Why Feminism Must Go

The strong reaction to my original post (Feminism Needs to Go) convinced me that I must further develop my ideas.  Taking some criticisms on board from that last article I am aiming to sharpen my criticism of the feminist movement and emphasise that women’s liberation is part of humanism not feminism.  I also wanted to touch more on men’s liberation and sexual denial by feminists.  This article mostly introduces points and lacks the depth to fully explore each one, I hope it nonetheless inspires more thought on these topics.  While hurt feelings are regrettable, I sincerely believe one should avoid letting hurt feelings stand in the way of progress both individually and socially, my aim here is not to inflict injury but to break bad habits of thinking with alternative approaches.

Feminism has Multiple Personality Disorder and is Divisive

Consider the positions of these six women:

  • Angie believes that the law limits the freedoms and opportunities of women and wishes to see women gain equal legal rights and responsibilities to men.
  • Meredith believes that cultural prejudice devalues and objectifies women and wants to liberate women from the mentality of the inferior.
  • Elsa believes that pornography humiliates and degrades women to the mere status of sex objects for men and wants greater respect of women from men.
  • Denise believes that a woman has a biological determined role in society and that cultural influences have harmed the natural state of affairs between men and women, rather than fight their biology women should accept their differences, limitations even, to men.
  • Annabelle is convinced that sex is a woman’s greatest asset and suppression of the sex industry is denying women the capacity to use their greatest natural resource, their sexuality, to function as equals/superiors to men.
  • Candice is convinced that men are an evolutionary dead end while all that is noble and beautiful in human nature is embodied in the woman. Candice believes that lesbianism is the relationship ideal and frowns on women who have any relationship with men be it friends or sexual, rather she supports research into IVF and parthenogenesis in the hope that one day the genocide of men will be a viable option.

What do Angie, Meredith, Elsa, Denise, Annabelle and Candice all have in common?

They all consider themselves feminists, in fact if you met them in a café none of them would feel that they need to offer any more explanation other than “I’m a feminist,” even though their points of view are so wildly different.  Let’s go through them again: Angie is a liberal feminist, Meredith a radical feminist, Elsa an anti-pornography feminist,  Denise a cultural feminist, Annabelle a sex-positive feminist and Candice a separatist feminist.  But that’s not all feminists, how could we forget the social feminists?  Marxist feminists?  Conservative feminists?  And everyone’s favourite: post-modern feminists?  Indeed, there are so many types of feminists the word ‘feminist’ is, as I said in my previous piece, utterly meaningless.  Meaningless unless, of course, you want to divide men and women into separate species.

Look at those names again: liberal feminist, radical feminist etc… in English, the adjective precedes the noun, therefore what is important here is that they are feminists.  What do we call men who have these same beliefs?  We call them liberals, radicals, fascists etc… we don’t call them liberal masculinists, radical masculinists etc… Feminism (the noun) seems to think it’s more important than the political orientation (the adjective).  In this way feminists aren’t simply saying “there’s a feminist perspective,” they’re saying, loud and clear, that there’s men’s academia and there’s women’s academia and they don’t overlap.  What a load of rubbish.  That’s like talking about white people’s science and black people’s science as though the colour of a person’s skin makes any difference to the nature of science.

This approach is a philosophical dead end and it is emphasising the differences between two groups and not what they have in common.  Interestingly, we don’t have multiple personality disorder anymore, we call it “dissociative personality disorder” because the person tries to dissociate themselves from actions and thoughts they don’t believe they could have done.  Feminists dissociate themselves from the rest of humanity just as they perceive the nameless, faceless patriarchy is doing it to them.

Feminism is Ideological and Idealistic

When I debate with many feminists I often start to notice some patterns: if men would only stop looking at porn, if men would only stop desiring attractive women, if men would only stop treating women like objects, if men would only stop treating their girlfriends/wives badly, if men would only listen!  I quickly realise they honestly believe there can be eternal peace, love and happiness on Earth if only people changed their attitudes a little.  Problems like women’s self-image, body-image, self-esteem and abuse will just magically disappear when every man and woman just gets what feminism really means.  This is a symptom of a utopian ideology.  This is dire news for any social-political movement because it cues the intellectual funeral march of a bad idea.

