"Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

On the true meaning of "reduction ad absurdum"

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"Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#1  Postby UndercoverElephant » Sep 23, 2014 3:58 pm

Just found this bit of misandric nonsense, written by a stupid woman called "Amanda Hess" who doesn't understand what a "reduction ad absurdum" is. Unfortunately there is no way to contact her in order to educate her, so I'm going to let off some steam by posting the rebuttal here. I will take her own stated position, and apply exactly the same logic to a directly analogous situation, and see whether it leads to something absurd.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/20 ... nning.html


“Misandry”—literally, the hatred of men—is an accusation that’s been flung at feminists since the dawn of the women’s movement: By empowering women, critics argue, feminists are really oppressing men. Now, feminists are ironically embracing the man-hating label: The ironic misandrist sips from a mug marked “MALE TEARS,” frosts her cakes with the phrase “KILL ALL MEN,” and affixes “MISANDRY” heart pins to her lapel. Ironic misandry is “a reductio ad absurdum,” explains Jess Zimmerman, an editor at Medium and the proud owner of a “MALE TEARS” mug. (“I drink them to increase my strength,” she notes.) “It's inhabiting the most exaggerated, implausible distortion of your position, in order to show that it's ridiculous.”


OK, here goes.

"Racism" - literally, hatred and discrimination against people based on their race - is an accusation that's been flung at white supremacists since the dawn of the movement. By empowering white people, critics argue, white supremacists are really oppressing blacks. Now, white supremacists are ironically embracing the black-hating label: The ironic racist sips from a mug marked "NIGGER'S TEARS", frosts her cake with the phrase "KILL ALL BLACKS" and affixes "RACISM" heart pins to her lapel. Ironic racism is a "reductio ad absurdum", explains Jess Zimmerman, an editor and the proud owner of a "NIGGER'S TEARS" mug. " (“I drink them to increase my strength,” she notes.) “It's inhabiting the most exaggerated, implausible distortion of your position, in order to show that it's ridiculous.”

Now that, my friends, is a reductio ad absurdum. A real one. :)

"Ironic misandry" is not a reductio. What it actually is is an attempt to cover up the existence of real misandry by exaggerating that misandry, then pointing to the exaggerated version and saying "see, its ridiculous, there's no such thing as misandry."
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#2  Postby Sendraks » Sep 23, 2014 4:07 pm

Not following you or seeing the problem.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#3  Postby scott1328 » Sep 23, 2014 4:15 pm

OPs parody fails, here's one that works
“Racism”—literally, the hatred of people based on their race—is an accusation that’s been flung at NAACP members since the dawn of the civil right’s movement: By empowering African Americans, critics argue, NAACP members are really oppressing white people. Now, NAACP members are ironically embracing the racist label: The ironic racist sips from a mug marked “CRACKER TEARS,” frosts cakes with the phrase “KILL WHITEY,” and affixes “BLACK POWER” heart pins to their lapels. Ironic racism is “a reductio ad absurdum,” explains Jess Zimmerman, an editor at Medium and the proud owner of a “CRACKER TEARS” mug. (“I drink them to increase my strength,” she notes.) “It's inhabiting the most exaggerated, implausible distortion of your position, in order to show that it's ridiculous.”


Not seeing the problem either
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#4  Postby SkyMutt » Sep 23, 2014 4:16 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:OK, here goes. . . .


The white supremacist movement has, from its inception, been a racist movement. Unless you believe that the feminist movement has always entailed misandry, then it seems to me you're failing to make a coherent argument.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#5  Postby UndercoverElephant » Sep 23, 2014 4:17 pm

Sendraks wrote:Not following you or seeing the problem.


I used exactly the same logic in that paragraph about racism as the article does about misandry. What do you think of the argument about racism?
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#6  Postby UndercoverElephant » Sep 23, 2014 4:22 pm

SkyMutt wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:OK, here goes. . . .


The white supremacist movement has, from its inception, been a racist movement. Unless you believe that the feminist movement has always entailed misandry, then it seems to me you're failing to make a coherent argument.


Well, not quite. Yes, you are right that the white supremacist movement was racist from the start, whereas the feminist movement was not misandrist at the start. It doesn't follow that there are not, now, feminists who really are misandrist. Modern western feminism doesn't have much left to do - most of the battles it started out to fight have already been won. As a result, there is an increasing tendency for it to become a movement about female supremacy. Historically in the west, and today in much of the non-western world, those battles still need to be fought (obviously).

Although I might add that there are people out there who would reject even this claim - people who believe feminism was never about equality, and was always heading towards female supremacism. I'm not one of them though.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#7  Postby Sendraks » Sep 23, 2014 4:22 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Sendraks wrote:Not following you or seeing the problem.


I used exactly the same logic in that paragraph about racism as the article does about misandry. What do you think of the argument about racism?


I think Scott illustrated the point much better than you did.

And I still don't see the problem with inhabiting an implausible to distortion of your position to show that such a distortion is ridiculous, as a shortcut to dealing with ridiculous arguments.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#8  Postby UndercoverElephant » Sep 23, 2014 4:26 pm

Sendraks wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
Sendraks wrote:Not following you or seeing the problem.


