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Deflection - as an anti-feminist act

(56 Posts)
LaSqrrl Tue 22-May-18 09:06:12

On another thread, *AngryAttackKittens" asked:

If we're suggesting threads I just posted on the tshirt thread that maybe we need a group discussion about the tendency for some women to identify the thing blocking women's progress as being other women not getting with the program/letting the side down rather than men/the system actively blocking women's progress. It comes up in a lot of different contexts, that idea that the real problem is women not doing activism/life perfectly, and I think it would be an interesting topic to thrash out, but can't think how to frame it in terms of starting a thread. Someone who's better at titles than me could have a go?

In my opinion, the tactic is very much a "look over here, don't look over there" tactic. Meaning, we are onto something. Every single time some male, or libfem, says "this is way more important, why aren't you focusing on that?" it usually means, "shitfuck, the jig is up, they are endangering male domination in this area!"

It's pretty much a red flag, and to (not) focus on that area really, the one they say you should not concentrate upon, focus on their 'agenda' as to what is important to women's liberation.

Patriarchy is founded upon reversals. So when one of their representatives (MRAs, libfems) says "don't go there!" you know damned well, you had better be there.

LaSqrrl Tue 22-May-18 09:06:44

Tagging @AngryAttackKittens

FermatsTheorem Tue 22-May-18 09:10:20

"Why aren't you focusing on this?" = "Shit, we've been rumbled."

So true! As they used to put it on the Trump threads, "Look, a dead cat!" It's a silencing technique. It pops up all over the place.

LaSqrrl Tue 22-May-18 09:15:30

"Shit, we've been rumbled."

LOL Fermats, ain't it the truth! grin

LangCleg Tue 22-May-18 09:20:34

It's absolutely a dead cat strategy as first described by Boris Johnson and that Tory strategist bloke Lynton Crosby.

This is what Johnson originally said:

There is one thing that is absolutely certain about throwing a dead cat on the dining room table – and I don’t mean that people will be outraged, alarmed, disgusted. That is true, but irrelevant. The key point is that everyone will shout, ‘Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!’ In other words, they will be talking about the dead cat – the thing you want them to talk about – and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief.

AngryAttackKittens Tue 22-May-18 09:28:40

It's not just deflection though, it's specifically "well if other women wouldn't do X, which makes me/the rest of us/the cool girls look bad..."

It's all over the tshirt thread, and we have a few commenters who do it every time the toilet issue comes up. Well I'm not scared, why are other women so prudish, it's because of you women who don't want to change your mooncup with men around that we can't achieve equality, etc. It's a very specific type of derail that only works if you're a woman, or claiming to be one.

Rufustheyawningreindeer Tue 22-May-18 09:30:43

This is one of the reasons i love reading this board

Dead cat




There was another arguing technique mentioned whose name escapes me

Everyday is a learning day smile

Rufustheyawningreindeer Tue 22-May-18 09:32:06

claig alerted me to the linking technique where someone thinks you are clever because you have all these links and obviously are well read

When it seems to be the more links to random publications the less bright someone is

AssignedPuuurfectAtBirth Tue 22-May-18 09:36:09

Yes I am always suspicious when other people think they can dictate the agenda of how I am to think and what I should be interested in, in order to 'fit' into some some fucking label. Fuck off, you don't get to define me

LaSqrrl Tue 22-May-18 09:37:34

It's a very specific type of derail that only works if you're a woman, or claiming to be one.

True, but just the handmaiden variant on the theme. Just their approach/technique. They are working for the same boss after all.

metrorider Tue 22-May-18 09:42:20

The "women are dragged off buses and raped and murdered in India, so you shouldn't be worrying about catcalling in Bolton" logical fallacy, aka "first world problems fallacy" is an example of deflection. It:
- allows the deflector to pretend to care about women
- paves the way for wokespeak accusations of "white feminism"
- allows the deflector to accuse the feminist of selfishness

It also actually undermines the struggle for the rights of the harder-done-by women who are used as deflection material, as misogynist behaviour exists as a continuum and "minor" behaviours legitimise more serious ones.

hackmum Tue 22-May-18 09:49:52

That's very true, metrorider, and I think the best thing to say when people come up with the example of India is to say: Well, what are you doing about it? It's not as if they actually care one iota about the plight of women in India. It's just another stick to beat feminists with.

