Why I Don’t Identify as a Feminist

Men-And-Women-Double-Equal-Sign-Gender-EqualityI’ve largely stayed out of the whole pro-feminist/anti-feminist debate until now. It’s a subject that interests me, but I didn’t feel (and still don’t to some degree) that I had enough information about feminism, its goals and what it stood for.

Recently, I read two posts by an atheist- feminist that I follow. You can find those posts here and here. I’ll be quoting from the first linked article to make my points.

However, I sincerely hope you go to those articles at some point and give them a read. Hessian has a very thought provoking blog that I think would be an asset to anyone’s reading list, whether you agree with the articles or not. I generally agree with them, but I find myself disagreeing with many of the posts that deal with feminist issues.

First off, let’s start with the definition of feminism:

1) the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2) organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
 
By the very definition, I’d probably be classified as a feminist. I do stand for equality and think women should have equal rights. I think both men and women should be concerned with equality. Even on this blog, I’ve written about some of the women’s issues that concern me.
 
However, I don’t want to be labeled as a feminist and let me tell you why.
 
First off, I think feminism (by its very name) deals with only one half of the problem. While feminists may say that they champion equal rights for both sexes, I see very little talk about issues that affect men coming from that movement. In fact, I see a lot of feminists (not all) minimizing issues that face both men and women, and trying to turn those issues into a female only issue.
 
For example, from Hessian’s blog post:
 
From my perspective, the following list comprises the most pressing and talked about issues in the feminist movement at this time: sexual harassment, rape cases or lack thereof, and the teaching of consent as a long term solution for going after rape apologists and victim blaming as damage control. You may be saying “well sure, but that doesn’t cover men’s issues.” For one, men don’t have as many serious life affecting issues facing them as women do, which I will explain in due time.
 
The emphasis is mine.
 
I would beg to differ, and I think this is a prime example of why we can’t deal with issues strictly by whether it’s a male or female issue.
 
Now you might be thinking that I have no grounds to disagree and that Hessian is spot on, but let me share with you a few statistics that clearly show not just women are sexually harassed or assaulted:
 
Last year the National Crime Victimization Survey turned up a remarkable statistic. In asking 40,000 households about rape and sexual violence, the survey uncovered that 38 percent of incidents were against men. The number seemed so high that it prompted researcher Lara Stemple to call the Bureau of Justice Statistics to see if it maybe it had made a mistake, or changed its terminology. After all, in years past men had accounted for somewhere between 5 and 14 percent of rape and sexual violence victims.
 
 
Men and boys are often the victims of the crimes of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape. In fact, in the U.S., about 10% of all victims are male.
 
Even in my personal life, I’ve known men who were sexually harassed in the work place. They’re usually told by their coworkers that they should like it and if they say they don’t like it, they’re told that they must be gay.
 
While rape and sexual harassment certainly do effect women, it isn’t just a woman’s issue, no matter how many feminists say otherwise. Why should we focus on it like it is? I think we should tackle sexual assault and harassment head on, regardless of sex or gender.
 
While the vast majority of physical assaults are carried out by men, I have been a victim of repeated assaults by a woman. I even called the police, who then laughed at me because I was so much bigger than the woman in question. Sure, I could have easily overpowered her, but I refused to do so because I refuse to hit a woman or even give someone the opportunity to claim that I harmed them in some way. I could have held her wrists and prevented her from hitting me, but what if I’d left a bruise or a mark?
 
In that case, I’m likely going to jail and chances are I’m going to live the rest of my life with a criminal record.
 
No thank you.
 
She was never charged and I got a face full of laughter from the police, despite having bruises and red hand marks on my face and neck.
 
Hessian then goes on to discuss the wage gap, male privilege (a nebulous term at best), jobs and educational opportunities. I saw no statistics to back this up, but if there is a problem in these areas, then we should be combating them – not from the perspective of one gender or sex only, but from a human perspective.
 
Then there is this:
 
Moreover, women are considered public objects in our society, we are allowed to freely and openly critique every physical portion of a women and are often expected to. From their body to their clothing to the way they move and present themselves, even the way they talk. One might say men get this to, but anyone who is honestly looking into the issue will admit that it occurs far more regularly to women. For example; how often do men get cat called, or whistled at? Both women and men judge women largely by their physical traits, which is largely not the case for men. As well, this is not an inequality born of nature, but of culture. There are cultures where the above examples are not the case, yet we are mostly blind to this since we were raised with this often overt sexism all around us and deem it normal and expected.
 
Emphasis is again mine, to show where one sex is minimized in favor of the other.
 
So because men don’t get cat-called or whistled at as often as women, they’re never critiqued for their physical proportions. Really?
 
I beg to differ. Here’s a few examples.
 
I got famous because I had excess fat on my body

I got famous because I had excess fat on my body

Only women are portrayed out of proportion in video games

Only women are portrayed out of proportion in video games

Men typically look like this

Men typically look like this

Are you saying that popular culture (movies, TV, video games, cartoons, comics, websites etc) are not flooded by good looking men?

Are you saying that sex sells, no matter the gender or sex being portrayed?

In a perfect world, should men or women be valued more if they’re attractive to the opposite sex?

Of course not. But we’re sexual beings and we like to look at the opposite sex. Women do it just like men do. There are also jerks from either sex/gender. There are jerks everywhere, and I’m all for supporting a culture where men and women don’t have to be sexually harassed in public.

That is, 6-15% percent of men will have clear understanding and communication from their sex partner that they do not consent to having sex and will then have sex with that partner anyway. 6-15% and we are not even talking about cases of ambiguous consent. We are talking about clear cut cases of rape. That means millions of men think that it’s okay, or, at the very least, are not bothered enough to stop themselves.

I don’t think they think it’s okay. They probably know that raping someone is wrong. It’s one of the worst crimes you can do to someone, and just because it happens as frequently as it does, doesn’t mean they think it’s okay. It’s not like men sit around and talk about how OK it is to rape someone. Male rapists are one of the most hated people in our culture. They probably follow close behind child-rapists.

As I showed above, this isn’t a uniquely feminine issue and shouldn’t (in my opinion) be addressed as one. In fact, I think by addressing it from the perspective of just one sex, we’re doing an injustice to the subject because it dismisses or minimizes the impact that rape can have on male victims of rape. Why are we looking at this from just one side? Are male victims of rape and sexual assault less worthy of our attention?

And sure, there might be some group of man-hating feminists out there, but I don’t hear about them, and they certainly don’t make up the majority, or colour the dialogue I see within feminism.

I would seriously have to question your level of listening. I’m not even that well educated about feminism as a whole, yet I’ve clearly seen feminists say and do some pretty heinous things and they definitely do color the discussion. They color it so much that feminism – despite its worthy goal of equality – is facing considerable push-back.

For example:

Are nearly all male students at the University of Maryland “potential rapists”?

Women in a feminist art class here apparently believe so. About 10 of them plastered the campus with fliers last week listing the names of virtually every male student under the heading, “NOTICE: THESE MEN ARE POTENTIAL RAPISTS.”

That’s in the newspaper. I’m pretty sure that colors the discussion and gives feminism as a movement a bad name.

And if you don’t like all that I’ve said, and still have reservations, guess what: you can still be a feminist, and you should be a feminist. Come add your voice to the still open question of how equality should be implemented and how continuing oppression should be addressed. You may be surprised by what you learn, should you choose to listen. And please try not to be a jerk. Then you likely won’t get treated like one in return.

I think modern feminism is a movement that at its core is something to aspire to. I think historically, it has done a lot of good and should be applauded for that. I also think it’s currently rudderless. It doesn’t seem to have clear goals. People who identify as feminists can’t seem to make up their minds about what should be done.

