Why I am not a Feminist

Over the past decade, many men in the secular movement have made a point of identifying as Feminists to show their support for women’s rights.

While I support women’s rights, I personally will probably never identify as a Feminist. I just don’t think that “Feminism” is the right name for a movement that is supposed to give equal support to the needs and goals of both genders, women and men.

It would be like having a Race Equality movement called “Africanism”, “Caucasianism”, or “Latinoism”. It just doesn’t make any sense if your goal is to keep a vigilant watch on the rights of all races.

And having a Gender Equity movement called “Feminism” doesn’t make sense if your goal is to keep a vigilant watch on the rights of all genders.

In some contexts of modern society, the balance of power leans towards women. In others, it leans towards men. In my opinion, Feminist rights activists only focus on correcting the latter situations and either completely ignore or never even think to look for the former.

The reality is, in a society where we are constantly pushing for advantages for women, there will (and in some cases has) come a point where women have an unequal advantage over men. The only way to correct those inevitable imbalances is to have a mindset that pushes for balance between the genders rather than for advantage of one of them.

So my mindset will never be one that pushes for the rights of a single gender. I’m not a Men’s Rights Activist and I’m not a Feminist. Rather, I look for balance between the genders. I’m constantly on the lookout for injustices to either women or men. I am a Gender Egalitarian and support Gender Equity.

92 comments on “Why I am not a Feminist

  1. Jared says:

    Beautifully stated, however…
    Even “Gender Egalitarian” has its problems. Egalitarian means you strive for equality. Men and women can never be truly “equal”, because they are, and always will be, DIFFERENT. How can you have equality in reproductive rights, when men and women have obviously different concerns regarding them due to simple biological differences?

    Men and women aren’t equals, they are complimentary to each other. The mistake people make is thinking that “inequality” means “unfairness”.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Thank you. Right, it is about equality of power and attention to each gender’s specific complimentary goals and needs. The point is that we are looking out for the needs of both sides, not that we are assuming both sides have the same needs. While no label may be perfect, I feel this is an improvement.

    • Carl says:

      What if we strove for “Gender Equity” rather than “Gender Equality”. Would that be more accurate in describing what we’re going for?

    • james says:

      And that’s exactly why blacks will NEVER be my equal! They are, and always will be, DIFFERENT!

      …that’s how stupid you sound

    • Sahuagin says:

      Equality is an ideal, not an objective reality. Races are different, too, and some people are dwarfs, or have physical disabilities, etc… The point is that we strive for the ideal of equality, where individuals are given the same opportunities, rewards, etc… in spite of any differences they may or may not have, and where to the greatest extent possible we refrain from evaluating one individual over another. All people are not objectively equal, but it’s better for our society if we treat them equal in spite of that.

  2. Nuria says:

    Bear in mind that men (as a gender) have been pushing for the male advantages in the last 7000 years, year take it or leave it. And women have been trying to be taken into account in this male dominant society for ca. a century, since the Suffragism, and Feminism itself is what… fifty, sixty years old? And already complaining about women getting some advantages? There is not such a thing as egalitarianism today. That’s the utopia to be reached. But in order for some part of society to get, the other part has to willingly give. It’s really “convenient” to say: “Hey! Let’s have the same rights! As long as men haven’t to give up all the advantages they amass at the expense of women.” Somehow your equation is the same old story… It has been happening for the last 7000 years, year take it or leave it ;)

    N.B. Sorry for my English. I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      You are talking about my ancestors, not me. As a modern man, I grew up with the message of Feminism. Remember: male children have oppressed no one. Yet they are raised in an atmosphere as if they already owe women something. People, women and men, should be treated as individuals and judged by their individual contributions and actions. They shouldn’t be punished for the actions of others in history merely for being born the same gender.

      • Nuria says:

        Well, you didn’t pop up out of nowhere. We, all of us, are heirs of History. What you call “modern man” is just a link in a very long chain which is already continuing, and he will be probably outdated in some years.
        So, we are having this discussion because the past has not been fixed, and Feminism was (still is, I guess) an attempt to give a solution to the “patriarchal society” problem, as many would have referred to. You might not like its methods, or its name for that matter, but at least they have been trying to change an oppressive status quo.
        I wouldn’t worry about male children being oppressed, I hardly believe that is even in their agenda. I would say they will care more of giving male children an upbringing where they don’t feel entitle to oppress anybody, regardless of the gender.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          I didn’t say male children have *been* oppressed. I said they *haven’t* oppressed anyone. Yet the rhetoric is fed to them as if they are born guilty of oppression.

          Men like myself — who grew up from birth inundated with Feminist rhetoric by friends, relatives, the government, and the media — have often taken a subservient role to women, putting women on a pedestal of superior need, at the cost of their own emotional well-being. By the time we reach adulthood, we are basically indoctrinated with a kind of self-hatred that causes us to put women first in every single life situation. It isn’t a healthy narrative and we need a new one that uplifts both genders.

          • Kay says:

            “You are talking about my ancestors, not me.” You may not have participated but you need understand that you have benefitted from those past injustices. I respect you a lot but I think you just do not understand the concept of privilege. This reminds me a lot of when some people claim that they have never owned slaves to derail conversations about race.

            I tihnk you should read these two posts about this concept:


          • evid3nc3 says:

            You took that quote out of context. It was in response to “Bear in mind that men (as a gender) have been pushing for the male advantages in the last 7000 years”. In other words, she was implying that I was part of the population of men who were “pushing for male advantages”. Which is false. That was my ancestors.

            I understand privilege perfectly. And I have pushed my entire life to balance the advantages back into the favor of women. I’ve spent most of my life putting women ahead of myself in almost every interpersonal situation possible because I believed in the feminist narrative I had been hammered with my entire life.

            But there comes a point in the life of a man who is raised this way where he must ask: “Is this right? Is this really a healthy narrative?”. Over the past few years, I have decided it is not.

            You are pushing the same talking points that I’ve been hammered with for the last 30 years. It is time to advance the conversation in response to the men who have listened.

          • Doug Couch says:

            My European ancestors were those who on this continent committed genocide. My Native American (so-called) ancestors were those upon whom genocide was perpetrated. I am NOT responsible for what my ancestors did to one another. I do not need to derail accusatory rhetoric, but I can choose to speak up if it seems worthwhile.

            I “AM” responsible for evaluating the traditions, including any privilege or lack thereof, and deciding for myself how “I” will behave toward others. If I inherited privilege, I can share and not disenfranchise others. I love my European and Native American ancestors alike.

            I am not responsible for reparations toward any group. If we chase the reparations fire truck, we can follow it back for thousands of years, with atrocities in all directions. No one group is solely responsible for atrocity, and no one group is distinctly and only a victim. Innocence is found at the point where EACH PERSON decides for themselves to behave with integrity and innocence in the world. Am I responsible for my brother? Yes, but only to the extent of how I treat him or her. If I “choose” to take on the plight of others as a cause, that can be a good thing if I understand how to find solutions which do not create new problems. But it is NOT my duty and responsibility to fix a broken world, only to contribute to it in ways which eventually evidence a world not broken.

            Instead of trying to determine who to call guilty and who to call innocent, it behooves each one to look within and discover whatever is truly there, and to look around them and see what is good to participate in…and do that…or finding little, they can create things to do that are worthwhile.

