This post is in response to some of the posts I have seen on Opinionated Man’s Guest Bloggers section. The subject in particular that I have been responding to is concerning “Feminism” and what the word means today for both women and men. This post by Brandy Ramirez is well thought out, researched and it resonated with how I feel about feminism today.
This post is by a gentleman who sees feminism in all the negativity that it is today. He wrote about his experiences with it, but I feel he has used biased sources and his own anger in justifying his position. Does he have a point? Yes, he does. And so do many others on both sides of the problem. Navigator1965’s post:
There have been a few posts on the subject by guest bloggers on “Harsh Reality-a Opinionated Man’s” Blog site and while I would like to credit all of them that have given thought and inspriation, these were the two that struck me the most.
In the comments I made and responded to there was one by mommyx4boys. I have read her posts before and don’t always agree with her and that is okay. But, something we both agreed on was perhaps a change in paradigm. A new name for the “Feminist” movement. It should be called “Equalism”.
I totally agree. I think we should begin one consolidated movement called “Equalism”. The purpose of this movement would be to eliminate the divisive wording in not just relations in sexual equality, but also in race equality. Let’s take out the gender, gender identity and color out of the equation altogether and just start a movement for equal treatment for all people. Face down the issues that truly are unjust and keep us “unequal” based on what is happening to keep “us” from becoming better than we are.
The problems we are facing in resolving issues in this country concerning equality of any type is the labels we put on our various causes. Labeling is divisive. It automatically puts what we want to talk about into a specific category thereby causing rifts right off the bat. There should be an all inclusive movement. One that looks at social, legal, gender problems from a strictly neutral viewpoint.
These are some of the issues that were brought up in discussing why men and women hate feminism as it stands today: Men should not be discriminated against in family courts when trying for custody of their children. Women should not be discriminated against when it comes to trying for custody of their children. It should be what is best for the children whether it is the father or mother. I know from experience that not all women should be mothers and there are terrible mothers. The fathers would have been a much better situation for the children. Courts and custody of children are used too often by both sexes as a means of revenge and no other reason.
There are physical differences between men and women. There are jobs that men are better at because they are more physically adapted for the work. Does it mean that there is not a woman out there that could do it? World War II and women working in the factories at “men’s” jobs demonstrated that they could. However, there were still jobs in those factories that had to be done by men for their physical strength. Women just have to deal with that fact. Just as a study of women and men under stressful situations proved that in reality, women were better at handling long term stress then men. A shocker for some men who keep saying the opposite.
There is a “fact” out there in the posts that keep saying the men work longer hours and that is just a fact, so they should be paid more and women need to get over it. Nowhere did they take into account the fact that the majority of women still go home and work. They take care of the kids, cook, clean, get the kids ready for bed after coming home from working a full day somewhere. It is amazing that their work after work is never taken into consideration when adjusting for how much someone works in some of these posts. Statistically fewer men come home from work and do all of that as well. Although I have to admit the numbers were higher than I thought and definitely higher than even 5 years ago. So, there is progress. The Bureau of Labor Statics shows some of these facts:
There is no doubting that women are more likely to be harassed in some form at work. Sexual intimidation through language or physical touching. The shame of it is that males are beginning to be harassed as much as women. Women have asked for equal rights and with those rights we are turning into abusers in the workplace ourselves. What does that say about us? Is that fair or right?
I could go on and on, but I won’t. There are too many issues. There needs to be a change in paradigm. What inspired me to write this post was a response to Ms. Ramirez’s post by Armenia4ever:
“Denounce the views of these extreme feminists as not being actual feminism. Honestly, there are so many different kinds of feminism – some of them really nasty because I have a pair of testicles – that I don’t know what the true representation is.
I’m to the point that I usually avoid getting into topics about feminism, the patriarchy, “male privilege”, ect.
I honestly suggest that you either reclaim the word from the radicals who have turned into a weapon, or find a new label that distinguishes you from the TERFs, RadFems, ect.”
