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Unraveling Feminism

08 Nov 2012

I get constantly claimed that feminism is the same as egalitarianism. I then end up having to spend the next 10 minutes of my life explaining why feminism is the opposite of egalitarianism. To save myself time in future conversations, here’s why, chopped down to a four simple cases in point.

As a short introduction to the topic I’m stating my own conclusion to get it over with: feminism has never, ever acted for the purpose of increasing gender equality. Feminists have, occasionally, and mostly for the short term, acted for the benefit of gender equality, but as often against it. The only common denominator for their activity is that they behold the world from a feminine viewpoint, and try to create change in society that fits their point of view.

1. Men’s Duties

Finland is one of the world’s most feminist countries, so it makes an excellent exhibit in our case number one.

There hasn’t, in the last 20 years or so, been a single law or practice as strongly against gender equality as the National Defence Duty. For those not familiar with the law in question, it states that if and only if a person is male, he is sentenced to a servitude in the army for 6 to 12 months.

Now, how high up has this outrage been ranked in the feminists’ figurative lists of “things that need fixing for the sake of gender equality”? The answer gives us also the answer of how much feminsts’ values have to do with gender equality: if it’d be on the place number one, they’d likely be strongly for equality; if it’d be placed in the middle of their lists, they would not care about equality much at all, or if it’d be so low it hasn’t even been worth mentioning on the list, it is a strong hint that feminists’ values are strongly against gender equality.

Personal observations: I’ve never heard a single feminist even mention the topic. When someone else has mentioned it, most feminists refuse to see the this punish-males-for-being-males law as being anything else than a fair way of “balancing” the gender equality.

2. Who would benefit from the proposed change?

Whenever a feminist proposes a change regarding gender equality, does it benefit men or women? How often do you hear of ideas to grant women powerful and well-paid positions on the basis of their gender? And how often do you hear of ideas to force women to undesired positions, such as being sentenced to a prison, in equal amounts compared as men?

Personal observations: The only changes feminists propose benefit women. The argument they state that your individual abilities and choices shouldn’t weight as much as your gender when it’s about a person getting to a favorable position doesn’t in their mind apply at all when it’s about a person getting to an unfavorable position.

Being good enough for a corporate board or bad enough for a prison are the two sides of one and the same coin, that coin being called Personal Choices and Capabilites.

3. Do the same arguments apply to other groups?

When a feminist proposes a change be made regarding equality in order to benefit women, does she disregard equal or stronger arguments to make similar changes to benefit other groups? For example, there’s a vast underrepresentation of blind people, of those who didn’t attend high school, and of short people in the boards of directors of publicly traded companies. However, no “egalitarian” feminist has ever proposed that the arguments that apply to forcing those seats to be handed to females on the basis of gender would apply to handing seats for example to short people.

Personal observations: Feminists’ proposals ignore all other groups except women. The arguments would equally strong (or weak) for hundreds of other groups. In other words, feminism is only a political agenda which has been more successful in its lying, or if you prefer a different term, lobbying, than other similar groups.

4. How does a feminist interpret reality?

Whenever a feminist interprets reality and statistics, which way does she typically interpret it? When regarding genders, do feminists’ interpretations divide in 50/50, as often in favor of men as for women? Mind you, here “in favor of men/women” is to be translated as “based on this interpretation, we should make a change that benefits men/women”.

Personal observations: Feminists, in other words people who have at some point started to believe the propaganda of previous feminists, are always looking for a way to see, and to persuade others to see, things in favor of women. I present to you the case of Erin Pizzey, who nearly paid with the life of her own and her children for disputing the feminist truth with her research:

In 1971, Pizzey opened the first battered wives shelter in England, which she ran until 1982. … Pizzey’s book “Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear” (1974, out of print) was one of the first to explore and expose wife battering.

Today, the shelter Pizzey founded denies her entry; her name does not appear in its official history.

Pizzey’s ‘mistake’ was to diverge from the theory of domestic violence that feminists at the time insisted dominate all discussion. She believed that men could also be the victims of domestic violence, and that women could be as violent toward their partners as men.