The problem is, there will always been younger, sexier, smarter, fitter, happier women to make other women feel jealous and worthless over.  That’s not anybody’s fault.  There is nothing men can do to make women feel better about that.  Life just sucks, it really does.  It doesn’t matter if we ban porn, fashion shows, socially castrate men or have a hundred “love the body you’re in” campaigns this fact of life won’t change.  I’m serious, I know how much this sucks because men have the same issues too, however, part of maturity is about letting go of such fantasies of self-importance because such narcissism is the individual’s problem, not society’s.  Feminists love to make individual problems appear as though they’re social problems, for example: body-image problems are something only an individual can address, it won’t matter if everyone else changes their opinion on another person’s body image.

Further to this, I’ve yet to read a feminist article about a narcissitic attitude a lot of young women have about how everyone wants to ‘possess’ them.  I suspect it doesn’t exist, because to be a feminist one might actually have to buy into this narcissism on at least some level.  Fair enough, men look at porn and women look at fashion magazines, everyone’s looking at the female body in our culture at this time in history, so this narcissism isn’t completely without some justification.  But this narcissism is not helpful for women because it takes the place of self-respect.

Feminism has a utopian ideology that demands men take responsibility for women’s emotional baggage, and if we can’t live in a utopia we can at least blame men for everything that went wrong.  Life will never be easy, no matter how technologically advanced and wise we might develop as a species.  Emotionally, men and women, as just too psychologically vulnerable to have an easy life.  This attitude of ‘feelings exist to make us happy’ as opposed to ‘feelings exist to help us survive’ is called ‘sentimentalism’ and to be fair, the attitude of ‘sentimentalism’ has afflicted everyone, not just feminists.  But the feminists don’t appear to realise that this ‘sentimentalism’ is fueling a feminist narcissism that is ultimately destructive to the very cause feminists supposedly aspire for: equality in dignity and rights.

Feminism is Resistant to Science and Rationalism

This doesn’t apply to all branches of feminism, only the ones that believe identity is entirely social/environmental defined.  In fact, this criticism could be leveled at half the subjects taught in the Arts faculty of a university.  Nonetheless, it is a weakness feminism has inherited.  Science tells us over and over again that there are biological differences between men and women, sure exceptions exists to these, but the trend is clear, most people have a masculine or a feminine temperament that’s at least partially independent of culture.  The case of David Reimer is poignant example that women are not simply the products of their upbringing.  Neuroscience has found significant evidence that real differences exist between men and women in how their brains are wired and work.  This research can not to be dismissed as “oh that’s just biased men’s science,” because women worked hard on this research too.  Any person who says that a women’s identity is entirely culturally defined should be laughed out of their academic institution.  Yet, for many ‘academics’, if they call themselves feminists they’re allows to escape having to reconcile their work with scientific evidence.  Sure, exceptions exist like hermaphrodites and transgendered individuals who elect for gender reassignments.  But these people are a tiny minority of the population and well within the overlapping bell curves for each sex.

Again, this is a criticism only for particular branches of feminism, but nonetheless, these are academic frauds using feminism to hide their intellectual laziness.

I don’t deny that culture plays a big role in a person’s psychological development, but the balanced approach of genetics plus environment is very important too.  Thankfully, feminists aren’t doing this research, it’s being done by neuropsychologists whose main qualification is being a scientist as opposed to being a woman with an axe to grind.  Feminists who think how a human being acts or behaves is independent of their biology are simplifying the nature of human beings.  Instead of embracing science that supports different strengths between women and men they label such research as biased and oppressive.  Yes, reality is quite oppressive, but denying people the dignity of being people it just irrational and sinisterly manipulative.  Again, it points to individuals with individual issues trying to adjust society to suit them rather than adapting to the world around them.

If a woman sincerely feels happy being a “girly girl” or a stay at home mother, don’t assume she’s a victim of patriarchal abuse.  At least treat her with enough dignity to give her the benefit of the doubt.  If it isn’t for men to tell women how they should be by nature, then it certainly isn’t for feminists to do the same thing as well.  Of course them same applies to men who want to be housemen.  Also, I know I’m pointing out differences here between men and women, and previously I stated that feminism was similarly divisive, however, these differences are still minor in the face of it.  That said, as a scientist, I’m constantly feeling as though the media have a passion for missinterpreting scientific research just to rile up the public unnecessarily.

