Losing an argument with a feminist? Here's your bingo card!

Losing an argument with a feminist? We’ve got you covered.

It’s all here: “Die in a fire,” misquoting Andrea Dworkin, something-something “phobe,” “pearl-clutcher,” and so-forth. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.


Jess Martin
Jess Martin

Jess Martin is a public relations professional, an aspiring writer, and an assistant editor at Feminist Current. She prefers to write about feminist topics, disability, or environmental issues, but could be persuaded to broaden her horizons in exchange for payment and/or food. In her spare time Jess can be found knitting, gardening, or lying in the fetal position, mulling over political theory that no one in their right mind cares about.

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  • Hilla


  • purple sage

    OMG I’ve heard all of these so many times. I can actually hear specific people saying these things when I read them.

  • Sylvia Black

    1.Tell them you don’t identify with your structural privilege, or oppression

    2. [Something,something] “narrative”

    3.Start envisioning a large pencil eraser removing you from existence, then insist everyone else see it too. Mass eraser-panic ensues.

    4. Threaten to kill yourself

    • hartjangling

      5. ________-shaming or _______-phobic

    • Zhang He

      This is awesome, I would add:

      * When presented with a real question you either don’t understand, or have no true counter argument for, *derail* the thread by any means possible;
      Play the victim olympics. Talk about suicide rates in your peer group, and how suicide is important. Sure it isn’t even remotely on topic, but be outraged how they aren’t listening to your suicide statistics (a do not use any citations.). They don’t care about people DYING omg start tweeting how they callously triggered your bpd/anxiety/depression/OCD/bipolar/ptsd/alopecia ! #bigot #ableist

      * If they demand citations or proof from you to back up your statements, accuse them of white privilege (doesn’t matter if they aren’t white) and tell them it’s not your job to prove your points, and you aren’t going to do a crazy bigots dirty work.

      *if more than one person starts to realize you in fact, have no true proof or statistics to back up your accusations, and you have attempted all of the above, as a last resort “Abandon Thread”. Stop replying and take to Twitter to tell the world why this person is *still* “-phobic -shamer”.

  • liza

    I think this is a riot. I love the idea. yay. But here’s my confusion: many of those tactics have been used against me – or my colleagues – by women who consider themselves feminists. “Moral Panic” “pearl clutcher” “victorian” and “allegiance to republicans”are the all “thought terminating cliches” that can work from kind feminist to another kind of feminist. So, I would love to see two bingo cards, one used by one kind of feminist against another. And one for conversation stopping phrases or concepts used by non feminists against feminists in general. I know it’s more work than you probably have time to do.

    Anyway…I found it hilarious.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Lyndsay Kirkham’s fav thing to talk about on twitter is ‘pearl-clutching’ man-haters (i.e. BAD ANTI BONER FEMINISTS), yet she seems to have deluded herself into believing she is a feminist… https://twitter.com/Lyndsay_Kirkham/status/595679796568432640

      • “pearl-clutching” and “man-hater” don’t even work together as stereotypes. The first evokes bourgeois ladies who lunch, the latter them angry, hairy dykes on bikes (not that there is anything wrong with that!)

  • Rosie

    you missed out “baseless accusations of racism” – any criticism of the sex industry, pornography, boy/girl brains, anything at all really, and white people (especially men) accuse feminists of being racist, then ignore and trivialise women of colour who make the exact same critiques.

    • Anna

      Rosie, this is telling: I only read seven words into your comment when I started to list in my head the things that get one labelled a racist or white feminist: – being anti-porn
      – being pro prostitution abolition
      – arguing that gendered/lady brains do not exist
      – critiquing choosey-choice arguments
      – being sex-negative

      Isn’t it funny we basically came up with the same list.

      • But isn’t “sex-negative” their term? Meaning being against exploitative sex and sexual exploitation?

        • Anna

          I’ve seen radical feminists classify themselves as sex-negative feminists and I think Meghan may have even used it before? But that is what I meant by using it – being against sexual exploitation/pressured into sex/having to always be enthusiastic about anything related to sex/never being allowed to criticize anything related to sex…

        • Anna

          ie. Being critical of these things/being sex-negative gets you labelled racist. (Certainly I don’t see feminists arguing from a sex-positive stance getting labelled as racists…)

  • Lotus

    You forgot another one of their favourite words: AGENCY! They have it and we deny it.

    • Yea unfortunately I have to agree there, “agency” and “choice” definitely need to be on that card. But maybe that would just make it too easy… 🙂

      • Oceans

        Agency really is that center spot. Just so ubiquitous that it’s already given in every case. Lol.

  • Ellesar

    ‘Ugly’, ‘hairy’, ‘dyke’ – often all three at once. Really poor at actually causing offence as being a lesbian is nothing to be ashamed of, not removing body hair is a positive choice, and ugly is such a subjective term – being called ugly by misogynist shitheads is utterly meaningless.

