This topic is an attempt to more clearly understand what's going on on the Feminist Atheist part of the forum lately.
I've seen myself as a feminist for quite some time, yet it seems that my definition differs from that of other self proclaimed feminists on the forum. I'm not arguing which group of people is "True" or "Better" because as of yet I do not understand the differences fully, which is annoying as it is a hot topic.
One of the biggest problems seems to be that some people here, myself included seem to be convinced that feminism is about equalism (equality between the sexes). Others agree that this is partially true, yet they claim that equalism and feminism are not the same and that you cannot be both (or that's how I understood it, please correct me if I'm wrong).
I did a quick Google search and found the definitions below which all speak of equality when defining feminism. This does not necessarily mean that this equality necessarily means or leads to equalism (or am I wrong here?).
Oxford Dictionary: Advocacy of the rights of women (based on the theory of equality of the sexes).
It seems that I'm not the only one that is confused, the wall at Feminist Atheists has sort of proven this lately. I hope that I (and others perhaps) can get some clarification and a better understanding of this subject.
The fact that one in 5 women end up a victim of abuse from males indicates that males also have work to do.
Definitely, we are getting there but very slowly, too slowly if you'd ask me. There is much work to do before these numbers will go down significantly.
There have been some "men's movements" that weren't about "taking back manhood", and were actually about being comfortable having emotions and expressing their "feminine" side.
Being an adult is about being comfortable with your emotions and happiness is achieved by expressing your emotions and receiving recognition for who you are from the people that you love. That some people would block out a side of themselves out of fear that people might think of them as "feminine" is a terrible shame.
You're right about the rigid adherence to these gender stereotypes being the problem. It's when the shoe doesn't fit that is the problem.
I agree that it is wrong for women to hit men and I have also talked about the sexism in dealing with male victims of domestic abuse (the combination of "you can't hit a girl" and "what, you couldn't defend yourself from a woman?"). Men hitting women doesn't make women hitting men any less bad and vice versa. Abuse is abuse and I'm not into getting on teams about it.
Although I'm wondering how many men are actually put in the hospital from domestic abuse compared to how many women, and whether it's usually just a slap in the face that doesn't result in permanent harm (and no, that doesn't make it right either). Also, where did you get the statistics that women engage in domestic violence more than men?
Rob, you have been sold on the Feminist Myth of Patriarchy.
Yes, the popular conception, continuously repeated by feminists, is that women remain constant victims of oppression by men.
There is, however, no actual evidence for this. Go ahead. Try to find on this forum, in any of these threads, anybody citing any actual research that shows women are the victims of systematic discrimination.
Meanwhile, testicular cancer kills as many men every year as breast cancer, but recieves less than one third of the funding.
Meanwhile, men can have their biological children adopted away from them without their consent, without due process, and against their will.
Meanwhile, men can be forced to support a child that is not theirs, as a result of the lies of a woman, and there is no legal means for him to seek relief.
Meanwhile, men commit suicide at four times the rate of women.
Meanwhile, men receive harsher punishments for crime than women.
Meanwhil, the number of boys graduating from high school and going to college is plumetting.
Meanwhile, boys represent 73% of children diagnosed with learning disabilities.
Meanwhile, a father in the midst of a divorce can be expelled from his home and cut off from his children on nothing more than verbal testimony from his wife. He is considered guilty until proven innocent.
And meanwhile, what were the top three "Hot Topic" on the National Organization for Women's website today.
1) Republican attempts to abolish Federal funding for abortions. Not to outlaw them, but just to cut government funding.
2) The launching of a "Love Your Body" campaign video on eating disorders.
3) Republican initiative to cut Federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics.
Rob, the pendulum has swung the other way. You can see from the list above that the threats men face to their happiness, to their lifestyle, and to their civil rights is now greater than that faced by women. For ourselves, and for our son's we have a responsibility to counter the sexist and misandrist attitudes that you can find on this forum.
Rob, you have been sold on the Feminist Myth of Patriarchy.
I would beg to differ, in some respects and situations women are subjugated to patriarchal power structures, be it in family, friends, marriage, work and religion. The amount of subjugation might differ from place to place and is also dependent on the situation it does however exist.
It's getting patriarchal in developed countries, yet it is still widespread enough to be common. Women in the Netherlands for instance do not live under a patriarchy all the time, yet it is a recurrent issue in most of their lives.
the pendulum has swung the other way.
That really depends. In western society in some respects I do believe that males are oppressed in certain ways, the examples that you mentioned could be a proof for this. Gender stereotypes are still in place and in some cases this causes harm to the rights of males, the stereotype of the female caregiver could be a factor when determining which parent is best fit to be a caregiver.
