"fem-i-nism" the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Which means, ever so politely, you are incorrect. Your strong belief in the right to political, social, and economic equality between men and women makes you a feminist. Deal with it.
~ Mark Curlee
Mark Curlee, who is a friend of mine, hit me with this today over on Facebook.
No. Sorry, still not a feminist.
Just because I believe in gender equality does not mean I have some sort of automatic membership in a divisive and harmful political doctrine whose actions do not live up to its own dogma.
I find too much about modern organized feminism -- the so-called "third wave" feminism -- offensive to want to associate myself with them. I dislike how they cherry-pick the obvious outrages, like workplace harassment and rape, and then imply that we, men that is, are in favor of such things if we do not immediately fall into complete lockstep with them in every single particular. Or if we don't start waving the feminist flag and cheering on the women who are loudly denigrating all men, everywhere, every chance they get. Or, in this case, refuse to have a label imposed on us by others.
I have been wary of both the word feminism and the movement it is attached to. Not because I am anti-woman, but because I am anti-hysteria. I am opposed to overbearing, extremist fanatics.
The loudest, most visible, and most influential feminists today are the ones who make public statements that all men are predators. That we, as a gender, are dangerous animals that need to be leashed and controlled because otherwise, no one would be safe from us. I'm sorry, but why would I ever want to wear a label that said those sorts of things about me?
And its not just how they treat men. I object to how feminism treats women who choose to take on the "traditional" woman's role of raising a family full time, or who take secretarial jobs. Or any of a hundred other "traditional roles" that can be just as fulfilling as other jobs. These women are called traitors and sell-outs and closeted self-haters.
I thought part of the point of feminism was to allow women more choices. Apparently its only to allow them choices the third-wave feminists approve of. Who'd have guessed.
And this is not just me talking. This is why you seldom see accomplished women rushing to declare themselves feminist anymore. Several high profile women who are at the top of their profession have refused the label because they don't want to be associated with the fanatics either.
For a long time, feminism has been one-sided. Despite the dictionary definition Mark is so proud of, feminism ignores -- BLATANTLY IGNORES -- the way gender bias harms men, too.
You never hear feminists talk about the fact that our schools are punishing our male children for the crime of acting like boys. Or how college enrollment among men is only 30% what it is for women. Or how men commit suicide more often, or suffer more workplace deaths, or are homeless to the tune of 485% of the female homeless population.
Worst of all, feminism is hypocritically guilty of prejudice itself. Men are stereotyped as the problem. We are violent sex-crazed predators who are a potential harm to society as a whole. Do you really want your sons growing up being told that all the time? That just because of their gender, they are a menace to society?
I sure don't.
Most men oppose gender bias and the abuse of women. I certainly do. But to say I have to go about calling myself a "feminist" because of it strikes me as horribly self-righteous and judgmental.
Sort of like feminism itself. Self-righteous and judgmental, I mean.
So sorry, but no. I am not a feminist. And I won't ever be one.
And less than 24 hours afterward, and in response to my explaining why I refuse to wear the feminist label, I get this sort of response:
Thank you for making it abundantly clear to anyone reading that you're just an woman-hating MRA who has absolutely no qualms about propagating the Big Lie technique.
So once again, you cannot criticize feminism without being declared a huge misogynist. Quelle surprise.