Sunday, 26 October 2014

Dear Jian Ghomeshi: an open letter

I have never liked your show. The primary reason I have always found you insufferable is because you have consistently pandered to feminism. You softball any feminist guest--hell, you tend to not just softball, but softball slow and wide and soggy enough to give them a walk every damn time, instead of ever asking them any difficult questions, or demanding they provide empirical evidence for their assertions.

And while I know that asking the really hard questions isn't what The Q is about, I have no doubt that had you ever interviewed me, you'd have been asking those hard questions. You'd have been demanding I prove every single claim I made. You'd do it the way every mainstream interviewer, whether on the political left or the political right, who has dared to talk to me has.

You have been told all your life that the rape of women is not taken seriously enough, even in Western cultures. That women who claim they've been sexually violated are not believed, and even when they are believed, they're blamed or dismissed. You've been told that we live in a rape culture where the sexual terrorizing of women is normalized, and men are absolved through the toxically masculine "boys will be boys".

You have implicitly agreed with that, every time you've swallowed any given feminist assertion at face value, instead of telling that person to prove it to you, and to everyone. You are now reaping what a feminist culture sows. What it sows is an assumption of sexual malice and malfeasance on the part of all men, and the attitude, to paraphrase Alan Dershowitz, that rape is so heinous a crime, even innocence is not a defence. You said yourself, the CBC doesn't give two shits about whether what you did with your partner was consensual--it's only concerned with the fact that some women have impugned your sexuality and your integrity. Some woman somewhere says Jian Ghomeshi is a creep? Here comes your pink slip.

I've been surfing on mainstream websites, and the "goss" is that you're a scumbag and a predator, all based on a single blog post about an alleged ass-grab, written by a female "writer" that "Literotica" wouldn't lower themselves to publishing, a story so cloying and saturated with rape-fantasy narrative that I'd be surprised the author doesn't masturbate to it every night before bed.

I have to say, Jian, I'm not happy with you. I'm really not. You've contributed to a culture where a woman's pointed finger is equivalent to a conviction. A culture Theodore Roosevelt predicted would eventually emerge all the way back in 1904--a future dystopia where any man so much as accused of rape would be as subject to public lynching as the black man was in his own day.

You have consistently and repeatedly enabled the architects of your own undoing, almost certainly thinking they would never, ever turn on you, and almost certainly thinking no man was ever accused of sexual misconduct who didn't deserve it. You were willing to believe the worst of every man who was not you--an entire society of them!--while simultaneously believing that playing by the feminist rulebook would somehow inoculate you against persecution.

I am a public figure who has spoken at political conventions and gender issues conferences, an advocate for men and boys, and a philosophical opponent of ideological feminism. I'm a high school graduate whose writings are currently included in the curricula of more than one university sociology or psychology class. I'm a waitress who is a friend of Warren Farrell (best-selling author of several books on the male experience), and Anne Cools, the first black female to become a senator in North America, and a leading opponent of ideological feminism. I am unusual in background. Atypical in my opinions and my associates. Not your average Jane. People like me have been out here all this time, for the 8 years you have hosted your show, and yet not once have you found any of us interesting enough to interview. Not when there's another Rape Culture hysteric to pander to, for lulz and listens, anyway.

I find you smarmy, self-satisfied, repugnant and unctuous in your 8 years of asking easy questions and avoiding controversy. I detest your smug interview style, your moralizing, prerecorded intros to the show, and your lack of journalistic integrity when presenting the status quo as truth by journalistic fiat.

But as much as I detest the way you've enabled and abetted what I have come to believe are the most insidious organized fraudsters in living memory, I detest even more the way you have been treated by them, by your employer, and by the general public.

Again, I don't like you, and I don't like what you have stood for over my years of listening to your program. But that does not mean I will automatically believe what is being said about you, and given the propensity for feminists to lie about men and about sex, I want to offer you my support, such as it is. I wish you well in your lawsuit.

If it turns out you are a scumbag (as many prominent male feminists somehow magically turn out to be, almost as if they view feminism as a means to groom their victims), I will condemn you as wholeheartedly as anyone else. But until the evidence surfaces to convince me of that, I will be in your corner.

Good luck to you, and here's hoping the all the evidence is heard.


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Email from a new viewer

Hi there. 

I don't claim to have a particular political stance. I'm coming from a position of curiosity. I'm in the process of watching your YouTube videos after seeing you featured in VICE'S 'women of the men's rights movement'. I will mention I believe civil rights should be equal across the board. I don't know enough about any of the 'movements' to sympathize, however. What I'm curious about are your thoughts in light of Elliot Rodger and his manifesto. I have, since reading his manifesto, noticed a few men being able to relate to the sense of isolation, even at times entitlement to having a girlfriend. Understand, this was how the man I was speaking with chose to describe his personal feelings. I'm wondering if you feel as though what happened with Rodger could have been prevented? Where do you believe his inner dialogue departed from the men's rights movement? I understand that associations have been drawn between his rampage and men's right movement, I don't intend to imply they're the same thing. I just don't understand how this happened and I'd like to know your thoughts, I guess I figured you'd have an opinion on the subject.

Okay, first thing is to familiarize you with the Men's [Human] Rights Movement and its goals. What our movement is after is two-pronged: 

1) Equality in the language of the law

2) Equal application of the law

As for the first point, we're almost there. Many feminists claim to be fighting for "equal rights", however, there is no right under the law that I can think of that men have and women do not (can you?), while there are some rights women have that men do not. 

There are a handful of remnants of old laws that need equalizing, such as the gendered concept of dower rights in Michigan and elsewhere, the lower official retirement age of women in the UK, and the like. More importantly to many people in the MRM is unequal protection from infant genital cutting/mutilation in the West. In fact, some legal and ethical scholars have described the ban on female genital mutilation as unconstitutional so long as male genital cutting/mutilation is legal. Another glaring inequality between men and women under the law is mandatory Selective Service Registration in the US for men alone, and mandatory military service for men alone in other countries. While feminists fought for the "right" of women to serve in the military, the obligation of women to do so has never been adequately addressed in most countries where men are required to serve.

