I believe in absolute equality for women, just as I believe in absolute equality for all races. However, I would not call myself a Feminist, nor do I think you should. The time for "Feminism" is gone. It's time to promote "Equalism".
The problem with the term "Feminism" is that it implies promotion of the female sex. How is that any less sexist than the misogyny it purports to counter? It seems to me that the term "Feminism" and those who support Radical Feminism are simply participating in misandry, which is no better than misogyny.
I strongly advocate the term "Equalism", which implies the promotion of the equality between the sexes. Men are not better than women, nor are women any better than men. Equalism also allows us to recognize that there are common biological differences between men and women. Like the fact that women make better fighter pilots, while men tend to be better at spatial tasks. Of course there are exceptions to the rules, these are statistical averages, and they are not a feminist travesty.
If we want to promote equality between the sexes, we cannot continue to support the use of terms that divide the sexes so unfairly. Don't get me wrong, I know that there are many many types of Feminists (Radical Feminists, Sex Positive Feminists, Liberal Feminists, Conservative Feminists, Anti-Pornography Feminists, and many more), but the very term Feminist promotes female superiority. Just as the Black Panther Party was racist, so to is the Feminist movement, especially the Radical Feminist movement, sexist.
The problem with the term feminism, and it's approach to gender equality, is that it tends to naturally discourage many habits that both men and women like and benefit from and it tends to make quaint and scarce notions such as chivalry. I once had a woman verbally assault me, because I had the audacity to hold a door open for her. I did not hold the door to demonstrate my male superiority, or to demonstrate the incredible strength bequeathed to me by my mighty testicles. I held to door open to be polite. And for the record, I frequently hold doors for men too. Yet this woman took it upon herself to assume she knew my intentions and to assume those intentions were malevolent. Who benefited? No one.
If we are to live and interact in a civil society, I think it best that we simply govern our actions with the golden rule, regardless of gender. "Do unto others, as you'd have them do unto you."
Another problem I see with much of Feminism, is that it seems to be a cause seeking a problem. Too often Feminist find travesty and injustice where none exists. Anti-Pornography feminists are quick to denounce the pornography industry and say that it objectifies women, without once considering the feelings or opinions of female porn stars or female pornographers, most of whom feel empowered by their job. I contend that if you don't like porn, then you should not make porn, participate in porn or consume porn. Problem solved. But don't stop those who willingly do those things. We must learn to respect each others differences and not try to impose our personal moral values on others.
Another great case of Feminism seeking an injustice where there is none is a recent incident at an Atheist convention. Inside the Atheist community there seems to be a growing, and ever more vocal, community of people that seem to believe the Atheist community is overly misogynistic. That has not been my experience at all, but perhaps I have not been in the circles where such things are happening. Recently an atheist speaker at an atheist convention, Rebecca Watson (aka: Skepchick), gave a talk about misogyny in the atheist movement. After her talk, and some interaction and mingling with other conference attendees, a man on an elevator invited her to his room for coffee. He said he found her talk interesting and would like to talk to her personally. Sure enough, Ms. Watson was quick to make the situation into a travesty, a veritable assault on her person. And of course, many of her groupies were quick to jump on board with the fabricated outrage.
The man in the elevator didn't physically touch her, didn't attempt to bar her way out of the elevator, didn't even use foul language at her. He spoke some words to her. Just words. She no doubt replied with words. That was that. Words. Only words, and apparently quite polite words at that. There is nothing to be outraged about.
The outrage continued when her fellow panelist, and noted atheist Richard Dawkins posted the following comment on another blog regarding the incident:
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.
Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep"chick", and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so . . .
And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.
I think Richard hit the nail on the head... What privilege is demonstrated by the pampered white American woman when she can find outrage at the notion of being invited for coffee by a man. What total disregard she demonstrates for the fact that there are REAL problems in the world, and there are women who face REAL misogyny on a daily basis.
I am not naive. I acknowledge that the man in the elevator very well may have been coming on to her. So what? Since when is that a crime? He did not pursue the issue once being rejected. If he had, I would be the first to cry foul and acknowledge that this may be a case of harassment. But it was nothing of the sort. It was nothing more than a fabricated travesty. An example of the Feminist movement seeking a problem where none exists.
I feel strongly, that if we approach such situations, and life in general from the perspective of Equalism, and treating all other people as our equals, we will be far better off. We won't spend so much time trying to find things to be outraged about. And maybe, just maybe, we can spend more time finding things to be happy about. It's time to stop being divisive. It's time to promote unity and equality of the sexes. It's time for Equalism.
You can see Rebecca Watson Explain the situation in her own words here: (The video should start at 2:20, if not just jump ahead).
Jen McCreight (Blag Hag of Boobquake fame) posted : "Richard Dawkins, your privilege is showing"
P Z Myers (biologist and associate professor at theUniversity of Minnesota, Morris) posted : "Oh, no, not again…once more unto the breach"