Apr 292011

Recently, I was on a (first) date with a woman who was telling me about previous encounters that she had had. One of which was an ardent anti-feminist who believed that women should be stay-at-home slaves to their male masters. I mocked his bizarre views along with her, before adding that I, too, was an ardent anti-feminist; but for very different reasons. When those reasons were explained, the potential death of the date was avoided, but it came up again in a follow-up conversation.

After sharing this blog with her (pointing out my previous post: Feminism vs Humanism – part 1) I was given a number of reasons why the feminist drum should still be loudly beaten. Every single reason is, however, encompassed within humanism. I had a similar response from another female liberal – and (bizarrely) a humanist, at that. The arguments regarding the rights and abilities of women is one that I whole-heartedly agree with… but, to repeat my earlier position, it is an argument that is better done within the wider scope of humanism.

Here’s a wee analogy which might help explain my point.

The Royal Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (RSPCA) looks after the welfare of animals. Now, imagine if there was an RSPCFA which just looked after female animals. If you were to make a contribution to an animal-based charity, would you prefer one that looked after all animals, or one that checked between the animal’s legs before deciding whether or not they would help it?

Arguing that women have fewer rights than men and that, for that reason, feminism is needed until equality is reached (and humanism can replace it) is a nonsense argument. Some animals are treated much worse than others, but an organisation fighting for all animals is a much stronger and well-equipped beast than one that picks and chooses which animals it will help.

Despite acknowledging all of the above, a consistent reason for staying onboard SS Feminism is that a prolonged adherence to one meme cannot lightly be given-up without the person feeling a little foolish about being onboard the wrong ship. Ego is a strong motivational force and, when accepting that the fight for male rights shouldn’t be ignored, searching for a more far-reaching self-label is easier-done if SS Feminism isn’t totally abandoned for SS Humanism. And that’s a shame, because SS Feminism has long-been sinking.

Humanism has had multiple meanings over the years, but in modernity it includes the fight for the equal consideration of all humans, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality or ethnicity. Any quality that is bestowed at conception/birth is not a quality that should be used to weaken the position of some humans regarding other humans. This includes gender, and the fight for everything that every feminist holds close, is done in the name of humanism. Apart from the whole disregard of men. That’s the preserve of some feminists, and it is a preserve that tars-and-feathers everyone who claims the feminist mantra, when non gender-biased belief-systems are in place… which fight the same fight. Without the gender bias.

When my previously-mentioned date told me that she had male friends who were feminists, I revisited a previous search that I had done regarding men who embraced the feminism meme. Sadly, this included a comedian I’m very fond of: Bill Bailey. In the following image, the first T-shirt (“This is what a feminist looks like”) is what he was actually wearing. The other 2 images were done by me to make the following point.

If you meet a man who tells you that he’s a feminist, ask him if he’s also a masculinist. If he isn’t, ask him why he favours the rights of one gender over the rights of another gender – particularly when that gender isn’t his own. If he claims to also be a masculinist, tell him about humanism. A quick Google will provide the relevant information, but if you want to aid his education, here’s a link to the British Humanist Association.

If he maintains his claims to feminism, he’s one of two things: a man who wants to better his chances of getting inside your pants, or an idiot.

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.

Nov 212010

Back in 2007, the UK celebrity version of Endemol’s Big Brother caused a controversy regarding racist comments. It made big news, causing Gordon Brown to comment on the situation. Subsequently, the following non-celebrity version of Big Brother was more than a little anxious to avoid a repeat of the situation. Big Brother got all serious when the show’s participants entered the realms of discriminatory conduct and behaviour.

One white contestant was reprimanded for saying “nigger” to a black contestant during faux-ghetto conversation. Another was reprimanded for using the word “poof”. Discrimination was being carefully controlled. Except, it wasn’t. The day after the “poof” incident, two women were sat in the bedroom talking about men. Men, apparently, were all (among other things) liars, cheats and undeserving of anything resembling consideration. Now… as a man, I kinda took offence at being labelled so unambiguously due to something as arbitrary as a condition of birth. The women weren’t reprimanded by Big Brother. If the word “men” had been replaced by “blacks” or “gays” they most certainly would have been.

Sexism, it seems, is only bad when it happens against one of the genders.

Now. You may well argue that, over many generations (over thousands of years) women have been subjected to sexism and that when it is returned, we can have no good reason to complain. Except, that sexism was committed by people other than me. The guilt of the father becomes the guilt of the son? Seriously? So, when my mother’s egg was fertilised, the sheer chance of an XY chromosome pairing determined whether I was an oppressor, rather than the oppressed? I’m somehow guilty of all of the sins committed by people who share my gender?

If you look down at a newborn baby boy and think “you evil little bastard” then there’s something seriously wrong with your mind. A person should be judged by the acts that they commit during their life, not by the acts of people that (by sheer chromosomal chance) share their gender.

This anti-male meme has become prevalent in recent years, courtesy of ardent feminism. By “ardent” I mean feminism that, rather than stopping at the border when fighting for women’s rights, continues against male rights. The fight for justice and equality for women was long-overdue and much needed. It was a fight against a patriarchy that had existed (in the West) largely due to the misogyny of Christian thinking. The war has been won. What remains is a series of battles which need to be maintained in order for dinosaur thinking to be eradicated for true, pure, equality.

But equality cannot be found by being anti-male. That is something other than equality, and is as wrong in one direction as it is the other.

Feminism’s time is at an end. Let us instead embrace humanism, fighting for actual equality – regardless of birth differences, be they gender, race or sexual attraction. The humanist fight is a far-reaching one, with many instances of unnecessary segregation where differences (attributed at birth) become barriers in instances where barriers are unhelpful, rather than helpful. It is a fight that can best be made by people of all genders, races and sexual attraction.

Some instances (already mentioned) include SheThought, LWDS and HerCampus. Because, yes, they are as sexist as HeThought, GWDS and HisCampus – all of which (thankfully) can’t be linked as they don’t exist… and if they did, I’d be haranguing their existence with the same level of depressed intolerance.

Humanism. Please.