ForumsWEPRFeminism and an egalitarian future

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Avorne
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Avorne
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This is something that I've been thinking about for a while and I'd love to see what everyone else makes of it.

In some senses, feminism is like a religion, without the benefits of having an enshrined set of core tenets for people to follow (or criticize). The only definitive shape feminism is given is that it has womenâs rights at its core. Far too much is left murky and dark and ripe for predatory animals to snap up resources and the unsuspecting in a bid to fuel their own existence.

A self-identified feminist can certainly claim that the radicals in their movement do not speak for them and that their actions are not condoned, and I have no reason at all to doubt that many feminists are not represented by the radicals, but if thatâs the impression the outside world gets then of course the stereotypes about feminism are going to persist.

This means that radicals are free to put their own spin upon feminism and to imprint it with their own meaning and end goals - ones that may not necessarily be egalitarian in nature (and certainly not the best thought out in some cases).

To do away with such behaviours one must look to a cause that is more well-defined, if only by nature of simplicity, that or kick out the radical elements and make a public display of them being unwelcome in the movement.

I fear feminism is already too well ensnared within the probing tentacles of radical ideology and that leaves only one option:

Take the path of egalitarian thinking instead.

If someone believes in equality of opportunity for all, woman or man or anyone outside of those terms, then they would surely be better suited to the title of egalitarian.

Gender-based oppression has never truly been a force pushed only by men and only onto women, as the radicals who stole feminism seem more and more intent on claiming with each day, it is a systemic problem that hurts everyone in different ways and only through understanding the harm it causes both to men and women can we begin to address it.

Leave âfeminismâ behind, mourn for it if you wish, because make no mistakes when I say that feminism is dead and the puppetry of radicals is the only thing keeping the movement twitching.

Itâs like an ideological Weekend At Bernieâs.

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xxBoogeymaNxx
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xxBoogeymaNxx
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radical feminists are not a representative sample of either feminists or people in general.


Radical feminism is a current perspective within feminism that focuses on the theory of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships based on the assertion that male supremacy oppresses women. [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_feminism]

To claim Radical Feminists aren't feminists, and suggesting he read the wikipedia definition of feminism in the same post when it clearly says that radical feminism is a perspective within feminism is a bit ignorant. You cannot simply claim that the extreme part of feminism isn't feminism simply to make feminism look better. That would be like if someone had two misdemeanors and a murder on their criminal record and he said the murder isn't part of his record. It simply doesn't work that way.
Xzeno
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Xzeno
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That's different from the type of radical feminism that the OP is describing. He's describing a view that holds females as superior, while the constellation of philosophies encompassed in the wikipedia approach to terminology seek to offer high-level explanations as to the nature of gender roles in society, and their causal factors.

People who want to supply high-level explanations are prone to being wrong, but that's the nature of the beast. It's hard to be sure of anything up there. But that way lies the truth.

Female superiority is anti-feminist. Yours would be a fair critique if the type of "radical feminism" you affirmed the existence of was the type of "radical feminism" that the OP and I describe. However, it's more a terminology note as such.

Aren't you basing this just on gross assumptions?
Not at all. I'm basing it on the strong inference that Avorne believes women have a distinct advantage over men (he says so at the bottom of the first page.) I proceed to make a series of gross assumptions from that base. There's a difference :P
xxBoogeymaNxx
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xxBoogeymaNxx
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[url=http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~baumeistertice/goodaboutmen.htm] Here is a link to something I think you all should read. It brings up many things about the supposed gender gaps of today. Xzeno, you sound educated so I hope you don't just blow it off xD

nichodemus
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nichodemus
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Not at all. I'm basing it on the strong inference that Avorne believes women have a distinct advantage over men (he says so at the bottom of the first page.) I proceed to make a series of gross assumptions from that base. There's a difference :P


You know what I mean.
NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
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However, I really don't think that's fair to readers of the thread. Listing ll of those things (which, again, you have no legitimate platform to discuss) might give the impression by omission that there are other feminist issues which you do understand.


Many feminists are quite radical, and they use their platform to push their agendas. Therefore, it's hard to talk about these extremist ideas without bringing up their platform because their platform is such a huge deal to these women.

What Avorne brought up is a legitimate argument, and he even admits that he's talking about radical feminism. Today, it seems like many feminists want special rights that men can't obtain, or rights that effect both genders based solely on arguments made to victimize women, such as feminists who want to outlaw porn.

