Washburn’s rebuttal to my piece, “The Women’s March on Washington: Since when are all women leftists?” is brave but full of factual errors
“Facts don’t care about your feelings.” —Ben Shapiro
This is written as a public response to Leigh Washburn’s “Letter to the Editor: Response to ‘The Women’s March on Washington: Since when are all women leftists?’ by Jason Gottfried.”
First, I have great respect for anyone who decides to formulate a public response to a public statement. Regardless of whether Washburn is correct in her assertions, I honor and salute her integrity and courage in stating them the way she did. Ideological differences aside, I wish there were more people in our community willing to enter the public arena rather than trolling the Facebook comment section.
I will address her points line by line. It’s important to remember that facts remain facts even if we don’t like them. I will point out at the beginning that I failed to find any “social media-generated rhetoric” in my writing. I don’t use social media, and rhetoric has always stood upon its own merit regardless of where it has been generated, and it always will.
Washburn wrote that I “don’t get to define what feminism is,” and rightly so.
Nor did I.
Nor can I.
There have been three waves of feminism, and the actions of its co-creators have been what defined the movements, not me. The first two waves changed human history and inspired today’s women (and men) to stand up for what is right in the face of adversity with a faith that truth and justice will prevail. On the other hand, the third wave has been defined by irrational screeching, censorship, misandry, virtue signaling, victimhood, false statistics, and emotion-based arguments devoid of reason. In 2016, Milo Yiannopoulos asked if people would rather their daughters have cancer or (third-wave) feminism, and the majority of respondents opted for cancer.
I would opt for feminism, even the toxic third-wave variety, because the cure — facts — is cheaper, more successful, and more pleasant than chemotherapy.
I am unsure as to why Washburn went into a defense of Donald Trump. You can see my own criticisms of him here, here, and here. I did not vote for Trump, and I wouldn’t willingly vote for Trump for anything other than Worst Twitter Account or Overmelaninated Philanderer of the Year; however, I try to evaluate a president’s tenure on his actions, not his character — which is ultimately irrelevant to his station in comparison to his policies and decisions. So far, he could have done better, but he could have done far worse, and I’m still relieved that we don’t have the Clintons’ worse half in the Oval Office.
As for citing Vox and Snopes, either is a reputable source for anything other than leftist propaganda. Vox is as blatantly left-biased as Huffington Post, and if you want leftist demagoguery, go there now. I actually read Vox and Huffington Post regularly — I have them both bookmarked — just to keep abreast of what sheer nonsense the public is being fed. I’m usually nauseous by the end of the homepage — and I’m a liberal. Huffington Post in particular has downspiralled steeply since Lydia Polgreen took the helm. Co-founder Andrew Breitbart must be rolling in his grave.
Snopes has somehow (I can’t fathom how) developed an illegitimate reputation as the Internet’s Oracle of Delphi. It is anything but that.
Still, facts are facts, and it’s more important to address facts than to shoot messengers, even if they are dishonest, virtue-signaling social justice warriors.
A word of advice for all fact-checkers: There is no one-stop source of unbiased information. Not even one’s own five senses. Truth-seekers would do better to explore a range of sources, understanding that there is always bias to some degree, and use their best judgment to conclude where in the middle the truth lies. The wider a range, the better. And the gold standard for statistics is the Bureau of Justice.
Washburn wrote that “There is no evidence of massive crime waves in Europe committed by Muslim immigrants and refugees.”
Are there Muslim crime waves in Europe or not?
I won’t write an entire separate article on that now, although I’d like to, but I’ll sum it up with this: “Crimes by migrants had ‘increased disproportionately’ even when the huge influx into Germany under Angela Merkel’s ‘open-door’ refugee policy was taken into account,” said Thomas de Maiziere, Interior Minister of Germany in a piece by Justin Huggler on telegraph.com.
Well, those are largely Muslim migrants.
I don’t want to be accused of cherry-picking, so here, here, and here are just three more pieces that came up on the first page of a Google search for “Muslim crime waves in Europe.” By all means, I encourage the public to research it themselves.
Believing that Islam does not bring violence and intolerance everywhere it goes is simply, to put it mildly, delusional. It has consistently proven to the contrary for thousands of years.
Washburn wrote that “Blanket claims that only a ‘few’ women” identify as feminist are “misleading.”
Polls in 2016 overwhelmingly showed Hillary Clinton as winning the presidency by an enormous margin. Clearly, one poll is not an accurate representation of reality. But I would contend that women don’t identify as feminists because what those who have created the third wave have done and said is embarrassing to everyone, most of all females.
I doubt that the majority of intelligent, capable women want to be perceived as victims. Victimhood, grievance, intersectionalism, and identity politics are the rhetorical cornerstones of the third wave of feminism. I would challenge the public to ask around: How many women do you know who identify as feminists? Ask your mom and grandma if they’re feminists.
I would imagine that the reason they don’t want to identify as feminists is specifically the third wave. It’s not that they don’t support womens’ rights; It’s that they don’t want to be publicly associated with outrageous and childish behavior. And as a first- and second-wave feminist myself — the father of a seven-year-old daughter, who sincerely cares about the plight of women in America — I can hardly blame them. I don’t want anything to do with Trigglypuff “feminism,” and I don’t appear to be alone.
Ah, now my favorite part: the mythical gender wage gap!
Washburn wrote that “That there is indeed a gap between men and women in the same jobs, working the same hours, and with the same qualifications. There are many studies out there that confirm this; the 2011 AAUW report on this topic is one of the most compelling.”
On the contrary, the innocuous-sounding American Association of University Women’s report on this is one of the most fraudulent.
