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This is an epiphany that I had. Well at least it’s a really good Idea that explains a lot. I’m not sure if it’s best described as a theory, paradigm, or logical fallacy. The idea it’s self is very simple. A common flaw in thinking is that there is only one agent/actor/player. At any given time there can only be one person or group with agency. For any given event only on person or group can be actors. Everyone else is by default objects. This is very clearly a flawed perception. Phrased this way, it makes the flaw apparent.

This type of thinking is seen in many places and reinforced in many ways. The simple act of communication is limited. When talking about anything, language is limited. We are only capable of talking about one group or an individual at a time. We talk about this group’s agency, and for the purpose of properly describing their agency we treat everyone else as objects. It is a very small step from ignoring the agency to asserting there is no agency.

This concept is reinforced by many very common activities. Most games are turn based. Chess is a great example. In chess it is either my turn, I am in control, I can move or It is your turn. You can move, you can act. Only one person has agency.  Only one person has agency at a time but both people play a part in determining the others agency by how they move their pieces, so while it is true that one person is an agent at a time the other persons agency is what gives that person their agency(white moves giving black certain possible movement therefore determining blacks agency by whites move).

This is not limited to feminism. This is not an aspect of feminism. It does illuminate much of what feminism talks about. Look at patriarchy Theory. Patriarchy Theory is the foundation of feminism. The single agent fallacy is the foundation of Patriarchy theory. Patriarchy Theory only works if women have never been agents. It only works if you look at reality through the paradigm of single agents. Patriarchy theory only holds water if women where not manipulating and using men at the same time men where manipulating and using women. It needs to be directional to work.

This single agent fallacy is also the foundation for “Victim-Blaming”. There is only the possibility of one person having agency. If you assert that the victim had agency, then you are also asserting that the rapist did not. Saying that the victim, not the rapist is the only actor would be horrible. Saying that the rapist was an object acted upon by the victim just does not make sense. Filtering assertions of agency through the lens of single agent theory makes the assertions look like unbridled filth and hate.

To every one I’ve argued Victim-Blaming with, I’m sorry. I wasn’t understanding you. I’m still right, and your still wrong. It is for very different reasons than I thought. It’s not stupidity or man hate. It’s not really because you objectify women. It’s because you understand things in terms of single agent concept. The very words to properly address you didn’t even exist (as far as I know) until now.

I would very much like feedback on this. Is it flawed? How? Do you see other things affected by single agent theory? Should I call this a theory, a paradigm or a logical fallacy? What am I missing to better support and identify this?

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