Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Feminism, Egalitarianism, and Humanitarianism

  • A doctrine or movement that advocates equal rights for women  
  • The doctrine — and the political movement based on it — that women should have the same economic, social, and political rights as men.
  • A movement for granting women political, social, and economic equality with men.(source)
  • Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people.
  • The doctrine of the equality of mankind and the desirability of political and economic and social equality (source)
  • A belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs
  • A social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people (source)
  • Concern for human welfare, especially as manifested through philanthropy.
  • The belief that the sole moral obligation of humankind is the improvement of human welfare. (source)
Now, which of these ideologies seems, by definition, to be the very inclusive, not focusing on one group instead of another, and not focusing on just one aspect of human difference?

Which ideology, by definition, seems consistent with the beliefs of most people (regardless of gender, ethnicity, country of origin, ability, income level, etc.) when they say they believe that all people are equal and we should help those who are less fortunate? 

Which ideology, by definition, is named or defined in such a way that focuses on one group while ignoring all others and therefore does not sound totally inclusive and welcoming to all human beings? 

Individual egalitarians and humanitarians can focus their concern on women's issues, believe that women have the right to control their bodies, and also believe that they are not inferior to men. Women who believe in equality have choices about how they define themselves. No one has the right to dictate their membership and lifelong allegiance to a particular ideology just because they are women and don't believe they are inferior to men. 

No ideology is beyond scrutiny. If individual proponents of an ideology do/say things that people deem harmful or objectionable then people have the right to criticize that ideology, it's goals, and it's methods. People have the right to question well-known proponents/representatives of that ideology whether the actions/statements of specific individual members are consistent or inconsistent, supported or not supported by most people of that ideology. 

Unless well-known proponents/representatives condemn those individual actions/statements then outsiders will assume that those actions/statements are consistent and supported by most people of the same ideology. That's just the way it is. If self-identified people of a given ideology are repeatedly seen doing the same things, over and over, then don't be surprised if outsiders start thinking it is the norm for most people with the same beliefs. People are not going to assume that it is just a fringe element unless members of the group (especially the prominent ones) consistently say that it is a fringe element and condemn the statements/behaviour.

Think hard about the way that you label yourself because you will be taking on the reputation of those with the same label. You don't have to label yourself anything if you don't want to and you can reject any label others attempt to place on you. You can be an individual and decide who you are and what you believe.

This is totally unrelated...
Two articles by women I don't understand:
British politician and “Absolutely Fabulous” star advise women not to wear short skirts to avoid rape
What Lingerie Isn’t About: Why I Hate Compulsory Femininity


  1. The 2nd linked article is written by a lesbian. While she may think I am her audience, I am not. Maybe that's why you didn't understand too.


  2. Hi Tiki,

    Yes, she did state she was a lesbian. Her attitude is so strange because I'm guessing that most women who like and buy lingerie like it because it's feminine in a traditional way. So her thinking is probably different from 95% of people who would be reading about lingerie and buying it.

    It's like someone selling cake because they like their colour, not the way they look or taste. 99% of people like cake because of the way it tastes and looks.

    There were so many things in that post that are just such strange thinking to me. Like why do people push to have the definition of femininity changed when they can just proudly adopt androgyny or masculinity? These things already have definitions all you have to do is choose one. If she doesn't like Cosmo then why doesn't she buy something else?

    I guess she is just uncomfortable or something but it's almost like she's making herself miserable because people don't like what she likes for the same reasons. It is probably comfortable for people to express their discomfort with things but for me, I doubt I would ever see eye to eye with her about anything regarding gender, women, or femininity.

  3. Reading the second article reminds me about why I just can't stand that Jezebel website.

  4. I cannot find any email address anywhere I would like to email you. If you can provide an email address somewhere or email it to me I would be very grateful.