However, I do think that you would not say that the pendulum has swing the other way in developing countries. Whether or not males or females are more oppressed is a difficult question to answer, especially in countries where the inequalities between the sexes are less profound.
the threats men face to their happiness, to their lifestyle, and to their civil rights is now greater than that faced by women.
I would not agree with this statement, although in some specific instances in certain cultures it seems that women do have privileges that negatively effect the rights of males.
Everybody suffers from gender stereotypes which your examples show, I remain unconvinced however that the threats to male happiness, lifestyle and rights are greater than those faced by women, even in the western world.
These examples are as far as I know all valid examples of "oppression" of males. As far as I know I've never claimed to know that women in the western world are more or less oppressed then men are.
From my previous post:
"I remain unconvinced that the threats to male happiness, lifestyle and rights are greater than those faced by women, even in the western world."
One of the reasons why I remain unconvinced is that although I can see many forms of oppression going on that effect men I personally see this happen much more towards women.
I would appreciate you listing some.
Most of the reasons for me are from personal experience, Patriarchal structures are mostly abolished in our law system as these were fought against by previous generations of feminists. It would therefor be difficult to find laws that would favor men above women, yet the opposite does occur (parenting/custody).
This does not mean however that the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, a country is much more then it's laws. Misogyny occurs (at least in the Netherlands) within organizations of individual civilians. It occurs within families, companies, religions etc.
I'm unwilling to provide you with a list of examples as I do not see the point, the claim "men have it worse then women" would require a massive amount of data and some method of measuring.
I am not questioning your sources or the information within them though, and neither am I claiming that you are wrong in your assessment, I'm just saying that I'm not convinced because I do not see that the data as you provided proofs that "men have it worse". I can only go so far as to agree that in certain cases, men do have it worse.
Sorry for being obtuse Bruce, if we were to change the subject to cultures outside of western society I might be more willing to agree upon which sex has it worse.
@ Bruce Lindman,
I'm an equalist ideologically I would think, but practically I believe that empowering women is more urgent and effective in raising the standard of living, including human rights.
Yet you still believe that women are oppressed?
Yes. I belief that women are oppressed. I also claim to know this. As to the degree of the oppression I'm less certain and having only limited experience to speak of and less of what I would consider facts to point either way.
I tend to be critical towards what is valid as evidence in social sciences, according to some too critical. I have my beliefs on the subject, yet I know that I lack the data to back it up.
Can you identify yourself as a feminist, or a feminism supporter, if you do not believe one of feminism's most basic tenets?
I think that there are quite a lot of people out there that would not see me as a feminist. I hope we can agree to disagree. I am convinced that it is our goals that should be shared, not necessarily all the baggage of a whole worldview.
I think that the main difference between what you and I think about the subject is related to what we would think of as feminism. I agree with what Feminism 101 says about it:
"Unless misogyny is directly addressed and acted against, general equalist activism will not be enough."
With which I wholeheartedly agree, according to some I can be both an equalist and feminist, apparently.
we CAN point to actual laws and policies that discriminate against men.
Which is a disgrace and horrible in my opinion and it should be acted upon. I don't think that a feminist has to have a mindset of only acting upon discrimination from men towards women.
I guess I would finish with Equalism 101:
"Unless misogyny AND mysandry are addressed and acted against, general feminist activism will not be enough."
We need people like you, and Joseph, and fair-minded women, to wake up one day and repeat the same revelation they had years ago when they came to the conclusion that there is no god.
Sorry, man, I was never a theist. :-P I was stuck going to church, when I was younger, but I never believed.
Why is it that men don't have as much attention paid to testicular cancer? It's because they haven't gotten together and raised attention to it.
Men commit suicide at four times the rate of women because they choose more lethal ways to commit suicide. Women still attempt suicide as frequently or more frequently than males.
Have you heard about the other bills proposed regarding abortion? You know, the one that wants to make it OK to kill someone in defense of a fetus? Or the law that gives a possible death penalty for a miscarriage if the woman is found to "have a role" in it? (like being malnourished perhaps) I know you heard about the attempts to redefine rape but apparently you think that because men don't report their rapes that makes it OK for women to be raped.
I understand the argument that men don't have a choice in paying child support. I somewhat agree that men should have a choice if the woman had a choice whether or not to bring the kid into this world, and if she wanted to go and be a hero by "choosing life" as a single woman, she shouldn't expect the father to be involved. (If so, the man should have absolutely no say in whether she has an abortion. He shouldn't anyway.) This boils down to the state doesn't want to foot the bill. Be smart and talk this over with a sex partner before you get to having sex.