Feminism Fails to Address Male Sexuality or Male Perspectives

I am intrigued by the men who used to be scared of women’s sexuality.  What a pathetic state to be afraid of women craving or enjoying sex?  Men not being able to even talk about the sexual act or who try to stifle women’s sexuality because they’re intimidated by the slightest interest a woman might show in sex.  For me, as a male, sexual intercourse is an art that takes effort and dedication to develop, romance is about self-respect and respecting others deeply.  Men who are scared of sex are scared of being human.  That’s a fate worse than death.  I’m indebted to having this issue brought to my attention by feminist writers.  But there is one thing I’ve never heard a feminist talk about to me, what about women’s insecurities about men’s sexuality?  Feminists are quick to tell male critics that because they’re not a woman thay can never understand.  Well that argument goes both ways, however, feminists can’t seem to even acknowledge it’s existence.  Let me introduce the topic for you.

Until you have been a man, you don’t know what it’s like wanting sincerely to live peacefully, amicably and intimately with women to have them constantly throw their body image issues at you or to patronise you constantly about feelings and relationships because women are apparently naturally better than men at these things.  One example of this that drives me crazy is the number of women who demand men be chivalrous towards them on dating websites.  Chivalry was a code of ethics developed for feudal lords to guilt them into treating their property (slaves) a little better.  Chivalry belongs in the time when women were purchased and exchanged as cattle between men.  Courtesy is the word they are avoiding, because courtesy is how equals treat each other.  Every woman who expects chivalry from men in a post-women’s liberation age is either a narcissist or an anti-liberal.  On the charge of whether women are superior to men at relationships there is in actual fact there’s no evidence women (on average) are better than men (on average) at relationships, only evidence that women spend more time (on average) worrying about feelings and relationships.

Paranoia can be a self-fulfilling prophecy in a relationship, and paranoia is just over thinking something.  There is plenty of evidence that people who over think relationships sabotage them for themselves.  Women are (on average) more prone to this kind of paranoia than men are thus neutralising any natural advantage heightened interest might confer to women in relationships.  Men do worry that they have to compete with George Clooney or Arnold Schwarzengger.  However, with our reduced interest in worrying about these things we’re statistically more like to find a good solution: accept that life can’t be 100% fulfilling and focus on making the best you can from it.  This bland acceptance of the harshness of life is not evidence of emotional shallowness in men, but emotional strength.  The strongest women I’ve met still enjoy decorating themselves, but they don’t let themselves suffer for not being perfect, they’ve got too much self-respect to let little things like this get in their way.

If a man’s partner made him feel he had to live up to such high expectations from a woman I would suggest that he should dump her.  Why shouldn’t women dump their boyfriends who make them feel inadequate?  As far as I know that’s exactly the advice most psychologists would recommend for both sexes so why then do so many women feel that they have to ‘fix’ the man?  I’m not talking about all women, and some men do it too, but on the whole it is the women dominating this type of dysfunctional relationship, that said, statistics on this are sorely needed.  Again, women more often would get offended if a man tried to fix her, so what makes some women think they’re better than men in relationships in that they can fix men?  I think it’s a problem of self-respect, I’ve know plenty of men get caught in this problem with their girlfriends from lack of self-respect, mostly because I’ve been there more than twice myself, but this just illustrates the problems women have in relationships are the same as men’s.  They are human relationship problems.

These problems are caused by the self perception of women as better than men at relationships with ‘special’ emotional needs and this perception is fueled by many feminists because this sexual narcissism is a cheap substitute for the self-respect women actually need.  Feminists, if you want women to be happier, they need to learn genuine self-respect not promote delusions of “we’re more important than men” or “we’re all victims of men” in young women that will handicap them emotionally and socially for the rest of their lives.

Back to the topic of male sexuality: the heterosexual man has a penis and an urge to have sex with women, very many woman seem to perceive all heterosexual men as potential rapists and it scares them senseless.  That’s the male sexuality that women find so difficult to deal with.  But like the men of yesterday (and today still, sadly) who were scared of women actually having a sexuality, the women who can’t get past this idea of “all men are rapists on a leash trying to break free” just don’t see the full man, they only see the penis and the sex drive.

