I notice a tendency for some self-proclaimed feminists to behave not as true, objectively fair, feminists, but as one-sided gender warriors in what they see as a never-ending battle to cut men down to size and to avenge perceived historic injustices.  They seem to think that current day men should be punished in some way for the behaviour of their fathers, grandfathers and other male antecedents, even if that behaviour was the cultural and societal norm in its day.  In the process, they are running the risk that their cause will be discredited.
As a true feminist, I like to be helpful to the sisters in these matters.  So here are a few guidelines, rules (commandments even), adherence to which will allow feminists to be taken seriously by society at large.
There is no charge for this service.  Pass them on.
  • All men are not rapists or idiots. Have respect for both genders in your utterances. Stop portraying men as universally stupid or primitive e.g. in advertising.
  • Please recognise that there remain significant differences between how the sexes behave – due partly (or even mainly?) to inescapable and unconscious evolutionary forces. In a dangerous world the survival of the human race once depended on the specialisation that these differences facilitated. We can’t expunge these traits from our DNA overnight, even if we all wanted to do so (and many people of both sexes wouldn’t want to).  In other words, men are more aggressive because they are built that way, not because they want to be.  Cut us some slack.
  • You should accept that job quotas apply both ways.  So if you want fair representation in politics, business, the arts, the professions, and in other such desirable occupations, then you should accept that women should shoulder their fair share of lousy or demanding jobs – in the army, as road sweepers, bike couriers, potato pickers, mine workers and so on.  I just don’t see this happening.  And while we are at it, should men not have quotas too? Where are all the male nurses, primary school teachers, chick lit writers?
  • Judge other women objectively: stop biting your tongue or giving them free passes when they deserve criticism or generally screw up.  Irish Times journalists, please note.
  • Stop focusing on soft targets (e.g. men-only golf clubs) and ever-smaller issues (e.g. so-called micro-aggressions) when large ones have been achieved or appear just too tricky to deal with (e.g. the attitude of many refugees/immigrants to women). And avoid mission creep.
  • Islam should be your number one enemy. Not Muslim people, but their religion and how it subjugates women.  If you turn a blind eye to this issue, then you don’t deserve to be taken seriously as a feminist.  If you don’t wish to speak out against it, then please shut up about other alleged sources of gender discrimination.
  • The Roman Catholic Church isn’t far behind.  So have a go at them instead of attacking (for instance) Portmarnock Golf Club.  Yes I know it isn’t as much fun, and your Mammy probably won’t like it, but then you want to seen as a serious feminist, don’t you?
  • Please recognise that most women, relative to their male counterparts, spend huge amounts of time and money trying to appear or remain sexually alluring.  This is a fact of life.  Men should be allowed show appreciation for such efforts.  Or are women only doing it to enhance their own self-esteem, or even to show up their less attractive sisters?  I don’t think so.
  • Take on board the fact that, when you control for relevant variables (occupations, qualifications, length of time in workplace), the alleged wage gap narrows to effectively nothing.  So stop going on about it as if it’s a wicked plot to subjugate women, and stop using its alleged existence to justify your misandry.
  • And so on…..