a few minutes, will know that there is about a metric fuck-ton of money in feminism. From academic feminism to government lobbying to campaigns like FUCKH8 or the company that sold the 'This is what a feminist looks like' t-shirts that all those celebrities were wearing which turned out to be made by third-world sweatshop workers who were paid about 65 cents an hour, there is a lot of money in feminism. Hell, I've thought seriously at times about setting up a cafepress that exclusively sells 'Male Tears' merchandise, because there's fucking money in that shit. You think those idiot feminists on twitter and tumblr are making those themselves? Hell no, they buy them, probably with their parents money, from some entrepreneurial person who set up an online store to bilk money out of these useful idiots. My problem is that I have standards and I can't bring myself to perpetuate that kind of horseshit for personal profit. So here I am typing away. But my personal morality aside, there's gold in them there feminist hills.

If feminists were to actually fix anything, they'd be out of work. And anybody whose had a job will tell you if the demand for what you're doing goes away, so does your revenue stream. The problem that feminists have run into is that, despite all their whinging to the contrary, people actually do care about women's problems real or imagined. That's why women got the vote without the responsibility essentially by asking for it, that's why FGM is illegal in every first-world country while MGM is encouraged, that's why breast cancer gets ludicrous amounts of funding while prostate cancer gets a pittance, and on and on. People care about women, so when you come up with a problem and state with a straight face and doctored statistics that it negatively effects women, you'll get taken seriously and people will throw money at you to fix this problem. So, because of this innate human desire to care about and want to help and protect women, feminists get taken seriously. And because they get taken seriously, most of their problems have been taken care of. Women can vote and don't have to worry about a draft (although that may soon change, but I'll put money on the draft going away before women are subject to it), we have multiple (mostly redundant) laws mandating pay equality, FGM is illegal and you'll be thrown in prison faster than you can shout, "Religious freedom!" the pay gap is nonexistent, women are allowed to own property, get an education, have a career, etc, etc, etc.

So they've started making shit up to stay relevant. Manspreading, manslamming, mansplaining, sexist air conditioning, whining about butt-slapping in video games, whining about variant comic covers, whining about female representation in media, and the list goes on. They even keep spreading around a few old chestnuts like the pay gap for old times sake. And because it makes them money, of course. These (mostly) women have to keep making shit up because if they don't everyone will suddenly look around and realize that women in first world countries are the most privileged, protected, safe, and well-off group of people in the history of humanity. Consequently they would also stop giving money to feminists for their ridiculous shit. All it would require is some breathing space to look around and take stock, which is why feminists never give society as a whole that space. It's like when you're running downhill, and you know that if you miss-step one time, just once, you're going to fall flat on your face and possibly break some bones. On the bright side, much like running downhill, that momentum can't last forever, and we're seeing the slowing of it now with the growth of active anti-feminism. So there's that, at least.

But to wrap this up, just remember the next time you see a buzzfeed video from a feminist perspective making wacky accusations or nonsensical points and wonder to yourself, "What are they trying to fix?" that they're not trying to fix a goddamned thing. They're just trying to keep the momentum going. Because clicks. Because money. That's their modus operandi, and nothing else. Not to belittle the useful idiot 'coffee shop' feminists out there, who I think actually are good people who think they're doing the right thing because they've been deceived and they're too thick, busy, or lazy to actually go out and do the research themselves. Those people, I think, are genuinely misguided, and could theoretically do a lot of good if you can repair the brainwashing they've undergone. Not every feminist is making money off of feminism, but a lot are, and it's in their best interest to keep the proles as well as the rest of society (which, remember, does actually care about women and want to fix their problems) continually misguided with their lies and constant outrage about nothing much at all.

Don't try to logic it, because you'll only hurt your brain. What they're after is money, it's as simple as that.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

In Defense of Eve Ensler

Come one, come all! Watch as I completely destroy any credibility I once had as an anti-feminist! There's popcorn and soda by the door, so get comfy and watch the shitshow.

Now this is something that I think needs to be said, because we can't have it both ways. For those of you who don't know, Eve Ensler is the writer of The Vagina Monologues, and in one particular scene of this book an older woman plies a teenage girl with alcohol and rapes her, and one of the most famous lines from the play, "If it was a rape, it was a good rape," talks about this scene in the story.

The reason I'm writing this post is that I am also a fiction writer, something which through no fault of your own you may also be unaware, and as a fiction writer I know that all writers should be perfectly able to write whatever they want. The scene described above from The Vagina Monologues is an uncomfortable scene. It's hard to read, and describing it as 'a good rape' seriously calls the character of the author into question for a lot of people. That's understandable, as the rape of a minor is something that every right-thinking person should find totally abhorrent.

