What to expect when you debate a feminist.

Don’t expect rational debate/discussion.

Be prepared to discuss the underlying issue at all times, and always do what you can to move the conversation back to the actual topic.  But don’t expect the feminist to actually want to discuss the issue beyond their well practiced opening salvo and a few slogans.

This will get personal

This is how the far left debates.  In the former Soviet Union they would tie an idea they disliked with a person in the public’s mind, and then literally destroy the person.  Fortunately in most of the west they can’t yet do this to us, so they have to settle for destroying us verbally, etc.  But don’t ever kid yourself into thinking they wouldn’t do it  for real if they had the chance.

You will be duped into adopting rules which only apply to you.

The sooner you acknowledge this, the sooner you can stop letting them do it to you.

Expect a temper tantrum.

That’s so sexist!

This will be your first indication that you are winning the debate. Don’t take the bait and join their emotional level. This is what they are hoping for.

You will be shamed and scolded.

You wouldn’t make that argument if you had a bigger penis.

Don’t take the bait and try to qualify yourself.  Instead ignore them, point out how heartless they are, or mock them.

They won’t listen to what you are saying.

This is fine.  The reality is you aren’t trying to change the feminist’s mind.  Your objective should be to change the minds of those reading the debate who might be open to your arguments.  Recognize that the logical folks reading likely already get it, or will quickly get it without you repeating it over and over. So make a logical case, but focus more on the emotion driven segment of the audience.  The feminist herself is just a prop. If she behaves badly, all the better.

This isn’t an arms race.

Feminist tactics never change.  Use this to your advantage.  You already know where they are going to go, so feel free to set up an ambush.

They will try to silence you.

Every argument, word, phrase, metaphor, etc you use in making your case will be deemed wildly offensive to women.  This will be the case even if you are using the same terms they are.  Use good judgment, but don’t be afraid of them calling you names.  Be aware of the site you are on and how easily moderators will be duped by this strategy, and take that into account as you frame your arguments.

They will try to end the debate.

When attempts to silence you fail, the feminist has only one more option.  She will try to scuttle the whole discussion.  Sometimes this is as easy as her going on a profanity laced tirade which causes the moderator to decide that “The debate has gotten out of hand”.  There isn’t much you can do about this except be aware of it.  Other times the moderators won’t take the bait immediately, so the feminist will try to goad you into a strictly personal tit for tat insult session.  Trading barbs with feminists while still making a point is one thing, but you falling into this trap is their best shot at terminating the discussion.  Don’t fall for this trick.

Image source/license information: nuclear blast, handcuffs, ambush.

This entry was posted in Ageing Feminists, Feminists. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to What to expect when you debate a feminist.

  1. Anon-E-mous says:

    Sounds like a excellent prompter for what you’re engaged in over at Susan Walsh’s HUS blog. 😉 Good arguments over there by you, J, Grerp, and Susan. As flummoxed as many of your opponents seem to be, they aren’t as comfortable debating their points of view on merits as one might be led to believe by media outlets. Imagine that.

    You’ve also given good advice for debating in front of an audience with any person who is in an entrenched (and often irrational) position. Never wrestle with a pig in the mud … .

  2. Susan Walsh says:

    Excellent advice, Dalrock. Wish I’d had it before this dustup:-/

  3. J says:

    Anon–Thanks for the compliment!

    Dalrock–The tactics you recommend are some of the tactics I use when dealing with some members of the man-o-sphere. Like Game, they work on people of either sex.

    All–I’ll be on vacation for a while, so I my participation will be sporadic. Don’t have too much fun without me!😉

  4. dalrock says:

    Thanks Susan!

    Me too!

  5. vasafaxa says:

    Admittedly people on both sides of the debate are guilty of all of these tactics.

  6. dalrock says:

    But now you can link to this page and point out that they are arguing like a feminist. That would have to hurt!

  7. grerp says:

    Only keep arguing until it stops being fun.

  8. OneSTDV says:

    Be prepared to discuss the underlying issue at all times

    I think it’s actually important to discuss the underlying issues. Because that’s generally where the disagreement arises. For example, concerning abortion, the basic premise of the entire argument is what constitutes life. Thus, anything built upon this premise is superfluous if the two parties can’t agree on this issue.

    As for the rest of the post, yup. All these apply to race discussion as well. I’m somewhat surprised you haven’t broached any racial issues yet. I guess you’re keeping the blog focused on gender and romantic relationships. I surely don’t mind as I’m greatly enjoying your content, but just making an observation.

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  10. Gorbachev says:

    This is how it always it, talking to the Left.

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  12. dalrock says:

    I think it’s actually important to discuss the underlying issues.

    If you aren’t there to debate the issue, move out of the way for someone who is. But as you know the bulk of the PC left’s toolbox when it comes to debate are methods to avoid actual debate. This is extremely frustrating. If you can get past their diversion tactics and have an actual debate I would consider that the ultimate win.

    All these apply to race discussion as well.

    Absolutely. I had our discussions over at Stuff White People Do close in mind when I wrote this.

    I’m somewhat surprised you haven’t broached any racial issues yet. I guess you’re keeping the blog focused on gender and romantic relationships.

    I think other bloggers like you, Steve Sailer and Guy White have that space pretty well buttoned up. I don’t see where I could really add anything of value, and when I do I’m happy to comment on your blogs instead of write posts of my own. I feel like I have more to say around the gender/family side, even though there are many strong voices here as well. I won’t rule the topic out for future posts, but for now that isn’t what is animating me.