More sticky and difficult is unequal application of the law. One example of this is the "ungendering" of the Violence Against Women Act, which should, in theory, offer male victims of domestic violence the same protections and benefits women enjoy. Up until a couple of years ago, the wording of this piece of federal legislation WAS gendered, and men were specifically excluded from its protections and benefits in more than 60 passages. It was only through a procedural technicality regarding funding and different levels of government taxation that the old law was halted midway through reauthorization, and a new, gender neutral one was introduced. Women's groups, such as the National Organization for Women, fought hard to keep the language in the Act gendered, despite entreaties from LGBTQ groups to reconsider how the language of female victims and male perpetrators failed to serve their community.

So now we have a mostly gender neutral VAWA. Problem solved, right?

Unfortunately, no. Despite scads and wodges of evidence indicating that violence between intimate partners, and child abuse, are not gendered problems, much of the policy around them, and the implementation of services IS, in fact, gendered. The paradigm used to train police, social workers, counsellors, lawyers, judges, medical personnel, guardians ad litem and anyone else who may become involved in a domestic violence case is based on a disproven (disproved before it was even named!) model called "Duluth"--a brainchild of feminist academics and activists. This model characterizes domestic violence as a microcosmic reflection of "the patriarchy", wherein men batter their wives in order to assert patriarchal dominance and impose female subordination. It is the most widely used model in the world, despite it describing the smallest minority of domestic violence cases (in cases of one violent partner battering a nonviolent partner for, say, burning the toast, women are up to twice as likely as men to be the sole perpetrators).

So we are working from a faulty model when it comes to everything from training judges to counselling perpetrators and victims.

In addition, our cultural values tend to prioritize protecting women from violence and harm, while considering most violence against men commonplace and unremarkable, and female violence against men justified at best, hilarious at worst.

Predominant Aggressor policies (not laws, mind you--just "policies", so less subject to scrutiny) profile men through the use of sneaky language. They don't require "the man" to always be the one arrested--they simply require the larger, stronger, heavier, less visibly distressed partner to be considered the Predominant Aggressor and be subject to arrest. This is no less discriminatory against men than, say, poll taxes and literacy tests at the ballot booth were discriminatory against black and poor voters in the first half of the 20th Century. 

On top of that, despite equality under the law, the discretion allowed judges, police and others has caused men to routinely be more harshly treated by the criminal justice system than women at every stage. 

For the same crimes in equivalent circumstances, women are on average:

* less likely to be arrested
* less likely to be charged with a crime
* more likely to have their charges downgraded or dismissed
* less likely to be prosecuted
* less likely to be convicted if prosecuted
* more likely to be convicted of a lesser crime if convicted
* less likely to be sentenced to incarceration
* will serve a sentence less than 2/3 the length a man would, if sentenced to incarceration

All of these criminal discounts also apply in domestic violence incidents--in fact, they tend to be amplified in any situation where a man and a woman find themselves in a conflict under the aegis of the criminal justice system. 

If women and men were treated equally by the criminal justice system, and by enforcement policies, the ratio of men to women in prison would not be the current 94 men for every 6 women. 

Yet just as people used to do with blacks to justify the status quo in the 1930s, the mainstream looks at the overrepresentation of men in prison as an excuse to continue discriminating against them, or even to exacerbate that discrimination. The "logic" goes like this: 

* 94% of people in prison are men 
* given that, it's obvious that men are more prone to criminality than women
* men's propensity toward criminality justifies treating them more harshly than women
* 94% of people in prison are men
* wash, rinse, repeat

There is no law requiring that women receive these discounts when they enter the criminal system, or that men should be more harshly treated, just as there was no law requiring a woman to have a male cosigner when a she applied for a loan in the 1950s--there was simply no specific law or legal precedent that prohibited it until the women's lobby pushed for one.

Of course, it's more than feminist policies that have led to this disparity in how men and women defendants are treated when they commit crimes--there are social and psychological biases at work, as well. In fact, up until very recently, feminists had the rest of society convinced that women were more harshly treated in the criminal courts than men, despite hundreds of years of historical data proving otherwise. People believed them because we are predisposed to notice harms that affect women, sometimes even when they aren't there, and to be outraged by them.

Okay, I hope that I've adequately explained what kinds of issues the MRM is all about. It's about the equal treatment of men and women under the law, and about addressing some of the social prejudices that prevent equal treatment of men and women even when the laws are nominally gender neutral. 

If you want a really egregious example, look no further than the laws against all forms of FGM in the western world: regardless of how damaging some types of FGM can be, it is illegal in every modern nation to so much as prick a girl's genitals with a pin to draw a drop of blood for the sake of religious tradition (even if that might prevent some parents from taking their daughters overseas to have a more invasive and damaging type of FGM performed). However, it is perfectly legal to remove half the skin and 60% of the nerve endings of a boy's penis (without anaesthetic, mind you), which results in 200-300 deaths per year in the US, and very few people consider this a violation of equal protection legislation, let alone the basic human right to bodily autonomy. One can, in fact, find people openly expressing their sexual preference for men who have been subjected to this, and their disgust at the appearance of the genitals of those who have not. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey can also shill for cosmetics companies that use cells from amputated male foreskins in costly anti-wrinkle creams without mainstream censure.

ANYWAY. The above is the kind of thing the MRM is about. It's not about getting girls to like you, or not being able to get girls to like you, or how girls not liking you means you're a failure as a man--even if these are valid concerns and considerations for men in the modern era.

The MRM is not so much about whether you can get a girl to be in a relationship with you--it's more concerned with what she can do to you, with the assistance and full connivance of the government, once she is in a relationship with you. 

It's not about getting guys laid--it's more about getting them some rights regarding what their life will look like if there's a pregnancy or a break-up or an accusation of some sort of abuse or misconduct, if and when they get laid.

And in the more philosophical sense, it's about convincing men they shouldn't be basing their self-worth on whether they can get a girl to like them, or sleep with them. Despite the divisions within the wider "manosphere", there's a reason why MRAs and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) are on more friendly terms than either are toward Pick-up Artists (PUA). 

MGTOW is about throwing off the yoke of female social and sexual approval (and the male policing of it), while PUA is about scoring poon (among other things). I personally have no problems with either group, but the larger MRM is much more at odds with the latter than the former, because getting laid means pandering to what women want. And feminists? Feminists want to call Elliot Rodger an "active MRA", despite not one word in his manifesto about either feminism or men's rights. Despite no connection to anyone but a couple of PUA channels and a forum devoted to hating PUAs.

And here is where we come to that dastardly metaphor: Blue pill vs red pill.

