What is feminism?

People often ask why Women Against Feminism exists. One reader recently quipped that women being against feminism is like fish being against water. And yet the fact remains that most women don’t identify as feminists. Polls in the US show that as few as 18% of women there call themselves a feminist. In the UK, the equivalent figure for feminism is even more bleak at only 7% of women. This is despite more than two thirds of women in both countries supporting equality of the sexes.

Feminists are fond of dismissing results like these as irrelevant, saying the simple truth is that if you want a more equal society for women and men then you are in fact a feminist. The problem is, women simply don’t agree. The question then becomes unavoidable: What do women think feminism actually is?
Feminists would like us to believe that feminism = equality. They’d also like us to believe that “equality” means equality of outcomes, not equal human rights and equality before the law, as our parents and grandparents understood it.
If Women Against Feminism were asked if they believe men and women should have equal human rights and equality before the law, the answer would be a resounding “Yes”.
The problem is that this is not what feminism is about. Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes, right? So we have 2 issues. Firstly, feminism only advocates for women; not equality. In areas where women have a clear advantage, feminism is either silent or actively opposing reform (eg. family law, education, mental health, etc.)
The second issue is that in order to grant equality for women, feminism speaks of “rights”, but they immediately reframe men’s right to work and vote as an unearned privilege of power.
By characterising men as having unearned privilege in this way, feminism has made women think that “equality” means that they should have unearned privilege as well. One of the worst effects of this is seen in the workplace. As women, we’ve been told to have our career first and then wait for “love”. We’ve been very successful in careers but found an absolute desert when it comes to our personal lives. Our male peers often have wives. It’s when men get married that they really start to increase their hours at work (in general). They have an incentive and this helps them achieve. For childless and single women, they’re working hard and wondering what it’s all for.
Feminism has led us to believe that men have it easier in the workplace. Women really believe that men are favoured and that’s why it’s usually men in higher levels. This makes women resentful. But there’s another way that feminist patriarchy theory plays into it. Remember how the theory characterises work as a privilege of power? Well women are doing these jobs and getting disillusioned because the work just feels like work! It doesn’t feel like an unearned privilege at all. Instead of realising that patriarchy theory was wrong about that, professional women are buying into feminism’s assertion that it’s somehow only work for women, but power and privilege for men. This is making women feel even more contempt for men, leaving them bitter about their entire lives.
It is time for feminists to come to terms with what Western women really want – and it’s not feminism. So what about in the developing world? Don’t they need feminism? No.
Here’s an example of a feminist law from India.
i) Section 498-A IPC:
“498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.—Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be pun­ished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation.—For the purpose of this section, “cruelty” means—
(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
(b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.”
Is there any reason at all why only women should be protected from cruelty? Do we not also suffer when our brothers, fathers, husbands and sons are treated with cruelty? Of course we do.
What women want (and what the world needs) is gender neutral policies and laws. Feminism, by definition and by name, can never give us this. It can never deliver real gender equality. And that is what we all want.

By Chani Randazzo. Check her out on facebook!

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