Mohamad Chamas

Student, United World College Costa Rica


This conversation is closed.

Do you think feminism is becoming a sexist anti-men movement?

Most feminists are being sexist, I admire Tavi's point of view and find that her idea represents the core of what feminism should be. Don't you think?

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    May 10 2012: If you don't define yourself as a feminist, which at its core is the demand for equal rights, then you may not have much grounds to brand the feminists themselves of sexism. But of course, I don't believe that you're sexist really. I think the problem is in the association of the word. You associate feminism with gender feminism, rather than the much more prevalent and commendable equity feminism. Most feminists aren't sexist and just because the ones who self-proclaim themselves as feminists the loudest are also the most unpleasant shouldn't be cause for false generalisations. Furthermore, given the rampant mysoginy that still exists around the world, I don't think the sexist feminists deserve much of our attention and concern. Feminism is a movement that incorporates men and women, if we're characterising feminism as a female-only movement, then here again there is cause for concern much more pressing then pointingout the radicals who push it too far. I'm a feminist! Are you?
  • May 9 2012: To label feminism "anti-men" is to label any movement according to fringe fundamentalists.

    As for the "lack of injustice" arguments being voiced:
    Where in the world can women honestly admit that society has enabled them to have equivalent power over their own bodies as men? Why does society even have to should be inherent, but many do not see the reality.

    As long as someone wishes to dominate another without informed consent there will be injustice. Feminism recognises one of the largest human failures. One's default view probably implies propensity for fairness - including the negative connotation in fundamentalism.
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    May 8 2012: the interesting thing about this post and the responses is that feminism is not exclusivity for women...I suggest you guys read bell hooks "feminism is for everyone"....(bell hooks for those who do not know is widely read in feminist circles. I personally know of some men who considered themselves feminist)..I would honestly have to state that any movement that focus on men v.s. women is, at least according to bell hooks, a misconstrual of what feminism is.

    nonetheless i'll state these two things:

    1) I understand that feminism is indeed a response to patriarchy
    2) my perspective is purely an American one

    It would be a real shame if we really cannot move past our differences and acknowledge that we really are less than 1% different than one another.
  • May 8 2012: While men and women in America enjoy pretty much the same rights legally, to call feminism a "moot point" is very simplistic. As a young woman, what I hope to see improve in my lifetime is attitudes toward women and portrayal of women in the media. I could list pages of examples of persistent sexist attitudes, but I'll just choose a few instead:

    1) Movies are generally sexist. The Bechdel test offers a simple formula for determining this. In order to pass, the film must a) have at least one named female character b) talking to a second named female character about c) something other than a man. This may sound easy, but a majority of films don't pass. I just saw the Avengers this evening, and it only meets the first requirement.
    2) Conservative politicians are trying (and in some states, succeeding) to force women to get a transvaginal ultrasound before getting an abortion. So much for "hands-off my healthcare." And why are we the only developed country in the world that doesn't require employers to cover birth control under insurance? Nobody's putting up a fight about Viagra, and that's sure covered.
    4) Female politicians are routinely scrutinized based on their appearance in a way their male counterparts will never be.
    3) Personal experience: As one of the few women working at a boy scout camp last summer, men I'd never met before would call me sweetheart, touch me inappropriately, tell me to make them a sandwich, etc. Not what I want when I'm trying to act professional and you know, just do my job.

