Feminism F.A.Q.s: Why “Feminism” (not “Equalism” or “Humanism”)?

by | August 7, 2012
filed under Feminism

I wanted to kill two birds with one stone in this video. The first thing I tried to address was the argument I’ve received since my video “What is Feminism?”, that if feminism is really about equality, it should be called something broader like “equalism” or “humanism”.

I’ve found people making this argument generally come from one of two places: one group believes work needs to be done on women’s equality but see it as part of a broader movement and might have a reluctance to call themselves feminists due to negative stigma (aka the “I’m not a feminist…but” crowd).

The other believes feminism is not necessary because men are equally or more discriminated against in society compared to women. Therefore they accuse feminists of talking about equality while ignoring male inequality. I think this video speaks more to the first group – it’s very hard to convince those who possess the intractable belief that men are disadvantaged that in fact women are still the marginalized ones, on the whole – no matter how many stats you throw out. But I will continue to throw out stats in other videos nonetheless.

The second “bird” I was trying to kill was the common misuse of the word “humanism” to refer to simply an extremely broad movement for equality for all humans. I know I get tired of hearing celebrities in interviews, not to mention friends and acquaintances say, “I wouldn’t call myself a feminist; I’m a humanist” to mean that they feel feminism has a negative connotation and that humanism is an adequate substitution that demonstrates their commitment to equality for all. In addition to erasing the specificity of fighting gender inequality, it misses the historical and current meaning of the term “humanism”, which also includes a commitment to the rational and scientific and a rejection of the idea of divine and supernatural powers. I’m sure some humanists get annoyed by this mischaracterization, too. At any rate, I h0pe this video helps to concisely clear that up.

I also wanted to give major credit to Finally, a Feminism 101 Blog, whose answer to this question helped me start writing my own for this video. They also address a range of other FAQs on their site that are worth checking out if you like these videos.

Transcript after the jump:

Hi I’m Jarrah Hodge, writer and editor at Gender Focus. Welcome to Feminism F.A.Q.s. One question I’ve heard a lot is about the term “feminism”. In my video, “What is Feminism?” I said feminism is about equality of the sexes. So why not another term like “equalism” or “humanism” some ask.

Feminists believe that our society’s gender inequality requires a specific lens.  Because women are generally marginalized compared to men, they need narrative space for themselves and allies to discuss women’s issues and experiences.

Without naming the issue of women’s inequality, without analysis of and action on the systemic power structures that generally privilege men over women in our society, there’s the possibility that it might get de-prioritized.

But being a feminist doesn’t mean you can’t be an “equalist” too or that you can’t focus on other forms of discrimination. I, for one, believe that feminism goes hand-in-hand with other movements for equality such as anti-racism, because feminist equality can’t be only for some privileged groups of women.

And if you’re using the term “humanist” to mean believing in human rights and equality, you might just want to make sure people understand what you mean.

The term Humanism arose during the Enlightenment in the 18th century and referred to a movement promoting reason, ethics, and justice while rejecting religious dogma and the idea of divine and supernatural powers.

There’s a strong and vibrant humanist movement today that draws its legacy from that time, combining a commitment to human rights with a secular and rational worldview. It doesn’t specifically focus on gender equality issues. So you can be both a humanist and a feminist like I’d define myself, but one doesn’t really substitute for the other.

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99 responses to “Feminism F.A.Q.s: Why “Feminism” (not “Equalism” or “Humanism”)?”

  1. Tbyte says:

    Feminism is, and always has been, a women’s advocacy movement. It has never advocated for gender equality and has actively fought to preserve extant privileges of women at the expense of men. So it is not possible for someone to be both a feminist and an equalist. You are either one, or the you are the other. You either examine civil issues through a rational and gender neutral lens, or you view them through a lens of feminist dogma and mythology.

    • mika says:


    • SolarSystem says:

      really true. Feminism is a successful movement asking for female privilege and female entitlement without any responsibility for any deed.

      • Pierce says:

        Not entirely true, actually. Probably further from the truth than anything. And completely dismissive of the very valid points made in this article. Women aren’t asking for any kind of privilege or entitlement that men don’t have, they are asking for equal ones that men have (I’m a man, by the way) or to dismantle the privilege system that generally men enjoy exclusively so that we can experience the world at their current level of privilege. There are always going to be ignorant people, and some ignorant girls who have perhaps considered themselves as feminists might have tried using feminism to shrug their accountability regarding something they’ve done, or to excuse their ignorance. But that’s not what feminism is. And that’s generally not who feminists are. I’m a feminist. I’m a man. I accept full accountability for all of my actions, as most of the female feminists do. But your statement is no less, if not more, ignorant than the women (or woman) you must be speaking of.

        • Eric Blevins says:

          See, I have a problem when people who compare the inequalities across the sexes. To say one suffers more inequalities than the other is prejudicial and close-minded. Everyone suffers differently because of their gender and just because you may not see as “that bad,” they may feel it is the worse kind of inequality. That is why I think we should just all root for opportunity equality, that both genders should be given opportunity and that each person should be held responsible for their actions REGARDLESS of gender. Let’s just call it what it is: equality, not feminism.

        • Agonizing Truth says:

          “Women aren’t asking for any kind of privilege or entitlement that men don’t have”
          Wow, the bullshit really is piling up. I think I’m going to need some hip waders here. OK, let’s get something straight right now. Women in the western world, in addition to having all the same rights men do, already DO have privileges and entitlements that men don’t have and never will. Ask yourself: where are the men’s studies courses on college campuses? They’re like finding hen’s teeth if they exist at all but you literally cannot find a college in the western world that doesn’t have a womens studies course.

          What quotas are there for male college students on campus, even now when women are getting more college degrees than men? Isn’t it time to do away with affirmative action for women when they’re getting more degrees than men? But of course feminists will be the first to insist that the quotas remain in place.

          What man can say “Fuck registering for the draft, I’m still going to vote and enjoy all the benefits of American society WITHOUT registering”? No man can say that. At age 18 a man has to register for the draft in the U.S. and put his name and information in the system so that if the draft was reinstated he would be called up to be cannon fodder to go die in some foreign shithole to protect the rest of American society sitting in air conditioned comfort. No woman has to register for the draft at age 18 or any age, she can float along enjoying the benefits of society without the comparable responsibility a man has to be available to defend it if asked.

          Women have the privilege of being able to smack, punch and beat the shit out of a man and it’s rare that they go to jail for it… but you let a man get tired of being his woman’s punching bag and hit her back one good time and that man is worse than Hitler, he’s going to jail for being a cowardly woman beater. Women know men are programmed from an early age to not hit a girl and many MANY women take advantage of that fact, with society and the police force to back them up.

          Women have the privilege of having their concerns fawned over and doted on while men have the privilege of being told to grow a pair and stop complaining. Vastly more men are homeless than women but you’d never know it from the funding for homeless shelters or the availability of men’s shelters, as women’s shelters get vastly more funding to serve a much smaller population. And the “patriarchial” government couldn’t care less about it.

          More men are dying from prostate cancer than women are dying from breast cancer yet which do you see getting all the publicity and funding and charity drives? Why does everyone know a pink ribbon means you’re helping fight breast cancer yet what is the ribbon for helping fight prostate cancer? Is there even one? Who knows? Since it never really gets talked about hardly at all.

          Women get about a 60% sentencing discount for the same crimes as a man commits yet I have never heard even one single feminist insist that true equality would also mean equality in sentencing, that women shouldn’t get preferential treatment in the court system. But you bet your ass if the situation was reversed and men got a 60% sentencing discount feminists would be all over it like flies on a cow pie.

          And moreover, what man has a “right” to have his unborn son or daughter butchered for his convenience because he doesn’t want to be a daddy? Does he get to act like a little kid who isn’t responsible for his own actions? Nope, the system FORCES that man to act like a grown adult and he’s on the hook for 18 years of child support for a kid he will never see if the woman decides she wants to be a mommy instead of going to the Hoover clinic. So the law is set up in such a way that the woman is not held accountable for her actions of helping create that new person, the law lets her run away from her responsibilities with no penalties in the slightest even though her irresponsibility results in the death of a defenseless human being yet the man’s irresponsibility of being a deadbeat dad which results in the woman not getting a monthly check in the mail is illegal. Her not getting a check in the mail is illegal yet her having her unborn son or daughter dismembered and sucked out of her uterus because she’s too much of an irresponsible piece of shit to want to be bothered with it, yeah, that’s perfectly legal. (And you know damned well that if anyone tried to redress this horrific double standard by tying the continued existence of legal abortion to an end to mandatory child support it would be a colossal shitstorm, the feminists would go ape shit and out comes the propaganda about holding women to the same standard of responsibility as a man is “oppressing women”, “chaining them to the stove” and keeping them “barefoot and pregnant” or whatever garbage they can think up. Certainly no admission that it even IS a double standard, let alone probably the most egregious double standard the world has ever seen. These are just a few examples of the privileges women in western society have that men don’t. And, gosh darn it, I wonder why feminists studiously avoid fighting for or even discussing such double standards? Maybe because they’re double standards that favor women over men thus they are perfectly content with them remaining in place and don’t want to get rid of them? Ya think??

    • grayrain says:

      Feminism is the belief of gender equality, for both males and females that are trapped in whatever forced role they may be in. Men’s liberation also means women’s liberation at the same time. The term feminism itself is there since it’s a focus on the gender that’s specifically been suppressed by the physically-dominant one.