            People tend to be followers. If their ancestors and family are privileged, or follow a religion, they often do this also. Following tradition or religion as rote and rules is the problem, where people do this follow the leader behavior instead of following their heart after getting to know it better. The tendency to follow is taught to us, exaggerating the natural tendency for learning from those around us. But we have the capability to break that cycle. And by whatever means or method or philosophy we do this and move in the direction of that which is good and fair and reasonable, we make the world a better place. evd3nc3 made such an evaluation, and choice, and shift in the behavior…and now gives differently to the world than before. I have done this also in my own way. Our two ways of looking at things are not the same, but our purpose is the same…to be honest with self and others, and contribute the best we can according to what we understand.

            It is not about balancing a karmic scale. It is about stepping out of the rut of tradition and creating new traditions that are more natural and make more sense. And yet, we do not really need new traditions, just a continuous flow of following our hearts and sharing that with each other.

          • Kay says:

            I do agree on you on most of the points but I just do not I just do not see that your issues of self hatred stemmed from feminist rhetoric.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            The people who promoted feminist rhetoric may not have *intended* for it to result in young men developing self-hatred. But that has been the result for many young, intelligent, liberally-minded men. Sometimes good intentions lead to negative consequences.

            The best remedy appears to be to adapt the rhetoric and correct the problems the current version is creating. It is the same process of development as any modern philosophy. I think it is hubris to assume current feminist ideas are in a perfect form and have no room for improvement.

    • Kubomi says:

      The idea that all women were oppressed throughout history, and that all men were advantaged is disingenuous. Most men were peasants, serfs, workers–or otherwise–beasts of burden, and indeed, it was men who were (and still are) the disposable sex. Throughout history the most important factor regarding one’s choices in life has always been socioeconomic status, not one’s gender specifically, even though that did play into one’s status.

      What’s more is that throughout all that time the people in power, yes mostly men, did not do much of anything for men’s rights, they did what they could to expand their empires (using the lives of men to do so) and make themselves wealthier. When they did promote ideas about the rights of people it was usually only for people who were already privileged, the upper class. Even many of the early democratic societies had limits on who was allowed to have a vote: Greece for example one had to be a wealthy land-owning male. Early America one had to be a wealthy land-owning white male (and not British i might add). Throughout history it has been very rare for ALL men to have rights, it has usually been an elite club that had the rights and privileges. It wasn’t until 1787 in America that non-land owning men even had a chance, even then it was left up to the states and most retained the land-owning as a prerequisite for voting. When George Washington was elected in 1789 only around 6% of the population COULD vote. It wasn’t until 1856 that the vote was extended to all white men in every state.

      In 1920 the vote was finally extended to women, important to note however is that universal suffrage still isn’t in effect, people of Native American and Asian descent were still largely not allowed to vote.

      Anyways, what i was getting at is that the feminist notion that: women = universally oppressed throughout history and men = universally advantaged is utter nonsense.

      • ProgExMo says:

        Rights may not have been afforded to ALL men, but they were definitely withheld from ALL women. That’s the universality to which feminism speaks.

        • Astrokid.NJ says:

          Done forget that responsibilities (other than child bearing and child rearing) were also not expected from women. Talking in half-truths is what feminists have been doing all these decades.

          Consider the provider and protector responsibilities that men have been assigned throughout history.
          Does anybody really think that 2000 years ago.. women could have been protectors, esp from animals in the wild? They arent protectors even today. After Hurricane Sandy, how many women came out to protect the others?
          Does anybody really think that women could have been providers back then? They would have gone into coal mines, the ocean to do fishing, hunt animals for meat etc? OR even in the 1800s ride horseback large distances to see patients at the dead of the night? Its only after the tertiary sector of the economy (a.k.a desk jobs) expanded in a massive way by the 1950s that women wanted to go out and do cushy jobs.

          Girl writes what on Patriarchy-shmatriarchy Theory

          They [feminists] believe men imposed this system on women, essentially Othering women as a class, and turning even the simple partnership of marriage into a contract of servitude and oppression of women for the benefit of men. What they fail to realize is that patriarchy imposed other characteristics on men than those of agency–disposability, utility, self-sacrifice and resource acquisition–and for the vast majority of our evolutionary past, women were the main beneficiaries and enforcers of these patriarchal gender norms.

          Politicized feminism is rightly defined as “the never ending project to increase women’s power at the expense of men”.

        • Rickard says:

          I know this is old and you may not even read this…

          But women have been allowed to vote in USA since at least the 1640s, as long as they own a lot of property. In fact, if a woman owned enough property she could cast SEVERAL votes. This carried over into the presidential voting too.

          Likewise, women have been allowed to vote for a long time in Britain as well.

          Interestingly, in 1780, you know how many %s of Britains population was allowed to vote in parliament?

          The 3% owning the most property. This included women, by the way.

          It’s a matter of class and riches much more than gender.

          “Rights may not have been afforded to ALL men, but they were definitely withheld from ALL women. ”

          So yeah, WRONG.

    • RIGHT ON! NURIA!!! The same problem exist trying to equalize darker people with lighter people. There’s a difference in treating people badly because you’re a jerk. and keeping a person from working, living in decent conditions, getting a good education, marrying, getting hospital treat ment etc etc. all because they are not lighter males.

  3. shaunphilly says:

    While I (think I) understand what you intend to communicate here, I think that maybe you might be missing some of the point of feminism, at least as I use the term. For example, Greta Christina has written about how feminism has the effect of helping both men and women (because “patriarchy hurts everyone”). And while it is true, due to simple logistics, that many feminists focus more on women’s lack of privilege as opposed to where the systematic inequalities negatively effect men, I think there is some justification for this (but not always). Overall, the balance tips way much more to one side, and I am more concerned with the global (and local) culturally systematic lack of privilege that women suffer than the less frequent problems that men, like myself, experience.

    So, as a feminist man, I am concerned about solving social injustices, and am thus looking to solve both sides of this problem. But the foundation to the problems that men and women suffer in the world are based upon a system of thinking about gender, traditional roles and rights, and the inequality of experience that are often called “patriarchy” (although that word is polemical), but is really just simple bias expressed in how we think about and treat each other based on what gender we are. I think the problem is more clear to us when we look at the treatment of women throughout the world, which also gives us insight into how men are effected by this system. It’s harder to see the broader foundation of the inequality by looking at it from a men’s rights perspective, and while some do make the mistake of not addressing the effect upon men’s issues while doing feminism, I think that happens drastically less in feminist circles than in MRA groups. Of course, where feminism does ignore where the inequality occurs against men, this should be addressed in the same way that feminists correct MRAs for not understanding feminist issues.

    So, while solving both problems is our goal, it seems clear to me that men’s issues related to these inequalities are better understood through the concept of privilege, which is a concept that I seen more clearly through the perspective of those who experience the vast majority of negative consequences of the cultural traditions which cause the inequality. Whether it is race, gender, sexual preference or any other systematic inequality, the problem is always better identified through the lens of the sub-group worse-affected. In this case, women experience the worse part of the inequality, and it is through their experience that we better understand the foundations of the problem, thus its pragmatically more useful to present the problem from their point of view. Thus feminism is the better approach to educate people about the fundamental problem, even if it is ultimately about solving problems from both sides. I thus agree with what I think you are attempting to communicate, but I think that your not being a “feminist” might look very similar to my feminism.

  4. lagurash says:

    That’s why I just identify as a humanist and move on…

  5. According to “radical” feminists men have no role or place in society, since they are oppresors of the patriarchy. Men should be “exterminated” in order to abolish their hegemony over “oppressed” women. Any religion makes more sense than that!

  6. ProgExMo says:

    Feminism (which is a catch-all term encompassing a wide variety of perspectives, approaches, and interests) is rarely defined, by those who have taken on that label, as “a movement … to give equal support to the needs and goals of both genders”. Feminism is the pursuit of equal rights for women. That is to say, feminists are trying to bring women up to the same level of autonomy, public respect, treatment, and civil rights as men currently enjoy. Feminism, though wanting equality between the sexes, is purposely biased to the rights of women because they are in greater need of such support and activism. Your reasons for not being a feminist are based off a straw-man definition of Feminism.