May I suggest an alternative hypothesis for male sexuality?  Men desire intimate physical and emotional communion with women.  While sex is fun in itself, loving sex is better.  Two stangers doing a job together don’t have nearly as much fun as two friends doing the same job together.  Two strangers having sex won’t have nearly as much fun as too friends having sex together.  Stop seeing men as raging bulls, and start seeing them as sensitive, intelligent and kind people just like women are.  The whole world would be a very different place if women didn’t live with so much unnecessary fear of men.

Some men are rapists and some women are compulsive manipulators of men, but most violence in our society is directed at men, not women.  But most warnings about violence are directed to women (further encouraging this narcissism that women are more important) thus making women feel disproportionately afraid of violence to men.

I hate the advertising messages sent to women as is perfectly described in this comedy skit. I hate it because it clearly plays on women’s fears and insecurities about self-worth: one thing our society doesn’t need is more things to scare women about unnecessarily.  Also, these advertising strategies are harmful to men as well because, like the article posted recently on this site, they suggest that men are shallow and superficial in their attraction to women.  This isn’t any more true for men than it is for women.  But if you expect a man to be shallow and superficial, you might then perceive genuine sensitive guys are somehow ‘wrong’ or miss their redeeming traits because you’ve been ‘trained’ to only focus on their faults.

I’m not for a second going to say that men don’t have problems, issues and faults, but for goodness sake, women do too.  Our problems might be different occasionally, but that’s great because we can help each other out by working together and building on what we have in common.  But denying men the right to be different is just weird and oppressive.  We’re men, we’re not meant to be just like women.  Accept us for what we are and we can accept you for what you are.

Humanism Succeeds Where Feminism Has Failed

So far feminism has assumed that only women have the significant burdens, and that men are the solutions to those burdens – even if they can’t do anything about individual burdens like self-image and lack of self-respect.  One can’t expect society to change for just one individual’s irrational fear, fairness demands that the individual change themself instead of projecting their problems onto others.

In the previous section I talked about this fear of the heterosexual man as the potential rapist, I’ve always presumed that’s why homosexual men are so interesting to women, and this fear of the heterosexual man is a serious threat to the well being of our society.  Men and women have to live together, they have to work together, they have to help raise children together.  If women feel that half the population carry a loaded penis trained at their head at all times than how can women ever feel truly safe in our society?  This is the real problem, this is perhaps the core reason why we have feminism, because women don’t feel safe.  But feminism isn’t a genuine solution to this problem, it is a culture of fear that drives a wedge between men and women which only exascerbates this fear and continues to perpetuate the pattern.  Logically, if we advance humanist ideas and thinking in our society feminism will whither and die because the fear that fuels it will be strangled at its source: the impoverished state of relations between the sexes in a post-Christian era.

This illustrates just how much a woman’s problem is also a man’s problem and vice versa.  There is so much we can do to help each other by emphasising the things we have in common: the need to feel safe, the need to feel cared for, the need for companionship, the need for love, the need for self-respect, the need for stability, the need for community.  But this finger pointing from many feminists is just not helping.  I point the finger at feminism as an ideology of division because humanism is a better solution to our collective woes.  If I advocated “masculinism” the feminists would probably laugh at us initially (because we’re somehow not as sophisticated and/or needy as them) but then cry foul when we start talking about mens only issues that women aren’t allowed to comment on.  I have nothing against women’s only clubs and gyms, but women’s only politics and priviledges is a dangerous path to go down.

So I repeat again, feminism has no place in our society, women’s liberation through humanistic principles is the only stable way forward.  Young men and women need to escape the allure of sentimentallity and narcissism as an alternative to genuine self-respect.  Women alone cannot get this project underway, neither can men, the only way this is going to work is if men and women work together.  I often feel like reminding feminists that men share 100% of their genetic material, the two cannot be separated and what adversely affects one of us, adversely affects the other.  I, as one man, pledge that I am committed to this cause and will gladly work with any women who see that an imperfect world together is better than a perfect world alone.

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Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Gender issues, People

Author:Jason Sutherland

Resist the temptation to assume that you're always right or wrong. Never succumb to thinking you're so insignificant to trust your own thoughts and feelings. Always be responsible and listen carefully to others before passing judgement. Don't trust governments bearing stolen goods.