      And it wasn’t humanism that freed women in the West, got them voting powers, etc., etc., etc. It was feminists who had to fight for their specific goal. Like the author says, the term feminist was born from a specific lens, to combat a specific issue (women’s rights). Humanism isn’t specific, and really, is a bit ironic – it was the creation of men in an era of scientific reasoning. Science itself has only become more open to women in recent decades, and again, that’s only in the West for the most part. And that wasn’t thanks to humanism – it was thanks to feminism.

      What you *could* say is that feminism is a specific category of equalism. On the men’s side, in the West anyway, there’s a growing movement to escape from their own set roles: men are more available to become homemakers more, gain emotions back, essentially escape rigid/insecure concepts of masculinity.

      People who hate feminists don’t understand the term – they just see ‘feminine’ in the name and automatically hate it, because they hate women.

      • Ian Bolton says:

        Hang on! You’re finishing that piece by saying ‘because they hate women’? How delusional and paranoid is that for a statement? We all have our differences and nothing will ever change that, but let’s not continue this stupid idea that because we don’t believe in feminism we must hate each other.

        • Pierce says:

          Ian, please consider your use of the term delusional. Delusional would be a comment that has absolutely no basis in reality. But the fact is, there are people who hate feminism because they hate women. That is a very unfortunate reality. What you’ve said can be compared to the dismissive statements women have to deal with on a regular basis that they’re “just a crazy bitch” so none of their thoughts are valid. I really don’t think that was your intention, but it could be read like that to someone sensitive to that type of experience. I agree it was perhaps a little paranoid, or rather judgmental to jump to the conclusion that anyone who doesn’t understand or appreciate the term must hate women. But men often tout that feminists need to be more “objective” (I’m guilty) so let’s keep the delusional statement out of it for objectivity’s sake.

          • Andreas555 says:

            Yes delusional is wrong but maybe a bit naive and hateful as grayraine sais that people who hates femenism hates wommen. Wich is not true at all. I myself think that femenism should be removed and replaced by equalism as it is gender specific and the face out of femenism never speaks of male questions and often speak of wommen who should gain privliges.

      • Pierce says:

        Really appreciate your post and agree with everything said. Except the last sentence. I’m with Ian, mostly. I absolutely don’t think it’s a delusional statement because there are people who hate feminism because they hate women, but I think it is a little paranoid, and judgmental, to assume because a man doesn’t understand the term that he hates women. Perhaps he just hasn’t gained an appreciation for term yet, either because a negative stigma of it has been reinforced at some point, or perhaps because a feminist told him he must hate women for really no good reason other than that he doesn’t understand feminism as you just have to any man reading this comment who doesn’t understand feminism. I never understood feminism until recently, and even once had a negative impression of it. But I’ve never once in my life hated women, so I would be offended by what you just said and less likely to want to understand feminism. You might or might not agree with me, but I think it’s food for thought.

      • Agonizing Truth says:

        “People who hate feminists don’t understand the term – they just see ‘feminine’ in the name and automatically hate it, because they hate women.”
        Again, total bullshit. Oh sure, there are misogynists who hate feminists because they hate women to begin with. Those people are shit and aren’t worth considering. But you are ignoring all the people out there, vastly more people than neanderthal misogynists, who hate feminism precisely because they see what it IS and don’t want any parts of a bigoted gynocentric female supremacist movement. If you can’t see that this is what modern feminism truly is you need to step back away from the problem and get a new perspective on it. Old school feminism to achieve the right to vote, that was necessary, all well and good, I have no problems with that and neither would anyone else who truly values equality of the sexes. However modern feminism has exceedingly little in common with that and is making it increasingly obvious that equality isn’t nearly good enough for them. Consider the female-specific special privileges women have that men do not, and then try to come up with even one law in the western world that favors men over women. There aren’t any. I hear crickets chirping. Yet there are laws on the books right now that openly favor women over men. Funny, but feminists don’t seem to place any importance whatsoever on redressing any of THOSE double standards, nope, to them it’s only a double standard if it favors men over women apparently. When you have all the same rights in the western world that men do plus some special privileges on top of that, yet you still keep playing the victim card, “oh we’re sooooooooo oppressed, wah wah wah”, in order to milk even MORE privileges out of it then you’re making it pretty obvious to anyone with more than shit for brains that equality isn’t nearly good enough for you.

        Go where feminism still is needed, i.e. the Middle East, parts of Africa and Asia. THAT is where feminism is needed nowadays, not in the western world where women have all the rights of a man and then some.

    • Pierce says:

      Of course feminism has always been a women’s advocacy movement. But by that very virtue, it is a movement of gender equality, because women have often been and still are oppressed in comparison to men. Does that mean that men are not oppressed? No. But do women experience greater oppression on the whole? Yes. If you disagree, then you are the type of person who needs to research feminism the most desperately. And will women gaining gender equality come at the expense of men? Maybe in someways. But it will be at the expense of privileges only men enjoy, not women. But it might also be achieved by allowing women to enjoy some of those privileges exclusive to men. For example, did men have to give up their right to vote so that women could also vote? No. But did they have to give of the privilege of having absolute power over the political spectrum. Yes. Because that was an oppressive privilege. You do not have to be one of the other. You are the one who thinks in those terms of extremes. Not feminists. There is no feminist mythology or dogma. Women never used to be able to vote. That’s a reality. Women aren’t allowed to become educated in countries all over the world. That’s reality. You my friend, are further out of touch with reality than any feminist ever could be.

      • Agonizing Truth says:

        “But do women experience greater oppression on the whole? Yes. ”
        Where? In Saudi Arabia, the rest of the Middle East pretty much, some parts of Asia and the African continent? Yes, I would say in those places women certainly experience greater oppression than men, no doubt about it. When you can’t leave the house without a burka or a male chaperone, when women can’t get a drivers license, yes, that’s oppression of women that men don’t have to deal with except vicariously by seeing their wives, mothers, sisters etc. go through it. I’m not denying that feminism is needed in THOSE parts of the world. But no matter how much feminists wish it was so in order to give them a continued reason for existence here, the western world is not at all like that. Women in the western world are not oppressed by any means, not in the slightest. They have all the same rights a man does plus some privileges on top of it which no man will ever have. Feminists in the western world need to stop living in the 1800s. Women have long since been liberated here. You’re tilting at windmills, shadowboxing, accomplishing nothing whatsoever of value in the western world. There is more of a need for a men’s rights movement in the western world nowadays than there is for feminism because the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction and feminism is doing neither jack nor shit to try to redress any of that and never will because it is a narrowly focused female supremacist movement and expecting it to act in the interests of anyone who DOESN’T have a vagina would be like asking the KKK to focus on the plight of African-Americans in inner city ghettoes. It just isn’t going to happen, no matter how many times feminists try to insist that they really “are” fighting for equality and looking out for men’s interests. Bull and shit. Never have, never will.

      • Dm says:

        Its funny you bring up for example men giving up their privilege of absolute power over the political spectrum so women could vote. This is the absurd thinking of you feminist(yes i know you’re a man) minions — that you cant seem to intellectualize the fact that men voting was a ‘privilege’ given to them because they were the ones dying for their country you ungrateful numbskull. The same way women have a choice and privilege as to whether or not they want a child, because its THEIR bodies when they get pregnant (and men don’t get the same choice), it was that way over the voting process because men, not women, were the ones sacrificing THEIR bodies and lives. Open your f’ing yes you p whipped loon.

    • CWebb says:

      Equalist and Feminists are not dichotomies of one another, rather they compliment one another… Feminists believe that we live in a patriarchal society where women are disadvantaged (I really don’t think anyone can seriously disprove this). In order to live in a more equal society, we have to challenge patriarchal institutions and laws. Hence, feminism is necessary to achieve equality

  2. Joy says:

    Thanks for a great and useful post. I wish this humanism question could be over and done with. sigh. and hurray for radical anti-hierarchicalism!

    • Ali says:

      Imagine if we replaced the word “racist” with “blackist” since black people suffer the most racial injustice. Imagine if we changed the word “ageist” to seniorist” since seniors suffer the most ageist injustice. If you disagree with the above two examples, then why is society still using the word “feminist” instead of “humanism” even if females suffer the most sexist injustice?

      • grayrain says:

        Those are really bad analogies. If we go with your definitions, a “blackist” isn’t someone fighting for the rights of black people, are they?

        Feminism is a specific term that’s oriented towards the issues of women’s rights. At the same time, it automatically includes the liberation of men by context.

        What you *really* should be fighting for is the specific study of men’s woes, which is really about a liberation of emotions and not always having to prove they’re the ‘best’, especially over women (“I lost to a girl, wah wah wah”).