For example, you have some feminists saying the patriarchy objectifies women and strip clubs and pornography personify this. On the other side, you have feminists who say women should be allowed to strip and take part in pornography if they choose.

Which is it?

I see a lot of articles, videos and blog posts about video games, but very few about women being forced to wear a bag in some countries; women not being allowed to drive or join the priesthood; women who are told they’re literally worth half of a man; female circumcision or how some females have acid thrown in their face.

I also see a lack of viable solutions by modern feminism. I see a lot of people talking about the patriarchy or how women get paid less etc, but no solutions. If these issues are so problematic, then what are the solutions? That’s what I’m interested in.

And I personally think the very term ‘feminism’ should get thrown out. Why not use a term that is sex/gender neutral, such as:

  • gender egalitarian
  • equal rights movement
  • humanism (although the argument is usually that humanism already covers something else)

I don’t think tackling an issue from one side is helpful at this point. I think feminism has to change as a movement and I don’t want to associate myself with the modern feminist movement, although I’m all for equal rights for both men and women.

As a closing note, I’d like to leave you with this video, where the hosts of a show named The Talk sat around on National television and made fun of a man who had his penis cut off and thrown in the garbage disposal, because he had the audacity to file for divorce.

If they had been talking about a female who had her clitoris or breasts cut off, I don’t think the hosts or the crowd would have found it so funny. I also don’t think Sharon would have said something as despicable as ‘I think it’s fabulous’.

I find genital mutilation reprehensible – no matter the sex or gender of the person being mutilated.

Advertisements

68 Comments

  1. I absolutely agree. I refuse to have discussions like this online. Silly me, when I first started following the “issues” of interest in the atheist/skeptic online community, I thought people wanted to have rational discussion. I was quickly met with, “NOT ALL FEMINISTS” and resoundingly mocked when I’d say “not all men”. I’ve been accused of mansplaining and whitesplaining. I’ve been called cis, racist, sexist, etc, I’m blinded by white privilege, or class privilege, or male privilege. I can only speak for myself, but the whole thing made me kind of gun-shy.
    If you want to reject nuance in favor of making a case, or generalize large groups of people, that’s a two-way street. You can’t cry foul when people use the same tactics.

    • Thank you. There is so much more I could say about this subject but this post is already way too long. I just saw little alternative because it’s such a complex issue.

      I think when people use tactics like labeling others misogynist, racist etc for merely disagreeing, they’re alienating people from their cause. I think those sorts of tactics are harmful and destroy conversation – the very conversations movements such as feminism need to thrive and grow.

  2. You are so spot on. I don’t call myself a feminist. I call myself a humanist, but gender egalitarian works, too. (and I expect that to cover transgendered individuals and the entire spectrum of gender identification, not just CIS gendered people.) I think it’s a damn shame that I have to advise my son to be careful about the females with whom he chooses to share company lest he be falsely accused of rape. It happens, and when it does, the man in question is burdened with lifelong stigma, even if he’s proven innocent in a court of law. I think it’s a damn shame that men still don’t get treated equally in child custody cases. I could go on, but you get my drift.

    As to the statement that most feminists are not addressing female circumcision or the stoning of “adulteresses” or the fact that women in other countries are considered to be on a par with cattle, I would say that the discussion does take place, but the feminist movement is and always has been primarily the purveyance of white middle to upper class women. There’s a sort of “trickle down” theory at work here that makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

    Aaaand, now that I’ve thoroughly insulted all the feminists out there, I guess my work here is done.

  3. GC, I’m sorry you were abused and then laughed at by authorities. Disgusting. Feminism is like Christianity. It has many sects. I think the question that needs to be asked is — if the feminist movement were to disappear, would men step up to the plate and help to ensure that women don’t lose their status of being fully human? Because when you look at the highest court in America, patriarchal religion still reigns over women’s rights to their own body. And when you look around the globe, women are still considered inferior in many cultures. How about men starting an egalitarian movement? Think that would jive with the majority of men, globally?

    • Thank you. And:

      “if the feminist movement were to disappear, would men step up to the plate and help to ensure that women don’t lose their status of being fully human? Because when you look at the highest court in America, patriarchal religion still reigns over women’s rights to their own body. And when you look around the globe, women are still considered inferior in many cultures. How about men starting an egalitarian movement? Think that would jive with the majority of men, globally?”

      Those are great questions.

      I think men are already stepping up to the plate. I think more would if they weren’t labeled misogynist for merely disagreeing with a feminist ideal – or one held by one particular feminist.

      For example, I would agree with equality for men and women. A feminist would agree with that sentiment. The rest is semantics. We might not agree on how best to get there, but that’s why we need the discussion. I feel as though the very term ‘feminism’ creates a divide that isn’t helpful.

      I don’t think feminism (the ideals it encompasses) should disappear or cease to be – I think it needs to be better organized and packaged in such a way that it includes everyone.

      • “I don’t think feminism (the ideals it encompasses) should disappear or cease to be – I think it needs to be better organized and packaged in such a way that it includes everyone.”

        I concur; there needs to be unity, but like Christianity, there are many interpretations and the smallest, militant typ have the loudest voice and get the most media attention. However, they do not represent the vast majority of feminists. I don’t identify myself a feminist simply because I am a advocate for human rights and see myself more as a humanist. But I’m grateful for the Suffrage and Feminist movements. For without them, I would most likely not be writing this comment.

        I also agree with Eric’s assessment. Well said, Eric. IMO, feminism would not be needed if there was a strong moment towards egalitarianism and fully supported by both sexes. Today, I’ve no doubt that women would not be voting and would still be considered property of men if we had to wait for men to see the inhumanity of inequality. I don’t blame men for this — I blame the cultures.

          • I appreciate you wanting to have this conversation. I’m a big-picture thinking and tend to look at the root. Men are experiencing an identity crisis, but feminism is getting the blame. Both men and women are constantly bombarded with media that divides us.

            In the “The Selling Of Masculinity” Harris O’Malley writes:

            “With the ubiquity of mass-communication – whether it be magazines, newspapers, movies, television or the Internet – it’s not surprising that many men look to popular culture for sources of information what male behavior is supposed to be and how we’re supposed to display it.

            In the most recent issue of the journal Sex Roles, psychologists from the University of Manitoba examined the prevalence of hypermasculinity – the ideology of exaggerated male traits as the epitome of masculine identity – in advertisements in popular men’s magazines including Maxim, Playboy, Game Informer, Fortune, Esquire and Wired.

            Hypermasculinity portrays violence and physical aggression as manly ideals; it promotes a world where all of male life is a struggle of dominance of others, where sex is a matter of power and female submission rather than one of intimacy and mutual pleasure and that any “feminine” emotions are to be repressed.

            Hypermasculine ideology reinforces a culture that permits a very narrow expression of male identity. The message carried by the imagery is that men are defined by conflict and violence. Every interaction between men is one of a struggle for dominance. There are no equals, only the dominant and the submissive.

            The story of manhood in these messages is one of a very narrowly defined form of heteronormativity; to deviate even slightly from this model of manhood is to be feminine, which is a fate worse than anything short of emasculation.”

  4. I don’t mind calling myself a feminist because no movement is monolithic, and I can be a feminist on my own terms. In the atheism movement, for lack of a better descriptive, you’ll find a range of views from “live and let live,” which is more or less where I stand, to “All Christians are stupid and religion is the worst thing on Earth,” which is absolutism at its silliest. Although I find Richard Dawkins to be, at times, a condescending jerk, it doesn’t stop me from calling myself an atheist (or admiring his non-jerky contributions to the discourse).

    The “all men are potential rapists” element of feminism is pretty fringe. They just get a lot of attention because of their sensational statements.

    When people make blanket or absolute statements about a broad group of people, it falls on rational thinkers to help them understand nuance, not to reject their entire movement. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater and all that.

