Where "ad hominem" arguments refer to those consisting of replying to factual claims by attacking a characteristic or belief of the individual making the argument or claim - rather than by addressing the substance of the argument - an "ad feminem" argument would characterize the same phenomenon, but in a specifically feminist context (as in contentious debates between Women's Studies scholars).
Credit: Dr. Michael J. Murphy of the Women and Gender Studies Program at Washington University, in correspondence sent to the WMST-L list (although this contributor is not aware of whether he in fact coined the term).
I am so weary of these ad feminem attacks by so-called sex positive women, against those of us working to create options for women who want to leave the sex trade.
An alternative to calling trafficked women "prostitutes," which recognizes the humanity of the individuals concerned, and whose identities ought not to be conflated with what is, to many such women, an experience of ongoing serial rape, typically controlled by pimps.
"According to international studies cited by the Swedish Ministry of Industry, Employment, and Communications, between 65 and 90 per cent of prostituted women were sexually abused by male relatives or acquaintances as girls."