I have only recently become acquainted with the name Chanty Binx, and yes, I know that I am late on the draw with this one. The fiasco at a University of Toronto men's right activist (MRA) lecture happened some time ago, though the ripples still quiver across the metaphorical pond. It is said that Binx is currently in hiding due to the egregious backlash she experienced online. Her hiding is proof that even the tiniest noise can cause an avalanche, if the conditions are right.
Coming in at the game well past half-time, I figured that it was important to verse myself on what Binx said at the U of T rally, including the notorious viral video. I sat back at my computer and found that the video was nearly unwatchable. It made my skin crawl, and not because of the men who were attending the event, but because of Binx.
I don't think it's a secret that I am a feminist. Some of my own previous literature has experienced a measure of heat from the MRA and pic-up artist community in the past, so I do feel for this woman who the internet dubbed "Big Red." It can be difficult to charge into battle and find yourself with more than one proverbial, internet-inducing scar. But having said that, I was personally appalled by the way Binx handled her views in the video.
Chanty Binx bullied her way through a debate without the integral aspect of a debate -- the voice of the opposing side. She demanded that each opponent "shut the f*** up" before they were even able to speak to their point, shouting out every view with a fire and fury that would have made a Shakespearean tragic hero shake in his boots. The MRAs criticized her by calling her rant "abusive" and claiming that she exhibited "all the worst behaviours of a 13 year old boy." Dare I say that I actually agree with this critique?
Unfortunately, Chanty Binx' impassioned rant outside the MRA lecture displays everything wrong with the concept of modern feminism. It's the childish temper tantrums, the causeless wildfire, the name-calling and the abusive labeling that is frequently attributed to the feminist name. It's all of the insanity and none of the cure. Above all things, Binx' rant displays the most depressing aspect to the discrediting of the feminist cause: they are no better than the patriarchy that they aim to take down.
There is a reason why everyone in a restaurant ignores the screaming child in the booth. Reason is simply not attributed to someone who is being unreasonable. Respect, trust and change can't be achieved if one voice is seeking to drown out every other. This kind of attitude makes everyone forget the heart of the issue: that women are seeking EQUALITY, not superiority.
Feminism needs to be practical. It's not about women becoming another breed of men, or becoming better than men, or destroying the positive things that men do for the world. Instead, feminism is about respect: having the same respect for a woman that you would for a man, standing against the violence that some women experience at the hands of their male counterparts and the importance of seeing a woman as a person. Absolutely none of this can happen unless the matter is approached with RESPECT.
I'll be honest. I'm not crazy about the idea of some of these men getting together and having a talk about how our society needs to go back to using traditional gender roles. But the fact remains that as long as they are not practicing or encouraging violence, they do have a right to talk about it. Not all men are violent, and not all women are angry. Each gender has the right to be heard, whether we all agree or not. It appears as though Binx chose to ignore that and jumped the gun on any possible harmful aspect of the lecture.
Chanty Binx' approach to her views may be distasteful, but it is absolutely no excuse for the rape and death threats that have caused her to go into hiding. That's the avalanche. Just because Binx is obnoxious does not mean that she should have her safety threatened. Sadly though, this is where the issue comes full circle, and Binx' fervor against patriarchal society wills itself into manifestation. The extremity is truly awful, and respect is thrown out the window on both sides of the debate. And it's gut-wrenching to see that in this case, Binx may have been right after all.
History tells tales of battles that are fought without the soldiers even knowing what they're fighting for. In the case of the modern feminist, it is crucial that we don't become enamored of bloodshed and remind ourselves of what we are trying to do.
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