Feminism is a force for good, it only wants equality. Surely if you oppose it, that means that you are against equality? If you aren’t sexist, then why waste time criticising the movement that opposes sexism? The enemy of your enemy is your friend. You’re either with us, or you’re with them.
Anti-feminists are often accused of misunderstanding feminism, especially when they call themselves egalitarian. The accusers obviously can’t understand how somebody could object to feminism without being the original enemy of feminism; sexism. This is a false dichotomy I hear a lot. The misunderstanding is not of feminism, but of anti-feminism. Anti-feminists are conscientious objectors to feminism. Yes, they realise that not all feminists are the same. No, they aren’t just following stereotypes. Yes, they still want equality.
What the accusers here need to understand is that feminism does not have a monopoly on gender equality. It is possible to want gender equality, and criticise feminism on its means whilst applauding its ends. Likewise it is possible to agree with a war’s intentions (for example, peace in a region) whilst conscientiously objecting to the violent methods.
Just as fighting for peace is hypocritical, dividing up the sexes for equality seems bizarre, and it is one reason to object to feminism. Not all feminists are the stereotypical ‘man hater’, but a large number blame men for sexism, suggest that they are incapable of having a valid point (watch out for ‘privilege’ and ‘mansplaining’), and thus exclude them from any discussions. Even those who claim that feminism is just as relevant for men won’t allow men in leading positions, because it is still ultimately a woman’s movement. One gender, apparently, is more equal than the other.
So many men, and woman who sympathise with their plight, reject feminism as a movement for equality. They become anti-feminist egalitarians. So do many women of colour, of certain classes, appearances and sexualities, and those who are trans-gender, again because they feel excluded. These people aren’t anti-feminist because they don’t want equality, they are anti-feminist because they think feminism is the wrong way to get there - or even an obstruction.
Don’t just assume ignorance. Feminism has its flaws like any movement, and it is not immune to criticism. It is also not synonymous with what it hopes to be - equality.
I’ll now draw a parallel with something many feminists will empathise with - the stance against organised religion, particularly Christianity. Christians make much the same argument:
Christianity is a force for good, it only wants morality. Surely if you oppose it, that means that you are against morality? If you aren’t immoral, then why waste time criticising the movement that opposes immorality? The enemy of your enemy is your friend. You’re either with us, or you’re with them.
See how it is wrong to draw the dichotomy, and how one proposed solution does not necessarily have a monopoly on opposing a problem? This sort of ignorance leads to anti-feminists being demonised amongst feminists in much the same way that atheists are amongst the religious, as I have noted in another post.
Both movements are an attempt to bring good to the world, both are dominant in their field (yet strangely love to see themselves as persecuted for their beliefs) to such an extent that they find it hard to keep an open mind and acknowledge that other solutions might have just as valid intentions.
Attention: your movement is not the be-all and end-all.
Personally I choose to identify as feminist, though I fully realise the inherent problems within the movement. I’m similar to one of those Christians who just tries to follow the original teachings of Jesus, and criticises the failings of the organised Church.
But I understand why people might choose to reject my solution for a different one, or at least a different name - especially when many people are excluded (women, homosexuals and so on for Christianity), the movement is dominated by its extremists (who face shockingly little opposition from within, especially when compared to the efforts against the anti-feminists they create), deviates from its original intentions, and constantly attempts to attack and force propaganda down the throats of those who fail to toe the line.
I’ve written so many posts on this, even quoting Gandhi, but every now and then I’m driven to repeat myself. Don’t assume things about somebody simply because they disagree with you. Anti-feminism is a valid position. Feminism is a valid position. Now let’s start judging people by their opinions and arguments, not their labels.
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