Separating Genders

Mr.E

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Another thing MRA talking points tend to do is paint themselves as 'separate from' feminist issues when they often are not. So I recall reading a previous post here where someone talked about all of these really great things, like fighting heteronormativity, letting boys be more feminine, not defining mens' worth by how much sex they have, and so on. But then, randomly, they said something like "Nobody's talking about this!" And of course that's not true at all, feminism most certainly does deal with all that sort of stuff.

I actually think a lot of young men are getting taken advantage with this, it makes me sad. I don't know if this is a common thing, but I remember talking with one guy who was sort of just getting into MRA stuff (like a sincere guy, he wasn't some opportunistic alt-right guy or anything). He's a feminist now because I guess someone showed him that, hey, a lot of these ideas you're talking about are actually repackaged feminism.
There's a word for that, it's called egalitarianism (or equalism if you prefer). I don't buy the idea that feminism is anything but trying to empower women. And that's totally fine. It's just disingenuous at best to suggest it's anything more than that, that it's working to help men too, especially considering modern feminism's propensity for tearing men down more than boosting women up. I feel like every gender issue gets lumped under the umbrella of "feminism" simply because feminism is so popular and pervasive in modern society that it's the only term most people can think to use. Sure, all issues are both men's and women's issues in the very broad sense that men and women interact, but that doesn't really say anything.

Though at the end of the day, it's all semantics and if most people are too dumb to call equality "equality" instead of "feminism," then uhh yeah sure whatever man, I'm a feminist too. But I don't want to be called that.
 

Surgo

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Shit, what kind of college's do you know of that are actually super left-leaning because that sounds like a cool as heck place to go
I graduated from one. The only problem with places like that is that it tends to breed a very small number of ridiculously reactionary conservatives. They're small in number (like, one or two people a year) but god damn can they be loud and whiny.
 

EviGaro

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There's a word for that, it's called egalitarianism (or equalism if you prefer). I don't buy the idea that feminism is anything but trying to empower women.
Yeah the problem with that is that this really doesn't make sense. Well, you not buying it is purely on your own thing and has zero bearing on feminism itself - because well, you're wrong there on what it's trying to do - but egalitarianism itself isn't exactly an easy word to use because its premise is extremely vague at best, bordering on entirely useless because of it. But, say, let's assume it's an ideology in favour of total equality - a sort of natural successor to humanism in Western Philosophy, even - then how are we supposed to account for all the time it didn't take gender into account? The French Revolution was to an extent inspired by egalitarianism, yet wasn't overly concerned with gender rights. Heck, Wollstonecraft's Vindication was a direct response to the gender issues being raised in post 1789 France. That's the "best" historical example, but far from the only one, and it makes it difficult for feminists to acknowledge that they're using the wrong word when the correct word essentially is what they have been critical of.

The other way to view it would be to say fine, egalitarianism is a thing, and feminism subscribes to it while focusing on gender. Obviously you can't do that since you don't buy the idea first, but say quite a few do agree with that. But then what's the point of using the umbrella word when it's openly acknowledged that feminists are not only agreeing on gender equality at the basis of the philosophy, but are also the ones who do keep highlighting gender issues in terms of inequality? Even then I find the "correction" tenuous at best, even disregarding that it's a very generous reading of egalitarianism.

I didn't quote it but later you point out that feminism is being used as this umbrella term, well, that's because it is the umbrella. There's really no debate on that. Feminism is a philosophy, an activism strategy, a literary theory, an International Relations theory, a way to get attention on social media, it's used for a ton of things and it's used really differently, but the main ontological characteristic - an open look at gender relations - is maintained, with the normative stance towards being critical of inequalities. And there's really nothing that can be directly above it because it has way too many influences nowadays so you can't even say it really comes from liberalism and uh pretend that cares about gender lol. And really, men's rights movements simply cannot exist without feminism because, like the poster you were replying to was indicating, they don't question the foundations of feminism. Instead, they heavily borrow from it, in sometimes moments of whataboutism, but often there are serious questions surrounding men and gender, and on the activist level this is where feminists tend to ignore them the most, for perfectly understandable reasons, but that absence is obviously noted. So while I do understand why these groups aren't really inclined to identify as feminists, they wouldn't have a logical cause without feminist philosophy.
 

Mr.E

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Feminism isn't focused on gender equality per se, it's focused on gender equality for women. In other words, it's focused on issues where women are disadvantaged. But equality works both ways and in 20XX there are certainly plenty of areas where men are disadvantaged too (especially compared to the 18th century), even if they're still better off in the aggregate. (And don't give me any BS about how "not defining mens' worth by how much sex they have" is, somehow, a women's issue.) As I said, that's totally fine. People most affected by specific issues are more likely to champion those issues and nobody can support and fight for everything. It's just disingenuous to suggest that everything falls under the umbrella of feminism, as if feminists gotta take credit for literally everything and anyone who doesn't call themselves one is scum of the earth. It's more of a cult than a social movement these days. Besides, if you apply the term too broadly it ceases to have any meaning.

Still, semantics. :blobshrug:
 

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