This is the moment when I do something stupid…

Posted: March 16, 2011 in culture, internet/free speech
Tags: , , ,

…and jump into the argument between two of the people I am most fond of on the net.

I’ve already talked about what I think of and owe Stacy McCain and There is no person in bloggerdom whose company I enjoy more than Little Miss Attila, but this is getting ridiculous.

Stacy put out 4000 words last night on the History of feminism. It is very detailed and quite a read. I would recommend it to anyone.

Yesterday Joy today fisked a previous Stacy’s post and answered his magnum opus with a single drawing and two sentences proving she is an expert in blog Jujutsu.

I haven’t talked to either Stacy or Joy about this exchange but I am going to comment very briefly on the substance and I’ll let them correct me if I’m misinterpreting it either of them.

The way I see it Stacy is saying that Feminism and its origins are a lot less clean than a lot of people see it and that conservatives should avoid being seen as “feminists” because it means something that is quite different that what we think it does.

The way I see it Attila is defending Feminism or what she is calling equity feminism and saying that is is not invalid for a conservative to believe in it.

A lot of this is starting to look like dogs chasing tales so lets cut to that chase:

1. Per Stacy’s argument, There are a lot of nasty roots in the feminist movement, just as there were a lot of people happy to break bread with the communists in the civil rights movement. We might even stipulate that both groups used addressing an actual wrong (Jim Crow and inequality before the law of the sexes) to advance something they were more loyal to (the overthrow of capitalism and western culture that they found racist and/or sexist). Thus feminism means something and we should let the left have that label and stew in it.

2. Per Attila’s argument the basic equality before the law of women (and the equality of souls in the before the eyes of God) is a basic human right. Such a belief and the advancement of said belief is feminism 101 in the same way that belief in Christ is Christianity 101. One can adopt the label feminist without paying homage to the leftist maxims of some of those who followed it at the time. Or to use the Christian example, Protestants don’t shun the term Christian because we Catholics were using it hundreds of years before Luther was a gleam in his mother’s eye.

In terms of an intellectual point and history, Stacy makes good points, but I think he is forgetting something about society.

Words mean things as he says but the meaning of words change over time. 150 years if someone said “Michael Jordan is cool” the answer expected would be “Well have him come closer to the fireplace.” More importantly the public perception of the meaning of those words change.

When society thinks of the word feminism, they do not think of the Marxist roots or any of the class warfare BS that the left was trying to peddle, they are thinking simply of the base equality before the law of the sexes. The terms has become mainstreamed to the point where it can be used without incident.

Stacy correctly worries that like planned parenthood’s Eugenic past, this allows Radical feminists such as NOW and those in the gender studies department to co-op the uninformed because people think they are simply supporting woman’s rights when they are in fact supporting wrongs, wrongs simply used to sexualize our society even further or as a club to beat Western Civilization, Christianity and the US while ignoring actual wrongs against women in the East and in Islam. It’s a valid worry and I think it is very important to call them out loudly and regularly!

Happily there is an easy and well known term for such people propagated over the last two decades, that can be used without using the now generic terms Feminist: Feminazi.

I submit it would be healthier and easier to deploy the Feminazi term, particularly within the movement than to try and insist people stop deploying the, I submit now generic term “feminist”. In terms of changing hearts and minds I say its the best move. Additionally it forces the feminist left (read feminazi) to explain why a Sarah Palin or a Michelle Bachmann or a Tammy Bruce or a Little Miss Attila is “not” a feminist. Inevitably their anger leads them instead into the trap of proclaiming that they are not valid “women” retreating into a level of misogyny that alienates regular people and forces honest feminists to recoil, thus dividing them.

Or to put it another way Stacy has a good intellectual point, both socially and politically I think its to our disadvantage.

And although it is entertaining intellectually (and may or may not have been productive in terms of hits) I think that like Road Runner cartoons this is getting too long. I can’t think it’s generating enough hits to make it worth going on.

Stacy thinks we should abandon the term feminism to the left: Fine, that’s a valid opinion but I disagree.
Attila thinks we should not: Fine, that’s a valid opinion too. I agree and state why.