Feminism originated when women lacked the same rights as men, that's something we're all aware of. However, we've grown past most gender biases. Though there is still some gender bias, as Nicho has pointed out, it's often not nearly as radical as some feminists make it out to be.

There are two seperate ideas as to what feminism is, and really it's an argument on semantics. The reason most people want to change feminism into egalitarianism is to eliminate bias that exists within the movement.

Feminism tends to focus only on women's rights. When there's an issue where a man is wronged due to sexual bias, feminists will turn a blind eye to such issues. There's are groups dedicated to fighting sexual bias towards men, and these groups often make the same mistake of turning a blind eye when it comes to sexual bias that favors men. Now, if we're going to advocate equality, we need to make sure these groups recognize all sexual bias. Without doing so, you end up with wrongfully biased ideas and accusations.

There are many very intelligent people out there who talk against feminism, but they only really seem to attack the radical feminist views. When a feminist makes a point they agree with, they call it egalitarianism. This isn't an issue on ideology, it's an issue pertaining to semantics. It really depends on what you believe feminism to mean, and how you use the word 'feminism'.

I remember reading an article written by a "feminist" that tried to demonize My Little Pony, and talk about how it was a sexist cartoon. They admitted they didn't watch the cartoon, only watched the intro song and saw pictures, but they claimed Rainbow Dash was just a stereotype of gay women. It was a humorous article. I'll try to find it and link it later tonight, not to make a point, but because it's hilarious and an example of a feminist who goes out of their way to misinform people.
nichodemus
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Feminism tends to focus only on women's rights. When there's an issue where a man is wronged due to sexual bias, feminists will turn a blind eye to such issues.


Well of course, because it's not an issue of their domain specifically. There are male groups for that.

Now, if we're going to advocate equality, we need to make sure these groups recognize all sexual bias. Without doing so, you end up with wrongfully biased ideas and accusations.


Yes, but sexual bias in most cases, is often against women. Of course we're going to lambast radical feminists, but as in all movements, there will be radical elements. For instance, everyone thinks about Islamic fundamentalists as innately evil, blood baying creatures, but these are often the minorities. If you lessen the issue into one merely of egalitarianism, it dilutes the entire issue.
Avorne
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The radicals in the feminist movement are often the most well-funded to do research, research that can oftentimes be anywhere from slightly flawed to obviously biased, they are also often not spoken against when they say outrageous and inflammatory things about men. Feminists like Andrea Dworkin, who thankfully doesn't say much any more on account of being dead, have their hateful or flawed lines of thinking elevated to the status of 'inspirational feminist literature'.

Let us also not forget that the radicals have much more control over advocacy, theory and the direction of feminist academia than the average feminist might. Hence how people like Koss are able to get away with the ridiculous 'one-in-four' statistic.

Not only that but pieces of research like that start to weave together and form a world-view of horrible, crippling oppression that if the newcomer to the feminist movement isn't smart enough to look past will inevitably influence them in some way and heap irrational fears onto them. It leads to precisely the picture we see today - women talk about their fears of violence (despite men being the much more likely victim of most forms of violence), their fear of ra pe by men (Schrodinger's Rap ist comes into play where every man could be a potential rap ist) and the supposedly gender-based sleights against them that they claim are 'male privileges' but are really just people being jerks (as people are known to be).

Am I saying that these people are representative of the way that every feminist thinks? No, of course not, hence why I said that the decent feminists within the movement who seek equality should become an egalitarian - not only is the movement free of the poisons of radical feminism, and of having your voice stolen to add to the clamour of 'we as feminists think X' that radical feminists often indulge in, but it's also free of the idea that men exclusively sit in roles of privilege above women. It shows social inequalities and disparities for what they really are.

Radical feminism isn't representative of feminists as a whole, I've said that before and I'll say it again, but just like how we can see some of the ideological flaws of mainstream Christianity by looking at the worst excesses such as the Westboro Baptist Church (beliefs on homosexuality, morality, etc) - it's possible to see the problems with the mainstream feminist movement by looking at the beliefs of radicals.

Now it would be unfair to judge feminism by fringe groups, right? After all that's what the Westboro Baptist Church is in the analogy that I gave - it doesn't have any sway or stock with the mainstream movement. However, the same is not the case for feminism, radicals often aren't expelled from the movement or denied by the mainstream (per what I said above) and are usually the most well-funded or represented in media. It's more like judging Catholicism by the things that the Pope says (which is much more reasonable considering that the Pope is, in Catholic beliefs, the highest authority).

