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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Thoughts on Feminism

This is a touchy subject.
I am an avowed, staunch and explicit antifeminist, so do forgive the overt condemnation, I will try to be fair.

Feminism is more than a dictionary definition.
It is a collection of ideologies and movements under one umbrella.
It was that way from the time the word was coined.
I believe it was not popularised until the 60's, though this is regularly obfuscated as any woman of note or any advocacy for women is deemed feminist (much as with the baptism of the dead practiced by Mormons)

As somebody that cares deeply about equality I actually looked to see what feminists did and said before I declared myself a feminist. As a teen I was very much a fan of empowered "feminist" women, from Buffy to Max in Dark Angel to Xena. I love me some strong, independent feminine women that can kick my arse.
I was biased in favour of the movement of women for women.

And yet I was quickly disillusioned.

The rhetoric of the movement is largely misandric. "Misandy don't real" doesn't change this, people. Instead of support for women, we regularly see denouncements of men, masculinity and "patriarchy"
Can anyone name an equal rights movement that actively promotes hatred of those different?

The problems raised by western feminists and their methods of advocacy are often outright daft.
Many are lies (rape culture, the wage gap, micro aggressions)
Some are also ridiculous (micro aggressions, trigger warnings, ban bossy, cat calling)
Some are outright malicious (pay men less, misandry merch, violent protest, censorship, TERF)
When pointing out these problems, feminists immediately declare that not ALL feminists are like that, but many saying this ALSO actively support many of the things criticised. The wage gap is pernicious, despite being refuted multiple times over decades, despite the fact that ANY business would love to cut its wage costs by 23% instantly.

Another problem is deflection.
When a problem is raised with feminists, the answer is not to fix it, or even acknowledge it.
The answer is always to point out how other people have problems too.
Feminists cant be at fault, because MRAs are mean. Or because the Taliban prevents women from reading.

The constant bullying feminists engage in is always justified because their cause is good.
Immoral action is excused because the people doing it are righteous and therefore can not be immoral.

I'd ask everyone to start looking at what feminists DO, listen to what they say, how they say it and seek alternative opinions. Just as the advice of any atheist on making atheists is to read scripture, feminism relies on ignorance and laziness to gain support. Examine what the movement stands for and you'll soon find yourself unable to support it without qualification.

Now, feminism is broken. This is my position. It is broken and needs to be bought down, it's major proponents discredited and then we can work to fix it.
This should be EASY.
Women's rights are important. Feminism could be what we need, instead of the tool of self serving narcissists.
A place in the wider egalitarian movement for feminism would gladden my heart, as feminism DOES contain good people, has achieved good things (just not everything it claims to have done)

Reproductive rights and body integrity;

There are still places where women don't enjoy body integrity or access to abortion.
That is a travesty.
It is a worthy target for activists.
Except those in the UK that worked to see intimate piercings listed as genital mutilation. Yes any feminists reading this; feminism thinks a woman choosing to pierce her own body is criminal FGM. Women obviously are incapable of consent...

Equality of opportunity;

There ARE issues of male dominated environments where women struggle.
I think it's PERFECTLY okay to work to support women to achieve.
Sadly, this is often used as a bludgeon and the balance is ignored. Equality of opportunity is not equality of outcome. You're doing fine ladies, you're the majority of graduates and have few or no barriers, so stop supporting any feminist that declares women are discriminated against. It's untrue, and it means we cant solve the real problems OR allow women to pursue what THEY want (in my family, most women are care providers, from children to the elderly. They should be respected, not maligned for not choosing "male" careers)
The conversation also needs to stop vilifying men or pretending men face no problems. Men can and do face discrimination, and graduation rates are much lower than women. Don't dismiss it as laziness, that's straight up sexism.

Domestic violence;

An important issue, one which feminists SHOULD do much better on.
Many good, well intentioned feminists are involved in this sector, and I applaud them their efforts however, much of the work is useless.
Many victims of interpersonal violence are troubled themselves, often violent. Reciprocal domestic abuse is the most common form, but this is not spoken about or solved. Violent women are excused because they were "provoked"
This helps nobody, as the cycle is allowed to repeat.
Also, much feminist rhetoric is about fixing men. Men just don't know any better. This is an insidious way of thinking as is excuses abusers and places the blame on wider culture. It convinces victims that their abuser can change, will change. That their abuse is not proof they need to leave, but somehow the fault of a culture that condones abuse. I am absolutely certain this is unhelpful as well as being untrue.
Male victims are also ignored, to the point where the few help lines for men that exist explicitly suggest those calling are the abuser, not the abused. How sick is that?
When we can have an honest, open discussion on this issue, we can work to fix the problems more effectively. Until then, female violence towards men will remain a joke, ignored or condoned by the public, and the help offered to suffering women will instead be squandered trying to prove women are the sole victims.

Feminism has a lot of merit. The intent of many is good, if misguided.
A reformation is required for it to achieve it's lofty goals.
Please, feminists of the world, end my antifeminism. Join with me and those like me to reform the sickness that dominates your movement.
Stop excusing or absolving misandrists. Stop excusing lies because they support your conclusions (Rolling Stone on the UVA case, for instance. Or Dunham about her college "rapist". Or Silverman about being paid less than a man because of her gender. All lies. All excused.)
With simple honesty and willingness to engage and include men, we can solve this.