Thought for the Moment - Feminism as a "Protected Group"
But should feminists be classified as a "protected group", as one might classify a race, religion or ethnicity? And at the risk of sounding bizarre, should there be hiring quotas or scholarships just for feminists?
Let us consider a different example, that of the Ku Klux Klan. Certainly the KKK qualifies as a cultural tradition, having been transmitted through several generations. (The same may be said of National Socialism or Italian Fascism, both of which are still around today.) But should the KKK be classified as a "protected group", as one might classify a race, religion or ethnicity? And at the risk of sounding bizarre, should there be hiring quotas or scholarships just for KKK members?
Very well, if you insist that the KKK should enjoy zero status as a protected group then I would assert, for consistency, that feminism should enjoy no better. The KKK and feminism are both cultural traditions - and either both of them deserve protected status, or neither of them do. I will not be swayed by arguments that feminism should be a protected group because it is allegedly "good", while the KKK should enjoy no such protection because it is allegedly "bad".
Thus, if it be admitted under law that so-called hate speech against feminism is possible, I would insist that it be equally admitted under law that such speech against the KKK is possible. And if what I have just proposed sticks in the craw of any reader, I will settle for abolishing the concept of hate speech, under law, altogether.
In practice, it is well-nigh impossible to angrily call out people for their bad behavior without stepping over a fine line into "hate speech" territory. "Death to tyrants!" is the original hate speech, and being such a horribly hateful chap myself, I endorse that sentiment with all my heart. So let fly with ALL manner of speech, I say! Love speech, hate speech - it's all good, so bring it on! And may the best man win.
I would like to touch upon the question whether feminism might be considered a "religion". We know that "religious groups" are among those protected by hate speech laws, but we should consider the status of feminism in our supposedly "secular" social order. If you espouse any flavor of liberal-humanist secularism and yet by some stretch consider feminism a "religious group" (hence protected) you would wrestle with a core philosophical conflict. And why? Because if feminism should happen to violate the spirit of secularism - say, by breeching church-state separation, or behaving intolerantly - you would be bound to call it out for this, wouldn't you? Depending on the case, you might be bound to do so rather harshly. Even, dare I say it, intolerantly? Well just imagine the hot water that would get you into!
Personally, while admitting that feminists effectively consider themselves a kind of "church", I would adamantly deny them the legal status of a religion. Hence, they would get none of the protection that a religion would get. That sounds about right to me.