    If in some cases the balance of power has tipped in favour of women (such a case I cannot currently think of at this moment), it should be addressed to regain a proper balance. However, these small over-shot victories for women’s rights (if they do exist) are overshadowed by numerous other persistent setbacks and barriers. On the whole, there is so much more work to be done for the feminist movement one can hardly expect it to spend effort correcting these minor infringements when the public mindset is still so male-biased.

    As for Jared’s comment above, it seems to me that he is ignoring that men and women are equals intellectually, if not biologically. Two men can have very different medical needs, but they are treated equally in terms of their legal rights over their bodies. Women, in many places, do not get these same legal rights, which is why there is a need for equal rights movements like feminism. Equal rights is not blind to the differences between genders, nationalities, or even individuals. It does, however, remove these differences as reasons for exclusion from the same legal rights.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      “I cannot currently think of [ways that men are worse off than women]”

      Borrowed from Matthew Prasinov on my Facebook post:

      “(life expectancy, medical research funding, homelessness, widespread acceptance of male genital mutilation, suicide rates, victims of violence, workplace deaths, domestic violence and family court biases, harsher prison sentencing for comparable crimes, male disposability and much more)”

      • ProgExMo says:

        Most of the situations you listed can be accounted for with researched data and statistical reasons, and have nothing to do with a lack of men’s rights.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Your rebuttal makes no sense.

          • ProgExMo says:

            How does life expectancy, suicide rates, or workplace deaths have anything to do with equal rights issues?

            Statistically speaking, men are almost always the perpetrators of domestic violence, rather than the victim.

            And please show me the evid3nc3 for how feminism is against issues such as unequal punishment for comparable crimes, male disposability, male homelessness, or widespread acceptance of male genital mutilation.

            You seem to think of feminism as an exclusive club where if you use the label you must therefore be “anti-men’s rights”. This is a false equivalency.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            You are exaggerating my position. I said Feminism neglects to address men’s rights issues. It is an incomplete position. It focuses on only one gender’s gender-specific problems. And the word we use to describe it is the starting point for that mentality.

          • shaunphilly says:

            “You are exaggerating my position. I said Feminism neglects to address men’s rights issues.”

            No, it doesn’t. I addressed that above. Feminism addresses the cultural foundations of the inequality, which ultimately addresses both men and women. This is where you err in your position.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            I’m not saying “Feminism has never addressed men’s rights issues”. I’m saying “Feminism gives a neglectful amount of attention to men’s rights issues.”

            While, in principle, “addressing the cultural foundations of the inequality” applies to both genders, in practice, I see feminists almost exclusively focused on women’s rights. This mindset follows naturally from the name.

          • shaunphilly says:

            I have not noticed this. Yes, some feminists are guilty of this (and they would not deny it, in most cases) but they are not anywhere near the norm. In my experience in studying feminism academically, in real life (including in talking with people from the FTB community who are usually the targets of such accusations), and in reading feminist blogs over the last few years, I have noticed the vast majority of feminists repeatedly uphold the interest in protecting men and women from the harms of patriarchal inequality.

            I have seen your claim repeatedly as well, but only fringe bloggers have been pointed to in presenting evidence for this claim. People such as Greta Christina, Rebecca Watson, Jen McCreight, PZ Myers, and so forth are for the protection of all people through the criticism of a culture that hurts us all. The misunderstanding of this has led to deep fractures in atheist culture, and it needs to be corrected.

            Your point of view is emotionally potent and compelling, and I understand why so many argue for it. it’s just that my experience is drastically different, and something must account for that. I’d like to know what that explanation is.

            (btw, we believe met briefly, I think–through a mutual friend, in his hotel room for after hours drinks after the Reason Rally–and you were wearing one of my favorite shirts; The Communist Party shirt! That was you, right? My girlfriend has the same shirt, and I didn’t get a chance to say that it was a pleasure to meet you).

          • I have seen your claim repeatedly as well, but only fringe bloggers have been pointed to in presenting evidence for this claim. People such as Greta Christina, Rebecca Watson, Jen McCreight, PZ Myers, and so forth are for the protection of all people through the criticism of a culture that hurts us all. The misunderstanding of this has led to deep fractures in atheist culture, and it needs to be corrected.

            This is a one-sided view, and commits several fallacies, not the least of which is ad hom. Fringe by whose standards? And what does being fringe (or not) have to do with anything anyway? Plus, do you consider Thunderf00t to be fringe? Furthermore, how do you explain the growing popularity (i.e. moving from fringe to mainstream) of critics such as GirlWritesWhat, and others?

            Your point of view is emotionally potent and compelling, and I understand why so many argue for it. it’s just that my experience is drastically different, and something must account for that. I’d like to know what that explanation is.

            That’s a good question, and one worth investigating and answering thoroughly. You may want to investigate Ryan Grant Long’s experiences, and how he comes to a different conclusion: http://ryangrantlong.blogspot.com/2012/09/influences-lgbt-studies-at-uw-madison.html

          • evid3nc3 says:

            Sorry I don’t have time to continue the discussion, shaunphilly, but I was indeed in that hotel room. Hope we meet again :)

      • Avestra says:

        I disagree with part of these items in your list.

        Life expectancy. At least where I live (in Latvia, that’s in Eastern Europe) men die younger, because they drink more alcohol, they smoke more tobacco, they do more reckless driving and so on. And all these are individual choices, here we can’t say that men “are worse off” because as a group they would be forced to drink and smoke. They aren’t.

        Workplace deaths. This is the same as saying that athletes, who are participating in rodeo and bullfights, have more accidents and shorter life span, because their rights are infringed. Really? Or maybe it was their choice to pick such profession and lifestyle? Seriously, one shouldn’t blame others for picking a bad profession. And this has nothing to do with ones rights or being “worse off” as a statistical group.

        Suicide rates. Here a problem is with cultural stereotypes. Little boys get taught that they must be strong, they aren’t allowed to cry and seek help, and they must be successful in their career. What’s the result? When a woman loses her job, she goes to her best friend, cries on her shoulder about what a jerk was her boss, concludes that sometimes shit happens and goes on searching for another job. When a man loses his job, he doesn’t dare seeking help or crying, he concludes that he’s a failure (after all, a man MUST have a successful career with lots of money earned), and he can’t deal with the crisis as successful as women do.

        And again, to some extent this is a choice too. Each individual can chose not to take seriously such cultural stereotypes. At least that was my choice. Some of my hobbies are very unfeminine and I don’t like macho men. I prefer guys who are capable of telling me how they feel.

        And I agree with you about male genital mutilation, domestic violence and family court biases, harsher prison sentencing for comparable crimes and so on. These really are cases when men are worse off as a group, and an individual can’t freely make smarter decisions, which would guard him from these issues.

        • Doug Couch says:

          A couple of interesting footnotes:

          SUICIDE: suicide.org (whose statistics are outdated…2005 and earlier) suggests that although the rate of successful suicides for males is about four times that of females (in the US), the suicide attempts by females is about three times that of males. To the extent that this statistics set is accurate, the idea that men have a greater suicide rate than women because they can’t cry on someone’s shoulder doesn’t hold up. The women (or girls) who do cry on shoulders as a matter of course, attempt suicide even more. That men (or boys) are more successful at suicide “may” be related to their conditioning toward striving for success, but not necessarily…but that’s a different issue than the “men need to cry more” issue (which is a valid point in terms of men accepting their own vulnerability just for its own sake). The leading cause of suicide of any gender or age group by the way, is cited as depression and other mental illnesses (90%), a “percentage of which” is said to be a matter of genetic disposition.