    I'm not saying I have a rough life, because I definitely don't, but sexist attitudes are still very much alive today. It's very easy for you to overlook your advantages as men. You've probably seen this checklist before, but it's so relevant.
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      May 8 2012: Ellen,
      I think its a profound mistake to categorize abortion as an equal rights issue. Really it's an unequal anatomy issue (along with STD susceptibility). No bullet-proof equalizer exists--or may ever exist--to change these facts. Condoms are the most effective, but in practice they are far less effective than we're led to believe. Those opposing abortion mainly do so from the conviction that abortion is murder--not out of authoritarianism. Meanwhile, those supporting it do so from the conviction that a woman should have the right to do whatever she pleases with her body--and not out of promiscuity or immorality. Roe v. Wade brought the issue to the forefront of American public debate during the heyday of game theory (the same branch of math that was responsible for the nuclear arms race, the resulting Cold War, and a number of "fun" enduring geopolitical crises). I've argued (and still believe) the issue was contrived by some secretive elite to divide the religious, social, and political unity of America--and has proven very effective in that regard. Abortion is not simply a matter of sexuality. That's the crux of the issue. What distinguishes it from Viagra--and makes its mandatory funding so troublesome--is that while it protects one freedom, it abridges another. How can we ever definitively answer one person's basic freedom (abortion) coming at the cost someone else's (life)?
      • May 9 2012: Scott,
        Your whole post is about an issue I only mentioned indirectly and didn't really offer an opinion on (my point was that transvaginal ultrasounds are an unnecessary invasion of privacy), so I'm unsure why my comment prompted such a lengthy response on the topic. Nevertheless, you make a logical case against abortion as an equal rights issue. I'm still on the fence about the ethics of abortion myself.
        A few responses:
        1) "Condoms are the most effective" at doing what? Preventing STDs, yes, but not preventing pregnancy. Hormone-based methods of birth control are much more effective (99+% when used properly.) Basically, I'm just confused about the point you're making here.
        2) Roe v. Wade conspiracy theory? I'm pretty skeptical. Then again, I wasn't alive back then.
        3) I didn't compare the funding of abortion to viagra, I compared the funding of birth control (contraception) to viagra. Are you not making a distinction here between abortion and hormone-based contraception? Because preventing pregnancy (for which I believe funding should be mandatory) is very different than terminating pregnancy, yes?
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          May 10 2012: Thanks Ellen. Funny how that issue is such a hot button for me. I think it has destroyed the societal cohesiveness of pre-Roe America.

          Actually I was cut short and meant to write more...

          The Bechdel test presumes quite a lot and focuses on entertainment. Entertainment is driven by a monolithic central philosophy: profits. If people wanted to see named females talking to each other about something other than men, that particular niche market would exist. Economics abhors a vacuum, so movies would be there--and in a free market they should be roughly in proportion to audience demand. Let's look at that niche by considering the show "The View," which I'd give a perfect "standard" Bechdel score show-on-show. Now if I instead applied a "male-for-female variant" rather than the standard test (i.e. having at least one named MALE character talking to a second named male character about something other than women) The View, too, fails. In other words, it's not better, it just slants the other way with too few named male participants, basically no male-male interaction, and certainly no male-male discussion about anything other than women.

          But I agree with a lot of what you've said too. This whole topic isn't simple or trivial, and its made very complicated because it's fundamentally about individual attitudes, behaviors, preferences and small-scale (family & intimate community) norms.

          I'm a math teacher. I think one of the greatest risks in governance is "addressing the mean." My experience is that individuals are seldom moderate about anything. They are either good or bad at subjects--few are mostly in the middle. THey either love or hate things they most care about. Consider a few Ss: sports and shopping. How many people think these things are "just okay"? Few. If we added a third S (a typical relational hot button I needn't spell out), you'll see what I mean. Yet the imaginary "average person" has a moderate view on everything--bad model!
      • Timo X

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        May 19 2012: "If people wanted to see named females talking to each other about something other than men, that particular niche market would exist. Economics abhors a vacuum, so movies would be there--and in a free market they should be roughly in proportion to audience demand."
        So what do you make of the glass ceiling and payment inequalities between men and women? Simply due to market forces? Women in less demand simply cause they are worse at their jobs? To me, this seems like a rather obvious attempt to hide sexism behind naive economics.

        By the way, did you know that ASIAN women are better at math than asian WOMEN?
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    May 21 2012: Timo,
    What gives you the right to brandish allegations of sexism toward me? I may be a white man, but I do not believe that makes me automatically sexist or racist. I am also of Jewish descent. I despise every form of prejudice (religious, racial, sexual, orientation, etc.) because that's precisely how the Holocaust started. I see many similarities now in America. Media and politicians today get a lot of mileage from baiting one side against another. My thesis is that reverse sexism, racism, economic discrimination and polarization are just as bad.

