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?).

 

Wikipedia:  Feminism refers to movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women

 

Dictionarythe doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.


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.

Tags: Equalism, Feminism

Views: 2737

Replies to This Discussion

If some people here are convinced that Feminism is about equalism, it could be because the Feminist movement has long professed to be seeking equality for all genders.  In fact, this has never been part of their agenda.  Feminism has always been a movement for women's issues and women's empowerment.

If they were truly in favor of equality, they would not be fighting so vigorously against granting equal parenting status to men.

Equalism is thus NOT and expansion of Feminism.  Is is not the "4th Wave" of Feminism.  A person cannot be both a Feminist and an Equalist, because to be an Equalist is to disavow the agenda of all the major Feminist organizations.

If some people here are convinced that Feminism is about equalism, it could be because the Feminist movement has long professed to be seeking equality for all genders.  In fact, this has never been part of their agenda.

 

I might have looked wrongly at this subject, I was under the impression that feminism has the goal to empower women with the purpose to achieve equality.

 

If they were truly in favor of equality, they would not be fighting so vigorously against granting equal parenting status to men.

 

Really, that is news to me, interesting to say the least. I don't want to derail this topic too much, so I will ask you elsewhere if you would be so kind as to provide me with sources. I've spent some time on Google but I can only find "hearsay" articles that talk about this without any reference to sources.

 

A person cannot be both a Feminist and an Equalist, because to be an Equalist is to disavow the agenda of all the major Feminist organizations.

 

So, if I understand you correctly feminism is about empowering women, with the purpose of creating better circumstances for women, but not necessarily aimed towards achieving equality? 

If they were truly in favor of equality, they would not be fighting so vigorously against granting equal parenting status to men.

*coughbullshitcough*

Maybe where you are this is true. However, all the feminists and feminist organizations I know have been working for, and are supporting efforts to create and expand, such things as paternal leave (or a shared, individualizable parental leave), destigmatization of male primary caretakers, destigmatization of men who want to work with young children, etc.

 

After all, dismantling the patriarchy ALSO means dismantling the patriarchal definition of masculinity which is what denies men an equal place in parenting.

"all the feminists and feminist organizations I know have been working for, and are supporting efforts to create and expand, such things as paternal leave (or a shared, individualizable parental leave), destigmatization of male primary caretakers, destigmatization of men who want to work with young children, etc."
Point me to the website of one of these organizations.

"dismantling the patriarchal definition of masculinity which is what denies men an equal place in parenting."
News flash for you: Patriarchy does NOT deny men an equal place in parenting. In fact, in historical true patriarchal societies men were heads of the household and until the turn of the 20th century father's were more likely to get custody in a divorce. So, do some reading before you post such silliness again.
Additionally, men do NOT consider their masculinity to be detrimental. I, and the men I know, are very proud of our masculinity and attempts by women's groups to emasculate us for our own good, well, we politely decline. Men do not need women telling us what is best for us any more than women need men saying what is best for them.

"heads of household"? "custody"?

 

is that what you think parenting is?

 

 

anyway, I find it quite interesting that you think gender equality is emasculating. As if the only masculinity that's possible is the gender-essentialist, toxic masculinity of patriarchal societies, and everything else is femininity. Good thing not all men are so limited in their expressions of their gender (and no, it's not women telling them what to be, it's NO ONE telling them what to be; I know a lot of men who are just as disgusted with the patriarchal version of masculinity and are glad to be allowed to just be themselves instead. so I don't know what "we" you're speaking for, but it's not men as a whole)

 

EDIT: I forgot to add that I'm also highly amused that you think the 20th century is not a patriarchal society.

" 'heads of household'? 'custody'?
is that what you think parenting is?"

"I find it quite interesting that you think gender equality is emasculating."
Neither of these assertions was said by me, or implied by me, and are certainly not believed by me.

Come back when you have something more substantial than straw-man arguments. Some evidence to support your claim that we live in a patriarchal society, perhaps. We certainly do not.

 

Some evidence to support your claim that we live in a patriarchal society, perhaps

knock yourself out: http://jadehawks.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/no-its-not-my-job-to-teac... (and following)

Neither of these assertions was said by me, or implied by me, and are certainly not believed by me.

 

The first one is a question, not an assertion. It's a question about why you noted those two things in a supposed counter-argument to the claim that patriarchal masculinity is what keeps men out of parenting. It's the only examples you've provided, after all.

The second one is commentary on your response, to my statement about dismantling patriarchal masculinity, in which you claimed that some men do not think of their masculinity as a bad thing. If that masculinity is not a patriarchal one, the statement is a non sequitur; if the masculinity is a patriarchal one, then saying ", and the men I know, are very proud of our masculinity and attempts by women's groups to emasculate us" is precisely what I said: a claim that patriarchal masculinity is the only masculinity in town, and everything else is "emasculating" and effeminate. The connection to gender equality comes from the simple fact that gender equality is improbable with essentialist gender roles in general, and impossible with patriarchal ones. "separate but equal" is not equal.