    • Excellent points, Eric. Thanks for making them.

      “In the atheism movement, for lack of a better descriptive, you’ll find a range of views from “live and let live,” which is more or less where I stand, to “All Christians are stupid and religion is the worst thing on Earth,” which is absolutism at its silliest.”

      I think comparing atheism and feminism is a poor choice, to be honest. Atheism isn’t enough to create a movement or act as a glue to hold a movement together. Usually, something else motivates an atheist to take up a cause, such as humanism, secularism, anti-theism, feminism etc. Atheism might be the base of something, but it isn’t the monolith that feminism is, that encompasses ideals and goals.

      “The “all men are potential rapists” element of feminism is pretty fringe. They just get a lot of attention because of their sensational statements.”

      For brevity I only used that one example. There are many more and I don’t think it’s a fringe element. I think there is a strong streak of this type of thought to lesser and stronger degrees throughout the movement, as well as those who oppose it.

      “When people make blanket or absolute statements about a broad group of people, it falls on rational thinkers to help them understand nuance, not to reject their entire movement. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater and all that.”

      I agree. That’s why I said I agree with the core goals of feminism. I just don’t think the movement is going about it the right way. I also don’t think looking at most issues from one sex/gender perspective is as helpful as looking at it from both.

      Hope that makes sense.

      Thanks for your opinion and thoughts. Excellent comment.

      • Indeed, I only use the two “isms” them as a comparison because of the common theme here (seeing that atheists don’t like to be lumped into one, neither do feminists). You’re right, of course, in that feminism has an agenda and atheism does not. I just don’t know that everyone agrees on what that agenda is. Extreme views always get more press and lead peripheral observers to believe the extreme is the norm. I doubt the average Joe republican aligns himself with the Michelle Bachmanns of the world (maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part), but he may not realize that, to liberals, silence equals endorsement. Lots of women out there who call themselves feminists do not think all men are potential rapists; they’re just not agenda driven enough to speak out against it.

        I don’t care that certain people say those things, because hostility is a magnet for hostility. One can label me unjustly all she wants, but in the end I come out looking like the better person. The women in my life know that I am caring and empathetic and respectful and that I stand for equality. The rest is noise.

        Great topic as usual. Always an interesting stop at Godless Cranium on my tour of the daily blog reader.

          • I think describing feminism as a movement is exactly as problematic as describing atheism as such. There are feminist movements, but the concept of equality is only a base, and feminism has, thankfully, become so broad that it can’t be defined with any particular set of goals. As a life long feminist who was often dismissed growing up, I’m glad we’ve gotten to the point where feminists spend most of their time arguing with each other. For example, radical feminism drives me up the wall because my feminism is intersectional.

            Similarly, atheism isn’t a movement but there are atheist movements. Atheist Ireland primarily campaigns for the protection of women’s bodily autonomy, for the introduction of non denominational schools and more broadly, for separation of church and state. You can, for example, be anti abortion, but still be an atheist. I know people who call themselves agnostic because the don’t agree with the atheist movement, but I still see them as atheists as I still see you as a feminist (though I wouldn’t force the label on if you don’t want it, so I’ll keep it in my head from now on :p). All you need o do is support that first definition, everything else is up for debate.

    • > I don’t mind calling myself a feminist because no movement is monolithic, and I can be a feminist on my own terms.

      Vegetarians can not eat meat for ethical, dietary or environmental reasons. But they must abide by the core principle of not eating meat to qualify as vegetarians.

      To ‘be’ a feminist all you have to do is say “I am a feminist”.

      There are literally no other requirements and that is what makes feminism one of the most dangerous mass movements (mobs) in society at the moment.

      To put it another way there is nothing you cannot do or say that will get you chucked out of the feminist movement.

      Prominent and influential feminist authors, professors, spokeswomen etc have called for a 95% reduction in male population, have claimed underage boys being raped by adult women were not raped because underage boys are able to consent to sex with adults, have claimed computer games lead to misogyny and violence against women … the list goes on. None of them are ever ejected from the movement. And if you are a feminist then by definition you support their messages.

      And let’s not forget the millions of feminists who believes men have deliberately and successful oppressed women throughout history – a belief which defines men as sociopaths.

      > The “all men are potential rapists” element of feminism is pretty fringe. They just get a lot of attention because of their sensational statements.

      I would disagree. But even if they are fringe feminists SO WHAT? How can you belong to and support a movement which allows ANY member to hold that view and still belong to the movement?

      Pacifists claim to be about not participating or supporting violence. If a pacifist fund or participates in war they are no longer pacifists.

      Vegetarians claim to be about not eating meat. If a vegetarian eats meat they are no longer vegetarians.

      Feminism claims to be about gender equality. But if a feminist contradicts the notion of gender equality by claiming men are rapists, or males can’t be rape victims (only females can), or that men are sociopaths but women aren’t, or that women should be given special privileges that men aren’t then she’s a RADICAL feminist.

      The further AWAY from gender equality you get more more ‘radical’ a feminist you become. A moderate feminist is closer to the principles of gender equality than a radical feminist is. This betrays feminism’s true colours – as a gender supremacist movement.

      If feminism really was about gender equality then a radical feminist would be much closer to the principles of gender equality than a moderate feminist. But in reality it is the other way around.

      Radical feminism is openly wanting to castrate or kill men, and as you get more moderate in your feminism you become more and more inline with the principles of gender equality until you are no longer a feminist at all – which is the only stance which allows you to be 100% for gender equality.

      • Thanks for the alternate viewpoints. I simply maintain that I am free to define myself as I choose, regardless of how other appropriate a term. Naturally, words mean different things to different people, and there’s nothing I can do to (or want to do) to control how others react to me and what I say.

        I also maintain that anyone calling for a 95% reduction in male population hardly represents a majority view. Maybe I’m cynical, but those individuals sound more like publicity hounds saying things to get attention than anything else. It’s a meaningless statement with no power other than to piss off men who take it seriously. It’s ridiculous more than offensive to me.

        The one thing I object to in mainstream feminist literature is the blanket use of the term “men.” As in “men need to be educated about…” No group or category of people should be discussed as a monolith.

        Thank you again for your insights and counterpoints to what i said before. In the bigger picture, I agree that mutual respect, dignity, and equality should be the ultimate goal, regardless of gender.

        • Do you accept that your public support for ‘feminism’ increases the power and influence of the feminist movement?

          Do you accept that your personal definition of ‘feminism’ (in terms of equality, fairness etc etc) helps to legitimise the ‘feminist movement’ and thus increase its power and influence in society?

          Do you accept that you have a MORAL RESPONSIBILITY to check out the ACTUAL (rather than merely stated) aims and agendas of any movement, or charity or political party that you support, given that your support will help to further those agendas?

          For example if you support a charity that CLAIMS to be helping the poor overseas do you have a moral responsibility to ensure they are being truthful and that your money is not actually ending up in the hands of tinpot dictators who use it to oppress the poor?

          If someone provides evidence of that charity’s duplicity and its oppression of the poor, should you just continue to support and fund that charity regardless?…. or is you continuing support in the light of that evidence irresponsible and immoral behaviour?

          Throughout history every single evil and destructive ideology, charity, mass movement, political party and cult has promoted itself as A FOCRE FOR GOOD in the world, often attaching itself to worthy ‘no brainer’ causes like environmentalism, liberty, human rights, security, personal empowerment etc and this ensures an army of well meaning followers and supporters who’s naive beliefs help to create the impression of a wholesome and virtuous organisation.

          Believing (or choosing to define) Nazism as being about ’empowering’ Germany, celebrating German culture and defending Germany from outside threats did nothing to make Nazism a force for good. All it did was help attract more supporters who were able to overwhelm its critics and whistleblowers….. until Nazism became an unstoppable force.