Whether you're an MRA, a PUA or a MGTOW, you've taken the red pill. You see things for what they are. You are not going to believe someone when they tell you women are more harshly treated by the criminal justice system. You're not going to believe it when people tell you that the men women get all soggy for are respectful gentlemen who treat them reverently. You're not going to believe it when Obama says "77 cents!" or "1 is 2 many, so step up, men!" You're not going to assume that the woman who wants you to propose, who will be handed a loaded gun by the state and the equivalent of diplomatic immunity when you marry, won't use it if and when she gets bored with the relationship. You aren't going to believe that random hook-up when she says she's on the pill, because you know what will happen to you if your trust is misplaced. And you know there's no way to win the game--you can be an asshole and get laid and have feminists call you "rapey", or you can be a decent guy and be taken for a chump, with the entire weight of the state ready to milk you for all you're worth.

Elliot Rodger was blue pill all the way, with a boatload of racism, classism and mental problems thrown in there. 

He stumbled across the PUA community, and rejected their advice to get his shit together, "man up" and give women what they respond to rather than what they say they want, because his classism wouldn't let him be anything other than the "perfect, magnificent gentleman". 

If he'd stumbled across the MRM or MGTOW communities, they'd have told him to stop measuring his self-worth by his sexual conquests (or lack of them), that women are not goddesses, they shit and fart and burp and the rest just like men do, and to stop feeling guilty and sinful for watching porn, and I expect he'd have rejected that advice too. We'll never know, because as far as I know, he didn't even know the MRM existed.

What I do know is that the MRM is a nonviolent movement, and that they'd have tried to help Rodger rather than let him fester in his confusion and resentment. And I'm almost positive, he'd have thought we were losers and crybabies, even as he himself wallowed in self-pity until he broke himself (and six other people) on the altar of his ideals. 

He didn't view women as objects to have sex with, as feminists in the mainstream have repeatedly claimed, blaming "male entitlement to women's bodies" while decrying those who talked about mental health as "excuse-makers" interested in shifting blame from the perpetrator. If he did see women that way, he'd have been a 22 year old rapist, not a 22 year old virgin. He viewed women as the yardstick by which he, as a man, should be measured. He viewed them as his judge and jury, the arbiters of his happiness and self-worth, goddesses who held his masculine identity in their hands, to be stroked or crushed as they saw fit. And he viewed himself as someone deserving of godhood, but unable to pass the test of it.

He had a god complex, and couldn't attract the affection and sexual attraction of a hot, white, blonde goddess to validate him. The fact that some of his confusion and concerns are mirrored in those of the young men you know is... well, it's beside the point. Or, at least, it's beside THIS point. 

The vast, vast, vast majority of men, even the staunch blue pillers, are not Elliot Rodger. The vast majority of men do not feel entitled to women's bodies, and the few who do don't tend to die virgins. The vast majority of men face certain forms of discrimination and prejudice that simply don't affect women, most of them exacerbated by race, sexual orientation and other factors outside of their control. Many of those forms of discrimination are at their worst when men come into conflict with women--in cases of divorce, parenthood, violence, sexual assault and the like. 

And feminism, for all of its talk about "equality" and "justice" has done little but lie to us. Like the feminist MPs insisting to backbencher Philip Davies (linked above) that the justice system is gender-blind, despite all evidence to the contrary, and like the feminists who instituted the "Duluth Model" years after the first studies were published demonstrating gender symmetry in domestic violence, feminism has misled us eight ways from Sunday. 

Most men are just trying to make their way in the world, trying to find and hold onto relationships and a sense of self in the face of a million conflicting messages. They hear feminists say, "men should be able to express their feelings, "boys don't cry" is a "patriarchal norm"," and then in the next breath, those same feminists accuse MRAs of being "whiny manbabies" and tweet pictures of themselves wearing shirts that declaim "I bathe in male tears" the moment a man objects to his treatment in society. 

You said in your follow-up email that you don't know how all this stuff got politicized, but the MRM is not the group doing the politicizing. We are trying to redress inequalities that have existed for centuries, now that our environment no longer justifies them, and trying to counter the feminist narrative that keeps men in their roles (stoicism, duty, support, protection) while simultaneously freeing women from any and all traditional expectations (chastity, fidelity, obedience, dependence). 

The women's movement has been politicized for over 150 years, since the Declaration of Sentiments blamed men as a collective for the blanket oppression of women (over the objection of a substantial percentage of women, FYI). 

That was the opening salvo in this gender war. A manifesto of bullet points all beginning with the word "he", but which were about "equality" and not about "blaming men". 

The purest testament to the forbearance of men and their love of women is that it has taken 150 years for them, as a collective, to get pissed off enough to return fire.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Home, safe and sound

Just got back from the conference in Detroit, exhausted but happy. The kids and my guy were very pleased with the "Bring it!" t-shirts I brought home for them. The house isn't even a disaster (at least, no bigger a disaster than when I'm here). No dishes piled up--it's like a miracle or something.

I'm too tired right now to talk about all the amazing people I met (other than that they were amazing), or how great it was to see some of the gang from the Toronto rally again, or how cool it was to get to meet some of the other, newer Badgers face to face, or what an honor it was to have Senator Cools and Erin Pizzey tell me that "Of course you'll be driving us around. We've bonded with you," or how sweet Terrence Popp was to join me for a hangover lunch of bacon and eggs when I found myself on my own during the midday break.

This conference was one of the highlights of my year (decade?) so far, and I can't wait for the next one. I'll upload a video tomorrow or the next day to share some of the awesomeness.

Talk to you all soon. Hugs and much love to all of you.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Oh feminists, you so crazy...

For anyone with a strong gag reflex who might be so inclined, The Agenda with Steve Paikin, a TVOntario current events show, had Justin Trottier of CAFE and Professor Janice Fiamengo on to discuss "Free Speech: At what cost?"

Also included in the panel discussion was Rachel Decoste, a (feminist) community coordinator and HuffPo columnist, and Alice McLachlan, a (feminist) professor of philosophy.

Among examples given of the broader topic were the LA Clippers racist remark fiasco, the racist slurs directed at PK Subban by Boston Bruins fans, Ayaan Hirsi Ali being denied an honorary degree at Brandeis for criticizing Islam, and the feminist protests, disruptions and shutting down of CAFE talks (particularly Fiamengo's latest one at the University of Ottawa).