    You call MY economics naive and then bring up glass ceilings and pay inequities. I am a teacher. As a man, I receive substantially LESS than my comparable female counterparts. They get hired and advanced in accordance with EO preference rather than professional competence. Everyone knows this, yet nothing is done to address it. Artificial market manipulation has never produced sustainably positive outcomes. In my case, the payment inequity is a matter of policy, men made too much in the past, so now its the women's turn. The only "fair" system is a blind one (management teams should sanitize candidate identities when assessing for hiring and advancement). Sadly, that's unrealistic.

    Here's the reality:
    1) When my female colleagues have kids, they often leave the workforce temporarily (and often permanently). I am the only man I know to have done this.
    2) When they return to the workforce, they are afforded substantially more credence than I was even though my situation was almost identical.
    3) I have never, to my knowledge, out-earned my female colleagues despite better performance reviews, more education and teaching more classes.
    4) I have been passed over for advancement twice because there was a need to "avoid placing a white man into a leadership role."

    WOMEN (ASIAN and otherwise) do not behave identically to men making such comparisons nearly impossible (and probably irrelevant)
  • May 11 2012: My problem with the feminist movement it that it often overshadows the problems of boys & young men. If you try and highlight the fact that boys only have sports figures as positive role models or that young men are dropping like flies in the American school system there always seems to be 10 people telling you you're being insensitive to women's issues.

    I don't see why discussions of men's & women's issues have to be mutually exclusive.
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      May 16 2012: They don't have to be mutually exclusive, but if you bring it up when someone is telling you about women issues, expect that response, not because they don't agree but because it'll feel to them that you're dodging the issue.
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    May 10 2012: She called herself a feminist but she sounded more like a humanist to me, but one who is still discovering herself. The thing was she was trying to discover herself in a feminist context which, let's face it, is pretty difficult to do, as no two feminists have exactly the same agenda, nor do they define it in the same way. Feminism for me can be a useful stepping stone towards humanism, but not an end in itself. Those who see it as an end in itself tend to be those who stray towards sexism.
  • May 9 2012: To address the question directly, no, I don't believe feminism is becoming sexist or anti-men. Feminism is a hugely complex, multi-hued and quite human concept, and can't even adequately be classed as a 'movement' so much as a collective of disparate experiences, opinions, emotions, needs and desires. From the very beginning, Feminism has had a strong anti-male narrative, where the voices of those who feel hurt by the effects of marginalization were the loudest. So, it's not becoming so; there has been a broadening of voices, however, that seek to provide a humanistic and inclusive perspective.

    As one's perspective on what feminism will probably necessarily be driven by their personal experience with it, it can appear to be some monolithic endeavour. However, as with all human collective efforts, it is most definitely not.

    When you say "Most feminists are being sexist", I find that statement problematic from a few different directions. First, how do you quantify "most"? Is this merely the feminists you have encountered so far, or do you have some other measure of this? Secondly, when you say "being sexist" -- this is also quite vague -- what specific behaviour or speech are you attributing under that term? Also, are you referring only to female feminists, or male and other feminists as well? I certainly won't deny that any person could act or speak in a manner that would be construed as sexist, but no one is immune from that. If you are saying that most of body of people who call themselves feminists are being sexist, however, I will take exception to that, merely from the standpoint that you can't know enough of them.