“Because of my opposition to the hijacking of the refuge movement, I was a target for abuse. Anywhere I spoke there was a contingent of screaming, heckling feminists waiting for me,” Pizzey wrote. “Abusive telephone calls to my home, death threats and bomb scares, became a way of living for me and for my family. Finally, the bomb squad, asked me to have all my mail delivered to their head quarters.”

One night, the family dog was killed.

The full article sheds further light on the lengths to which feminists have gone to decide what we should consider the truth.

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Why Criminalizing Prostitution Should Be Criminal

02 Oct 2012

Finnish sociologist Anna Kontula has made a study about prostitution in Finland, where prostitution is (nearly) as legal as it makes sense for me to be: buying from a victim of trafficking is illegal unless the buyer had absolutely no way to know that the worker wasn’t working voluntarily. Pimping is not allowed, which makes no sense according to Freakonomics research, but today we’ll focus on breaking a more harmful myth about sex work.

Trafficking in Sex Work is Virtually Non-Existent

Kontula interviewed many prostitutes and found out for example that the amount of trafficking victims in the field is virtually non-existent, making her wonder why the discussion on prositution is always turned to be about them.

Studies in other countries have revealed the same. Numerous researchers, Henry Laasanen as one of them IIRC, have reached the conclusion that the myth of a proportionally sizable amount of trafficking victims in sex work is mainly a political weapon of the general public of females and men who want to please that general public. There’s virtually zero truth in it and the proposed or passed laws intended to protect the voluntary sex workers have almost without exception harmed them.

Apparently that has been the aim all along: the “relationship deals” such as marriages that women can coerce men into are much more favorable to women when the supply of sex is lower (compare Russia to China for example). In other words, the attempts to direct the discussion towards trafficking are part of an self-centered political agenda.

Criminalize the right people

The worst thing we can do for voluntary sex workers (ie. practically all sex workers) is to criminalize any part of the voluntary transaction. One of the worst thing you can do for any part of a society is to criminalize them. When whatever you’re repeatedly doing is criminal for any reason, you’ll end up spending increasing amounts of your time with real criminals. I bet having more criminal friends increases the likelihood of turning to real criminal activities.

To criminalize anything there should be significant evidence that not criminalizing it would harm other people’s rights as for example with murder, theft or polluting. Criminalizing anything else is trampling other people’s rights and should be criminal in and of itself.

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Are mass shootings caused by feminism?

26 Jul 2012

Anatoly Karlin highlights a connection between mass shootings and male sexual frustration mentioning feminism as a cause for the latter. We dig in deeper to the issue.

Why feminism causes sexual frustration of males

  • Females commonly act towards limiting how much sex males have access to, because diminishing the supply increases the scarcity-derived value of their own offering. Even wearing a short skirt can provoke other females to start a hate-campaign.
  • Lack of sex causes depression in men (not so in women, for whom sex is generally a means to an end while for men it’s one of the ends).
  • Hypergamy (looking for a higher-status mate) is an overall female trait, and I’m not aware of it having much of an association with feminism, except that both are most common in females.
  • Feminism hates pick-up artists (PUAs). The badmouthing of PUAs is unfair as any other political propaganda – just look at how many of the most-sold magazines are all about how women can fare better in their relationships with men. Most people who know any PUAs say that every man should learn about it. Most likely the turned-violent young men never did, because getting caught with it would bring upon you the wrath of any feministically-motivated people around you (your mother, your intended girlfriend etc.). They likely tried to act nice and did as women told, steering clear of the information that could have helped them be less socially awkward.
  • Due to hypergamy, each time feminism succeeds in elevating females higher in the social hierarchy, at the same time it reduces the amount of desirable men. It also has an effect on the egos of males, who are faced with a prospect of working more than women while earning less and having less chances to get into their dream jobs of corporate boards. Combine ambition with diminished chances of achievement and you spell out increased frustration.

These are but a sprinkle of the ways in which feminism has, and continues to, increase the amount of sexually frustrated men. The sum effect of feminism in regard to the shootings is impossible to measure, and while so much taxpayer money is spent on funding women’s studies programmes and egalitarian anti-feminism is not in the vogue, it might take some time until we get some solid data.

