Feminists! Check your friends!
March 17, 2014
The following Mansfeminist Manifesto appeared today on “The F-Word” website (the word which cannot be spoken being Feminism, apparently). The guy who wrote it submitted the post FIVE MONTHS past his deadline, which explains the reference to him as being “November’s guest blogger”. The post is “Who your friends are matters” by Charlie Hale. Enjoy!
Who your friends are matters 16 March 2014, 11:01
This is Charlie Hale’s first guest post for The F-Word. They’ll be blogging for us throughout November. Charlie Hale is a Computer Science student and blogger by night and asleep by day. They’re a genderqueer, kinky, polyamorous pan/bisexual who can’t keep their mouth shut.
A recurring theme within a certain sector of feminism, which we might refer to as privileged, professional or media feminism, is the pushing back at criticism based on friendships or political alliances. To critique one’s friends, they argue, is creepy, or scary, even a totalitarian-esque attack on the freedom of association – entirely missing the significance of these associations. No one will find unanimous agreement on everything with everyone; even between friends, there is – and should be – large scope for disagreement. However, there are some issues on which disagreement should be a clear cut deal breaker: I could not, for example, be friends with Fred Phelps, Vladimir Putin or Norman Tebbit, whatever the circumstances.
Why not? Well, because they’re vile human beings. Who would want the company of someone so appalling? However, more than this, it would give endorsement – on both personal and political levels – to their views and actions. My friendship would imply their views were, to me, credible; that I felt these views were welcome in society. This applies to events as well: to invite bigoted and frankly unacceptable views to be aired on your platform is to give them tacit validation and approval. This isn’t a matter of endorsing the truth of an associate’s views, but rather the acceptability of them.
[Now… who are the feminists who are friends with Vladamir Putin, etc, whose associations are of such concern to Charlie? I think you can see where this is going. There are actually NO feminists who are friends with these gents. This is called “building a straw man”. But there are some sort of feminists associating with something or someone that, to Charlie is, (as the kids say) “worse than Hitler”. Ammirite? ]
“This is the primary idea behind no-platforming: the practice of an organisation refusing to give a platform to someone, and/or a person refusing to speak on the same stage or panel as them – something which is the responsibility of any responsible organiser or speaker. Inviting such speakers not only negatively impacts the climate of the movement, but actively makes marginalised people feel less safe and welcome in the event and the movement as a whole.”
[Hmmm. So feminist women who are personal friends with Fred Phelps, etal, (of which there are none) should, if they DID exist, be no-platformed from expressing their own views due to that non-existent association, according to this fellow Charlie, a man who feels comfortable telling women how to run our own liberation movement, and telling women who we can associate with. Okayyy…]
“In many cases, a person’s problematic politics will be dismissed as “not problematic enough” to warrant no-platforming: this, however, is a blatant display of privilege. If you are in the position where you are able to wave away oppressive behaviour with no personal ill-effects, you are almost certainly not in the position where you could reasonably speak for that oppressed group.”
[So women cannot trust our own judgment about which politics a feminist’s friend has, which are “problematic” enough to taint a woman via “contagion”, requiring her to be quarantined using the “no platform” method. (Are you keeping up here laydees?) Moreso, the very fact that we deem something NOT “problematic” should be a giant red flag that we are privileged cunts too stupid to know when something IS “problematic” for Charlie, a man who is oppressed by women. I do sooooo hope you are keeping up here, dear readers.]
“It is never the privileged who suffer from the toxic atmosphere – and, from a platform of privilege, that can be easy to ignore. Active engagement with less privileged members of a movement is the only real way to promote accessibility.”
[“less privileged” than women: Charlie, who needs you to “engage” with him, listen to him, and trust his judgement over your own stupid cuntedness.]
“There is some pragmatism required. It is usually unreasonable to expect someone to call out their boss – as journalist Laurie Penny has been pressured lately to do. I generally don’t expect people to starve for their feminism and we can’t assume that people are always able to actively tackle problematic views from their superiors without risking their own well-being.”
[He doesn’t expect TOO MUCH from you laydees. Charlie doesn’t require you to actually starve for him! He’s a reasonable guy vis a vis you meeting his male feminist needs.]
“However, active endorsements of problematic individuals and groups must be tackled. Feminists who cosy up to TERfs, white supremacists or misogynists for their own advancement – or, as is becoming common, to seek sympathy from problematic groups having been called out – must understand the serious damage they are inflicting. Placing the views of the oppressors above the safety of the oppressed sends a very clear message: ‘my feminism is for me, and my ilk, and us alone’. This is as much a part of the patriarchy as what they claim to be fighting against.”
[Ohhhh… feminists who “cozy up” to “terfs”! Feminists who exchange ideas (or friendship!) with RADICAL feminists, with UNDISTILLED feminism, with feminism that centralizes FEMALE (and not Charlie’s) concerns. Oh thattttt. And the feminists cozying up to white supremacists and misogynists? Who are they? Oh hell, I’m going to guess they are WOMAN-CENTERED feminists TOO! And we’ll just call them “Vlad Putin Fred Phelps Hitler Racist Misogynist-type Feminists” too! Because Charlie!
I love this part: “…as is becoming common, to seek sympathy from problematic groups having been called out”. Ohhh Noeeee! Women become alienated when you try to isolate them, control them, tell them who they can be friends with, tell them not to trust their own judgment, tell them what to think, tell them how to speak, make them perform loyalty tests, threaten to publicly smear them, call them degrading names? Awww. Sorry, Charlie.
Hey wait a minute. Who is this Charlie person anyway and why should women obey him? I’m not questioning, mind- because questioning would be a HUGE red flag that I’m about to do something cuntly and not at ALL prioritizing Charlie’s oppression as a man over that of the women worldwide who are keeping him down! I’m just curious, you see, and trying to educate my stupid cuntly self.
This is Charlie. He says he is genderqueer. You must obey him. If you don’t, he and his friends will rain hell upon you- or at least unload a disconcerting spam-like stream of internet messages to yourself and whatever “platform” you are speaking on, possibly threatening suicide and murder and a shouty demonstration (where only a handful of his peeps will actually show up because they are all anti-social shut-ins who fear daylight).
This is Charlie showing you his kinky polyamorous porn-loving gender-lovin’ ass. “Obey it!” Charlie says. Charlie likes stackable plastic storage basins. Clean your room Charlie. Your mum isn’t going to do it anymore.