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Feminism is not gender neutral enough


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One of my biggest issues with using the term feminism to describe a position of gender egalitarianism is that it is an inherently ungender-neutral term and therefore it doesn't make sense to use it to describe a gender neutral position.

People who identify as feminists often support gender neutrality. For example, using police officer instead of policeman, or using gender-neutral pronouns. However, if gender neutrality is important then should this not also be applied to feminism itself if feminism means gender equality?

Another advantage to using gender egalitarianism over feminism is clarity. There are many different kinds of feminism (1st wave, 3rd wave, etc.) and feminism can mean pretty much anything from gender egalitarianism to misandric hate ideology. So if you tell someone you are a feminist then this can lead to confusion, where as if you tell someone you are a gender egalitarian, there is no confusion.

Another issue with using feminism to describe a position of gender egalitarianism is that it subconsciously puts emphasis on a single gender rather than all genders (men, non-binary individuals, etc.). As a result, this can lead to people who would otherwise support gender egalitarianism to dismiss gender issues when they disadvantage a gender that is not female (see men's rights thread that Kimmy started for a list of some men's rights concerns).

Lastly, since Feminists frame Feminism as desirable and Patriarchy as undesirable they associate female with desirable and male with undesirable. This perpetuates traditionalist gender roles and male disposability. It also sends a continuous subconscious message to males that they are undesireable (a form of micro-aggression), which can lead to males losing self-esteem and eventually committing suicide (males have 4x as many suicide victims as females). If one promotes gender neutrality, male should be equally desirable to female.

So please, don't be a feminist against patriarchy. Be a gender egalitarian against traditionalism.

Edited by -1=e^ipi
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One of my biggest issues with using the term feminism to describe a position of gender egalitarianism is that it is an inherently ungender-neutral term and therefore it doesn't make sense to use it to describe a gender neutral position.

People who identify as feminists often support gender neutrality. For example, using police officer instead of policeman, or using gender-neutral pronouns. However, if gender neutrality is important then should this not also be applied to feminism itself if feminism means gender equality?

You seem to love wikipedia as a source, so let's let them help you out:

Feminism is a range of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women's rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to promote bodily autonomy and integrity, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.

Another advantage to using gender egalitarianism over feminism is clarity. There are many different kinds of feminism (1st wave, 3rd wave, etc.) and feminism can mean pretty much anything from gender egalitarianism to misandric hate ideology. So if you tell someone you are a feminist then this can lead to confusion, where as if you tell someone you are a gender egalitarian, there is no confusion.

As you demonstrated feminist can mean different things, but all of them mean something. "Gender egalitarian" means absolutely nothing.

Another issue with using feminism to describe a position of gender egalitarianism is that it subconsciously puts emphasis on a single gender rather than all genders (men, non-binary individuals, etc.).

Yes that would be the point of a movement devoted to equal rights for women.

Lastly, since Feminists frame Feminism as desirable and Patriarchy as undesirable they associate female with desirable and male with undesirable. This perpetuates traditionalist gender roles and male disposability. It also sends a continuous subconscious message to males that they are undesireable (a form of micro-aggression), which can lead to males losing self-esteem and eventually committing suicide (males have 4x as many suicide victims as females). If one promotes gender neutrality, male should be equally desirable to female.

So please, don't be a feminist against patriarchy. Be a gender egalitarian against traditionalism.

Something something Orwellian manipulation of language something something.

Eyerolls for days.

Edited by Black Dog
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I love how Euler just throws around a bunch of words and phrases like "feminism" and "patriarchy" and "gender roles" and "microaggression" that have long established literatures, but his commentary shows absolutely no understanding of the history and development of those theories and ideas. It's kind of like the way he uses statistical methods, throwing a bunch of crap at the barn wall and hoping something will stick, but then subsequently having to go back and revise things over and over again because he can't get it right the first time.

You know what they say about "a little bit of knowledge."

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-1=e^ipi:

Feminism as a term doesn't bother me, since there are many ways where females are marginalized compared to men and often by men (patriarchy), but sometimes women themselves also.

"Gender equality" is definitely a more inclusive term though, so you have a good point there. For better or worse, feminism focuses on women's rights so as a term and a theory it still deserves to be used.

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"Gender egalitarian" means absolutely nothing.

Nope. "Gender equality, also known as sex equality, gender egalitarianism, sexual equality or equality of the genders, is the view that men and women should receive equal treatment, and should not be discriminated against based on gender."

Yes that would be the point of a movement devoted to equal rights for women.

Isn't equal rights for women the same thing as equal rights for men? If so, then why not take a position of gender egalitarianism. If not, then is this the Orwellian concept of all animals are equal, some are just more equal than others?

