Yesterday over on Malflic, Alice King — who does not identify as a feminist — posted A Females Perspective on Extreme Feminists. In it, she offers criticisms of feminism, and more specifically, “the feminist movement.” She addresses feminism as if it’s a singular, unified, coherent monolith with agreed upon goals, approaches, and beliefs, most of which are extreme, anti-male, and completely counter to what most feminists endorse. She also discusses the need for gender bias in certain professions and her concerns over men’s rights and false rape allegations.
I appreciate that Alice invites discussion, despite her allusion to past negative experiences discussing such matters: “It amazes me that those with differing views can not or will not debate it. It always just goes to name calling and how could I not stand up for women’s right.”
I accept the challenge. :) I disagree with Alice on almost all of her points, I can debate it, and I will…. all without name calling.
In an effort to respond thoughtfully and fully, I’m going to respond her statements and arguments by topic.
(To the 3.5 readers who haven’t already tuned out, who are interested in this stuff, what’s after the jump is better than what comes before it. I organized the topics roughly in order of importance (to me), but I also wanted to include a jump link to spare those readers who are annoyed when I post anything that isn’t fucking and failure.)
The Goals of Feminism and Feminists
Work Equality and Gender Bias
Rape, Teaching Men Not To Rape, and Women’s Accountability
On The Goals of Feminism and Feminists
I am in no way shape or form a feminist and I honestly find the feminist movement in its current form to be extreme and a detriment to what others have done in the past for women’s rights. Many will be wondering how I could think such a thing as others will automatically believe I have been brainwashed in some way by the men in my life. Sorry to tell you but just because I have a cunt does not mean I am feminist nor that I agree with any of the current goals of the feminist movement.
What is the “current form” of “the feminist movement” and what are its “current goals”? Your post opposes stances and goals that most feminists don’t actually endorse. It’s troubling when those opposed to feminism use the most extreme statements as a sort of all encompassing straw man stand-in for “feminism” in order to argue against it. While it’s probably easier to argue against a movement with a unified agenda, feminism is not that movement.
In reality, there is no singular, united feminist movement, nor one feminist agenda, nor one feminist goal. There are different strands and strains of feminism with different ideologies, beliefs, approaches, and goals. As with most broad, largely incohesive political/ideological umbrellas, some voices are louder than others. That’s a big part of the “feminist infighting” happening in media lately — we don’t all have the same views or goals, and unfortunately, the ones spouting more “extreme” views are those who shout the loudest (and of course, the loudest and most extreme views garner more attention than moderate ones).
I am not for this stance of women are the same as men. We are not and honestly if one wants to be a man then go for it. Stop trying to pigeon hole all women into every aspect of the world.
Most feminists do not believe, nor do they endorse, the idea that men and women are the same. They endorse equality, as in equal opportunity, equal treatment, and equal rights. Pigeon-holing implies the application of unfair or prescriptive roles, restrictions, and limitations, and that is something most feminisms oppose.
Seriously is this the ultimate end goal of feminists? To push society to the point that men are below them and fear for legal actions if they actually behave like men?
No, making men “less than” women isn’t the goal of feminism (certainly not the feminists I know or read), nor is making women “more than” men a goal of feminism. The goal is equality — a level playing field.
As for men fearing “legal actions if they actually behave like men,” what does that mean, exactly, to “behave like men”? Men are people and people behave in wildly different ways — some good ways, some bad ways, and some legally actionable ways. Good, bad, and criminal behaviors aren’t gendered.
Part of the trouble is the perceived naturalness and universality of gendered behaviors in general. Being enculturated to believe that men are (or should be) this way or that way hurts everyone — men, women, and those outside and between the gender binary.
This truly is a major turning point in our society as men are pushed to the corner and being made to feel inferior for even being a gentlemen. Sorry ladies you can’t have it both ways. One can not teach boys to be gentlemen and to have manners only to be later told they are rude and as women you do not need a door opened for you.
Even if there was one, singular, united feminist agenda, unwanted door opening would be pretty low on the list of things to fight against (if it was there at all). I can’t speak for all feminists, or any feminists but myself, but I don’t give a flying fuck about who does or does not open a door for me. I think opening and holding doors is polite — I’ve never stopped anyone from doing it, I’ve never been offended by it, and I do it for others all the time.
As for the more serious issues on various feminist agendas, I can speak to issues I am (and most feminists are) interested in. I am interested in workplace equality, not being dismissed or generally treated as “less than” my male colleagues. I’m interested in being and feeling safe, in ending street harassment, public catcalls, unwanted commentary about my appearance, and threatening behavior; and I’m also interested in not being insulted or called names when I respond politely or when I don’t respond at all. I’m interested in my safety and bodily autonomy, in not being touched without my consent, in not being physically or sexually assaulted, and not being raped.
None of that has anything to do with making men feel inferior. My want for comfort, safety, and equality isn’t about diminishing men nor does it actually diminish men.
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