          In the same way the army of well meaning supporters of feminism who believe (or choose to define) feminism as being about ’empowerment’ of women, celebrating femaleness and defending women from outside threats are able to overwhelm feminism’s critics and whistleblowers to the point where today feminist has become an unstoppable force which influences political policy all the way to the level of the UN.

          Whether you like it or not your support for feminism does ensure those at the top of the feminist hierarchy (people you probably have never even heard of) are able to influence political policy, social attitudes, the education of children, the content of text books, media talking points, and generally the world view of everyone in the western world.

          All I’m suggesting is that you take responsibility for your actions and learn a little bit more about what feminism is really all about – beyond the level of casual (and for the most part well meaning) supporters like yourself.

          Supporting feminism (or any other mass movement) is not merely a belief or an idea – it is an action, because it has real world consequences that affect everybody.

          Girl Writes What rant : for the “nice” feminists

          • Now you’re just making straw-man arguments and assumptions about me based on absolutely nothing since you don’t know me or anything about my life. When you debate someone, do you think the effectiveness of your points are increased by implying your counterpart is naive and simpleminded? I can do that too. I think you are paranoid and unable to make properly weighted judgments.

            I read feminist literature all the time, and I am able to discern consensus from a broad spectrum of views. The people who are setting you off are in the fringe. That you are so reactionary and paranoid about feminism shows me that you ONLY read the fringe material and block out everything else that does not align with your preconceived ideas that feminists are akin to Nazis. I’m sure you are familiar with the concept of confirmation bias.

            Gender equality should be on your list of “no-brainer” social issues, by the way. I don’t know if you are male or female (funny how everyone on the internet likes to make bold declarations while hiding behind an anonymous user handle), but what are you afraid of? That men will be rounded up and led to underground tunnels where they slave on heavy equipment in hot, dank conditions like Morlocks while the women flit in the fresh air without a care? Or that the governments of the world will unanimously and suddenly agree that, yes. we should execute 95% of the men on the planet and use the few 6-foot-5 hunks we keep alive for breeding purposes, and that the rest of us will willingly submit to be executed?

            By the way, you also lack social grace. You essentially called me a fool in your initial comments (while hiding behind an anonymous user name, which also makes you a coward), and I remained polite and respectful in my response. Then you came back with more rude comments. You should worry less about fringe feminists with no power and more about how to communicate in a civil manner.

            • > Now you’re just making straw-man arguments and assumptions about me based on absolutely nothing

              I asked a series of pertinent (and polite) questions. Are you able/ willing to answer any of them?

              > since you don’t know me or anything about my life.

              Which is why I was asked those questions.

              > When you debate someone, do you think the effectiveness of your points are increased by implying your counterpart is naive and simpleminded? I can do that too.

              Yes, you just did. If I implied you are naive and simpleminded I provided an argument to explain WHY that is the case. So if you want to demonstrate that you are not naive and simpleminded all you have to do is refute my arguments. If you are right and I am wrong this should be an easy task for you. If you just write a long comment attacking me personally it suggests you cannot refute my arguments.

              > I think you are paranoid and unable to make properly weighted judgments.

              That is not an argument. Or a debate. Why not just answer my questions?

              > I read feminist literature all the time, and I am able to discern consensus from a broad spectrum of views. The people who are setting you off are in the fringe.

              Some are arguably on the fringe, but many are in the core. But this is irrelevant. If you (a) accept they ARE feminists of some kind (radical, fringe, core or moderate) and (b) accept their views are compatible with feminism (c) you consider yourself to be a feminist and a supporter of feminism then – by definition – you are choosing to support their views.

              Supporting ANY movement, political party, charity or other group is an act which has real world consequences which you (as a supporter) have a moral obligation to take ownership of. If you are not prepared to take responsibility for your actions then you should not be supporting any group.

              Most Nazis were NOT genocidal murderers or in favour of genocidal murder, but that does not the nazis who were were in favour of genocidal murder were a ‘fringe’ aspect of nazism does it?

              And all the ‘well meaning’ nazis who supported nazism enabled those core nazis to carry out their genocidal plans. Hitler and co did not pose any threat to anybody – it was the unthinking masses who supported their feel good ‘no brainer’ cause of ‘German empowerment’ and ‘homeland security’ who were responsible for nazi atrocities. Without their naive, reckless and misguided support Hitler and co would have amounted to little more than a mafia gang or ‘neighbours from hell’. They certainly would not have been able to invade Europe or persecute jews, blacks, gays and gypsies.

              You totally miss the point. That ANY of these man-hating feminists are able to remain in the feminist movement as ‘feminists’ is the key issue. And so is you continued support of them as a fellow ‘feminist’. You have not managed to justify your support for them (because you can’t), so you are just trying to downplay it instead by making them out to be ‘fringe’ and making me out to be ‘paranoid’.

              > That you are so reactionary and paranoid

              By which you mean intolerant of bigotry, hate speech, hypocrisy, fraudulent claims and outright lies and a fan of logic, honesty and moral/ intellectual consistency… yes, guilty as charged….

              > about feminism shows me that you ONLY read the fringe material and block out everything else that does not align with your preconceived ideas that feminists are akin to Nazis. I’m sure you are familiar with the concept of confirmation bias.

              Feminism is akin to nazism because many feminists are well meaning people who were attracted to feminism by slogans about ‘female empowerment’ and ‘gender equality’……. just as many supporters of nazism were well meaning people who were attracted to nazism by slogans of ‘German empowerment’ and ‘homeland security’.

              My issue the nazy party is not the well meaning but misguided masses who supported it but with the inner core who spread a harmful and destructive ideology under the guise of a worthy cause. Similarly, my issue with the feminist movement is not the well meaning but misguided masses who support it but with the inner core who spread a harmful and destructive ideology under the guise of a worthy cause.

              > Gender equality should be on your list of “no-brainer” social issues

              I agree gender equality is a ‘no brainer cause’. Other no brainer causes include ‘national security’, ‘environmentalism’ and ‘helping the poor’. Any group who claims to be fighting for a ‘no brainer cause’ guarantees itself an army of willing supporters who will tend to follow unquestioningly and fund your activities without engaging their brains – because these are ‘no brainer causes’ after all.

              That is why we must be especially weary of any group claiming to be fighting a ‘no brainer’ cause. History is pretty clear about this. A ‘no brainer cause’ makes for a perfect Trojan Horse.

              The best deceptions are those which contain mostly truths, the most popular holiday destinations attract the most tourist scammers and the most worthy causes attract the most unworthy people with the most harmful agendas.

              > what are you afraid of? That men will be rounded up and led to underground tunnels where they slave on heavy equipment in hot, dank conditions like Morlocks while the women flit in the fresh air without a care?

              That’s a very weird thing to say given that the majority of slaves used for manual labour in mines (and above ground) have been men. Even today men do the majority of tunnelling and other dangerous, heavy duty, manual labour work. That is why men die at work at a rate 20 times higher than women.

              Are feminists seeking ‘equal representation’ in these ‘male dominated’ jobs? Are they seeking help from government to ‘assist’ them into mining jobs, or refuse collection jobs or fishing jobs, or other physically gruelling and dangerous jobs? No, of course they are not. Because feminists are not interested in gender equality in the workplace, they are interested in getting preferential treatment (AKA privilege) for the kinds of careers they find desirable. But that sounds a bit too selfish so they call that ‘fighting for gender equality in the workplace’.

              Your ‘absurd’ dystopian vision of male enslavement is actually an accurate description of reality. Weird how you would miss something so obvious like that. It’s almost as if you’ve been propagandised to such an extent that you cannot ‘see’ it…. a bit like how Germans were propagandised to such an extent that they could not ‘see’ the oppression of jews.