        • Agonizing Truth says:

          “Feminism is a specific term that’s oriented towards the issues of women’s rights. At the same time, it automatically includes the liberation of men by context.”
          Aaaand I call bullshit on that. See my post at the top of this thread, I don’t feel like chewing the same food twice. Suffice it to say, if feminism cared a whit about anything that doesn’t have a vagina it has a pretty damned funny way of showing it. How is it “liberating” men by fighting for more female-specific special privileges while ignoring any double standard that favors women over men, including some double standards that are exceedingly more important than some of the non-issues I’ve seen feminists get themselves all worked up into a frenzy over? Where are feminists pushing for ending mandatory child support or tying the continuation of mandatory child support to the abolishing of elective abortion, so as to give men and women equal options for opting out of an unwanted pregnancy? Where are the feminists who are demanding that women are held to the same standards of accountability in the court system instead of getting a 60% discount in sentencing for the same effing crime as a man? Where are the feminists demanding that men’s homeless shelters get funded based on the demographics of the homeless population rather than the way it works now with the overwhelming majority of the homeless being men and the overwhelming majority of the funding going to female homeless shelters? Where are the feminists pushing for women to have to register for the draft like men do at age 18? Where are the feminists pushing for more equality in child custody cases instead of women getting awarded custody about 90% of the time, to the extent that the woman would have to be basically a practicing prostitute or a heroin addict for the man to get awarded custody? Where are the feminists pushing for society to change its outdated attitudes about women hitting men versus men hitting women? For crying out loud, the way it works now a woman can slap and beat on a man all she wants and the police aren’t going to do a damn thing to anyone until the man gets tired of being a punching bag and finally hits her back, THEN the police come… to arrest the man for being a woman beater. Where are the feminists who are trying to convince more women to take on the dangerous jobs to try to even start to equalize the lopsided workplace fatality ratio that has men suffering 93% of job-related deaths and women suffering a tiny 7%? When you hear feminists talk about anything related to the workplace you don’t hear that part do you? All you hear is the mythological “pay gap” that disappears as soon as you adjust for career choices, education and childbirth.

          What feminism is, and more and more people are waking up to this all the time, is a female supremacist movement, nothing less, nothing more.

  3. syd says:

    Wrong Tbyte YOU dont get to define feminism. Feminist do. Im a feminist. Guess what, I also work with men issues.

    • man says:

      syd, we don’t want or need you anywhere near our issues. Back off.

    • Agonizing Truth says:

      You also work with men’s issues? Then you must be one lonely feminist because all the feminism I’ve ever seen goes out of its way to belittle and pooh-pooh any issue pertaining to anyone who doesn’t have a vagina. They even belittle trans people who started out as men and became women, calling them “transjacktavists” or some nonsense, presumably inferring that they’re trying to “hijack” your bullshit movement, as if anyone else would want it.

  4. Liam says:

    This general confusion with feminism is what makes me second guess its effectiveness. Don’t get me wrong, i am not anti-feminist but directly quoting the Wikipedia entry on Feminism i am to understand that “A feminist is “an advocate or supporter of the rights and equality of women”.[3]” Equality meaning between men and women of course which means overall gender equality. This directly contradicts Tbyte’s original comment. Please explain this!

  5. jarrahpenguin says:

    Hi Liam,

    I think the fundamental confusion comes out of the disagreement about whether or not women have achieved equality. I believe that they haven’t. I do gender inequality hurts both men and women and that men have unique gender issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve equality. However, when you look at real material issues like the wage gap, severity of domestic violence, and the damaging impacts of objectification on women and girls, it’s clear to me that we aren’t yet at a place where we can totally abandon the word feminism. Because of the history of women’s oppression, there still needs to be space for women and their allies to talk about these and other key issues.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t talk to or about men. On the contrary – men are crucial to the movement going forward. But it’s a little like me going to an anti-racist meeting as an ally – it’s incumbent on me to examine my privilege and to listen to where other people are coming from, to understand I can’t fully appreciate what it’s like to be raised as someone who is characterized by race. Looking at something like Occupy is a good example of how, without consciously attending to it, even in an overall equality social justice movement, women’s and people of colour’s voices can get drowned out.

    Anyway, thanks for your comment. Hope this goes a little ways to answering your question.

    • Rashan says:

      I got totally shot down for being an equalist today by a hardline feminist and frankly I’m getting sick of it. And bloody angry.
      My belief is that all people should be treated equally, period, no matter what their race or creed is. If a feminist has a problem with being fair to all human beings, then that kind of feminist does not want equality at all, but to shout about how unfair things are to women.
      My point is – I don’t have a problem at all with a philosophy that aims for equally in any form, but if it attacks someone for wanting things to be fair for everyone, then it is plain hypocritical by definition.
      And here’s another thing – there are many things that are unequal to both sexes, but if it’s a man’s inequality issue, I gotta shut up and take it – LIKE A MAN – no sexism there, hey? I think not.
      If you do not like the word Equalism and you are a feminist, then you are a hypocrite, because, that is exactly what an equalist is aiming for. It’s just that an equalist wants a fair go for everybody. If you don’t think this is a fair statement, then you are a sexist feminist, rather than someone who wants true equality.
      I absolutely agree that there a hell of a lot of things that are unfair to women that need to be addressed, this is not the point.
      Equalism is the way of the future, if you can’t accept that, then this world is truly doomed.

      • grayrain says:

        Equalism infers that men and women experience equal discrimination as well. That’s horribly, horribly untrue, especially when you look at backwards places (in terms of women’s rights) in places like the Middle East, India, etc. Feminism is the specific study of that discrimination inequality.

        “I gotta shut up and take it – LIKE A MAN”

        It’s not women who created that culture, it’s men. I mean, just by you saying that, you’re admitting it’s a creed that you yourself have trapped yourself in. If anything, it’s women who come to your defense when you don’t ascribe to your set gender role – other men are waiting to beat you up for being “weak/a ‘fag’/etc.” the moment you fall.

        “But my wife is the one who wants me to act like a man…”

        She’s probably not for feminism, because she’s never been raised to have confidence in herself, in order to take care of herself in light of a dominant male figure. It’s like this weird form of Stockholm syndrome. Or she’s a religious nut.

        • David says:

          >> Equalism infers that men and women experience equal discrimination as well.

          No it doesn’t.

          There are a myriad of issues to varying degrees that lead to all kinds of inequality and those inequalities need to be addressed, some are large, some are small some are concentrated in certain sexes and certain races, but the concepts of bias, preference or privilege are the ones that need addressing.

          People need to learn that when they have an instant negative reaction to a Policewoman (can she handle the job?), or a man caring for children (is he a pedophile?), or a Black man (is he going to rob a house?) that they need to step back and ask themselves why they are reacting that way.

          In my own personal experience, in working with organized labour, in talking at conferences and in coffee table chats with friends and neighbours, I can say without exception that I have *never* met a feminist who was interested in anything other than “more” for women. I know feminists who are angry about the Movember movement, I know feminists who are vocally against the presumption of equal shared parenting.

          There is no rational position where you can equate Feminism with Equalism. Saying you are an Equalist, but are spending your time now working on the issue of Female inequality would be a more correct and acceptable position. That would be honest and “inclusive” not exclusive.

          The day I see a Feminist standing on a soap box fighting for my rights and respect as a single Dad I’ll start to consider changing my interpretation.

          What I see however is the opposite, I see otherwise bright, intelligent women upon finding out I’m a single Dad, narrow their eyes in suspicion and at best treat me as incompetent (which I am not), or at worst begin to formulate an argument against single Dads because *some* men are bad parents (so are some women), and *some* men are criminals, pedophiles, or murderers.

          So, to me Feminism does not equal Equalism. It is simply as it says: Feminism.

          If you want to be interpreted differently, pick a different term to label yourself with.

          • Gany says:

            So the issue is with the name. You’re saying that a feminist can still have the same beliefs as long as they call themselves something else. So that ‘Equalist whose focusing on women’ might still not stand on a soap box and fight for your rights as a single dad but as long as she isn’t called a feminist then it’s fine.

          • Agonizing Truth says:

            Whatever they call themselves it should be painfully obvious now to anyone paying attention that feminism is pretty fucking far from being a movement fighting for equality of the sexes. When it starts recognizing that there are things in life called “responsibilities” rather than everything being a right or a privilege for women then more people might start taking it seriously. David’s experience mirrors my own, I’ve personally never met a single feminist who was about fighting for anything other than more special privileges for women or who cared about any problem that didn’t directly 100% concern women exclusively. Problems that affect men, well, we may as well be talking about problems that affect gophers or badgers for all the importance feminists will put on them. They simply don’t give a shit if it isn’t 100% female-oriented and they seem to have a distinct inability to put things in perspective and see that a matter like women being represented in a certain way in some video games doesn’t amount to a fucking mouse fart by comparison to the problems of women in the Middle East and some other parts of the world. There simply IS NO valid reason for a feminist movement to continue to exist in the western world where women have ALL the rights men do plus some privileges men don’t and its continued existence and continued efforts to push for more special privileges, more quotas, more set-asides is just reinforcing the (accurate) perception that feminism is a gynocentric supremacist movement.

        • Erik says:

          I think the movement is stupid, and we’re always going to have to deal with our gender specific issues. The thing is men and women aren’t the same. I don’t know what kind of friends these people had, but if people weren’t listening to me I’d have them out of my life. This just sounds like personal problems, I don’t see why we need a global movement when the problem is just people not opening up or dealing with their own issues.

          I don’t know enough about the wage gap to really discuss it, but I think it’s hogwash. I see plenty of women driving around in expensive cars on their way to the biggest companies in Vancouver. I’m guessing survey results used to tout these wage-gap things are extremely selective or don’t take additional factors into consideration.

          Overall I think we’re at a pretty good place as far as equal opportunity goes, at least in “Western” societies. When it comes to social stigmas, sexist jokes etc… I think everyone needs to lighten up. Seriously why is stuff like saying “man up” an issue? It’s just common language based on traits we’ve evolved to understand.

          Men were traditionally the aggressors, the warriors. Whereas we see women more as tender and caretakers (also our brains are built this way; men more aggressive, and women more emotional by nature). Does that mean you’re limited to that? No. The only limits you’re in are what you limit yourself to. Social stigmas don’t change anything; they’re a result, not a cause.

