Thursday, December 4, 2008

The anti-intellectual feminist, part 2

So Olives and I were texting one another about her recent post "the anti-intellectual feminist" and she suggested I add my point of view to the discussion. So let's see...

So far the history seems to be: Olives says she understands where I'm coming from with my coworker and discusses her frustrations with the tendencies of many to trivialize and mock feminist critiques. In response commenter Christian calls feminism "Extremely anti-intellectual" and says that "a lot of what's being said on behalf of feminism sounds like a lot of whining." Not perhaps an extremely intellectual critique of feminism in itself. Also, the comment doesn't seem to address exactly what Olives what talking about (which was the difficulty in expressing feminist views and getting brushed off or laughed at); to me Christian's comment seems more like an opportunistic attack on feminism that found a target one day. On the other hand, Christian has made many comments on our blog before and since then, and I find it useful to have an unsympathetic regular reader. Anyway, I've digressed substantially from giving a history of "the anti-intellectual feminist" discussion. Part 3 is Olives' response: efficiently breaking down the anti-intellectual-because-it's-only-feuled-by-passion argument (a point which Christian has since conceded), questioning the existence of the entire discipline of women's studies if feminism is anti-intellectual (people seemed distracted by her use of the university as an example, but given the existence of thousands of books and scholars I'm going to go out on a limb and say her point still stands strong), and finally critiquing the notion that it is necessary to separate emotion and intellect in order to have a respectable argument. And she threw some humor in there. Now, I don't know that I can defend Olives' choice to fight fire with fire (i.e. when she called our unfriendly commenter awkward and called him out on the whole Neil Strauss thing), but she took that stuff out so she's clearly self-editing. And that part aside (because hey, you'd be fuckin pissed, too) I want to applaud Olives for her to the point take down of the unfriendly commenter. Olives, you are a testament to the intellect of feminism! And let us not forget that without passion our intellectual ideas wouldn't start many movements. I betcha the unfriendly commenter voted for Obama, right?


Christian "Ian" Paredes said...

it probably was an opportunistic attack, but in many ways, i almost wish that this blog concentrated more on providing critiques, and not of the rhetorical kind that's provided in the videos and whatever else so far.

i apologize for being "unfriendly," but i'm not entirely conceding my position, and i'd love to, in fact, get in a more fruitful conversation, regardless on whether i agree with your guys' positions.

however, i'm here again going against what you suggest to argue for, which is the premise that emotion and reason could intermingle and provide a respectable argument. are you claiming, then, that if say a proposition P was uttered with emotion F, then another time, was uttered with emotion G, then they ought to have differing truth values? like, for instance, if we have a propositon such as,

Ben likes to have ice cream

does the truth or falsity of such a claim change when it is uttered by a person with emotion F or G?

Christian "Ian" Paredes said...

and yes, i voted for obama. :p