    Now, I will be the first to admit that Feminism, as a movement, has some very problematic aspects to it. Yes, there has been and continues to be a thread of anti-male discourse and sentiment. There are also many threads that fail people of colour, people with disabilities, and almost any other intersectionality.
  • May 8 2012: I get the feeling that so many feminists have operated with an "us vs. them" mentality that it's become the normal routine to oppose anything and everything that could vaguely be considered unequal between genders. At this point the feminist movement has boiled down to hollow pursuits and hysteria over "the oppressive males".
    • May 9 2012: Do you then hold that only women can be feminists?
      • May 9 2012: Have there been any notable male feminists?
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          May 10 2012: There have been, you just don't know them by name, but can you honestly say that you know the names of notable feminists on the spot? That might give you a feeling for what's wrong with your objection.
      • May 11 2012: In response to Matthieu, Gloria Allred and Mary Shelley are the first to come to mind.
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    May 7 2012: The statistics do not prove this complaint out in actual fact women make as much as men. The reason they appear to make less is because they work fewer hours and they take time off for child rearing and they favor working in different fields . The fact is that if women really made less money for the exact same qualifications employers would hire nothing but women.

    The real reason this becomes an issue is that someone stands to benefit from this purported inequity like Gloria Steinem for instance.

    The other factor is that it has been scientifically proven that women have smaller brains then men (8^(l)
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      May 7 2012: Sorry pat, but as a math teacher I feel bound to point out that their brains--when measured as a proportion of body weight--are actually bigger. Otherwise, the blue whale's 6kg brain would make it the smartest thing out there ;-)

      P.s. I am SURE Steinem and many others knew their stats were flawed, but went with it anyway (for the money and fame).
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      May 10 2012: Intelligence does not depend on brain size, your statement proves nothing.
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        May 10 2012: I was misinformed I'm going to have to get after Homer.
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    May 7 2012: Maybe some people are pushing the anti-men agenda? Not enough to label it an anti-men movement though. My take is that Feminism is a movement seeking to accord women the same rights and privileges as men. It's better here in the US and Canada but we are not quite there yet. I typically don't get up on a soap box but I'm a feminist.
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    May 20 2012: The whole ideology of Feminism and it's concepts have been portrayed in popular media created by both sexes as powerful, yet dangerous, and that women should belong in the kitchen, but we find retorts against such ways of thinking by the opposite sex and thus, the battle of the sexes- Where women are in their rightful place ("the kitchen") and men have free reign over them, and are stationed within the working class of offices, logging, et cetera. As I am not a feminist, and only two years younger than Tavi, this is a rather big topic for exploration. I believe in more recent years of what I have observed, there are many Feminist-Sexism movements that have and are taking place in rallies and parties, even protests. Equality between woman and man will never be found in the way our society of the world is built on media from the internet or religion or whatever the case may be.

    Both men and women are individual beings who have their own minds; none should be controlled by the other and their differences should be settled with peace and well-being. That is a perfect "society" not engineered by human ethics and ideals. However, this will never come to be. In short, my answer is mixed. Feminism is being portrayed as sexism by those who twist the original idea; this way of putting it is almost like how communism is a perfect system but will never be.
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    May 10 2012: "Do you think feminism is becoming a sexist anti-men movement?"

    I don't think it's *becoming* sexist as a movement, but only that it *seems* to be sexist and misandrous because of a few feminists that we've read/heard about. You know, like how some people always remember the bad stuff about other people and forget all the good stuff? E.g. Muslims = Terrorists. Ring a bell? Well, what you're doing is: Feminists = Sexists. It just appears that way because of certain generalisations and assumptions we naturally tend to make. Let's try not to do that =]
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    May 10 2012: Many aspects of our patriarchal society really are quite repulsive, not only to women but also to many men.

    If a feminist movement is to redress that imbalance, it surely needs to be from a position of a neutral, considered understanding of gender behaviour, as opposed to aggressive, tub-thumping opposition to male dominance.

    The latter gives feminism a bad name, because it studiously sets itself up to be just as repulsive as the thing it tries to oppose, making matters far worse than they were in the first place.

    Tavi seeks a very deserving equality and respect, rather than perpetuating sexual divisiveness. She therefore wins my respect in bucketloads.
    • May 14 2012: There are feminists who are "aggressive" as you say, however there are also those who are not.. and there are those who have been and achieved women's rights in the past. Feminism isn't just one idea and one method. Everyone thinks differently, which is why I think it's beautiful.