          We see men as the tough ones because they were the warriors. They weren’t the warriors due to the social stigma (other than men physically being stronger, being more aggressive by nature, etc.). I can only hope one day people will realise that we aren’t equal and stop hammering on about the sexism in language et cetera.

          Equal opportunity, we pretty much have. Equal responsibilities we do not have and never will, because women need maternity leave, women have a maternal instinct to spend as much time with their child (therefore it’s ok for women to be stay-at-home, but a stay-at-home dad is a lazy ass, right?), and they’re more emotional so need more time to find themselves and whatnot. Everyone should be able to vote, and everyone should be able to make their own choices in life. But that doesn’t mean everyone is ever going to get the exact same results without some seriously arbitrary control over results.

          • Dm says:

            Right Erik. Women account for more than seventy percent of the spending in this country–but men are still the ones who earn more of the money, which means that most of the women are spending a large amount of money that men worked for and now the feminist nonsense has the audacity to say they want more. its unbelievable, Seriously.

        • Dm says:

          wrong its WOMENS biological drives that created the take it ‘like a man’ attitude. Hell even now when men don’t defend female feminists the feminists will shame them and basically accuse them of not being real men. They’ve even shamed men in world war 1 if they didn’t enlist to fight in the war. Take a moment and google the ‘white feather’ movement. My god, Hopefully the truth will set you free.

  6. Ajay Singh says:

    What a crap? Your post is too unclear. What are you trying to say?

  7. MrD says:

    Tbyte is correct.

    The author conveys a misunderstanding of humanism, perhaps only as a rhetorical device.

    “Humanism is a group of philosophies and ethical perspectives which emphasize the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively.”

    Its a big tent, join us.

    • jarrahpenguin says:

      I think humanism and feminism are both big tents and their philosophies are fundamentally compatible – we should be joining each other’s organizations and movements. But if you want action on gender inequality you’re going to get more of a focus on that in feminism, for sure. But my goal is not in any way to discourage people from exploring humanism.

      For the record, I consider myself a feminist and a humanist. And I built the definition from several sources – it wasn’t just created for effect.

      In fact the definition you use is from Wikipedia but with an important second part that you didn’t include:

      “Humanism is a group of philosophies and ethical perspectives which emphasize the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers individual thought and evidence (rationalism, empiricism), over established doctrine or faith (fideism).”

      Wikipedia has more on the links between humanism and secularism, but if that’s not a legit enough source you can also go to humanist groups and sites like Humanism.ca:

      “Humanist Canada (also known as HC or the Humanist Association of Canada) is a national not-for-profit charitable organization promoting the separation of religion from public policy and fostering the development of reason, compassion and critical thinking for all Canadians through secular education and community support.”

      Or ihumanism.org, whose “10 Points of Humanism” emphasizes a reliance on science and rationality in half the points.

      Or the British Humanist Association:

      “Think for themselves about what is right and wrong, based oreason and respect for others/Find meaning, beauty and joy in the one life we have, without n the need for an afterlife/Look to science instead of religion as the best way to discover and understand the world.”

      Or the International Humanist and Ethical Union:

      “…It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.”

      I don’t see anything wrong with that, but I want people to understand the term rather than just throwing it out because they don’t like the term “feminist” and they think “humanist” is simply about equality for all.

      • Zk says:

        religion has often been the root cause of the irrational belief that women are inferior to men. Therefore, claiming that humanism doesn’t pay as much attention as feminism to gender issues is rather false. The idea of promoting dogma free, rational thinking is the key to overcoming all inequalities. If there is anything that will prove equality in every aspect for all people, is the right thing; that would be science. Any other attempt at responding to these issues will create conflict, confusion and bias..further weakening/slowing down the movement to equality.

    • grayrain says:

      Humanism didn’t do anything for women in therms of their plights. It was all feminists fighting to become free themselves.

      Humanism doesn’t focus on the gaps in gender inequality. It may at best set some ideal world to be in, but as far as the nuts and bolts of freeing women go, it hasn’t really done anything in itself.

      To be honest, I’m starting to feel that taking a humanist stance on gender issues is somewhat of a cowardly one. It’s basically saying “Yeah, genders should be equal, but I don’t want to get my hands dirty with actually getting us to that point.”

      I mean, trying to force the term humanism to replace someone else’s term for their own liberation is hypocritical from the get-go. Let them define themselves.

      • Agonizing Truth says:

        “To be honest, I’m starting to feel that taking a humanist stance on gender issues is somewhat of a cowardly one.”
        No, what’s cowardly is being a feminist in the modern western world trying to convince all and sundry that women in New York or London or Paris are “sooooooooo oppressed” when that couldn’t be farther from the truth, trying to milk western society for more gender-specific special privileges as if they don’t have more than enough already, putting all your focus on first-world “problems” while your sisters in Saudi Arabia can’t go outside without a head-to-toe burka. Places like THAT are where feminists are actually needed nowadays but that’s too much of a challenge for them, nah, they’d rather spend their time doing the equivalent of clubbing baby seals, tilting at windmills, shadowboxing nonexistent enemies and whining to all who are unfortunate enough to be within earshot that they’re sooooooooo “oppressed” in modern America or western Europe, wah wah wah! There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for a gender-specific rights movement in the western world and hasn’t been for quite some time now. This seems to be quite obvious to everyone but feminists themselves, though apparently it must be starting to even dawn on feminists as they are now frantically casting about looking for things to be offended by so as to try to justify the continued existence of their movement where it is far from needed. Grow up feminists.

  8. Raphael Eckhart says:

    Right from the start we have an inequality. Where do I, as a male, find representation in the word Feminism? While I don’t encourage the use of “humanist” to mean that one is for gender equality, calling oneself a “feminist” to mean that you are for gender equality is not adequate either.
    Would you join a group calling itself “Manist” that has stated goals of gender equality and promotion of all “mankind” and its individuals with respect and dignity regardless of gender?

    How would using the title “Manist” make you feel? Empowered and confident that the label adequately states that you are pro-everyone be they male or female? I doubt it. Yet here we are told that a man, calling himself a “Feminist” can feel that it is an adequate title. I call farce.

    Before I continue, let me state for the record that I am very pro gender equality. I married a strong intelligent woman and appreciated/encouraged her to speak her mind (she has since passed away). We made decisions jointly. I reject the idea of male supremacy just as adamantly as I reject female supremacy.

    But I have simply been exposed to too much male bashing and glorifying of the feminine to buy that “Feminism” is truly about equality of the sexes. Once Feminism fights as hard to get women into hazardous occupations as it does to get women into boardrooms, then we can talk.

    • Ayo says:

      Feminism does try hard to get women into hazardous occupations.

      Check out the debates on women in combat roles in the US recently. You think it was anti-feminists saying they should be on the frontlines?

      • Slam says:

        Most people don’t usally want men or women in this or that occupation. People want workers to be competent.

    • grayrain says:

      The major fallacy with everything you’ve said is that you’ve automatically presumed that women and men go through the same levels of discrimination. They don’t. It’s the physically dominant sex in this species (males) that have suppressed the opposite sex, and so the ‘underdog’ sex focuses on their issues with a specific term – feminism.

      It’s also apples and oranges in terms of connotation, in the same way ‘white power’ is seen as hateful, while ‘black power’ might seen as more acceptable. It’s a dominant power vs. their slaves uprising. Dominant, white-men have basically painted themselves into a corner – while men do have issues to resolve for themselves, concentrating those issues into a male only term will instantly evoke their dominance.

      Let me put it this way – the term “manist” would only be a self-empowering term in a species that has always had females as the dominant force (like bees, for example). And then, you might see those female bees getting mad at the drones for not choosing a more equal, gender neutral term for equality.

      And then maybe, just maybe, you might see why a specific term is used for a specific gender’s issues while they’re suppressed by a dominant force.

  9. mika says:

    Can’t support a video that doesn’t allow rating or comments. Censorship sucks.

    • jarrahpenguin says:

      Hi Mika,

      Shutting down comments and ratings wasn’t a decision I took lightly. My comments were open for several months and I appreciated the occasional opportunity to engage in respectful discussion, even with people opposed to feminism or my particular arguments.

      I thought long and hard about it after I found my videos being listed on Reddit downvote brigades and trolls calling on their friends to downvote the videos without even watching them. The amount of “go make me a sandwich”-type comments was such that I found myself without time to go through and really moderate to give legitimate comments and critiques the replies they deserved.

      But it’s not censorship. Folks are more than welcome to express their opinions in their own online spaces and as you can see, comments are still open here on my blog (subject to the comment policy which you can find on the “About” page. I think this article from Finally, a Feminism 101 blog explains that issue: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2008/08/03/online-interaction-and-free-speech/.

      Anyway, again taking off comments and ratings on YouTube is really something I wish I hadn’t had to do, but unfortunately I think there will need to be a culture shift at YouTube before it can be a reasonable venue for reasonable discussion.

