The Feminist’s Guide To Debate Tactics
Observing comments made by feminists on MRA blogs – or on any blog or forum post which is even slightly critical of any aspect of feminism – for the last few years has made something very clear: feminists have no idea how to debate.
This is probably due to the overwhelming feminist hegemony in educational institutions. Women dominate the teaching profession, particularly in grade school, and all of these women are feminists. Girls have a powerful innate need to please the authority figures in their lives, and all they have to do to please their teachers is parrot feminist propaganda on cue. This leaves them completely unprepared for the outside world, where reciting this bunk results in demands that they produce facts and logic, things they have never been asked for before. The poor feminists are startled that their dutiful recitations do not result in a pat on the head, but instead in challenges they do not know how to meet.
So as a public service, I am providing this handy guide for feminists on common debate mistakes. This way, the next time you encounter one of those nasty old misogynists, your attempts at argument will not simply confirm his existing low opinion of women!
Mistake #1: “You’re only saying that because you never get laid!”
There are two problems with this argument. One is that in many cases, it isn’t true. Most of us misogynists started out believing all the bullshit about female equality we heard in school and on TV. It took a great deal of experience with women, in the workplace as well as in dating, to make us realize that in fact, women are very different from men, and in most respects inferior. Most feminists are straight women, so you’ll just have to take my word for this: having sex with women does not in any way enhance respect for women. Quite the contrary.
The second problem is, even if the man you are addressing is celibate, this proves nothing. It has no bearing whatsoever on sex discrimination laws, child custody agreements, polemics about the “male gaze”, women in combat, or anything else you might be debating. A very smart man in ancient Greece called this the “ad hominem” argument. You have probably seen this phrase in internet fora, but it is usually used incorrectly, by people who apparently have no idea what it means but know that it is a bad thing. An “ad hominem” argument is an attack on the person making the argument in lieu of a reasoned rebuttal of the argument itself.
Mistake #2: “You must have a small dick!”
This is another ad hominem argument. Once again, men with small dicks are still capable of stating facts which are correct. Unless you have some scientific studies that show that men with small dicks are always wrong, it’s best not to use this one. Besides which, MRA’s have all heard it so many times that it makes them conclude, probably correctly, that you don’t have any actual information that might back up your contentions. “You must have a small dick!” is basically feminist code for “I have no clue what I’m talking about!”
Mistake #3: (used against female antifeminists) “If it weren’t for feminism, you wouldn’t have the right to keep a blog!”
I have seen this charge levelled against women whose antifeminist opinions are far more moderate than mine. Feminists seem to believe that women used to be barred from the First Amendment until some heroic feminists got us in on it. The fact is, women and men have always had the same degree of freedom of speech. In the days when the Inquisition could burn people at the stake for heresy, men did not get away with any more heresy than women did. In Europe today, men and women, at least white ones, are equally subject to spurious hate speech laws. That women pre-Women’s Lib did not have freedom of speech would have come as a great surprise to Sojourner Truth, Carry Nation, Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abby Kelley Foster, Madame de Stael, Renee Vivien, Radclyffe Hall, Rebecca Protten, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Baker Eddy, Mary Hunt, Elizabeth D. Golek, etc. etc.
If you want to use this argument, if you want it to be taken seriously you must offer the names of these mysterious feminists who gave women the right to blog. Dates and how they went about doing so, as well as some sort of evidence that women used to be kept silent, would also be useful.
Mistake #4: “Okay, so it’s true that women aren’t as good at science and stuff, but that’s because girls are raised differently from boys! If we were raised the same we’d be just as good at it!”
First, we don’t know that. The only reason to think that it is the case is that feminists want to believe it. There is no evidence. Your wishes are not a valid argument.
Second, there is considerable evidence that sex differences are innate. Feminists who try to teach their boys not to be violent are invariably dismayed when their toddling sons use the dolls they’re given as weapons. A boy who was raised as a girl after a botched circumcision knew even before he was eventually told the truth that he wasn’t actually a girl, and the attempt to turn him into one resulted in severe psychological problems; he ended by committing suicide at 38. For more on this, go to my blog and see the sidebar sections on “What Schools Are Doing to Boys” and “Biology Is Destiny”.
