Why I Am Not a Feminist and Why I Don’t Think Anyone Should Be.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first.
No I don’t hate women. I never have nor will I ever be able to bring myself to hate someone based solely on the nature of their gender.
Yet this qualifier is a necessity when discussing this topic and where you fall on it. When anyone disagrees with or chooses not to identify with feminism, blatant, unrepentant misogyny is immediately sited as the sole reason anyone would deign to not want to be a feminist.
This mentality is held by celebrities (http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/04/game-thrones-maisie-williams-interview) and viewed as part of the feminist norm (http://www.bustle.com/articles/120857-7-things-feminists-wish-non-feminists-understood).
That is ridiculous on the face of it. Simply disagreeing with a political movement is grounds for pariahship where feminism is concerned.
I think such vilification is, to say the least, unwarranted. A true misogynist, an individual who genuinely hates women is an evolutionary non-sequitur. From a purely biological standpoint, it is a failure to launch. Which is not to say such people do not exist, but very, very rarely is the reason for such hatred ever to do with gender alone.
Yet I am not a feminist, a standpoint that while it is gaining some popularity, is also facing a backlash, particularly if a women should choose to not sign herself up in the feminist political camp. Take what happened to Kaley Cuoco (http://www.anitafinlay.com/kaley-cuocos-im-not-a-feminist-comments-why-the-backlash-matters/).
I’ve gone over time and time again as to why I am not a feminist and the reasons, while not initially forth coming, became a lot easier to understand. There are three topics that build a case against feminism and, before we go any further, we need to make this distinction clear.
This is a case against feminism, not women.
Feminism, while it claims otherwise, can never represent all women. How could it? It is a political movement that began in the first world, in a different culture and a different era, by individuals with not only differing political motives, but also only representing and recognizing a select few women of a particular time and place.
You would not expect a select few individuals could possibly speak for the entirety of a country, let alone a gender.
Saying feminism speaks for and represents all women is like saying communism represents everyone on the political left wing. Or that socialism represents everyone from Kitchener Ontario. It is the same principle here.
With that off my chest:
Why I Am Not a Feminist and Why I Don’t Think Anyone Should Be: Reason 1: Feminism Is a Political Movement Based on Gender.
The dawn of intersectional feminism gave birth to a new form of collectivism, shared and preached by the influential figures of the newest feminist movement. In today’s era, if you are not a feminist, you are a sexist. More to the point, it isn’t enough that a woman be successful, as influential feminist Anita Sarkeesian put it, she has just found a way to “make patriarchy work for her.”
Feminism has become a new collective, it has become hive minded in its approach and you must agree with the current feminist group think, or face being a pariah.
Feminism has it’s leaders, it’s movers, it’s shakers, so it is hard to deny that there is a strong political element to the movement (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/giana-pacinelli/if-youre-a-woman-you-should-vote-for-hillary-clinton-for-president_b_10396106.html).
The thing is, feminism’s key qualifier is a element of life that is wholly accidental.
It may rant, it may rave, it may pontificate its virtues, but too much of feminism and too many feminists place importance on gender alone.
Some feminists view feminism as an all girls club (https://kareningalasmith.com/2013/12/16/thanks-and-all-but-no-thanks-i-dont-want-men-in-my-feminism/).
To place a set of values and principles based solely on gender qualifiers is inherently anti-egalitarian and is a direct contradiction between the words of feminists and their actions. But more than that, to mark your political identify as a feminist is to signify that one’s gender, the state of one’s reproductive organs, is the only criteria by which you determine where you stand on any given issue.
Yet that is where feminism is leading people. One author sums it up rather nicely:
“Understanding that feminism is not a feeling or an identity, but a political movement.
Feminism is not about wearing a t-shirt that says you’re a feminist. It isn’t about saying you’re a feminist just for the sake of saying it, even if you have no interest in liberating women from patriarchal oppression.
No one would ever say “Socialism is whatever you make of it! You do you, bro.” Because that is stupid and also factually incorrect.
Feminism isn’t about you as an individual feeling personally “good” or empowered in the moment. You can feel empowered, but that doesn’t necessary produce feminism. Similarly, feeling “good” does not equate to empowerment. Empowerment, in the context of feminism, means social empowerment for a group of marginalized people (in this case, women). This is why, for example, posing nude and feeling sexy in a fashion or porn magazine might feel good for the individual doing it (they will receive positive reinforcement, feel attractive, profit financially, etc.) but does not constitute “empowerment” as it does not lift up women as a class.”
As this author has pointed out, there is no individuality within feminism any more. It is a political collective based solely upon your gender, a facet of your life you have no control over.
The thing is, you can be a socialist and then change your mind. You can drop socialism in favour of a different political identify.
You cannot change your mind about being born a specific gender. So to build a political identity around that is to build a political identity around the colour of your eyes or which is your dominant hand.
No. Simply put I cannot identify as a feminist because I cannot agree with the idea that gender can somehow make a political statement. I cannot agree that any action done by an individual has deep ramifications for other individuals merely because they share the same sex. I won’t use the state of a person’s genitalia to make any judgements on whether or not they would make an effective leader.
I cannot be a feminist because feminism seeks to make being a woman a political statement.
Why I Am Not a Feminist and Why I Don’t Think Anyone Should Be: Reason 2: The Myths and Lies Perpetuated By the Feminist Narrative.
Now stop me if you’ve heard this one, women only make 79 cents for every dollar men make.
Or 1 in 5 women in collage will be raped.
Or is it 1 in 4?
Or is it 1 in 2?
It’s hard to tell, the stories seem to change with alarming frequency.
Even more alarmingly is that no one seems to care when they are being lied to, provided it’s a feminist that’s lying to them.