Feminist is a label that you choose to apply to yourself and as long as you do it will always be the case that radicals can claim you amongst their supporters even if you don't agree with a thing they're saying. It's not a case of saying 'not all feminists are like that' because that was never the argument to begin with. Nor is it a case of rewording the No True Scotsman fallacy. They don't have to fit in with your definition of feminism and what a feminist is to consider themselves one.

NoNameC68
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Well of course, because it's not an issue of their domain specifically. There are male groups for that.


As I mentioned, these groups are blind to troubles being caused to the opposite gender. This often results in further sexism, the very opposite of what is intended. When you hear from feminists, it sounds like only women are mistreated. When you hear from men's right groups, it sounds as if men are the only ones having problems. This is how you end up with people like the Bernard Chapin, sexist a holes who only exaggerate issues and LOOK for bias that doesn't even exist. Both sides have plenty of people who do this.

Egalitarianism is better suited to prevent extreme sexist biases that result in extreme feminism and masculinism.

Yes, but sexual bias in most cases, is often against women. Of course we're going to lambast radical feminists, but as in all movements, there will be radical elements. For instance, everyone thinks about Islamic fundamentalists as innately evil, blood baying creatures, but these are often the minorities. If you lessen the issue into one merely of egalitarianism, it dilutes the entire issue.


Why have 100 women in one group and 100 men in another? Why not combine the two so we have 200 men and women working together to disintegrate all sexism?

Maybe it has to do with my political philosophy where I feel we should defend everyone's rights, including those we disagree with, because I don't see how you can claim to fight for equality between sexes if you're only going to focus on the rights of a single sex, while ignoring the rights of the other sex.

Sure, there was a time when feminism was needed when women had far fewer rights than men, but the gap is nearly closed now. If we want to finish closing the gap, I believe we should focus on all gender bias.

As for everything Avorne stated, I have to agree with him. If people concerned about inequality towards women consider themselves egalitarian, they can still focus on sexism towards women. The only difference is that they'll be associated with a crowd that advocates gender equality from both the male and female perspective. If an extreme feminist decides to consider herself an egalitarian, she'll have a much harder time making irrationally biased claims.
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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I'm just going to throw two little stones in the pond and see what wave pattern emerges..

Stone Nr. 1
(to take with a big grain of salt, being the first work in that specific direction)

Stone Nr. 2:
What do you guys think about rates? I'm sorry if it was already mentioned, but there is that idea being discussed to impose a male/female quota in politic organisms for example, to ensure women get a chance (if I'm correct, France's ministers already have that). Now I understand that women are sadly still heavily discriminated in the high spheres of business and politics. My question is, is that discrimination really to be taken as the only source of the lack of women in such spheres, or could some simple reason account for at least a part of it? I am honestly a bit sceptic as to the real use of such quotas.

NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
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Stone Nr. 1
(to take with a big grain of salt, being the first work in that specific direction)


Immediately the article shows signs of word manipulation.

Compare the title with the first sentence.

How Our Brains See Men as People and Women as Body Parts: Both Genders Process Images of Men, Women Differently


When casting our eyes upon an object, our brains either perceive it in its entirety or as a collection of its parts.


According to the article:
Perceived as a single entity = Human
Perceived as a collection of body parts = Just body parts

Whether someone is perceived as a single entity or a collection of body parts, the brain comes to the same conclusion and perceives said someone as human regardless.

"Local processing underlies the way we think about objects: houses, cars and so on. But global processing should prevent us from that when it comes to people," Gervais said. "We don't break people down to their parts -- except when it comes to women, which is really striking. Women were perceived in the same ways that objects are viewed."


I now know why Asherlee told me psychology was nothing but pseudo science.

Gervais claims we see women as "a collection of body parts". This statement is horrendously misleading. Assuming the tests were done properly and the conclusions to be true, Gervais only tested how we recognize people. The problem with using the word "view" is that it has multiple conflicting meanings.

First, Gervais uses the word "view" in the manner in which we recognize someone. But later, when discussing the conclusions of the test, Gervais uses the word "view" in the manner in which we value someone.

So, essentially, Gervais is trying to change the word "recognize" to "value", two entirely different meanings, but using the word "view".

I don't know if Gervais is saying it's wrong to recognize women by their body parts, or if she is saying it's wrong to value women as nothing more than body parts. If the former, Sarah Gervais lacks evidence to make such a claim. If the latter, Sarah is playing with semantics to intentionally create false results.

What do you guys think about rates?


