Apr. 7th, 2011

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[DISCLAIMER: The following was written by a man and may therefore be lacking some keen insight into the situation that would lead to a different conclusion. Please note that responding in anger will only solidify those conclusions.]

So recently there's been a fuss about something a Toronto cop said, which I suppose is appropriate because American cops are always saying and doing horrible shit. He said something along the lines of "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized." Which is true, I mean; if one were only to suppress men's libidos, they would no longer feel the need to feel powerful. Wait, what? Something seems off about that sentence. Probably the fact that IT MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE WHATSOEVER.

Yes, it seems that some people still have a tragically flawed view of not only what causes rape, but what it is in the first place. Which is why some people have gotten together THE 2011 BOSTON SLUTWALK! To... accomplish something... maybe?

I'm really not all that clear on what this thing is about, actually, even though I read the page they've got up explaining what they're doing and why. I do know that "this event is inclusive to all genders, all sexual orientations, all races, all ethnicities" which is good, I guess, because otherwise you wind up with that one guy sitting on the corner looking all mopey and muttering "more like BITCHwalk..."

But, like most things spawned by Feminist Theory, I can't help but see the ways in which this is more harmful than helpful. They seem to be really big on opposing what they call "slut-shaming", which is a term for the way in which society looks down upon women who lead active sex lives. They wonder how these women can be uplifted into a position in society where they are looked upon with the respect they deserve as human beings.

Well, I've got a first step all planned out for how to stop slut-shaming: STOP CALLING IT THAT! Is that not the most ridiculous term for something you've ever heard? If you're trying to get something done seriously, you need to be taken seriously.

It also doesn't help that it's got "slut" right there in the term, and right there in the title of the walk. The people involved here are trying to take back the word "slut" and keep it from being just an insult. But that's not how these things work. The word has a storied history of being used against women, and that's always what people will think of when they hear it. In that sense, it's very similar to a certain other derogatory slur that starts with "n" and rhymes with one of Pooh's friends. The word "slut" needs to be consigned to the same place "nigger" has: used only by the most extreme bigots, as a red flag to note who the most extreme bigots are, and by people who use it satirically to mock those extreme bigots. There's no way to "take it back", because history has already been written.

But this is the problem I see whenever I run into the runoff from any soft science, Feminist Theory is just the one I encounter the most. For those unfamiliar with the term, a soft science is like a real science, only the people who are involved in the field don't run labs and don't conduct experiments. So really it's not at all science. It's a field of study, granted, and the people involved in this study are looking at scenarios in reality and drawing conclusions from that, similar to what I'm doing now in my speculation as to how the Slutwalk hurts women and what could be really done to help them. The difference is, whereas I encourage dissenting opinions like a real scientist would, I have overwhelmingly seen dissenters of the ideas held in Feminist Theory to be met only with vile contempt. Ideas don't grow or evolve by passing them around between people who agree with them and add in no critical thought; they only stagnate and become solidified in whatever flaws there are within it.

And this is what I have seen; back when I and some of my friends were commenting on the Penny Arcade Dickwolves fiasco, we were all repeatedly told that Penny Arcade and anyone defending them (which is what we were doing) were encouraging rape. I can't even imagine how deluded one has to become to think that anyone who disagrees with oneself therefore is encouraging rape. It's really the most extreme abuse of Godwin's law; discarding all responsibility to come up with an actual argument and just saying "Well you know who else would disagree with me? HITLER!"

There's one final point I have to make about how Feminist Theory is hurting women. I have a female friend who I've talked about on the issue who has told me about how she is frequently accosted by FT-enthusiasts who tell her that she's setting women back decades because she enjoys baking. I think that's what really set me off against Feminist Theory. After all, which is more sexist, a man telling a woman to get in the kitchen(in this case she does not want to cook), or an FT-enthusiast demanding that she get out of it(in this case she does want to cook)? If you said anything other than "they are exactly as sexist as each other", don't even bother talking to me about this.

One final note: You may have noticed that I have taken pains to refer to the objects of my ire as "FT-enthusiasts" rather than feminists. There is a reason for this. Many people who call themselves feminists simply favor equality for women, this is a very good stance and by that definition, I too am a feminist. But there are also people who buy into Feminist Theory, a soft science which like all soft sciences makes me go all Bruce Banner just thinking about it.

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