I used exactly the same logic in that paragraph about racism as the article does about misandry. What do you think of the argument about racism?


I think Scott illustrated the point much better than you did.

And I still don't see the problem with inhabiting an implausible to distortion of your position to show that such a distortion is ridiculous, as a shortcut to dealing with ridiculous arguments.


The problem with doing that is that all you are showing is ridiculous is the distortion, but in this example the person is claiming it shows the undistorted version is ridiculous.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#9  Postby UndercoverElephant » Sep 23, 2014 4:31 pm

scott1328 wrote:OPs parody fails, here's one that works
“Racism”—literally, the hatred of people based on their race—is an accusation that’s been flung at NAACP members since the dawn of the civil right’s movement: By empowering African Americans, critics argue, NAACP members are really oppressing white people. Now, NAACP members are ironically embracing the racist label: The ironic racist sips from a mug marked “CRACKER TEARS,” frosts cakes with the phrase “KILL WHITEY,” and affixes “BLACK POWER” heart pins to their lapels. Ironic racism is “a reductio ad absurdum,” explains Jess Zimmerman, an editor at Medium and the proud owner of a “CRACKER TEARS” mug. (“I drink them to increase my strength,” she notes.) “It's inhabiting the most exaggerated, implausible distortion of your position, in order to show that it's ridiculous.”


Not seeing the problem either


Well, look harder then. Your version is as absurd as the other two.

The argument itself doesn't work - it's not a reductio ad absurdum, but something else. Now, you can apply this invalid form of argument to any "-ism", whether it is real or not. It is not the conclusion "racism doesn't exist" or "misandry doesn't exist" or "black hatred of whites doesn't exist" (which is another form of racism, and does exist) which is wrong, per se. What is wrong is the reasoning by which you got there, and if that reasoning is wrong in one case, then it is wrong in all of them.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#10  Postby Sendraks » Sep 23, 2014 4:32 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:The problem with doing that is that all you are showing is ridiculous is the distortion, but in this example the person is claiming it shows the undistorted version is ridiculous.


Sorry, the undistorted version of what?
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#11  Postby UndercoverElephant » Sep 23, 2014 4:33 pm

Sendraks wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:The problem with doing that is that all you are showing is ridiculous is the distortion, but in this example the person is claiming it shows the undistorted version is ridiculous.


Sorry, the undistorted version of what?


The real misandry of certain radical and noisy feminists. Some feminists actually do hate men, quite obviously. And some of them are female supremacists. Many are neither of those things, but some are.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#12  Postby scott1328 » Sep 23, 2014 4:35 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:The problem with doing that is that all you are showing is ridiculous is the distortion, but in this example the person is claiming it shows the undistorted version is ridiculous.


Sorry, the undistorted version of what?


The real misandry of certain radical and noisy feminists. Some feminists actually do hate men, quite obviously. And some of them are female supremacists. Many are neither of those things, but some are.


What a fucking trivially obvious point to argue.

And some MRAs are misogynist. And some black people are racist. What the fuck is your point?
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#13  Postby Animavore » Sep 23, 2014 4:35 pm

Sendraks wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:The problem with doing that is that all you are showing is ridiculous is the distortion, but in this example the person is claiming it shows the undistorted version is ridiculous.


Sorry, the undistorted version of what?


He's trying to claim the undistorted version of feminism is that it really is misandric, that this is not a distortion of feminism to call it so, and this is why it's comparable to White Supremicists wearing t-shirts with racial slurs.

Sheer fail.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#14  Postby Sendraks » Sep 23, 2014 4:36 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:The problem with doing that is that all you are showing is ridiculous is the distortion, but in this example the person is claiming it shows the undistorted version is ridiculous.


Sorry, the undistorted version of what?


The real misandry of certain radical and noisy feminists. Some feminists actually do hate men, quite obviously. And some of them are female supremacists. Many are neither of those things, but some are.


The real misandry of certain feminists is ridiculous. It is every bit as ridiculous as real misogyny.
I don't see anywhere in the article that suggests the author thinks that real misandry doesn't exist.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#15  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Sep 23, 2014 4:38 pm

Sendraks wrote:
And I still don't see the problem with inhabiting an implausible to distortion of your position to show that such a distortion is ridiculous, as a shortcut to dealing with ridiculous arguments.


Because there's nothing wrong with it.

Sometimes the lies people tell about you are so fucking ridiculous that they don't deserve a sincere refutation. Mockery is far more reasonable a response. For example, a member of this forum has said I probably like to murder neonates (a distortion of my pro-choice feminism). This does not deserve a sincere refutation. Far more effective is laughing at the ridiculousness of the accusation than actually treating the person making the accusation as if they're deserving of my time.

Mockery is a highly valuable tool and a far more appropriate one to utilise when others are being utterly stupid and reactionary than just ignoring this kind of dishonesty and abuse OR treating it and the people engaging in it as if they deserve your time or energy. You can't work with people who are being reactionary and dishonest because they've already left decency and rationality behind. You can show other people how fucking ridiculous their behaviour is though and irony is a great way of doing that.