Mistake #5: “Women were too busy taking care of children and doing housework to invent things or discover things!”
And just what do you imagine men were doing while your ancestresses were cooking dinner or sewing clothes? The vast majority of them weren’t lounging happily in a library devising the principles of geometry or gazing through a telescope. They were mostly breaking their backs on farmland or in mines or smithies, enduring months of malnutrition and brutality aboard trading ships, getting shot at in armies, and other such fulfilling career paths. Yet somehow, men managed to build civilization in between.
For thousands of years, babies were delivered by midwives. Women had complete control of this profession. It never even occurred to the men who ruled the societies to interfere with midwifery. None of these women with the freedom and opportunity for hands-on experience invented the forceps. Instead, a man named Peter Chamberlen invented them around 1600, when the idea of male doctors delivering babies was still a controversial idea, and one chiefly engaged in by the decadent rich. In other words, men had scarcely arrived on the scene before they were inventing things that women had not imagined in thousands of years.
Commenter Paul came up with another excellent example: for the last few centuries, upper- and middle-class women were encouraged to learn to play musical instruments. A lot of these women had the leisure to spend a great deal of time on their music. Yet there have been very few female composers of any note, and black American men – not a privileged group by any means – invented both blues and jazz.
Finally, in the last few decades a great deal of effort has been expended on “encouraging” women and girls to achieve in traditionally male fields, and the lower and higher education systems are feminist-dominated. Where is the Renaissance of female creativity? Where are the female Leonardos, Isaac Newtons, and Mozarts? Women have made achievements – before and after feminism – but they are not equal to those of men.
Mistake #6: “Men have higher IQs, but that’s because the IQ test doesn’t measure female aptitudes!”
First, demanding that the rules be changed because you are losing impresses no one.
Second, the historical fact is that the IQ test is rigged in favor of women.
“The one exception to the general rule that different groups or populations usually differ in average IQ is that both sexes have approximately the same average IQ on most tests. This is not, however, a true empirical finding but a consequence of the manner in which the tests were first constructed…the two sexes were defined to have equal intelligence rather than discovered to have equal intelligence.” (Evans and Waites, 1981, 168).More discussion of the slanting of the IQ test to minimize differences between men and women can be read here, here, here, and here. And despite the slanting in women’s favor, men still score consistently higher on them.
(Evans, B.. & Waites, B. (1981). IQ and mental testing: An unnatural science and its social history. London, UK: Macmillan.)
Mistake #7: “I guess Thomas Jefferson’s slave mistress wasn’t oppressed then, huh!”
Hijacking the misfortunes of other groups – slavery, the Holocaust, indentured servitude, dhimmitude, the potato famine, etc. – is tacky and does not prove that women are equal to men.
Mistake #8: “I cannot believe how ignorant you are!”
I think that feminists don’t know what the word “ignorant” means. It means that the person doesn’t know something. For example, I am ignorant of the Mandarin word for “insect”, because I have never studied Mandarin.
The only way this charge would make sense would be if you thought that the person you were talking to had never heard the glad tidings that women are equal to men. Unless you can come up with convincing evidence that someone on this planet hasn’t heard this nonsense, calling an MRA “ignorant” makes no sense whatever. We have all heard the feminist gospel. We aren’t ignorant of it. We simply don’t believe it. Indeed, given that feminists apparently believe that it was a heroic feminist campaign that won women the right to keep blogs and clearly don’t know that IQ tests are slanted against men, you are clearly the ignorant ones.
Of course, as a male blogger pointed out and I discussed, what women actually mean when they say this is that it’s stupid to believe unfashionable things because unconventional opinions make it harder to be socially accepted. For women, who are by nature dependent creatures, this is of paramount importance; the abstract value of truth has little appeal for most women.
Mistake #9: “I think this site must be a joke! You’re a troll!”
The world is full of people who disagree with you. Facing this fact is part of growing up.
