There is no shortage of opinionated goons starting wildly tangential arguments on social media. Facebook and Twitter have given the casual pundit a platform with which to shout incoherently into a sea of dissenting voices, including the ever present devil’s advocate who performs whatever kind of logical acrobatics he wants in order to subvert women’s issues.
There’s an unmistakable air of adversity that surrounds any discussion of gender and that’s because there’s a conflict between the way women understand the world and the way men understand the world. That is not to say there is something inherent in men or women that makes them opposed. Simply put, feminist ideals typically stem from a woman’s standpoint, and men — because this standpoint is inaccessible — find difficulty in applying these characterizations to their own lived experiences. As a result, many posts are earmarked by an incessant need to have men’s rights in the spotlight.
Just look for an article about Brock Turner, or any other report of violence against women. Nine times out of 10 you’ll find some proud individual in the comments section asserting “not all men” are like that. In fact, they may suggest it’s unfair to generalize all men or present sexual assault as predominantly experienced by women.
I can’t help but roll my eyes and sarcastically say, “Sure bud, sexual misconduct is a scourge on the world of men. They don’t know how bad we got it. Sure, whatever you say.” This is the rational course of action for these guys. Maybe to them, leaving a rebuttal under a Facebook article is like slapping the top of a doorway as they pass under it. It’s easy enough to do, it’s pointless, and how else are you supposed to assert dominance over your less masculine peers?
These men are, in part, motivated by real problems experienced by men — problems they believe deserve as much attention as those experienced by women. Given the relative anonymity provided by the internet, many feel adequately equipped to offer an under-appreciated view point. Men experience rape, men are in abusive relationships, men are insecure about their bodies, and men commit suicide at alarming rates. Men face issues that can easily be compared to those faced by women. But if your passion for these issues only flares when it can be used to subvert claims made by women, it’s hatred.
Using a news article about violence against women as a soapbox to broadcast your carefully crafted argument about methodological errors in the wage gap theory is nothing short of buffoonery. I say buffoonery because I’m not mad at these guys. I get it man, I really do. Just like you and the vast majority of men, I do not want to be associated with rapists. You’re not a clown because you lend your voice to the issues that men struggle with — I want these issues to get the recognition they deserve. You’re a clown because you feel the need to interject into every conversation which presents men in a less than positive light to champion our collective righteousness in the face of obvious depravity.
Political discourse for our generation is marred by the constant use of anecdotal evidence, red herring, strawmen and whatever other logical fallacy describes a roundabout conversation that ends in nothing but tenderly stroked intellectual egos and virtual validation. Everyone is frothing at the mouth waiting for a chance to either prove how transcendent they are or play the devil’s advocate.
So the next time you’re tempted to interject into an argument where you weren’t invited, listen with an open mind without collecting ammunition to fire holes in your opponent’s argument. If you’ve got an axe to grind with feminists, don’t pretend you’re here to promote equality.