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16 Comments on “Why Feminism Must Go”

  1. LuciB
    September 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    My favourite points:

    “Emotionally, men and women, as just too psychologically vulnerable to have an easy life. This attitude of ‘feelings exist to make us happy’ as opposed to ‘feelings exist to help us survive’ is called ‘sentimentalism’ and to be fair, the attitude of ‘sentimentalism’ has afflicted everyone, not just feminists.”

    “…women are not simply the products of their upbringing. Neuroscience has found significant evidence that real differences exist between men and women in how their brains are wired and work.”

    “…culture plays a big role in a person’s psychological development, but the balanced approach of genetics plus environment is very important too.”

    “If a woman sincerely feels happy being a “girly girl” or a stay at home mother, don’t assume she’s a victim of patriarchal abuse. At least treat her with enough dignity to give her the benefit of the doubt. If it isn’t for men to tell women how they should be by nature, then it certainly isn’t for feminists to do the same thing as well.”

    “What a pathetic state to be afraid of a women craving or enjoying sex?”

    “Paranoia can be a self-fulfilling prophecy in a relationship…There is plenty of evidence that people who over think relationships sabotage them for themselves. ”

    “Feminists, if you want women to be happier, they need to learn genuine self-respect not promote delusions of “we’re more important than men” or “we’re all victims of men”…”

    “I hate the advertising messages sent to women as it perfectly described in this comedy skit. I hate it because it clearly plays on women’s fears and insecurities about self-worth: one thing our society doesn’t need is more things to scare women about unnecessarily.”

    “I’m not for a second going to say that men don’t have problems, issues and faults, but…women do too. Our problems might be different occasionally, but that’s great because we can help each other out by working together and building on what we have in common…We’re men, we’re not meant to be just like women.”

    “There is so much we can do to help each other by emphasising the things we have in common: the need to feel safe, the need to feel cared for, the need for companionship, the need for love, the need for self-respect, the need for stability, the need for community.”

  2. LuciB
    September 11, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    In the interest of avoiding misinforming the public about psychological disorders, I just wanted to point out that the following is incorrect:

    “we don’t have multiple personality disorder anymore, we call it “dissociative personality disorder” because the person tries to dissociate themselves from actions and thoughts they don’t believe they could have done.”

    It is called Dissociative Identity Disorder, and it is not about dissociation from ‘actions and thoughts [the sufferer] don’t believe they could have done’. It is dissociation from memories or experiences usually related to severe childhood trauma. There is some evidence suggesting biological differences in DID and PTSD sufferers (eg. structural differences in the brain).

  3. LuciB
    September 11, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Points I question or disagree with:

    Many of your statements seem to portray feminists as man-haters – which is a common statement I’ve heard from men who take issue with feminism. For some fanatical feminists misandry may be the case, but yes this is the minority! I love men and I generally do not fear them any more than I fear women. But I do believe men still have privilege in most areas of society, and there are many countries where women are second class citizens of treated like slaves.

    You wrote that feminism is fuelled by “the impoverished state of relations between the sexes in a post-Christian era.”. Campaigning for women’s right to vote, or have an education, or earn equal pay was not a reflection of the impoverished state of relations between the sexes – it was merely the desire for equity.

    “why then do so many women feel that they have to ‘fix’ the man? I’m not talking about all women, and some men do it too, but on the whole it is the women dominating this type of dysfunctional relationship, that said, statistics on this are sorely needed.” – As there is no evidence for such a definitive claim I’d suggests perhaps using more tentative language here rather than making assertions.

    Also, there is an inconsistency between criticising women for wanting men to change and later saying that “there can be eternal peace, love and happiness on Earth if only people changed their attitudes a little.” Often, this is all that women (and men) want: some compromise.

    “However, with our reduced interest in worrying about these things we’re statistically more like to find a good solution…This bland acceptance of the harshness of life is not evidence of emotional shallowness in men, but emotional strength.” – I don’t think neglecting to consider your relationship is a sign of emotional strength – it is a sign of avoidance or helplessness, which are hardly solution-focused. Those who are blandly passive are more likely to present to counselling once their marriage is on the verge of collapse because of their ‘not worrying’ until it is too late.

    “So far feminism has assumed that only women have the significant burdens, and that men are the solutions to those burdens.” – Really? I certainly haven’t made these assumptions. I think it is the key stakeholders (male or female) that are relevant in each case.

