Yes, Eye-gouge fighting is real fighting. If you've never been in an eye-gouge fight, then you have no real experienze!!
Not quite true but not wrong either. If you've never been in a situation that required eye gouging you haven't seen the full range of "real fighting".
In a way it kinda backs up my point. The numbers of people in society who can talk about real fighting from an experience stand point are tiny and of those people only a tiny proportion are Aikidoka.
So the number of people qualified to talk about Aikido's effectiveness are miniscule, as in there might only be a handful on the planet.