Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More Charitable Thoughts on Feminism

This is what a feminist looks like;
smart, snappy, and damn fun at dinner.
Auditor's Note: Off-Colour Language Below

I recently wrote an post entitled Of Guys Named Seth, in which I went on a good, long rant about men using feminist statements and pseudofeminist attitudes in order to have sex. As a result, the whole post was tinged with a genuinely anti-feminist tone that I can only imagine was off-putting to what I imagine is a mostly-female audience (a suitable prediction given that most of my views come from nations in which statistically have more women than men).

In truth, I'm not anti-feminist. I'm not a feminist either - when someone asks how I feel about feminism in general I say I'm in favour of equal rights for everyone, thereby immediately cutting the legs out from under misanthropists-in-feminist-clothing from the women who typically ask that question, and cutting the legs out from under the misogynists-in-male-rights-activism-clothing from the men who typically ask the question.

However, some poeple don't consider that good enough. We've been raised, less in this country than in the one to the south (who, thanks to the internet, I spend just as much time hanging out with as Canadians), on a steady diet of false dichotomies. If you are not pro-Young Earth Creationism you must be an athiest. If you are not pro-Life you must be Pro-Unlimited-Abortion. If you are not a Feminist, you must be a wife-abusing, date-raping, generally terrible person.

It's worse, I'm told, for women who are not feminists.

Now, back in my early days on youtube, my internet adolescence, if you'll allow, I was big into atheism. I subscribed to lots of channels on the subjects of science and philosophy whose main purpose was tearing down misinformation - usually with a basis in religion - big names like Thunderf00t, Potholer54, AronRa and so forth. But, just like how my interests devolved away from pure sciences, got tangled up in philosophy, and now have me over here in a blog that was started as a conversion diary and now lives as something other, so to did their channels.

Recently, the athiest community has been embroiled in a strange Feminism/Antifeminism False Dichotomy predicated on the idea that either flirting should be banned at Feminist rallies or women who don't want to be "fair game" shouldn't attend public events. I'm simplifying here, and in doing so painting both sides as stupid, but when you're inundated with it day after day, both sides start looking, well, pretty stupid.

Ever since I learned about the word "maybe" I've pretty much hated dichotomies - the only true dichotomy that exists in the physical world is whether a given bit is an on-bit or an off-bit, it often seems. Things are never truly in black and white, and issues, least of all.

This is what a guy who hates
labels looks like.
I identify with genuinely feminist causes - I even support them. Equal access to opportunities, equal protections under the law, equal pay for equal work, and so on. This nation is founded on ideals of equality (or at least, our legal system is), and so I am egalitarian.

What I am not is a self-hating man. What was that line I like from Django Unchained? "A black slaver is lower than the head house-nigger, and buddy that's pretty fucking low?" I don't believe in false equivalency. "You askew my mirror, I askew yours" generates little more "balance" than "an eye for an eye" ever did. After all, when Christ commanded us to do unto others, he wasn't talking about rending them limb from limb.

I am anti-Affermative Action-type programs. I'm Anti-Preferential Treatment in general. A rape charge levelled against a man is still as damning as an actual conviction (look at how everyone feels about India at the moment), and a rape charge levelled against a woman is laughed at. I already know damn well I'm on my own if I'm ever raped because nobody would ever believe me.

I also know I'm digressing just a little.

Equality means equality. It's time we stopped thinking of equality in terms of "treat women like men", "treat blacks/asians/hispanics/native americans/etc like whites", and "treat gays like straights".

Let's work on "treat people like people".

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