Recently, I got in a debate with someone about a book I hadn't read. To be more specific it was a book series I hadn't read. The thing is, there is no lack of information on this book series because it's very popular. I know a lot about it. Enough that I am able to carry on conversations about it, what I don't like and what I like. I fully admit I'm not an expert on this particular series but to act like I couldn't possibly know the contents of these books because I hadn't read them is utterly ridiculous. The problem is, that's what I was faced with. A person who had read the books who insisted I couldn't know anything about them because I never read them. That any statement I made on canon was instantly wrong because apparently there was no possible way to read notes, summaries, or talk to other fans about these books. That some how, in 15 years of these books being popular, I never picked up any information on them from any source.
This annoys me. This mentality. That in order to discuss a topic or debate it you NEED to be an expert. No, you really don't. Obviously it helps if you've read a lot of books/studies/whatever. It makes you more of an expert. It gives you more power because you have more knowledge. Yet, not being an expert doesn't mean you don't understand the subject, or that all your information is instantly wrong.
I am obviously not an expert in feminist theory. I don't have a degree in it (and never will) and I haven't read every feminist theory related book out there. I haven't read every study, thesis, essay, paper, or blog. I haven't gotten all the information I possibly can on feminism. Which I fully admit. Yet, this doesn't mean I don't have any information or my information is incorrect. It's possible to know what feminist theory states and what it is without having read every book on it, or any at all. If you have read the books and the studies and whatever, obviously you have a leg up on everyone else. Which I agree with, but there are ways to know what feminist theory states without having to read books. If your main debate tactic is telling someone that they can't discuss a topic because they haven't read ALL the books, well then you are just a moron.
Here's a good example:
Say someone has to write an essay on Of Mice And Men. Now obviously the person who read the book entirely is going to write a glowing essay. However a person who only read the Cliff Notes or a detailed summary is going to be able to write an essay as well (and a good one if they know how to bullshit). Both these people have enough information to discuss the book even if one person has more information than the other. The summary of that book isn't going to have different factual information than the actual content of the book. It's not as if the notes are going to say something WILDLY different from anything in the actual literature. It's the same thing boiled down to plot points and interesting subjects instead of having to wade through the entire tome. Now, add in a person who hasn't ever read the book, or even heard of it, trying to write an essay. It's not going to come out well, at all. They will fail. The first two people, the one who has read the book and the one who read the detailed summary, they are going to be fine and they are educated enough on the topic to discuss it. The third person is merely forming an opinion on something they know nothing about. Which makes them joining in the conversation stupid and pointless.
So, my point in all of this is, you don't have to have read a book to know the contents of it. You don't have to read an entire study, point by point, step by step, to know the outcome of the study. You don't need to watch an entire movie to know the twist and understand what happened in the movie. As stated, it's obviously better to have read the book, and the study, and seen the movie but to pretend there is no way to understand or have the baseline information because someone hasn't done that is moronic. This is the age of information. I could find out anything I want just by knowing where and how to search. I'm not a doctor but I could easily find you a shit ton of information on autoimmune disorders right now, and even gain a better understanding of them than the general public. This doesn't make me a doctor but it does put me above the rest of the people who never bothered to learn about autoimmune disorders at all.
Just like in everything, there are different levels of knowledge. A lack of expert information, doesn't mean someone isn't informed. Failing to read an entire book doesn't mean you fail to understand the concept of a book. If we are now cutting down debate tactics to people who are only experts on the subject we better delete all social media accounts right now because basically NO one is an expert on anything.
(Caution: This logic may not apply to SJWs or feminists who never do anything but make up bullshit to confirm other bullshit and have no interest in what actual facts are)