I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Are you asking we we believe certain job positions should contain a certain number of women? If so, such a policy is absolute BS. It creates this idea that we NEED to hire women to create equality. All if does is create more gender inequality.

If you're hired onto a position just because they needed to fill a quota, when someone of the opposite gender was more qualified, then that's sexism and should be frowned upon.
Avorne
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NoName did a pretty great job of deconstructing the flaws in that article so I really don't think I have much to add there.

On the topic of the number of women in 'high-up' positions I feel that, whilst perhaps there is some room for progress, that progress shouldn't come about as a result of legislation to 'force' businesses to take on more females in certain positions. Take a look at the UK's Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and understand that, because of it, many companies hired 'token disabled' workers or started positively discriminating in favour of disabled workers. Is it good that disabled people are being employed? Yes, of course it is. Not when it's to the detriment of the general jobs market though.

I think it would first be wise to look at the factors which influence people when choosing careers - like why there are so few male elementary school teachers. It doesn't help to say "we need more men in X" or "women should have more Y positions" if many people of that gender just aren't interested in the job in question.

I also think that it's important to dispel some of the myths about women in executive positions. If we can do that then the idea of "women can't achieve because of the glass ceiling" might at least be weakened and allow more women to fully exploit their earning potential in high-up jobs.

nichodemus
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As I mentioned, these groups are blind to troubles being caused to the opposite gender. This often results in further sexism, the very opposite of what is intended. When you hear from feminists, it sounds like only women are mistreated. When you hear from men's right groups, it sounds as if men are the only ones having problems. This is how you end up with people like the Bernard Chapin, sexist a holes who only exaggerate issues and LOOK for bias that doesn't even exist. Both sides have plenty of people who do this.

Egalitarianism is better suited to prevent extreme sexist biases that result in extreme feminism and masculinism.


No it doesn't. I fail to see the link that when feminists focus on female issues, it leads to further discrimination. All of history has shown the contrary, that when females stand up for their deserved rights, progress is made. And yes indeed, in many cases, there is discrimination on both ends, but women get the heavy brunt of it, and if anything, they deserve much of our attention, more than males.

Why have 100 women in one group and 100 men in another? Why not combine the two so we have 200 men and women working together to disintegrate all sexism?


Because discrimination against females is easily a much more pertinent issue. Saudi Arabia for one. We're not going to have much of progress if we try to merely establish an egalitarian movement; it doesn't break the rigid chain of thought.

Maybe it has to do with my political philosophy where I feel we should defend everyone's rights, including those we disagree with, because I don't see how you can claim to fight for equality between sexes if you're only going to focus on the rights of a single sex, while ignoring the rights of the other sex.


Because in many cases, the males already have such rights. Very simply, the right to equal pay. Males already have that. Females don't. If you want another platform to tackle problems where men are at a disadvantage, such as child support and care after a divorce, that's a wholly different issue.

Sure, there was a time when feminism was needed when women had far fewer rights than men, but the gap is nearly closed now. If we want to finish closing the gap, I believe we should focus on all gender bias.


No, it simply isn't in much of the world.

As for everything Avorne stated, I have to agree with him. If people concerned about inequality towards women consider themselves egalitarian, they can still focus on sexism towards women. The only difference is that they'll be associated with a crowd that advocates gender equality from both the male and female perspective. If an extreme feminist decides to consider herself an egalitarian, she'll have a much harder time making irrationally biased claims.


No. If people concerned about inequality towards women only consider themselves egalitarian fighters, then it loses the punch. If we fought Apartheid based on equality, rather than black rights, we would almost certainly have gotten no where.
NoNameC68
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No it doesn't. I fail to see the link that when feminists focus on female issues, it leads to further discrimination.


It leads to the idea that men oppress women, which is just not true.

And yes indeed, in many cases, there is discrimination on both ends, but women get the heavy brunt of it, and if anything, they deserve much of our attention, more than males.


If needed, egalitarianism will focus more on women's rights.

Egalitarianism isn't about providing the same amount of focus towards women as men, it's about tackling all inequality issues. If there are more inequality issues concerning women, egalitarianism will focus more on women's rights. The difference is that egalitarianism will focus on men's rights when needed, rather than ignore them or pretend men don't have any issues at all.

And yes indeed, in many cases, there is discrimination on both ends, but women get the heavy brunt of it, and if anything, they deserve much of our attention, more than males.


Honestly, I don't think there's too much discrimination towards women, at least not in the U.S.