              > Or that the governments of the world will unanimously and suddenly agree that, yes. we should execute 95% of the men on the planet and use the few 6-foot-5 hunks we keep alive for breeding purposes, and that the rest of us will willingly submit to be executed?

              Men have always been treated like animals for most of human history and were routinely slaughtered while the women and children were allowed to live. Even today it is overwhelmingly men who are sent to die in battlefields. Women have always been kept alive for breeding purposes – yes! – this is how it has always worked. A tribe can lose most of its men and birth rates are not affected. But if they lose half their women birth rates plummet and they risk starvation, and even extinction. This is why men have always (and continue to be) regarded as the disposable sex… because biologically speaking they are.

              > By the way, you also lack social grace. You essentially called me a fool in your initial comments (while hiding behind an anonymous user name, which also makes you a coward),

              Please provide quotes. I scanned my reply and can’t find any evidence of rudeness on my part.

              > and I remained polite and respectful in my response.

              Well, you did call me paranoid.

              “I think you are paranoid and unable to make properly weighted judgments.”
              ” you are so reactionary and paranoid about feminism”

              But I forgive you 🙂

              > Then you came back with more rude comments.

              Yes so you keep saying. When making accusations like that you really should provide quotes – it’s rude to just make accusations like that without backing them up with evidence.

              > You should worry less about fringe feminists with no power and more about how to communicate in a civil manner.

              This is just more attempts to shame me instead of debating.

              I am not ‘worried’ about ‘fringe feminists with no power’. I am simply making the case that – objectively speaking – from its core to its fringes feminism is provably a harmful, irrational, destructive, hypocritical and hateful movement which is not based in reality.

              I believe you are unable to answer the simple questions I asked you in my previous comment without proving me right. And that is probably why you chose to ignore those questions completely and instead pretend to be offended by my (non existent) rudeness. Avoiding debate by taking faux offence is a common feminist evasion tactic.

              • Good grief, Curiosetta. I’m already writing a novel at home (with a female protagonist; you’d hate it). I don’t have time for a second one here.

                I owe you no explanation or answers or responses to anything you say, because I did not ask for a debate with you. You fixated on my rather vanilla comment here, decided to dissect every word I said, then challenged me, calling me naive and implying, with no foreknowledge of me, that I don’t understand the way the big bad world works. Are you one of those people who thinks anyone who has a point of view different from yours simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about? It must be a burden to carry around that tremendous intellect and have no one to marvel at it.

                Yes, your arguments are as close to a dictionary example of a straw-man argument as it gets.

                Eric + identifies as feminist = Eric is no different from Aileen Wuornos

                Because:

                Fictional organization + hypothetical scenario = Eric is no different from Aileen Wuornos

                That IS a straw-man argument. Just because you don’t want it to be a straw-man argument does not mean it isn’t.

                As for me refusing to answer questions and engaging in some sort of classic feminist subterfuge (?): What? I wasn’t offended and I’m not feigning offense. I think the points you make are bullshit and I’m telling you as much.

                You didn’t ask questions. You took statements from your MRA manifesto and stuck question marks on the end. Exactly what information are you trying to get from me? No, I don’t think by calling myself a feminist I am supporting some wacko who wants to exterminate all men. There’s your answer: No. I’m sorry if it bothers you that I disagree with you, but absolutists tend to get frustrated by that sort of thing. Do you notice that I don’t care if you agree with me?

                Your absolutist approach to feminism can be applied to virtually any social issue or classifiable group. Environmentalists, by choosing environmentalism, support the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. Animal rights activists support radicals who destroy fishing boat fleets. Pro-life advocates endorse murdering doctors. Atheists are 100% behind Josef Stalin. Catholics stand for child molestation and inquisitions. People who use Verizon are against net neutrality.

                Is it taking a stand on an issue that bothers you or simple the semantics of –ist and –ism?

                Shall we not have opinions on an issue because someone, somewhere has an extreme view?

                Further, stop trotting out MRA talking points like “men who work in coal mines are slaves.” Those men work in coal mines for money and the person paying them are other men. If there are actual male slaves working in coal mines today, then we’re not talking about men vs women, we’re talking about social-class disparity (and they are enslaved by men). And if you’re going to bring that up, shall we talk about all the female sex slaves?

                Go ahead and use examples from the past, because then you open a nice wide door to talk about women not being able to vote, own land, go to, school, work, and so on. Up until recently, women were property of men, and they still are in some places. Sounds shitty. Do you agree?

                Shall we talk about the board room? I’ve never worked for a company where the executive group did not consist almost exclusively of white men.

                I have grown tired of your insistence on dissecting my words and rattling off MRA talking points in response. There’s nothing you are going to say that will make me think gender equality (or marriage equality or racial equality) is dangerous or bad. I’m not sure what else you are trying to accomplish.

                Feel free to respond at length, chipping off every letter of every word I say, and make as many declarations as you want about my fear of answering questions I didn’t even notice were there. I am not going to read it, so it will be for your own amusement.

                If you can’t understand my point of view yet, you have reading comprehension problems.

                • For someone who claims to not have the time to read/ write long comments, that sure was a long comment.

                  Just answering my questions would have been a lot quicker and simpler. But by using every trick in the book to evade answering (faux offence, emotional belittling, distraction, waffle, projection etc) you have in effect answered my questions.

                  > No, I don’t think by calling myself a feminist I am supporting some wacko who wants to exterminate all men

                  You claim ‘feminism’ is comparable to, say, ‘environmentalism’. The argument being you cannot help it if someone calls for, say, the genocide of everyone over 40 in the name of environmentalism.

                  But feminism is NOT the same as environmentalism. ‘Gender equality’ or ‘human rights’ might be comparable to environmentalism, but not feminism.

                  Feminism would only be comparable to environmentalism if environmentalism was a theory that men (or blacks or gays or Australians or cat owners) held all the power when it came to issues relating to the environment, and that throughout history they had used this power and privilege to harm the environment for their benefit and at everyone else’s (and the planet’s) expense. A theory which also excused everyone else from being responsible for any environmental damage, because they are powerless, oppressed victims after all.

                  Even the most moderate feminist adheres to ‘patriarchy theory’ which even in its most modest form claims

                  A) Society is structured to benefit men at the expense of women
                  B) Men have all the power and agency which combine to make privilege. Throughout history only men have had the power to dismantle patriarchy but they chose not to.
                  C) Women do no have power or agency which makes them oppressed victims. Any privilege which women enjoy has been forced onto them (benevolent sexism). Throughout history women did not have the power to dismantle patriarchy – otherwise they would have done so, given that it harms and oppresses women.

                  So even in its most moderate form patriarchy theory defines men as the problem. A problem which needs to be eradicated somehow for women to be free. Therefore the difference between you and some radical feminist calling for the genocide of the male population is simply one of degrees. Rad fems take feminist theory to its logical conclusion, whereas you leave the equation unfinished, as it were.

                  As a ‘moderate feminist’ you are no different to a ‘moderate racist’… someone who believes blacks are ‘the problem’ and is prepared to say so in public, but leaves it up to others to provide the ‘solution’.

                  This is why even the most moderate feminist is no different to the moderate nazi. It was their moderate acceptance and promotion of ‘jew theory’ (the theory that jews held power, were using it to control society/ commerce for their benefit and that they posed a threat to civilised society) that allowed the radical nazis to carry out their radical solutions.

                  Moderate feminists / moderate nazis are like the giant flatbed truck upon which is mounted the single machine gun of radical feminism/ radical nazism.

                  And just like moderate nazis, moderate feminists such as yourself also refuse to accept even a shred of responsibility for publicly endorsing and promoting the exact same theories and ‘threat narratives’ that justify – and logically lead towards – radical ‘final solutions’.