    • Ugly isn’t really all that subjective: any woman who doesn’t look enough like a porn star is “ugly”. These people think beauty (and all other forms of patriarchal compliance) is the only thing that matters about a woman, so failing to be beautiful and submissive for them is the ultimate crime.

  • hak

    what’s “evolutionary biology”? is that the “biology is essentialist” concept?

    • Anna

      Evolutionary biology is a whole category of biology that tries to attribute the way things are today to how they must have been in the past – ie. women like pink because we were gatherers in the past and must have picked lots of berries.
      (Completely ignoring that women = pink is a fairly new concept, only the last hundred years or so has it been associated with women/femininity.)

      It really is that asinine. I mean there are certain applications that might actually be useful to us – such as the paleo diet – but a lot of it gets misused/abused and isn’t even really science. Someone more knowledgeable than me can offer more insight.

      • I think the term you should have used is “evolutionary psychology”. Evolutionary biology is a legitimate science under attack by reactionaries (specifically creationists.) It is based on fossils, DNA trends, observable organism traits, etc. Evolutionary psychology is based on guesswork and makes claims that are impossible to test or observe and just happen to reinforce dominant viewpoints and systems (e.g. capitalism, male dominance, racism, etc.)

        And pink began to be associated with girls/women after World War II, before then it was associated with males and before then (i.e. before the 1900s) colours were not believed to have genders.

        There are many MRA and liberal feminist “arguments” that could be added to the diagram. I think it is a little repetitive (bringing up body hair is a subset of picking on women’s appearances), but it does highlight the nastiness of the pro-pornography side (who supposedly have not been influenced by their regular viewing of violent, degrading images in the slightest), including supporters of pornography who claim to be feminist.

        • Thanks IR! As a professional evolutionary biologist I was ready to jump in irately, but you clarified it.

          As for the pink business, in the Middle Ages everything had genders, including colors. Men were of course active energetic sexual blah blah blah, so, again of course, red and shades of red like pink expressed masculinity. Women were passive, cool (in the sense of unaroused, waiting), night, dark, and so on. So their color was blue. I am not making this up.

          What does it prove? That people can make up a story about anything. And then convince themselves the sun shines out of their asses.

          That’s why the scientific method has been such a huge contribution to humanity. It tells you that’s not the sun shining and have to start over.

          • Yes, thankfully there is a limit to how much bullshit you can get away with in science, pity the same is not true for the social “sciences” (at least not at the moment.)

            “As for the pink business, in the Middle Ages everything had genders, including colors. Men were of course active energetic sexual blah blah blah, so, again of course, red and shades of red like pink expressed masculinity. Women were passive, cool (in the sense of unaroused, waiting), night, dark, and so on. So their color was blue. I am not making this up.”

            I am familiar with this argument, but I thought this was the case from around 1900 – 1945 and that before then pink and blue were considered gender neutral. That’s what this article (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-pink-1370097/?no-ist) claims.

            “The march toward gender-specific clothes was neither linear nor rapid. Pink and blue arrived, along with other pastels, as colors for babies in the mid-19th century, yet the two colors were not promoted as gender signifiers until just before World War I—and even then, it took time for popular culture to sort things out.”

            I don’t want to give the impression that I am endorsing the article by the way. The line “every generation brings a new definition of masculinity and femininity” kind of makes me cringe. Things have not really changed that much, if anything each generation’s definition of masculinity is more violent and horrific than the last and each generation’s definition of femininity is more superficial and subordinate.

          • IR, the Smithsonian is usually pretty good, so it surprises me a bit that they missed the ancient history. But maybe that was outside the scope of the article. It sounds like time starts in Victorian England?

            One of my side interests in biology was and is ethnobotany. As part of that I did some work on the use of roses in the Middle Ages and also quite a bit with European herbals from the Dark Ages through to the early Renaissance. Everything, everything, was gendered. And, yes, as lagatta says, notice Mary always in blue.

            (Actually, I’m not sure about it being expensive. Blue colors were made using indigo, which was one of the cheapest dyes. Hence work clothes and jeans being blue. Or did they use something else in ancient Palestine?)

          • Oceans

            There were other sources of blue dye in the ancient middle east. I know there was a tiny crustacean driven to extinction for its role in making a specific blue dye.

          • corvid

            Religious icon painting incorporated the use of Ultramarine blue which was actually very expensive/scarce, akin to gold. That’s the main reason it was often used on Mary’s garments, to signify her importance in the Christian narrative. (Not that this has anything to do with feminism, just though I would share!)

          • The original blue pigment used by medieval painters was made of crushed lapis lazuli and VERY expensive.


            an artist.


          • And the Blessed Virgin Mary was always decked out in blue (which would have been very expensive for a woman of the people in ancient Palestine, but a good fairy story).