Another possibility

Despite all the effects of feminism it’s nowhere near certain that it’s among the main causes of the mass shootings. It might just be that the turned-violent young men have been comparing themselves to so many successful playboy alphas both on the screen and in their neighborhoods that the prospect of marrying (and having first chance at sex) at the age of 40 feels unbearably unfair. Back in the days when everyone got married at roughly the same age, there were fewer people feeling cheated by the dealer in the game of human sexual selection.

Feminism might be part of the cause, but so might the sexual liberation.

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Why child labor is good

13 Jul 2012

There is nothing wrong with child labor per se. Think about it: why would there be? The answers people usually think of investments that are exclusive to what people in the developed countries can afford, for example prolonged studies to build up expertise. Something a starving nation can ill afford.

KISS: Keep It Situational, Stupid

The question is about what’s better for your family in different situations. Most Western people take an obnoxious stance that we know what is better for all family everywhere around the world regardless of the fact that our actions cause them to starve to death. No parent wants anything but the best for their children, but the egoistic Westerners believe that they’re somehow standing on a higher moral ground and they need to force empathy down the throats of the parents in developed countries.

In a certain situation, it indeed is better for your child to not to work before a higher age — in most all situations when affordable. The campaigns in the West to stop child labor in developing economies are, however, targeted against the poorest of people who are faced with a choice to either starve or start working around the age of 10. They’re not slaves, forced to work in conditions we find unacceptable for ourselves because we have so many better options. Instead they are exercising their ability to choose the best from all available options available to them.

Unintentional oppressors

Acts towards putting an end to ‘sweatshops’ are acts towards worsening the economic situation of the people who currently work at the ‘sweatshops’. That can be literally a mortal blow for some of the kids while also harming the whole of their society as a whole. ‘Sweatshops’ are better than what was the best available thing in developed countries 100 years ago. They’re a step on the economic ladder towards a higher standard of living, away from the verge of starvation. Anyone who is unconditionally against child labor is thus an oppressor, but hopefully only out of lack of information.

It’s mystifying that the above and several other points that Tim Harford illustrated so masterfully in his The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life aren’t taught in elementary school to everyone in the developed countries.

The parents know what’s best for their children better than most of us pale-skinned foreigners do.

A call to action

If you can’t make the world a better place by boycotting companies employing people in poor working conditions, there must be something you can do instead. Because boycotting child labor and sweatshops is bad, one of the best things to do is to put an end to the boycotts. The boycotts are born out of misinformation or lack of information, and the best cure to that is information.

Please tell in the comments below where you’ve spread the word by sharing this article.

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Product development and sexual success

11 May 2012

The success of businesses depends the most on two factors: the product itself and its marketing. You may be surprised to learn how much things are the same for the sexual success of us humans.

Product development or death

When a business is selling itself, it is proposing to trade what it has, which is one unit of its product, to what the customer has, money. The better the product, the more customers want it and the more they are willing to pay for. With a better product the company can either sell as many products with a higher price or sell more with the same price, both ways resulting in more of what it wants: money.

The number one reason why corporations rise and fall in size are successess and failures in product development. Google is the global number one in search engines with a huge margin, because it has for a long time delivered what users have wanted the most – relevant search results. McDonald’s has developed the hamburgers and the fast food experience that best responds to the desires of the biggest amount of customers, making them the most successful company in the field of fast food.

Marketing is #2

Both of these companies spend lots in advertising, McDonald’s in TV and print ads and Google in affiliate marketing – for example paying the Mozilla Foundation to have Google Search as the default search in their Firefox web browser.

But all the marketing in the world cannot prevent people from exercising their free choice to switch to a better product as soon as one exists. The switch doesn’t happen overnight, and that’s why Nokia still has the possibility for a comeback after the decline in their market share in smart phones that has lasted for years. But even if they make a comeback, their mistake in letting their competition get ahead in product development has already cost them billions of euros in lost business. If they continuously fail to offer something that is on par or better than the competition, they will shrink out of existence.

Sexual selection is the same as business

Any human’s success in sexual selection is most dependent on the product that the individuals themselves represent. In the heterosexual market the potential buyers are the members of the opposing gender.

Just as we are offering ourselves as the trophy, what we are looking for is another person. More literally, we offer the company of ourselves and the services we can provide as an exchange for the same from the other person.