A lot of people have asked me how I remained so calm when I did my own panel discussion with a feminist (Naomi Wolf), given her level of intellectual dishonesty and shameless emotional manipulation. Well, Naomi's got nothing on these ladies. I felt the repeated urge to yell at my screen as McLachlan repeatedly interrupted Fiamengo, condescended to her, twisted herself into knots trying to justify the shutting down of Fiamengo's Ottawa talk, redefining silencing of free speech, and even suggesting at one point that if Fiamengo doesn't like what happened, maybe she should rethink the things she says. All of this was said, of course, with saccharine smiles planted across both feminists faces, and very gentle tones, as if smiling and talking softly can somehow negate the repressive nature of their opinions.

Among the contributions made by Decoste (IIRC) was that denying the existence of "rape culture" silences people. Oh, but you know what doesn't silence people? Banging on desks or blowing horns or pulling fire alarms, as these are all just examples of free expression. Kid you not.

While both Decoste and McLachlan, when pressed, admitted that they "don't support" the pulling of fire alarms (not willing to publicly support/endorse a criminal act? Color me SHOCKED), they didn't outright condemn the behavior, either. They spent a lot of time emphasizing that the protesters had their reasons, and that they didn't want taxpayer and tuition dollars supporting opportunities for Fiamengo to promulgate her dastardly views (never mind that feminists are not the only people who pay taxes or tuition). Decoste remarked at one point that she had watched Fiamengo's talk at Queen's University (the night prior to the debacle in Ottawa), and that it was drivel that did not deserve a public platform. When asked for an example, she said that questioning rape statistics that feminists have relied on for decades was... I guess that counts as "drivel". McLachlan implied that Fiamengo's description of women's studies programs as incoherent and intellectually empty was false, essentially, because it was insulting.

Oh, it was painful to watch.

Edited to add: In a unique departure, McLachlan chided Fiamengo for characterizing the protesters as radicals, because according to her, they are NOT radicals. Which kind of makes me wonder about all those "moderate" feminists who have gone on and on and on about how they're not like "those" feminists who've been protesting us and shutting our events down. "Those" feminists are not mainstream, they're radical...

Anyway, anyone who wants to should go watch the video here. Read the comments, too, for some more gorgeous hypocrisy from the feminist viewers who have commented. Just keep a bucket handy.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

My presentation to the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin (text)

A lot of you guys might believe that political correctness originated under the communism of the Soviet Union, and yes, this is the setting in which the term was born. Its first popular use was by equalitarian socialists of the mid-20th century to describe dogmatic, hard-line communists who toed the official party line over things like compassion or common sense. Since then, it has been embraced by the "new left" within various social and political institutions, most notably, government, education and the media.

But political correctness is not a new thing. It is not a left/right thing or a western thing. It is not the brainchild of Cultural Marxism, no matter how well or how eagerly cultural marxists may employ it as a bludgeon in order to control public discourse.

At its core, political correctness is about is the dominant belief system, the dominant social and political paradigm, dictating what people are allowed to say and what ideas people are allowed to express, which in turn dictates what others are allowed to hear and what ideas they are allowed to be exposed to.

In this sense, a fundamentalist Imam issuing a fatwa against someone who published a cartoon of Mohammad is no different from the ousting of Larry Summers from his position as president of Harvard for daring tosuggest that there might be biological differences between men andwomen that affect their levels of success in different fields ofstudy. Here we have two wildly different belief systems at work--radical Islam and progressive feminism, but in both cases, individuals are being punished for expressing ideas that are considered taboo by the establishment.

Here in the west, the dominant paradigm that dictates which ideas are politically correct and which are not leans to the left. It favors progressivism, feminism, socialism, egalitarianism, sexual freedom, environmentalism and diversity. Its thought-terminating, conversation-ending cliches reflect that paradigm. But accusatory words like sexist, racist, homophobe, misogynist, over-privileged white male, rape apologist, woman-hater, Neanderthal, right wing-nut and even climate change denier are no different in intention and effect from those in use 500 years ago: heretic, infidel, blasphemer, apostate, heathen, witch.

Correct words and ideas are extolled by the establishment. Incorrect ones are censured or banned.

While political correctness is generally thought of as the means by which governments and formal institutions can establish political control of society and curtail freedom of thought partly through controlling and manipulating language, suggesting an official top-down system of enforcement and control--here in the west, it has morphed into a multi-headed hydra, attacking ideas from the top-down, the bottom up, and playing all ends against the middle.

One of its primary feeding and breeding grounds in the US and Canada lies on the typical university campus, where administrators, intentionally or unwittingly, students' unions and student "social justice" warriors have created a kind of perfect storm of thought suppression in the very realm of our society supposedly devoted to freedom of thought and the free exchange of ideas.

In November of 2012, author and psychologist Warren Farrell was invitedby the Canadian Association for Equality to speak at the Universityof Toronto. Among Farrell's credentials are his election twice to the board of directors of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, having his books featured in Oprah's book club, and being named by the Financial Times as one of the world's top 100 Thought Leaders. He runs regular workshops for couples looking to communicate more effectively with each other, and frankly, he's the most polite, kind and soft-spoken man you could hope to meet.

Only problem was that the topic of his talk was the "boy crisis". He planned to address the high rate of male suicide (3 to 4 times that of girls and young women), the growing "failure to launch" phenomenon regarding young men, and falling levels of male educational attainment. Oh, and then there's the dire sin of his questioning of the feminist assertion that men are, and have ever been, as a class, the oppressors of women as a class.

Campus social justice warriors, in conjunction with the university's women's studies department, the student union, and the local chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, set up a human barricade at thedoors to the building, refusing to allow attendees to enter. They openly claimed they were there to shut down an event that was "promoting patriarchy". They claimed that some of Farrell's research findings have been misogynistic, and promote rape and incest. They verbally bullied, harassed, assaulted and abused several attendees, who were pulled to the side by police for their own protection. When police intervened to remove the human barricade so attendees could enter, the protesters turned their hostility on police, some of them committing assault.

All to prevent a discussion on why young men commit suicide so much more often than young women, why they're increasingly flunking out of school, and why they're experiencing a growing reluctance to take on adult responsibilities.

Since then, the Canadian Association for Equality has sponsored other events at universities in Ontario--Ryerson, the University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa and Queens University--to speak about the problems facing men and boys in our culture, and to criticize feminism's sexist double standards. Many of these talks were disrupted by protesters who turned lights on and off, pulled fire alarms, shouted through bullhorns while banging and chantingjust outside the lecture hall doors, and in the most recent case, atalk by Professor Janice Fiamengo at her own university in Ottawa, by attending, and then shutting the talk down by banging desks, blowing horns, singing, chanting and shouting.