            Many Catholic girls were “dedicated to the BVM” and also decked out in blue.

        • Anna

          Sorry; you are correct the more accurate term is evolutionary psychology/evo-psych.

      • Anna

        Magdalene’s comment below (May 18th, 2015 at 7:56 pm) actually includes a link to the study I spoke of regarding women being gatherers and women liking/preferring pink: http://boingboing.net/2010/01/11/whats-wrong-with-evo.html
        So thanks for that, Magdalene!

      • Lucky Nickel

        Red was the color designated for boys and blue was the color designated for girls until after WWII. Even during the 1970’s my bikes were blue while my brothers’ bikes were red.

        Why? It has to do with ppl who see auras. Which is where we get sayings like “red with anger” or “green with envy.” PPL who see auras can actually see these colors hovering above ppl’s heads – sort of like a mood ring. I personally don’t have this ability, but everyone in my family does.

        It is now easy to see why red was designated for boys. Red = anger. Males commonly have issues with anger, rage, and violence. Blue = calm, peaceful. Females are more commonly associated with being calm and peaceful rather than violent.

        So what does pink mean? Pink is associated with females in estrus. When girls wear pink, they may as well wear a sign which signals to boys that they want to have sex. It’s disturbing to say the least. Any coincidence that pink became the color for girls when the porn industry got the green light and began saturating society? Except I don’t believe in coincidences.

        Needless to day, I avoid the color pink like the plague.

        • Yes. It is in astrology, too. Mars’ color is red, Venus is green and opalescent in the East. But even nowadays, in India, monks wear pink clothes. Pink clothes mean strict celibacy. For males.

  • hak

    Ah, and don’t forget cultural relativism like: “since two spirits exists, your definition of what a woman is, is essentialist colonialist imperialist racist, your science is western and fake” or “misogyny only exists in western countries”.

    • Anna

      Or the alternative to misogyny only exists in western countries: white/western women don’t face misogyny/discrimination at all, because “it’s worse somewhere else/over there.”

  • Noanodyne

    Let’s see, just from the last week:
    – You 2nd wavers are stuck in the past
    – You need to get more educated about feminism
    – You must be old [since you’re anti-pornstitution and gender critical – ageism is perfectly rational if the person really is “old”]

    And a big resounding agreement about being accused of racism – very popular tactic right now.

    • Oceans

      I love the assumption that if you disagree with me, you must not be sufficiently educated. Ugh! They never stop to think that maybe I disagree with them because I have educated myself.

  • Tealpea

    Not all men!

    • Priscila

      This one has to be inside the red star in the middle!!!

  • Jacqueline

    1. Dismissing everything you say as “White Feminism”.

    2. “Check your privilege!”

    3. My personal favourite, “Check your cis female privilege!”

    4. “You’re a prude!” “You’re sexually frustrated.”

    5. And, of course, the lovely ageism of third wavers, “You’re old and out of touch!”

    Ah, good times.

  • Wendy Bo Bendy

    Tell them to “do the research” (MRA)

  • Magdalene
    • Anna

      If evo-psych has ever been used in a way that was NOT blatantly supporting the current structures of oppression, my eyes have not seen it.

  • Jacqueline

    Thought of some more when I was in the shower.

    6. “You’re triggering me! You’re violating my safe space.”

    7. “You’re going to lose your male allies.” (as if I care)

    8. And, of course, the best/worst of them, “TERF!” “SWERF!”

    • Priscila

      I’m laughing really hard at the “male allies” one because it’s so typical. I’ve heard that one *so many times*. Men *really* think this is a threat. They really think THAT much of themselves. They really think we’re going to do anything to “keep them” in the movement like a dutiful wife would do to keep her man. HAHAHAHAHA

  • Kristin

    1. “You’re saying that because Feminists hate men and I’m man”

    2. “Check your privilege!”

    3. “You must be a bitter lesbian”

    4. “No man will want you”

    Wonderful world.

  • derrington

    Dont forget sexist as well, am always hearing that one when talking about male violence on women and children.

  • I’ve read pretty much all of these (except “ugly” and “Dworkin” – but other radical theorists were mentioned) just recently at babble.

  • Karina

    Don’t forget the following: “You are a puritan!!!”

  • corvid

    – Suddenly become obsessed with equality, but only insofar as it concerns assigning *equal blame* to women for injustices of which men comprise the vast majority of perpetrators. Equality!

