Confronting Sexism Head-on – Part 2

Having tackled some of the errant stuff recently posted by David Tee, I am now confronted with a passive-aggressive offering from Paul Williams of Blogging Theology. Paul and I have exchanged quite a few curt words of late (which culminated with him comparing me to Nazis – yes, really), and his latest post on the subject of women’s rights is another attempt, in my view at least, to mislead.

The post leads with this picture:

And Paul added this:

We live in a sad world where people are offended over a woman holding a child and doing house work

To my knowledge, no one who is serious about feminism and equality is going to be offended by this. The point of feminism is freedom of choice, so that a woman can live a traditional life, or do something different. That last part does appear to greatly offend some elements of the conservative religious right, and that would certainly appear to be the case here. What Paul is doing here is setting up a Strawman argument. Are there people who might get offended at traditional roles? Perhaps. Are they more likely to be offended because they have no choice? That’s the part that is quietly omitted.

My opening reply:

No one is offended if that’s what people choose.

Paul’s response:

But the pressure is on women to be like men.

As I would later say, this is a misleading (and frankly baffling) distortion of feminism. 

I thought it was obvious to everyone unless one had been living in a cave for the last 50 years.

The aggression begins.

From the snark in your response, I take it you have no meaningful reply? However, let’s see if we can guess what is meant by your statement.

You (incorrectly) believe feminism is about getting women to behave like men. Quite how you have arrived at that conclusion is anyone’s guess, however, it is completely in error. Feminism exists to advance equality between the sexes. There IS pressure on women – pressure on them to conform to antiquated notions of femininity – and the same outdated social mechanisms also put pressure on men to be ‘manly’.

Feminism is a cancer on society.

Right, unfortunately, this is where Paul shows his true colours on this issue. Later, he would post a video pupporting to show how evil feminism is, and how it’s about (among other things), hating men. He indulges heavily in the No True Scotsman fallacy to justify this, whilst ignoring a host of examples for why feminism remains relevant.

If  you wish to follow the rest of the discussion, you can find it via the link above. Suffice to say, I am disappointed that he is prepared to be so selective in his sources and so determined in his willingness to ignore evidence.

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