    “So I repeat again, feminism has no place in our society, women’s liberation through humanistic principles is the only stable way forward.”
    I suspect you mean “let’s take a unified approach to equal rights, and stop being man-hating feminazis”.? LOL. Jason, as far as I’m concerned, anyone supportive of women’s lib is a feminist (including you!). This is a semantic issue – you hate the term “feminist” as this seems to be emotionally loaded for you (and most men) and riddled with misconceptions, so you’ve chosen another label you feel more comfortable with. But don’t forget that many feminists are just as humanistic as you are.

    • September 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

      Paragraph 1: I think man-haters is too far, man-cynics is probably closer to the truth. Part of my point is that the fact this misconception is such an issue means it’s an issue.

      2: Yes, I realised I was simplifying things there, but I was trying to avoid turning the article into a book. Also I was thinking of general day-to-day social relations as well as politcal ones. Again, that topic wasn’t explored properly either. I was quite frustrated that it got to 3,600 words because that’s much more than I wanted.

      3: Fair enough.

      4: I agree. But our culture is so divided/diverse it’s almost meaningless to talk about such compromises. It’s just not PC to talk about planning cultural norms. We’ve given up on social engineering in favour of “just see what happens if everyone just screams into the void”. Science might yield more meaningful insights into this debate in the future but for the time being I think our diversity is causing us some headaches.

      5: I think we’re talking about two different issues. You’re talking about the extreme of denial that there’s a problem and I’m talking about not thinking about a problem until there’s an identifiable problem. You’re exactly right, a lot of men don’t think about things being wrong with a relationship, I think this is typical of anyone when they face a problem they can’t deal with by themselves so I think relationship education in school for everyone would be a great start.

      6: When I wrote that I was thinking that men don’t have the same ideological frame work as women do (in feminism) to defend themselves with. It is an assymetrical playing field that’s going to favour women more often than men unless they have their own counter frame work, which, rather than promoting masculinism, I’m promoting humanism to fill this need for men.

      7: Refer to first article. I’m very strongly pro women’s rights/liberation and yes, I am well aware women still aren’t getting a fair share in our society. It’s a critique of approach I’m writing. I much much much prefer to be called a humanist than a feminist because what does feminism mean?!

  4. September 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Great article as ever Jason! Really insightful. A humanist. I love that. I can relate to that.

  5. September 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    Of course it’s not called “liberal masculinist” because they seldom have to fight for men’s rights as women have to fight for their rights as human beings. Men already have more power than women. In an ideal society noone should have to call themselves feminists, but there’s a long way there from here. Being a feminist today means that you fight for the rights of women, something that is often overlooked in the traditional ideologies (not followed by the noun “feminist”).

    And sure, opinions will differentiate between feminists, just as they will between two liberals och socialists. This does not mean that liberalism och socialism could not be classified as actual political movements.

    As to the objectification of women it is quite tragic but definitely not the most important issue that we have to deal with. Whats important is not whether males and females are different biologically, It is not to create gender roles where the woman is a stay-at-home mother or works for a poor salary whereas the man provides for the family.

    Women all over the world are discriminated against just because of their sex, and the one thing all feminists have in common is the fight against this injustice. NOT hatered towards men. Those are ultra-feminists and just as you should not call a conservative fascist nor a social democrat communist, noone should assume that all feminists hate men.

    • September 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

      Paragraph 1: “Being a feminist today means that you fight for the rights of women” I’m glad you’re clear about your particular branch of feminism, but you’re making the mistake my whole first section was about: that the word “feminist” actually means something meaningful. So you’re for women’s liberation, great, so am I, but that’s just one possible meaning. The rest of your statement is arguing from the position of victim: “We’re oppressed women, we need special treatment!” Ummm, the law has been changed, do we need an inquisition too? When will it be enough? I know a lot of women aren’t getting a fair deal, even in our society, but you’re living in paradise compared to the rest of the world and what’s more there’s plenty of legal options for women to use to address these remaining minor issues. Be careful not to waste your time crying over spilt milk. Yes, I wish the government looked after me like doting parents too, but life isn’t that easy. Even in today’s world you need to fight for yourself, that’s self-respect. Not relying on other people.

      2: I agree.

