Trigger Warning: Mention of R*pe, S*exual Violence, Queerphobia, Islamophobia and S*icide
It would not be completely wrong to asseverate that we are living in an era where logical fallacies dominate the discourse, more than the arguments which have some substance. The Internet has exacerbated the use of logical fallacies.
The most dangerous aspect of the use of logical fallacies is that it appears to be logical to the people who are not much into that thing, and that’s how propagandas are furthered.
There are a plethora of things that have been dishonoured and mortified. Feminism, just like caste-based reservations, is the favourite target. In the case of feminism, it’s even more severe. Women are coming forward and clutching, what was earlier confiscated from them, and men can’t accept this. This is a general trend pertinent across ideologies, and certainly not something which can be exclusively attributed to a particular ideology.
The range of these whatabouteries is pretty wide but fathomable. In this piece, I attempt to approach some of these whatabouteries.
This appears to be a very sensible argument, but it is flawed to the core. We all know how the legal system works in our country. If a woman makes an allegation, there’s barely any chance that she will be able to provide evidence.
Suppose, a woman makes an allegation that her husband is very toxic and he beats her regularly. Who will bear witness against the husband? What evidence can she come up with? The boy’s family will always stand with him only. There’s no chance that they will testify against him. Even the girl’s family will be reluctant to her filing a complaint and will try to pressurize her into withdrawing the complaint. There’s another way in which this argument can be punctured.
If we go by that logic, then no politician in India is corrupt. But we do know that this is not the case, it’s just that there’s been no conviction because the politicians are powerful and financially very influential. They use their money and muscle power to turn things in their favour.
If we analyze this argument deeply, we will find that there lies this conceived belief that circumstances for everyone are the same. Clearly, this is not the case. For a girl living in a rural area, feminism, at its best, would enable her to go to school and get good decent treatment in her family.
But for a girl living in an urban area, this is not the case. The problems faced by her, are altogether different. The problems faced by girls in villages are not pertinent here. For example, a girl based in Mumbai/ Delhi doesn’t need to fight for going to school. Her brother or her male friends are allowed to booze and roam the whole night. So, she aspires to achieve the same degree of freedom. Clearly, the purpose of feminism would be different. So, we can conclude from this that the role of feminism is different at different rungs.
I read a very beautiful line of late which summarizes the ruction, “Feminism isn’t about promoting smoking, it’s about establishing the fact that smoking tarnishes a woman’s lungs, not her character.”
As I said earlier, logical fallacies appear to be utterly logical and sensible, but if one digs deeper, he/she can see the hollowness that lies underneath.
Recently, a guy died by suicide because a girl had alleged him of raping her. The girl could not produce any evidence. The Internet got rattled and it was projected as though it’s a general trend. In my opinion, it’s a fluctuation in the general trend. Women are getting raped every day, they are died by suicide because of harassment and molestation.
But, this doesn’t make the noise. The callous indifference goes on, but when the opposite happens, women are collectively abused and subjected to the harshest of obloquy. Why does this happen? Because, when things get against males, they find that completely radical. They maintain their indifference to all the rapes and molestations because it has been normalized now. All it takes is one fake allegation for the male society to unite. For one fake allegation, all the feminists are made to answer while men can shrug off their responsibility by saying #Notallmen.
There’s an argument which I too had fallen prey to. It is premised on the point of generalization and other implications emanating from that. It reads, “Feminists love to generalize men but get offended when someone generalizes Muslims“. This argument is put forward in another parlance, “#Notallmen argument is puke-inducing but #NotallMuslim argument isn’t.
There is a very subtle absurdity and preposterousness in this argument. Let’s go through this slowly. There are more than 1.8 billion practising Muslims in the world, and only 1-2 lakh Muslims believe in the Wahabi ideology. On the contrary, almost every single man believes in patriarchy, either knowingly or unknowingly. We all practice patriarchy in our daily life. This can be explicated by citing the fact that we all enjoy humour that is sexist and queerphobic. In fact, sexism is the pillar on which queerphobia is premised.
There’s a very popular trend among the millennials, they love to use offensive queerphobic slurs such as “Chhakka” or “Meetha” for Tik-Tokers. This happens because men are supposed to isolate themselves from any act which is purportedly feminine. Since dancing and singing have been considered the monopoly of women, we use terms like “Meetha” and “Chakka” for a male if he tries to break the stereotypes.
We just need to introspect and we’ll get to understand it. We get irked when a woman wears a revealing dress or purchases wine. Why so? The crux of this explanation is that the people who believe in patriarchy, significantly outnumber those who believe in the Wahabi ideology.
This can be made more comprehensive if we look at the way two things are portrayed. The mainstream media is dominated by males. So, we don’t get to see the severity of patriarchy because journalists can choose to show something as well as overlook it.
Women are getting harassed and raped every now and then, but we don’t get to know much about this. On the contrary, the case of terrorism gets all hype and noise because both sides benefit from that, i.e. the ones who unleash terror and the ones who use terror for their political gains. Terrorists kill about 22k- 25k people every year, but this is exaggerated to an extent that people extrapolate that terrorism is the biggest threat to humanity. The concept of terrorism is based on theatrics. We can see how the plight of women is unable to prick our conscience but the portrayal of terror makes us shiver with fear. So, the generalization of men is not the same as the generalization of Muslims.
While talking about the use of logical fallacies, one cannot ignore the role that WhatsApp has played. You can find justification for everything. I stumbled upon one such justification which read, “Girls are diamond and the boys are iron, that’s why girls must be locked securely.” This is very farcical but it must be analyzed too. They say that iron is pretty cheap while diamond is exorbitantly expensive. Going by that logic, can’t one say that if a diamond is kept locked, what is the purpose of it being costly?
There are some arguments that I have been unable to cite in this piece, but the most frequently used pseudo-arguments have been approached. Feminism isn’t selective, if anything, it’s lucrative for the male gender as well.
It expands the range of colours/emotions/tastes which patriarchy tends to limit. In other words, feminism is lucrative for everyone, and we must embrace it.