At the beginning of modern feminism in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Conference, Frederick Douglass called for men to shut the fuck up and leave the business of women’s rights to women:
Men have very little business here as speakers, anyhow; and if they come here at all they should take back benches and wrap themselves in silence. For this is an International Council, not of men, but of women, and woman should have all the say in it. This is her day in court. I do not mean to exalt the intellect of woman above man’s; but I have heard many men speak on this subject, some of them the most eloquent to be found anywhere in the country; and I believe no man, however gifted with thought and speech, can voice the wrongs and present the demands of women with the skill and effect, with the power and authority of woman herself. [See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/1888-frederick-douglass-woman-suffrage#sthash.hIg9XYy7.dpuf]
Of all the internal contradictions of feminism, my favorite is the idea that feminist women want equality with the same evil men who supposedly oppress them. The twin poles of this dilemma—wanting equality yet hating the men who you want equality with—form the basis of a pair of strategies that men in general and members of the MHRM in particular can use to further undermine feminism, both in the popular view and in internal feminist mutual relational aggression.
Did I just write “undermine feminism”? I meant, “hold feminists accountable for the discrepancies in their teachings, policies, and actions.” Sorry.
An opportunity to do this occurs in the context of the new and wildly popular #HeForShe campaign kicked off by the craftily faltering speech delivered by the cuddly and harmless actress Emma “Hermione” Watson at the United Nations.
Watson’s speech was unusual in that, in addition to the usual feminist bullshit boilerplate, Watson threw some tasty (if poisoned) bones to men:
- For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Immediately feminist alarms go off because this opens the door for men to claim grievances equally to what women do. Most feminists would delete “men and women” from this formulation and rewrite it to say something like: “feminism by definition is the belief that women should have equal rights and opportunities to men.”
- And if you still hate the word [feminism], it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it…. More feminist alarms—self-identifying as feminists is HUGE among feminists and they actively seek to suppress other groups like MHRAs and #WomanAgainstFeminism who also support legal equality even as those groups dare to hold feminists accountable for discrepancies in their teachings, policies, and actions. Men who support equal rights but are uncomfortable with the feminist label would find it difficult not to be cheered a bit by this line.
- I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago….When at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings. More feminist alarms: Watson’s acknowledging of social situations where men are disadvantaged is distasteful to narcissistic feminism, which is supposed to be all about women, not men. One feminist wrote: “Telling men that they should care about gender inequality because of how much it hurts them, centralizes men and their well-being in a movement built by women for our survival in a world that degrades and dehumanizes us daily.”
- How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation? Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too. Feminist heads start exploding—she’s letting men into our echo chamber!
At this point in the speech, feminists begin screaming in horror as the sweetly seductive pandering to men begins in rapid-fire fashion:
- I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society, despite my need of his presence as a child, as much as my mother’s. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man. In fact, in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either.
The speech goes on and on in this vein and closes with a double-riff on a phrase used by patriarch men named Hillel and Ronald Reagan: “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
The HeForShe Commitment
Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.
Yes, all of Emma Watson’s kowtowing speech was a feminist lie, a trolling appeal to men not to stand up for everyone, but for women and girls ONLY. It assumed gullible men (and that is hatred of men) and made a pure appeal to chivalry.
Fuck you, Emma Watson, you liar. Shills like you are worse than cancer.
This is a bait-and-switch scam. It is yet another betrayal of men and our concerns and as such demands a strong and relentless counterattack.
My recommendation is a two-pronged pincer attack I call “Salvage & Savage”:
On one prong, “Salvage,” we ignore the bogus pledge, take Emma Watson at her word, and use the invitation she extended to men to seek entry into feminist strongholds. Once there, we can ask questions like “Do feminists think men are important and our issues matter?” This will generate immediate hateful backlash from feminists, and we can then point out the cognitive dissonance of inviting men to the dialogue and then telling them to shut up. This won’t convince hard-core man-haters, of course, but the younger, more naive, and idealistic feminists will witness this hatred and slowly start melting away, perhaps defecting to men’s rights or #WomenAgainstFeminism in the fullness of time.
On the other prong, “Savage,” we call out Watson on her bullshit and hold her personally responsible for this betrayal.
As Fidelbogen has pointed out, the real goal of feminism is to provide comfort and convenience to women:
With a clear vision and careful management, “Salvage & Savage” could turn the #HeForShe campaign into the most uncomfortable, embarrassing, and inconvenient debacle feminists have ever encountered since they started silencing men at Seneca Falls in 1848.