If anyone needed a crash course in acrimony, the recent controversy over the Canadian Blog Awards may be just the ticket.
Long story short, various feminist blogs have demanded the establishment of a feminist blog category, and have become quite outraged that they didn't get their way.
Perhaps what is most disheartening is the fact that these feminists were offered an opportunity to accept various compromises, including the establishment of a "men's issues" category. That suggestion, in particular, was rebuffed with regard as such:
"This whole but “what about the menz” argument is absolute bullshit. “Mens rights” organizations are not about helping men preserve their rights, they’re about maintaining privileges that allow them to treat women as second class citizens and get away with it. And that’s just as bad as being a racist in my book."The undue denegration of masculinism
aside, the argument essentially boils down as follows: "we feminists deserve recognition on our terms, and our terms alone."
Considering that "their terms" clearly include denying similar recognition to others who may or may not want it says some very unfortunate things about the particular individuals involved. It's hard to credit such a relatively small group of people with speaking for all feminists, but it's certainly indicative of what these particular individuals think feminism stands for.
There once was a time when feminism was promoted as encouraging the reconceptualization of gender roles for both women and men. While this may or may not render any percieved need for a "men's issues" or "masculinist" category at the Canadian Blog Awards, the idea that feminists would reject it outright -- dismissing it as sexist simply because it deals men expresses a very unsettling attitude. The fact that they think the Canadian Blog Awards should institutionalize this attitude, and are so outraged when it won't, is more unsettling still.
Yet more unsettling than that is the suggestion, raised by a predictable source that Canadians with conservative political beliefs shouldn't even be allowed to participate:
"In the nuttiest of nutshells, SB, the CBAs were bound to collapse for one painfully simple reason -- you were going to allow Canada's conservatives to participate. And as I will explain in horrific detail, that was the fatal flaw since, quite simply, anything those people touch turns to shit. Every time. Without exception. As you have now learned.As it turns out, Cynic and his ilk want to use the freeping of the Beaver's "Worst Canadian" poll as a test case for excluding conservatives from the Awards.
There is a reason that Canada's wingnuts shouldn't be allowed near anything of value, and that's because they will wreck it every time, and the CBAs are no exception. Most of us -- the sane ones -- will look at something like the CBAs and think, "Cool. A way to recognize and reward the creme de la creme of the blogosphere." And we would proceed accordingly. So far, so good.
The wingnut contingent, on the other hand, would look at the CBAs and think, "Cool. A way to ram our political and ideological agenda down everyone's throat through carefully-choreographed and relentless freeping." See the difference, SB? Because that's (kind of) what happened here."
As it turns out, Left-wingers have engaged in their share of freeping as well. Add to this the pro-abortion freeping of the Great Canadian Wish list (even as anti-abortion activists also freeped it), and the obvious freeping in favour of getting Stephen Harper on the "Worst Canadian" list as well, and it seems that Canada's left-wingers are no less guilty of the "cardinal sin" of freeping as their opponents.
(Truth hurts, get a fucking helmet.)
So, then, in the end, what does it all boil down to? Maybe that Canadian Cynic has spent the last two months pouting over his inability to propel the Galloping Beaver to a win in the 2007 Weblog awards. Also, that some feminists seem to think they're entitled to dictate the terms under which debate over gender can take place.
In the end, however, one has to feel bad for the awards' organizers, considering the amount of abuse they've been absorbing for nothing more than refusing to acquiesce to the demands of the wrong group of self-interested people.