Our product is ourselves, the way we behave and think and what we are capable of. Or marketing includes our choice of clothes, make-up and so forth. Mix these to match the desires of those who you want to want you. Just like with corporations, the results of marketing are shorter-lived than the results of developing your product.

A key to happiness is understanding that the best you can get is the best one who wants to get you.

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Fair Trade – A rip-off or not?

09 May 2012

Fair Trade organizations around the world have been criticized for being a rip-off exploiting the kindness of people. We found out, what’s the situation in 2012 in Finland.

Statistics revealed

During 2011 Finns spent 100 million euros in total in products under the Finnish Fair Trade brand, Reilu Kauppa. Reilu Kauppa reports having paid roughly one million euros of “Fair Trade extra” to the developing countries. In other words, one percent of the total price of the product has been paid for the the stated purpose.

One percent is an alarmingly low amount. The good news is that the percentage of the whole price of the product is not the most relevant issue. The key thing is how big a portion of the increase in price caused by the Fair Trade label goes to charity.

The Fair Trade portion of the price

Our own recollection was that 20 % of the price of a product carrying the Fair Trade label would be because of the label. If this was correct, only 5 % of the extra price paid by the consumer would reach its destination. 95 % would vanish somewhere along the way.

To find out the actual numbers, we decided to compare the prices of the most common Fair Trade product: bananas. A series of visits into the supermarkets in Helsinki center proved, that the recollection wasn’t far from the truth.

At its highest, 8 % of the price increase caused by the Fair Trade label went to charity. At its lowest, only slightly over one percent. In the latter case part of the increase in price was due to the organic production methods.

Where has your money gone

If you bought a hundred euros worth of Fair Trade bananas in Finland in 2011, you funded the activity of Fair Trade by approximately 13 to 16 euros. Of this 12 to 15 euros Fair Trade and other organizations kept themselves. One euro they paid to the developing countries.

More in terms of charity can be achieved by avoiding Fair Trade products and donating the saved money to charity.

Sources

The paid leaflet “Hyviä Uutisia! – Reilun kaupan äänenkannattaja” (Good News! – The fair trade proponent), Metro newspaper 7.5.2012

Prices were verified by in-store visits on 8.5.2012.

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Reilu Kauppa – rahastusta vai ei?

08 May 2012

Reilun Kaupan organisaatioita ympäri maailman on kritisoitu ihmisten hyväntahtoisuudella rahastamisesta. Selvitimme, pitääkö väite paikkansa Suomessa.

An English version of this article will be added shortly.

Tilastot julki

Vuonna 2011 suomalaiset käyttivät 100 miljoonaa euroa Reilu Kauppa -merkkisiin tuotteisiin. Reilun kaupan lisiä maksettiin kehitysmaihin noin miljoona euroa. Koko Reilun Kaupan tuotteiden ostossummasta on siis mennyt tarkoitukseensa yksi prosentti.

Hälyttävän vähän. Onneksi osuus kokonaishinnasta ei kuitenkaan ole oleellisinta. Merkittävintä on se, paljonko Reilun Kaupan tuotteen hintalisästä menee hyväntekeväisyyteen.

Reilun Kaupan osuus hinnasta

Muistikuva sanoo, että Reilun Kaupan merkillä varustetun tuotteen hinnasta 20 % tulisi tuotemerkistä. Mikäli tämä pitäisi paikkansa, kuluttajan maksamasta lisähinnasta vain 5 % menisi tarkoitukseensa. 95 % jäisi matkan varrelle.

Asia päätettiin varmistaa vertailemalla yleisimmän Reilun Kaupan tuotteen, banaanien, hintoja. Kierros Helsingin keskustan kaupoissa osoitti, että muistikuva ei ollut kaukana totuudesta.

Reilun Kaupan tuomasta hintalisästä enimmillään 8 % meni hyväntekeväisyyteen. Alimmillaan hintalisästä meni eteenpäin vain runsas prosentti. Tällöin osa hintalisästä johtui luomuviljelystä.

