Clarification of why (shocker) there are people that exist that believe women are and should be treated as equals to men, but do not call themselves feminists:
The first and most obvious is that you don’t need a label to consider someone to be your equal. Feminism exists to oppose sexism, but isn’t that defining yourself by something you oppose? I don’t believe in god. I also don’t go skiing.
Second: Because the feminism that I have been exposed to focuses more on the oh so civilization breaking issue of slut shaming, and not as much things that (what a coincidence) do not affect western women, such as being stoned to death for ‘honour’.
Third: Because many feminist arguments or theories are based on misunderstandings and misreadings of data. The wage gap myth is by far the biggest example of this. Women in total earn less than men, but they also work vastly different jobs, are more likely to only work part time, and invest their human capital differently. People of the same age, education, and ability make pretty much the same money in the same position, regardless of gender.
Fourth: Because the feminism I have been exposed to quite simply does not recognise trans-women, or any other form of gender identity in which a person considers themselves a woman in their own right. For a movement that talks about our society’s gender binary, they seem rather selective about what is a woman, and what is a feminist.
Fifth: Because today’s feminism, like another leftist movement, the environmental movement for example, sensationalises imperfect data, draws it’s conclusions from ineffective studies from biased sources, loves questionnaires with loaded and vague questions that appeal to emotion, and massively bloats and exaggerates statistics, either through imperfect studies, word of mouth, or perhaps intentionally.
Sixth: Because the movement itself cannot decide what it stands for. Some feminists are very balanced in their desire for gender equality, and their form of feminism is something that I completely agree with. But other ‘factions’ of feminism of questionable size but equally loud voices are far more militant in their beliefs. I wouldn’t like to estimate how many feminists think that the idea of assuming every male is a potential rapist is a reasonable view. Some feminists think feminism is about both gender’s issues, others think it is about only women and believe men should just make their own rights group, and most then hate when men make their own rights group.
Seventh: Because I disagree with a core tenant of feminist theory, which is the idea that we exist as part of a Patriarchy. In my opinion, this is not the source of sexism in our culture. Women aren’t being denied their reproductive rights because of a male conspiracy, they’re being denied them because of anti-intellectualism, and religion. Lets not pretend that religious belief within the US is not near the largest reason we are yet to see true gender equality or marriage equality. So to summarise this point, I attribute the cause of sexism to a different structure than feminism does.
Eight: Because certain types of feminists mistreat the topic of rape. These particular people seem to consider rape to be far worse than any other crime. Rape is horrid, disgusting, unforgivable. But is it worse than murder? On the other side of things, I think some feminists also water down the meaning of rape. Consent is important. If there is no absolute empirical consent from all parties, it is rape. And if consent is withdrawn at any point during the act but the act is continued? Rape. That is rape. But is it rape to regret giving consent long after the sexual encounter is over? Is it rape if one party has given consent while also feeling dis-interested? Is it rape if one party consensually became intoxicated and consensually engaged in a sexual encounter?
Nine: Because the feminist movement has a ‘with us or against us’ mentality. One does not have to hate women, or treat women any differently to men to be a misogynist in the eyes of this movement. The act of simply not yielding to them, or disagreeing in the most innocent way, is misogyny to them. Nothing I have said here is hateful of women. Nothing I have said here holds women of lower value or demands women have less rights. Nothing I have said here is by definition sexist or misogynistic. But they will consider it to be, because it disagrees with them.
Feminism when approaching critique uses the word ‘misogyny’ in a manner similar to how organised religion has used the word ‘blasphemy’ in history. It can be the tamest and most innocent of disagreements, but it is still ‘blasphemy’, still ‘misogyny’ to them. So in this way, some feminists also water down the meaning of misogyny also.
In conclusion, our culture still has some way to go before we achieve real gender equality, and certain areas of the world in our home nations and far away countries have further to go, but I do not see the feminist movement to be the most effective way of diagnosing the problems or addressing and fixing them.
I think that we as people should focus not on destroying a patriarchy, but destroying a culture that imposes its ideals on the individual, a culture that rejects reason in favour of flawed and dated ideas and we should support, practise, and think deeply on the concept of individual rights; and when people know and believe in individual rights, they won’t need to know your gender or race or sexuality to know that you deserve every right that they do.
No commas were harmed in the making of this post, they were merely over worked.
I welcome feedback.