      3: Actually, I suspect the biggest issue for Australian women is the number of mothers who are expected to be the bread-winner and to do the bulk of the housework. I think that’s unfair. But if these women don’t do both they’re a failure in the eyes of their fellow woman. Because a woman is supposed to be equal to men (a bread winner) and a responsible mother (the domestic goddess) which is just insane. I don’t hear many feminists say “being a housewife is fine if it’s what you want” and you just proved my point. That’s replacing one cultural expectation on women (as a housewife) with another (as a superwoman). That’s just not liberation to me, that’s sentimentalism at it’s worse: practicalities of life don’t matter so long as I feel good about myself.

      4: Yes, I really want to go into this issue more but I’m just not knowledgeable enough about this. Something interesting though, if women being treated badly in other countries isn’t sometimes used as an implicit indictment against men in Western countries also I don’t know what is. So you’re clear about it: the problem isn’t men, it’s culture, that’s great, we can see eye to eye and we can work together, great, in fact most men I know are disgusted with how women are treated in other countries, don’t you want their help in your fight? Or are you too proud to ask for it? I mean, stop calling it feminism and call it humanism or women’s liberation again and I think you’ll find opposition from most men will just evaporate and they’ll gladly stand by the sides of their mothers, sisters and daughters. But whenever a man is asked to march under the banner of feminism he asks himself a very rational question: “What’s in it for me?”

      Pride comes before a fall and women have all the faults men do. Catherine Medici, Catherine the Great, Empress Marie-Therese, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Isabella, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi and now Julia Gillard: the evidence is clear, women act just like men do when they have power. There is no moral advantage to having two X chromosomes.

    • Ryan
      September 13, 2011 at 4:01 am #

      Men have all of the power? Right that must be why the DOE just lowered the standard of proof required to convict a male student in college of rape all the way down to “perponderance of evidence” (anything above 50%), oh yea they also eliminated due process for that (male) student as well.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903596904576516232905230642.html

      FIRE, the AAUP, and SAVE (stop abusive and violent enviroment for everyone) have all spoken out about this disgusting new policy. So men have “all the power” yet laws today are completely skewed in the females favor?

  6. LuciB
    September 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Jason, I wholeheartedly agree with you on point 4. I believe a woman can be a feminist AND still be a stay at home mum for a period of time that works for her and her family. In fact, I plan on doing so in 11 weeks or so : ) The expectation that I should work full time, be responsible for most of the childcare and domestic duties is just absurd – and I agree that it is mostly WOMEN who place this pressure on other women! My husband would never dream of putting such pressure on me. In terms of family roles, I think women’s liberation is about allowing women to take the roles that work for them and their families, without guilting or demeaning them for their choices, no matter what they are.

  7. LuciB
    September 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Sorry I meant point 3.

  8. Hera
    September 24, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    Lots of thought provoking ideas with this one.
    I especially liked this…
    “One can’t expect society to change for just one individual’s irrational fear, fairness demands that the individual change themself instead of projecting their problems onto others.”
    Exactly! And it’s not just about expecting society to change for one persons irrational fears, it also applies to fears that stem from legitimate threats. For example, the fact that women have been advised that they should avoid certain situations or take certain precautions in order to reduce their chances of being assaulted or raped. That kind of stuff just outrages the feminists that I’ve talked to, and they’ll argue that it’s not fair to put all the pressure of avoiding rape or assault on the potential victims, and that to hold them responsible for their own safety impinges on their freedom. I’ve even seen some of them go so far as to argue that all men should be restricted from being in certain areas at night, so that women can feel more safe! How can feminism insist that it values equality when it doesn’t advocate personal responsibility? Could the answer be that equality is no longer the main goal? Unlike feminism of the past, third wave feminism lacks any clearly defined objectives… For the first time in the history of the movement there are no more big dragons to slay. So, what’s a movement to do without anything big to fight against? Well, as you previously mentioned, feminist are now treating a woman’s individual problems as though they’re social problems. You take that in combination with a continued resentment over the past, and it creates a dangerous sense of entitlement. Why settle for equal rights when you can demand special rights? The sad fact is that without balanced perspective, personal responsibility, and the willingness to critically examine these “issues”, this brand of feminism is probably going to continue.

  9. September 27, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    Great conversation — thanks! You and your readers might be interested in this excellent video on “why men should care about gender equality”:

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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