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Well, there must be a reason that 'feminism' is a word to denote gender equality, right ? Maybe because when it started as a movement, women had far fewer rights than men. Language is democratic, for good or bad. In this case it's good because it reminds us of where the struggle for equality started.

If people spontaneously started using this new term, that might mean that some progress has been made.

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Well, there must be a reason that 'feminism' is a word to denote gender equality, right ? Maybe because when it started as a movement, women had far fewer rights than men. Language is democratic, for good or bad. In this case it's good because it reminds us of where the struggle for equality started.

Historically, people used policeman, does that mean people should use policeman rather than police officer today? Historically Canada has 'in all thy sons' in our national anthem. Does that mean it should stay there because 'it's good because it reminds us of where the struggle' of WW1 started?

No, in all cases gender neutrality should trump these silly historical arguments.

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Historically, people used policeman, does that mean people should use policeman rather than police officer today?

Hmmm... good question. I think people likely do use that term. If they use it less, though, then it may mean that the term is just outdated.

Historically Canada has 'in all thy sons' in our national anthem. Does that mean it should stay there because 'it's good because it reminds us of where the struggle' of WW1 started?

Now you're changing the argument by adding 'should'. 'Should', in terms of does the term reflect reality, or real aspirations, or a relevant idea may have some meaning. It could also mean 'should' one use a term that isn't offensive, too.

National anthems are obviously representative of something bigger, are explicitly political and so on so it's a different question than just everyday speech.

No, in all cases gender neutrality should trump these silly historical arguments.

If you say so. Words as used by individuals are democratic, though, so they reflect *something*. Official terms, anthem lyrics and so on are decided by institutions so they can impose a definition, but only to a degree.

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I am not sure I understand what argument you are trying to make. People choose their words, therefore, something?

You made the OP, so it's your argument I'm discussing. You're questioning definitions, and my point is that non-institutional words are reflective of social attitudes, so they are worth something. Your approach of taking the definition of the word and showing that there are examples out there where that definition falls short, is more of a comment on the malleability of language I think.

But, reading the OP again, it seems like you're just urging a more general term. I hear people use the term gender equality more these days than 'feminism' so maybe you're onto something.

I think on another thread, though, you're trying to invalidate a theory based on the definition which doesn't work IMO.

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You're questioning definitions, and my point is that non-institutional words are reflective of social attitudes, so they are worth something.

You are right that non-institutional words are reflective of social attitudes. And social attitudes are that males have intrinsically less value than females (arguably it stems from male disposibility). So we have double standards such as it is not socially acceptable for men to hit women but not visa-versa, female infant genital mutilation is not okay but male infant genital mutilation is, some countries like the US have a male only draft, etc.

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And social attitudes are that males have intrinsically less value than females (arguably it stems from male disposibility).

I don't think that's true.

So we have double standards such as it is not socially acceptable for men to hit women but not visa-versa, female infant genital mutilation is not okay but male infant genital mutilation is, some countries like the US have a male only draft, etc.

It's not socially acceptable for women to hit men. Circumcision of males and females is not the same thing, physically, at all. There's no "draft" in the US.

You're going to lose me pretty fast when you go from argumentative engagement and discussion to dropping hyperbole into the discussion.

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Nope. "Gender equality, also known as sex equality, gender egalitarianism, sexual equality or equality of the genders, is the view that men and women should receive equal treatment, and should not be discriminated against based on gender."

Isn't equal rights for women the same thing as equal rights for men? If so, then why not take a position of gender egalitarianism. If not, then is this the Orwellian concept of all animals are equal, some are just more equal than others?

Because historically women were the ones disadvantaged and who needed to achieve the same equality of opportunity as men: hence "feminism."

Complaining about feminism is like complaining that the Civil Rights movement didn't care enough about the civil rights of white people too.

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Because historically women were the ones disadvantaged and who needed to achieve the same equality of opportunity as men: hence "feminism."

You mean like back in the day where only males where drafted and made to go fight and die in wars? Or how about males historically having higher workplace death rates? How about during disasters such as the titanic where they had women and children first policies? History isn't as simple as this naive patriarchy nonsense propagated by the feminist mainstream.

Complaining about feminism is like complaining that the Civil Rights movement didn't care enough about the civil rights of white people too.

You are setting up a false dichotomy here (feminism vs traditionalism) as well as a guilt by association (if you disagree with certain forms of feminism then you are against civil rights).

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You mean like back in the day where only males where drafted and made to go fight and die in wars? Or how about males historically having higher workplace death rates?

This is such horseshit. Makes had higher workplace death rates because-duh-women didn't work outside the home or serve in the military. Guesss your Gamer Gate bros didn't tell you that, eh?

How about during disasters such as the titanic where they had women and children first policies?

What about it?

History isn't as simple as this naive patriarchy nonsense propagated by the feminist mainstream.