Mistake #10: “You’re just too immature to handle a relationship with an independent woman!”
First, see #1. “Ad hominem”, remember that?
Roger Devlin handled this one quite ably:
A highly successful women’s magazine editor has written a book of advice for young wives stating: “Giving, devoting, sacrificing … these are the actions of a good wife, no? No. These are the actions of a drudge, a sucker, a sap.” Instead, women are urged to emulate a wife who threw her husband’s clothes into the garden to teach him not to leave socks on the floor: “He understood I meant it.” Or another who wanted her husband to help with the laundry, and hollered at him: “Are you a f***ing retard that you don’t see me running up and down stairs? Listen to me and stop your bulls**t.” Or another who discovered this interpersonal skill: “Just stand there and start screaming. If you stand there and scream long enough, someone is going to realize that you’re standing in the middle of the room screaming [and ask] ‘Why are you screaming?’” (pp. 245-47)Mistake #11: “I am so very upset by what you’ve said! I nearly fainted! I almost threw up! I am trembling in horror!”
What could be wrong with men these days that they refuse to commit?
Evolution has designed women to use their emotions to manipulate their mates into providing for them and tending to them. We know you can’t really help it, but in a debate, particularly one about the alleged equality of women, it isn’t appropriate.
We know that a lot of what you’re doing here is putting on a display for other feminists. “See how terribly upset I am by this heresy! I am one of you! I am, like, totally sincere!”
But when debating with us, all that such “arguments” do is convince us that we’re right, that women should, for the most part, be kept out of masculine realms such as industry and science, because they are too weak to endure hearing facts they don’t like.
When Nancy Hopkins responded to Larry Summers mentioning the possibility that men might be somewhat naturally better suited to science – he even added, “I hope it isn’t true” – by fleeing from the room in a nauseated swoon, all she actually accomplished was to demonstrate to the world that women are too delicate and fragile for serious business like science. Do male scientists flee from the room when they hear hypotheses they hope aren’t true? Even black men respond more constructively to discussion of the black-white IQ gap.
If this is how women react to disagreement, it is a matter of public safety to keep them legally unequal:
Somebody in the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles needs to look into suspending Dr Hopkins driver’s license. She obviously doesn’t need to be driving.Source: Should Nancy Hopkins be driving?
Now, I’m not saying that women can’t drive, nor am I implying that Ms Hopkins’ remarks are evidence in that direction. Republican women mostly seem to do ok at it, anyway.
However, given her self-reported reactions to Summers remarks, what would happen if she were driving down the street and accidentally punched up Rush Limbaugh on the radio, for example? Rush makes one of his “feminazi” jokes, and she throws up and blacks out.
When she then plows into a busload of innocent children, the blood will be on Rush’s hands, obviously. Still, that doesn’t help The Children.
Also? Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
Mistake #12: “What are you smoking and where can I get some?”
This was funny the first 5,000 times we heard it, but it’s getting old. More importantly, it’s irrelevant. I don’t use illegal substances, but even if my bloodstream were a cocktail of half the things Americans can be arrested for using, I might still be right.
Mistake #13: “Just because I’m wrong about the trivial details doesn’t mean that there were no Battles To Be Fought for women’s rights.”
Vague, sweeping assertions are not a viable argument. Those “trivial details” you can’t be bothered with are. If you don’t have any concrete facts, your rhetoric is just that.
So what kind of arguments will MRAs listen to?
We like facts. Go looking for dates, names, legislation, documentation, and statistics. Find a scientific study, if you can, that indicates that women might in some field have the potential to be equal to men. Find statistics showing that society has become better in some way since women’s privilege, er I mean feminism, took root. Of course, you’re at a disadvantage here, since all of the facts show that women are innately inferior, that women of superior achievement will always be in the minority, and that women’s liberation leads to all sorts of social pathologies – rampant divorce, child abuse, inflation, eating disorders, and a general lowering of standards so that women can keep up. But if you hope to change our minds, you’ll have to try to find some facts that support your case instead of ours. Good luck!