      Also, it's physically impossible to have any person who is completely neutral, which, granted there are/have been feminists who claim so. However...thanks to black feminism and race studies, feminism is a more global movement which understands (or tries to, at least) that to be neutral, one needs to recognize that they are not neutral and find out how they oppress and are different and let others speak for themselves.
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    Becky C

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    May 9 2012: I believe that to call it a movement is to extreme but to say that there are certain people who take being a feminist into a sexist level is more accurate. There are people who don't do thing's right in life though like stealing, bullying and many other things. Some people choose to be sexist with a excuse of being a "feminist" while others have simply had very bad experience and just don't realise the truth that they are being sexist and out of proportion! I'm against sexism and racism and homophobia and all different forms of bullying and think what certain people do is wrong but you can not call it a movement as the majority of us are against sexism and ant-men movements!!! 8¬D :)
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    May 7 2012: I do. When I studied at UC Santa Cruz I expressed concern about this in women's studies and was ridiculed. Having seldom experienced bullying I was taken aback. I labeled this behavior "misandry," receiving a C- on my paper despite working very hard and generally earning As. I argued misandry is a cause for concern on par with misogyny. My professor argued that men had no right to an opinion about all sorts of things. Such intellectual marginalization, intolerance, and feminist chauvinism drove me away from the extreme political left.

    Bigotry involves hasty and overly broad generalizations based in either negative experiences, ignorance or social norms. In some instances, inductive logic underlies certain prejudices. This is observed when one species is routinely harassed by another. The harassed species becomes either averse of or aggressive toward the entire harassing species.

    Very few things can be stated categorically about men (or women or Europeans or Americans for that matter). Yet we see white men being increasingly vilified. To the degree that white men have gotten away with things, this is appropriate--but not a millimeter further! Sure Adolph Hitler, Ted Kaczynski, Kenneth Lay and many other white men have done horrible things. So have many women--white, black, Asian and even American Indian. But the point is not to legitimize treating people differently based on the group(s) they belong to, but to oppose this at every opportunity. Every time we condone people doing this, we all lose. We need to treat each person as an individual. We need to demand that government, media and academia uphold this idea and demolish every form of chauvinism. The greatest atrocities in human history come down to this. No one is better than anyone else based upon their membership in some group--racial, sexual, religious, political, philosophical, etc.. Each person needs to take responsibility for themselves and demand that of others.
    • May 9 2012: The problem here, I feel, is labelling and considering a largely global movement based upon personal experiences. Feminism is wide-spread, consists of many people, some of whom will definitely have contradictory opinions about what constitutes feminism, men's role in that, and other aspects. You seem to understand this at least on the surface, yet it seems have allowed such a singular experience drive you away.

      Pointing out that few things can be stated categorically about men or women seems to be lost when you then cast Feminism into the same pot. I would agree with your experience of your professor being marginalizing, however, if you are arguing to not vilify a group of people based on the actions and speech of a few (or one), is this not the same mistake?
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        May 10 2012: Wow, you're right, I guess I'm just as bad as she was--YIKES! However, the problems are not the same ones Gloria Steinem faced. Prejudice is a moving target. One problem is that static terminology poorly addressed such dynamic issues. Today powerful women (like my 80s era prof) may be just as prone to abuse their authority as men. If true, this speaks to the universality of the saying, "Power corrupts." In my reply to Ellen, I point out how critical it is to treat people as individuals. The problem with feminism, as with any simplistic philosophy, is that it operates in generalities. Yet we can never correctly treat people categorically, according to generalities. One of my goals is to teach my students to understand each person based on their character and intellect rather than their membership in some identifiable group.

        How would you define "global feminism"? How does it contrast with "American feminism"? Can you do it non-categorically? To my mind, social philosophies, psychological theories and economic models are fundamentally inductive constructs based on explicit or implicit mathematical and statistical analysis. Thus, aren't they made of generalizations? Prescriptive social movements (such as political parties, educational initiatives, health promotion, and even feminism) seek to alter society for (what they think is) the better. The problem is that as they change society, 1) society changes them (in many ways), and thus 2) the objectives of any given group themselves change.