Mihin rahasi menivätkään

Mikäli ostit vuoden 2011 aikana sadalla eurolla Reilun Kaupan banaaneja, rahoitit Reilun Kaupan toimintaa noin 13-16 eurolla. Tästä 12-15 euroa Reilu Kauppa ja muut läntiset organisaatiot pitivät itse. Yhden euron he maksoivat kehitysmaihin.

Enemmän hyvää saa aikaan välttämällä Reilun Kaupan tuotteita ja lahjoittamalla näin säästetyn summan hyväntekeväisyyteen.

Tietolähteet

Ilmoitusliite “Hyviä Uutisia! – Reilun kaupan äänenkannattaja”, Metro-uutislehti 7.5.2012

Hinnat tarkistettu paikan päällä myymälöissä 8.5.2012.

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Why Gender Quotas Are A Bad, Bad Idea

11 Apr 2012

“What’s so scary about gender quotas”, asked a columnist in today’s business newspaper. She wasn’t joking, either: believe it or not, similar laws have already passed in Spain, Norway and France.

What the legislators in those countries and the proponents in other countries haven’t understood is that gender quotas in corporate boards are a bad, bad idea. They even the outcome, not the setting, and they mess with something vitally important: the economy.

Don’t Even the Outcome

Evening the outcome in a running competition would mean that despite everyone running at different speeds, the judge declares in the end that everyone ran the distance in exactly the same time. This is a total and equal evening of the outcome. Saying “you all deserve a gold medal just for participating” may be good for motivational purposes, like in a teambuilding exercise. When aiming to perceive the differences between participants, evening the outcome is the absolute last thing to do.

The outcome can also be evened partially and inequally. A racist evening of the outcome would be for example announcing that if the gold and silver medal in the 15 km run in the Olympics are won by a black person, the bronze has to be awarded to a white person.

That sounds unjust and doesn’t make much sense to most of us. However, laws now make the same mandatory by sexist criteria in the boards of corporations in Spain, Norway and France.

False Predicament

One core tool of feminist propaganda is spreading the view that women have been victimized and need to be compensated somehow. In this case by being awarded a minimum amount of seats on corporate boards. Here’s a comparison.

  • The feminist claim: “There being less women than men on corporate boards is caused by sexist discrimination against women.”
  • The truth: People make different choices based on their priorities.

For men, it’s more common to have a priority of obtaining career success and power, because throughout the evolution women have had a preference for men with ambition. For women it’s far more common to have raising children as a top priority. There are more men than women willing to put in all the hard work and sacrifices necessary to guarantee being the most competent one of the candidates for a corporate board of directors. There are more devoted moms than devoted dads.

If feminists were logical or even remotely concerned about equality, they would have also proposed gender quotas for prisons.

If Free Choice Combines With Sexism

The feminists are almost right about something, though. People do have a slight preference to work with people who are somewhat alike to them. As men have forever aspired to the helms of the corporate world and are thus the majority there, it may mean that the majority has a slight preference to working with men. That’s just guesswork, though. It could as well be that men would rather surround themselves with beautiful women.

Capitalism to the Rescue

Capitalism works for equality in this case. Any company that would choose its board members based on any other criteria than competence and the best combination of individuals would be at a disadvantage. Any sexist companies will likely shrink and go bankrupt while equalist companies grow larger and continue to hire more people.

If there is sexism in one company or even in all companies of one country, globalized capitalism fixes that so that the end result is gender-equal. Keep in mind, though, that these sorts of developments in society don’t happen overnight.

Don’t Mess With The Economy

Messing with the economy is dangerous business. Not just can it create inequality, as the proposed and sometimes passed gender quotas undoubtedly would or have already done. It can ruin a lot of lives. We live and breathe the economy and the companies are what keeps the economy ticking. To force corporate boards to be selected partially on a sexist basis means that the boards will make poorer decisions.

That means there will be less jobs. Everything good will happen less often. Everything bad will last longer and happen more often. A less than optimal board will not choose the best strategies. Companies will not be able to create the best products or the best service. Neither will they be as able to make the decisions that make the economic downshifts pass faster or occur less often.

Following any propaganda, feminist or otherwise, is a dangerous road.