Prominent American civil rights lawyer Harvey Silvergate bemoans this new culture on North American campuses. As a young, idealistic student at Harvard, he participated in the Free Speech Movement, and he lamentswhat he calls the Harvard bait and switch--that now so many of the very liberals who protested in favor of freedom of speech and thought on campus have flip-flopped since they became numerically dominant on university campuses, in faculty and administration. He is in the unenviable position of being a staunch liberal who feels compelled to defend the rights of conservative students, pro-life students, Christian and traditionalist students, through his work with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an organization he founded. Not because he agrees with their politics, but because they are now the ones whose voices and rights are being marginalized by the politically correct establishment.

It is the nature of power that it seeks to preserve itself, and one of the most effective ways to do that is to suppress dissenting speech and thought. Unlike many people these days, I refuse to specifically implicate the political left in a repressive and abusive behavior that is just as common in highly conservative institutions when conservatism is the dominant paradigm. Political correctness is not a problem with any particular ideology--it's an ideology problem, a human problem, and it will always be the political underdog who most highly values the right to free expression of ideas.

As a vocal anti-feminist for the last four years, whose current place of business is YouTube, I am extremely concerned by the idea that any institution presenting itself as a venue to share information and ideas might place unreasonable or biased limits on freedom of thought and expression. And one of the more insidious developments in recent years has been the shifting of the ideological battlefield away from arenas where free speech is guaranteed, whether by the US Constitution or Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and into the private sector. While governments in free societies must tolerate speech they don't like, privately owned businesses are uniquely vulnerable to any threat to their bottom line, and exempt from anti-censorship laws.

Last year, a feminist launched a media campaign designed to draw attention to misogynistic pages and groups on Facebook. Admittedly, some of these pages were pretty horrific--glorifying violence against women, and promoting hate. Mortified by all the negative publicity, Facebook agreed to allow feminist consultants who were experts in "spotting misogyny" to train their community standards staff in how to better moderate that privately owned online community.

In the months that followed, a lot of misogynistic pages were removed. However, also caught in the anti-misogyny sweep were pages whose only sin was to publish government statistics on domestic violence, or to draw attention to harmful or criminal behaviors most commonly committed by women--things like infanticide and paternity fraud. Allowed to stand for months on end were pages devoted to promoting male genocide, or to discussing why all men are pigs.

And while I am no fan of censorship--either by government or by private entities--what is good for the goose should reasonably be considered good for the gander. But in the world of gender politics, this is almost never how it plays out.

A year or two ago, JC Penny was called on the carpet by outraged Social Justice Warriors for marketing t-shirts to girls that claimed, "I'mtoo pretty to do homework, so I make my brother do it for me." Chagrinned by media backlash and a potential boycott over accusations of misogyny and sexism, JC Penny pulled the shirts from their shelves, where they had once sat alongside a plethora of merchandise claiming "Boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them." As far as I know, "Boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them" is still a brand available on the shelves at various retailers.

Keep in mind, this Tweet was lampooning Dan Snyder, not Asian Americans. It was ridiculing racism and racists, not any given race. But Social Justice Warriors picked up their pitchforks and sallied forth, nonetheless. Apologies abounded, the tweet was removed, and somehow, the social justice warriors only got angier.

As Harvey Silvergate said, free speech for me, but not for thee. And while Colbert might be a big enough cash cow for Comedy Central to be willing to weather this internet tempest in a teacup, not everyone who speaks against the status quo is profitable enough for TV networks, radio stations, and online social networking sites and hosting services to tolerate the hit to their wallet.

Case in point, Justin Vacula, a prominent member of the atheist skeptic community, was forced to resign his position as head of his chapter of the Secular Coalition for America because he had the temerity to be skeptical about feminist claims of rampant sexual harassment and assault at conferences and events. Yes, you heard me, a leader of a community that values skepticism of any and all claims and bases itself on solid empiricism and the scientific method was ousted from a prominent position in that community because he refused to accept vague, ephemeral and completely unsubstantiated claims that women were being harassed and raped willy nilly at conferences. He was deemed unfit among the skeptical community because of his skepticism. Meanwhile, the methods by which his enemies coerced him into stepping down included slander, libel, employment blacklisting and an organized letter writing campaign to his parents, who were publicly doxxed, to tell them what a horrible, misogynistic son they'd raised.

Another similar case involved a father of four named Gregory Allen Elliott in Toronto. He'd offered his services as a graphic designer to an organization called women in toronto politics, founded by outspoken feminist Steph Guthrie. Here was a man so devoted to promoting women in politics that he offered to design posters and advertisements to assist in that endeavor. Where he went wrong was in criticizingGuthrie and her friends on Twitter for their current and planned real life harassment of a man whose legal actions they disapproved of--a game developer who'd created a crude and vulgar video game app targeting another feminist's ideas and actions. The three women in the case made public the game developer's real name, address and other identifying information, had tweeted to all software companies in the region to not hire him, and were planning to poster his home town with evidence of his sins.

Gregory Allen Elliot told them over Twitter that he disapproved of their vengeful mentality and their harassment of a man who had done nothing illegal, and who had published a game clearly labelled and explained as a satire and criticism of a single individual's ideas. Police found nothing in Mr Elliott's tweets that even hinted at intimidation, threats or violence.

Yet those tweets are the basis for a pending charge of criminal harassment against Mr Elliott. Yes, you heard me. A man tweeting that he disapproves of a group of women conspiring to harass someone is, apparently, itself criminal harassment. Elliott is currently on trial for daring to say he thinks Steph Guthrie and her feminist friends are horrible people.

And then an acquaintance of theirs violated judicial protocol and wrote directly to the judge that these women had conspired to make a public example out of Mr Elliot through manipulation of the justice system. The judge has ordered that the allegations be investigated.

Heck, just the day before yesterday, in my home town, radio station 630CHED was forced to pull an opinion poll and apologize to local professional umbrage-takers. Their dire crime? After a news piece quoted an Edmonton police spokesperson as having said victim blaming is still too common in cases of sexual assault, CHED set up a poll to find out just how prevalent it is. The question was, "when a person is assaulted, is the victim ever to blame?"

