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30.10.05

Man-Hating Sexism

Over at Pandagon, they're smacking down a series of articles by Leon Kass (e.g. here) trying to undermine sexual equality. It's been observed many times that Kass and his allies make their arguments for sexism in a way that manages to also insult men -- declaring, for example, that we're irredeemable horndogs. I would speculate that this strategy is due to the success of feminism. The more secure oppression is, the freer the oppressors feel to declare their superiority. But when their position feels threatened, they appeal to their own weakness.

A distorted view of the content of feminism feeds into this in the case of Kass and his allies. They make a conscious attempt to show that, even starting from the premises of their feminist opponents (which they ingratiatingly profess to agree with), their sexist conclusions still follow. Done right, this is an effective debate tactic, as it allows you to reach your goal without engaging in (often unproductive) arguments about first principles. Unfortunately Kass et al. seem to have imbibed the canard that feminism involves hating men. Therefore they offer a man-hating rationale for anti-woman sexism. But arguing from your opponents' premises is ineffective when you misstate their premises.

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