But I also know that the views of characters within stories in many and perhaps most cases do not, under any circumstances, align with the views and values of the author. The scene from Monologues is written from the perspective of the character who was raped by the older woman, and they were looking back on what had happened to them and viewed it as a positive experience. This is the perspective of the character, and not necessarily Ensler herself. To my knowledge she has never condoned anything of the kind, although if someone can show me where she did such a thing I will change my tune on her particular case immediately. But regardless of whether or not she actually endorses women raping girls, which I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and say she very likely doesn't, the overall point of this post still stands.

The point is that we have to allow authors freedom to write whatever kind of fucked up shit they want or think they have to. Stephen King is a popular example of this, and he talks about it in his semi-autobiographical work On Writing. In one of his novels, I want to say Cujo but don't hold me to that, he writes a bad guy character who is a traveling salesman. The way this character is cemented as an obviously bad guy (as so many bad guy characters are), is he attacks and kills a creature weaker than himself. He shows up to a house while the family is away, but their puppy is out in the yard and won't stop yapping at him. Eventually he gets fed up and frustrated and kicks the puppy to death in the yard and leaves. For decades King got all kinds of hate mail for that characters actions, despite the fact that he never in any way condoned that kind of behavior.

The thing that makes writing something like what King wrote, and indeed what Ensler wrote, is the suspension of disbelief. This is especially important in books that are set in what is ostensibly the real world. The actions of a certain character, given a certain upbringing and life circumstances, have to be plausible. You have to be able to picture a human doing that. And honestly what Ensler wrote is not beyond the pale. There are people out there who think that it's perfectly okay to kill other people, so a person who was raped as a teenager looking back on the experience as a positive thing later in life is not outside of the realm of possibility. There is very likely a human out there right now who had that happen to them and thinks about it in the same way Ensler's character does. This is completely plausible.

Now, the thing about this is that many anti-feminists, MRA's, MGTOW's, and other various non-feminists and manospherians have attacked Ensler, calling her character into question because of this scene in her play and using it as an example of why feminists are horrible people. "She described the rape of a child by a woman as 'a good rape' in her fictional story from the perspective of the character! She's obviously a bad person and by extension so are most other feminists!" is the implication here. And while I can perfectly understand thinking that someone is eighteen kinds of fucked up in the head for describing an adult raping a minor as 'a good rape,' that was the character talking. Not Ensler.

Like many feminists, I'm dead certain that if you dig deep enough into what Ensler has said publicly about her own opinions and positions on issues, and avoid quote mining or other intellectually dishonest tactics, you can find a plethora of things to fucking despise her over. You probably won't even have to go very far.

But attacking someone over what a character in one of their fictional stories did is intellectually dishonest and hypocritical, especially in light of recent controversies. Thousands of writers use cold-blooded, methodical, pre-meditated murder in their stories every single year. You can hardly throw a rock in one of the good, entertaining sections of a bookstore without hitting at least five books that have one of the characters committing murder. If you're going to run around saying that Eve Ensler supports women raping children because of this one scene in her book, then you have to turn that around and declare that every author who writes a character, any character, performing a distasteful action thereby endorses said distasteful action. Otherwise you're being hypocritical.

And no, Ensler's case is not special. We are talking about fiction, here. And as many people who are anti-censorship and don't want to hold people like Stephen King responsible for views their characters (who are, again, fictional people) hold or actions their characters took, fictional characters and situations are not real. We have to belabor this point because there are so many people out there who take a scene as declaration of intent or agreement from the author/creator, and they have to be reminded that nobody was actually hurt and it may turn out the author finds that view or action just as distasteful as you do. Just because a character in a movie hits a woman doesn't mean the creator of the movie is a misogynist, and just because Ensler's character described this action as good when any person with a functioning pre-frontal cortex and moral compass would find it outright horrendous, does not mean that Ensler thinks that action in the real world with real people is a good and right thing to do. And until I see concrete evidence that Ensler thinks that this kind of action in reality is just honky-dory, that is going to be my position on the matter.

If you're going to attack Eve Ensler, attack her for something she actually said or did. Not for something that she wrote in a fictional story. If people take it too seriously and start agreeing with her, that means that they're stupid, not that she has a responsibility to not put that kind of thing in her book. Creators must be free to create, this is something I will never back down on. 

People write fictional things that you don't like. Get over it. Don't try to use it as a moral referendum on the author when you don't know whether or not they actually endorse that kind of thing. Because this kind of behavior puts you firmly in the camp of the book burners and those who cry, "Ban this sick filth!" And we all know how well that went. But if you don't, I have a book for you to read.

I now look forward to the shitshow in the comments and on whatever site(s) this may be posted to.