Oh dear God, another node from TA with that word in the title. And the irony is that the people who've one-sidedly demanded I do certain things won't even read this.
This is in response to literal demands to rename my nodes and remove all references to "feminism" therein.
Here's the dictionary definition of feminism.
the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
I know this, not only because I've read the dictionary but because it was quoted at me the other day by someone who made the demand that I remove all references to the f-word from my nodes she disagreed with. Because that's what feminism is, full stop so why would I malign that in any way. There's also the question do I or anyone else have an agenda in all this in doing so. Fair points, fair questions, and honestly, any suspicion in that regard is warranted. Scratch many a men's rights activist and you'll hit a guy who wants women back in the kitchen, as an ornament and accessory to his life (as well as a surrogate mother who handles all his chores).
On the surface that sounds like a reasonable request, and I like to think I'm an amiable, easy going fellow. In the past, in angrier youth perhaps I wouldn't have been. But in this instance - honestly, I have no problems with that dictionary definition in any way. Neither do the alt-right agitators who produce online trollish anti-feminist YouTube videos that go well far and beyond me worrying how men are attacked and that savage them for who they are. Alt-right cancer Milo Yiannopoulous has no issues whatsoever with the above mentioned doctrine as stated. Very few people do.
I wouldn't have any problems complying with what amounts to a literal demand to remove the f-word from my nodes that talk about same. But there's three problems here.
The first is that that above dictionary definition isn't something that requires a movement any more, because it's been fulfilled. Imagine how ridiculous I would be saying "I AM AN ABOLITIONIST. THE PRACTICE OF AFRICAN SLAVERY IS ABHORRENT, AND I AM IN PRINCIPLE OPPOSED TO IT!" You'd probably ask that I get the bumps on my head felt, because the Emancipation Proclamation happened. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1865. Okay, so Mississippi waited until 2013 to certify it after finally getting around to it in the 1990s, but still. In essence, if I was out there with placards against the practice, you'd point out I was like that Japanese guy Hiroo Onoda who was still fighting World War II in 1974 in the Philippine jungles because he wasn't aware it had ended.
Please feel free to tell me of any right women do not have. I don't mean this dismissively, I'm making sure I've got this right. Last I checked women could own their own property, own their own businesses, vote, attend public schools, vote, express themselves under the first amendment and defend themselves under the second. They are not considered anyone's property.
"But women are still being raped". Women are victims of crime just like the rest of us are, that's not evidence that we as a collective society want that to happen, in fact we prosecute men who commit these crimes. "But women are still being paid less than me..." stop right there. The wage gap is much much larger issue that deserves its own node, and no I am not writing it because I'm getting OFF this subject ENTIRELY. But suffice it to say "we pay women 33% less for doing the same job" is patently, absolutely FALSE. Are there women who deal with shitty workplaces? Absolutely. Is the plural of anecdote data? Nope.
"A man said something mean to me!" How am I, or any other man, culpable in this?
And here's where we get to the start of the problems. What do you do if your life and career has been about tilting at genuine problems, but now they're solved? Do you re-evaluate your life and take on a new career in your 50s? 60s?
The wage gap issue, if you get to it, is really about equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity. Men work longer hours than women do. But it's not "fair" that they're paid, on average, 9% more, in part because of longer hours, better negotiating skills, more mercenary approach to maximizing their income, and so forth.
Cathy Newman, in her famous interview with Jordan Peterson, asked why there weren't more female CEOs and business owners on the FTSE. Doctor Peterson responded that the level of work it takes and the level of competition is something on the hours of 70-80h a week of disciplined work in the pursuit of specialization in one role and sacrificing literally everything else in life to succeed in a brutal competition where if you don't make it, you've wasted your life for nothing. And they're not going to give that away to anyone, male or female.
You could see Cathy Newman hoping that someone like Hillary Clinton would write some kind of law forcing companies to hand over the reins to women and/or quietly giving women everywhere a 9% pay raise, no matter what their job title or circumstances are.
So for the want of a better term, "feminism" has turned into a movement demanding not just rights, but privileges and outcomes. It's become a cultural Marxism, which my correspondant has rightly pointed out therefore puts it outside the purview of that dictionary definition and therefore could you stop calling what you hate "feminism".
Here's the problem though.
What do they call themselves?
They're not calling themselves "Cultural Marxists who want goodies and freebies for women". That would be laughed out of the public square. Most older, second wave feminists would be legitimately insulted at this sort of patronizing benevolence that says "there there, given you CAN'T do it, let's do it for you."
In passing, sisters are indeed doing it for themselves. 20something women are outearning their male counterparts. In fact, this is causing an issue in their relationships because they're ashamed and embarrassed that they couldn't "do better" than the men they're with.