                  And that is basically what all your shaming and protests and waffle and refusing to answer my questions amounts to: you evading taking responsibility for supporting feminist theory.

                  This video was made for people like you.

                  feminism, y’all gotta own this sh*t

  5. One of the great fallacies of this kind of debate is one that you did not address. At the beginning of this post is the slashed phrase pro-feminist/anti-feminist. That’s an interesting dichotomy. Usually it’s phrased without that first prefix. It’s just feminist/antifeminist. Does a person really have to be one or the other?

    I quite often hear ‘feminists’ take offense at other women saying that they are not feminists. I’ve read more than one article of the kind. Here’s an example. http://jezebel.com/the-many-misguided-reasons-famous-ladies-say-im-not-a-1456405014.

    Sometimes the article apologizes for the ignorance of nonfeminist women. Sometimes there will be obvious anger or at least irritation. Women say they’re not feminist? Who do they think they are? Why, without the sacrifices of feminists of the past, they wouldn’t have what they have now. True? Of course. But does a feminist of today have the right to color herself with the deeds of the past? Modern feminism does not necessarily have the same goals and views that feminism of the past had. Ironically, the refusal to allow a woman to reject feminism makes my point. Should a woman have to be a feminist? Is a woman less of a woman because she hasn’t joined the union? I think a woman only has to be a woman. If she says she is not a feminist, I won’t think less of her. No one should.

    The label ‘feminist’, not movement, not idea, but the LABEL, has been co-opted by a lot of bizarre ideas. “Men don’t have as many serious life affecting issues facing them as women do.” I can’t even take a person seriously if that’s one of their leading points.

    • The phrase you quote at the end really caught my eye when I first read the post. I definitely don’t agree with it.

      I’ve read quite a few posts and watched videos by women who don’t want to label themselves feminists either. I think a movement that sees the sort of push-back modern feminism has seen, should wonder why. Instead of pretending it’s just a few people on the fringe of the movement, maybe consider whether or not it’s something a little deeper than that.

      Like I said, by definition I’d be a feminist. But from what I’ve seen, it’s not a movement I want to associate myself with. I’d rather tackle it from a human perspective, rather than a sex/gender one.

      Thank you for your excellent comment!

  6. Pingback: Whose Feminism is it Anyways? | Amusing Nonsense

  7. Unfortunately, especially when it comes to “isms” and the “ists” who subscribe to them, people rapidly move to the extremes. And it seems that it is those who are on the extremes of either side of the issues who howl the loudest (i.e., the squeaky wheel gets the oil syndrome). I tend to tune out the extremes on both ends of the spectrum because, if I don’t, I know my head would explode, and I don’t think that would be good for my overall health.

    As usual, good, provocative post.

  8. Wow. Another thing we agree on. Even as a women I don’t identify myself as a feminist. At least of what I can see, they don’t talk about men’s issues as well as women’s. I mean men can be sexually assaulted just as much as women. And it’s a human issue not a gender issue.

    🙂

    • @ Rachel-Elaine

      Here’s a quick point. Why would culture, our society (I’m just lumping North America together) take male sexual assault seriously when it doesn’t take sexual assault on women seriously which it certainty does not given the treatment of sexual assault victims by most police departments. It’s a real tragedy that Godless Cranium was laughed at on top of being assaulted, that is hideous. Though would are not laughed at they are often blamed for there own assault, they will have there names slander, and still have not justice done.

      This is not me minimizing men’s experience, but I don’t see how we can take the issue sexual assault on men (I’m not including children as those case should be dealt differently than adult cases in my opinion) when the very real and significantly larger issue of female sexual assault is still largely ignored. Both need to be dealt with, but each are massive problem with run deep right into the heart of popular culture, things are brains are steeped in from a very young age. I’ll see about pulling up some old post about this issue from other writers in my coming reply post to this article.

      Withteeth

  9. Hey there Godless Cranium,

    So little think you should be made aware of their are two people writing under hessianwithteeth. Hessian and myself, Withteeth. Your largely discussing my post, but there are two distinct voices on our blog.

    This will need a full a proper repose to me to fairly talk about each of the issues you brought up. As well I feel you misrepresent some of what I said, but not so egregiously that I think it was in anyway malicious. I don’t think changing the name of the moment will change anything since there is a massive media force (fox news being a big one) which constantly challenges feminism, and feminist thought. Also there are some points you made which if you look at the wording differently then a very different meaning is brought about, but lets remember newspapers are rarely effective at communicating the correct tone on issues like this. News today is about sensationalism rather then accuracy.

    I think one of the biggest game changers will be the teaching of concept and sex to children. All people not just children should understand what actual consent is, and they should also begin learning about sex basically as soon as they start asking question about it.

    But again a full response is needed to cover the issues you brought, and you do bring up some good points, I still disagree with you conclusion, but I fell there are good reasons for that too.

    Withteeth

    • Hi HWT,

      “As well I feel you misrepresent some of what I said, but not so egregiously that I think it was in anyway malicious.”

      I’m sorry you feel that way, but it definitely wasn’t malicious in intent. I tried to give a nice block of text so you weren’t out of context and urge people to read the article for themselves.

      “I don’t think changing the name of the moment will change anything since there is a massive media force (fox news being a big one) which constantly challenges feminism, and feminist thought.”

      I’m not sure why that would make a difference. They would just challenge the thoughts under a different banner.

      FOX News…*shiver*

      “but lets remember newspapers are rarely effective at communicating the correct tone on issues like this. News today is about sensationalism rather then accuracy.”

      I agree. My intent wasn’t to show that the majority of feminists feel that way. Rather it was to show that these elements do color the discourse and the movement as a whole.

      “I think one of the biggest game changers will be the teaching of concept and sex to children. All people not just children should understand what actual consent is, and they should also begin learning about sex basically as soon as they start asking question about it.”

      I agree with this wholeheartedly. I also think as a society, we’re far too uptight about sex. I wish sex education was far better than it is now.

      “But again a full response is needed to cover the issues you brought, and you do bring up some good points, I still disagree with you conclusion, but I fell there are good reasons for that too.”

      Thank you very much HWT. I appreciate it. I want you to know that I enjoy your blog and admire the passion behind it. In no way was I trying to malign you or Hessianwithoutteeth.

      In fact, thank you for writing those posts because it helped inspire this one. I look forward to reading any rebuttal piece you may write in the future.

      And thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this post.

  10. I decided to jump in on other discussions before making a general response because I don’t know where to start. You’re covering a lot of complex issues in a very short amount of time, and I admittedly disagree with most of them, but I’m not sure I can derive any worth from responding in equal brevity. I’m going to focus on the primary point of the term instead.

    First, I’m a feminist and always have been. People used to get confused when I called myself a feminist, ‘but women are equal now, right?’ Only recently have I seen more and more men and women admit to being feminists or start calling themselves feminists. In my private circles and in the media, it often seems like there is just a sudden incomprehensible backlash against feminism. But that’s only in proportion to it’s rising popularity.

    Even I went through a phase of talking about ‘gender equality’ in an attempt to sound more neutral, but I now hold on to the feminist identity and choose to affect its definition because I believe that words hold a great deal of power, and right now, feminism isn’t going anywhere. I certainly don’t want it to be hijacked.

    There are feminists who think real empowerment is being a mother and those who think you can’t be a feminist if you don’t have a full time job. Those who think all men, secretly, hate women, and those who think men cannot, by definition, be feminists. These are the feminists I hear about from mainstream media and yet I rarely find them in real life, in blog circles, in my workplace or amongst friends and family.