And there's nothing idiotic about that.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#16  Postby UndercoverElephant » Sep 23, 2014 4:40 pm

Sendraks wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:The problem with doing that is that all you are showing is ridiculous is the distortion, but in this example the person is claiming it shows the undistorted version is ridiculous.


Sorry, the undistorted version of what?


The real misandry of certain radical and noisy feminists. Some feminists actually do hate men, quite obviously. And some of them are female supremacists. Many are neither of those things, but some are.


The real misandry of certain feminists is ridiculous. It is every bit as ridiculous as real misogyny.
I don't see anywhere in the article that suggests the author thinks that real misandry doesn't exist.


She doesn't explicitly state this, but she does imply it.


“Misandry”—literally, the hatred of men—is an accusation that’s been flung at feminists since the dawn of the women’s movement: By empowering women, critics argue, feminists are really oppressing men.


By saying that "an accusation has been flung" at the members of a movement, you are suggesting that the accusation is false. If not, why would you use this phrase? She's conveniently talking about the whole movement, as if all feminists sing from the same songsheet. They don't. Some are reasonable, and some are man-hating psychopaths.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#17  Postby UndercoverElephant » Sep 23, 2014 4:42 pm

Animavore wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:The problem with doing that is that all you are showing is ridiculous is the distortion, but in this example the person is claiming it shows the undistorted version is ridiculous.


Sorry, the undistorted version of what?


He's trying to claim the undistorted version of feminism is that it really is misandric, that this is not a distortion of feminism to call it so, and this is why it's comparable to White Supremicists wearing t-shirts with racial slurs.

Sheer fail.


The undistorted version of modern western feminism is a mixed bunch. It means different things to different feminists. And SOME of them really are misandric.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#18  Postby UndercoverElephant » Sep 23, 2014 4:46 pm

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
And I still don't see the problem with inhabiting an implausible to distortion of your position to show that such a distortion is ridiculous, as a shortcut to dealing with ridiculous arguments.


Because there's nothing wrong with it.

Sometimes the lies people tell about you are so fucking ridiculous that they don't deserve a sincere refutation. Mockery is far more reasonable a response. For example, a member of this forum has said I probably like to murder neonates (a distortion of my pro-choice feminism). This does not deserve a sincere refutation. Far more effective is laughing at the ridiculousness of the accusation than actually treating the person making the accusation as if they're deserving of my time.


No, that doesn't fly. It might sound OK to you, but if you follow the logic then you end up with the same sort of absurdity as the racist argument in the opening post. In other words, if you don't provide a sincere refutation then you leave yourself wide open to the accusation that you've not provided a refutation at all.

To use another example, if you're faced with a room full of people who've been taught "creation science" instead of evolution and you decided that because creationism is so fucking ridiculous it doesn't deserve a sincere refutation, then you aren't going to get very far. It may be true that creationism is fucking ridiculous, but if you're faced with somebody who doesn't agree with you then you need to offer a real refutation instead of laughing at it.

And the problem here is that I simply don't accept the claim that there aren't any genuinely misandric feminists. So offering irony instead of an actual argument is just going to look, to me, like a cover for somebody who doesn't have an actual argument.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#19  Postby Animavore » Sep 23, 2014 4:49 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Animavore wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:The problem with doing that is that all you are showing is ridiculous is the distortion, but in this example the person is claiming it shows the undistorted version is ridiculous.


Sorry, the undistorted version of what?


He's trying to claim the undistorted version of feminism is that it really is misandric, that this is not a distortion of feminism to call it so, and this is why it's comparable to White Supremicists wearing t-shirts with racial slurs.

Sheer fail.


The undistorted version of modern western feminism is a mixed bunch. It means different things to different feminists. And SOME of them really are misandric.


You made feminists analagous to White Supremicists. A movement which exists for only one reason, to spread racial-based hatred. The feminist movement isn't about hating men even if some of its adherents do.

The fail can't get any more fail-y.
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Re: "Ironic Misandry" (and idiotic feminism)

#20  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Sep 23, 2014 4:54 pm

Because the accusation is false. Hatred of dudes has never been a characteristic of the feminist movement. It's a characteristic of a few feminists who one could rightly fling the accusation at. The majority mainstream of feminism has done a really good job of distancing it's self from those individuals too (even though, like most people, the loonies have had some valuable insights to contribute obviously lying outside their controversial seperatist stance.)

Very few feminists advocate segregation of sexes. The vast majority of accusations of "YOU JUST HATE MEN" are false and simply attempts to silence women being difficult, wanting things like the vote and equal job opportunity and appropriate sanitation.

Some vegetarians hate omnivores. No one makes a big deal out of them as if they're a significant, dangerous presence though because they aren't. They're just ridiculous and their conduct has no relevance to vegetarians in general hence the accusation "YOU JUST HATE OMNIVORES" sounding completely fucking ridiculous. Constantly ragging on about the supposed threat of extremists within feminism sounds particularly ridiculous because it's always directed at feminists who obviously aren't guilty of hating dudes.
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