This uproar is a bit of a head-scratcher. If it was not offensive to have Edmonton Police services say "victim blaming still happens too often", how on earth is it now offensive to have a radio station run a poll to figure out what percentage of people think this way?

And again, what happens? The offending poll--or story, or op-ed, or tweet--gets pulled, and the "offender" apologizes like there was no tomorrow, often to no avail. Ask Larry Summers what good his several apologies did him. He was still out of a job six months later. In fact, I think apologizing was his first mistake--the outrage over his hypothesis was not grounded in any sort of reason or logic. It was pure irrational emotion, so raw that a female professor in the audience later claimed, completely sincerely, she could not believe what she was hearing and literally felt like she was going to throw up.

Summers' hypothesis--one of three he presented as possible reasons women do not achieve at the extreme high end of ability in math and physics quite as often as men do--was that because men have a flatter distribution curve for many traits (including intelligence), there are simply more men than women at both ends of the curve when you're talking several standard deviations from the mean. In other words, there are more male idiots than female ones, and more male geniuses than female ones.

There is nothing untrue or unreasonable about this statement. And I find it telling that the professor who was driven to nausea over her complete misinterpretation of what he said--which was also repeatedly misinterpreted in the media--felt no offence over Summers' intimation that there are more stupid men than stupid women. In fact, she seemed to not even notice it, given her interpretation was that he'd claimed that men were inherently more intelligent than women, and more gifted in math and science.

Circumstances are even more troubling in Europe. Some examples from the last couple of years in the UK include a young man being charged with a crime forcalling a police officer's horse "gay", and an elderly woman being arrested for shouting outside a mosque that Muslimsshould fit in or go back where they came from, only blocks away from a spot where a fundamentalist Imam was routinely preaching Jihad to passersby, unmolested by police.

A recent proposal for a bill presented to the European Union suggested codifying something described as "group libel" in itslegislation. It laid out a scheme by which any negative, ridiculing or mocking speech against any identifiable group of people--stated examples of which included religions, races, ethnicities, and feminism--would be actionable in a court of law. In Sweden, political pundits have called for laws to make anti-feminist speech criminal. In Spain, they recently passed an act that officially declares femicide, defined as the killing of any woman by any man, a special crime subject to stiffer penalties than any other type of homicide, and if the European Union were to accept "group libel" as a valid concept, speaking against such a feminist law would become effectively illegal.

The most horrifying thing I have observed in my four years of picking apart and criticizing political and scholarly feminism is the willingness of those who desire to control the discourse to silence and marginalize dissenting voices. In this way, the feminist movement is no different from any other totalitarian ideology, however, they have a weapon more effective than any religion or communist government--they claim to represent women, therefore any criticism levelled against them can be construed as damaging to women. And we're just not that rational when it comes to things that harm women--hence the Violence Against Women Act, specifically to protect the very members of our society who are the least likely to suffer violence.

The radicals are the loudest and most influential voices and the silent majority remains too silent, even when they might otherwise want to speak. Because when they do speak, they end up, like self-described equity feminist Christina Hoff Sommers, listed in the anti-feminismsection of feminism's wikipedia page. Or they end up having to resign from their position as head of an organization or institution.

Feminism has a multitude of disagreements within its big tent, so many that some have taken to using the word "feminisms" to describe the movement, but the instinctive response to outsiders levelling criticism at any feminist or branch of feminism tends to be a powerful desire to circle the wagons against the external threat. To defend the label rather than disavow bigots, censors or liars, or to refuse to examine how even their more mainstream ideas play a significant role in creating such radicals.

It's not difficult to expose feminism for what it is--a set of unfalsifiable hypotheses that have no basis in empirical reality, and which are about as effective as a coin-toss in predicting reality. What IS difficult is maintaining a venue in which to perform that exposition so others can see it. Feminists interested in silencing people like me often employ the community moderation processes of social networking sites, processes that are often automated, to shut down the accounts of people they don't like or to have their materialremoved. My Youtube channel is quite sizeable, and I put money in Youtube's pockets, so they generally put a pair of human eyes on any flagging or complaints against me. Smaller channels, those for whom the unfailing guarantee of freedom of expression is most important, are not so lucky.

I have heard many people in the gender debate say that if you're having to step down from a job or fear violent retaliation because of your ideas, that obviously means your ideas are invalid or bad or wrong or harmful. Tell that to Copernicus. Tell it to Galileo. Tell it to that dude who suggested that washing your hands between handling a corps and delivering a baby could save lives--the medical establishment thought he was a total quack for decades, and shunned him accordingly.

An idea needs to be open to challenge and scrutiny. It needs to be allowed to compete in a free marketplace. And yet so many feminists I've interacted with seem to see George Orwell's 1984 not as a warning, but an instruction manual. Like Newspeak, the only language that gets smaller every year, the body of ideas on a number of issues is in danger of also getting smaller, year by year.

And it's up to the political underdogs to not only hold back the social and political forces that threaten to erode freedom of expression, despite guarantees written into our constitutions and national charters, but to not pull a Harvard bait and switch and become the very thing we're fighting against, if and when we become the dominant voice in society.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Whispers of Dissent Within the Feminist Echo Chamber

Well, the article at The New Republic is up, and it's a mixed bag. Which generally means mostly awful (and offal, heh), but with a few pleasant surprises.

For my part, my over 42-and-change minute interview on a number of different topics was condensed into a single quoted sentence fragment, and a two sentence soundbite about false accusations.

If anyone is interested in hearing what Ms. Matchar and I actually talked about for over 40 minutes, feel free to click here.

Issues we discussed: 

Why I got involved in the Men's Rights Movement.

Whether culturally propagated rape myths (such as the myth that ordinary, otherwise decent guys will commit rape if they have the chance, an unwillingness to accept the empirical evidence that 90% of rapes of women are committed by a small percentage of men who are recidivists, and frequent comparisons between the attrition rate for rape with the conviction rate for other crimes ) coupled with a near-constant public emphasis on the "re-victimizing" of women by the system and how difficult reporting is, discourages women from reporting.

Whether men should be considered rape victims when women have sex with them against their will, through use of threats, force, or drug/alcohol incapacitation. Currently, in statistical data such as that gathered by the CDC, for whom feminist Mary Koss acts as a consultant, such men are not considered rape victims, even if they have been forced into sex. Previous year data in their latest NISVS showed an equal number of male and female victims of sex obtained through force, threats or incapacitation (and attempts, which they did not separate out in either case), and a significant perpetration rate among women, however, Koss (and thus, the CDC) does not consider a woman forcing a man to have heterosexual sex to be rape. 