  • Let’s not forget the following things
    1) Why don’t feminists care about Boko Haram? 1st world women don’t need feminism
    2) Don’t fight hate with hate!
    3) But but but I’m RECLAIMING the words ‘bitch’ and ‘slut’.
    4) We must save Muslim women! Free the nipple! Take of the hijab!
    5) Why can’t you be nicer when talking about your oppression? You’re not being ‘civil’.(And when we are civil they take it to be a weakness of ours)
    7) I’m a polysexual otherkin transracial bisexual polyglot udhaisdhaisdoiasd

    • Morag

      “I’m a polysexual otherkin transracial bisexual polyglot udhaisdhaisdoiasd”

      Oh yeah? Well, I’m all of that, plus I can’t eat wheat. Also, I am irony-impaired. So there! If you criticize or challenge me, you’re not only a prudish racist, and a white-feministic sex-negativist, but a cereal grain-supremacist and ableist as well.

      • This is particularly what is defanging feminism. Outsiders look and see indecisiveness and division, which contributes to its uselessness and then they laugh at the movement and say it’s a big fucking joke and they are not threatened by it. Neoliberalism and identity politics is reducing the cohesion and unity in feminism and these two things are what made feminism so powerful in the first place. When you’re fighting a war you need cohesion and unity to succeed and these two things are being taken away from feminism which is dividing our ranks and making us confused. Meanwhile the oppressors keep on doing what they’ve always done and we are here bickering like so many fucking idiots

        • dandelion

          When you’re fighting a way you also need an understanding of power. This is what drives me crazy about what passes for the left these days and what passes for feminism — there seems to be no understanding of power. We’re somehow just supposed to get people to “think the right way” or “feel the right way” on some moral basis and voila — change will happen. It’s the complete inversion of the idea that the personal is the political. If we all just “act” the right way personally, somehow that has political ramification. When it doesn’t. I’m old enough to remember when “the personal was the political” meant that personal issues could only be solved through political action. Political action means the wielding of power The wielding of power necessitates defining who’s with you and who’s against you. It means understanding and engaging in conflict, because there are real, concrete assets at stake. It just appalls me how fuzzy-brained liberals, leftists and third wave feminists are about this issue. Though it’s certainly very comfortable to be that fuzzy-brained. If you don’t understand conflict and don’t see an enemy, you never have to actually risk yourself in the fight.

    • MotherBear84

      Ha ha, so much yes! Here’s what I thought when I read that:

      #1, “Why don’t feminists care about my DERAILMENT TACTICS?! Quick, look over there!”
      #2, when I hear it, makes me sigh and want to beg the person (MAN) to please go ACTUALLY study any and all liberation movements EVER.
      #3, WT actual F?!?!?! And (ok here’s some ageism maybe) why is this the kind of thing always said by teenagers?
      #4, when said by men is often accompanied by the literal effort to do exactly that last thing in my personal experience.
      #5, we can’t win, I fucking give up.
      #6, so goddamn offensive to anyone who actually has suffered oppression and/or PTSD, makes me want to slap whoever says it.
      #7, in all seriousness, because I have literally no idea, what is “otherkin”? I have not ever heard that term… heh, at first I thought you’d written “gherkin”, like the pickle! I assume the last bit was just random keyboard-tapping tho?

  • Australiopithecene

    “Feminism is about equality, isn’t it? for everyone?”

  • Magdalene

    It’s her choice, you’re anti-sex/Puritans,

    For the prostitution arguments: listen to the sex workers, prostitution is just like working at McDonald’s, are you going to abolish mining, boxing or police work, there is no violence and/but if you don’t decriminalize the many murders are on you, and finally there are no underage prostitutes

    • We have (finally) abolished asbestos mining here in Québec. The use of that carcinogen has been outlawed in pretty much all the developed world for years, but it was still being exported to places like India where building workers would use it with no safety gear whatsoever.

      And yes, I DO care about the mainly male workers in asbestos plants in Québec and building sites in India. So there.

      I’m an ecosocialist and there are a lot of economic sectors we’d like to see abolished because they are socially or environmentally harmful or the danger can’t be remedied. Of course private car production would need to be converted to public transport vehicles, bicycles etc for a carfree society, but there are other sectors such as weaponry and even advertising. A long time ago, workers facing shutdown of a military plant in the UK proposed many socially-useful goods (such as mobility devices for disabled people) their plant could produce.

  • Lee

    A new one is the ‘men going their own way’ response. It’s pretty funny because it’s supposed to be a threat — “Well, us men will just leave you women alone, then!” YAY!

  • Karina


    “You are a prude!”
    “You are uptight!”
    “You are a conservative!”
    “You are a reactionary!”
    “You are in bed with the Christian right!”
    “You are a police feminist!”
    “You are a carceral feminist!”
    “You want censorship!”
    “You hate sex!”
    “You hate men!”
    “You hate dicks!”
    “You are old!”
    “You are ugly!”
    “You are frigid!”
    “You are pro-Bush!”
    “You hate sex workers!”
    “You are pushing sex workers underground!”
    “You are responsible for violence against sex workers!”

    • Actually I am pro-bush, but not the warmongering half-witted pol… Just because I dislike brazilians, and I don’t mean Dilma Roussef.