Okay, if he means what he says, if the moderate feminists who want to go back to the original intentions of the feminist movement mean what they say then lets make a change. What is great about the “Equalism” movement is we can apply the principle to any of the issues that need to be addressed concerning equality and fair treatment of human beings. We need to reclaim the movement from the radicals in any of the push for “equality” movements and make them just about:
24 thoughts on “We need a new movement in this country: Equalism!!”
If we are to truly talk about equality, it’s not the label that is the issue. It is the paradigm. The lens through with most people view gender relations is one of “The Patriarchy”, a system that benefits men and oppresses women. It really doesn’t matter what label is applied to this bad paradigm, it’s the paradigm that’s bad. We need a new way of considering inequalities, a new paradigm not a new label.
Gender roles are interconnected interdependent divisions of labor that places obligations and responsibilities on both men and women and grants the rights and benefits needed to meet the obligations and burdens.
If we start looking at gender relations though this lens, it doesn’t really matter if we change labels. The problem of the bad paradigm has been solved.
It isn’t just about changing a label. It is about changing attitudes and the “lenses” that we used to view life. As you say the paradigm is the problem. How do you change a paradigm? At least for this and similar issues it is the need to change thought patterns and ideas. People use labels in order to define and organize their place in the world. If being “machismo” or “feminist” is bad and is part of creating the “bad” paradigm then the labels need to be done away with or changed altogether. The label does matter in how we change the paradigm, the thought process. And what you say is correct. Gender roles are interconnected and interdependent. We fight so hard to overcome inequalities and differences that we do not stop long enough to look at how we are the same, how our differences when combined in effort leads to better things. We are mutually compatible even with our differences. That is what we need to see and to accept.
Seems like we are mostly in agreement. We just disagree over the level of importance of the labels. This is a rather minor disagreement. Most relabeling attempts don’t recognize the need to a paradigm shift and wish to rebrand the same ideas concepts and constructs of the current understanding.
And you are correct in that a new label is needed to differentiate the paradigm of equality from the paradigm of feminism.
@gendernautrallanguage Maybe some people should stop viewing things through those lens then. I think the issue is that many people “look for” an issue… my wife and are doing just fine with the seperation of duties. I don’t need a feminist, a man, or a woman to tell me how to do that. Oh… and this “paradigm” is equal to how you live. Not by a definition from someone that doesn’t live your life.
The flawed paradigm is “The Patriarchy”, not the division of labor. If you and your wife have agreed to and are happy with traditional gender roles, you are not an evil Patriarch oppressing your wife and forcing her into a life of servitude. If you and your wife have agreed to and are happy with traditional gender roles then you are already working from a paradigm of gender roles being a division of labor between equals.
Saying that we need to view gender roles as a division of labor between equals does nothing to prescribe what divisions are good or bad. If your division works for you, that’s great. Just don’t try to impose what works for you upon others.
I won’t. Until I am king.
Well dang it. You already have a Queen….Prime Minister..That`s the ticket!
There lies a distinction between man and woman …wisdom lies in respecting that distinction yet preserving equal status without any bias and deep rooted social conditions….equalism is no doubt a better word as it reflects its main agenda not demeaning value of any form of life irrespective of gender, caste or race. Good post
Thank you for your comments. It is appreciated. I totally agree that what is needed is wisdom in realizing there are differences and respecting those differences. The differences are not limiting, they allow for more creative thinking and cooperation.
Well we already have ‘humanism’ which more or less encompasses all of these. And there is something I have to disagree upon. You mention that there are certain occupations that can only be done by men owing to their better ‘physical strength’. Biologically speaking, women can be physically strong too. Somehow, the way we nurture our girls is very different from the way boys are nurtured. And that is one factor that contributes to the better physical health of men, when compared to women.