Christina Hoff Sommers (the woman who was trying to speak over Trigglypuff in the above linked video) is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She taught philosophy at the University of Massachusetts and Clark University. I own four of her books: “Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today,” “One Nation Under Therapy,” “The War Against Boys,” and “Who Stole Feminism?” I enjoy watching debates and have found her to be a formidable proponent of a fact-based feminism — which by nature of it being fact-based runs concurrent against the third wave.
She points out that women are not paid 77 cents on the dollar for every dollar a man makes. That’s against the law, as it should be. This is thanks to the earlier waves of feminism in establishing equal rights for women.
Thank you, brave feminists of the first two waves!
As I already pointed out, if it were true that women are paid 77 cents on the dollar, men would be largely unemployed as it would be much better business sense to hire women for almost three-fourths the wage they would have to pay men. This hasn’t happened because the law forbids it.
Again, I already pointed this out. I don’t understand why it needs reiteration, but here we are.
What we are seeing is not a wage gap but an earnings gap.
Sommers writes that it’s simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and all women working full-time.
It doesn’t account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or number of hours worked. When those factors are taken into account, the wage gap vanishes.
In fact, young, childless women tend to make more money than their male peers. In 2010, Time Magazine found that according to an analysis of 2,000 communities in 147 out of 150 of the largest cities in America, the median full-time salaries of young women — whom third-wave feminists would have you believe are trodden upon by the patriarchy — were eight percent higher than their male peers. In New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego, these poor young women’s salaries were 17, 12, and 15 percent higher, respectively, than their male peers.
Let’s stop infantilizing young women to feel victimized when they are not victims and rather empower them to pursue their dreams in our great country with the full knowledge that the United States Constitution and the citizenry of America of both sexes have their backs.
On this point, as Washburn brought up “alternative facts,” I will pivot for a moment and address another tired statistic that is utter bollocks.
There is no rape culture on American campuses. The AAUW’s page on talking points points out that “A 2007 campus sexual assault study by the U.S. Department of Justice found that around 1 in 5 women are targets of attempted or completed sexual assault while they are college students, compared to about 1 in 16 college men.”
First of all, any parent who truly believes this statistic to be accurate and allows their daughter on an American university campus is an abhorrent monster and a reprehensible parent whose children should have been taken as wards of the state, which would not have so recklessly exposed those young women to what is described as a veritable orgy of forcible sexual activity. One in five!? Who would lower their own flesh in blood into such a lion’s den? Shame on every mother who thinks this is true and has a college-age student living away from home.
Fortunately, this AAUW statistic was debunked long ago.
Here’s Alia Wong at The Atlantic — hardly a bastion of misogyny — claiming the opposite.
Sommers explains in one of her books, either “Who Stole Feminism?” or “The War on Boys” (I apologize that I cannot confirm which as they are both in Florida with my fiancee at the moment), that this study counted incidents like an attempted kiss as “sexual assault.” I try to kiss you, you turn away and say “No,” bam — sexual assault! What nonsense. Furthermore, many people declined to respond, and those who did most often responded in the positive, reporting an incident. This clearly skews the results.
Fortunately, the number is closer to one in 52. That number is still far, far too high; it should be zero. Those of us who actually care about women’s rights and safety — particularly those of us who have daughters — should work together to get it as close to zero as possible.
But lying about the facts does nothing to help anyone; rather, it simply generates more of the mass hysteria that has become a hallmark of the third wave. It only makes people afraid, and when people are afraid, they are less able to think clearly.
Worse, as I illustrated above, it turns people away from feminism.
Next, Washburn addresses the latter section of my article wherein I question who wins if Democrats manage to sign up more people to vote. (Presumably, they are not out beating the streets to sign up wealthy old white men.)
For the record, I believe everyone who is legally able to vote should be registered to vote. (This does not include illegal immigrants.) However, the Democratic Party has historically appealed to the disenfranchised, offering handouts in return for votes. They would like to register illegal immigrants to vote because those people benefit from bloated welfare programs supported by the Democratic Party. This is all really obvious stuff; I’m hardly discussing the subtle vagaries or deep esoteria of political science.
So who wins if illegal immigrants are registered to vote? Democrats, clearly. That was my point: The agenda of the 2018 Women’s March was totally indiscernable from the footage I saw; however, naming it “Power to the Polls” and making it a voter registration event made its agenda clear.
Its agenda appears to have been to register voters who were likely to vote for the Democratic Party. Yet it was called the “Women’s” March. Not the “Democratic Women’s March” or the “Leftist Women’s March” (or any of the other colorful options I volunteered). Not the “March For Women Who Believe That Federal Law Is Bullshit And That Everyone And Anyone Who Waltzes Across The Border Should Be Supported By The American Taxpayer.” No, Women’s. Presumably all Women’s.
This is the insult to the many, many women who are not leftists, just as right-wing and otherwise peaceful, upstanding, and law-abiding black Americans are deeply insulted when their entire ethnicity and race are co-opted by a group with a political agenda. I feel that it’s truly disgraceful to equate sex with a political ideology against the will of every member of that sex who disagrees with the ideology.
Not all women are leftists, and not all women are democrats. This was the crux of my argument, and yet it appeared to have passed by Washburn unaddressed.
For the record, I support equal rights and opportunities across the board between the sexes (as do even most conservatives in 2018), which is what the first two waves of feminism have already accomplished. When there are crimes of discrimination based upon sex or crimes of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or rape, I will stand side by side with every outraged woman and demand justice.
But what I will not do is pander to people’s feelings simply because they are ignorant of the facts. Anyone who truly wants to help women and to advance the causes of women in America will refrain from doing the same.
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