  10. Bijan says:

    The fact that people don’t get this very simple thing is beyond belive. Actions of feminism is not only far from achieving equality but its million miles away from it. It’s purely about female supremacy. Even to associate the term ”Feminism” with equality is a huge joke.
    Its just like starting an anti-racism movement and call it Caucasianism then follow up by bunch of privileges and double standards and handovers giving to white people by considering them the victims of other races then have bare cheek face to call it equality. Wouldn’t it be laughable?
    Another example of United Nation that gives all privileges not to mention Veto rights to few countries and is head to toe covered in double standards for western countries in the name of equality and human rights. Today women are getting more findings,more rights,more protection ,more discounts and grants,punished much less for committing same crime by men if not forgiven ,hugely unfair advantage in family courts and parenthood rights and still play victims to get more and more.
    . There are only two conditions when a person call her or himself feminist,either hugely selfish and narcissistic opportunist person or one with huge lack of knowledge of what feminism is truly all about and is trying to achive. Either way it will come back to bite feminist when unfairness and injustice is done to a man they love such as their own sons. I say this to all my sisters ,do not go ahead and call yourself a feminist just because you are a woman before fully understand it. Atleast look into men hating comments of some famous feminists like Hillary Clinton and Sharon stone and others have made publicaly. Feminism is crime against humanity and its a shame for a good women to be a part of this madness.

  11. Dan says:

    “-it’s very hard to convince those who possess the intractable belief that men are disadvantaged that in fact women are still the marginalized ones, on the whole-”

    It does not matter in the slightest if women are in fact the more marginalized ones – you are presupposing a false dilemma. Namely that there is an either/or relationship between advocacy for men’s and women’s rights, and the decision for which to advocate is based on some calculus of net discrimination. The inevitable result of this approach is that, instead of achieving equal rights, we reach an equlibilurm whereby each sex is equally discriminated against. In this sense both feminists and MRA’s are equally culpable.

    Clearly the false dilemma fallacy is avoided by a holistic approach to gender rights, predicated on the idea that unfair discrimination of any type in any area of society is unacceptable. Innate gender differences exist, and they do not grant license for unfair discrimination. Both feminism and MRA are archaic, adversarial organizations that must be subsumed under the common rubric of humanism if we are to live in harmony.

    • Drue says:

      I must mention that I fully support this logic.

      It seems that the people preaching Feminism have a disconnection between the historical event and equality. They share theory yes, but in context Feminism is exclusive to women’s rights. You’re just arguing with history if you disagree.

      I noticed that Dan posted this in April, I’m curious why the author didn’t feel a reason to respond. This is after all the root of the question posed in the title.

  12. Michael says:

    Time and time again, feminists assert that the misunderstanding is merely a semantic one, that the “term” femnist doesn’t HAVE to mean only femmes.

    This is beside the point.

    In real life, day-to-day, face-to-face, women who proclaim themselves “feminists” regularly:

    1. Presume my guilt because I am a man
    2. Disrespect men in a “women gotta stick together” way
    3. Take harmless actions, male tendencies, and general traditions as GRAVE indignations
    4. Assault me.
    5. Post pictures online of female bodily fluids seeping through their clothes as a show of empowerment.
    6. Characterize men as rapists.
    7. Side with other women even by default, in the absence of persnal knowledge of an incident
    8. Twist the frustration of males at being demonized into some sort of “second wave” male empowerment

    …and so on.

    Feminists aling themselves against men. Not in the rrhetoric, not in some dictionary definiton on wikpedia. IN REAL LIFE.

    This message is a humble request to stop those things, because the abuse I have endured from women who have fallen for the belief that men are inherently evil has deeply scarred me.

    No kidding.

    • Rod says:

      I can relate to that. You are not alone man!

    • Guest says:

      But…. that’s- that’s not at all what feminism is. If someone, a girl, says that she hates men, she’s not being a feminist. She’s using the same type of hatred misogynists use. If a woman assaults you than she is not being a feminst; she’s an assaulter. And the girl probably doesn’t mean to ‘disrespect’ you, but you need to understand that in a predominantly high-male society, women are protecting themselves when they align themselves with people who identify with the same gender.

      As for the rape thing… it’s just that not every man is a predator, but every woman is prey, and vice versa. But when the rates for women who are raped are much higher than men, and are most of the time done by men, statistically speaking, every man could be a rapist.

      I hope I explained this well, and if not, then I’m sorry but it’s your loss if you really think this way.

  13. Michael says:

    #8 should have been “male entitlement”

  14. Steph says:

    I’m very new to feminism and I believe we still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality. As someone that knows a lot of people who haven’t even started to look at feminism, I come across the “I’m not a feminist, but..” line a lot, and I admit I’ve caught myself using it too. Right now, I believe that women have won all the “obvious fights” ie. legal recognition, anti-discrimination laws in the workplace etc. and that how we travel forward is a little less obvious to the lay person. The patriarchy is still ingrained in pretty much all of us and everything we do and I feel that this is the next big fight. However, this means we will be fighting a number of “little fights” like maternity leave, pay equality and education equality and then the huge fight about the way we think about women in general- with no obvious ‘winning point/moment’. From an outsiders point of view, they only see these little fights, and see small men’s issues too. I’ve found in personal experience, that the term feminism puts these sort of people off feminism. It stops them from even considering it- even though their views and theories might align exactly with feminism’s theories. This makes it hard for me to accept the term feminism. I see feminism as a gender neutral fight but many people don’t see it that way simply because of the gendered title. I’m not trying to be rude or offensive here but I would very much appreciate it if you could point out to me what I’m missing.

    • jarrahpenguin says:

      Hi Steph,

      Thanks for your comment. I don’t think you’re missing anything – it’s true that some people have negative associations with the word feminism. However, I think it’s a term (and a movement) worth standing up for. For one, I haven’t seen an alternative that I think encapsulates the same struggle.

      Second, I think that big fight that you talk about is actually won by the cumulative effect of many everyday encounters, interactions and campaigns. I’m talking about things like the #Fbrape campaign or lobbying against sexist ads, but also the one-on-one conversations we have with friends and acquaintances or the daily calling-out of sexist jokes or sexual harassment.

      I don’t think changing the term would be helpful or result in a quick win because it’s not a quick process to change how people have been socialized to think or act.

      Rosemary Brown said: “fighting for equality is like washing the dishes; you have to get up and do it every single day.” I find I connect with people through telling them my stories about why I’m a feminist and through showing by example that “feminist” doesn’t mean “angry, humourless man-hater”.

      I hope that makes sense. Thanks again for your comment.

      • Agonizing Truth says:

        What exactly remains in the western world to justify the existence of a gender-specific rights movement? What rights are being denied to women in the modern western world? Nowadays society caters to women in ways that it will NEVER cater to men. How much more gender-specific special privileges do you WANT? At what point will western feminism declare victory over its mythological “patriarchy” and give the victimhood bullshit a rest?

        Here’s a suggestion for all you feminists: go where you’re actually NEEDED. You know, the places in this world where women DON’T have the same rights as men, places like the Middle East, some parts of Asia and Africa. How about that? It would accomplish two good things: one, it would give you all something worthwhile to work on instead of being obnoxious little harpies constantly tilting at windmills and shadowboxing against nonexistent enemies; and two, it would relieve the western male of having to listen to your constant bitching and whining about pissant non-issues. Women in the U.S., Canada, western Europe etc. are not oppressed, not in the slightest, no matter how much you feminists like to pretend that is the case. You’re not fooling anyone worth fooling.

        So how about you feminists go fight the good fight in Saudi Arabia or Qatar or Afghanistan or Iran? Go tell them what turds they are for making women wear burkas and denying them drivers licenses, go to it, go be the feminist vanguard there and see how far you get. Something tells me they’re not going to put up with half the shit that westerners let feminists get away with, they’re not going to be neutered little doormats for you to walk all over. See how long they let you strut around topless with obscenities written on your skin physically assaulting their clergy before you get acquainted with a sandbag wall and the business end of a machine gun. Because sadly that’s the kind of people you’re going to have to come up against if you want to truly do some good for the women of the Middle East. But it’s a test of your commitment to your cause. Running around the U.S. and U.K. pretending like women here are oppressed and shouting for more quotas, more gender-specific set-asides, more gynocentric special privileges because you’re so “oppressed” in effing New York or London in 2014 isn’t accomplishing anything of value, it’s like clubbing baby seals, there’s no challenge in it. Feminism is no longer needed here, that should be plenty obvious by now to anyone paying attention.

        Go where you’re needed in this world or go the fuck away, pretty simple.

  15. Jessika says:

    “When equal pay, equal representation and equal rights are achieved for all women across the world, I will stop calling myself a feminist.” – Rhonda Collins

    • Agonizing Truth says:

      Then why don’t you go to the places in the world where women actually DON’T have equal rights with men? Here’s a clue: none of them are in the western world where women have long had the same rights as men plus some female-specific special privileges on top of that which no man will ever have. Continuing to play the victim card in the western world to try to milk more gender-specific special privileges out of society is only revealing what feminism is and ensuring that nobody forgets it: a female supremacist movement unconvincingly dressed up as one fighting for gender equality.

    • Agonizing Truth says:

      Then why don’t you go to the places in the world where women actually DON’T have equal rights with men? Here’s a clue: none of them are in the western world where women have long had the same rights as men plus some female-specific special privileges on top of that which no man will ever have. Continuing to play the victim card in the western world to try to milk more gender-specific special privileges out of society is only revealing what feminism is and ensuring that nobody forgets it: a female supremacist movement unconvincingly dressed up as one fighting for gender equality.

