A correspondent translated the short introductory essay to my Anti-Feminism Page and tried to get it published in a large Finnish newspaper. Not surprisingly, they rejected it. Their objections were that it didn’t explain what feminism is and it set forth a conspiracy theory. I was impressed that they hit on two of the three universal neutral reasons for never responding to the substance of objections to feminism:
- What you call “feminism” is really some special thing that only applies to a few people, so we don’t have to deal with what you say.
- Your characterization of feminism (in this case, “opposition to gender as a principle of social order—to what is called ‘sexism'”) is too abstract and doesn’t have enough content to explain what feminism is, so we don’t have to deal with what you say.
- To the extent you do say what feminism is you make it something concrete that involves the cooperation of many people. You are thus presenting a conspiracy theory, so we don’t have to deal with what you say.
The same sort of response applies to anyone who raises any unwelcome issue. What he says is too concrete, in which case it’s a special situation and not of general interest, or it’s too abstract, in which case he’s not saying anything definite, or it’s concrete and he claims it applies broadly, in which case it’s a conspiracy theory. Keep these arguments at your fingertips!
Incidentally, I’ll be out of town again for the next week and won’t be posting. Mr. Auster may or may not be able to take up the slack.