That’s actually a big complaint of ours: we see a lot of people making very wide claims as to the issues feminism deals with, but when pressed for specifics they usually come up empty. Next comes the mental gymnastics, which generally involves attempts to show that single-mindedly targeting women’s issues will indirectly solve everything else (eventually, maybe) so they don’t need specifics. Feminism “helps men,” for example, not through actual advocacy or action related to men’s issues, but by “fighting patriarchy” through direct advocacy and action on women’s issues which will, since all gender issues come from patriarchy, eventually solve all of men’s issues as well.
Yes, it’s precisely as ridiculous and convoluted as it sounds.
Imagine, if you will, a group dedicated to cancer research which exclusively targets colon cancer. Come prostate cancer awareness month, they paper the town with flyers saying, “please give us money to cure prostate cancer!” When someone eventually asks “so, what prostate cancer initiatives are you working on?” they answer “none, actually, but since we’re working on curing colon cancer and colon cancer is part of cancer we’re curing cancer, and since prostate cancer is also cancer we’re curing prostate cancer by curing cancer by curing colon cancer.” If that last sentence leaves you scratching your head a bit, that’s the point. (Incidentally, that analogy is a great response to any advocates using similar reasoning, partly because cancer is a lot less politicized than most social issues.)
When distilled down to the basics, it’s pretty easy to see the argument for what it is: textbook equivocation.
As for Gail Dines, this just about says it all. We weren’t much impressed either.