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May 23, 2018

Feminist: We Must Protect The Concept of Feminism From "Conservative Appropriation"

Sure why not.

According to the New York Times' Jessica Valenti, conservative women cannot use the term "feminist" because their beliefs do no match up with hers nor in her mind help women. In today's edition of NYT, Valenti says:
"Now, we have a different task: protecting the movement against conservative appropriation. Weve come too far to allow the right to water down a well-defined movement for its own cynical gains. Because if feminism means applauding 'anything a woman does' -- even hurting other women -- then it means nothing."

Valenti basically says that feminists wrongly led others to believe in a version of feminism that was separate from the truth. It does not simply mean equal treatment under the law or in the work place. Instead it means believing in ideals that ascertain only to the left. Because, according to Valenti, those ideals are what truly help women.

This is due to the leftwing feminists' dishonest use of the "Motte and Bailey" tactic in propaganda.

The Motte and Bailey tactic uses as its central metaphor a medieval castle. There are two main areas of it: the bailey, the useful but poorly defended area around the castle that must be defended, and the motte, the tower fortification itself, small but designed to resist assault.

The idea is that dishonest propagandists, such as feminists, will define "feminism" in two different versions: the Motte version, and the Bailey version.

The Motte version is the most defensible definition of feminism: that women are social and legal equals to men and should suffer no man-made impediments to their own pursuits of happiness.

Hard to argue against that -- that's why it's the Motte. The peasantry retreats to the well-defended Motte when the area is under attack.

But feminists also deploy a Bailey definition of feminism: That feminism means that we must have abortion on demand and that there may be no dissent about this, that the Wage Gap which doesn't exist must be eradicated by government action, that rape does not need to be proved by evidence, that some people with penises are actually women if they say they are, and so on.

Now, this terrain is harder to defend. This is the outlying area around the Motte -- the Bailey. Feminists really intend feminism to mean this series of dubious and fringe ideas, but when you call them on it, they retreat to the Motte and say, "But Feminism only means that women should be social and legal equals; how can you disagree with that, YOU HATER?!!!"

When this tactic has the effect desired-- that you back down and apologize -- they flow back out of the Motte into the surrounding Bailey and again begin making claims that any woman who doesn't believe in the left's bizarre list of Sex War agenda items is not really a woman, etc.

And then when you push against that again, they rush back into the Motte and insist again that feminism only means that women shouldn't be raped, etc.

And so on, and so on, lying forever.

If Jessica Valenti is concerned that many conservative women believe they're "feminists," that's because she and her dishonest allies are always playing this game of changing the definition of what "feminism" means according to whether they're on the rhetorical defense or rhetorical attack.

Maybe they should stick to one definition -- the crazed one they all obviously really believe in -- and push that as what "Feminism" really is, and let people if decide if they are feminists by that single definition.

But they won't. They'll keep playing Motte and Bailey games and then getting mad when conservative women say they're "feminists," according to the highly defensible "Motte definition" of feminism, selectively choosing when feminism requires the full Sex War litany of cultural demands and fringe obsessions.


Motte and Bailey Illustrated, from Oregon Muse: Neat post.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 12:38 PM

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