Whether, given the large minority of (as I would define it) rapes and attempted rapes committed by women, feminist ideas around rape (that it lies on a continuum of normal male behavior within the culture, that it is tied to masculinity and patriarchal domination of women, etc) have any veracity. 

Whether dubiously framing rape as intrinsic or connected to masculinity serves a purpose for feminists.

My own experience as a victim of sexual assault, and why I chose not to report it.

Whether the predominant rhetoric around rape (of women) as the most heinous of crimes (some claim it is worse than murder) does victims a disservice when it comes to stigma and recovery. When the only message the culture (not just feminists!) tells you is that the worst thing possible has happened to you with an extreme focus on the (long term, often framed as permanent) harms, is there a possibility of victims internalizing this message to the point where recovery is obstructed rather than facilitated? 

Whether other voices than feminism have a right to a public opinion about rape and how to combat it. 

Whether we are treating women like children when we assign them victim status for making the exact same decision as a man--that is, if two people are equally drunk and both consent to sex while in that condition, is it demeaning to women to assign them all the agency of a piece of furniture by labelling them victims and the men rapists? (Incidentally, commend Ms. Matchar for not calling for James Taranto's head, and even defending him. How refreshing.)

Whether a calm and coherent national conversation about rape is even possible given the fact that posing such a question as the above will lead to 14 feminist articles vilifying you by misrepresenting what you said being published within 24 hours, and NOW starting a petition to have you fired from your job (James Taranto).

Whether there is any "good way" to deal with a crime that occurs mostly in private and without witnesses, mostly between acquaintances or within a dating/relationship context, and which is based entirely on two people's states of mind.

The false accusation issue was indeed part of our conversation (the only part that made it into Ms. Matchar's article), and something discussed at Ms. Matchar's request. Much of her commentary on the issue and the MRM's stance on it seems outright silly:

(The Hofstra case has become a touchstone in the MRM community, viewed as proof that a woman will ruin five men’s lives to cover her tracks if she needs to.) We don't "view" it as proof. It IS proof. If cases like Hofstra exist, that necessarily proves that such things sometimes can and do happen. On the other hand, I doubt that any MRA believes women who behave in this way are common, just like we do not believe that people who commit sexual assault are common, but Ms. Matchar seems intent on portraying us this way. 

As for the "2-8% of rape accusations are false" thing, on the one hand, I'm not sure why it matters. The biggest issue MRAs tend to have regarding false accusations of rape is that the punishment does not fit the crime, in terms of damage done to the victim. The system generally assigns punishments based on the degree of harm done, not on the commonness of the crime. If it didn't, first degree murder would be a misdemeanor while pocketing pens from your workplace or shoplifting would be capital offences. 

One can allow that rape is more common than false accusations of rape (in fact, it can be much more common, even if the false report rate is quite high, due to the low rate at which rapes are reported to police), and still consider false accusations of rape a difficult problem that ruins people's lives, and it's nice that the author acknowledges this. But her answer seems to be to convince progressives and feminists to take on (or rather, stop ignoring and minimizing) the issue. 

However, from what I've seen, feminists seem to have this idea that taking false accusations seriously will make actual victims fear filing a report, and they typically (and incorrectly) emphasize low prevalence rates for false accusations compared to rape prevalence as a justification for not taking them seriously. I don't think they, on the whole, are in a position to be convinced of anything different.

It is unfortunate that some actual victims of rape are not believed by authorities. I know of at least one case where a woman who, it was later determined, had indeed been raped by a serial rapist, who was fined for filing a false police report. That must have been a terrible situation, and no less terrible after it was discovered that the man had gone on to commit other rapes because her case was not taken seriously enough--a vindication likely more bitter than sweet for her. However, given the high proportion (relative to other crimes) of convictions of sexual assault that result in exoneration (usually through DNA evidence, though often through recanting), I'm going to assert that we fuck it up in the other direction a lot, too. 

Feminists tend also, as the author of this piece has done, to consistently misrepresent the statistics. 2-8% is the lower boundary, derived from rape reports to police that can be determined to be definitely false (or definitely unfounded) to nearly a criminal court standard. I could just as easily flip that around and say that "only" 6% of rape accusations are true, because that is the percentage of reports that result in conviction", however, I would never do that because it would be absurd and dishonest. Ms. Matchar (and pretty much any feminist I talk to) is lumping all reports that are not determined definitely false into the "true" category, when in reality, the vast majority of cases can't be proven either way. I suppose it's entirely possible that the false report rate is as low as 2-8%. I suppose it's entirely possible that it's as high as 94%. But I don't think so, either way. 

Even regardless of that, the rates she cites have no bearing on informal false accusations made to people other than the police, and which have led in some cases to accused men being assaulted and even murdered. I find it amazing how short American's memories are, considering that a hugely disproportionate number of the black men who swung from trees during the era of lynching were accused of sex crimes.

And I find it odd that Ms. Matchar thinks MRAs are obsessed with false accusations. There are many websites and forums largely devoted, for instance, to men who suffer domestic violence, or to male victims of sexual violence, etc, but as far as I know, only one (The Community of the Wrongly Accused, formerly The False Rape Society) that is devoted to false rape accusations. Most Men's Rights Websites are multi-purpose forums that discuss a wide variety of issues, including false accusations, and much of the conversation about false accusations revolves around how difficult it is to find reliable estimates of prevalence simply because of that large number of cases that cannot be proven either way. 

I also find it odd that Ms. Matchar thinks MRAs are inflating the problem of false rape accusations when men are collectively accused of rapiness by the likes of Jessica Valenti, who claims that even otherwise decent guys will rape if they get the opportunity. Given that only a small percentage of men ever rape, what is that, other than a false accusation levelled against an entire gender?

She goes on to condescendingly, indirectly dismiss Paul Elam's concerns over the new, still changing, processes colleges use to handle accusations of sexual misconduct. It's a gorgeous rhetorical trick. First, you state their position like so:

The way rape is dealt with on college campuses is another bugaboo of the MRM. “We have a problem with feminists hyper-inflating rape statistics, creating a kind of hysteria on campus over a problem that needs due attention from law enforcement,” says Paul Elam, the founder of A Voice for Men, widely considered the flagship website of the MRM. 
Then, you follow it up with something like this:
The site, which features essays pontificating on society’s supposed anti-male bias [emphasis mine]
In the space of one sentence fragment, you have just invalidated any claim made by the owner of said website, which is portrayed as just a bunch of people "pontificating" about things that don't really exist. Neat-o, huh?

