Franks, please

Suzanne Franks doesn’t even realize the principles behind her caricature ideology. That’s the only reason she would say something like this.

March is women’s history month, but don’t let that circumscribe your fun. You can get together with a posse of your like-minded women friends and mock mansplainers anytime. Now, I know many of you have just recently learned that there even existed a name you could attach to this annoying behavior plaguing your existence. Believe me, I know how important naming experience is – that’s why I have a whole category assigned to the topic. But your joy need not begin and end with just knowing that the craptastic manifestations you’ve been subjected to are (1) not your fault, (2) part of a larger system of patriarchy, and (3) mocked by many, many, many women all over the place.

Feminism is a philosophy of consequence. Intention is largely ignored and emphasis is placed upon the results. For example, non-sexually based images are considered sexist in (caricature) feminism due to that number (2) Franks mentioned – “a larger system of patriarchy”. Let that sink in for a moment. Okay, now review (1), which I made bold. If Franks was consistent at all, she would consider her explanations of where blame lies to be useless. That is, if consequence is what matters, then the fact that caricature feminists are presenting their ‘case’ in a way that seems to fix blame on men should be disconcerting to them. The very thing against which they rail – negative consequences that make people feel guilty, ashamed, bad, etc – is what Franks has promoted.

It’s only clever when we do it

Suzanne Franks has another post about ‘mansplaining‘.

Over at the mansplaining thread, you can read literally hundreds of hilarious, annoying, frustrating, heartbreaking stories of how women are constantly subjected to intrusive, incessant, insensitive, inane mansplaining. Interspersed you will also find comments from d00dly d00ds whinging away about how awful it is that women are talking so MEAN about men, and their mansplanations about how mansplaining doesn’t exist. Then some douche tried to coin the phrase femsplaining.

Well, if she’s going to phonetically spell things and replace numbers with letters, I just don’t know how I’m going to compete.

I’m not about to defend the use of the word “femsplaining”. If it means to reference a particular ideological group that addresses dissent with condescension and disdain, then it may be accurate, but it isn’t useful. These are caricature feminists. They represent a minority which has developed a sort of in-group mentality, not some mainstream way of thought that is going to change much of anything.

The reason, though, that I don’t want to defend “femsplaining” is that it’s as dumb as “mansplaining”. Each loose (and always piss-poor) definition allows an extension that goes beyond sex and gender. In fact, at least one user picked up on this fact. Even the tried and true caricatures have pointed out in several places that ‘mansplaining’ is not specific to men. One is only left to wonder why they would bother even using it at all. (I think I just mansplained?)

Oh, and this isn’t a post for mocking ‘mansplainers’. While Franks and friends are interested in furthering their fuzzy community feeling by screeching “You don’t geeeeeeeeeeettttttt iiiiiiitttt!!!”, I am not. The caricature Gish Gallop is getting tiresome. “You don’t get it, you don’t get it, you don’t get it! This is mansplaining, this is sexist, these pictures are ALL misogynistic. Your perspective is bunk! Bunk, bunk, bunk! Almost all people think like you do! (Because I know how you think, you straight, white male – and I know your sexual orientation, didn’t you know.)” …well, let me just respond to your first point by saying…”MANSPLAINING!”

Finally, dissent over language does not equal some big, sexist conspiracy. Sometimes terms just suck. Get over it.