  13. dalrock says:

    Yes. My own theory is they inherited this from the communists they hid under their skirts during McCarthy, etc. The sad thing is we need well thought out voices on the left, but since they abandoned critical thinking in lieu of stifling debate there is little or no real thought allowed in that space.

  14. Doomed Harlot says:

    Hi Dalrock,

    I wandered over here after seeing your nice message over at Grerp’s blog. I was a little bit disappointed in this post, since you and I had just engaged in a debate, or at least a discussion, in her thread on the Jaclyn Friedman post — and, obviously, I am a feminist. I am pretty sure that none of the things you are describing occurred in our discussion. Although I will cop to some degree of sarcasm, it was in the service of making certain substantive points.

    That said, discussions of feminism get personal sometimes (on both sides, I might add) because feminism IS a personal subject. It relates to our family arrangements, our sex lives, our career prospects, our dignity, our public lives, and on and on.

    Strangely enough, it was one of grerp’s antifeminist commenters who seems to have lost his cool, going on a bit of a tirade that involved references to spitting on me.

  15. Gorbachev says:

    Yes – you’re right. One of the more perplexing facts for leftists to deal with is that leftist regimes inevitably become authoritarian and censorious; communalist / socialist ideologies undermine the concept of individual human rights in favor of group rights.

    Once you start glorifying a group’s identity over those of individuals, human rights inevitably fall to the wayside. It’s a basic philosophical problem.

    This is why feminists don’t mind if innocent men are jailed or their lives are destroyed after false charges of rape: The “category” of Injured and Oppressed Women is more important than any number of individually destroyed male lives.

    The male lives – and the females that were part of their lives – are irrelevant, next to the Group Cause.

    It’s why feminists, especially the radical kind, look a lot more like “National Socialists” or Stalinesque inquisitors than they’d like to believe.

  16. dalrock says:

    Hi Doomed Harlot,

    I’m glad you decided to check out the blog, and I did enjoy our exchange over at grerp’s blog.

    I was a little bit disappointed in this post, since you and I had just engaged in a debate, or at least a discussion, in her thread on the Jaclyn Friedman post — and, obviously, I am a feminist. I am pretty sure that none of the things you are describing occurred in our discussion.

    It is worth noting that the debate you describe occurred after feminists tried to shout down all other voices on grerp’s site and forced her to turn on moderation for all comments.

    Also, on Susan’s blog instead of thoughtful rebuttal from Amanda Marcotte all she received was complaints about the photo used in the blog and name calling. Thoughtful discussion with a feminist is truly rare, which is why our conversation was so valued by me.

    Although I will cop to some degree of sarcasm, it was in the service of making certain substantive points.

    Rereading our discussion, we were both pretty bad. You certainly did no worse than I did. But as you said we continued to make actual points, which makes a huge difference.

  17. CorkyAgain says:

    I think it’s actually important to discuss the underlying issues. Because that’s generally where the disagreement arises. For example, concerning abortion, the basic premise of the entire argument is what constitutes life. Thus, anything built upon this premise is superfluous if the two parties can’t agree on this issue.

    Good point.

    Occasionally you’ll run into an “intellectual”who will demand that you prove everything, while at the same time denying any of the premises you attempt to use. This of course means that you won’t be able to prove anything to her satisfaction. As Aristotle recognized centuries ago, in order for two people to actually debate (as opposed to talking past each other), they have to have some shared premises.

    Even if you try to base your argument on things which she herself has said, she’ll deny that she meant them in the way you’re understanding them — if she doesn’t flat out deny that she ever said them. (She thinks evading all of your attempts to pin her down is some sort of victory.)

  18. anonymous says:

    Also remember that you will be banned from whatever site or blog you’re debating at, even if it isn’t in any way related to feminism or politics. Don’t engage feminists in debate unless you’re willing to get banned.

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  21. Lovekraft says:

    I see the day coming when men’s blogs will become so organized and structured, that those versed in Men’s Rights issues will be dictating terms. Others will come to us for insight and we will be able to control the debate.

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  24. sanefan says:

    Almost all of these totally apply to a debate I was having with a fembot who told someone that they would never tell their mother that it’s bad to like women only for sex. So I butted in and told her that she should tell her father that he has a 25-50% of being a potential rapist or whatever propaganda her fembot goddess has indoctrinated into her head. Rather than answer the question directly, her response was “is being an MRA membership requirement that you’re completely unable to do math?” So I had to remind her about the classic “1 in 4” argument that feminists keep on throwing out about men being potential rapists from stats thrown out. She must have feigned ignorance and wanted me to provide proof and must have assumed I got it from some “garbage men’s rights website third hand”. So I had to tell her to Google http://www.oneinfourusa.org (feminist propaganda) since Youtube doesn’t allow direct links for whatever reason.

    Then she goes on to throw some completely random 270,000 number from the FBI right out of thin air in response to someone else she was debating with and then accused both of us of being bad at math and refused to debate anymore because apparently elite math skills are required to debate with high and might fembots like her. Which is ironic, since 1/4 is 25% and she wasn’t able to figure that out. Yet because I made a mistake in typing 1 million instead of 100 million in making a calculation, that’s unforgivable. Well, that’s what happens when you attempt to call fembots to the carpet for their beliefs, they’ll deflect your questions, and then run!

    Here is a link to the debate, look for “sanefan” in reference to me.

  25. Krieg says:

    Question, good sir. I heard a feminist ranting the other day. And erm…when I asked her if she wanted equality, she simply stated she wanted women’s liberation. I asked her from what and she immediately told me to “shut the f*ck up” and stop asking questions. What exactly are these radical feminists looking to be liberated from? I am…confounded.

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