    I’m describing this to try and explain how nebulous feminism has become, because you seem to have taken much more common views to account here and then end your post with a blatant display of misandry. To me, you seem to have painted a broken an inconsistent portrait of feminism that would be next to impossible to identify with for anyone. And yet, this is clearly a good representation of how people generally see feminism. Regardless of how frustrating it can be, as a feminist, that’s good to know.

    • “In my private circles and in the media, it often seems like there is just a sudden incomprehensible backlash against feminism. But that’s only in proportion to it’s rising popularity.”

      You think it’s because of its popularity and not because of the negative headlines its garnered over the last little while?

      You make some very solid points. I don’t think you’ve managed to change my views on feminism as a movement, although you’ve given me a lot of food for thought – as usual.

      I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on curiosetta’s comment above, since it takes almost the opposite stance you do.

      Thanks for your thoughts. You always make such strong comments. 🙂

      • I think it’s garnering negative headlines because of the rising popularity, the backlash is also bringing more feminists out of the wood work, chicken, egg? Overall politics are getting more conservative in most of the world, so in purely practical terms, women are becoming less equal, and some of us have long enough memories and a broad enough view to be scared of that.

        Thanks for the compliment, I’ll check out the other comments.

          • Bad behaviour should never be excused by worse behaviour. We can’t stop talking about culturally marginalising half the population through objectification, verbal abuse, fear tactics and exclusion because someone else isn’t allowed to drive or choose who they marry or have sex with. It’s like excusing theft because there are murderers out there.

            I realise there are proportionally more people talking about the lesser evils, but that’s because the women in the latter circumstances haven’t got a voice. We speak about troubles we can identify the most because that’s what we know. And being less unequal doesn’t stop us from wanting to be completely equal.

            I can tell you from personal experience that ones confidence can be shattered by constantly being told, “I’ll go easy on you,” or “I can’t believe I lost to a girl” all your life. And when media treats you like they don’t want your custom because you simply can’t see yourself in it, it feels oppressive and makes you feel invisible.

            Feminism isn’t just about middle class white girls, but minimising their problems doesn’t help either.

              • Yes, like that. As I said before, I’m an intersectional feminist, that means feminism has to include everyone, male, female and everything in between? Also races, cultures, ability, sexuality, everything.

                Girls and women have changed a lot in the last century and boys and men have changed very little. That’s why a great deal of feminist debate is focussing on allowing boys to be themselves, on allowing gender fluidity, chasing paternity leave and telling rapists not to rape instead of telling victims not to get raped.

                These are all stemming from modern feminism, the belief that it’s not just okay to have tits, it’s also okay to have feelings and to like pretty things and to be vulnerable. Feminine coded behaviour needs to be respected in all genders, it’s not enough for women to be treated equal to men only if they’re as aggressive as men.

                It would, as others have said, be nice if feminism wasn’t needed for all this. If egalitarians, atheists or, let’s say, men were fighting for this kind of equality, that would be great. But it almost only ever seems to come up within feminism or in response to feminism. Even if it isn’t the loudest voice within feminism, it’s totally invisible elsewhere.

                I would say the gay rights movement is the closest to tackling this by the way, but to be honest, half of gay people are women. And half of everyone else are women. There’s a reason feminism isn’t going away, women are the largest ‘minority’ out there and we need to be engaging with each other over these issues, not dismissing each other because your focus is not my focus.

                • I think it shows up in other areas. Secular atheists are often the ones writing books and pointing out how badly women are treated in much of the Middle East. I’ve also read blogs and articles written by men on these issues. Even just locally, I work with men who work in this field.

                  I don’t think only feminists or people who associate with feminism are the only ones talking about these issues. I don’t think it’s invisible elsewhere.

                  And that’s good. I think we need more of that. I hope it continues.

            • I got my ass handed to me by a woman in a push-up contest a few years ago. She tried soooo hard to not make me feel emasculated afterwards, too. I was like, “What are you talking about? You won! Own your victory.”

              If someone ever says, “I can’t believe I lost to a girl,” to you, you get to throw your head back, laugh maniacally, and say, “There’s more where that came from, loser.”

              BTW, this wasn’t one of those “I can do anything you can do better” things. It was a slow day at work and someone in the department said, “Let’s see who can do the most push-ups.” Twernt me, it turns out.

      • Okay, I read the comment you refered to and here’s my thoughts:

        a – What a load of meaningless semantic nonsense. Feminism isn’t a club, of course you can’t get kicked out of it. I can’t stop people who eat fish or chicken calling themselves vegetarians and I can’t stop people who’d happily stand by and allow violence from calling themselves pacifists either. Pure rubbish.

        b – This is a person who doesn’t know anything about feminism. ‘Radical Feminism’ is a specific movement and it’s not very radical. It’s actually pretty conservative. They get about as much press as the KKK because they’re click bait.

        c – I’m not keen about engaging this person in debate because I don’t think it’s worth my time. They don’t seem open to discussion, so why bother? Still, I probably will if pushed, because I suck at backing down…

        • > Feminism isn’t a club, of course you can’t get kicked out of it. I can’t stop people who eat fish or chicken calling themselves vegetarians and I can’t stop people who’d happily stand by and allow violence from calling themselves pacifists either.

          You can’t stop people from making invalid claims, this is true.

          But if I said I was a vegetarian even though I ate meat then I can guarantee every single person I met would tell me I was not a vegetarian. They would say my claim was invalid. They would say I was being an idiot for saying that.

          So if feminism is really about the principles of gender equality and a respect for both sexes – as it claims to be – then logically anybody claiming to be a feminist who violates those principles should be told “You are not a feminist” and “You claim to be a feminist is invalid”.

          But this is not what happens in reality.

          Instead people who blatantly promote gender inequality and a hatred of men are welcomed into the feminist movement, often celebrated as feminist authors and spokeswomen, they are often funded by the movement, their talks are well attended and receive rapturous applause and when they are criticised by non-feminists for spreading hate, lies or sheer nonsense they are often fiercely defended even to the point of threatening behaviour.

          Either we take the consistent behaviour of feminists over decades seriously and conclude that feminism is passively tolerant / actively supportive of those kinds of views… or we DON’T take the consistent behaviour of feminists over decades seriously and conclude that feminism has no principles after all and is just a total free for all.

          You cannot have it both ways.

          Feminists often claim they are not treated with respect and not valued as grown ups, yet when you treat feminists as grown ups (by treating the feminist movement seriously and actually holding feminists accountable for their own behaviour) they tend to evade the issue, refuse to debate and frame it all as some sort of personal attack (ie resort to playing the victim card).

          Again, you cannot have it both ways.

          If you want to claim feminists are incapable of enforcing clear and precise definitions of feminism to the public and within their own movement – and therefore cannot be held responsible for wildly differing (and often conflicting) claims, opinions and ideologies within their feminist movement then fine.

          But in claiming that you are in effect admitting to being incapable of running an organisation, and you are creating a negative impression of women as inept, weak, lacking integrity and lacking agency. This does a huge disservice to all the capable, assertive, responsible women out there who DO have their shit together.

          • I’m sorry, running an organisation? This is just laughable. I guess atheists are dismissible because the general public think we’re all pedophiles and baby eaters. I guess the gay rights movement is pointless because they haven’t convinced mainstream media that they’re not promoting an anti-family agenda. Science is a wash out because homeopathy.

            The vast majority of people complaining about radical feminism are other feminists. It’s a classic false balance set up and all the other feminists are pissed that that’s what gets the headlines. You already admitted they’re fringe, that’s because the bulk of feminists won’t have anything to do with them.

            There are nuances of course, and gets taken too far. Women are told they can’t be feminists if they give up their job to raise kids, if they give up their kids to work, if they wear too much makeup, if they’re not sexually liberated enough. There isn’t one group with the authority to tell everyone else what feminism is, but wishing it away isn’t going to work, because it’s basic principles are still very much needed and very much longed for.

