How feminists are not like Islamists

From a comment on a Facebook post of mine about Brendan O’Neill’s malicious comparison of feminist objections to advertising that uses a woman in a bikini to sell a product to Islamist objections to women not wearing burqas:

I don’t know of a single person who has been killed by feminists for political reasons. Not even one. Or a single terrorist attack where a feminist group claimed responsibility. If there were a single such victim their name might as well be engraved in stone, they would not likely ever be forgotten because of the sheer rarity. There are so many victims of Islamists and so many terrorist attacks perpetrated by Islamist groups that not even an expert could possibly hope to remember them all.

To instead resort to an absolutely unjustifiable comparison in a pitiful attempt at scare-mongering against an obviously peaceful political group not only discredits the article, as it calls the author’s grip of reality into serious question, it is also frequently used as a tactic to minimise the atrocities of Islamists by drawing completely false equivalences, such as when the Index on Censorship reacted to the murder of Theo van Gogh by comparing the chilling effect on free speech of his murder to the effect he himself had on free speech by “intimidating” Muslims with his movie.

The message is either that feminism is an existential threat to us, and the tube is in danger of being bombed by feminist fanatics to punish us all for the bikini adverts – which is plainly ludicrous – or that Islamism is just another political movement, no different and no more threatening than Take Back the Night or Greenpeace, and we have no reason to treat it differently – which is also plainly ludicrous, but there are plenty of leftists who do their utmost to get you to take it seriously, regardless.

Well said.


  1. says

    I’d go for the “Just another political movement” interpretation, based on the evidence provided by the wider Spiked/ IofI context. They do seem to think that every claim is a political claim (which, on certain interpretations of the word, may have something to it), and that – and here’s the fallacy – it therefore follows that there’s nothing but politics in any given claim. That’s the only way I can make sense of how they respond to science, for example. And if it applies there, it presumably applies here.

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