LangCleg Tue 22-May-18 09:55:04

* "first world problems fallacy"*

Yes. And protecting the safeguarding frameworks and protection legislation that are the very reasons women in some countries are better off than others is somehow a bad thing. Deeply infuriating.

Pratchet Tue 22-May-18 09:57:02

What gets me is when they make other people's problems our problems and say it's now our job to solve those problems and not our own problem.

Eg toilets.

Problem: TW unhappy and want in
Their solution: women solve this problem by sacrificing privacy and safety
Women: No
Them: Well then how are you going to solve the problem ? I.e. This is now your problem
Women: Waste time coming up with multiple solutions for a MALE problem when we want to talk about something else

LaSqrrl Tue 22-May-18 10:02:47

Yes Metro, hack and Prachet.
Well spotted Prachet, the logical follow-on from deflection. What do we call that? Maybe 'dumping'?

AngryAttackKittens Tue 22-May-18 10:07:55

It's all different flavors of the same thing, but I think we need individualized strategies for dealing with each one, and also maybe sometimes as a "hey no point engaging, just point it out and move on" the same way people are doing with DARVO.

The thing with the specific thing I was thinking of is that I'm not sure the people doing it realize it's a deflection. I think some of them really do think that if other women would just stop being individuals and try to be as awesome as (they think) they are then men would finally treat us like people. You can totally see it in the tshirt thread. It's a form of internalized misogyny combined with special snowflake syndrome.

LaSqrrl Tue 22-May-18 10:09:37

It really is expecting that women, feminists, resolve every problem in the world created by men, even those problems that affect other men.

Ummm, no, our dance card is full already, thanks, no thanks.

AngryAttackKittens Tue 22-May-18 10:11:20

I've been doing the "we're a bit busy right now but if you'd like to get to work on that yourself..." thing for a while now. Makes a change from "I'm not your mummy".

LaSqrrl Tue 22-May-18 10:12:47

But the t-shirt thread is almost the polar opposite to the 'why not the 8th' thread. The former being snowflakeness, the latter being classic diversion. I think it helpful to make the distinction.

AngryAttackKittens Tue 22-May-18 10:13:49

Yep. We get the latter more from ploppers and the former more from sealions.

LaSqrrl Tue 22-May-18 10:14:31

"we're a bit busy right now but if you'd like to get to work on that yourself..."

LOL. Yes. Those that want to delegate I guess, rather than realising they too need to get off their butts and contribute to change. <sigh>

AngryAttackKittens Tue 22-May-18 10:15:37

I guess part of what I'm interested in is is there any way to get through to the totally self focused, I'm alright Jack it's other women who're holding us back types? Whenever it happens you can practically see the steam coming out of people's ears at the sheer selfish fuckery of it, and then it just turns into a "this is why you're an asshole" conversation. Must be a better way.

LangCleg Tue 22-May-18 10:19:13

Perhaps we need a corollary to Bewilder's rules of misogyny? Rules of deflection? It could avoid it all disintegrating into personal attacks?

LaSqrrl Tue 22-May-18 10:22:30

the totally self focused, I'm alright Jack it's other women who're holding us back types?

I view it as one of those youth problems. They are still within the thrawl of superficial acceptance within the boys' club. They have no idea they will be turfed when older, or no longer useful. Yeah, I got nothing, other than to point that out.

Pratchet Tue 22-May-18 10:22:34

Yes langcleg! I couldn't do it, those rules are too good! Someone should

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