Using the science of group conflict to understand Trump's campaign

We’re not talking about “what people who claim to be feminists” (that is, “feminists”) do (which may very well include those things), but what feminism itself says. And it clearly doesn’t include those points in its ideology of equality, which is not so complicated, like say a religion, that there are multiple, completely opposite interpretations of its meaning.


[quote=“Shuck, post:21, topic:87365”]We’re not talking about “what people who claim to be feminists” (that is, “feminists”) do (which may very well include those things), but what feminism itself says.[/quote]That’s a mighty fine distinction. Could we draw a line between “what Trump supporters do” and “what Trump actually says”, too?

I don’t see it as a fine distinction at all - feminism as an ideology states certain things; people who claim to follow feminism may totally ignore that ideology or do things completely unrelated to it. Trump, as far as I know, has no position on disco dancing - if some of his followers disco dance, it has nothing to do with him, and it would be profoundly silly to suggest they’re disco dancing because of Trump.


Okay, one more go: what if a person who claims to follow feminism does something that you think is unrelated to the ideology, but that the person thinks is entirely in keeping with the ideology?

Would you not agree that there is in fact considerable discrepancy among what people who claim to follow feminism do in claiming to follow feminism?

On average, no. While the details of the movement have evolved over time, the guiding principle of feminism - the one the majority of people who identify as feminists and who give it its meaning agree on - is that women should have equal status, rights and opportunity as men.

You might as well say “well some people who call themselves doctors say snake oil is good for you so how do we know doctors don’t endorse snake oil”? If you say that’s not the same because real doctors have medical training, special qualifications, and a reputation in the medical community, then by that same logic you should be able to accept that there is a common archetypal definition of feminism and it does not embody the five points in this article.

If you do not agree with the common definition of feminism, then I’m sorry to inform you that that discrepancy is more on your end than on the feminists end.

So we can conclude that the motivations, anger, and/or methods of Trump supporters != the motivations, anger and/or methods of feminists. Can we move on now?

*Edited for clarity.


Sure. Trump says he grabs women by the pussy and his supporters clap for that.


So, what have feminist done that are so odious? And please don’t trot out the tired example of Valerie Solanis or whoever.


No, I wouldn’t.


[quote=“jproffitt71, post:26, topic:87365”]the guiding principle of feminism - that the majority of people who identify as feminists and who give it its meaning agree on - is that women should have equal status, rights and opportunity with men.
[/quote]And you believe that everyone is in complete agreement about everything such a simply-stated “principle” implies…? Okay then, it seems to me this is getting nowhere.

[quote=“Mindysan33, post:28, topic:87365”]So, what have feminist done that are so odious?[/quote]There certainly seem to be some people who think they’re rather odious. How else might one explain that whole “I don’t need feminism” thing?

This is why we need feminism.

Frankly, I’m tired of this shit. Fucking tired of it. Tired of having to be twice as good just to be considered good enough. Tired of being not pretty enough or too sexy. Tired of being dismissed. Tired of being told “it’s not a REAL problem.” I’m sorry if that offends you, me being tired of being told I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH just because of my gender. At some point, shit is going to have to change, because it can’t continue. We have a presidential candidate who thinks that groping women without their consent is perfectly okay. If you don’t think that’s an actual problem and women saying that they want to be treated as equals is just as bad… well, I’m really not sure what to tell you.


Excuse me, did I say we didn’t need feminism? Did I say you need to be twice as good to be considered good enough? Did I say you need to be pretty or sexy? Did I dimiss you? Did I say it wasn’t a real problem? Do I even have the slightest bloody idea who you are? Did I say that I was somehow offended?

You asked “what have feminist done that are so odious”? Clearly someone out there thinks someone has done something odious.

I wonder why that is.

I mean if you’re not going to accept the meaning of a label to refer to one group with X, Y, and Z beliefs and substitute it with your own, then yeah, we’re never going to agree because we’re refusing to operate in the same language. If your issue is you really think some women hold these beliefs in regards to men, congratulations! You threw a dart at the wall and hit some subset of the population. That subset does not not constitute “feminists” as we popularly understand feminists to be, and they definitely do not transmit these beliefs to feminists as a whole.

Well, I mean, for starters you could look at this neat article that talks about how leaders can manipulate a base into thinking they’re being attacked by a group of others. Oh right, that’s this article we’re on right now that has nothing directly to do with feminism and yet has somehow been derailed into yet another thread defending feminism against arbitrary redefinition.

Someone out there thinks the world is flat. I don’t give a damn what they think the world map actually looks like unless they can provide really good evidence.


The problem when someone says “Okay even though horrible group A does X, but maybe group B also does X, discuss?” is that there’s an inferred conclusion that “horrible group A == group B”, or a false equivalence.

That is a way of dismissing one group by saying its all a wash. It has been a way of dismissing legitimate grievances about the disgusting partisan strategy of the Republican party for decades (“but Democrats do bad stuff too!”) and now we have to suffer through this dumpster fire of an election (and the lasting real consequences thereof) because people wouldn’t listen when we said shit needed to change.


If they said something like “I am a feminist, and I believe women should be chattels of their husbands and not allowed to vote or own property” then I would feel more than confident replying with “You are not a feminist.”


While I don’t think feminism carries the seeds of violence, I’ve often thought that if the roles were reversed, we would be having armed insurrections all over the world.

Can you imagine men’s reactions if Clinton treated men with the contempt that Trump treats women with? And if a significant number of women thought that this was perfectly valid or at least not a big deal? Or they said that there was no great difference because Trump’s wife cheated on him?


The objection there would be not only that she disrespects men, but that a woman disrespecting men upends the social order. See also: “slut” vs. “player.”


I didn’t say YOU did, I said this is my experiences in the world. Someone is doing that. You can shrug your shoulders and pass the buck, like it’s not your problem, or you can keep implying that being a feminist is somehow the equivalent of misogyny that many of us experience daily. Or you can recognize the problem and try and help. And if you didn’t mean to dismiss me and other women when we say these are problems in our lives, then why bringing up these false equivalences, you are inherently dismissing my and many other women’s experiences of our lives. If you don’t care about my (and other women’s struggles) then fine. But at least admit to that and move on.


As I posted recently on another topic:

Thought experiment: I wonder what boingboing would look like if its editors were based in Bakersfield, Milwaukee, Baton Rouge, Omaha and Buffalo?

1 Like

Fewer Burning Man posts?


Yes, I simply cannot imagine why a movement dedicated to elevating women to equal status with men in our society might be subject to vicious blowback from anyone who might be predisposed to disagree with the core principles of that movement. There is just no conceivable way that accusations of “odious” behavior could be coming from people with a dedicated interest in devaluing and delegitimizing feminism.



One thing for sure, I would stop thinking that the San Francisco housing market is a catastrophe on the order of the Tambora explosion or the Black Death.