Now excuse me while I duck for cover.

Update: Cripes that generated a bunch of comments and links quickly. Maybe I should just schedule them together on the show and let them have it out. April 2nd is open.

Comments
  1. Sissy Willis says:

    I use the term “postmodern feminists” for the daughters of the Gramscian March through the institutions and “Girls just wanna have fun” to explain the rest of us:

    An increasingly impotent chattering class of credulous Chris Matthewses
    http://bit.ly/dfjFdW

  2. “the basic equality before the law of women (and the equality of souls in the before the eyes of God) is a basic human right.”

    Which is not the point at issue. The law is the law. This argument did not begin because I proposed any change to the law, nor am I accused of abrogating the law or urging others to do so.

    What is at issue is a matter of political strategy: Is there anything to be gained by conservatives trying to steal the “feminist” label from the Left?

    That the Left owns the “feminist” label, I think I have sufficiently demonstrated and, despite Joy’s “citation please!” distractions, I think it can be demostrated that “feminist” carries pejorative connotations that make it not worth the effort to steal.

  3. […] that Stacy McCain go back to beating up on David Brooks and leave Nomad Media*–and its blog-allies–in […]

  4. Cassandra says:

    Not stupid.

    Admirable.

  5. […] II; Da Tech Guy enters the fray with some […]

  6. thatmrgguy says:

    Linked ya.

    Mike

  7. […] after yesterday’s massive barrage, the troops need a day to rest, refit and reload – Da Tech Guy weighs in an tries to get into the middle betwixt Attila and me.But there can be no middle ground. Either my argument is right, or it’s […]

  8. kehoe says:

    I too see both points, but if I could; I was raised by a working mother and grandmother, and yes, a father. These women were very strong and influential in my life, both “worked” outside the house, I know both would reject the label “feminist”. They were women who didn’t need to prove equality to any man. I have read the arguements on both sides of this, I must say, in the end these debates can be very educational but both Stacy and Atilla could spend their energy better on the almost impossible battle we are trying to fight for our country’s future. I am a conservative so are they, why isn’t that enough of a label or description. Food for thought……

  9. ” “the basic equality before the law of women (and the equality of souls in the before the eyes of God) is a basic human right.”

    Which is not the point at issue. The law is the law. This argument did not begin because I proposed any change to the law, nor am I accused of abrogating the law or urging others to do so.”

    Not fair. You are assuming laws that only became equitable as a result of the feminist movement’s first and second waves–which brought women the right to vote, and further protections in the workplace (e.g., as least nominal rules against sexual harrassment).

    “I don’t want to change the laws” doesn’t support your case. What would support your case would be “I want to roll the laws back to before women had these protections. Because, after all–I prefer Wednesday to Thursday BECAUSE IT IS WEDNESDAY!”

    What is at issue is a matter of political strategy: Is there anything to be gained by conservatives trying to steal the “feminist” label from the Left?

    No, that is ony half of the argument we’ve been having–and it is, by far, the less important half. The other half is . . . what is true? Is there a use for the phrase “equity femiinism,” or something like it, to describe women who glory in participating in civic life, prefer to exercise their minds, and do not think laws should discriminate against them regarding arbitrary matters?

    Now Stacy is going to come along and, in his fiddle-faddly way,* suggest that one can achieve in what used to be called, unironically, “the world of men,” provided that one doesn’t TALK about it. He might even concede that certain kinds of sexism are bad–but heaven help the woman who tips her hat to those who set out to minimize it!

    And if Sarah Palin didn’t “get” that, it’s because she wasn’t privy to the brilliant insights of Robert Stacy McCain!

    *If he won’t accept my apology, I guess I have license to keep using this term.

  10. htothedizzle says:

    Oh, I am so tuning in April 2nd!

  11. […] This is the moment when I do something stupid… Posted: March 16, 2011 by datechguy in culture, internet/free speech Tags: culture wars, feminism, little miss attila, robert stacy mccain 9 […]

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