          GENITALIA MUTILATION: Mutilation of genitalia of both genders seems somewhat traceable back to religious or cultural beliefs, then also to profits. There are differences in how women are viewed and treated related to these two things. If not the root causes, they certainly are significant factors, and lend themselves also to the concept of rights, property rights, etc. In an earlier post, I stated that there is nothing such as rights…but of course, with all the clamoring for guaranteeing rights, and preventing abuse of rights, this kind of talk has no space in which to be heard. But I will state here again that this is the case, and that something OTHER THAN rights is what is needed in every case.

    • Astrokid.NJ says:

      Statistically speaking, men are almost always the perpetrators of domestic violence, rather than the victim.

      Another feminist lie. In Defense of Abused Men Look at the embedded link to the Murray Strauss comprehensive gathering of loads of studies since 1985 that show how equal and bidirectional domestic violence is. Feminists have used their collusion with the state to not let these truths see wider circulation. In addition to that, the base human psychology is to see men as agents and women as objects.. thereby women cant cause any harm to men. ABC News Reaction To Women Abusing Men In Public

    • Astrokid.NJ says:


      And please show me the evid3nc3 for how feminism is against issues such as unequal punishment for comparable crimes…

      Firstly.. feminists have in an overarching way opposed male voices in the gender debate since the 1970s. Its known as the Lace Curtain. You can read up what happened when Warren farrell started talking in the 70s, or even the violent protest when he wanted to give a talk on boys issues in Toronto recently.

      Consider how feminists have opposed to have Shared Parenting as the default. The outcome is the grave injustice of family courts.

      Gloria Woods, President of Michigan NOW, wrote this about shared parenting:
      “Shared Parental Responsibility.” In our work as women’s advocates, how often have we heard custodial moms wish that their children’s father would share the parental responsibility? Unfortunately, “shared parental responsibility” is the new doublespeak for joint physical custody by so-called “father’s rights” groups.
      At least Woods is honest enough to include the real concern about shared parenting – child support:
      Michigan NOW opposes forced joint custody for many reasons: it is unworkable for uncooperative parents; it is dangerous for women and their children who are trying to leave or have left violent husbands/fathers; it ignores the diverse, complicated needs of divorced families; and it is likely to have serious, unintended consequences on child support.

      The legislature’s determination to impose joint custody on parents in conflict is a frightening proposition for many women and places them and their children in harm’s way.

      Even the feminist MALE organization that claims to work against sexism opposes shared parenting.

      An examination of custody laws in the various states reveals widespread injustice toward women and children. There is a disturbing national trend toward laws mandating joint custody despite a lack of psychological and social research showing this to be in the interests of the child. In fact it is clear that court mandated joint custody is not in the best interests of the child.

      The result of these laws is that women get custodyof children in 85% of the cases, and the man is reduced to a wallet.. seperated from his children. When he expresses his pain.. nobody cares. Here’s a case. Comment of the Week — A Life Not Worth Living

    • Astrokid.NJ says:

      I screwed up on the html earlier.. here’s the correct link to a devastated man’s story.
      Comment of the Week — A Life Not Worth Living

      Another instance of feminist (and conservatives and white knights) opposition to female sentencing.. this is from the UK..
      Judges ordered to show more mercy on women criminals when deciding sentences

  7. Brie says:

    In what cases do you feel women have an advantage over men?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      You can reference my quote from Matthew Prasinov above that I gave in response to ProgExMo. Those aren’t the only arenas where I think women have more power than men but it is a good subset.

  8. ProgExMo says:

    @Hedley, please name for us even one “radical feminist” individual or organization that has taken the viewpoint you describe. I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find one.

    @ShaunPhilly, thank you for your eloquently stated comments!

  9. Zak says:

    Can you not call yourself a feminist AND a men’s rights activist? That’s the way I look at it, anyway. If feminism is “looking to correct situations where women are discriminated against” which, I think, is how a lot of people look at it, we are both Feminists. It’s just that in addition to caring about the rights of women, we care about the rights of men too.

    • Good luck with that one. I agree in principle, but those entrenched in either camp won’t see it that way. I’m more inclined towards Evid3nd3’s position. I still agree with super-basic dictionary feminism of ‘equality for women and men (everyone, basically)’, but certain factions are making it very difficult to mess with the labels of ‘feminist’ or ‘feminism’ anymore. Too much baggage and reactionary drama. Examples in 3, 2, 1, ….

  10. Mercury says:

    “(life expectancy, medical research funding, homelessness, widespread acceptance of male genital mutilation, suicide rates, victims of violence, workplace deaths, domestic violence and family court biases, harsher prison sentencing for comparable crimes, male disposability and much more)”

    Aside from things like life expectancy, most of these are the result of the mistaken and sloppy notion that “men are strong; women are weak” – the very thing that feminism does battle with, i.e. the goals of the average feminist would improve life for both men and women (and those who don’t fit comfortably within the binary).

    Considering how looked-down-upon femininity is in our society, I find advocating for it to be a perfectly admirable and valid expenditure of time. I therefore identify as a feminist, and I don’t find this incompatible with also being for gender equality.

    After all, there is nothing intrinsic about the word “feminist” that suggests elevating the feminine *above* the masculine, any more than being “Pro-Gay” means you are “Anti-Straight”.

    At the end of the day it’s all arguing about definitions, and I think usage should dictate meaning instead of a technical reading of words (just look at the wasted time on arguments about “atheist” and “agnostic”).

    I support women’s rights, I am a feminist; I support gender equality as well, so I am a gender egalitarian.

    (And if one only avoids the feminist label in order to distance oneself from the worst elements amongst that group (the so-called “radicals”, etc) then one quickly finds that one would be forced to eschew all labels, considering the number of bad apples in every group.)

  11. Doug Couch says:

    Without getting into definitions and views of feminism and related isms, a few comments I see as fundamental. I should start by saying I totally agree about the term, feminism being inappropriate…however, there is much more here which is inappropriate…general power definition contexts, development of human sexuality, and concepts of rights.

    Granted there are inequalities of privilege, exercise of power over, etc. in both directions, but more typically more male domination of women historically.

    Power Concepts:

    Part of the problem integral to attempts to “fix” such inequalities is an almost universal buy-in to the concept that power means power over another. When people operate within that context, then the proper path for resolution seems to be activism moving in the direction of changing problematic behaviors to behaviors deemed non-problematic. Stepping beyond human behavior for a moment, there is something which can be called power, which has nothing to do with one over another, conquest, etc., and that is: “Peace is power”. To typical observation, this makes no sense at all, and may even lead to passive annihilation. But at a very basic level, all energetic motion, including all human behavior, is enacted by application of energy in a direction. This energy is “not peace”, but is that which places an override on peace. But at any instant when this energy is removed, dissipated, dissolved…the instantaneous result is peace as the default. (Note that I’m not talking about nonviolence, cessation of abuse, etc., just a simple principle.) For the purposes of the discussion at hand, perhaps this mention makes little sense as well, but I mention it anyway, since it is a fundamental context that is so common as to be missed or ignored entirely. In the realm of human behavior, if everyone stopped injecting energy directed in (any) direction beyond moving food to the face and related necessary living tasks, this principle would provide that peace would be injected instead, impacting individuals, societies, and institutions in which former abuse were regimented. As stupid as it sounds, at a radical level, if everyone on the planet suddenly up and died instantly, there would be zero human behavioral abuse or inequality planet-wide…applied peace where this principle would be present even though no humans were present to experience that presence.

