Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Infighting Vs. Legitimate Dissent

 People, particularly those in antifeminist and/or MRA circles, have decried the feminist movement as being full of infighting. If even feminists can't agree on their goals or methodology, why should anyone be a part of the movement? I don't want to ally myself with something that is not entirely good and pure! The fact that no movement, and indeed no person, is without fault, seems to elude these people.

The really weird thing is that I've seen feminists take the same position on this issue. They believe that feminists have to unify in order to be taken seriously. Any hint of disagreement within the movement is seen as a weakness, which must be crushed in order to further the end goal of women's rights.

I agree with this to some extent. If the so-called infighting has devolved to name-calling and screaming, then we need to shove it aside and focus on our common goal of aiding women. But here's the thing. I don't think we've reached that point. What you call infighting, I call legitimate descent. Disagreement is absolutely vital to a movement which does not wish to be caught in an echo chamber full of groupthink. A group which shoves aside the personal feelings of its members in favor of furthering the greater good. This kind of unity is purely superficial, and not sustainable. We must all argue our points so that actual unity can be attained. If evidence is brought fourth in reasoned debate, then everyone within the movement will reach the same conclusions of their own accord.

Further, feminism is broadly defined as a movement which seeks to elevate women to standards that men have already achieved. This, in turn, will help other minority groups rise to similar levels in their respective contexts. But, given the relative youth of feminism compared to other social advocacy movements, there is still a great deal of discussion within it over how exactly we achieve our stated goal. I have some of my own thoughts on that, which you can take a look at here. However, I welcome disagreement, because only through debate and reasoned discussion can we reach real, sustainable unity.

Just something to think about.

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