  16. Jesse Wood says:

    Allow me to take a moment to wrap my head around this. Befor I start I will state im against male supremacy and female supremacy. In fact you could say im against human supremacy. Im a male however I do not define myself with any of the bias views both have on this subject. There is much to discuss though. Also facts will be presented if you answer anything I say unless you wish to offer yourself as just a idealistic and perception based person. I after seeing this video and reading the blog have saw very little facts or proof. Making assumptions or views of and theories is easy however hard facts are what matter. First thing I will address when you say most or even part of the feminist are for equality you’re wrong. If you cannot give same inportance on male equality and other ones then you cannot state that you are for that. If you wish to say that you have then provide me cited proof where you have. To the point of as much as dealing with female equality. I have went to numerous feminist groups and even investigated classes in colleges. However I find hardly any thing pertaining to male equality not just that but other places who suffer due to inequality. I have spent alot of time browsing the web on this matter yet nothing even comes up. In fact I see this instead males are not oppressed because the term does not apply. However I call false on that there is no hard facts to the claim oppression is a word we choose to determine the meaning of. In that retrospect females are using perception on what they feel the definition of oppression is. Another arguement is they say males ruled society is the reason for the oppression of both genders but im afraid this is a myth. I want a detailed explanation on how thats true and when I find the doc that disproves it I will link it. The thing I find interesting as well is that feminist try to debase mras who most are fighting for male equality. But when a person trys to debase the feminist he or she is given ridicule. You claim that your fighting for true equality yet you try to overshadow every other equality group. Then have no evidence to show your fighting for true equality only saying it. Then when you see the mras you say they are wrong and accuse them of saying you are all radical feminist or just hating on feminist note not all mras are like that I know. Understand that mras are not the enemy of feminist only the ones that you see that way. Then when you see even the slightest bit of male supremacist you jump on them. Why dont you show me where you have done that to radical feminist. In regards to feminist messing with equality mostly you have been around more then most equality groups it is natural. Also in terms of saying female oppression is more. Do you know that there are numerous factors in male oppression and saying you are moreso would be simply a view of what oppression is. If we start comparing factors males will have more if not equal the amount of females. It is easy to sit back snd say feminist are good when the court is in your favor. However when proof is shown or any factual information then it becomes much harder. Although befor you start thinking im bias im going to now start talking about mras. Now with mras you have problems to just like any equality group that at its base is to provide equality for one group. Just like radical feminist in feminist there are male supremacist in mras. This much is true however when we go by who has more you will see much more radical feminist then male supremacist. Still this gives them no right to just sit by and let male supremacist do what they want to even the playing field. Since this is a concept a good amount of radical feminist hold dear. Neither is right in this matter. Another thing about mras that are bad is they dont usually focus on the goverment they just focus on feminist this is a quality that is bad just like some of the feminist qualities. I do agree though that females are oppressed but not more then males. The only reason I would say males are more oppressed now is because they have problems that are completely overlooked and hardly and thing has been done for them. Not even from the mras but that is to be expected with a forming group like them. In my opinion neither group needs to continue both when you get down to it will become just like each other in the end. I think we need to focus in a unit and not take the word feminist or mras and form into a humanist/egalitarian group that is focused on giving equality fairly and through logic and not just pure dreams. Thats the problem with egalitarians they dont usually take what they do seriously humanist do somewhat but there is not enough to build over the old system we have. Even right now im working up funds to create a orginization at least the base of it. How much I need will range in the million zone but im more then willing to put up this amount of money for helping those around me. However since im not rich this may take a while or may not happen but I cant believe that or I definitely will not get anything done. I dont hate feminist though nor do I hate the other. I feel that both could do much better if they would give up their orgs respectfully and unite into one forming a truly fair and equal group. If either one was for true equality they would do that and change their name glady if it meant aspiring to the goal they so rightfully say. Still thats not the case neither one is. Which brings me to having to resort to going against both feminist and mras to pursue a true goal of equality since neither can accomplish this truly themselves. I by myself dont have much to offer and definitely will need others. So I ask you will you consider letting go of things such as this males and females so you may truly unite and understand each others problems. At the end of the day after typing this all with all the grammar errors I have because im busy I still come to one conclusion. True equality is very far off for most as long as certain groups isolate themselves from one another. The goverments fall into corruption was due to that. Certain higher ups isolated themselves and formed groups which started going against the very equality that amercia was built on. Also I will provide more information on the matter if asked although it may be a long wait since im busy conducting a few surveys and research on a few factors.

  17. […]    Gender Focus (with youtube video to start),  tumblr (you need to register to read it), the token feminist, […]

  18. an_equalist says:

    I do not understand which part of an equality statement people do not get, left side or right side? How hard is it to comprehend that “a equals b and b equals a” does not mean “I’m not a feminist/MRA/whatever but…” statement? I don’t even know why I have to remind people such an obvious statement? GRRRR!

    Feminism is a SUBSET of equalism, and equalism is a SUPERSET of feminism. Period. There is no dancing around the topic. Muddying it up with “these 2 concepts are not exclusive” is bullshit. Feminism is one-sided, whereas equalism aims *TRUE EQUALITY*.

  19. ospapdapapapap says:

    did some of these trolls here actually read the article?

  20. Gonzo says:

    Not relevant to your primary point, but you have confused Classical Humanism and Secular Humanism that grew out of it. Religious Humanism also grew out of it a few decades later. This confusion is understandable as all three are documented within a period of about 50 years and don’t do well at distinguishing themselves, but just as you would be offended if someone claimed feminism was about establishing female dominance, claiming humanism is anti-religious is offensive to a lot of humanists.

  21. Neutral Observer says:

    Feminists are looking for female domination in society, not for equality. Ergo, only masochistic males would join the feminist movement. What everybody should fight for is equality, not domination by one kind.

    • Agonizing Truth says:

      Generally what I’ve found is that the only men willing to identify as feminists are neutered, gutless little maginas so desperate to get laid they think by surrendering their common sense to the raving madness of the vaginocentric superiority movement and being good little lapdogs they will somehow end up with a pity fuck out of it. They’re pathetic and deserve the respect of no man nor woman.

  22. S says:

    Gender Equalism is only true if the MRA and Feminists agree with eachother, and both sides finding out about how the other side is mistreated.

    If a masculinist called himself an equalist without talking about women’s rights, would you call that equalism “fake”?

    So why isn’t it the same if a feminist calls herself an equalist? Wouldn’t it be fake too?

    The only way to be an equalist is to believe that both genders are mistreated in their own way.

    People need to take the fact that women (or men) aren’t the only ones being oppressed.

    Women aren’t being oppressed more than men, they just take it another way. The same for men.

    There is no doubt to oppression against women in the middle east, but you can’t use that as an example to why women are being oppressed in europe/america.

    Men shouldn’t need to act like a gentlemen, pay more insurance, or have less social benefits (such as “women only areas”).

    Women shouldn’t be hearing people using masculine pronouns in areas including both genders, or have a gender pay gap (if it exists though, I’m not sure). Though I have to say, rape, murder, and mistreatment of women has nothing to do with sexism.

    To be an equalist you need to accept the problems that both genders face, and not just take it to making women “equal to men”.

  23. reazle says:

    I find it funny feminism shys away from being compared to equality – maybe it’s to with the majority if feminists coming from white, middle class backgrounds. If feminism was truly about equality, more time would be spent campaigning for women’s rights in 3rd world and developing countries and less being spent shouting at builders for wolf whistling.

  24. […] The most common expression I hear when discussing feminism with individuals who would not consider themselves feminists is “why call it feminism if the focus is supposed to equality?” I never seem to come up with a very good answer for this question in the moment, but I did find a fairly clear video that discusses it for me: […]

  25. Emlyn says:

    “I’ve found people making this argument generally come from one of two places”

    Yet more generalities.

    The very fact that advocates for women’s rights (“feminists”) are so militant about ownership and use of the label “feminist” is, in and of itself, a key to understanding the mindset. Humanism does not imply–in any way whatsoever–that the rights of women are any less deserving than anyone else’s.

    Feminism, thus, has come to be more of an identifier–a call to arms–and there’s nothing wrong with that, just as long as those using it understand that it’s an area already covered by humanism, like it or not.

    Silly labels, ultimately.

    • esmerine says:

      Yes, we can surely trust in historical tradition of revolutionary, racially, class and gender supposeudly non-biased process among the general aspirations of many gropus to change the structures of politics. My friend, if there is no articulation through the words, if there is no examination through the differences between us, and the way that tradition has made upon it, as history had teach over and over again there will be no fair, equialitarian, “humanistic” society advocating for those principles. French revolution’s humanist principles didn’t prevent to marginalise the women for the right to vote, among other important rights, the principle of hegemony upon the usa’s independence victory didn’t prevent the atrocious racial problems, the most obvious enslavement of african stolen people, the XIX bourgois’s revolutions in Europe didn’t prevent the terrible treatment upon the working class, ETC.

  26. Peter says:

    I have always attempted to treat everyone I meet with respect and consideration, I have never assaulted belittled derided leered at or as far as I’m aware done anything against any woman, I have actually put my life on the line twice protecting them.
    One night walking through my home town Newcastle I heard a woman screaming for help down an alleyway, thinking that a woman was being raped I called for the police as I ran to help, when I got close I was shocked to see two young women laughing at me, what I didn’t know was there was a third creeping up behind me with a
    baseball bat, the beating I took that night left me in hospital for three months.
    In court the reason given for the attack was that they were feminists and I happened to be born male, every day I live with the physical
    effects of feminism, every time I bring myself to look in a mirror, I
    can’t even take a piss without pain all in the name of feminism.

    If feminism is all about equality why do women allow extremists and
    outright violent hateful scum in their organisation’s.

