Nov 302010

A few years ago, a college friend and I were discussing feminism. For one of our projects, she had chosen feminism as her subject matter and had been approaching people with a related questionnaire. Upon my completion of her questions (on the subject of women’s rights and their place within society) I was triumphantly told that I was a feminist. I countered that no, I was actually a humanist; I care about the rights and expectations of both genders.

Having high expectations for the rights of women does not make me a feminist. If I have peas and carrots with my rump steak, does that mean that I’m a vegetarian? No. No, it doesn’t. I am no more a feminist than I am a masculinist. Humanism covers both, thankyaverymuch.

Stating loudly and clearly that I despise feminism, it should be noted (very strongly) that my views are not antithetical to feminism. My morality, my ethos and (more importantly) my humanism insists and demands that all of the ideals of feminism are sought after. Except, they should be sought after in unanimity with the rights of every other human… including men. Excluding men from your equation and (in some cases) contravening the rights of men is a step too far from the equality that I hold to be humanistically intrinsic to a just and fair society.

Feminism is a meme that steadfastly holds true (the type of true that is wrong). Men daren’t challenge it in case they are labelled as misogynists. Women daren’t challenge it in case they are labelled as the misguided puppets of misogynists. Some memes are determined not to die… they attract limpets, hugging them, enforcing them, justifying them and rationalising them.

This blog post, for all of the many (half a dozen = many, yeah?) people who will read it, is a small attempt at offering a better ship for the limpets to hold on to. Wave goodbye to SS Feminism and join us on SS Humanism; the passenger list is greater, it doesn’t lean too far to port or starboard… and it sails in warmer climes of equality. Possibly on the Equal Sea.

Don’t knock the puns.

  One Response to “Feminism vs Humanism – part 1”

  1. […] Because I have just had a lengthy conversation with someone insisting that humanism and feminism are the same thing, I have decided to post this. I even got them to acknowledge that it is not up to them how individuals chose to identify themselves (not that he stopped.  Rude). He did that annoying thing that the A+ers do: assume that disagreement=ignorance (really, don’t do that. It’s rude too).  The response was a dismissal of contradictory definition of feminism as wishful thinking, while applying a completely aberrated definition to humanism.  In order to clear this up, as he somewhat precipitously left the conversation as soon as I posted the real definition (rude). The actual definitions are below, and he hopefully can see for himself that ‘Feminism’ is not a redundant term and nor is ‘humanism’ an equivalent. An example of what I just came up against can be found at […]

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