    Development of human sexuality:

    Setting the above aside…there is the matter of gender and development as a human within either gender context. Imbalance of gender-based behavior can be spoken of as related to many things, but at the most basic human core, even more fundamental than gender itself, is human sexuality. Within the context of human sexuality, there are two primary contexts: sexuality as female, and sexuality as male. Regardless of the differences in anatomy, instinctual urges and/or directions of development, both of these contexts have natural paths of development, each with typical parameters or ranges of various developments within each overall gender context. If…IF…these contexts of instinct and development are not interfered with (particularly by human interference and imposition of synthetic behaviors), people in either gender will “tend to” grow and develop along lines which promote compatible behavior between the two genders.

    The problem with that is that it is pretty much universal that human adults believe that they know more than their infant offspring…which is true to an extent in terms of learned behavior and information. But adults do much much more than guide in terms of those things infants and toddlers must know to survive innocent fatal moves such as falling, poisons, etc. Among the additional guidance adults give infants, and later toddlers and children, is guidance pertaining to their sexuality. A huge amount of that guidance is entirely erroneous and is yet accepted by adults as correct and helpful as a matter of course. Although a large amount of that erroneous sexuality guidance stems from religious training or societal mores based in millennia of religious training about and forming of such societal mores, it really doesn’t matter where the dysfunction-generating guidance came from…it only matters that such guidance is or isn’t in keeping with natural development, largely driven by instinct.

    In other words, human adults think they know more than nature does about when, where and how humans should engage in sexual activity of any kind. They are very sadly mistaken in this belief. If to the extent possible, adults would allow their young to develop in terms of their sexual behaviors according to what their instincts dictate, society would be on-track toward repairing the damage which has accrued to society due to misguidance in this area. It is acknowledged here that today one cannot simply ignore the status quo of societal mores and protocols related to sexuality when raising their children, for the societal context of this is already established, and just trying to effect sudden change would be disastrous. But motion in the direction of more natural development can be implemented early on, and more natural guidance rhetoric employed later as the child grows.

    Applying erroneous guidance, and in particular when such guidance is enforced upon a child, is especially debilitating. Because debilitation in this area is so universally extant and accepted, it is not seen as dysfunction or debilitation, but as normal, as “the way things should be”, etc. But…nature doesn’t care at all what we think about “the way things should be”, for it already has programmed into infants the correct way to develop, when urges and behavior should be desired and explored by the infant or child. Interfering with this natural process by injecting adult-human-decided synthetic behavior overlays on that process, suppressing natural instinct and causing our young to learn to repress these naturally occurring internal phenomena, has repercussions which are experienced by society on a global basis. In fact, it is at the root of all violence, exaggerated disparity, enforced inequality and power abuse, including wars and genocide on one end of the spectrum, and including promulgating of erroneous concepts believed to be for the best good of all on the other (both equally harmful). Interfering with developmental sexual behavior in children (such as stopping exploration or public display) causes these things: 1)surprise, embarrassment, and fear; 2)doubt of self through doubt toward the value of natural behavioral urges (built in specifically to guide them correctly, and which are identified with in terms of self image); 3)fear-based resentment and latent anger, repression as response to suppression, tendency to hide the existence of natural urges and behaviors, leading to an exaggerated generation gap between children and adults (and later between adults and adults); 4)building of personality traits and interrelationship patterns designed to accommodate false values based on erroneous guidance, erroneously-adopted self image, and encounters with adults and children who are similarly accommodating error; 5)build up over years somewhat like a time bomb which for some may seem to never go off, and for some go off sooner rather than later, resulting in what is thought of as aberrant behavior (such as criminal behavior, sexual perversion intensities, unwillingness to submit to authority, etc.).

    So these aberrant behavior patterns develop and are accepted as the norm, except for those whose tolerance of this situation was less for whatever reason, resulting in “bad” behavior (in society’s view). The fact is that such behavior, rather than being bad or aberrant per se, is necessary survival responses trying to express in an untenable context of self image and societal environs. Then reward and punishment scenarios ensue, exaggerating these things even further. At the root of humanity’s dysfunction, we find people failing to grok, understand, know or love one another because they follow rules, traditions, and learned practices in favor of natural response patterns built in for their own good (but ignored due to developing in an environment of erroneous guidance).

    Concepts of rights:

    We have come to think in terms of rights. In actuality, there is nothing such as rights other than an arbitrary abstract set of human agreements people buy into (and/or use the buy-ins to this in order to manipulate, have power over, and profit by the mass buy-in effected by societal mis-training).

    So the idea of trying to establish equal rights is at its core, an erroneous idea. The notion of rights is similar to the notion of codified law: Get people to buy-in to certain agreements, then use those agreements to control people. Controlling people is the opposite of allowing peace (the principle) to express as it needs to, and as such is part of the complex web of things effecting inequality and other dysfunctional aspects of society. Instead of rights, there is simply that which one can do that is compatible with that which is natural and helpful, and that which one can do which is not compatible in this way. So the dysfunction of society, setting aside all the myriad details and any ploys for activist correction, is based in a ratio of compatible behaviors versus incompatible behaviors….and is NOT based in any concept of rights.

    While this post is already far too long, and the following lies beyond the scope of this post, it is worth mentioning here that in order to attain to a balance in this ratio which in itself is compatible with 1)where one is currently ensconced in society and its dysfunctional patterns on one hand, and is as compatible with 2)natural development patterns on the other…one must understand how to find guidance toward that balance, and how to apply it once it is found. In short, this has to do with knowing oneself in ways which have nothing to do with one’s history of behavior, nothing to do with anything anyone thinks or says about them, nothing to do with any learned self image…and has to do with discovering self beyond these physical evidence-oriented landmarks commonly used to determine what is true about oneself. For what is true about oneself is not and cannot be determined per se, but can only be discovered…for it never changes (for better or worse), but is faithfully constant and available to all at all times for such discovery.

    So chasing the rainbow of establishing equality, equity or any other term with respect to gender disparity, is a bit like having a horde of quadrillions of trained fleas held in a structured captive environment…having those fleas escape and be gone for years traveling around the planet…and then trying to catch and rehabilitate each flea. In such a case, it is important to realize that it was best to have not held such beasts as fleas close to heart in the first place…and to be willing to let them go, and hold something more valuable close to heart instead. Discovering the truth of self and operating from that viable context instead of learned contextual overlays is the only single standard by which overall remedy of societal dysfunction can be effected (as opposed to taking each example of problematic expression of dysfunction (symptoms) and creating activist processes to address them ad infinitum)…and this can and will also address the problems which feminism and similar movements have tried to address in a piecemeal, chase-the-fleas fashion.

  12. Marlo Rocci says:

    One glaring example of women having an advantage over men is the current graduation rate from our schools. It almost seems like boys and young men are being systematically pushed out.

  13. Glad to have found your blog, Evid3nc3 (man that’s hard to type). And also glad to see another evidentialist investigating this/these issues related to gender and sexuality. It certainly can get heated, but by sticking to the evidence of reality, whatever the truth may be, we’ll discover it. Unfortunately, I think you’ll find that we’ll also discover a lot of *other* things about humans that we weren’t initially expecting…. ;-)

  14. Spellman says:

    I find people get the most annoyed/defensive/frustrated when they are told that what they say, what they enjoy, or how they behave is misogynist/misandrist/racist/homophobic/whatever.

    I wish people would spend more time just improving their own behavior and setting a good example, rather than promoting conflict through pointless aggression towards people with opposing beliefs.

