The no true Scotsman fallacy is defined as:
[…] a kind of informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample. Rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”; i.e., those who perform that action are not part of our group and thus criticism of that action is not criticism of the group).
People use the fallacy most often in situations in which a member of their group commits an act that makes the person, and by proxy the group, look bad. The more prominent the figure in question, the more likely the group will resort to the fallacy.
This is particularly common among groups that hold themselves as morally and ethically superior to others. It becomes imperative that nothing tarnish that claim, especially when the claim itself is constantly in question. Again, the more prominent the figure in question, the more necessary it becomes to cast that person out of the group. The fallacy shifts from merely being that the no “true” member of the group would ever behave in such a manner to said person was never “truly” a member at all.
Such is the feminist response to a blog post from Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole. She posted a scathing commentary on Whedon’s “faux” feminist on the Wrap, claiming that Whedon admitted to a number of affairs with women over the years. She wrote: Continue reading