It’s not news to anyone that some of the most popular antifeminist “arguments” are in fact logical fallacies.
For example, here’s the fallacy of relative privation, suggesting that women in first world countries aren’t allowed to complain about sexism so long as anyone in the world is worse off than them.
And here’s the good old straw man, in the form of a meme accusing feminists of believing all sorts of things they don’t believe (as well as a few things they do believe, but for perfectly good reasons).
MRAs: in case you’re wondering which of these statements are straw men and why, I’ve attached a helpful footnote below.
So, yeah, those are some logical fallacies on display. But looking through the memes on display on the Male Lives Matter Facebook page today — which is where the memes above came from — I began to realize that MRAs have invented a whole bunch of brand-new logical fallacies of their own.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Argumentum ad Picard Facepalm
This “argument” might make a little more sense were it not for the fact that Patrick Stewart — you know, the dude who played Picard — weren’t in fact an outspoken feminist who has literally worn a “this is what a feminist looks like” shirt in public.
I should note that using a Picard facepalm pic isn’t always a fallacy For example, if you are Ian McKellen, a personal friend of Stewart who famously carried a Picard facepalm sign at the London Women’s March this January.
Argumentum ad Ha Ha You’ll Never Get Laid
Granted, “white knighting” is not the same as feminism; it’s a rather patronizing form of “chivalry.” And that last post on the right up there is a little cringey.
But this meme is aimed at male feminists. And while there are some ostentatiously “feminist” dudes who profess a shallow facsimile of feminism in hopes of scoring with the ladies, genuinely feminist dudes are feminists because, you know, they actually believe in equality and shit. As much as this might shock MRAs and others obsessed with classifying men according to simplistic schemes using Greek letters, feminism doesn’t actually render men unfuckable.
Hell, I have actual photographic proof that one of the guys in this very meme has had sex with at least one woman at least once. Here’s the guy in the middle up there — Nev Schulman of the show Catfish — posing recently with his very pregnant wife.
IN YOUR FACE MRAS!!!11!
In case you’re wondering, she has since given birth to a baby girl.
Argumentum ad WTF-um
Argumentum ad You’re Not a Fireman
Apparently if you’re a female feminist you’re not entitled to emergency services? Even if you pay taxes just like everybody else? Does that apply to male feminists too? I need to know before I light my apartment on fire.
It’s true that there are not a lot of female firefighters. It’s also true that women have been largely kept out of the profession. But not by feminists — the only people I ever see arguing against women firefighters are MRAs and other antifeminists.
Argumentum ad You’re Not a Coal Miner
A kind of mash-up of the Fallacy of Relative Privation and Argumentum ad You’re Not a Fireman. It’s worth pointing out that none of the MRAs I’ve ever seen making this “argument” has themselves been a coal miner.
Argumentum ad Women Sometimes Get Drunk
It’s true that women sometimes get really, really drunk. I’m not quite sure how exactly this is a rebuttal of feminism.
Or is this about the hats? Are you suggesting that women need to start wearing 1956-style hats again?
It’s all very confusing. I think I need a drink.
Here are the straw men in that straw man meme above:
On drunk women: feminists DO believe drunk women should be responsible for their behavior. Just not the behavior of others. If a woman drives drunk, feminists have no problem with her charged with drunk driving. If a woman is raped while she is drunk, by contrast, feminists don’t think she should be charged with “drunk being raped.”
On alimony, etc: Women do pay alimony and child support when a court rules that it’s appropriate, and no feminist I’ve ever seen has argued that they shouldn’t.
On the draft: Feminists have long argued that women should be allowed to serve in combat and the National Organization for Women has in fact taken legal action to try to extend selective service registration to women,
As for the other ones? I’m not quite sure how exactly the “false accusers should be charged” crowd defines a “false accuser,” but, yes, it’s true feminists don’t want rape accusers charged if they lose a rape case any more than they want murder accusers to be prosecuted for losing a murder case. Accusers of all sorts can be prosecuted for filing a false police report, but this is relatively rare.
Meanwhile, 50-50 custody can be crappy for kids, so it makes little sense to make it the default setting. As for the one about “unwed fathers,” is that really saying what it looks like it’s saying? If so, no, feminists don’t think fathers should be allowed to force women to get an abortion (or to not get an abortion).
EDIT: I reworked the paragraph on feminist dudes and sex to make myself clearer.