What’s Next

Norwegian economy runs largely on oil income, making them a terrible comparison. Spain, which adopted the law in 2007, has a more usual economy. They have hit a new all time high in February 2012: 23.6 % of the whole country and 50.5 % of all younger than 25 are unemployed. Likely not caused by just one sexist law, but rather goes to tell that this law was likely only one of the misplaced acts of the government.

France has approved a similar law in 2011 with a six-year adjustment period for the companies. The near future may not be the best time to buy shares of French companies with international competitors.

Sources

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/France-sets-quota-for-women-on-big-companies-board-D3S8W

http://www.datosmacro.com/en/unemployment/spain

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Tabloid vs. theory: Are submissive men happier in their relationships?

16 Mar 2012

Men who are submissive towards their spouses are happier in their relationships, according to a study by University of Iowa. The claim was made by National Examiner, a U.S. tabloid quoted by a Finnish gossip website.

While the original research was not available, we can still learn something surprising from the claim by analyzing it in light of current social theories. The claim is that heterosexual men, who let their spouse be the boss in the relationship when it comes to everyday affairs, end up arguing less often and enjoy happier marriages.

Partner preference contradicts the study

The claim seems controversal, when one remembers that women prefer dominant men as their partners. However, dominance can come in many forms, and can affect life outside the relationship rather than the relationship itself. Another reason why the female preference to dominance in men might not make the claim dubious is that the vast majority of men are not dominant. Most of the relationships in the population are between a woman and a non-dominant man.

Men and women have different causes of happiness

As the study is about happiness about a relationship, the key is not the preference for a partner but the causes of happiness in a relationship. These are different for men and women. According to another study, the two factors that had the most effect on men’s happiness toward a relationship were the beauty and young age of their partner. Other factors weighed far less in importance. As a stark contrast, one of the most important causes for happiness in a relationship for women were the partner’s sacrifices for the benefit of the relationship.

Because the setup of dominance in a relationship is mainly caused by the balance of the sexual market value of the partners, this has profound implications. All other factors being equal, the partner with a lower sexual market value can compensate by putting more effort into the relationship. Whether that is the woman or the man may just make the difference the study has reported.

Attractiveness is a small number

In the following example, partners have sexual market values on a scale of 1 to 10, where bigger number denotes a partner more desired by the opposite sex. Famous, good-looking and rich actors are among the most desired partners and would rank at 10, while the vast majority of the population would be considered to be somewhere around 5.

  1. A man with a sexual market value of 6 meets a woman with a sexual market value of 5. The woman compensates by putting more effort into the relationship, letting the man call the shots in daily affairs and otherwise offering him the favorable position in the relationship – so much so, that it feels roughly good enough for him that he doesn’t mind that her other qualities are not the best thing he could get. Now, in the eyes of each other, they feel that they are in an acceptable relationship for staying together. His sexual market value of 6 is matched by her value of 5 + sacrifices worth of 1.
  2. A man with a sexual market value of 5 meets a woman with a sexual market value of 6. The man compensates the same way as the woman of the previous example did. Now in her eyes, he brings 5 + 1 = 6 to the table, which matches her sexual market value of 6.

Truth in a tabloid?

According to the current social theories, the second couple may be happier, because the man values her beauty and youth more than having dominance in the relationship, and the woman values his sacrifices towards the relationship more than most of his other attributes.

A cause of arguments

The preferences mentioned above can be indirect causes of arguments in a relationship, if the woman tries to better her “relationship deal” by getting her partner to do more sacrifices. A woman once told me she had nearly caused the end of her marriage by behaving badly towards her husband for months. For the life of her she couldn’t find any reason for having done that. Luckily her eyes opened before the relationship was beyond repair and they were able to recover from the situation. They are now a happy, loving couple, and treat each other with care and respect.

A word of caution

Even if the statistics wouldn’t lie, they can easily mislead. The study and most of this article concentrated on the situation when the other partner needs to compensate by submission. The happiest relationships are likely among two equals who don’t feel the other person owes more to the relationship than the other.

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Feminist Propaganda Awards

29 Dec 2011

An article claims to list “the worst, most insulting, and simply bizarre quotes about women” of 2011. A good example in how many misleading feminist messages it is possible to fit in a single piece of writing.

Here are some awards to celebrate propaganda gone wrong: Read the rest of this entry »