Saudi Arabia for one. We're not going to have much of progress if we try to merely establish an egalitarian movement; it doesn't break the rigid chain of thought.


An egalitarian approach would focus more on women's rights since there would be more to focus on. Since there is such a high level of discrimination, it wouldn't hurt to fight for women's rights. Egalitarians can fight for women's rights, they can say they're fighting for women's rights, but they won't call themselves feminists because feminists ignore issues where men are discriminated against.

Because in many cases, the males already have such rights. Very simply, the right to equal pay. Males already have that. Females don't. If you want another platform to tackle problems where men are at a disadvantage, such as child support and care after a divorce, that's a wholly different issue.


Actually, it isn't. Feminism ignores male related issues and vice versa. The problem with this is that these groups often resort to denying that the other sex is discriminated against at all.

No, it simply isn't in much of the world.


Sorry, I should have been more clear. The gap is very small within civilized societies. In places such as the middle east, there are still many issues. Honestly, it doesn't matter which approach, because both feminists and egalitarians would end up fighting for 'women's rights' most of the time anyway.

But feminism in places like the U.S. is absolutely redicilous.

No. If people concerned about inequality towards women only consider themselves egalitarian fighters, then it loses the punch. If we fought Apartheid based on equality, rather than black rights, we would almost certainly have gotten no where.


I don't know much about Apartheid, but it sounds to me like they fought for equal rights, not special rights.

Here's an interesting look on women's rights throughout history.
nichodemus
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Here's an interesting look on women's rights throughout history.


On my phone.

It leads to the idea that men oppress women, which is just not true.


Tbh, it is true in large swathes of the world. If it's not in the States (which it isn't), good for you. Now the rest of the world needs help.

If needed, egalitarianism will focus more on women's rights.

Egalitarianism isn't about providing the same amount of focus towards women as men, it's about tackling all inequality issues. If there are more inequality issues concerning women, egalitarianism will focus more on women's rights. The difference is that egalitarianism will focus on men's rights when needed, rather than ignore them or pretend men don't have any issues at all.


What many feminists target today is not just a gender neural environment which we believe in, because such a ''neutral'' environment is very much a masculine construct. We have an ingrained mindset that pits females in the weaker end, and it's all subconscious.

Honestly, I don't think there's too much discrimination towards women, at least not in the U.S.

There is actually. Job opps, promotions, salaries.

An egalitarian approach would focus more on women's rights since there would be more to focus on. Since there is such a high level of discrimination, it wouldn't hurt to fight for women's rights. Egalitarians can fight for women's rights, they can say they're fighting for women's rights, but they won't call themselves feminists because feminists ignore issues where men are discriminated against.


That's like saying we shouldn't support the Greens becaus they don't focus on the whole range of political issues sufficiently. They're feminists, and their purpose is to eradicate discrimination against women. Not men. If males are discriminated, they should set up their own groups, because clearly, it's not the bigger issue at hand.

Sorry, I should have been more clear. The gap is very small within civilized societies. In places such as the middle east, there are still many issues. Honestly, it doesn't matter which approach, because both feminists and egalitarians would end up fighting for 'women's rights' most of the time anyway.


If it doesn't matter, why would you want it to be renamed as a movement?

Actually, it isn't. Feminism ignores male related issues and vice versa. The problem with this is that these groups often resort to denying that the other sex is discriminated against at all.


Er no. That's ignoring the vast majority of feminists movements. One example, the biggest feminist group in Singapore.
xxBoogeymaNxx
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xxBoogeymaNxx
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There is actually. Job opps, promotions, salaries


The job opportunities for females and males is equal, but the desire to go out there and get those jobs isn't. Males are more likely to go out and look for jobs, regardless of the potential meniality of the job position, while females are more likely to stay home or find job positions that are stereotypically female, therefore creating the illusion of a gap in job opps for a lot of industries. I'm not saying there is no gap, but I think the gap is exaggerated by situation.
A 2009 study of high school valedictorians in the U.S. found that female valedictorians were planning to have careers that had a median salary of $74,608, whereas male valedictorians were planning to have careers with a median salary of $97,734. As to why the females were less likely than the males to choose high paying careers such as surgeon and engineer, the New York Times article quoted the researcher as saying, "The typical reason is that they are worried about combining family and career one day in the future."
Wikipedia

More males get promoted than females because simply put, more men are workaholics at the workplace than females. More hours put into the job = more commitment = more likely to be promoted, which goes hand-in-hand with the average salaries for both genders.
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