One last example to round out the day’s discussion. This one comes to us courtesy of former FTBorg turned reluctant prophet to horrible people Al Stefanelli. In making a completely original argument comparing the Atheism+ forum to McCarthyism, he also rails against a new foe of all that is good and right in the world – radical feminism:
The purpose of equality should be focused on bringing any demographic that is marginalized to a place where they are no longer discriminated against. This goal is best accomplished by ascertaining which group has the least amount of marginalization, and making that group sort of a primmer. This goal is least accomplished when any given group seeks to reduce the rights of the least marginalized group.
When my children were adolescents, one would attempt to win my favor by bringing up something negative that the other had done. This is typical of childish behavior, because it takes some time for a child to grasp the concept of favor by accomplishment. Instead of a child telling a parent they should be favored because of something they had done to garner praise, they will generally tattle on another child to make the other child appear less praiseworthy. This is like the rapist stating, ‘Well, at least I didn’t kill her,’ instead of admitting what they did is a heinous crime in of itself.
Women, as a whole, should have the same rights as men. Period. End of story. Men, however, should not have rights that women do not have taken away from them. Can you imagine if the answer to slavery was not the emancipation of the practice*, but to enslave those who were not subject to slavery? It would have been an atrocity of gargantuan proportions if this had been the means and method of dealing with the problem.
Now in the absence of links, one is left to speculate as to who exactly it is that is looking to enslave men or make them subject to the kinds of prejudice that women have been subject to. My guess is that he’s talking about anyone who disagrees with him about the place of feminism in skeptical discussions, but again that can be nothing more than speculation because he provides not a single goddamn example of this supposed widespread persecution (actually going so far as to say “I can give you a list of these people who have been targeted as ‘pure evil‘ by almost everyone at the Atheism Plus forum, several writers on Freethought Blogs and a few sympathizers, but if you have been keeping track, you already know who they are”, which really does sound like something Joe McCarthy would say…)
One would also wonder if Al thinks that restitution paid to interned Japanese people during WWII, or reparations that should have been paid to slaves, are therefore unjust because they would take away the honestly-earned money of the majority group, but maybe that’s a discussion best left for another time (or never).
Al’s asshattery aside, let’s run his claim through the f-myth framework and see what we get:
The world is fundamentally fair when it comes to the status of men. Men are not granted any special rights that they do not deserve. The existence of gender inequalities is due to the fact that women are not granted the same rights that men are. If women were granted the same freedoms that men are, there would be no inequality.
The answer is not to ask men to change their behaviour or accept a lesser position than they have now, but it is rather to ensure that women are elevated to the status that men currently enjoy. Demanding the restriction on the freedoms of men is morally reprehensible. Conversely, opposing efforts to change a fundamentally fair system that accords men the rights they currently deserve is morally laudable. Rights should not be taken away from some people to fix inequalities between groups.
By standing in opposition to the violation of a fair system in which the status of men is fundamentally fair, my stance is morally laudable. In demanding that a fair system be changed to arbitrarily grant rights to some at the expense of others, the stance of the “radical feminists” is morally reprehensible.
And the u-myth response might read as follows:
The world is fundamentally unfair when it comes to the status of men. Men are in possession of privileges that they call rights, but are actually products of a combination of ignorance and false entitlement. In many cases, when men exercise those privileges, the result is that women are relegated to secondary status for arbitrary reasons (gender being an arbitrary basis upon which to divide rights).
Insofar as the exercise of male privilege prevents women from engaging on a level playing field, the achievement of equality is not something that can be accomplished through a passive, laissez-faire system. Groups and communities have a duty to address the structural elements that inhibit equality, privilege being among them. Members of groups and communities have a corresponding duty to examine their own individual privilege and make the necessary adjustments.
By making the effort to oppose and counter a fundamentally unfair system, my stance is morally laudable. In resisting efforts to change an unfair system into a fair one, Al’s actions are morally reprehensible. In believing that privileges do not exist, and are in fact “rights”, Al’s beliefs are morally reprehensible.
Also nobody’s trying to take anything away from men, Al you muppet. Read a fucking book or something.
Maybe that last part is better left out of the argument.
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*That’s not what the word ’emancipate means, Al. The practice of slavery was plenty emancipated when people were allowed to own slaves. It was the slaves who needed emancipating.