The Foot Soldiers of Illogic: Unintended Propaganda

Recently, in March 2015 in fact, star of stage and screen, Mark Ruffalo published the following very short article in his personal blog [1]:

“My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.“

— Libby Anne

The original article, as is referenced, was written by a “Libby Anne Bruce” [2]; and was published in other websites including in the weblog “Freedom Fighter” (2014) [3] before the publishing of Ruffalo.

I must admit, every paragraph of this article made me cringe uncontrollably. The sheer illogical nonsense drips from every word, making it impossible to read with a straight face. One can clearly recognise the fact that the writer was very passionate about what she was writing, but misguided passion is sometimes worse than a simple statement out of ignorance: One is simply wrong, the other is propaganda.

Libby claims she is responding to an internet phenomenon, but as we immediately realize the phenomenon is in fact merely a statement, namely “I am not a feminist.” Any reasonable person, when confronted with a statement which challenges their beliefs, should ask a very important question: “Why?”

If the writer had bothered to ask herself “Why?”, she would have realized that there are numerous different reasons behind such a statement. One can claim one is not a feminist because “Women belong only in the kitchen”, and another might wish to state “The modern feminist movement is too radical for me to associate myself with” as a reason for not being a feminist.

The immediate follow up of “but I’m not going to explain it to you” further shows the writer simply does not care to explain, in neither what she perceives feminism to be, nor what those who she is criticizing perceive it to be: After all she is not the one claiming not to be a feminist.

That is only the first lines of the article, the continuation is even worse.

What do we understand from “I am not a feminist”? True that no definition accompanies it, but we clearly see that it is a statement made in present tense. It is about one’s current state of being, not past or future. And what does our good feminist claim in the majority of the rest of her article? That one’s current state of being somehow must be necessarily based on historical figures or actions of some decades and even centuries ago.

Sheer stupidity of such argument is blatantly obvious. Any totalitarian government or political ideology can justify themselves based on such argument: “You are spitting in the face of our founding fathers if you disagree with the current affairs of this government!” or maybe “You are an ignorant jerk if you disrespect Islam! Our prophet was the greatest man who ever lived and you disrespect him with your claims about Islam!”.

Mr. Ruffalo must think twice before publishing any garbage he finds in the feminist dumpster of the internet. A stupid article written on Facebook or other forms of social media is laughter material. In the hands of a celebrity however, it becomes propaganda.

_____________________________________

1) http://markruffalo.tumblr.com/post/114661084940/my-response-to-the-i-am-not-a-feminist-internet

2) http://libbyannebruce.tumblr.com/

3) http://dumbledoresarmy-againstbigotry.tumblr.com/post/92696008814/my-response-to-the-i-am-not-a-feminist-internet

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thetruthfulheretic

Dear fellow Homo sapiens, or if you prefer conscious mammals! And of course, friends nonetheless: I created my blog in order to speak my very weird mind, mostly about three subjects (as I identify myself and my state of mind with them): Atheism, as I was born in the Middle East and saw and felt the affects of Islam; Homosexuality and equal rights, as a gay man who has tasted the Homophobia and also Sexism in that society; and Liberalism and political philosophy, which I think is a good ground for secular values and criticism of fundamentalism. If you wish, visit and join your state of mind to mine. I hope they don't short circuit!

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