        Feminism today isn't so much a moot point as a totally different animal from the feminism of the 60s and 70s. My question is, is it relevant and effective, or is it broken. If it is broken, how did it get that way? What's wrong with it? Is it better fixed, re-conceptualized or encouraged to fade into obscurity?

        I look forward to your thoughts.
        • May 10 2012: First off, I wouldn't say "just as *bad*" per se -- generalising from personal experience is just a very human thing to do. We all do it; it's part of how we get by in the world. Recognising it and other cognitive bias is difficult, and in some cases, impossible to do within ourselves.

          Things are dynamic, although it is easy to fall into the state of seeing them statically as well. And my prejudice is not your prejudice is not their prejudice, etc., just as my feelings of marginalisation are not yours nor theirs either.

          It is somewhat of a truism that as soon as a person who has felt marginalised because of their sense of identity gets some power, they will go on to press it over others.

          Yes, things do evolve, critical thought evolves, leaders evolve, masses of people evolve, but that isn't necessarily visible at an individual level. One encounters harsh treatment of one's self from an individual who claims to belong to a particular group that one might have thought would be more compassionate, caring and personally watchful based on their own experience and rhetoric, and it's easy to form opinions.

          Social change is not monodirectional, either. It goes in all sorts of directions, because all the people in contact with it have slightly different goals. As you term it, prescriptive social movements do seek to alter society to their ends, but as I said above, those individuals making up that group will necessarily have different experiences, different opinions based on that, and different strategies for achieving goals; that they believe they share goals may also be an illusion. "Equality" and "Equal Rights" are actually pretty vague terms when you come down to it, and just because, for example, we may agree we want equal rights for all people, we may, in fact, not agree at all on the details of that.

          We communicate in generalisations and metaphors, because that is what language is. But we don't necessarily understand the same things out of that.
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        May 10 2012: Perfect! We hammer out some sort of mutual consensus, but we really each only ever have our own internal understanding. Any sense of mutually shared cognitive constructs may only be illusory.

        The fundamental idea of equality is nice: everyone gets treated like everyone else. The reality is particular, unpredictable and messy. Children are not adults. Race is seldom ignored. Boys and men are more different from girls and women than we'd prefer (physically, intellectually, emotionally, in matters of majority male-v-female preferences, and behaviorally). We big, fat people don't comfortably fit where the world's smaller people do--but we sure can reach and crush things! I could go on and on.

        In my mind, the ideal social change would be real tolerance. This doesn't only mean tolerating those people who embrace tolerance and agree with our politics--but tolerating everyone. A very strange irony has occurred here: the educational establishment is pushing an anti-bullying agenda tailored to protect homosexual children from bullies. Their agenda is less about kids than legitimizing all sexual expression. Now the tables have been turned on the straight kids. Kids who've never bullied anyone are being singled out for NOT taking a stand in favor of homosexuality. Intolerance is very prevalent among adolescents, but still, shouldn't we be teaching that ANY bullying is bad?
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    Josh S

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    May 7 2012: i'm with Pat on this one. Feminism is a moot point now. There is nothing to battle for or fight for. The legal rights are the same so there is nothing more to do other then change popular opinion of women. I think we are there now, just because women and men arent the same in every area does not mean that their is sexism, but that men and women ARE in fact different, not only physically, but in intelligence and emotions. This has benefits and negatives to both men and women.

    Feminists at this point are arguing for measures to be taken that are pro-women and anti-men. As i said before, the legal rights are the same, so the only thing they must be fighting for is laws that support women even more, which is anti-men.
    We can say that the law right now is 50-50 for me to women. To add to the women side automatically lessens men, regardless of intent or purpose. Adding '5' to women will directly cause men to decrease in 5, no matter what anyone says. This is obviously just an analogy but it permeates our lives.