But again, what do these cultural Marxists call themselves? Feminists. So let's recap. The dictionary definition of feminism doesn't need a movement any more than abolitionism does. The only people still waving that flag are the "pussy hat" man hating brigade. 85% of Americans believe in equality for women, 18% identify as feminist. I'm not the only one who believes that the name doesn't refer to that dictionary definition any more. The word has decidedly changed meaning.
On to the second. The notion that by pointing out misandry in feminism, I malign the movement as a whole, because it has nothing to do with feminism and feminists don't do that. It's a strawman! A strawman!
This is the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, it's a logical fallacy that goes something like this.
"No Scotsman puts sugar on his oatmeal".
"What about Angus McTavish over there, he's born and bred in Glasgow and is putting sugar on his oatmeal as we speak, look."
"No true Scotsman puts sugar on his oatmeal."
So, here we go.
"Feminists do not hate men!"
- I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them. Robin Morgan, Ms. Magazine Editor
I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig. Andrea Dworkin
The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race. Sally Miller Gearhart, in The Future – If There Is One – Is Female
etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. and believe me, there's a TON of etc.s here.
"No true feminist hates men."
And therein lies the problem. Feminism is not and never has been a homogenous group. You've had radical feminists, choice feminists, second wave feminists, third wave feminists, liberal feminists, cultural feminists, and so forth. In fact, if you think I have an issue with any branch of feminism, it pales in comparison with the civil war between the "choice feminists" and the radicals.
For those unclear, "choice feminists" are the ones that think feminism means women have the right to do whatever they feel like. If they want to wear makeup, look pretty, get into relationships with men and even produce sex-positive feminist pornography, more power, right? Whereas the radicals say no, by being prettier than another girl you perpetuate the idea that a woman is an ornament, not a human being, being in a relationship with a man is part and parcel of your own oppression, you have to be lesbian, and as for pornography, way to go in promoting the rape culture so if you really care about feminism, shave your head, get fat, wear clumpy boots and date a woman. I usually walk away from that kind of discussion before the chairs start flying.
Given no two women agree on the definition of feminism, please don't get on my case for "getting it wrong". When I mention the f-word in any of my nodes, I am extremely clear with my words as to which TYPE of feminist I mean. That is not MALIGNING all feminists, it's talking about the specific subgroup within a larger whole.
Here's the third problem:
All the man hating, suicide prevention blocking, boy-hurting stuff still goes under the mantle feminism. Nobody has yet come up with a new word or branding for what the initial aims of the feminists has morphed into. When a girl smugly drinks from a mug marked "Male Tears" and wears a pin saying "dead men don't whine" she isn't calling herself a "Mlurbist". She's calling herself a f_m_n_st. Would you like to buy a vowel?
In fact, feminists like my former friend and some other correspondants despair mightily because they do agree with the dictionary definition, and see this clumpy-booted man hating stuff as a decided threat to their movement. And they're right. And believe me, it is. More than one young man who's had the side of his head stoved in by a fat, clumpy booted woman with Play-doh hair and "problematic glasses" with cupcake tattoos screaming through a bullhorn for daring to talk about male suicide or prostate cancer because apparently that's a problem because women in the sub-Sahara still deal with FGM and it must be about women all the time or there will be violence has decided "fuck it then, make me a sandwich you bitch" and that is in no way helpful to anyone at all, let alone the idiot in question who made the decision to start hating women back.
Part of me would like to step back and say "why don't you people sort yourselves the fuck out" and part of the solution, unfortunately, is for women to do exactly this.
But in the meantime, given the three problems I've outlined above - I'm not sure I can satisfy your literal demands. To recap those three: firstly, that given the dictionary definition of "feminism" is what most people consider correct behavior anyway the "dictionary definition feminist" is a pointless concept. Secondly, that even since the beginning the man-hating aspect has always been part and parcel of feminism, you can't play "no true feminist" because it's a logical fallacy. Thirdly, you haven't come up with a better term for the pile-on that modern "feminism" has become and since the only term being used for it is "feminism", please stop making demands that I call it something else until you guys figure out another word for it, or getting on my case for using it when it's the label they self-identify with.
But again, I'm a reasonable fellow. Come up with a better term for it, and a consensus term, so that all the people who've had legitimate complaint are satisfied when I rename everything to "properly" label the kind of woman who says air conditioning is sexist and that fart rape is a real thing. Because chances are you dislike that kind of tom-fuckery as much as I do. You certainly hate it enough to complain bitterly to me that I call such behavior "feminist" and insult feminism by doing so. You might want to have a word with the walking troll doll in the "I bathe in male tears" T-shirt for maligning feminism and doing more damage to it than I ever will. Chances are you won't. You'll just make demands that I make the change. Just tell me what it should be changed to.
And I will happily, HAPPILY do it.