    It’s a waste of time and energy for people to be mad at each other all the time. Just chill out and go play some Donkey Kong Jr. or knit a sweater or something.

  15. elevatorgate says:

    Reblogged this on elevatorgate and commented:
    Brave heroine describes why she’s not an FRA (Female Rights Activist)

  16. lorddon says:

    I’m disappointed evid3nc3, you seemed like the type that would “get” what women have been fighting for.

    As a father of three daughters and husband to a wife, women definitely still have much to fight for. I can be a feminist and still strive for justice in areas where women have advantage over men, as can my wife.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Uh, I have no problem “getting” what women are fighting for. This is about the name. It’s strange to me how people cannot get their heads around the problem with the name, despite the clear analogy I made to Race Equality.

      • lorddon says:

        I guess I feel women have a few more issues to fight for than men, still, in present day than men do.

        This article nails my feelings on feminism. All but the most radical feminists aren’t looking to subordinate men to women. But the majority of battles to be fought are on behalf of women. So yes, the focus is necessarily on women’s rights. http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/2003/09/feminists_are_sexist

        • evid3nc3 says:

          As I’ve said to many people: I’m not denying that women currently have to deal with more gender specific issues. But men are also dealing with gender specific issues. Do we completely ignore gender specific issues for one gender because the other gender has more?

          Or is it possible to do both at the same time? I think it is. Which is why I think it should be called something like “Gender Equity” rather than “Feminism”. There is no reason that we can’t watch out for and balance the needs of both genders at the same time.

        • Astrokid.NJ says:

          How you “feel” doesnt determine the truth.
          If you have any respect for the truth, start reading the other side of the story too.. such as the anti-feminist comments left here, and the references they present. Address them if you really have any respect for the truth. Or you could get back to your precious daughters and wife and work for their benefit. After all, they are the ones that matter.. not truth.

      • sophi says:

        there isn’t a problem with the name. the problem is you not seeing yourself in a name and deciding that we should deal with that before we deal with actual issues of sexism. if you can’t get over the name you’re a sexist bigot, thanks for self identifying.

        • Astrokid.NJ says:

          LOL Got it evid3nc3? You could be a sexist bigot. It doesnt matter what arguments, what evidence one puts forth.. nope.. they just bang the same old drum.
          Hey feminists.. check this out
          Who Needs Feminism

        • Doug Couch says:

          sophi…evid3nc3 obviously didn’t say or imply anything similar to what you suggest. It’s a matter of what banner one carries. In theory, the banner should reflect the mission and the mission should be worthwhile. “Feminism” the term IMPLIES a mission focus of emphasizing or even favoring the feminine gender, and unless that is both true of feminists and also an appropriate and worthwhile mission, the term offers misidentification of feminists to the world…rather regardless of what that overall group could be said to actually be about.

          To address the issue of an inappropriate name is an important issue, and addressing it does not in any way imply not getting over the name, or putting addressing of the name’s appropriateness before doing the work involved in feminism.

          You introduce a separate issue, equally important: That of using derogatory or emotionally inflammatory name assignments and applying them to people to demean or demonize, specifically in lieu of communicating with them or working with them in discussion to address actual issues on the table. Using this ploy to state or imply that someone is a sexist bigot and therefore not worthy of your more intelligent evaluation of issues in discussion is the same ploy used by political entities (such as governments) to justify genocide. Examples: Native Americans deemed by Europeans (with vested interests in free land and resources) to be heathen and unworthy to own land, making it okay to get rid of them and take their land. African Americans deemed by Europeans (with vested interests in cheap labor) to be less than human, making it okay to maintain the validity of abusing their freedom and opportunity.

          I do not say this to try to protect evid3nc3, as I strongly suspect no such protection is needed or wanted. I simply object to using such tactics. I invite you to vacate the use of this, and to address the original and quite correct statement about the term and label “feminism”.

          I am a facilitator of a grass roots worldwide network of organizations which share the label, “Alternatives to Violence Project”. Although the name is somewhat descriptive from a narrow perspective, it does not really give an accurate picture of our mission, but tends to limit it to the realm of overt violence in the minds of people hearing it for the first time. So, people in the various orgs of that network discuss the psychology and philosophy embedded in the name, pro and con, and suggest many alternate names which more succinctlly say what we’re about….and some orgs within the network have indeed adopted some of these alternate names.

          The first impression one makes is often lasting and creating of a mindset in the minds of people experiencing that impression…which impression is often the name of your organization (or movement). This is critical to an extent for it can prejudice people for or against you on erroneous bases built into whatever it is the name states or implies. In our case, there is a percentage of people who hear the name and turn away thinking our services do not apply to them, and this can and does result in their missing out on very effective services applicable to everyone. To the extent that this is so regarding our name, we are allowing a name to represent us as first impression, which in itself serves as a disservice to those people. Since our work can to some extent prevent violence and genocide in addition to simply making lives work in interrelationships better overall, that is a critical issue. The same is true in some ways of feminism…what the term implies, as well as the imagery of fervently biased and militant movement action…which can turn people off, causing people who need to hear at least some of the critical message of feminism to blow it off and disregard it. Not because they’re sexist bigots, but because they don’t want to be part of what TO THEM the name “feminism” implies.

  17. Astrokid.NJ says:


    I have noticed the vast majority of feminists repeatedly uphold the interest in protecting men and women from the harms of patriarchal inequality.

    More bullshit. What really matters are the feminists in power.. such as National Organizations for Women (NOW), AAUW. Christina Hoff Sommers, an ex-feminist has spent the last 2 decades documenting the vile stuff feminist orgs have caused, but even her criticism is somewhat muted because of her conservative woman’s mindset that is still somewhat gynocentric. here are some titles of her articles from http://aei.org/scholar/christina-hoff-sommers/.

    In making campuses safe for women, a travesty of justice for men.
    Domestic violence myths help no one
    Baseless Bias and the New Second Sex: Claims of bias against women in academic science have been greatly exaggerated. Meanwhile, men are becoming the second sex in American higher education.
    No Country for Burly Men:
    That an emergency economic recovery program should be designed with gender in mind is itself remarkable. That, in current circumstances, it should be designed to “skew” employment further towards women is disturbing and ominous.

    Erin Pizzey, a feminist from the 70s, absolutely abhors the feminist movement and its injustices.

  18. Right! This is what I’ve always felt, but could’t find a term for it. Gender Egalitarian, I’ll think about adopting that one :) Thx!

  19. You picked a hard row to hoe. I’m starting to doubt the possibility of any stable society where justice prevails. I’m all about the fair, equal and equitable balances in life, but I care more about raising the bottom (people suffering mainly from no fault of their own), than the equality of a group that has it pretty freaking good (women). I’ll be quick to admit that white males collectively (my group) has it the best, and seems to have had it that way for all of recorded history.

    I saw this on 60 minutes a while ago about a Yale study…
    The whole segment was about innate morals, but at about the 10 minute mark, they show a side of our selfish DNA that I found stunning. Apparently we do learn more ethics and altruism in school, but I believe if they looked through all ages they may have found people become jaded, and cynical. I think too many people revert back to anti-social selfishness. I think selfishness so pervasive, irreconcilable and accepted that equality is not a possibility in any society for all eternity.

    Sorry for bringing dark thoughts to your reasonable and hopeful post.

    • Doug Couch says:

      Hi Michael. I agree that selfishness is a widespread dysfunction and that the outlook is quite bleak. However, I’d like to offer some hope to that scenario. It “is” possible for people to adopt a renewed modus operandi which embraces fairness in relationships, cooperativeness in method and action, communication and effort which has a significant degree of balance, and of itself establishes a shared inner sense of morality which is not based solely upon traditional mores, religious notions, or cultural or selfish biases which see poor behavior as necessary to survival with quality of life, etc.