    Of course, women's rights in other countries is up for debate but i was talking about America in my comment, hope it helps you guys.
    • May 9 2012: If legal rights were the only feminist issue, you might be right. However feminism address things far beyond merely what is in the laws. Social, commercial, political, personal -- these are still arenas open for change. Laws are possibly the least things that govern our everyday lives.

      Also, looking at things in a zero-sum game rather automatically leads to a win-lose attitude "If women get anything more, that will take away from me" -- but that is not really the case.
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        Josh S

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        May 10 2012: But then what are feminists promoting?
        How do you propose to make the social, commercial, political, and personal aspects the same other then by proposing new laws?
        In this case, i am all for feminism, but not in a legal way. If someone could explain the general goal of feminism and generally how they go about trying to accomplish it, it would help.
        • May 10 2012: Feminism is a movement with no actual leaders. There are people who drive critical thought, and in this case, they might be perceived as leaders, however, feminism does not have anyone who can say "This is what feminism is, in entirety and exclusively". Thus, you'll only really be able to get the personal opinions of whomever you ask.

          The notion that people's thought, behaviour and speech are or should be controlled by laws just chills me right out. I do not want to live in such a state, nor, do I expect, do you. I am quite sure that I could cast a net and find people who do think that way ("There ought to be a law!" is a common enough meme) until they really sit down and think about that.

          While I do wish for a society that cares about social justice, and that people's action do not hurt or marginalise groups of people, at the same time I realise this as a practical impossibility; the best I can hope for is that this is generally true, and that individuals think about how their thought, speech and actions will affect others, and that there is more empathy with others. But I could not condone a society that wishes to force it's members along any particular mindset, as that counters exactly what is desired in this case.

          So in the sense of "legal way" meaning casting more laws upon society, I completely agree with that. Much as it is true that you can't legislate morality, neither can you legislate empathy.
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    May 30 2012: Men and women should be given equal opportunities for self determination and no discrimination could be justified on the grounds of sex or sexual orientation.
    The dangerous idea is the one that women in one place should be doing something because women elsewhere are doing it. Hence you see an Australian trying to fashion a lifestyle blueprint for women in the middle east, or an American thinking that African women should do things as it is done in the states.
    One thing is; the world is a diverse place, and your arguements for women and the role of women as a New Yorker, may not work in Istanbul. The rights of women, and indeed men, should be within the framework of individual societal culture, traditions and religion.

    Yes, feminism does oscillate between the ideal and the extreme anti-men stance. Just like a christian is commanded by Jesus to preach the gospel, but some would want to propagate christainity by war; or just like a moslem could be a devout, peace-loving one or an extremist who believes in blowing people up.
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    May 11 2012: Being a woman means not being a man. Women have some qualities that confirms that i am not male.

    If considered feminist is closer to the character of male, then this is not possible. So it must be the opposite, ie the more feminine, will further strengthen its natural character as a woman.

    This means that true feminism should have desire to love and make relationship to the opposite sex. And feminism would reveal her feminine allure in a balanced way, not only in physical appearance that can attrack sexual desire.

    Being a feminist would have to reveal the excess as a whole as a woman.

    From all of these, it appeared that feminism able to establish good relationships with the opposite sex, as well as having various appeal not only in terms of sexy. So, feminism is not just about "being sexist", but also she must have mutual relationship with male (there is no "anti-men" movement).

    And when this happens, then there is no gender equality here, but there is only fairness that more beneficial for all of us, female and male.

    Less or more ...
  • May 10 2012: To answer the question directly, yes. People like Dawkins, Myers, Obama, Al Franken, Phil Platt, Neil Gaiman, the list goes on.

    You may not think of them as feminists since they seem notable for other things, nevertheles they are feminists, as well. This tends to exempilfy the general trend that feminism is somehow viewed as something monolithic and single voiced. Look around, you'll find feminists everywhere, while they're also fighting for other causes.

    I question the point of the question as well. If somehow your view is such that the feminist movement can only be defined by the notion that who comes to your mind are only "notable" people, then you really do not understand this at all.