A lot of times when you come across a person who claims to be a feminist or is a self-proclaimed feminist, be it guy or gal, they tend to “pick and choose” the parts of feminism that they like and discard the rest. And usually, the parts of the feminist ideology that they tend to discard or downplay are those who belong in the more extreme end of the spectrum. Much like Christianity, feminism has its extremist fanatics, which I like to refer to them as”fundamentalists” or “fundy’s” for short, not unlike the same word used for Christian fundamentalists.
I was remembering things I read in the distant past when I was still in school studying philosophy and was still intrigued and drawn by the Christian versus Atheist debates. Most notably, a book called “A Letter to a Christian Nation” written by Sam Harris, who is a wonderfully clear and concise writer and philosopher. In the aforementioned book, Sam Harris basically made the argument for why Muslims can’t say to their detractors and opponents that Islam isn’t about war and fanaticism. His argument goes something like this: Islam is a religion about love and peace but at the same time, it’s also a religion about war and fanaticism and this can be evidenced by extremist factions within the religious group that has committed atrocities against humanity at various points in time, most notable of those being the events leading up to the 9/11 airplane incident at the Twin Towers. As such, even though there are more peace-loving Muslims, they cannot deny the fact that the extreme factions within their religious group also make up and buttress their religion as well. That the statement “Not all Muslims are fanaticists” is a cop-out or turning a blind eye to admitting that there are, in fact, extreme factions within their religious group who are hellbent in committing human atrocities against others. Given that, this ultimately means that the more “moderate” groups, aka, the peace-loving Muslims, are effectively enabling, nay, encouraging their more fanatical religious zealots to do precisely the things that they do in the name of their religion by way of saying “Not all Muslims are like that” or outright denying or insisting that they “only mean well” by their actions, in spite of what has transpired: people killed, villages ravaged, families destroyed, etc.
In much the same way, feminism is like these religious fanatics of Islam except they are fighting for what they perceive as an oppression against their gender and their gender alone. The only real difference here is that one is based on beliefs and the other is based on, well, biology.
In a way, when feminists say “Not all feminists are like that,” it’s like an acknowledgement and admission of guilt. That they realize that yes, there are people like that within their ranks but consciously choose not to do anything about it. Effectively then, this is like the thought experiment that Peter Singer had once presented in one of his works about a toddler drowning in a pool. That the act of forcibly drowning a toddler in a pool is just as morally wrong as seeing the same toddler drown on his or her own without jumping in the pool to save him or her. In other words, the same feminists that really do mean well are just as culpable and morally wrong as those feminists who go out of their way to end a man’s life through the use and abuse of their ideology.
There is a solution to it and it’s simply this: Those feminists who feel that their extremist factions are getting way out of hand? They need to step up and tell these fanatics within their ranks that there’s another way to achieve equality and it’s certainly not through violence. It took a bullet to the famed civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., and his subsequent death to usher forth civil rights to Blacks. I think that it will take something of that level of magnitude for the gender wars to stop between the sexes and really come together to form a more equal society for both genders.