  27. Peter says:

    Just wanted to say that I don’t hate women, I could never blame an entire segment of society for the actions of a few, however I can not recall a single example of feminists ever standing up for the rights of men only women, not even once.
    Maybe there are examples I don’t know about I’m no expert on the subject, suffice to say I believe in equality perhaps feminism used to stand for equality however I just can’t see that it does anymore, perhaps it’s as I suspect an honorable ideal hijacked by extremists.

  28. oretias says:

    Wage gap among men and women is all non-sense, looking from the first world perspective.

    The thinking behind is that women earn less even though they work as hard as men, and as long as men.

    So suppose you were a male business owner, who would you rather hire (they are equally qualified) :-

    1) A female that you can pay 15 dollars and make her work 12 hours.

    2) A man that you can pay 20 dollars and make him work 12 hours.

    I for one would choose the first option, even though I do not run a business. And my reasoning should be obvious from the business point of view.

    If a company is paying a man more is solely because, a) he was able to impress his employer or b) his employer saw more potential in him than other candidates for the job.

    • Agonizing Truth says:

      Exactly, this is common sense. If a business owner could get away with paying a woman a fraction of the amount he’s paying a man for the same work and getting the same job performance there would be no employed men in this country as they would have all been laid off so their jobs could be given to women in order for the business owners to get the same labor power at a significant discount. That this isn’t happening is proof positive that the “wage gap” is utter bullshit, even aside from the many times it’s been debunked by economists. It’s truly amazing that any feminist would even try to bring this up. I guess they figure if they keep repeating the lie enough times it will eventually make it true.

    • sofia says:

      And this, my friend, is called sexism. So you’re saying that if slaves were still legal in the US, you would most likely own a few because is better from the business point of view?

  29. Yvzof says:

    Yes, my e-mail is one of my legitimate, used e-mails. This is not a troll post.

    But, for really? You’re just going to generalize and say “people that want to be considered humanist instead of feminist come from one of two places.”

    No, they don’t. And you don’t have the final word or any word on where they come from anyway.

    Men and Women both have inequalities in rights and in society in general. Men are supposed to be “boys, guys” and women are supposed to be “girls, ladies” and all that shit.

    Growing up I was expected to be masculine, expected to be this and that – just like a girl is “expected” to be feminine, and into dolls or some stupid crap.

    Sure, there are broader issues for those of legal age like marriage, pay from jobs, societal attitudes and outlooks on gender stereotypes…

    But honestly, even after reading this crap I’m still a humanist and am against MRA groups and feminism because they’re SEPERATIST MOVEMENTS.

    Anything that has starts with “fem” or has “men’s” in it that deals with equal rights is a sure shot to bullshitville. Humanism encompasses both genders (and more, cis scum! just kidding, it’s all buzzwords when you aren’t a head-case) and is actually about equality, not “women have it worse!” or “men have it worse!”

    Humanism names issues for both genders and wants resolve for everybody.

    Oh, and I do go by full definition. Scientific inquiry is extremely important to our progression as a race, as well as being rid of superstitious beliefs. Superstition and “skydaddy syndrome” are things that hold the ENTIRE RACE back.

    Please, move forward. See past your own nose and SEE PAST YOUR OWN GENDER.

    • Kim W says:

      “Superstition and “skydaddy syndrome” are things that hold the ENTIRE RACE back.”

      It never ceases to amaze me how the most zealous of anti-theists can sound so much like fundamentalist religious zealots.

    • mystic_eye_cda says:

      Really, you see the harm of gender roles and yet you deny the existence of anyone that doesn’t chose one or the other.

  30. RenatoFontesTapia says:

    Sorry, but I see this as pure bullshit…
    We could just call it equalism and focus on women issues if they are the ones being discriminated against in our current time….
    I think using the word feminism just states that you feel like a victim right now….

  31. Agonizing Truth says:

    Actually they’re not misunderstanding feminism in the slightest. They’re seeing what you are unable to see as perhaps you’re too close to the problem to see it accurately or maybe you just can’t bear to face an unpleasant truth. But you’re not going to convince anyone worth convincing by simply pointing to the dictionary definition of feminism then folding your arms smugly like you just proved something. The problem is that there is an enormous gulf between the THEORY of what feminism is allegedly about (the dictionary definition) and the PRACTICE of what feminism really is and does in reality.

    It is quite easy to demonstrate what I mean. You see, when your movement claims that it is simply fighting for equality with men, not special privileges above and beyond what men have, no silly, just equality, then your movement needs to explain why it still exists in the western world now that women have had all the same rights as men for quite some time now in addition to some female-specific special privileges on top of that which no man will ever have. Point me towards even ONE law in the U.S. for example which discriminates against women in favor of men. I hear crickets chirping. When you have already achieved all the same rights as men yet you still keep on playing the victim card to try to milk further gender-specific concessions out of society, guess what? You’re making it pretty damned obvious to anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together that equality isn’t nearly good enough for you, that you’re a female supremacist movement unconvincingly dressed up as one that’s “fighting for equality”. (For crying out loud, even the movement’s very NAME gives away its purpose. If it was fighting for equality it would be called egalitarianism or humanitarianism or something quite a bit less narrowly gender-specific.)

    If feminism TRULY was about fighting for equality rather than being a one-sided gynocentric superiority movement then ask yourselves why it constantly pooh-poohs any problems or injustices that aren’t 100% exclusively about women. Ask yourself why it makes no effort at all to redress any of the imbalances that favor women over men.

    For example, where is the feminist activity on the issue of women being sentenced to 60% less prison time for the same crimes as a man? Why isn’t feminism demanding that women be held to the same standard of adult responsibility as a man who committed the same crime? Why is your movement content with such an egregious disparity in sentencing? Oh yeah, because it is a disparity that favors women over men, whereas if the situation was reversed with men getting let off with 60% less prison time than a female you bet your ass it would be a feminist priority.

    Where is feminism’s activism about the issue of women getting awarded custody in about 90% of child custody cases? To the extent that the woman would have to just about be a practicing prostitute or a heroin addict in order for the man to be given custody. Funny but this doesn’t seem to make it onto feminists’ radar either, gosh I wonder why…

    Why has feminism remained silent about the huge discrepancy in funding for male homeless shelters versus female homeless shelters? When the overwhelming majority of homeless people are men rather than women, why on earth should men’s shelters get short shrift compared to female shelters? This clearly isn’t a problem for your imaginary “patriarchial” government which routinely ignores men’s issues in favor of women’s issues so why isn’t feminism, the movement you never tire of telling us is not gynocentric but all-inclusive, fighting for equality not female supremacy, doing a damned thing to bring this to society’s attention? You can bet any amount of money if the situation was reversed with the homeless population being mostly female it would be a crisis of Biblical proportions, worthy of the government declaring a “war on homelessness” to solve it. Why is the feminist movement just as disinterested in this matter as the government?

    Why is feminism content with men still having to pay alimony in 2014? Aren’t you the same ladies who constantly tell us how women are just as good as men, just as capable and just as independent? Then why the hell should a man have the responsibility of paying for the upkeep and lifestyle of his former spouse on an indefinite basis? Why did this issue only make it onto feminists’ radar (in Florida) when the infinitesimally small amount of women paying alimony to THEIR former spouses inched up a tiny bit while still remaining a mouse fart compared to men’s alimony payments? Where is feminism’s indignation that these supposedly liberated, independent women are entitled to being supported by a man that isn’t even living with them any longer? Why don’t you see this as an enormous insult and indignation? Oh yeah, because I suppose the convenience of getting a monthly check in the mail assuages your little feelings of shame and dependency, right? So long as it works in women’s favor instead of men’s it’s perfectly OK with the feminist movement.

    Where is feminism’s concern with the issue of men committing suicide at rates astronomically higher than women? You know if the numbers were reversed there would be a colossal shitstorm until we got the numbers of women killing themselves back down to acceptable levels but yet with the numbers being what they are this, unsurprisingly, isn’t an issue feminists will lift a finger to work on.

    And I have yet to hear a single feminist push for women having to register for the draft. Why does a man have to register at age 18 or else he isn’t entitled to any of the benefits of society, can’t vote, can’t collect Social Security when he’s old etc. yet no woman has to register for the draft in order to enjoy any of that? Why are feminists content to let women avoid adult responsibilities that men can never avoid? Oh yeah, because it isn’t a movement about equality at all but rather female supremacy, the same reason why the KKK never pushes for anything aside from matters that affect white people. As despicable as they are at least they’re honest enough to not pretend to be fighting for racial equality.

