Marking LibFem Blog Entries #1

“EveryDayWhorephobia” recently published this bad post  and my friend and I decided to grade it according to basic academic standards. The graded post is as follows:

Swerf= sex work exclusionary radical feminist Terf =trans* exclusionary radical feminist. They go hand in hand.

The loudest non religious voices opposed to sex workers rights [CITATION NEEDED], Bindel and Burchill in the UK, Dworkin (currently deceased), Brennan, Farley, among others, describe themselves as radical feminists [This is a political tendency, and as such it important that you present an understanding of political terminology].  I leave the argument of whether they are feminists to others, it’s the radical that intrigues me [Avoid using “I” and “me” statements]. Since the 1960s a certain cachet has been given to groups who are counter cultural, linkages are made between organisations who stand against the dominant narrative of western capitalism and heteronormative values. This was seen in the Occupy camps, where many disparate groups with different reasons for existing were united far more by what they opposed than by what they supported [‘radicalism’ is a concrete political tendency and outlook, not a subculture. Pop-cultural associations do not constitute a political understanding]. We cannot escape history, and as the third generation since the 1960s takes to the streets we have absorbed ideas about how “radical” groups look, sound, behave. [see previous]

The fact is though radical feminists are extreme social conservatives with attitudes towards sex that Pope Francis would approve of. [Avoid unsupported hyperbolic statements]

2/10

 Ann Tagonist‏@radscummery

@kittystryker
sex work is so much better. u only get fired for
refusing to have your face ejaculated on and you’re never sexually harassed!

The attitude towards facials, as the most disgusting sex act possible is just one aspect. BDSM, group sex, anal, bisexuality, pansexuality, almost every sexual act that your Great Grandad would have (publicly) disapproved off sp (-1) is also disapproved of by the radical feminists [baseless generalisation]. That is even before you get into their disapproval of women daring to make money from sex work and challenging the patriarchal idea that men are the gatekeepers of female sexuality. [?]

Why then the insistence on calling themselves radical? [understanding very poor] When your attitude to porn is ban it, when your attitude to sex is only with the lights off and never with any acts that might not be papally approved [not an adequate criteria for evaluating an argument. Irrelevant] , when your views are those that reinforce patriarchal tropes of the whore /madonna split, what is radical? [strawman: avoid using logical fallacies]

We need to go back to the opening sentences[?], and I think look at the worlds -1 second biggest group of real life trolls, the Westboro Baptist Church. The world is a far more complex place than it was 50 years ago, punctuation. [Avoid baseless ahistorical statements] Old certainties, especially when it comes to sex have been overturned. [citation needed] Books like The Happy Hooker [citation & clarification needed] may seem unnuanced to us now, but along with others a different, more open, more empowered attitude to sex, relationships and sexuality was espoused. Phrasing. [No evidence given] We live in a world where the Conservative party passes a same-sex marriage law and millions of women fantasies [sp] about being tied up and beaten by their own Mr Grey. [? Analogy is not argument]

Not liking certain forms of sex is fine, not personally wanting to do X,Y or Z is the right of every human being. [political philosophies are not preferences] However being squicked [this is not a real word] by tit, pulling a Tebbit [?]and finding them morally wrong, purely based on your squick is something, quite rightly, most people do not think should any longer be the basis for law and policy. [address the actual arguments pertaining to what you are criticising] Radical feminists are left between a rock and a hard place, wanting to be radical, [ad hominem] because history [what history? Provide evidence for this assertion] tells them that is a good, powerful thing to be, whilst having personal views that are anything but. [ad hominem]

So, looking around they dig out extreme theories that confuse radicalism and bigotry. [baseless generalisation. Define these terms] They confuse not being mainstream with being counter cultural. [conformation to posited social norms is not relevant] When the WHO and UNAIDS support decriminalization then opposing it is certainly not mainstream, and becomes a core value for people desperate to find something radical to cling to. [ad populum] Look, they cry, I am not boring or conventional, I hold a radical view! [irrelevant ad hominem] Those with an external locus of evaluation need others to approve of them, to support their view of themselves, and thus conferences are held, blogs written where people prove to each other that they are radical, since they all believe it. [This is not remotely scholarly nor is it an argument.]

Which brings us rather neatly to the Westboro Baptist Church.