Yes, like any good political movement, feminism knows when, where and how to lie.
The pay gape is usually the first club feminism carries with it wherever it goes, siting a supposed gap between the money earned by men and women in similar fields that illustrates a deep seeded need society has to pay women less for some arbitrary reason.
Before I debunk the pay gap (in other words, before I point out what has been obvious for years now) I would like to ask who actually believes we, as a society, simply decided to pay women less because we secretly hate them or want to see them fail? What reason could possibly exist for society to think this way?
Put plainly, there no reason that mentality would exist in a free world.
And put just as plainly, there isn’t a pay gap either. At best it would be more accurate to call it a gender earnings gap, where we see men working more hours (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf).
Beyond that, men typically work jobs that simply demand more, with 91% of construction and heavy labour positions being occupied by men (http://www.payscale.com/gender-lifetime-earnings-gap).
And it’s not like this information is a secret. A quick search into your favourite engine about who works what kind of jobs and what those jobs pay shows men out working women in terms of more hours worked in fields that pay higher wages.
Yet the lie of the gender pay gap continues, almost unopposed. Indeed it is a favourite activity of politicians running for office and feminists alike to site the pay gap even though the fraudulent nature of saying “women make 77 cents for every dollar men make” has been exposed for the lie that it is.
That said, the other famous lie perpetuated by feminism is a little harder to tolerate. The infamous statistic that one in five women will be raped during her time in college has responsible for wholly unnecessary fear mongering, hysteria and the wrongful conviction of innocent men.
Let me be clear on one thing. Rape is not sex. Rape is not sexy. Rape is a crime. And rapists are criminals whose actions are inexcusable.
But lying about rape and using false statistics to construct a false narrative which portrays a college or university as the most dangerous place on earth for a woman is deplorable. And yet that is exactly what the one in five rape statistic does.
The one in five rape statistic comes from the Campus Sexual Assault Study back in 2007 and before we even examine the study, it is worth noting that since 2007, instances of violent crime and rape have been decreasing (http://www.statista.com/statistics/191219/reported-violent-crime-rate-in-the-usa-since-1990/). Then question then becomes if one in five women are being raped on campus, why is it then that the rates rape have been in decline?
Beyond that, the study itself had problems of its own. It wasn’t nationally representative, it had a very low response rate and, most egregious of all, it including unwanted kissing or groping and sexual encounters while intoxicated as rape (http://time.com/3633903/campus-rape-1-in-5-sexual-assault-setting-record-straight/).
Two of feminisms biggest rallying cries, the gender pay gap and the one in five college rape statistic, are falsehoods. Yet they are not questioned. So, once again, no. I cannot be a feminist because the feminist narrative is built on lies and misinformation. Worse yet, there is no accountability within feminism. Ethics and morals are brushed aside in favour of the narrative. Which brings us to…
Why I Am Not a Feminist and Why I Don’t Think Anyone Should Be: Reason 3: “Not All Feminists!”
If you’ve ever asked a feminists to be accountable for feminism, to explain how feminism could possibly stand for equality when feminists tweet #killallmen whilst drinking from mugs with “male tears” emblazoned on them, the most common response you will usually get is a variation of “not all feminists.”
There’s a troubling trend within feminism today that shows most feminists don’t want to talk about what feminism is actually about or what feminists are actually doing.
Feminists will readily site the history of the suffragist movement but never acknowledge the racism of individuals like Susan B Anthony or Anna Howard Shaw (http://the-toast.net/2014/04/21/suffragettes-sucked-white-supremacy-womens-rights/).
Feminist will gladly tell you that feminism stands for equality, but they will never tell you about the difference in number of shelters for men who suffer from domestic violence compared to the shelters in place for women is decidedly one sided despite the fact that both men and women both suffer from domestic abuse at very similar rates.
Feminists will never tell you that men are turned away from domestic abuse shelters.
Feminists will never tell you about Earl Silverman, who lost funding for his Men’s Alternative Safe House and then committed suicide.
Feminists will never tell you about Valerie Solanas, author of the SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto. Or how she shot Andy Warhol.
Feminists will never tell you about #killallmen or of the violence that men suffer.
Feminists will never tell you about the rising rates of men committing suicide.
What feminists will tell you, though, is that feminisms is about equality.
But should you point out the inconsistencies between that statement and the actions of feminists, you will inevitably be told that “not all feminists are like that.” And maybe that’s true.
But it is also possibly true that enough feminists ARE like that. Enough feminists out there are nothing more than raving ideologues. Enough feminist ARE spreading misinformation. Enough feminists ARE uninterested in anything that runs counter to the current feminist group think. Enough feminists ARE openly misandric. Enough feminists ARE only concerned with gender and identity politics.
So, no. I cannot identify as a feminist.
I cannot identify as a feminist because I cannot view people as anything more or anything less than people. I prefer to live by principles applied consistently and rationally, were variable beyond the control of the individual like gender are not used to judge them or used to make a statement regarding their character.
I cannot identify as a feminist because I cannot use false statistics and outright lies that promote hysteria simply to further a narrative.
I cannot identify as a feminists because I cannot stand on a principle that is inherently exclusive and divisive and that also refuses to hold itself accountable.
Put plainly, I can support the rights of others. I can point out when laws are being violated. I can identify discrimination and I can work towards correcting mistakes made due to an imperfect system. But I cannot, in good conscious, be a feminists or call myself as such. Nor can I endorse the movement any more. At some point in its history, perhaps feminism may have been necessary, even welcome. But as it holds and conducts itself now, it is toxic to its core.
If you disagree, I strongly urge you to please reconsider.