    Or what about the biggest double standard on the face of the earth? By this I mean the elective abortion/mandatory child support issue. Let’s say a woman gets pregnant accidentally, neither her nor her partner intended for it to happen. If the man wants to be a daddy to that unexpected kid but the woman doesn’t want any parts of it she’s going to go to the abortion clinic and get that unborn human dismembered and sucked out of her uterus without having broken a single law in the process. That man will now be the proud daddy to a bloody little pile of severed arms and legs. But if the situation is reversed and the woman wants to keep the baby but the dad doesn’t want any parts of being a daddy? Tough tittie, he’s on the hook for 18 years of child support payments for a kid he will never see. The law simply doesn’t allow him to act like an irresponsible piece of shit at least not without facing the penalty of jail time for his irresponsibility. The law holds that man to his responsibility, forces him to act like a grown adult and take responsibility for his actions. Whereas the law makes no effort whatsoever to force the woman to act like an adult and take responsibility for HER actions, no, instead it lets her dance away from the consequences of her actions without a care in the world. When the man’s irresponsibility results in the woman not getting a monthly check in the mail and that’s illegal yet the woman’s irresponsibility results in the death of another human being (the unborn human) and yet THAT is LEGAL?? Are you effing kidding me?? This has to be the most horrific double standard the world has ever seen, yet I guarantee you that if anyone was to start pushing for ending mandatory child support payments or tying the continuance of legal abortion to the ending of mandatory child support it would be the feminitwits who would be leading the charge to make sure things remain as one-sided as they are now. When the woman is allowed to act like a magical sparkly princess with no more responsibility than a child even though her irresponsibility and immaturity results in a human being’s death and the man isn’t even allowed to skip out on child support payments for a kid he never sees, clearly this abortion/child support situation can be called nothing less than overt female supremacy. Not equality between the sexes. Not egalitarianism. Overt, in-your-face female supremacy and nothing less. Funny but I haven’t heard of a single feminist anywhere pushing for an end to elective abortion. Feminism seems perfectly content to let this terrible double standard remain in place and any comment made about ending elective abortion is immediately met with a lecture about how it would somehow be “oppressing women” to hold them to the same standard of responsibility a man is held to, how it would be “chaining them to the stove” or ensuring they are “barefoot and pregnant” or whatever other feminist propaganda bullshit they can come up with. Because this is one of the many double standards that feminists embrace, those which favor women over men. Another reason why few people aside from feminists themselves take feminists seriously.

    So you want to “prove” your movement really is about equality and not female supremacy and special gender-specific privileges? Great, come out against elective abortion. Demand that it be abolished, demand that women are held to the same standard of responsibility that a man is held to, demand that women receive no preferential treatment in the court system etc. etc. Basically it comes down to a realization that not everything in life is a right or a privilege, that there are some things in adult life that are called “responsibilities”. If feminism wasn’t all about milking society for more benefits, more gender-specific set-asides, more quotas, more gynocentric advantages and actually grew the hell up enough to see that there are such things as RESPONSIBILITIES as well then maybe more people would take feminism seriously. As it stands right now only about 23% of American women identify as feminists meaning no less than 77% of women wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole the movement that is supposed to be designed around their interests. That is a spectacular failure so amazing words can’t describe it. Perhaps women are getting tired of being constantly told they’re weak, helpless little victims who can’t do anything for themselves without a movement behind them to keep them pointed in the right direction and protected from this cruel world. I suspect your average woman is quite a bit stronger than that and doesn’t appreciate being talked down to. But whatever it is, your movement is dying and I say good riddance. Let it be replaced with something that doesn’t try to drive an unnecessary wedge between working class men and working class women. Let it be replaced with something far more mature, grown up, sensible and realistic. In other words let it be replaced with something that is GENUINELY about equal rights for the sexes.

  32. Mike says:

    So you’re gonna talk about equality for all while admittedly ignoring “STATS” and facts that show men are discriminated against in order to say why you support feminism more than egalitarianism…rrrrriiiight. Thanks but I”m gonna go ahead and stay an Egalitarian because I don’t put one person rights be they man, women, Muslim, Asian, child or senior ahead of another.

  33. CrestOfArtorias says:

    Or one identifies as an equalist because they do not believe feminism is needed, because gender equality should be a no-brainer anyway. Hence they focus on equal rights in general and not specifically on female vs male rights. Thanks for leaving out the third and possibly the most legitimate group of equalists.

  34. TheRadicalRadish says:

    I think it is also important to understand that everyone’s definition and practice of feminism is different. One person’s feminism may be radical, but that doesn’t mean that all feminists are radical. In that sense, I think it is important for us, as feminists, men and women, to enlighten others on the idea that feminism is an all-encompassing movement to fight for equal rights, for all. My feminism means that by looking through the lens of women’s inequality, I have been able to see inequality that exists in our society due to color or skin, income, family history, and many other factors. By seeing all those inequalities, we can fight against them when we see them in place.

  35. I am both male and not angry about or offended by this post. I did want to say that you leave off a third faction of the “don’t call it feminism” camp which takes issue with a common belief that gender is already abstracted from feminism by much of the community. I do self-classify as a feminist because I believe in gender equality and believe that women are the ones clearly worse off. Airing my gripes about having to appear tough in high school to people who have to fear rape if they let their guard down at a cocktail party is at best silly and at worst massively offensive.

    However, many of my fellow feminists believe that feminism should cover all oppressed and all disenfranchised peoples around the world, dragging in social and class issues of all kinds. Black and underprivileged? Feminism is there! Can’t express yourself in an oppressive political régime? Feminism to the rescue. All victims are welcome.

    I object to the term only when it stops being about gender and starts being a general term for the meek against the strong or oppressed against the oppressors. Then it makes ‘feminine’ synonymous with virtue and just, and by corollary, ‘masculine’ synonymous with oppressive and ill. This is not cool.

    Feminism needs to exist but it should keep to gender equality. If it is about all those other things, then yes, the term ‘feminism’ stops being appropriate.

  36. The wlide J.R.R. Huxley says:

    Why does the second group you mentioned have to be believe men are at least equally marginalised? I believe woman are more marginalised overall but sexism can (and does) have an affect both ways (undoubtedly) so if the aim is to create gender equality why WOULDN’T it be called equalism? Feminism is obviously suggestive of female superiority but if that ISN’T the aim of gender equality activism (which it isn’t and which it shouldn’t be) then calling it equalism is such an obvious choice. I find discussion at this level fairly irrelevant as this is more or less getting bogged down in semantics but gender EQUALITY should of course be the aim. When combating racism you don’t combat racism against one specific race.

  37. Jessica says:

    Below we have a perfect demonstration of the Lewis Effect. The comments on articles and videos about Feminism justify Feminism.

  38. mystic_eye_cda says:

    Your arguments are just as blind as your worldview. There’s more than two genders, stop pretending that those who don’t fit your cisnormative world view don’t exist. Maybe then you’ll understand why so many people are not feminists.

  39. Niki Gerrier says:

    I watched the video and I can honestly say it’s nothing I haven’t heard before. Starts with the standard implication that the viewer is misinformed about what feminism is, followed by the definition of feminism, and a suggestion that you can be feminism “and” equality at the same time. I shut it off right there.

    That last one to me seems like a low blow. What attracted me to equalism was I actually want a world that disregards gender, because at the end of the day all you’re doing is comparing one gender to another when it shouldn’t even be considered when determining one’s candidacy for opportunity. The suggestion that not acknowledging the name of a gender could cause the issue to lose priority is absurd. Furthermore, no matter how many times you explain it to people, they may just not agree with you. That doesn’t inherently make them ignorant.

    Furthermore, the root word of feminism is “feminine”, and yet you’re telling me “it can” support equality between races and ethnicities. Sorry but the word “equal” still makes more sense to me. You’re attempting to broaden an existing term to fit a set of criteria is wasn’t designed for and the result will be horribly awkward.

  40. monteboss says:

    According to feminism, woman are more unequal than man. I find that funny since they live 5 years longer than man. Those feminists claim that woman life are at risk. Funny because suicide and murder rate is highly on the man side. Man are more likely to go in jail and longer time. More likely to be homeless. So I conclude that woman are paranoid.

  41. Panama Jack says:

    “it’s very hard to convince those who possess the intractable belief that men are disadvantaged that in fact women are still the marginalized ones, on the whole – no matter how many stats you throw out.”
    Wow, this has a kind of arrogant sub-tone to it, I think. With this kind of wording, you can be sure to convince no-one… In First World Countries, both genders have advantages and disadvantages. That reminds me of women saying ‘you’re a man, you will never understand the struggle’. Well guess what: ‘you’re a woman, you will never understand our struggle either’. Fact is men /are/ also disadvantaged, same as women, just in other areas. Fighting for equality for women, men and non-binary people in first world countries is a matter of removing social injustices regardless of the gender you identify with. On that note, feminism is all about gender equality, but I have yet to find transgender issues being included into the movement.

    “Without naming the issue of women’s inequality, without analysis of and action on the systemic power structures that generally privilege men over women in our society, there’s the possibility that it might get de-prioritized.”
    That is exactly what is happening to male gender issues, they are de-prioritized because the movement is called ‘feminism’ which shouldn’t be the case. I do agree, however, that at the moment men are more likely to be in a hierarchical higher position than women, which is unjust and should be fought against.

    Ok, so you explain why ‘humanism’ is a conflicting term to use and I completely agree with you. I gave my point of view of why feminism isn’t a very appropriate term either. So this leaves us with ‘equalism’ or or more specifically ‘gender equalism’ which would be a perfect term to describe the movement. The word ‘feminism’ is obsolete for first world countries and is not egalitarian at all which discredits it.

  42. […] gender equality. Some people use the terms “equalist” or “humanist”, but if you read the definitions of those terms, one by definition has nothing to do with gender equality and the other has a broad spectrum of […]

  43. […] — but it doesn’t mean that you’re focusing on the rights of every human. As Jarrah Hodge over at Gender Focus explains, humanism “includes a commitment to the rational and scientific and a rejection of […]

  44. […] Some also object against the word feminism, since the word fem- is attached to it and hence it cannot be a man’s struggle; and they say equalism or humanism could be a better word for movements supporting gender-equality issues. Know that  feminism has its own historical reason of existence and equalism doesn’t focus on an imbalance in the role of a particular gender. […]