On Sunday 13 September 2020 Ceri Radford reviewed Laura Bates book ‘Men who Hate Women’ – you can find the review here. No surprise that they are both Cambridge English Literature graduates – the old girl network in progress.
When I tried to post a comment on Ceri Radfords review it was blocked on the grounds that it violated community standards. It seems that feminists are now so fragile that they must be protected form any views they may disagree with.
Here is the comment I tried to post. Make your own mind up if it violates any community standards.
‘Writing another feminist book hardly constitutes an act of bravery. If you look around Waterstones the shelves are groaning with such books. Bravery is rescuing children trapped in a flooded cave for example; indulging in feminist ‘groupthink’ is not brave at all.
Writing about gender issues from the men’s perspective is, however, a risky pursuit. Just ask James Damore or Alessandro Strumia who lost their jobs and faced public humiliation for expressing views that you may agree or disagree with, but were better researched and more balanced than those to be found in Laura Bates’ book. And that is part of the problem, the media is not just dominated by a feminist perspective but by a perspective of privileged middle to upper-class women with Oxbridge liberal arts degrees. Both Laura Bates and Ceri Redford Studied English Literature at Cambridge. There is nothing wrong with that but there are too many people from the same background and as a result, the field lacks cognitive diversity. In particular, the field lacks people who are trained in critical thinking skills (as opposed to critical theory) and statistical reasoning.
The exclusion of the men’s perspective on gender issues (in part the fault of ‘white knight’ virtue signalling males) in much of the mainstream media is a problem. It means that for many men and boys, the first time they encounter a viewpoint favourable to their interests is in a somewhat toxic website. That is not to say that all men’s issue sites are bad many of them are not. Just look at William Collins brilliant blog ’empathy gap’ if you need any convincing.
The terms MGTOW and Incel have unfortunately become catch-all terms of abuse that are frequently used in the comments section of the Independent however well-argued a readers comment may be. The refusal to accept that there may be good-faith disagreements with feminism is apparent in this book. I suspect part of the aim is conflate all counter-arguments against feminism with being an apologist for rape.
Feminism needs to get its own house in order. ‘Why I Hate Men’ by Julie Bindel was published in the Guardian not some dark corner of the internet. Radical feminist Andrea Dworkin wrote, “I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high heel shoved into his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig”. In spite of this, she is still quoted with approval by some academic feminists.
Laura Bates draws attention to Cathy Newman’s (private school, Oxford Eng Lit) disastrous interview with Jordan Peterson. Cathy was roundly and properly criticised for attacking crude caricatures of his actual arguments. This is not about tribal loyalty compare Cathy’s interview with that conducted by Helen Lewis (again private school, Oxford Eng Lit) where there was at least a meeting of minds. In my opinion, Cathy Newman sought to distract attention from her disastrous performance by making unverifiable claims about the online threats she received. What is clear is that both parties in the debate received online abuse and by some estimates Jordan Peterson considerably more. But here is the difference. Freelance journalist Kate Bevan could tweet “standing ovation for Cathy Newman who is interviewing oceangoing dick head Jordan Peterson on C4 news and hasn’t punched him in the face” In contrast with the abuse focused on Cathy this was retweeted with approval many times. Also in contrast with Cathy’s abusers, Kate Bevan could go on, without a hint of embarrassment, to appear on the Radio 4 program ‘Sweet Reason’. Would a male journalist who made those same tweets about Cathy Newman have been forgiven so quickly?
Another problem with this book is poor fact-checking. Laura Bates repeats the statistic that men are 230 times more likely to be the victim of rape than the victim of a false allegation. This is palpably false; the low rate of false allegations of 0.62% is based on actual police prosecutions for malicious accusations. With good reason, the police are reluctant to prosecute false allegations for fear of having a dampening effect on true allegations. The figure is ultimately unknowable but in the climate of ‘believe all women’ (an obvious attempt to subvert due legal process), it is an understandable, if somewhat exaggerated, fear on the part of some men.
So perhaps this book deserves one star for highlighting a dark corner of the internet but no more than that because of its obvious lack of balance and because it further inflames an already polarised debate.’