The problem with moderators

Unfortunately, there are idiots out there and for that reason most websites that allow public comment have moderators to weed out abusive and insulting content. They are, it might be said, a necessary evil. But what if moderators misuse their position? And instead of blocking material that is abusive or grossly inaccurate they block material that they just happen to disagree with or that goes against the prevailing narrative. Other commentators have noticed that this is a problem and because the prevailing mindset of moderators is feminist, this often means a male, or men’s rights point of view often gets blocked no matter how politely and carefully worded the posts are.

The blog has documented this phenomenon in detail in a recent post, On the censorship and erasure of non-feminist perspectives and opinions. The article is backed with numerous examples and I was reassured to discover that fight4fair’s much better blog was started after similar experiences to my own, where opinions that ran counter to feminist orthodoxy were blocked no matter how carefully argued. Indeed, I think feminists are more afraid of and are more like to block thoughtful posts than abusive ones. The latter, conform to their belief in societal misogyny and can safely be left in place. The former, threaten the feminist belief system and have to be closed down.

About two years ago, Laura Bates published her divisive and reductionist book ‘Men Who Hate Women.’ As you might expect, the book received uncritical coverage in the media. The book essentially lumped together all men’s rights activism under the banner of incels and misogyny.

To fight back, if only in a small way, I bought a copy of this book and forced myself to read it. Because I found the book poorly researched and lazily written, I went on to post a one-star review on Amazon as a verified purchaser. I believe the review was thoughtful and irrespective of whether you agree or disagree with content, I could see nothing that would violate the rules of Amazon. My review remained in place for two years and garnered positive reviews. 202 people found the review helpful and it reached the first page of reviews. Then, with out warning and having been in place for two years, it was deleted by the moderators at Amazon. I have reposted it, but without the positive reviews, it has fallen down the rankings and will be much less visible.

I have pasted the review in below. Let me know if you think it violates any standards other than challenging orthodox feminist dogma.

Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project which collects unverified testimony from women. Like so many media feminists she read English Literature at ‘Oxbridge’. Also, like the majority of media commentators on gender issues Laura has been privately educated. About 7% of the population attend private schools and about 50% of those are female. Let’s suppose 1% of those read English Lit at Oxford and Cambridge, they would comprise at most 0.035% of the population at most. Now, look at commentators on gender issues in the media. In papers such as The Guardian, Independent and the BBC this demographic is grossly overrepresented. This matters because their education doesn’t appear to include statistical reasoning and critical thinking skills.
There is also evidence that University humanities departments may be toxic environments. English literature is female-dominated to a greater extent than STEM subjects have been male-dominated. According to the Policy Exchange report on Academic Freedom in the UK, in female-dominated subject areas, men are rejected at interview at four times the rate of women. Also, female academics were two times more likely than male academics to discriminate against a job application from someone with different political views. In this kind of environment, studying people who made a living making stuff up, may not be the best intellectual foundation for developing a balanced and questioning view of gender issues.

Another problem is that the window of what is acceptable dialogue has shifted towards the far end of the feminist spectrum. As result, reasoned arguments that you may agree or disagree with by the likes of James Damore and Alessandro Strumia have resulted in loss of employment and public humiliation. Meanwhile, pretty much anything goes within feminism. ‘Why I hate men’ by Julie Bindel was published in the Guardian rather than some obscure corner of the ‘femosphere’. Valerie Solanis and Aileen Wuornos have been cited with approval in feminist academic circles. Similarly, the radical feminist Andrea Dworkin stated “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”. This is not written by some isolated teenager in her bedroom but by someone who was described in the Guardian as the ‘visionary feminist for our troubled times’. Another quote from Andrea Dworkin is perhaps more revealing – ‘Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defence of women hating’ In short, there is no such thing as a good-faith objection to any aspect of feminism – only misogyny. This cultural belief is apparent in substantial parts of this book.

A common trope among feminist writers is the ‘invisible women’ myth – that women are written out of history. You know the sort of revisionist histories, that take out any men from the narrative and put pioneering or trailblazing before the names of any women. It is therefore surprising to see Laura Bates ‘airbrushing’ women from the narrative. There are many women involved in the men’s rights movement. For example, the organisers of the Messages for Men meeting that Laura claims to have infiltrated were Natty and Elizabeth Hobson. Indeed the opening speech that Laura Bates quotes from was given by Elizabeth Hobson. You would think if she had been there she would have known that. Curiously, the other women who attended the meeting, including one of Laura’s peers at Cambridge, do not recollect seeing her there.

MGTOW and incel have become lazy catch-all terms used by some feminists to label men with dissenting opinions. Any man who posts critical comments on a feminist article can be labeled this way, no matter how carefully measured and balanced their views are.

I have not had time to check all the statistics in this book but the one I checked at random concerned false rape allegations. The author states that men are 230 times more likely to be the victim of rape than the victim of a false rape accusation (page 251). Unfortunately, Laura Bates fails to take a critical or nuanced approach to this statistic. The low false allegation rate of 0.62% is based only on the number of prosecutions not the total number of false allegations. It is rare for police to prosecute for fear of having a dampening effect on potential complainants. Ultimately the rate of false allegations (together with the number of true rapes that are not prosecuted) is probably unknowable. I would be as foolish to believe all women as it would be to believe all men.

Women who choose to go it alone are usually labeled as brave strong and courageous for not needing a man. In contrast, men who choose to go it alone are viewed as a toxic problem. I do not identify with MGTOW because once you do that you are not truly going your own way. However, one advantage of life outside of marriage is that you can maintain a wider range of female friendships and for me, that is one of life’s joys. In turn, that teaches you that most women, including those with a strong feminist belief system, have views that are much better informed and more nuanced than those of Laura Bates.

MGTOW no doubt contains some toxic individuals as well as some men with good-faith objections to modern feminism that make them reject the institution of marriage. What we have here though is a feminist depicting the extreme fringes of MGTOW/Incels as representative of a gender and a movement.

As the extremes of feminism and men’s rights activism pull more people in from the centre, toxic ideas become mainstream turning the narrative into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Tribalism can only be encountered through teamwork. If feminists believe that merely disagreeing with aspects of feminist dogma is evidence of misogyny we do not have the substrate for that teamwork. This book only serves to further polarise the debate.

If you get a chance, look at the review on Amazon here and if you feel inclined mark it as helpful.

By femgoggles

I was abandoned by my parents in the black mountains and raised by timberwolves. On my return to the 'civilised world' with questionable table manners, I became a detached observer of human behaviour in general and gender relations in particular. This blog is the product of those observations.

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