            The right for women to be treated equally and fairly and to be allowed to decide their own destiny, the right for girls and boys to be accepted and acknowledged and the acceptance empowerment of diversity on every level of society. If someone claiming to be a feminist was oppressing other women, of course I would call them out on it. That doesn’t mean I’d be given a stage to do so.

            • > I’m sorry, running an organisation? This is just laughable

              The minimum requirements to be a legitimate social/ political movement are to be able to (a) adhere to a consistent set of principles (b) define those principles clearly and precisely (c) exclude people who are not in line with those principles (or or actively oppose them) from being active within the movement, and certainly not allow them to climb the ranks and become high profile spokespeople for the movement.

              Feminism consistently and provably fails on all counts. When you say the concept of feminists organising the feminist movement is ‘laughable’ do you mean it’s somehow ridiculous to treat feminists like responsible, intelligent, responsible grown ups capable of organising their own movement?

              Why should feminists be treated any differently to any other group of adults organising their own social cause?

              > I guess atheists are dismissible because the general public think we’re all pedophiles and baby eaters.

              Atheism is not a moral system, it is simply a rejection of the claim (made by theists) that deities exist. One can be an atheist AND a pedophile AND a baby eater without being a hypocrite.

              A better analogy would be a person who claims to be an atheist, writes books promoting atheism, speaks a atheist conferences and is generally championed by the atheist community despite attending church every Sunday and worshipping a god. That is the level of hypocrisy being displayed in the feminist movement.

              > I guess the gay rights movement is pointless because they haven’t convinced mainstream media that they’re not promoting an anti-family agenda.

              The issue in not about feminism being ‘pointless’ (whatever that means). The issue is feminists who are contradictory, hypocritical, fraudulent, inconsistent and irrational in their claims and their actions.

              > Science is a wash out because homeopathy.

              But homeopathy IS a controversial subject among scientists. Many scientists reject homeopathy as having scientific validity. ‘Science’ itself does not accept or reject homeopathy because science is not an ideology, it is a method of measuring and evaluating data AKA ‘the scientific method’.

              > The vast majority of people complaining about radical feminism are other feminists.

              I don’t understand what point you are trying to make. That is like saying “the vast majority of people complaining about radical vegetarians are other vegetarians”

              My response to that would be why are people who eat meat classified as ‘radical vegetarians’ in the first place if vegetarianism is not about eating meat?

              And my response to you is why are people who hold anti-equality and anti-men views regarded as ‘radical feminists’ in the first place if feminism is not about being anti-equality and anti-men?

              > It’s a classic false balance set up and all the other feminists are pissed that that’s what gets the headlines.

              Yes but are they annoyed at having their movement defined as anti-equality and anti-male…. or are they just annoyed at the unfavourable publicity?

              The fact that these ‘radical feminists’ are still supported, defended, funded and their books are still to be found in feminist bookstores is telling.

              > You already admitted they’re fringe, that’s because the bulk of feminists won’t have anything to do with them.

              They are not fringe, they are often in prominent positions within the movement. If anything they are CORE, rather than FRINGE (big difference).

              In any case, the bulk of feminists are anti-equality and anti-male simply because they (a) subscribe to ‘patriarchy theory’ which defines men as sociopaths (which is pretty sexist if you think about it!) and (b) they never campaign against gender inequalities when those inequalities happen to disadvantage men and/ or give women unfair privilege.

              The entire feminist movement is at odds with ‘gender- equality’, not just its ‘radical’ aspects.

              > Women are told they can’t be feminists if they give up their job to raise kids, if they give up their kids to work, if they wear too much makeup, if they’re not sexually liberated enough. There isn’t one group with the authority to tell everyone else what feminism is, but wishing it away isn’t going to work, because it’s basic principles are still very much needed and very much longed for.

              But everything you are saying is an admission that feminism has no basic principles. Feminism is all things to all people. Vegetarianism needs no ‘authority’ to dictate who is and who is not a vegetarian. The core principle of vegetarianism (don’t eat meat) is clear enough to BE the authority. That is the whole point of having principles!

              The fact that we seem to agree that feminism seems to require some kind of ‘authority figure’ to dictate what feminists they can and cannot be, do, say or think proves that it is (as I keep saying) lacking any core principles. It is just a mob, or a large collection of competing mobs, all flying the banner ‘feminism’ which is no more than that: a banner.

              I mean can you imagine a vegetarian discussing all the meat eating vegetarians saying “There isn’t one group with the authority to tell everyone else what vegetarianism is…”

              > The right for women to be treated equally and fairly and to be allowed to decide their own destiny…

              If feminism was really about gender equality you would say “The right for people to be treated equally and fairly and to be allowed to decide their own destiny..”

              >If someone claiming to be a feminist was oppressing other women, of course I would call them out on it.

              What about oppressing men and children?

              > That doesn’t mean I’d be given a stage to do so.

              But feminists have the internet as their stage just like everybody else. Feminists seem perfectly capable of taking to the streets (and now the blogosphere) and making a noise when it comes to issues that benefit them directly, but when it comes to issues of hypocrisy, irrationality, hate and oppression within their own movement suddenly feminists need to be ‘given a stage’.

              I’m always coming across feminists claiming feminism is all about ‘gender equality’ and that it does not ignore men’s issues, or demonise men …. or women for that matter. Yet I’ve never come across a feminist blog or a grass roots feminist group calling out self proclaimed feminists as impostors for their anti-equality stance, or their hateful and destructive anti men/ anti women views.

              And I’ve never come across a grass roots feminist campaign actively seeking to address any issues of male inequality and/ or female privilege.

              And I’ve never come across any feminists (radical or moderate) who are open to the possibility that perhaps men are not sociopathic by nature, that they might not have deliberately oppressed women throughout history after all and that the ‘patriarchy’ (ie traditional male/ female roles) might have actually been created at least as much by women to serve women’s needs as by men to serve theirs.

              If it’s true that women had the agency, the intelligence and the natural selfish desire to define and negotiate their own gender roles throughout history in ways that best suited them the this means women have always been ’empowered’, and were never inferior to men after all.

              If it turns out that women were empowered, and had the agency to control their own lives (rather than merely being objects at the mercy of men) then this means feminists cannot use the claim of victimhood to demand extra pity, special treatment and free stuff from men and from society as a whole based.

              So feminists obviously have a very big incentive to maintain the feminist narrative (AKA patriarchy theory) about historical and contemporary oppression by men, and to keep claiming the status of ‘victim’.

              And this would explains why the feminist movement comes across like a relentless (and completely irrational, dishonest and emotionally manipulative) ‘sales pitch’ about men being strong, powerful and oppressive and women being weak, inferior and victimised. A sales pitch which refuses to take no for an answer.

  11. Possibly the question that needs to be addressed is why there are feminists?
    What would make someone ( in this case a woman/women) say, ‘enuff is enuff or a man align himself with such a movement?

    Such things/movements/beliefs don’t happen in a vacuum.

    Nothing wrong with viva la difference providing it sits side by side with viva equality

  12. Pingback: Mind Officially Blown | Godless Cranium

  13. Ugh so Godless Cranium the reply is coming along nicely, but it’s a monster and I’ll be splinting it into parts, but posting them all at once. You cover some many issue that I’ve had to reach out to other to get good sources, but yes I’m doing my best to give you the information you (and others) will need to get a clear picture of modern feminism.

    Hope you like reading long posts cause this one already has over 30 links and is 9 pages having 3400 words… it’ll be done soon… I hope.

  14. Pingback: A reply to Why I’m not A feminist. Part One. | hessianwithteeth

  15. Pingback: A reply to Why I Don’t Identify as a Feminist. Part Two. | hessianwithteeth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s