Against feminism

Disclaimer: Now I’m sure I’ll be accused of being a regressive social influence for going against, but I’m not. I’m in favour of equality before the law for all, I’m against racism, I’m a socialist and former member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, so don’t think I’m some sort of Tory or Paleoconservative or similar. So, know I’m not opposing feminism from opposition to a just position for women, or attachment to some romantic view of the past, or anything along those lines.

Now, why I am against feminism.

Ashley Judd says this:
“I believe that the social construction of gender - the cultural beliefs and practices that divide the sexes and institutionalize and normalize the unequal treatment of girls and women, privilege the interests of boys and men, and, most nefariously, incessantly sexualize girls and women - is the root cause of poverty and suffering around the world.”

Well, I don’t believe that women suffer unequal treatment and men enjoy privileges in modern western society. In the past, maybe. In Saudi Arabia. But not in the modern, Anglophone, world. Feminism in Saudi Arabia, I’ve got less of a problem with.

Not to say there aren’t things in society that are bad for women, but they don’t heavily outweigh those things which have a similarly negative impact on men. We can compare the position of women with that of groups universally acknowledged to suffer unequal treatment, such as black people.

Statistics can easily be found to prove the disadvantages under which black people labour. Higher levels of unemployment, higher levels of incarceration, lower levels of income, higher levels of victimisation by violent crime, lower levels of attainment in education, shorter life expectancies, lower sentences for crimes commited against them. Material evidence of disadvantage.

You can’t find the same thing for women.

In this thread we see that women have lower levels of unemployment, get more money for less work, are less likely to die on the job, can opt to do less well remunerated jobs in they prefer those jobs due to less social pressure to win bread, and when - for older women - they get less in wages it’s because they have the option to work less to have a more meaningful relationship with their children, and so forth.

Women also make up a very large majority of new graduates in all of our western anglophone nations, including newly qualified doctors and lawyers.

At the end of employed life, in the UK at least, women also get to retire five years earlier and then have several years of extra life expectancy, partly due to receiving a large majority of the NHS budget (eight ninths according to the former public health minister Yvette Cooper, now Mrs Balls).

Women are less likely to be the victims of every single violent crime other than rape, although the official count is about 90,000 male-female rapes a year in America compared to Human Rights Watch’s figure of c.130,000 in men’s prisons in America. Men are more likely to commit suicide and make up 90% of the homeless. Men are more likely to be victimised by both men and women, by both strangers and intimate partners, and are more likely to be abused as children or mistreated at school (cite 1, 2, 3). Despite that violence against men is given far less consideration. The AA and the RAC always prioritise lone women whose cars have broken down, for example. Money is put into rape crisis centres, domestic violence shelters, and so on. Obviously prison rape is a common subject of humour, rape of women never a subject for humour. Men are also more likely to be incarcerated to begin with, of course, even when convicted of the same crime (1, 2).

Also while an organisation, even some rich man’s club with no effect on normal people, excluding women is considered scandalous, whereas it’s considered to be fine when an organisation like Race For Life, supposedly a charity devoted to raising money for medical research, can exclude men and no scandal results from a group excluding a potential revenue source for their charity solely on the grounds of prejudice.

Despite all this feminism is a prominent social movement, every election has some prominent politician denouncing the so-called gender pay gap, or violence against women, or whatever else. Women’s studies are widely accepted as an almost academic discipline in universities. Special funds are set aside for women’s shelters which exclude male victims of domestic violence. The burden of proof is lowered in rape cases because it’s supposedly a scandal that too many accused are not convicted, although this is exacerbated by policies against dropping weak cases. People who consider themselves progressive, even some of my fellow socialists, identify themselves as feminists, although they wouldn’t consider calling themselves whitists.

Is anyone seriously going to suggest that this is a picture of anything other than a society in which women hold a privileged profession and men don’t? So feminism is fundamentally unjust.

So that’s why I’m against feminism: because feminism seeks to advance the interests of women when women are already at least on a par while other groups are disadvantaged and their advocates are having their thunder stolen by feminists. Violence against women funding, for example, could be taken away from the group least likely to be victims, women, and put into programmes combating, say, violence in black communities where violence is far more common.

From what I know about Ashley Judd, she wasn’t talking about the Western World, rendering your entire post irrelevant to her point.

You’re arguing seeking equality is a zero sum game?

By fighting for their rights as women they’re fundamentally detracting from others seeking rights?

Am I hearing you correctly?

She made that remark in the context of criticizing rap and hip-hop, so I’m not sure that your assumption has merit.

Now of we can just get Greg Kinnear to tackle racism …

He seems to be saying that women (in the West) are already pretty much equal, so that resources spent to that end are not available to address more genuine concerns.