If you have got this far I am sure you can see the parallels. They take the bible and selectively quote and misinterpret. One of their big claims is that they are the only true Christians. [Hermeneutical issues with the interpretation of religious texts are more nuanced than you lay out. Avoid sweeping or absolute claims] The more Christians and non-Christian groups call them out, the more their belief in themselves as a persecuted minority who know THE TRUTH is reinforced. [fad populum fallacy] For WBC their internal view of themselves is built on being the only Christians. [provide evidence for this claim]

For radfems it is built on the idea they are radical and counter cultural and the only true feminist. [ad hominem, cf earlier commentary] Both refuse to listen to others who read their doctrines and interpret them differently, both have little contact with those outwith their cult, and both respond with violence [citation needed], anger and hatred to anyone who challenges the walls they have built up [unsupported] to keep out the ever-changing progressive world. [avoid using baseless allusion]

Which is the other aspect of this mentioned in the title.[phrasing. No need to start another paragraph] Now some people [who?] are transphobic through fear and ignorance. It is not acceptable, [avoid stating opinions] but like many forms of prejudice can be tackled through education.  This may be the case for some radfems (again fitting with my argument they are in fact personally social conservatives attempting not to be seen as such)[what argument? Ad hominems and logical fallacies are not arguments]. However the vehemence with which trans* women are attacked suggests a dogma, a belief that is at the core of the cult,[not an argument] in the same way WBC pickets the funeral of dead service men and women. ManyChristians are homophobic, only WBC have raised it to being the corner stone of their faith. [see earlier commentary] In the same way radfems have mistaken radicalism for extremism. [baseless assertion]

6/30

Sex workers and trans people are dying [causal inferences must be supported with evidence] because of the stigma against them, [citation needed] it is time for all people who oppose bigotry and prejudice to stand up against it [phrasing]. There can be no compromise.[superfluous!] Just as there are wonderful groups [I’m not getting paid enough to mark this shit], from hells angels [I didn’t know that biker gangs were relevant to political arguments] to parents who now turn up to shield the mourners at funerals the WBC picket [irrelevant] we need allies to block out the terfs and swerfs [these are not words],  do not allow their voices to be heard, oppose their meetings, challenge them wherever they push their beliefs [expression. Changing of tense and subject makes no grammatical sense]. Only by excluding them can you be on the side of those oppressed and marginalised. [this is a conclusion?]

0.5/5

 

8.5/45 3.5%

FAIL

The objective of the piece was clear, however no argumentative or factual evidence was provided to support any of the
discernible claims that you made. Though it is clear that you are passionate about the subject matter, you failed to demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter beyond assertions, hyperbole, and simple logical fallacies. You show
some potential for progress in your chosen fields of study, however, you should consider taking or re-taking the following subjects: FEMI101 Feminism 101, PHIL102 Basic Techniques in Argumentation, STAT113 Elementary Statistics, PHIL113 Remedial Critical Thinking, and SOC160 Introduction to Social Theory.

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8 comments

  1. You have to be seriously out to lunch to think that Dworkin was against sex worker’s rights. She actually WAS prostituted, for gosh sakes. She’s one of the most pro-woman people ever to exist, and her love for women knew no bounds. Saying that Dworkin was against women’s rights is like saying Shakespeare wasn’t a playwright.

  2. This has to be one of the most petty and elitist posts I have ever seen. People don’t write blog posts like they are writing a university paper, and to ridicule people for not doing so is incredibly classist. On the one hand you say that the only sex workers who don’t want their work made harder by the Nordic Model are high end, middle class workers, and then you go make fun of, mean girls style, sex workers whose writing isn’t up to your middle class, tertiary educated standards. All this does is make you come across as a bully and a snob.

    1. I’m not tertiary educated, and quite low on the economic class scale for that matter. I just bother to exercise critical thinking, and attention to forming cohesive arguments. I’ve no problem with people having passionate opinions, but do yourself a favour and actually understand the concepts you espouse. Is pointing out ad hominem, logical fallacy, and reactionary misunderstandings also classist? Or merely my amendments on syntax?

      1. Or she’s just a complete idiot. I make many concessions for WELFs (Woman Exclusionary/Exterminationist Liberal Fauxminists) for things like coercion and internalised misogyny, but this level of outstanding stupidity and vicious sexism seems entirely deliberate.

  3. This is the most classiest thing I have ever seen, oh and this post was by a disabled survival sex worker, not kitty stryker, sorry it is not up to your high standards. How dare sex workers write about what matters to them. The next time a sex worker offers a submission to our blog we will tell them unless it is up to academic standards to go away.

  4. Goodness me – it’s not classist to want decent argument. In fact, what’s *really* classist is assuming that lower-class people *can’t do* decent argument. I also think that ‘everydaywhorephobia’ is being *ableist* by suggesting that people who are ‘disabled’ can’t be expected to do decent argument. Or are they talking about an intellectual/learning disability? That’d be a whole new can of worms. [btw, ‘outwith’ is a perfectly good English word. Mostly used in Scots-English, but none the worse for that 🙂 ]

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