Spotting the REAL misogyny

Brendan being Brendan, again.

If you want to see misogyny – real, visceral, woman-shaming misogyny, the kind that views women as incapable of thinking for themselves, or as possessors of such foul thoughts that they shouldn’t think for themselves – look no further than #MeToo.

Oh yes, that’s the one: Mr Predictable Paradox. The real misogynists are feminists! The real misogyny is a campaign to expose and end systemic sexual harassment! Gaze on the contrarian and be stunned.

His Cause of Paradox this time is a social media wave of anger at Katie Roiphe over a forthcoming article in Harper’s that was said to name the woman who created the Shitty Media Men list. I took a brief look yesterday but stayed away because the article hasn’t been published yet, it wasn’t even clear that it had been written yet, I know nothing of the Shitty Media Men list and have doubts about it, and it was one more of those Twitter dogpiles which are always something to be cautious of. In short I probably mostly agree with Brendan that the Twitter fuss was at least misdirected, but where I don’t agree with him a bit is that this equals a golden opportunity to crap all over feminism yet again.

Roiphe was branded an ‘Uncle Tom’ of gender, ‘trash’, a ‘bitch’ of course, a ‘demon’, and a ‘danger’ to good feminists who simply want to keep criminalising men without the benefit of such archaic things as due process or legal investigation.

What does he mean “a ‘bitch’ of course”? Most feminists hate the word “bitch,” not least because it’s generally used to demonize exactly the qualities that make women feminist.

But even uglier than the fact-lite nature of the anti-Roiphe fanaticism has been its misogyny, its weirdly feminist-cum-anti-women outlook. Roiphe, you see – like any other woman who criticises the new victim feminism – suffers from ‘internalised misogyny’. This deeply patronising idea holds that women do not really know their own minds and are easy prey to the allegedly misogynistic culture that surrounds them. It is feared that their dainty brains will be made self-hating through too much exposure to ‘the culture’, just as Victorian men worried that Victorian women would faint or die upon reading an outrageous letter or hearing a labourer say ‘fuck’. The same was said of women who voted for Trump, whom one feminist columnist likened to ‘slaves fluffing the pillows of their master’s rocking chair’. That is one of the most misogynistic things I’ve read in the mainstream press in years.

Oh please. Feminism doesn’t mean thinking all women are perfect and must never be challenged. That logic applies across the board. Anti-racism activists can and do and must disagree with people even as they campaign for their rights; so can and do and must LGB activists and secularists and union organizers and the list goes on. Brendan knows this perfectly well, he’s just riling us up for the fun of it, like another Milo Yiannopoulos.

We are now starting to see that #MeToo is not a pro-woman movement at all. It is a highly politicised campaign driven by, and benefiting, well-connected women in culture and the media, who must maintain their alleged victim status at all costs because it is leverage for them in terms both of their career and their moral authority in public discussion. This is why they respond with such unforgiving, misogynistic fury to any woman who questions them – because these women, these upstarts, these difficult creatures, threaten to unravel the victim politics that is so beneficial to a narrow but influential strata of society today. And so these women must be silenced, cast out, written off as ‘damaged’ and not worth listening to; let’s just be grateful that the asylums such free-thinking women would once have been dumped in no longer exist.

Maybe he’ll be the next editor of Breitbart.

Also: it’s stratum, not strata. One stratum, several strata.

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