8 (Fallacious) Ways Misogynists Defend Their Actions
By Tim Henares
The more progressive a society is while still remaining patriarchal in nature, the more underhanded and ingrained the remaining sexism happens to be. We’ve seen this quite a bit the last few months, with government officials even looking on in confusion at being accused of slut-shaming.
The thing is, men have inherent advantages (and even disadvantages) that they have solely because of what’s between their legs and nothing else, even in a country that has managed to elect two female presidents in its history. While there are extreme feminists who are on the opposite polar end of being misandrists, a vast majority of feminists recognize that equality between men and women benefits both genders as a whole, but certain privileges men have by virtue of being men are so ingrained and so commonly accepted, some men feel threatened when these assumptions and privileges are challenged.
Here are just 8 ways that the worst of the lot defend their misogyny, and why these attempts should be shot down.
8. “Boys will be boys.”
Fallacies Involved: Hasty generalization, appeal to nature.
Whenever we hear men speak about women in a deplorable manner, we tend to brush it off as locker room talk, or boys being boys. Except to accept this is actually degrading to men as it is to women: are we going to just concede that men are so intemperate that they can’t control themselves in the presence of women who are dressed a certain way? Surely, this is not the case, and should not be assumed to be the case.
Counterpoint: “We are all better than that.”
Society dictates upon us that men and women should act a certain way because we are men or women. It is high time we recognized these role assignments for what they are: dismissive of individual differences, and disrespectful of our diversity.
7. “But when men get harassed, it’s okay?”
Fallacies Involved: Tu quoque, false dichotomy.
Most so-called men’s rights activists normally make these claims about how “oppressed” men are in cases they generally only care about when arguing, but don’t care about otherwise. If they really cared about these things, then they would have been actively crusading for these causes, instead of attacking feminists on the internet.
Counterpoint: “Men are not unprotected.”
Not only are instances of men being adversely harassed disproportional to how often women get that treatment, they are also inherently protected as well, because nobody in their right mind would suggest men should not have any recourse to protection if their rights are being encroached upon. Otherwise, we should have been pissed off the minute Chris Brown crossed paths with a woman harassing her. We weren’t—until he started sending her death threats.
6. “Stop playing the sexism card.”
“Kailan kayo nag-climax?”
Fallacies Involved: Ad hominem, strawman argument.
The so-called sexism card will never stop being “played” until people stop actually being sexist. Whenever we attack the credibility of a woman by talking about her sex life, for example, we demonstrate how misogyny has allowed us to ignore the arguments of a woman for so long: none of her arguments are hinged on her sexuality, and certainly, her entire argument doesn’t hinge solely on her sexuality, either, but in order to dismiss her offhand, we resort to that.
Counterpoint: “Sexism never went away.”
Most people who think there is such a thing as a “sexism card” think that just because we’ve had two female presidents, sexism is long over. It isn’t, and we need to remind them of that constantly.
5. “Maybe if you said it nicely instead of being all angry about it.”
Fallacies Involved: Tone policing, red herring.
How you say something might affect how things are done, but is this really a valid point when the many times we’ve said things nicely have resulted in people ignoring what we have to say? In fact, more often than not, the only time misogynists bother listening to women are when they are particularly upset already, and not when they’re still saying things nicely. Tone policing doesn’t work: that’s why we had the EDSA Revolution, not the EDSA Gentle Request.
Counterpoint: “Nice’ doesn’t cut it anymore.”
When people seem militant, it’s not because they’re overreacting: it’s because they’ve put up with being ignored despite their valid grievances for far too long. Being progressive means one keeps moving forward, so of course there will always be something to push to the fore.