Look just because you don't understand the concept of patriarchy doesn't make it nonsense.

You are setting up a false dichotomy here (feminism vs traditionalism) as well as a guilt by association (if you disagree with certain forms of feminism then you are against civil rights).

Gibberish.
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This is such horseshit.

Yes, clearly all these males dying in trenches in WW1, during the height of 'patriarchy' are all just 'horseshit'.

09-trenches-after-the-bombardment-gw000.

Way to go patriarchy! Privileging men since before 1914.

Guesss your Gamer Gate bros didn't tell you that, eh?

I don't have any gamer gate bros.

What about it?

Women first is an inherently sexist policy. Just like men first is sexist.

Look just because you don't understand the concept of patriarchy doesn't make it nonsense.

Please provide me with 1 falsifiable prediction made by patriarchy theory that cannot also be explained with matriarchy theory.

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Yes, clearly all these males dying in trenches in WW1, during the height of 'patriarchy' are all just 'horseshit'.

09-trenches-after-the-bombardment-gw000.

Way to go patriarchy! Privileging men since before 1914.

You seem to be confused. "Privileged" is not the same as "protected".

I don't have any gamer gate bros.

they don't like you either, hey?
Women first is an inherently sexist policy. Just like men first is sexist.

No. "Women and children first" is (besides being a myth) speaks to women's roles and how they are protected only insofar as they can serve as breeding stock for the continuation of the species.

Please provide me with 1 falsifiable prediction made by patriarchy theory that cannot also be explained with matriarchy theory.

You seem to be confused again. There's a difference between theories of social organization and scientific theories.

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You seem to be confused. "Privileged" is not the same as "protected".

Telling a group of people that they are privileged so that they deserve all the injustice they encounter due to this privilege is a very effective way to oppress a group of people.

how they are protected only insofar as they can serve as breeding stock for the continuation of the species.

Being protected is a privilege. Also, a lot of sexism we observe today stems from male disposibility (which is due to the lower intrinsic reproductive value to the species that males possess).

There's a difference between theories of social organization and scientific theories.

Many social organization theories make falsifiable predictions. But yes, patriarchy is unfalsifiable. It's in the same category as Intelligent Design.

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Telling a group of people that they are privileged so that they deserve all the injustice they encounter due to this privilege is a very effective way to oppress a group of people.

Strawman/stupid.

Being protected is a privilege. Also, a lot of sexism we observe today stems from male disposibility (which is due to the lower intrinsic reproductive value to the species that males possess).
Lots of slave owners took care not to severely damage their property. Guess those slaves were privileged too.

Many social organization theories make falsifiable predictions.

Ok: which ones?
But yes, patriarchy is unfalsifiable. It's in the same category as Intelligent Design.

This unfalsifiability thing is such a red herring, but actually providing a definition and set of parameters would be a good start.

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Lots of slave owners took care not to severely damage their property. Guess those slaves were privileged too.

It's all relative. I guess they would be relative to slaves that had worse conditions.

Ok: which ones?

Economic theories, psychology theories and sociology theories make falsifiable predictions all the time.

A very famous example would be the Keynesian prediction that stagflation could not occur... turned out to be false, quite false.

Or the neoclassical prediction that raising a minimum wage can never increase employment (arguably falsified by Card and Krueger).

This unfalsifiability thing is such a red herring

It really isn't. Are we all supposed to believe in this mythical patriarchy and base policies on it's existence, yet we cannot test its existence? Sounds like theocracy to me.

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It's all relative. I guess they would be relative to slaves that had worse conditions.

Now you're getting there. I doubt you get there all the way though.

It really isn't. Are we all supposed to believe in this mythical patriarchy and base policies on it's existence, yet we cannot test its existence? Sounds like theocracy to me.

Another strawman? Really?

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Would have thought the bold parts would indicate those portions where you are making claims no one has supported.

In order for you to strawman someone, someone must exist to strawman. Who am I strawmaning? (or is saying strawpersoning more gender neutral?)

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In order for you to strawman someone, someone must exist to strawman. Who am I strawmaning? (or is saying strawpersoning more gender neutral?)

I see your understanding of this fallacy is no more advanced than your understanding of the concept of the patriarchy. Here's an example. You said:

Telling a group of people that they are privileged so that they deserve all the injustice they encounter due to this privilege is a very effective way to oppress a group of people.

Who is telling this group this? No one here has said it. I can't imagine anyone else has either. It's something you created to knock down a pillar of the "SJW" (another strawman, since the definition is completely nebulous and can be applied to anyone who you disagree with at any point).

If you prefer I use the strict definition of strawman argument in which you replace my argument with one I never made, I'll happily replace the term strawman in the above cases of windmill-tilting with he more prosaic "bullshit."

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