The problem with the “Humanist” movement is that no one really knows about it. I try to keep up with these things, but have only recently been paying attention to this particular area. I have seen the word more and more, but still know little about it. If the “Humanist” movement really wants to make a difference and heal divisions that exist it needs to make a more pronounced statement. It leaves so much for individual organizations to handle the day to day stuff, but has no real central organization. I will continue to research information myself and become more educated on the subject. The occupations that men occupy that require physical strength alone is diminishing. However, physiologically if a man and a woman were to work out the same a man would continue to increase in size and strength beyond the woman’s even though she also got stronger. There is nothing wrong with that. There are hormones and biochemical reasons for this. There are evolutionary reasons for this. Do we need to stress physical training and excellence for girls as much as boys? Certainly. There is no doubt about that.
Oh lord… I do hate when people say stuff like “there are strong women to.” WE KNOW THAT. But on average men are stronger than women. That is just fact. Get over it…
Well, instead of checking out ‘on average who is stronger or who is weaker’, you can come to the realisation that at the end of the day, women, men and everyone else belongs to the same biological species- Homo sapiensapiens!
Gender does not have to run our lives.
And, Patriarchy is a reality. You can either acknowledge it and do your bit to stop it from oppressing a portion of humanity, or you could just shut your eyes and act blind…..
Or you could realize there are situations where understanding this are a good thing for both men and women, such as when I was in the military. Knowing the limitations of people does have to be a bad thing, it only becomes that way if they obviously have a chip on their shoulder like you do. Hopefully you never work in a field where you have to admit you can’t lift something because obviously your pride would stop you and you would be a liability. It is nice and all to say “men and women are equal in all things” but be realistic ok.
Ugh on the phone. That should read “Knowing the limitations of people does not have to be a bad thing, it only becomes that way if they obviously have a chip on their shoulder like you do.”
And one last thing for you before I leave you to your anger. I deal with something called racism, heard of it? I don’t need to “wave your flag around” against patriarchy because I have my own struggles. Whenever you feel like coming over and marching at the next Asian Pride rally let me know and then maybe I’ll come join your silly feminist group ok? Seriously, aren’t you supposed to be for equality for ALL HUMANS? Then stop harping on your on list of things and try finding out the struggles the rest of the world goes through ok? Take care 🙂
I grew up in the 60’s when the movement was underway. I agree with you – the moment labels are applied, the line is drawn in the sand – which means opposition. Labels are limiting, exclusive and excluding.
Equalism is a much better moniker as it does no exclude. It allows and welcomes.
Thank you for sharing my discussion, and it appears you and I have similar mindsets when it comes to labels and how people view things. I am also a humanist, and I spend a lot of time talking about race. Unfortunately, as long as labels exist, we will always run into problems. Great discussion!
As I have been researching Humanism I really have not found anything that would light a fire in people. It leaves the organizations that tie themselves into the movement to really figure it out for themselves. I just feel it is disorganized and not well promoted. The original view of feminism has been so misconstrued. The Humanism movement is a great concept, but it doesn’t get much promotion. I don’t know that many people that know about it. And that is a shame.
Yes, it really is. I’ve read some humanist discourse, but within the world of academics. There are many people who want to break the negativity of labels, but have become passive in their approach. It’s sad really. At one point in time, any little things sparked a movement; but now, it’s like the word “movement” is a bad term in itself. People associate movements as nothing more than a “bitching session.” So as long as that’s the case, no fires will be lit soon :(.
I agree with your view of humanism and I think you would have a very difficult time getting most feminists to agree. They feel it is taking away from their “movement.” That is stupid, but that is how they feel. Nice post.
And I know exactly what I will tell them if I whenever I have the chance. Then you do not mean what you say. You do not want true equality. You want to try and subjugate the male sex and intimidate any women who do not follow your “agenda”. If they truly meant what they were saying they would rethink their position and take a new look at what needs to be done to accomplish what is best for us as the human race and society. That is treating each other equally and fairly whether male or female, black, white, green or rainbow.
I agree! Let me know when to march. 🙂