May 28, 2014 / 10 notes

Why I call myself an egalitarian/equalist

I agree with feminism. However, I believe that there can be major improvements made on its existing mainstream ideology. 

One major point is that feminist posts are often made on the grounds that feminism, as a point of view, is a minority. In other words, it is often assumed that most people are not feminists. For me it’s just that feminism already is already the mainstream school of thought, and has been for my whole life growing up! For the 21st century United States, it has always been about Girl Power. There is nothing wrong with this. I am just pointing out that the most commonly held view is that women are the minority, and that feminism is helping to bring equality between men and women. Not many people are disputing feminism. Almost everyone agrees that women should be equal to men. You are no longer arguing with a majority against you. 

To illustrate this point (just my opinion!) further, I will try to explain it in an analogy of historiography. Say that the Orthodox worldview is that of a society with gender-based norms, with gender roles. Some might call this society a patriarchy. This worldview has existed for thousands of years, until around the last the last two centuries. Then, thankfully, feminism began. This worldview I will call Revisionist. It did an excellent job of displaying the faults in the Orthodox view and worked positively toward a new conclusion. This Revisionist view was perfect for its time and really opened people’s eyes, as most still had an Orthodox view. Today, some places in the world still have an Orthodox view, and are badly in need of the Revisionist (feminism) view, but in the 21st century United States, we have progressed farther. I believe that we are in need of a Post-Revisionist view (for me, that would be egalitarianism). Yes, in numerous cases women here have it worse than men and are the societal minority. Yes, feminism is doing an excellent job of working toward the equality between men and women. However, feminism as a whole fails to consider mens issues as well as women’s, if at all. That is why I consider myself an egalitarian/equalist. Examples include: The fact that the men’s suicide rate is 4 times higher than women’s, the fact that male genital mutilation is an accepted practice in many developed countries (neonatal circumcision complications kill about 100 baby boys each year), and the fact that 18 year old boys are still required to enlist in the Selective Service, while their female counterparts are not. The issue here is not that men have problems. That is obvious. The issue I would like to point out is that men’s issues are not recognized the same way that women’s are in the feminist view. There are numerous government programs set up specifically for women (which is great!), but in the US none yet exist at the same caliber for men. I would like to point out that women’s rights/men’s rights/human rights should never be at odds to one another. We are all fighting for the same thing: equality.

Alright, on to the current issue at hand. The #YesToWomen trending Twitter hashtag! It’s excellent, and it has raised awareness for a worthy cause, and I fully support it. When done correctly, it’s seriously awesome. However, it has shown some things to me that I am not in full support of. For example, the m&m example can be seen refuted here: http://fuckingradfems.tumblr.com/post/86969950334/ughsocialjustice-porntatslove-clarknokent (with supplement here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3PgH86OyEM )

My biggest issue with this is that, as a whole, this movement is not at all open to dissent or discussion. I have seen men barred from the discussion simply because they are men, and they should have no voice in criticizing a post made about a “women’s issue”. The distinguishing point here being that I am not rejecting feminism. Rather, I am engaging with it and constructively criticizing it. As soon as a school of thought is above criticism, it becomes self-serving ideology. Like if a post of #yesallwomen says something blatantly not ok (the m&m example), it is still carried forward in the wave of mainstream thought. I urge you to come to your own conclusions, and actually analyze opinions with your own thoughts, rather than perpetuating them just because they fall under the blanket of what you generally agree with. Like with historiography, with new information a Orthodox views can be shifted to Revisionist views, and then with more progression a Post-Revisionist view can be set in place. Old views should be improved upon.

A final point that I’d like to make is that on all sides of a discussion (feminists, MRAs, egalitarians, etc) everyone seems to love a good straw man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man). We so often attack each other based on what we label ourselves, rather than the actual arguments we present.

I’d really like to hear some feedback! Let me know what you liked about what I said and what you didn’t! Please constructively criticize my ideas because I want to nurture and foster dissent and discussion! I really do want to continue improving my own worldview. 

Thanks for reading, and stay cool

Liam :)

  1. smellthepetrichor reblogged this from ambulanohopkins and added:
    Been waiting for someone to say this for a while!
  2. a-lemur-monkey reblogged this from ambulanohopkins
  3. theinsignificantgryffindor reblogged this from ambulanohopkins
  4. ambulanohopkins posted this