Next trick is follow it up with typical feminist black/white, all-or-nothing zero-summing:

 But the far more pressing issue in terms of the way that colleges address rape accusations has to do with the institutions ignoring or mishandling cases of sexual assault. Occidental, along with a number of other elite colleges, came under federal investigation last year for precisely this. The case was brought by 37 current and former students, including several men. According to the complaint, administrators explicitly discouraged students from coming forward with sexual assault reports. This is not unique to Occidental—similar cases have arisen at the University of North Carolina and Swarthmore, among others. This kind of discouragement, shaming, and victim-blaming is exactly why we need anonymous reporting and more stringent anti-sexual assault policies, say victims’ advocates.

Voila! You have just succeeded in deflecting the attention away from valid concerns over due process rights by pretending that there exists no means by which colleges can take accusations of sexual misconduct seriously while still being fair to those who are accused. And you can do it by implying that the solution to some colleges ignoring their own policies is not to require them to enforce those policies, but to bring in more stringent and draconian policies.

The MRM’s tirades and hijinks certainly don’t meaningfully add to the debate surrounding the way we handle sexual assault. But to totally ignore the issues that they raise does not further a productive conversation. 

I'd like to again invite readers to listen to my interview with Ms. Matchar, as well as Paul Elam's and Dean Esmay's, and get a feel for the "tirade-like" nature of our answers to her questions. Compare "hijinks" like Men's Rights Edmonton's "Don't be THAT Girl" campaign, with feminist "hijinks" such as this poster. Compare the calm and measured tone of a men's advocate like Warren Farrell, Miles Groth or Pierce Harlan with the feminist reaction of dishonestfurious, spittle-flecked moral outrage to James Taranto's article on drunk sex, or to a presentation about the problems boys face in society.

While I will not deny that tirades and hijinks exist within the MRM (Patriarchy Party, anyone?), the assumption that progressives are even capable of having a calm, reasoned, fair-minded and balanced discussion about rape is dubious at best, self-evidently false at worst, as Ms. Matchar indicates in her very next breath:

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to talk about these issues in progressive or feminist circles, where discussions of sexual assault prevention can quickly degenerate into angry hyperbole and name-calling. Among progressive media circles, to suggest that sexual assault and sexual assault prevention can be less than clear-cut is to court accusations of being a rape apologist.

Hell, I just got called a rape apologist by Naomi Wolf during a panel discussion last weekend for having the temerity to say that one reason so few rapists are prosecuted is because, given the nature of the crime, rape is difficult to prove or disprove. The only thing that separates it from a legal act is two people's states of mind--her lack of consent and his awareness of her lack of consent. Before I could even finish my thought, she turned to me and, face inches from mine, called me a rape apologist.

What I had said seems like a clear-cut statement to me, one that even agrees with feminist rhetoric on rape (that rape is about consent, and that rape is difficult to prove), yet if you're one of the "bad people", saying it apparently means you're a rape apologist.

I mean think about it. Feminists fought hard to eliminate such requirements as corroboration or physical evidence of resistance from sexual assault law. They fought and succeeded in making rape a crime whose actus reus is contingent on the lack of consent of the victim. 

And yet I got called a rape apologist by a feminist for saying rape is a crime based on consent. 

After the panel was over, I went up to her and said I couldn't believe she called me a rape apologist. She said I sure sounded like one, to which I attempted to reply, "For saying rape is about consent?" She interrupted me mid-sentence, claiming that as a rape survivor, it was too upsetting for her to discuss. 

And perhaps the most ironic thing about what she said is the accusation by a young feminist during the Q&A for my talk at Ryerson University, that Naomi Wolf herself is a rape apologist, who (allegedly) engaged in victim blaming regarding the Julian Assange case.

What a labia traitor you are, Naomi! Shame on you.

But back to Ms. Matchar:

So unless progressives want the MRM to lead the dialogue on these issues, perhaps they should start addressing them more comprehensively and less reactively. There will almost surely be more MRM rape campaigns in the coming year, says Dean Esmay, the managing editor of A Voice for Men: “We will continue to look for ways to stir things up.” Ignoring the matters these campaigns raise risks ceding the conversation.
And there lies the rub. MRAs want to have a conversation about rape. Feminists and other progressives, in the main, like Naomi Wolf, want to have a monologue about it. An "everyone else sit down, shut up and listen quietly" kind of monologue.

The term "rape apologist" is more a tactic than an assessment of someone's position on rape, intended to serve as a conversation ender, a way of either shutting someone up, or giving others moral permission to ignore what they say. It's also a way for feminists to separate the "us" from the "them", to identify and target an enemy and maintain their "vagina monologue" on sexual assault.

Naomi Wolf pulling the rape victim card was another attempted conversation ender, one which I gracefully accepted, not because such a tactic is effective in shutting me up, but because, like most feminists and progressives, she does not seem able to look at the problem in anything resembling an objective way. A discussion with someone so emotional they cannot handle a conversation they insist on having in the first place, the moment there is a difference of opinion is going to be pointless waste of time. 

Ms. Matchar warns progressives that ignoring the issues and concerns raised by the MRM may mean ceding the conversation to us. And here she's got it wrong, yet again. The feminist conversation about rape is not a conversation at all, but a one-sided, biased, moralizing lecture that does not permit any deviation from the party line, even by other feminists. 

Which makes me wonder how long it will be before Ms. Matchar herself has the scarlet letter pinned on her, merely for stating it's a bit of a stretch to characterize James Taranto's article on drunk sex "rape apology". 

If even Naomi Wolf can be labelled a rape apologist for being skeptical of what might well be politically motivated, trumped-up or inflated accusations against a man detested by the US government (among others), then letting Taranto off the hook for his "obvious rape apologia" could well get Ms. Matchar in hot water among the sisterhood. Feminists are all too happy to turn on each other over such things.

Which leads me to commend Ms. Matchar for defying, even in these small ways, the orthodoxy of progressive feminists, and to advise her to watch her back. The feminist sisterhood might not be too happy with her right now.