Feminists who play the victim—and women who don’t

Gina Barreca put a feminist’s slant on the following recollection:

But the real shock came in the classroom where I was often one of two or three women in the group. One professor, I remember, always prefaced calling on me or any other woman in the class by asking “Miss Barreca, as a woman, what is your reading of this text?” I was profoundly embarrassed to be asked my opinion as a woman, since it seemed somehow less authorative [sic] than being asked my opinion as a student or as a “general” reader…

Every time I raised my hand to answer a question, I was asked my opinion as a woman. It frustrated and angered me, because I wanted to be treated as an individual and not as a representative of a group.

Now compare that with madamel, a user on the Fiverr website:

I will give you a female opinion for $5. Want a girl’s opinion? Wondering if that gift is a good idea? Want to propose to your girlfriend, but aren’t sure if your plan is a good one or not? Do you and your friend need a girl to decide something so you can win a bet? Is it time to dump her? Which tie should you wear? Ask a girl!

My two cents

Prohibition of Feminism Español: Prohibición d...
Prohibition of Feminism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take that, feminists (and their existentialist presuppositions)! Madamel, you do a much better job—and I see how people have paid money for your opinion as a woman.

The first quote was an example of feminists who are looking to play the victim. They (wrongfully) assume that a woman’s view is (to use their words) ‘less authoritative’. That was a subjective take, which ironically reinforced those supposed gender stereotypes. If feminists presuppose that a woman’s view is equally authoritative, there is nothing to gain by feeling ‘profoundly embarrassed’ in the classroom.

Phyllis Schlafly was right; feminists are prone to adopting a victim’s mentality—and in contexts like this, it gets a little tiring. There are times when they can play the victor, but they’d rather not.

The second quote was an example of women who are happy with their feminine identity and are using it for (to use a feminist phrase carrying baggage) women’s economic empowerment.

If I were the only man in a group of women, and was asked “as a man, what is your opinion of [insert subject here]?” , I wouldn’t play the victim, I’d say thanks for asking and proceed with my opinion. While I’m at it, I could employ more feminist cliches like “my participation has contributed to gender balance in this group discourse.” I’d have no embarrassment in being seen as a representative of my sex (as opposed to just an individual).

The first quote comes from an article that likes to think “anti-feminism is…incredibly unsexy”—but only a feminist would come up with quotes like these about sex. It’s not like a couple would read these quotes and be turned on by them. That being the case, it’s feminism that is incredibly unsexy.

Quote sources

  1. Barreca, R. (2009). Why Anti-Feminism Is Illogical, Unnecessary, Evil, and Incredibly Unsexy. Available: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/snow-white-doesnt-live-here-anymore/200908/why-anti-feminism-is-illogical-unnecessary-evil-and-. Last accessed 7th Mar 2013.
  2. Madamel. (n.d). I will give you a female opinion for $5. Available: http://fiverr.com/madmel/give-you-a-female-opinion. Last accessed 7th Mar 2013.
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