 

Anything else you need explained?

Since there was no relevant evidence on that page to support your claim that we live in a Patriarchal society, I take it as your concession that you have none.
Don't feel bad. Other Feminists on this forum have tried to prove the same thing, and have repeatedly failed.

"The first one is a question, not an assertion."
It was clearly meant as a rhetorical question. You do know what that is, don't you? Please don't make me treat you like a grade-schooler. Let's have the intellectual honesty to take responsibility for our public statements.

" If that masculinity is not a patriarchal one, the statement is a non sequitur;"
I think you'd better look up the definition of "non-sequitur", while you are at it.

"...if the masculinity is a patriarchal one, then saying ', and the men I know, are very proud of our masculinity and attempts by women's groups to emasculate us' is precisely what I said: a claim that patriarchal masculinity is the only masculinity in town, and everything else is 'emasculating' and effeminate."
No, it is quite clearly not such a claim, so this is yet another straw-man argument. Apparently, the only weapon you have in your debating arsenal. You've found yourself in the Arnold Palmer Open, and all you brought with you was a pitching wedge?
YOU stated: "the patriarchal definition of masculinity which is what denies men an equal place in parenting", and I quite easily showed that traditional patriarchy did NOT deny men an equal place in parenting. The systematic and legal exclusion of fathers from children's lives is a recent development, and is more positively correlated to feminism and the waning of patriarchy.

"The connection to gender equality comes from the simple fact that gender equality is improbable with essentialist gender roles in general, and impossible with patriarchal ones."
Gender equality is not only improbable, its impossible. In case you hadn't noticed, males and females are different. I could point you to some websites that illustrate this, but they would not be appropriate for the forum so you'll have to do the searching yourself.

By the way...still waiting for a link to a feminist website supporting men's rights (shared parenting, equalization of domestic violence laws, leveling of health-care funding, etc). Or are you conceding that you have no support for this as well?

Anything else YOU need explained?

1)you responded a mere 6 hours after my post, which is not a timeframe within which it would have been possible to read and evaluate all the scientific papers and summaries posted at the link, thus stating that "there was no relevant evidence on that page" is at best ignorant assertion, at worst lying.

 

2)You asserting that I meant to make a rhetorical question when I did not is also a lie.

 

Therefore: you are not above lying to make your argument; as such, I feel no need to continue the conversation, since you've effectively discredited yourself and there's nothing in it for me to be talking to a liar.

 

However, feminist analysis that's focused on men's issues might be useful to other people reading, so here are a few sources, for anyone honestly interested in this subject:

http://jmm.sagepub.com/

http://jmh.sagepub.com/

 and for those without access to such journals, there's http://www.mensstudies.info/wordpress/ (which includes The Journal Of Men's Studies) and http://ultimo167.wordpress.com/ (a lot of that one is about gay men's issues, but there's a lot of research and advocacy for men's issues in general as well)

 

Now, many mainstream feminist organizations (especially in Europe) have supported more parental and paternity leave for decades, and in some cases have been successful with achieving it. also, many social scientists working within a feminist frame have been also writing essays on the subject of deconstructing the barriers that make it harder for men to take on "traditionally feminine" roles. Notable names would be Michael S. Kimmel, Scott Coltrane, Michael Kaufmann, Michael A. Messner, James W. Messerschmidt, Richard Butsch (wrote excellent articles on mistreatment of working-class males by media), etc.

Jade Hawk, you'll see from my posts that when I reference a study I include a link directly to the research, usually a relevant quote from the research, and often some critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the study.
You provided a link to a discussion page that was only tangentially related to the subject at hand. That's just lazy. So lazy, that I can only presume that you can't find any actual support for your claims.

"'heads of household'? 'custody'? is that what you think parenting is?" is a rhetorical question, whether you have the guts to admit it or not. It's intent was clearly to imply that my understanding of parenting responsibility is superficially limited. You can't seriously be claiming that your intent was to start a side discussion on parenting responsibilities.

I have yet to lie, even once, and claiming that I have done so is in itself a fabrication.

I must add, finally that it is extremely amusing the desperate stretches you are willing to make. Posting a link to a men's health journal as an example of feminist analysis focused on men's issues was one of the more absurd arguments I've seen on this forum. Likewise, as examples of scientists working within a so-called "feminist frame", you listed....wait for it....SIX MEN.

Yes, I think you should give up about now.
Ditto.

Rob. Please read Feminism 101 for your answer.

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