That, and if you give extra help and consideration to people who are already equal, at that point you are giving them privileges.

What extra consideration is shown to women? Legally, the draft, which many feminists would like to see applied to women. I can’t think of many more.

There are some social conventions that give women some privileges - I get to go through doors first - usually I try and decline that one like most women.

That’s not a privilege. It’s just us seizing the opportunity to stare at your ass. :smiley:

A few offhand. They are heavily favored in domestic disputes. Child custody leans heavily in their favor, and generally with domestic violence they are considered the victim even if they are stabbing or hammering some poor guy and all he’s doing is trying to escape (my favorite feminist handwave for this: men are beating and stabbing themselves to make women look bad).

They are less likely to be investigated, arrested or convicted for crimes, and punished less harshly if at all when convicted. They are more likely to be shown help and compassion (ever notice how advertisements for charity almost never show men, only women and children?) Twice as much medical research money is dedicated specifically for female ailments than is targeted for male ailments.

If you want to play the “who has it worse” game, neither side will ever win.

What is apparent, though, is that women and men are still treated very differently and face different prospects in life. Whether they think those prospects are better or worse than the other gender’s is a matter of opinion (and no doubt for everyone it’s a mixed bag.) But for at least some people, there are parts of their gender identity that they strong feel hinders their ability to live life to it’s fullest capacity.

And that is what it is really about- making sure that gender doesn’t get in the way of self-actualization for anyone.

And therein lies the case for feminism.

According to our (supposed) American values, everyone is created equal.

Treating them as such is another story.

You don’t think the treatment of (former) Senator Clinton was a bit sexist? :confused:

The gender role application, the sexualisation, the idea that strong women were nutcrackers…?

When women and men have even roughly equal power over the big issues of society, by being represented in roughly equal numbers through all the power structures of society, both political and economic, the need for feminism will be gone.

We’re not even close.

Do you expect that that condition will be the change you seek, or merely that it will be a marker that it has occurred?

Because I don’t feel empowered as a man by the extensive male “representation” in the power structures. I don’t see that the lot of typical real women will necessarily be changed by the political or corporate ascent of some number of particularly privileged individual women.

So you may be aiming low.

The president of the US is black. There has never been a female president, or serious presidential candidate.

What spark240 said. A female President wouldn’t really mean much for the average woman, any more than the President being male does much for the average man. Nor does the President being black actually do much of anything for the average black person. For that matter, reigning Queens in the past weren’t particularly beneficial to women of the time.

It’s progress of a sort I suppose, but it’s also a sideshow in practical terms.

Being against feminism because it was effective is like being against seat belts because they are now standard on cars.

Hillary count doesn’t count? She didn’t win the party nomination but she seemed dead serious to me and it isn’t out of the question she would have won if she got the nomination.

A big problem with feminism is that it is looking at the older group of women instead of the current crop. I am sorry the ones that grew up in the 1950’s and before suffered some real injustices but that isn’t fully correctable now by anyone. All I know is my young daughters live in a world where they can potentially do anything and that is what is important.

I do see the point of the OP though. Feminism is an unusually aggressive campaign with no clear end point. Females make up the majority of the workers in the U.S. now. New college graduates are predominately female and there is no clear evidence that there is a wage gap among younger people with similar experience and skills (that has been the topic of other threads; it is harder to calculate than simple math but there is no pay percentage multiplier for pay based on sex in most companies).

At some point, the ‘Take back the night’ rallies and pink ribbon walks among many other things get to be overkill that detracts from more undeserved causes. Males really do have it hard in family court as a general rule and that is based on both law and prejudiced in most jurisdictions. A wife that is free to cheat on you, take your kids, your house, and part of everything you earn for life no matter who you are just based on your sex is as unequal as anything can possibly be yet it still happens.

Some brands of feminism claim they are about sex equality for all but I am not sure I am buying it. They should pick a new name for marketing purposes if that is really true and give equal weight to all sex based issues but that rarely happens. I would love to see men have a real masculinism movement but the name just sounds ridiculous for some reason even if there are real issue to be solved.

Not exactly. It’s more like being against someone insisting that more and more belts being added, being strapped down more and more tightly until you can’t move, and then they insist that since seatbelts are so effective, filling the car up with concrete would be even better.

In America at least, feminism long ago crossed the line from being about equality between the genders, to being pro-female and often outright anti-male. For that matter, its often been hostile to women who are insufficiently hostile to males. Which is why there are so many people who say they believe in equal rights but who insist they aren’t feminists; feminism has earned a reputation in this country for not being about equal rights. Being genuinely for equality means that you’ll oppose someone getting an unfair advantage from their gender even if they happen to be female, and that you’ll oppose someone getting screwed over because of their gender even if they are male. And that’s not a typical feminist attitude.