On Being a Non Feminist

 

 From the perspective of the Right to: Freedom of Speech, Thought, Conscience and Belief……

 

I’ve heard it said more times than I can recall and read  innumerable times on various sites, blogs, articles and essays, that THIS is one of the most basic fundamental Human Rights – and I agree – it is.

Most people interpret this to mean that they get to say, think and believe whatever they damn well like, and anyone who attempts to suppress them exercising this most basic of fundamental Human Rights is pond scum.

But, this is not the real test of your personal endorsement of this Right, nor is it an indication of how you personally stand on higher moral ground as opposed to others, because of the fact that you believe anyone who attempts to suppress YOUR Right to Free Speech is pond scum, that is.

No, what truly indicates that you personally are a stalwart and immovable proponent of what I will just call Freedom of Speech, for convenience,  is your commitment, your endorsement, your 100% support of ANOTHERS Right to say, think and believe things that are in direct opposition, in complete conflict with, and are anathema to YOU.

Even feminists, even those who hold religious beliefs while you are an Atheist and/or Agnostic or vice versa, even those who express the most abhorrent (to you) opinions – what truly marks you as a genuine believer in the concept of Freedom of Speech is not just a grudging willingness to concede “they have a right to their opinion/belief” but a deep and unwavering stance that THEY have the Right (in capitals) to do so, just like YOU have the Right to hold yours.

The other aspect of being a true proponent of Freedom of Speech is an ability to depersonalise the person from the opinion or belief – and yes I am aware that there are those both historically and at this present time, who hold and have held the most egregious beliefs, the most abhorrent opinions, and have acted on those beliefs and opinions, and which caused terrible acts of inhumanity, which precipitated horrors of genocide and cruelty.  These people rightly deserve universal condemnation, without exception, and all those who acted in equally abhorrent ways because they “believed” in the veracity and “rightness” of the “opinions” and “beliefs” of these dictators, tyrants and murderous “leaders” also deserve the most adamant condemnation.

But, this is where the nuances come in – even these tyrants were entitled by right to hold these abhorrent opinions, they were and are wrong, and when they acted on those beliefs, they committed grave wrongs against humanity – but they were entitled, by right to BELIEVE whatever it was they believed.

So, when I say that the test for a genuine commitment to Freedom of Speech involves an ability to depersonalise the belief/opinion from the person what I mean is that one separates an opinion or belief NOT acted upon in a way that causes actual physical harm to another human being, or caused actual physical harm to be done – in your name – to another human being.

Also, when I say actual physical harm, I also include laws enacted that impose sanctions or restrictions or punishments unjustly upon others because of some characteristic that is inherent to them. Acts of individual social and cultural harm, acts that are designed to demonise or propagate permissions to treat other individuals in negative ways.

Feminism does that, feminism spreads and propagandise lies, misrepresentations and false information about men and boys – but – feminists – have the right to express those sometimes ridiculous and nearly always designed to BE harmful, opinions and beliefs should they be acted upon deserve all the condemnation and universal approbation that comes their way.

The question for others is this? Having heard, having listened, or read these opinions or beliefs – what will YOU do? How will YOU act?

Accept or reject? THAT is your Right. Whether you are an individual or a politician with the authority to enact legislation based on the beliefs or opinions of feminist – you have to choose – to accept or reject. Sometimes choosing to do nothing is as harmful as to choose to do something.

In many ways it is as simple as that, to say – “I hear or I read what you have written or said and I reject it” – and therefore CHOOSE not to act in ways informed by those beliefs or opinions that endorses, codifies or imposes laws, sanctions or punishments on others who choose also NOT to accept your opinion or belief about “how things should be”.  Choose not to act in ways that harms other individuals because I choose to believe and/or accept the opinions/beliefs of others that endorses and validates these harmful acts.

So, while accepting that even the misinformed, the perpetually stupid, the completely “off the reservation” have the Right to hold whatever opinion/belief they wish, you also the Right to say – thank you for sharing your opinion – now please go away. (or, words to that effect)

This encompasses the final element of passing the test for being truly committed to principles of Freedom of Speech, Thought and Belief – being willing to accept, to acknowledge and to endorse the rights of others to not just reject YOUR opinion/belief but that THEY have the Right to do so – unconditionally and to NOT act in ways informed by YOUR opinions/beliefs.

You cannot, you must not, you shall not expect, demand or attempt to coerce OTHERS to – believe what you believe, think what you think or ACT in ways informed by YOUR beliefs/opinions that conflicts with their right to act as THEIR conscience dictates. To do so, to expect so and to demand so is to be a tyrant, a dictator and an enemy of Freedom of Speech, Thought, Conscience and Belief.

What overlays all these elements that comprise the concept of Freedom of Speech, is an overarching belief and willingness to extend without conditions – The Right to Reply.

So, I’m not “anti-feminist” because feminists are people, individuals, and therefore have the right to believe whatever they like or choose to. You can believe that the moon is made of green cheese if you like and for all I care – but you do not have the right to demand that I do also.

I am a non feminist – in that I CHOOSE to reject in its entirety the ideology, belief system, doctrine, whatever one chooses, called FEMINISM, but absolutely, unconditionally and without hesitation endorse an individual persons right to not just believe in the tenets of “feminism” but to call themselves “feminists” and I will exercise MY Right to criticise, to condemn, to reject and to  basically take the piss out of ANY belief or opinion you, as a feminist EXPRESS whether verbally or written that is informed by the tenets OF feminism.

And if you truly are a proponent of Freedom of Speech – you will take it – you will do the only honourable thing, the only moral or ethical thing – answer mine or anyone else’s criticisms with counter arguments, with EVIDENCE that gives validity to YOUR opinions/beliefs and perhaps might convince me to CHANGE my opinions, and extend to others the same opportunity.

Though I should warn you – if no-one has presented an argument over the last 25 years and more, to recruit me personally to the “feminist” cause – I wouldn’t hold your breath if I was you. But, you are more than welcome to try.

Alternatively, you could do what HuffPo did to Mike Buchanan of J4MB, when he attempted to get a post published on their blog, show the entire world an almost perfect example of how those who have no idea what Freedom of Speech means – how to act to suppress, to deny, to violate and disregard the very principles that underpin this most important, sacred and  essential of Human Rights, for civilised Human Societies.

 

Freedom of Speech, Thought, Conscience and Belief……

 

© Anja Eriud 2014

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. donzaloog
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 11:56:50

    Well said, Anja. TYou’re right. I run into these issues from time to time when it comes to atheist issues. Some religious people think no one should ever speak badly about their religion.

    Most feminists only want freedom of speech when it benefits them. If you speak badly about them, they censor you, demonize you and try to get their white knights to attack you.They act this way because they know their arguments don’t hold much water. The lies they keep repeating are proof of that. Wage gap, rape culture, patriarchy etc. They can’t reconcile what feminism does with what it says it does and are either too embarrassed to admit they are wrong, just don’t care or actually endorse the evils feminism perpetrates in their name.

    Reply

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