      This subject goes far afield from the thread re feminism on this blog, so if you’re interested in discussing it, I invite you to do so off the list. My email is couchdouglas@aol.com. My site related to this is http://www.avpav.org

      There IS hope, and the world IS changing for the better (howbeit too slowly). – Doug

      • Doug Couch says:

        Note: I am a co-founder of the org, AVPAV (Alternatives to Violence Project – Antelope Valley), and the creator of the web site I posted, and have been involved in the overall network of orgs (AVP) for close to 20 years. AVP in general has been around for 35 years or so, and is all over the world. – Doug

  20. M. A. Melby says:

    I get the semantic problem with the name. I do.

    When it comes to calling a class “Women’s Studies” or “Gender Studies” – I’m all about truth in advertising.

    However, a LONG time ago I thought about this issue and decided that I would continue to identify as a “feminist” for two reasons.

    1) I owe feminism (as a general concept) too much to reject the name; there is a history there and even though some of it isn’t pretty, I sort of like the fact that my husband doesn’t have the legal right to rape me and that people don’t address me by his name and not my own.
    2) Too many people use alternative labels as a means to distance themselves from feminism because they are actually semi-closeted anti-feminists.

  21. Jack Malo says:

    just a note on your article… the second sentence on your 2nd paragraph and your 4th paragraph are pretty much the same statement

    fan of your videos by the way, will you make more soon?

  22. fred321cba says:

    I agree with your message Evid3nc3, but just a quick correction: don’t forget that genders don’t consist of just male and female. There are trans-gender people, etc too.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      I haven’t. Even transgender individuals tend to identify with one of the two majority genders, so the same concepts apply.

      I know there are transgender people who don’t but, as you inferred, I am focusing on the social issues that affect the most people.

  23. Marina says:

    I believe one possible explanation could be to go back to the past where women were really oppressed and saw a need for the rise to power for women, perhaps the word is now out of date but can be understood within the context of its beginnings. Given today’s reality in the West, we can talk about balance, but what about islamic countries where women are still heavily oppressed and have no human rights, their focus is mainly to rise as women, I see the word as in indicator of the emphasis of the lack of freedom on women. I agree with your post though.

  24. Kateface says:

    Thank you for putting my thoughts clearly into words, Evid3nc3.

    I cannot believe how many comments have completely ignored your initial message. It is the title of the movement, and the effect that term has on the movement for equality/equity, which you are placing under examination. Completely clear.

    Instead, many replies have attacked you for not caring about or understanding the plight of women through history and at present.This is quite plainly the opposite of what you have said, and I hope you see that some readers, even outspoken women like me, do see what you are saying here.

    What we call something subconsciously affects how we perceive it.

    As a woman who is very assertive about the rights of females, I am also just as assertive about the rights of males. So I refuse to call myself a feminist. Just like I won’t call myself a Nazi even though I believe in socialism.

    Gender Equity should be the phrase for this movement, and instead of bickering about who gets beat up and who dies more and who doesn’t get to vote, people need to acknowledge that in DIFFERENT fields there are DIFFERENT injustices for different genders.

    Just as African-Americans have different issues in America than Aboriginal Australians have in Australia, so too do men and women in different parts of the world experience different prejudices and injustices.

    Every one who attacked you by saying “I’m a proud Feminist and you need to realise why you should be one too” needs to go back, clear their minds of their assumptions, and read the actual words you wrote.

    They may see your message and like me, come to the realisation I had long ago, that the word feminist is exclusionary and one-sided.

    To truly step forward into a fairer world we need to right any of the wrongs we see, not just the ones that we feel are “worse”.

    The boy getting beaten up for wanting to wear make-up is no less serious than the girl who isn’t allowed to study medicine to become a doctor.

    And for women to truly acquire the rights they desire in aspects of the world that are currently “man’s domains”, men and women claiming to be feminists need to concurrently fight for the right for men to have access to traditionally “woman’s domains”, where these domains have no actually physiological differences, so that the space is open on either side for a fair, open-minded world of Gender Equity.

    Peace out.

    • Doug Couch says:

      Very well said in all respects! Exactly the view that needs consideration.

      I want to focus on one area. My comments are not intended as any form of disagreement with what was said. I’m simply adding some additional point of view which steps out of a particular focus and into another in terms of dealing with things.

      RE: ‘To truly step forward into a fairer world we need to right any of the wrongs we see, not just the ones that we feel are “worse”.’

      In terms of activism, this holds very true. But I would like to comment briefly on another avenue of approach. Rather than focusing on “wrongs” and laboring to fix them, we can share appropriate tools, skills, and loving communication which in themselves foster opportunities for attitudinal shift. As such shifts inevitably appear, both in those sharing these and those with whom these are shared, the renewed or rediscovered inner attitudes somewhat automatically generate behavior which corresponds to them. And over time, the new or shifted attitudes and behaviors dissolve the barriers previously created and the older attitude and behavior habits drop away, a form of attrition.

      Such tools, skills, and loving communication are known and available, and can be learned and practiced by any who would like to see certain changes in the world and in the behavior and cooperation of its people. These are taught primarily by experiential means.

      While fixing problems or wrongs can be helpful, there are so many of these problems and wrongs being perpetrated and renewed, and being reinforced and generated, that many lifetimes will not see an end to them. Unless…the underlying attitudinal factors are shifted, allowing behavioral change and interaction improvement to go forward much less impeded.

      As it turns out, it is often the case that fixing wrongs as activists is simply necessary, and waiting for attitudinal shift to occur first is not possible. However, if we add the appropriate tools, skills and communications set to the mix…in addition to activism…something truly miraculous happens (and happens pretty much every time, although not always as immediate in happening).

      • Hi Doug,

        You make an excellent point. A change in perception will lead to a reduction to injustice. Just as racial injustice decreases as people are exposed to others and learn to see others as fellow humans despite physical difference, this is also true of gender issues.

        I particularly like your choice of the word “reinforced” in the following:

        “While fixing problems or wrongs can be helpful, there are so many of these problems and wrongs being perpetrated and renewed, and being reinforced and generated, that many lifetimes will not see an end to them.”

        It is very important that we remember that “ism”s can get so one-sided
        if the don’t remember to update and take into account new perspectives.

        So I guess on the one hand we need to aim to correct injustice but on the other, simultaneously, broaden the minds of younger people so that they may prevent these injustices from happening in future.

  25. Doug Couch says:

    Thanks, Kit. In my lengthy post, I tried to keep things fairly generic. However, I do have specifics regarding a set of tools, skills and communications, successfully used in all cultures worldwide and available so as to not reinvent the wheel. It involves volunteer facilitation of experiential workshops which impact the lives of participants and facilitators alike, bringing and reinforcing the shift spoken of before. It has changed the lives of people who viewed themselves as peaceful or violent. Adults and older children, activists, inmates, professionals from many fields (including social work, psychology and medicine), leaders and lay persons in many religions and atheists, law enforcement and corrections, judges and groups of people thought to be without hope. From the USA (where it began) to Europe, Africa, the island nations, the Middle East, Russia & Caucasus regions, the Orient, and South America. This has included regions considered hot spots like Nigeria, Rwanda, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and others. While certainly not the only approach, it is the very best I’ve seen, often impacting people from the first workshop experienced. — Alternatives to Violence Project. Very small offset cost involved…scholarship for cost if requested (because it costs money to provide the workshops)…free for incarcerated groups (to both inmates and the institution involved). An “example” web site I created for our local group: avpav.org (501c3 nonprofit)…or search the web.

  26. eran says:

    Saying that Feminism is bad for ignoring men’s issues is like saying the American Cancer Association is bad for ignoring AIDs patients. The only moral thing is to be against disease in general.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Cancer treatment proponents don’t regularly criticize AIDs treatment proponents. They don’t claim there is an “AIDsriarchy” obstructing all the cancer patients’ rights. Those also are not even close to the primary two types of diseases, requiring a constant and careful balance between the resources we give each of them.

      However, if all that were the case, the name of the association most definitely should be the American AIDs & Cancer Association or the Disease Association. Not just the American Cancer Association.

  27. Doug Couch says:

    Some VERY interesting evidence and commentary on just how serious cancer and disease agencies are in finding cures rather than treatments (or not) is the Burzynski movie (2010…108 minute documentary). Unlike some claims, this is very very good and actually and in my view legitimately uses the “cure” word. There is a web site, and it is also now available on Netflix. Countless millions collected year after year, but grant distribution to research projects is…let’s say “financial contribution (ROI) to pharmaceutical companies basis biased” with that bias shared with state and national government agencies’ support.

  28. Astrokid.NJ says:

    Food for thought.
    1) Brief interview with a man who’s running for elections in UK on a men’s rights platform.
    15 March 2013: LBC radio interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer
    2) Self Made Man: The Journey of feminist and women’s studies graduate Norah Vincent, who lived a “man’s life” for 6 months. And concludes at the end: “I am happy to be a woman. I have MORE privilege”.

  29. […] came out.  But recently he started a blog, and one of his posts from last year, entitled “Why I am not a feminist” missed the point, hard.  Being a feminist is not about ignoring the rights, plights or […]

    • evid3nc3 says:

      On the contrary, I think you missed my point. The problem is the name. I never said the movement was anti-man. The problem with the name is more insidious than that. And we can’t keep that name if we want to dynamically adjust to how each individual situation benefits one gender or another.

      • shaunphilly says:

        Good luck with that. By focusing on the term and not the concept, you are tilting at windmills. As a person who has long-identified as a feminist, taken courses on feminist thought, etc I have come to accept that the term is historical, rather than descriptive. By saying “I’m not a feminist” and meaning, by that, you don’t like the term, you are quibbling over semantics, which is just silly and pedantic.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          It’s fine that you disagree. But if you want to characterize me accurately into the birds-eye view of your blog, you need to realize that “Evid3nc3 thinks Feminism is about ignoring the rights, plights or hardships of men” is inaccurate.

          Rather, my problem is with the word “Feminism” and the way it alienates people. It isn’t a good common banner to unite around. My problem is almost entirely the surface word and the way people think when they identify with it and feel alienated by it when they don’t.

          • shaunphilly says:

            fair enough. I edited that section so that I am no longer mis-representing your view. My apologies.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            I appreciate that.

          • Doug Couch says:

            Misc. Footnote: We have the same problem with our nonprofit which is now worldwide. Since it began in a prison, dealing with violence, it got handed a name of Alternatives to Violence Project. But that term turns a lot of people off, thinking it’s not for them when it really is. In reality, its effectiveness isn’t about violence, but is about evoking shared self-awareness, which then shifts attitudes…and behavior just happens to follow attitude like a puppy.

  30. Hey Evid3nce,
    I just found your internet series yesterday and found it both really moving and humane. Watched the whole thing, which resonated with me both as an atheist and with my Christian past.

    So I come here to find out more about you and this is the first post that I find. Hmm. How to respond. First, I’m not all that interested in semantics. I call myself a feminist. But if you prefer a different label but are genuinely standing up for gender equality (or the more watered-down and nebulous “equity”) then I will still embrace you as an ally. You are, aren’t you?

    So, I look forward to more posts where you talk substantively about gender equity and how it can be achieved. I am so lucky to be alive now as a woman, thanks to feminism. There are so many more options open to me and so much more freedom. I believe there’s a lot of work remaining to be done that would make life better for everyone, male and female.

  31. I agree with you on the Feminist issue. A lot of men I know are being flattened by very aggressive women who are only thinking of themselves, but are using the “I’m an oppressed woman” card. I am a woman saying this! It seems like somewhere in their liberation, some women have lost their empathy and heart and are now consumed with being on top of everything. They cut you off in traffic, they stab you in the back at work, they will drop you like a hot potato as soon as you are no longer useful in their trajectory up. The striving for equality does not give the seemingly oppressed a license to oppress, because once they do that, they’re no better than their accused oppressors. And the cycle continues.

  32. capefeather says:

    This is for the most part a fair assessment of why you don’t identify as feminist. It’s unfortunate that the MRA trolls have taken this as a point in favour of their tribe, though. If you’d gone about this topic in a different way, the same people would ostracize you for being a feminist. Such is the extreme polarization of this stupid gender debate.

    I’m not sure of how society as a whole would compel men to be subservient to women. Other than within my own family, my experience growing up never gave me the impression that any individual private citizen owed anyone else anything based on race, gender, etc. That was the job of public figures apologizing to, say, aboriginals on behalf of a collective. I suppose different people have different experiences, though. A lot of issues seem to be more polarized in the U.S. than anywhere else, and that may include American feminism. I know at least that American feminism has historically had race diversity issues.

    I will say that I indeed was under pressure to fulfill certain obligations to women that I apparently had for being a male. However, this was for the most part due to growing up with an immigrant Asian family who went to churches catered to immigrant Asian families. I found these gender roles incompatible with the notions of equity that my area’s public schools and such strongly instilled in me. This disconnect led me to want to associate with the MRM when I first heard about it. Eventually I found that the MRM was basically a reactionary movement that takes rape apologists and misogynists seriously and exists more to demonize feminism than to contribute something meaningful to society.

    Asian cultures are very telling in terms of determining what a term like “patriarchy” ought to mean. There are aspects that hurt men and aspects that hurt women, but underneath it all, no honest person can deny the hierarchy based mostly on gender and relative age, at least in Chinese / Japanese / Korean cultures. Be a young woman and you’re pretty much a second-class citizen, if not practically someone’s property (though it’s not as bad nowadays). “Patriarchy” ought to refer to a systemic issue of societies tending to some extent toward a hierarchy where men are expected to be heroes and are chewed out if they don’t fulfill their duty, and women are expected to stay in the kitchen and be chewed out if they attempt to be independent, financially or otherwise. Hell, the word as its original usage simply referred to a power structure with an old guy at the top. But whatever we call it, it is there and it is hurting men and women.

    The thing is, every aggressive criticism I’ve ever heard against feminists has turned out to be an exaggeration or a No True Scotsman fallacy of some kind. I’ve delved a few times into feminist literature to verify one accusation or another. I’ve found no evidence of a man-hating agenda or overspecialization. In fact, it seems many feminists don’t even like the word “patriarchy” anymore, and they have adopted notions like “intersectionality”, which recognizes that social issues can’t be summed up as the oppression of one group or another. Feminism honestly just seems like another specialized social justice movement to me. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    I suppose that gets into my main criticism of your stance. I’ve found that legitimate social justice movements differ not in opinion, but in specialization. Activists simply don’t have the time to fight for every single worthwhile cause. So leave it to the feminists to fight for abortion rights, the LGBT community to fight for marriage equality, etc. Would you accuse an LGBT activist of not caring about straight people? It sounds pretty ridiculous when we’re talking about a group whose opposition consists mostly of religious fundamentalists. Plus, I highly doubt that the name matters much in the end. Race “realists” don’t care much about whether you claim to fight for racial equality or for “Africanism”.

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