I fancy myself a feminist, at this point, in the sense that I think any woman should be allowed to do (or at least attempt) anything any man is allowed to do (or at least attempt) and vice versa, and I think they should have equal rights and opportunities.
However, I don’t think the term “feminist” often means just that, and I also have a problem in that I tend to see the word “feminist” as necessarily biased toward women, or as putting women above men. That is almost purely a semantics issue, and I have a similar problem with the word “humanist”. In any case, women have been so denied equal rights for so long that perhaps a bit of bias is acceptable for a time. I fear that getting out of hand, but I don’t think that fear is grounded in reality yet.
Two pictures inspired this post. Here’s the first:
I find myself completely agreeing with this comment. However, it also reminds me of an argument: if hitting a person is not ok, but hitting a child is, then children are not people. The logic is simply unassailable; it is valid. Of course, if situations exist wherein it is ok to hit a person, then the argument is unsound.
Anyway, this highlights a frustration I have with some members of the feminist movement. If you want to be treated equal to a man, you should not expect the guy to pay for every date, you should not expect people not to hit you when you are being a bitch (and we have all engaged in bitchy behavior sometimes), you should not expect guys to always open doors for you (you should get the door sometimes), and you should not expect every man to let you walk through doorways first. I do think many women recognize this and think losing these privileges is a small price to pay for equal rights.
On to the second picture:
I find this a very apt illustration, and it brings me to another point. I disagree with the Declaration of Independence assertion that “all men are created equal”. Obviously, I don’t think humans are created, except by their parents (and possibly doctors, in some cases).
However, there’s another, deeper problem: are all humans truly equal? This is pretty obviously untrue. We differ greatly in our genetic makeup, meaning that one person might win a gold medal at the Olympics but could never with even the best opportunities be a successful surgeon, whereas another can be a top-notch surgeon but never even with years of training under champions win a medal at the Olympics. (This might be a bad example; I’m not 100% sure how strongly correlated the necessary talents for surgery and sports are, and there is probably at least one sport the average surgeon has the ability to excel at, but I hope my point is clear nonetheless.)
Even in the picture above, the heights of the three people means that they are not equal. This is why the tall person’s box was taken and given to the short person: to erase the inequality of their “created” state and give them equal opportunity. As you can clearly see, it is the second illustration and not the first which shows the three receiving equal rights. Incidentally, this is essentially the same reason it is fair to tax the rich more than the poor.
Full circle time: I was very careful with my opening sentence for exactly this reason. I don’t think men are equal to women. I think some men are better than some women at pretty much everything, and vice versa. I don’t have the upper body strength my boyfriend does, and I think that is fairly typical. He doesn’t have my ability to communicate emotions (this may be less typical, but it’s the only thing I can think of offhand). I do think men and women should have equal rights and opportunities, and I think anyone who disagrees needs to get out of the dark ages or come up with a lot of extremely compelling evidence.
Also, I found this third picture, summing it up quite nicely: