A Breakup Letter to Feminism
When people make this kind of blog post, such as Salon's article about why the author left the GOP (here), many people respond by doubting if they were "truly" whatever they claimed to be formerly. To me this is similar to the No True Scotsman fallacy, saying that No True X could just give up being X to be something else. I think a lot of this has to do with the way humans are socially wired to create in-group preferences and out-group biases. When someone leaves our group for the out-group, we often look at them suspiciously, suspicious that they were a false friend or a spy for the other group all along. History is littered with examples of this, as is literature, but I won't bore you.
But the truth is, people are more complicated than that. And with politics, I value truth and rationality above any concerns about loyalty to a particular brand or group of people. Loyalty, in my personal experience, is too often used to silence the truth or to attack people for telling it.
There is no amount of real evidence that would satisfy people who would respond to this by doubting if I was ever a "true" feminist. They'd say "well she never castrated anyone", "she never went topless in protest", "she never pulled a scroll dripping with menstrual blood from her vagina to engage in a nude artistic protest", therefore "she was never a TRUE feminist".
But basically, I was just a liberal, and feminism was just another way of saying I rejected bigotry. I bought into the idea that feminist just meant gender egalitarian, and I believed that any decent person should believe in equality between the sexes in terms of political power. I thought that women needed better representation in sexist media.
I think I made good points in past articles on that subject, but I no longer see the world through the lens of patriarchy theory, and I have shifted away from feminist attitudes in a lot of my thinking. Predominantly, I think that the biggest feminist myth is that women and men are not significantly different in psychological makeup.
Therefore, everything, and good Lord I mean everything that women do that men do not do, and vice versa, are criticized as a result of sexist culture, rather than what they usually really amount to, which are biologically-based sex differences. See, biology does not just simply boil down to "some people have penises, some people have vaginas". It really does impact everything about being human, from hair growth, bone and muscular structure, to yes, behavioral traits. And to me, it's simply dishonest of feminists to put everything under the umbrella of patriarchy theory, when there are sex-based differences in psychology and behavior. I do not think these differences ought to result necessarily in discrimination, in fact, I think that because of these differences, women and men complement each other and should share in power equally in society.
You would think that that belief alone, that women and men should have equal political power, is enough to make me a feminist by default, but it isn't. This brings me to my first feminist belief I disagree with.
Feminism is Just About Gender Equality
You have no idea how many times I've argued with feminists and heard this, and I even argued this AS a feminist. Basically the line has become something of a cliché response to whenever women, or anyone, criticized feminism. They'll point to the dictionary definition of feminism and say, hey, if you think men and women deserve equal legal treatment or equal political rights, you're already a feminist!
To me, this is as dumb as saying "ISIS follows Islam, if you follow Islam, congratulations, you're already a member of ISIS!". If feminism were just about gender equality, I think more than 90% of people would be feminists. But feminism describes stances on many political issues. I used to like feminist Jessica Valenti for her book "He's a Stud, She's a Slut", which was about gender-based double standards common in society. But Jessica does NOT think feminism means mere equality, and when you read feminist blogs, or watch feminist Youtube videos, it becomes apparent that that is not what they're about.
Feminism is an ideology and a worldview. Feminists reject people who don't agree with the majority on matters such as abortion, taxpayer-funded birth control, patriarchy theory, and people who think like I do about gender being rooted in biological differences between men and women, not the official feminist platform that all gender differences are caused by oppression. Feminism labels women as oppressed, but ignores problems where sexism also negatively impacts men. Somehow, men are just so darn stupid they're oppressing themselves, apparently. Silly men.
I also dislike the way modern feminism considers itself legitimized by legitimate feminist concerns that exist elsewhere either in time or space. Like if you go back in time, or look to very poor war-torn countries, you can find issues where women were legitimately being oppressed. First of all, this has absolutely nothing to do with modern, western feminism. Secondly, I would argue that men in such societies were oppressed just as much, if not more than, women in those societies. I mean, who is oppressed in Afghanistan, the women who wear burqas out of fear of Islamic radicals, or the men who are expected to become directly involved in the military action? I am grateful that previous generations of feminists fought for my rights to do things like wear pants, vote, and go to college. I'm especially grateful that women during WWII proved that women were capable of factory work.
However, I dislike that the mention of all these things we have PREVIOUS generations of feminists to thank for means we have to accept feminism wholesale today. I mean, there was also undeniable harm caused by feminists in history, who have done things like legitimize promiscuity, attack the nuclear family, and shot up the divorce rate. I personally think feminism is one of the main reasons American pop culture went from classy to trashy. So no, I think it is completely ridiculous to insist that I or anyone has to label themselves "feminist" simply because they affirm a support for gender equality. And I think, in today's society, to be a true advocate for gender equality might be closer to being an MRA (men's rights activist). Defining your terms in such a way so that anyone who does not support you looks like an asshole is intellectual dishonesty.
Patriarchy is often a word tossed around in feminist circles. The cynical side of me thinks it might be just a term they came up with to silence accusations that they hate men. "No, we don't hate men, we hate patriarchy." Also tied to this view is the idea that non-feminist women are "participating in" patriarchy, whatever the fuck that means, and so they have a very "with us or against us" mentality when it comes to women. So much for a movement about, supposedly, women's liberation. They don't really WANT your liberation, they want your suffering. They want to jack off to your pain as another poor, pathetic victim of "the patriarchy".
People who know me well know my dislike of conspiracy theories. They have become common in our culture because people want something outside themselves to blame for all the things that have gone wrong with society, 9/11, wars, the plummeting economy, the deterioration of freedoms, and environmental crises. All conspiracy theorists do this, and to me, believing patriarchy is behind all the problems facing women and girls is not really all that different from saying our economic collapse can be blamed on the Jews. Both take a group that had nothing to do with anything and uses it as a handy scapegoat.
The feminists say blaming patriarchy is not blaming men. Seriously? Patriarchy is a word whose etymological roots derive from "father", and simply describes any society in which men have most of the political power. The thing is, most societies, past and present, were patriarchies, regardless of culture, and I think of this as proof that men are simply more dominant and more predisposed to prefer political leadership than women, who seem across all cultures to prefer domestic and private leadership. This is not because of some lizard people thing, but just because of biology; women have the babies, the babies need to be fed and nurtured and protected at home, men have to go out and be the ones protecting them and getting food for them.
Patriarchy theory also, ironically for the fact that feminists celebrate these women, ignores the fact that none of this means that women never held political power. I mean, you could say that women like Queen Elizabeth I and other female monarchs had social obligations that were placed on them because of the fact that they were women, but the fact remains that all political leaders have had social obligations and expectations placed upon them. Bess' father, Henry the 8th, ended up breaking with the Catholic church for the right to divorce, he didn't just easily get the right to do anything he wanted just because he was a man, as feminists might claim.
Political power is also not the only kind of power that exists. Because women have traditionally, in most cultures, influenced children in their early development more than fathers and men, that is one kind of power they've traditionally held. The neoteny (retention of biologically young or child-like characteristics into adulthood, with traits like smooth skin, large eyes, etc.) women have relative to men makes women look younger than they are and causes the "empathy gap" a lot of men's rights activists talk about. They look weak and helpless and innocent and naive physically even if they're not, relative to men. So they end up getting away with things men wouldn't or getting lighter sentences than men. Women also cry more then men, having physically different tear glands. Crying is an evolutionary strategy for women to emotionally influence men as a kind of negative reinforcement. They may not even be intentionally manipulative, but their bodies are designed for it. Another non-political power women often have, even in traditional "oppressive" and "backwards" "patriarchal" societies, is the power over all the household money. In Japan, for example, stay at home mothers are common, but they usually all control all the money their husband earns, from which they give him an allowance for personal spending. Women, as an "oppressed class" seem to do an awful lot of the shopping, too, whether with money they actually earned, or commonly, their fathers', boyfriends', or husbands' money. And divorce for women is like hitting the jackpot, what with the skewed way alimony and child support laws work.
So anyway, I think patriarchal theory makes way too many blanket assumptions that are not correct, and then the core of feminist thinking is mired in this flawed logic. It is rooted in Marxist thinking about class, but instead of the bourgeoisie oppressing the proletariat, it's men as a class oppressing women as a class. This creates generalizations and does not allow for nuances and exceptions. It also dismisses the women who have and who continue to have political influence. It also ignores advantages women have versus men that have nothing to do with political power. The theory also uses oppression as a model for explaining behaviors which have less to do with oppression than, in my opinion, they have to do with biological characteristics.
One of the earliest blows to my personal feminism was seeing the feminist reaction (ok, overreaction) to the song "Blurred Lines". Now, I have no great love for that song and I think it's stupid. But the fact is, it was just another dumb, catchy pop song, no better or worse than any other.
But that was not how feminists on various locales of the internet took it. They went on and on on long, rage-filled tirades about how the song somehow promotes rape, or at least, questions the feminist ideal for consent that it should be sober and firmly established at all times or the sex is rape.
Now, I think it is important that sex is consensual. And nobody really supports rape except for a few sick individuals who are probably not reading this because they're in jail right now. But is a song like "Blurred Lines" promoting rape?
I don't think so. Lines like "I know you want it, but you're a good girl" are deemed "problematic" by women, but to me, they just signify that the woman the song was directed at probably gave off nonverbal cues of flirtation/sexual interest, and the song does not say, interestingly enough, anything about forcing such a woman into bed with the singer BECAUSE of such signals. Verbal consent is great, but insisting on it ignores the fact that sex is about feel, look, body language, hormones, and pheromones first, and verbal communication second. And I can see how sometimes, getting mixed messages whether about sexual consent or about anything else, can be frustrating to anyone.
I didn't realize until before this how much of feminism revolves around and depends on us women being perpetually shaking out of the fear of rape. There have been numerous instances that have shown me that this hypersensitivity towards all things dubbed "rapey" seems like it's less and less about concern for actual rape victims, especially male rape victims, who are totally ignored by this theory, and seems to have more to do with keeping women terrified of men at all times. If you're enough of a crybaby, anything can be called "rapey". Feminists just can't get enough of talking about rape, as if it's everywhere. They even make up bullshit statistics that make it seem like a scary-sounding number of women will be raped in their lifetime.
More about "rape culture" NOT having anything to do with support for REAL rape victims can be found here. Basically, this author shares my belief that "rape culture" also only focuses on a binary, that men are only ever the perpetrators of rape, and women are only ever the victims. That is not the world we live in.
The Gender Pay Gap is Caused by Sexism
Nowhere near. The gender pay gap disappears when you truly are, as feminists claim, looking at women and men who do the same job. The original "women earn 77 cents for every male dollar" thing was NOT looking at women who do the same job as men and finding they still got paid less because they were women. It just so happens that women take jobs that are primarily indoors, domestic, and care-based like teaching, library science, and nursing, and that men tend to choose more outdoor jobs involving more muscle power usage and bodily risk, for which they get paid more, but also suffer a much higher rate of workplace injury and death.
But how dare a crab fisherman get paid more than a librarian?
Anyway, numerous studies have debunked the "gender pay gap" argument, so I won't waste too much time. Even ultra-liberal Huffington Post did an article on it, here. The wage gap is so obviously not a thing. And if it were a thing, wouldn't the companies hire more women than men in all jobs and discriminate against men, because then they could cut costs if it were really true that society expects women to work for less. Another thing that is inconvenient for feminists is the fact that women make different work-life balance choices, favoring more personal and family time to long work hours. If anyone suffers from sexist expectations, it's men, who suffer from the sexist expectation that men are work-machines who don't need family life or rest, because demanding such from bosses makes men seem weak but to women it's a given that they need these things.
Also, from a story I heard on NPR about a woman who worked in a top position on Wall Street, women get fewer bonuses than men in that ballpark because they simply did not ask for them, or did not ask for money with the persistence and courage that their male coworkers did. This is not sexist culture, it's biological drives. Men need to push to make more and more money, women might just help our culture with it's greed addiction because they seem to be content with less, and to recognize the need for work-life balance. But don't choose to take more time off than a man and choose not to ask for a raise and then blame sexism for the fact that he got a raise, that he ASKED for, when you did not get a raise you did NOT ask for. Ok? Simple.
Sexism is The Reason Women Do Not Choose To Major in STEM Fields
This goes back to the nature vs. nurture debate. Feminists would have you believe that patriarchy or sexism was at the root of women making the choice, as a general trend, to prefer humanities and social science fields over math and science fields.
This pisses me off for two reasons. First, feminism is about choice or liberating women, so then why bitch about women making the wrong choice. Secondly, this carries with it the myth, prevalent in our culture, that humanities and social science degrees are worth less than science, math, technology, and engineering degrees in the first place. If I have a bout of depression, I'm not going to consult someone who majored in computer science. If I want to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, I'm probably not going to care much about what mathematicians have to say on the matter. We have this belief in technocracy and in using science and technology as a panacea in our culture, but I think that it isn't and that there are really myriad uses for the humanities and social sciences.
Again, I think of this as a case of female and male nature being different, yet complementary or completing, towards one another. Yet the feminists see this division of majors by gender and think that it must not be the result of varying preference, but of varying socialization. "Women are socialized to not want to be engineers by the fact that Legos are seen as for boys" they cry. Ah. Except that I played with Legos, and K'Nex, and other building toys, and that doesn't make me a fucking engineer today. Legos are a gender neutral, not "male" toy. (I'll get to the whole toy thing later, it's another feminist issue that really makes me ill.)
Another problem with this is that it perceives that women have such fragile psyches as to be capable of being dissuaded from pursuing their dreams in life because of sexism. It ignores the courage of women who have done pretty amazing things in the STEM fields because it assumes that women are weak enough that they can be psychologically undone by anything remotely offensive, like a shirt.
This stuff makes me mad, I need a kitten break.
Society Marginalizes and Dismisses Violence Against Women
Like rape culture, this feminist claim is that society has some kind of hidden prejudice or misogyny that causes people to disrespect female victims of violence or to take them less seriously than male victims of violence. But the media and the way society is set up (with way more shelters for battered women than battered men, for example) point to just the opposite being true. People like Anita Sarkeesian go on huge tirades about how violence in women in video games is some kind of big structural problem for society, while for some reason, ignoring that those games are just as, and usually more, violent against men.
In fact, I see the opposite happening, I see men who are attacked by women shamed as "pussies", in other words, have their masculinity questioned, but women who are attacked by men are "strong survivors" but also, paradoxically "silenced victims of oppression", ha, like anyone's silencing them, they seem to be all you ever read about in the blogosphere and see on news networks. I just watched an hour-long special last night on CNN about the women who are accusing Bill Cosby of rape. Nobody is silencing or marginalizing them, people are, for the most part, congratulating them on having the courage to finally come forward with details that are somewhat embarrassing or even traumatizing to discuss and doing so anyway. But the feminist narrative is that women must always, in all cases, be VICTIMS.
So, this leads to them:
- Ignoring and marginalizing instances of male victimization, even mocking male victims mercilessly (see the below video).
- Ignoring and marginalizing instances of female perpetration, even to the point of supporting the female perpetrators (also in the below video). And:
- Supporting sexist attitudes, paradoxically, about women as helpless victims and men as big, strong bullies.
Basically, feminist theory relies on the pattern being men = perpetrators, and women = victims. In cases where this reality is reversed, feminists still need to find a way to blame men or "patriarchy" for the male victimization, or, more frequently, they tend to ignore that because it's an exception to the general rule. But it should be obvious that, probably due to biological differences, people in general have more empathy for females than for males, and this empathy-inspiring ability women have is not something, sorry all you feminist sign-holders, that you need feminism for.
This is so disgusting and immature.
Gender is Not Related to Biological Sex
The gender theory given by mainstream feminists today is that there is no biological basis for gender; that all of it is culture, and that physical sex does not determine cultural gender. Well, except the problem is, for the vast majority of people, their biological sex also determines a lot of their innate psychological characteristics. I know that there are people with various disorders who do not have a sex, or have an intermediate sex between the two usual sexes. But saying this disproves the concept that sex exists is sort of like saying that because neurological disorders exist, you can't create an intelligence test, because the person taking it might have a neurological disorder. Not that disordered people are less than human in any way, but talking about them is not a useful way to talk about gender or sex.
There are two genders, because in nature there are two sexes. I know this position will be extremely controversial, and I can hear the screeching. But, basically, all other types of genders and sexes are not truly outside this binary, they are instead some combination of male and female characteristics, like someone being transgendered is simply a biological man or woman choosing to identify as culturally the opposite. I have no real problem with that.
What I am more worried about is that people are insisting that gender has no relationship whatsoever with biology, as if there was just some kind of bearded man on a mountaintop handing us down these rules for patriarchal definitions of gender. The truth is, from a very early age, boys and girls exhibit psychological differences, as anyone who has been a parent or teacher of young children will know, and as we grow through puberty these sex differences in our brains become even more distinct. You can't neatly and cleanly separate mind from body here. Females and males have different levels of certain hormones, different stimuli affect their brain differently, they communicate differently, and they get pleasure from different types of activities. There's no conspiracy or evil in this, it's simply the way things are. Quit trying so hard to be special and an exception, and just accept that there are general trends, but you should do whatever feels more natural to you without having to worry that this should change the way you label yourself.
One thing I especially hate is the term "genderfluid", for Pete's sake, you aren't a special "genderfluid" person if you're a guy who enjoys embroidery or a woman who enjoys karate. You're just a guy who likes embroidery or a girl who enjoys karate. It's that simple. The term seems to reinforce gender stereotypes, by saying that if a man or woman acts in any kind of non-stereotypical way, they must be acting "as a man" or "like a woman" because of some kind of secret super special rare mega ultra gender identity, don't fucking make me laugh.
Girls and Boys Do Not Have Innate Preferences That Vary By Gender/Sex
Since it's December, the holiday season kicks off a great feminist holiday tradition: whining about kid's toys. You would wonder why these women have nothing better to do than bitch about this trivial fucking bullshit. I mean, we get told so often by feminists that feminism is about very serious political issues, but then find most of the complaints are about:
- pop lyrics
- a shirt
- razor blades
- Halloween costumes
- Disney movies
- Legos (the horror!)
- trees (probably)
So, it becomes harder to take feminists seriously the more they complain about trivial, non-problem, first-world problems. Are toys capable of sexism? Does playing with Barbie brainwash girls from infancy to become Stepford Wives? If anyone else said toys were a tool for brainwashing children, they'd be called crazy, but it somehow supposedly makes sense when feminists say toys are a male tool for brainwashing girls? What the hell?
Actually, the reason that companies make toys at all is because research and development teams spent all kinds of time and money testing their products and seeing which types of toys are more likely to be successful. Girls seem to naturally prefer pink and bright/light colors, and nurturing and social play. Girls also seem to prefer magic and fantasy play. Boys seem to enjoy violent, destructive play aimed at completing objectives and strategic planning. Boys like action, and boys like science/technology more than girls.
Almost everyone will be an exception in some way to these general trends, of course. When I was a kid, for example, I found Barbie boring, and loved computer games. However, the general trends are still valid ways for toy companies to predict what will be liked by boys and girls and to plan accordingly. It is exceedingly difficult, given these innate differences, to create a toy that both boys and girls will like equally. And as boys and girls get older, these preferences become increasingly divergent.
Apparently, I didn't have a complete list on how everything can be sexist.
Video Games and Gamer Culture = Misogyny
This particular sort of paranoia is, of course, related to their crap theories about patriarchy and rape culture and supposed negligent attitudes towards violence against women, which I've already talked about.
But basically, I have always identified as a gamer in addition to being an anime fan. I like video games AND tabletop games and play both as regularly as sleep, anime, money, and school allow. So, I think it's kind of offensive and kind of bullying when the gaming blog sites started to attack "gamers" as a subculture.
Gaming has had its share of critics since the early 90's, who have claimed, without grounds, that video games cause violence. They started by falsely accusing games of causing school shootings, such as the high-profile Columbine shooting. That incident started many of the calls for censorship of media, such as song lyrics and video game content. But they were just as wrong 20 years ago as they are now.
The weird thing is, it seems as though gaming journalism itself has turned against the gamer fandom. A harmless fan subculture has become a target for "basement dweller" jokes and calls for censorship of "sexist" video games like Grand Theft Auto. This is nothing new, but it's alarming that, because this is feminists rather than conservatives doing the calling for censorship, more and more people are listening.
I do not think that video games are sexist. Even when I identified as a feminist, I didn't think anime was sexist, and my reasons can also be applied to games. Basically, artwork, fantasy, and imaginative play are completely separated and removed from reality, and should not be treated with the expectation that they conform to what the censor wishes reality was. I also think that the freedom of speech for game developers, along with that of everyone else, should not be infringed upon. Guess that makes me a misogynist!
Sorry for how long this entry turned out. If you like my work, please check out my profile and other content, since Hubpages is puritanical and disables ad revenue on anything that does not meet it's weird content standards, and it doesn't differentiate blogs talking about sex and gender as social and political issues from pornography, so you can support me by checking out my anime content, which is mostly not censored in such a manner. It is never my policy to ban comments, but try to make them reasonable and respectful. No one deserves to be attacked just because they disagree with you, but I feel like I'm almost inviting attacks just for daring to speak out and tell the whole world what I really think. But, if you're not nasty to me, I won't be nasty back, so don't hesitate to comment.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on January 23, 2017:
Thought i should re visit the website just to see any new content as well as a 'look see' at any of my own content. Quite happy about it now!
roy McClanahan on January 22, 2017:
Your article is articulate and very well written. Thank you for explaining issues of the feminist movement that many have attempted , but for the most part, have royally botched. The biological differences between the genders, as you have pointed out, is paramout in my opinion as well and I couldn't agree more with your consensus.
stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on October 22, 2016:
I would like to see equality for women and men. Who does the best job in anything should get the support. I worked with men for many years and I have my own thoughts, I want equal everything!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on April 07, 2016:
The quandary for the male here is that to support the Women's cause is to be seen as patronising whilst not is seen to be chauvinistic. In my case i am quite happy for women to advance as far as possible in gender, relationship and career matters. At this point in time i do happen to know a few ladies who like the idea of women always being in control at all times. I'll never forget when i was about 16 or 17, i got flattened by a girl my own age who did judo. It was all 'set up' as party entertainment to humiliate me and at the time did bruise my ego some what. Since that time relationships do mean a lot to me. I think it is a lot better having a rapport with women rather than men.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on March 17, 2016:
Never underestimate the power of Woman !
Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on March 11, 2016:
A question for commenters, Nancy Reagan past away this week at the age of 94, what are your opinion of her as a first Lady, a wife, a mother and a role model?
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on March 10, 2016:
We here in 'Blighty' are getting a wide coverage of your up and coming Presidential nominees which equates to about the same news content as our own general election in T.V. coverage. Whilst i am an avid viewer of the B.B.C.'s sitting of Parliament when in session, i do recognise there to be a good gender balance in both houses. In my London borough which is sub divided into wards, 3 locally elected members are women to the 1 male (who happens to be the leader of the opposition party). In Westminster the speaker of the House is male whilst Madam deputy speaker is a Lady. Oh ! Most Londoners do not know their local member of parliament for the European Union in Strasbourg. Mine happens to be a woman.
Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on March 09, 2016:
Don't give up on Cruz yet. He may still have a shot. I liked Dr. Carson also but unfortunately, he was not able to gain traction. I hope he gets appointed to a Cabinet post, who ever gets elected.
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on March 09, 2016:
I think Cruz was smart, I think he was one of the ones I liked most and agreed with most often during the initial Republican party debate. Unfortunately I focused on Trump because it looks like he's going to win the ticket, but I think it would be good if Trump chose him as a running mate or made him a cabinet member if he is elected, because I think Cruz has good ideas but lacks maybe the charismatic force of personality Trump and Hillary have that allows them to win over the masses more easily.
Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on March 09, 2016:
I appreciate your honest reply. I agree with most of what you said but why didn't you consider Cruz? He is a principled conservative who believes in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Just putting it out there for thought.
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on March 09, 2016:
Well I've always been a libertarian. I see Hillary as wanting to keep up the corporations' status quo and running on a platform of "vote for me because I'm female". I don't like Trump because I think he's stupid and arrogant, I think that our current cultural climate of political correctness, language policing, and self-righteous virtue signaling has led to Trump's popularity growing among people discontent with that. But I don't think he necessarily has the maturity or experience to be President. I like Bernie Sanders but I don't support socialism. I think that America needs less federal power and more power in the hands of states and communities, Sanders would give the federal government more power. Even if he's doing it for good reasons, I still think that's bad. However, I support Sanders because I don't like the other candidates much and because he will at least put an end to our unnecessary corporate-driven oil wars and generate money from closing corporate tax loopholes that will go to help people in America, not to blow up people overseas. I understand that some military is necessary but I think we spend way too much trying to police the Middle East and it is not working out for us and hasn't been since the 90's.
Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on March 09, 2016:
Rachel, in light of your revelation, just curious who you are supporting this Presidential election and why?
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on March 09, 2016:
"What i really am concerned about is the status of women in our society, where they've come from and how they are going to succeed on merit." Well I consider the "on merit" distinction to be important here, I don't think anyone should be boosted with quotas or discrimination in their favor. To do so for women is to act like women are incapable of advancement in the workplace without someone's assistance. I love women and I want all of them to feel respected, loved, safe, and beautiful. But my belief is that they should not have any privileges that men do not have, and that they are in fact strong enough to make it in this world without all the privileges they currently have.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on March 09, 2016:
Further to my last posting, i'd like to add what i think a valid comment on this topic. Recently a television news channel did a segment on maternal issues raising the prevalence of complications that can occur and the fact that here in England and Wales it happens to be on the increase. The panel comprising four women (all mothers) from different areas of expertise discussed these issues. Then, i thought, should i be listening to this particular aspect of a woman's personal life. The telecast must been seen by a wide range of viewing audience. I switched channels not because of the viewing content but because this network has the most frequent and repetitious paid advertising of all time. What i really am concerned about is the status of women in our society, where they've come from and how they are going to succeed on merit.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on March 08, 2016:
From a male perspective, i consider every move made in life is ' a risk' or to put it 'win some, loose some' ! Where i live nobody talks to each other due to being in a high density residential area. This means that we don't get to interact with women except supermarket cashiers, librarians and bar staff. You certainly can't strike up a conversation with a lady seated with you on public transport as it is considered a breach of privacy so the saying 'trust no one' is the way to go! This is so unfortunate as we are all in this life together, we are conditioned to help each other but not get involved. I've done amateur drama training where it is absolutely imperative the cast interacts otherwise the production flops. I am toying with the idea of writing a short story with a variety of characters having an adventurous theme and i'm certainly going to make the leading lady an indendant woman with social skills and the ability to triumph over adversity.
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on March 07, 2016:
Well, choices people make are free, but they do have consequences. The consequences of promiscuity and divorce is that it creates a bad culture and society to raise children in, a society where the genders are viewed as almost like separate species that are at war with each other. And, even if you don't want to cut off anyone's dick you probably still support policies which are either unnecessarily gynocentric, misandric, or both. But thanks for correcting me about the victim/survivor thing because I know how much you people like to think you're saving the whole goddamn planet by nit-picking other people's word choices if they're not 100% in line with current political correctness.
You're not the only comment on this page from a feminist perspective.
Have a nice day.
Kristen on March 07, 2016:
So I made it through the whole article and most of the comments.
I appreciate hearing your views, but they are greatly upsetting and disturbing to me.
I am a feminist. My boyfriend is a feminist. I do believe in gender equality, although I am not sure where I stand in the nature vs. nurture argument; that, like many things, is an issue for someone with more knowledge and intellect than I to tackle. As a feminist though, I feel I should address a few core parts of your argument: that feminists invalidate men's thoughts, feelings, and actions, and that they denigrate those who experience violence without rape (also those who survive an attack are, in standard literature in general, referred to as "survivors," not victims as you refer to them above). I am also peeved that you have created a faceless group of radicalists; I am politically liberal and I get mad at men who yell at me on the street or follow me home or any number of creepy and annoying things that happen on a daily basis, but I am not moved to do any of the "feminist" things you have cited above. The cutting off of men's penises is a particularly annoying stereotype.
You stated that "there was also undeniable harm caused by feminists in history, who have done things like legitimize promiscuity, attack the nuclear family, and shot up the divorce rate."
This statement is based on a preconceived moral assumption that has nothing to do with feminism. You, yourself, do not like the idea of being allowed to sleep with whomever you choose and look how you would like (promiscuity), you do not like the idea of non-traditional families (nuclear families), and you do not like, again, the idea of segregated families (divorce, or non-"nuclear" families, again). I understand that it is wrong to tell someone what they believe, and I am sure that if I knew you better I might understand why you have those views. But breaking those ideas down is important because there is nothing wrong with those things if you respect other people's autonomy and decision making. Those things are other people's own decisions, and I have no right to tell them otherwise.
I have no desire to write a book to you; there are plenty of articles refuting your point and it would inevitably end in a comment shouting match in which our own stubborn and circular logic disables either of our abilities to see the other's point. I suppose my only reason for replying to you is to leave, in this mass of comments, a feminist perspective.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on March 02, 2016:
Today i've interacted with something like 6 women favourably and it is not even midday yet. I can't help but admire them when they offer kindness and stimulating conversation and in return i show them the greatest respect. It's also good if i can make them laugh!
Michaela from USA on March 01, 2016:
I think you were definitely in the wrong feminist circles - sounds like you were only listening to the rhetoric of the really radical and really outspoken few. I suggest you give the website Everyday Feminism a go - they tackle the really hard questions - like how our current society harms both men and women, how to be intersectional and consider race, gender, and class in talking about feminism.
AntoneAvelpTient on December 15, 2015:
Anonymous on October 17, 2015:
I cried while reading this. I always felt alone for thinking this. Your view and mine is identical. I have preached biology for years, but have been treated as a traitor, told I was a bigot, generally rejected by all of my so-called feminist friends. Thank you for putting in words what I could never seem to express fully.
Farawaytree on September 15, 2015:
Great hub Rachael! That's what I like to read about! :)
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on September 12, 2015:
I changed a few things. I think this article does have the potential to become a book (and maybe then I could make some damn money off of it, Hubpages) but first I would need to find a literary agent and publisher. I think that AVFM, which picked up my article for publication on their site, is going to become a publisher at one point in the future. I could also self-publish it online. If anyone is a publisher or agent interested or someone who can get me contact information of such, please email me at email@example.com.
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on September 12, 2015:
Thank you. :)
RiitheWordsmith on September 11, 2015:
Wow, thanks! Now I don't need to groan any time I'm faced with explaining my feminist-anti-feminist views. I can just direct them to your perfectly worded post instead which pretty much covers all the problems I have with feminism nowadays too.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on August 20, 2015:
Just finished reading 'Modern Feminist theory' by Chandra Venkatta. Ms Venkatta paints a portrait of how discrimination both directly and psychically is still rife. She devotes one whole chapter on stalking as in her college days Ms Venkatta herself experienced unwanted attention on campus from an much older male not even a student there. Compelling reading!
Jonas Rodrigo on July 05, 2015:
Well, I respect your opinion, but seriously hope you will maybe rethink it (as often as possible) just so you'll know if you still believe in them.
Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on July 05, 2015:
Wow, I can't believe your honesty. It takes real courage to admit you were wrong. I wonder what event trigger this transformation. Perhaps you will also rethink your political leanings.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on June 29, 2015:
Not having been in a true relationship for more than 20 years now, i'm not quite aware of the 'norm' for these days. This doesn't mean that i don't get to interact with women. Whilst 'city bound' i tend to associate with younger women from abroad coming to seek employment (or husbands?). I find them in the main to be very traditional culturally and quite business savvy, some have been honed to a certain tough exterior and can and do rise to management level. When i escape to the countryside i get to socialise with ladies who are family oriented or live alone. These ladies are highly educated and now retired were professionals in medicine, teaching, acting just to name a few. There was only one that i ever discussed with this particular topic and it was a with a lady very much part of the protester movement for disarmament in the 80's. At first the conversation was amicable but then became adversarial toward me but we continued so as to achieve a win/win conclusion but she got the last say. "Another victory for women!"
Krzysztof Willman from Parlin, New Jersey on June 20, 2015:
I like how deep this hub extends into all prospects of feminism and equality. I wrote a hub based on the topic of equality for both genders but it was no where near this extensive and far reaching.
I'm happy we are seeing more talks and discussions about the subject because I felt that it's been overlooked for too long. There are so many things I hate about society and how everyone is expected to act and behave that it drives me mad.
Also from reading a lot of forums and god-forbid YouTube comments, it seems that a lot of people have this immense hatred for feminists and what they stand for. They're also unbelievably sexist with common statements being "women should go back to the kitchen" or "make me a sandwich", but what else can you expect from juveniles on the internet.
I used to like what feminists stood for, but I'm all about equalizing the playing field without throwing gender under the bus and getting rid of all those stereotypes. If only society felt the same way.
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on June 16, 2015:
This refers to many examples of feminists being hypocritical and/or dishonest with how they claim to help men when they don't and often favor policies that hurt them, but them misrepresenting themselves as an egalitarian movement when they are more of a hate movement can be seen in full view if you read this (and it has a lot more citations of actual feminist words): http://honeybadgerbrigade.com/2015/06/13/propagand...
Meg on June 16, 2015:
I would be interested to see more examples, articles, and studies that support the author's article. Without more references, some of this article reads as opinion which I don't think is the intention.
Samuel on May 05, 2015:
You know, my sister (who is against Feminism for reasons above), stated recently that she'd rather be seen as an Equalist and let the Feminists who simply want that gender based equality (much like the Scandinavians did far before the Suffragettes ever reared their heads), be also seen as Equalists... the women who put down men, spread all this bull about men, and blame everything on men? Yeah they can keep the name Feminism, meanwhile everyone else should be see as an Equalist. I for one have to agree with her on that statement, since it seems far more kind and fair.
Now what do I mean by Equalist? To give the men and women the same laws... you break one, you pay the same cost. To allow men and women have the same things to like, such as games, anime, and in this culture now even my little pony, because why can't both genders like the same things? Especially if they're well done. Heck my joy of X-men, Superman, Batman, Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, Star Trek, Star Wars, Sailor Moon, Xena the Warrior Princess, Hercules, and all that was completely and utterly influenced by my Sister, my parents didn't introduce me to those things, my Sister did. This is what I mean by being seen as an Equalist, and not a Feminist.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on April 25, 2015:
All feedback on this topic is welcome to continue the thread of this interesting but controversial topic.
Philip Finn from Decatur, Illinois on April 24, 2015:
I think we need to get back to "liberation" of people rather than a notion of "equality" which is the white-bread dumbing down of human rights and the fruits of The Age of Enlightenment. The default to Euro-centric or white male identity is a false dichotomy; I think the fact that people can only seem to even discuss social justice from a zero-sum vocabulary, and that some commenters have so much trouble getting beyond "a woman as president" or see someone other than a white male in power as a massive disruption of the social equilibrium shows how badly we need to change the system, not simply repeat it with a different gender or race.
Sandria Green-Stewart from Toronto, Canada on April 24, 2015:
You have raised some controversy about feminism. While I do not define myself as a feminist for various reasons (race/class considerations) and the tendency for universalism in feminist theory, yet I do advocate for women as a historian and as a social advocate. This said, in the largest sense of the word, I am considered a feminist.
I believe that what you are saying is that "feminism" need to evolve to address the complexities of men and women. That is why contemporary social scientists including sociologists, historians and those who do gender studies argue for intersectionality. This way you look at the ways in which gender, race, class, citizenship, sexuality etc intertwine to define our understanding of the word. You cannot look at feminism by only talking about gender as male or female. Your argument only relates to white middle class heteresexual normitivity.
"The truth is, from a very early age, boys and girls exhibit psychological differences, as anyone who has been a parent or teacher of young children will know, and as we grow through puberty these sex differences in our brains become even more distinct. You can't neatly and cleanly separate mind from body here. Females and males have different levels of certain hormones, different stimuli affect their brain differently, they communicate differently, and they get pleasure from different types of activities."
This line of reasoning ignores the people who are transgender/transsexual or intersex - it's not as simple as you argue. I think you need to reconsider your understanding of patriarchy and feminism. However, this opinion is shared by some people and I find it interesting to hear it although, I find it very limited and outdated.
Besarien from South Florida on April 24, 2015:
I long for a time when most of us can agree that equality should be for everyone. We all get treated equally under the law, rich or poor, black or white, straight or gay. male or female, regardless of our religion or lack of it. You'd think that wouldn't be a lot to ask.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on April 24, 2015:
In a constantly changing world. This article is an excellent thesis on the topic which could serve as instructional guidance for girl's, inspiration for women as well as awareness for males wanting to know more.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on April 23, 2015:
We have certainly delved into the topic quite extensively. Recently i heard the our global population is in and around 6oo billion souls. This is a cause for alarm as we run out of resources and living space so who knows what the future has in store for us?
king on April 22, 2015:
long and very silly article
Nichol marie from The Country-Side on April 22, 2015:
I thought your hub was very interesting,and well thought out,i don't really get onto it much, i feel pretty equal in my own little world.
Travis from New Jersey on April 22, 2015:
Melissae1963, gaming has always been a predominantly male activity. Feminists are terrified of anything that males do collectively. Maybe they fear that fraternal bonding will send us back to "the dark ages." That's basically what the author was getting at.
Melissa Reese Etheridge from Tennessee, United States on April 21, 2015:
This is an interesting and well written Hub, although you did lose me at the gamer part. I couldn't make the connection at first.
vhayward on April 21, 2015:
First, I wanted to say that I think this article is amazing. It is truly well thought out and makes some very good points (although I would be lying if I said I agreed with ALL of them, but that doesn't make your opinion any less valid than mine. Besides, there is probably not enough time to discuss all of that here. Anyway, I digress...).
I have personally worked closely with many, many women who have suffered from Domestic Violence and here's what I have noticed. Usually it is a combination between the man controlling and being aggressive towards the woman and the woman overreacting and lashing out. It is not always as black and white as it is portrayed by the media. However, I don't think it is fair to say that violence against men is under represented just because we don't have men's domestic violence shelters. I think that is due, in part at least, to the fact that there are less men who suffer as victims from domestic violence at the hands of women (lover relationships, not abuse as children which is more common than typically believed. Children of both genders would enter different types of shelter). This is actually supported by you view that men and women have biologically intrinsic differences...such as strength. If I were to hit my fiancé chances are he would be pretty pissed off but I probably wouldn't cause any serious damage since I'm fairly weak. However, if he were to hit me and exert the same percentage of strength I would probably swell up and bruise into a purple/black blob. The fact of the matter is that we need to not only educate women about domestic violence such as "you never deserve violence" but we also need to educate men "violence isn't the answer" and "no means no". Both parties need to learn how to positively resolve conflicts and manage personal relationships. We need to teach ALL children this.
I completely agree that what we need is gender equality, not a man-hunting crusade. Personally, I believe that the more extreme a belief is, the more room there is for faulty logic swayed by emotion. I've noticed that the "truth" tends to be somewhere in the middle of most arguments.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 21, 2015:
Rather than rambling on and on, let me just say this article is filled with much food for thought. Some of which I agree with and some not. And actually that is as it should be.
We all do not need to see eye to eye, walk lock step on every issue.
You have made many valid points.
Quite detailed and one I will need to read again to fully absorb all of your points.
Voted up+++ and shared.
Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps
greeneyedblondie on April 21, 2015:
Thank you for this article. I feel like I have to defend my opinion whenever I tell someone I'm not a feminist. I get things like, "So you don't want women to vote or own property?" Are you kidding? That happened 100 years ago. We've been owning land and voting for 100 years. It's considered normal now. We don't have to fight for it. Also, women make less at the same job because they work less. They usually work 32 hours a week while men work 40 hours a week. That is your wage difference, which doesn't have anything to do with gender if the woman works 4o hours a week as well!
jelissa jones on April 21, 2015:
Monitor text messages, Facebook and instagram with AutoForward. It truly is the best spyware software i have used to date.
EAB on April 21, 2015:
'Equal Pay Day is actually about recognizing the fact that two people with the SAME work experience can be doing the SAME job for the SAME company and still earn totally DIFFERENT wages.'
You can read the whole article here, and you should:
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on April 15, 2015:
Nations have sometimes been ruled by a woman since time immemorial. I used to get annoyed by the fact that we here in England are ruled by the Queen, Elizabeth the second. Now maturity has taught me about that with the constitutional issues and parliamentary mechanisms in place that there is nothing to get upset about. Her Majesty has done an outstanding job during her long reign. Being 'put down' by a woman is no disgrace, it is character building if you can take it. I think that these so called superstars who enhance their talentless act with publicity stunts ought to grow up though!
Travis from New Jersey on April 14, 2015:
These are the reasons why I fear a woman winning the presidency. Certainly, she would be backed by feminist groups whose only desire is to see a woman in office so they have one more reason to belittle men.
I absolutely despise any woman who attempts to persuade other women and men that they are, in fact, feminists; and if they aren't, they either do not know better or are sexist, respectively.
The worst part is most people who are not feminists do not understand how destructive it has become. They are so easily misled by false advertising claiming that feminism is about "equality" and about women. I will always call BS on those beliefs. Feminism is a political movement used by some women-generally upper class women-to garner women's votes. It is a social movement only so far as it pertains to women who think exactly along its lines.
Ugh, I wish more women understood how frustrating it is being a young man these days. I'm only 22, and feminists attempt to blame me for their troubles. No, if I see a young woman drunk at a party, I will not rape her, not because you told me not to but because I know it would be wrong. No, I will not negatively judge your capabilities, because you are a woman. I will judge you by how you carry yourself and speak to others, something feminists are terrible at.
Konspiracy from Oak Ridge, Tennessee on April 14, 2015:
Everyone here summed up my thoughts.
Nothing to say except that I agree with you 100%.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on April 08, 2015:
At risk of contradicting myself from previous postings i would like to add my beliefs then (the Women's Liberation movement) and now with the latest emergence of equality for women. In my schooldays we were taught about the Suffragist movement in England and how they fought for the right to vote, attain a higher status in society and wage parity. Alas we didn't get taught about what was happening elsewhere in the world but the Suffragists certainly made a great impact at the turn of the 19th/20th century with a void punctuate by the great depression and a world war. To be continued!
Philip Finn from Decatur, Illinois on April 05, 2015:
Hi, Rachael, great blog, glad I tripped over it looking for something else, I've forgotten what.
"It just so happens that women take jobs that are primarily indoors, domestic, and care-based like teaching, library science, and nursing..."
You pretty much had me until there - you don't account for access to employment, training for employment, or quantifying any attempts at employment since, say, WWII to the present, which is what it would reasonably take to validate that position. The data, unfortunately, does not exist, at least as "Big Data" (yet), I know because I've looked since the late 70s.
I don't disagree with you or other people on these topics so much as simply try to hint that these matters are a long-term discipline; I've wrestled with these subjects (as have others) for decades, but they are like a lot like classic math problems that won't be solved in our lifetime, either. For me the path is to work not starting from or towards supporting a narrative, but precise data mining and a "ruat caelum" attitude towards the eventual solution, whether found by us or our descendants.
Off-topic, how do you like Hubpages? I'm looking for a good blog page...
Attorney Snyder on April 01, 2015:
Some good points. Others are not supported by real evidence. Gender norms is one area I just don't know is supported. Thanks for the article. http://hub.me/ajmNE
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on March 22, 2015:
I agree. We definitely need to hear more about this stuff than about whiny shit like "manspreading" or some scientist's T-shirt. But, the thing is, do feminists really do anything to help victims in countries where that stuff happens? No. Because it's easier to fight for faux equality in soft Western countries that already have it, by fighting governments that will respect their human rights and freedom of speech, vs. fighting theocratic Islamic governments or terrorist organizations doing the things you listed. They're cowards. They'd rather bully our men here for doing nothing than go after human rights abuses in the third world.
poetryman6969 on March 22, 2015:
Do you still get invited to cocktail parties? Some people don't want to invite "that person" who is guaranteed to tell off "the radical" and then a shouting match ensues.
There is no real freedom in the group because the group will always tell you that you are not free to leave the group. For some religions, for instance, the penalty for changing religions in death.
I would like to think there are real people with will problems that we really ought help and that most of our #firstworldproblems will sort themselves out in due time.
From my soap box I see the people with real problems as third world women. And among the more serious problems they have are:
1) Female genital mutilation
2) Punishing rape victims
3) Honor killing
4) Strapping bombs to children
5) Sexually enslaving women
6) Murdering homosexuals
7) Child marriage
8) Domestic Violence
9) Disciplining or Punishing Wives
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on March 19, 2015:
Continued: Ms Greer seems to have mellowed in her views on some of the beliefs that she cherished in her halcyon days. Now able to sit back and reflect on her achievements
the Lady has revised certain edicts she laid down. Recent articles in the media (Ms Greer is a journalist with a weekly column) where Ms Greer quite rightly asserts that Women may now be 'worse off' than the in the inception of the Women's Liberation movement circa 1960. From a male perspective it wouldn't be prudent to mention the actual topics involved (it's a girly thing!) as Ms Greer is a very 'headstrong' person. Ms Greer is not happy with the new branding of Feminism name Emma Watson's He/for/She
campaign which i happen to endorse. Ms Greer is highly critical of Femen but they are fully entitled to their freedom of speech too!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on March 19, 2015:
Academian and social commentator Germaine Greer an advocate of Women's issues was a committed Feminist during the 'second wave' of Feminism.
Mansoureh on February 20, 2015:
There is not a definite awsenr to that question. It really just depends on a man or women's outlook and views in life, and how they show that in their actions. If a women spends her life believing she is dominated and a level lower to men then she probably is; therefore men have it better off in that situation. If you look at it in that the man is the one who is supposed to take care of the family and support then then maybe the women has it better off. If women think of themselves as equals then they truly are. There are pros and cons to being goth either a man or women and there are just as many educated and brilliant women as there are men. There are women that are physically stronger than man and mentally as well. It just depends on your outlook on equality.
Sanxuary on January 24, 2015:
Your article was excellent and covered a lot of things I have been thinking for a long time. I applied to a huge number of jobs during the recession and was constantly amazed by the number of company's that never interviewed me. Yet you would be challenged to find one male employee working in the place. I have worked a lot of physically challenging jobs where plenty of men would wash out over time. Women were even more scarce and the companies really wanted women and could never maintain any over a long period of time. Double standards are just an accepted norm but its more complicated since it really depends on who you our. If you pay any attention to advertising, You would be challenged to find much of anything targeting men. When they do target men its usually with sex and women. These days every time I see a commercial I think. I have to do all that junk just to use their product. That's right, you have to see rainbows and watch crap falling from the sky. You have to get a goofy smile, dance around and experience some kind of acid trip just to eat a damn skittle.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on January 24, 2015:
No page 3 girl for three days running and 'lo and behold' you guessed it. Another page 3 girl appears! (I don't read the gutter press in any case) When editor in chief was challenged about their reneging on the issue they said that they had simply forgotten.
firstname.lastname@example.org from upstate, NY on January 23, 2015:
Common sense is a rare commodity these days, and your Hub is full of it. I agree with you completely! Feminism, as you mentioned, is mostly just another branch of leftist propaganda? Being equal doesn't mean being the same. The differences between the sexes are obvious and complimentary, to deny this is to deny reality.
ConnieTreloar from North Carolina on January 23, 2015:
"Feminist" is an outdated term. I had a whacko on Facebook bitch at me because I said I don't want to be called one. She only succeeded in proving my point. Men and women are different. Thank God! Or, we wouldn't be here to debate the point. Strong, successful women don't have to denigrate men in order to meet their potential. And, there are many ways to measure strength and success.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on January 20, 2015:
One of London's daily tabloids is considering (again) discontinuing their page 3 girl or replacing same with a current fashionista super model. The proviso is that if subsequent circulation of that 'rag' falls then the page 3 girls will be re instated. More to follow!
tami on January 19, 2015:
Feminism has a lot of problems. Some of them you stated here but analyzed them completely out of focus. What is being called "modern feminism" or "3rd wave feminism" has loads of weird shit. But that's no reason to break up with feminism, just to look at other readings. I suggest Andrea Dworkin and Sheila Jeffreys and good luck.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on January 19, 2015:
Now well into the 21st century i've encountered more hatred than ever from base lack of good manners to organised gang stalking. It costs nothing for good manners ,you know. An illegal assembly of up to 30 young and fit young men intimidating passers by and the authorities do nothing. Here is where women can use their charm to encourage better behavior. Women are nurturers and procreate offspring so they have the calming effect on aggression. I sincerely hope never to see a complete dystopian society ever.
K on January 11, 2015:
I'm no longer a feminist. About a decade ago, when radical feminism was a loud but tiny movement, I was a strident supporter. With age comes wisdom, and I eventually stopped blaming every problem I had on 'patriarchy', but clung to the feminist label because, as feminists continue to shriek, "feminism is the simple belief that men and women are equal". If only.
The misandric attitudes rampant in feminism revealed themselves to me a few years ago. In a discussion on Facebook about feminists having sons, most of the comments despaired at the 'fact' that our boys will undoubtedly (according to them) become rapists and abusers, and a handful even advocated aborting male babies for this reason. I was pregnant with a boy at the time and vehemently dissented. I absolutely refused to hate my own child simply because he was born a certain gender, something he didn't choose. I was quickly bullied out of the group.
There was a time when I feared having a daughter because of all the troubles and hardships she would face as a result of sexism. Now I worry about my son's future because radical feminism is gaining traction in society, and that feminism wants to blame him for everything, wants him to flagellate himself for his 'male privilege', and wants to punish him for the sin of being a boy.
I now call myself an egalitarian.
Side note: I've watched with no small amount of horror as some of the most vicious voices in feminism from ~10 years ago were granted prominent outlets to spew their bile (Amanda Marcotte, Jessica Valenti, etc. started as nobody-bloggers and now they're writing for The Guardian, good lord). They were every bit as crazy then as they are now, only they now have a much, much bigger audience for their hateful nonsense.
War Eagle on January 08, 2015:
I have to say,being a Native American traditionalist,from a matriarchal society.I could never understand the patriarchal attitude anyway.
Personally I think it all comes from the Judeo Christian idea of a HE God.
Ricardo from Brazil on January 06, 2015:
Rachel, I've just finished reading your post and think it's brilliant! Would you allow me to translate it into Portuguese and post it on my totally nonprofit blog (with all due credit and links to the original)? I ask that because the feminist movement in Brazil is in much the same situation as you describe for the US, your article is so relevant... but most Internet users here (feminists or not) would never bother reading a long text in any foreign language.
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on January 05, 2015:
This article made it onto A Voice For Men! I think that I will diverge from here on out, doing anti-feminist articles on AVFM and just sticking to anime articles on here. But I'm very happy for all the supportive comments I'm receiving on both sites! But yeah, if you want to follow me for future articles on this topic, I suggest heading over to AVFM. http://www.avoiceformen.com/women/a-breakup-letter...
AC on January 05, 2015:
May I suggest another myth: That women are politically underrepresented compared with men. A look at how democracy works and how politicians cater to women far more often than they do to me (if ever), shows that it's the other way round. The fact that most politicians are male is just another sexist leap of faith by feminists who focus on the genitalia rather than the people.
Wicked Stepmother from My Living Room on January 01, 2015:
Love it. Well said, and I agree. Its not difficult to come to these conclusions--simply apply common sense--but it can be difficult to put them into a cohesive article and explain them to others. I have written about the victim/entitlement mentality women have in divorce/step parenting situations. Much of what you say here is applicable to my disgust and frustration over the way women are treated differently than men in those situations. Kudos to you!
CitymanMichael on January 01, 2015:
Welcome to the world of the "red pill".
1960s women's liberation movement was great for women in the western world - but feminism has gone ahead with issues way beyond the pale.
This YouTube video highlights exactly what you say - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5LRdW8xw70
Jam on January 01, 2015:
Well, that was refreshing.
Cool to see somebody on my wavelength, and a girl nonetheless...
That sounds a tad sexist, but what I mean is, thanks for being logical and not just passing the blame to men and going with the crowd that benefits you the most. And for seeing that men aren't all demons and have shit to deal with too.
IronSheckley on December 31, 2014:
Excellent article. In fact, the second best "I used to be a (insert type of liberal) but am no longer" entry I have read this year...and there were some fantastic ones.
I only have one slight disagreement. While I certainly agree that the humanities are important and there should always be a place for them, mathematics can give us important insights about anything...even the Israel-Palestine conflict. :)
Borlongati on December 30, 2014:
Great read! Nothing I can say that already hasn't been said except that the memes sprinkled about the article were perfect and had me laughing and thinking at the same time.
somethgblue from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 30, 2014:
L.E., of course it's speculative, everything is even your so called facts are based on ones perspective. Language and the written word were designed to confuse knowledge, communication is merely a by-product.
CultureToThought on December 30, 2014:
Way to go, Ben. Way to show this woman (that's woman in the personal singular) how she is to think and feel about being a woman. And while we're at it, let me congratulate you on continuing the anti-intellectual bullying that makes the blogosphere such a welcoming and productive place. Your very appropriate comparison makes all the difference, as does your helpful reduction of the many points above into a simple-to-understand point that all responses by women are, in the end, about men.
Ben on December 30, 2014:
wow! Great news! Apparently patriarchy got tired and just kinda gave up. It's in the past get over it. And if any sexism remains it's cuz poor men-folk are being oppressed by women. men might suffer or get negative feelings if they are told they aren't the more equal humans.
MaybE next week the author will give us more good news. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that racism is gonE too! Maybe Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King single handedly defeated racism by talking about a dream.
Ron Jones on December 29, 2014:
Enjoyed the article, and your writing/editing style. There is hope for the future yet.
The ravings of a dirt-worshipping, newage swilling Gaian were just icing on the cake.
ThatGuy on December 29, 2014:
Limpet, the poster above, entirely misses the whole point of equality movements.
How does creating inequity in the present make up for inequity in the past? It doesn't. It's a greedy and entirely self centered grasp for power out of some misguided need for vengeance. You don't lift up one group by pushing the other down, you just all end up in the mud.
How about we drop all this divided gender line bullshit and just start assessing other human beings as people. Learn who they are based on how they speak and what they do.
I feel like in western society both racism and sexism are actually being heightened by all of the bad press and smear campaigns aimed across groups. You're trying to unify groups by standing on one side of a line throwing stones at the other constantly? Shouted insults and blanket statements of how "men are pigs" or "Check your privilege" is going to sway people of those groups to help you bring equality?
We need our equality movements to become inclusive instead of divisive. Otherwise we may actually end up with lines all over the sand and a real war of ideologies between groups solidified because of constant harassment.
Louis-Eric on December 29, 2014:
somethgblue: Your etymological analysis of the word "believe" has no basis in fact and is completely specious. The conclusions you draw from your "analysis" are thus equally shaky. Facts are not something people can make up to fit a conclusion and still claim that the conclusion is intellectually honest.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on December 29, 2014:
Now that we are well into the 21st century it would serve us proud as humanity for legislation to equalize the gender imbalance. Even if it did tip the balance more in favour of women that would make up the appalling discrepancy which has occurred in the past. Women have a vast potential to unlock for the benefit of all. Rachael Lefler stands out as a shining example of the modern woman with concise 'clear cut' ideas for where we go from here. More to follow!
Aesop Jones on December 28, 2014:
Excellent, thoughtful, and well-written piece. I think many will look back at 2014 as the year that feminists pushed too far with things like "shirtgate."
Brian on December 28, 2014:
I found this article could use a lot more research and would more effectively make your point if it was less biased and opinionated. The topic of patriarchy could definitely use more research.
As a historian, your statement that "The thing is, most societies, past and present, were patriarchies, regardless of culture, and I think of this as proof that men are simply more dominant and more predisposed to prefer political leadership than women, who seem across all cultures to prefer domestic and private leadership" really bothered me. Yes, most present and more recent societies are and were patriarchies. It was not always this way though. There was a time when men and women inherited property, thrones, and power equally. The crystallization of patriarchy occurred over time. It was not always this way. It was a movement that gained momentum, much like feminism is now. To say that men are more dominant or predisposed to prefer positions of leadership is ridiculous though, to those who are feminists and those who are not. The fact that men have more testosterone in their bodies or are typically larger than women does not determine at all whether they would make a better politician or leader. It most certainly does not mean that they are more likely to want to be a leader or politician either. This is a prime example actually, of patriarchy. For generations it has been socially accepted that women have no place in politics or leadership. There is no foundation for this thought other than a history of female oppression. There are several other points in the section about patriarchy that are extremely inaccurate. In fact, the grand majority of that section is inaccurate. I lost all desire to read the rest of your article. I do not mean to offend you, just to educate you a bit so that you may better your argument.
You may also want to read up on Henry VIII more. Comparing the pressures of his rule to the pressures that Elizabeth I faced in her own is ridiculous. Also, Henry VIII did not want a divorce just to receive an heir. Catherine of Aragon, his first wife, was capable of having children and had already given birth to a daughter, Mary. His reason for wanting a divorce had everything to do with his lust for Anne Boleyn, who refused to sleep with him until they were married.
You stated "Patriarchy theory also, ironically for the fact that feminists celebrate these women, ignores the fact that none of this means that women never held political power... It also dismisses the women who have and who continue to have political influence." This is inaccurate completely. By definition, patriarchy describes a society in which women were LARGELY excluded from politics and positions of power. Patriarchy recognizes that there are always some women who rise above patriarchy and manage to hold positions of power or leadership. Eleanor of Aquitaine or Elizabeth I are great examples. Patriarchy does not at all discredit them or dismiss them as you have said.
All in all, you seem to throw the word patriarchy around like you know what you are talking about, but you clearly do not. Please do a bit more research so that we do not have people taking your opinions or things you have stated in this section as fact. I could continue to inform you of your errors in this section on patriarchy but I would need to correct every sentence. I just thought I should let you know that you do not actually know what patriarchy is.
anon on December 28, 2014:
I'm a bit annoyed at the Marilyn meme. She was a country gal who was exploited and told what to do by people who just wanted to use her for her body. Had it not been for that, she wouldn't have turned to drugs and sex as a means of escape. It's not like she's Miley Cyrus.
Suzanne on December 28, 2014:
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
FINALLY, an article that completely and systematically debunks all of the ridiculous arguments that modern feminism pushes on us.
Let's hope that the egalitarian movement (who, unlike feminism, believes in true equality) picks up steam someday!
Alistair Kerr on December 28, 2014:
A great article. The only very minor criticism would be the word "choosing" in the following: "like someone being transgendered is simply a biological man or woman choosing to identify as culturally the opposite." That would imply it's definitely a choice one can make. Without evidence one way or another that it is something one can choose rather than innate for that person it would be better to just say something like: "like someone being transgendered is simply a biological man or woman who identifies as culturally the opposite.
Asher Frost on December 28, 2014:
Really good article. One of the biggest things that irritated me about the "Gamergate" debacle was that the world was seeming to act as if it was the first time anyone had ever been threatened over the internet. There have been several men in the gaming industry that have quit over the amount of online (and offline) harassment they received for making games, yet those stories were always ignored in favor of painting gamers as this "Last holdout of Misogyny" The fact is, the internet is known for having people who don't "get" the social contract and believe that threatening people, publicly posting their information, or altering photos of them to put them in humiliating circumstances makes them, the perpetrator somehow "Cool". When it happens to a guy, we call it "Trolling" and move on, if it happens to a woman, apparently we are supposed to see it as some deep-seated hatred of All Women everywhere. (Much in the way Ubisoft not having an option in their latest game to play as female was somehow proof of their misogyny, despite them hiring more female managers than almost any other game developer)
CultureToThought on December 28, 2014:
First, I don't understand the criticism of the length. Is this because it is a HubPages thing, or is this just a norm of blogging? Regardless, ideas need to be carefully explained and elaborated upon, and this takes effort --- and words. On this, you have done both, and I applaud this essay. You made several contributions to the conversation that I frequently do not see in criticisms of modern western feminism, or at least not all in one piece. One that really stuck out regarded the problems of legitimizing the need for the arguments of modern western feminism by pointing out problems that occurred in a relatively distant past, or are occurring in a culture away from out own. Christina Hoff Sommers, who you reference above (the Huffington Post article), argues that there are two strands of feminism: equity feminism, which addresses legitimate and concrete issues of equity in a pragmatic fashion; and gender feminism, which is ideal and utopic, and is the kind of feminism you have attacked above, and is the mode of thought for modern western feminism. I frequently see memes supporting gender feminism but seek legitimacy through erstwhile issues more relevant to equity feminism, but which have either been successfully dealt with in our culture, or exist elsewhere, and need real political force to successfully address them -- not a bunch of agony aunts screaming in one breath about an offensive shirt and third world culturally endemic sexism in another.
My advice: sit down with a good editor, clean this up a little, and try to publish it.
Tubesteak on December 28, 2014:
This was one of the best things I have ever read on feminism. I agreed with every one of your points.
I'll be posting this on many pages now.
DoctorT on December 27, 2014:
Long, but very well written and methodical. Good job.
Tarik on December 27, 2014:
So refreshing to read this Rachael. Thank you for the pleasurable read and congratulations on having the courage to speak out. All the best :)
Chris on December 27, 2014:
Good post. If only the illuminati conspiracy wouldn't keep this from being seen by more than a couple dozen sheeple, lol.
Seriously though, I'm happy that a good, eloquent writer like you could express these well thought out arguments to a wider audience. You brought up things I've thought before and introduced me to ideas I hadn't thought of. Thanks.
Angelica Perduta from Christchurch, New Zealand on December 27, 2014:
I love your articles. I wish our trans community could be inspired by your rational and objective insights... I wish we too could all see that being a woman is not conditional on supporting feminist sophistries.
Thank you for writing this.
Andrea on December 27, 2014:
I have an ornery teenage boy and a 4 month old boy. I still had the ability to read the entire article (and understand it unlike some, apparently) and I find it ironic that the ones complaining about the length of the article posted the longest comments. Weird. Anyway, I loved this article. You nailed everything. My husband and my boys being considered "potential" rapists aggravates me to no end. My ex husband was raped by a woman and feminists eyes, she's a hero. That's disgusting. I also played with Lego's but I loved Barbie, I'm not a Stepford wife and I don't have an eating disorder unless you consider Pepsi and KitKats a disorder, I just consider them heavenly. Keep up the awesome writing.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on December 23, 2014:
From a male perspective, i was once asked by a Lady to define 'Feminism' for her. My reply was that it is a theory and should be approached from a theoretical angle. Her retort was "Your problem is that you are a male!" It is so refreshing to see Anita Sarkeesian arrive on the scene at this time as the 'trailblazers' such as Germaine Greer and Simone deBouvoir move on. Italian Feminist Oriana Fallaci passed on a few years back but she has left us a plethora of writtern works on the subject.
somethgblue from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 12, 2014:
No need to condescend when you recognize the fact that writing 10 to 15 thousand word articles that in reality is nothing more than mental masturbation and ranting, because if you can't make your point using that many words you won't keep a reader around long enough to care what the point is.
I write articles that are 3 to 5 thousand words and they are too long, because in this day and age peoples attention spans aren't what they used to be, too many distractions. It's not a conspiracy but a fact of conditioning and it is done on purpose, get real.
The conditioning of mankind has been going on for thousands of years but has taken on a global perspective through electronic media, TV, videos, Iphones, video games you name it.
I had no expectations but was willing to share with you how I have published 186 articles and had over a quarter of a million people read them and most of them are about conspiracies. So while you might not accept them as reality many are able to look beyond the censorship of books and ideas, read between the lies and think for themselves.
Anyone can write a book the point is to get people to read it and that takes editing, your text capsules should be half as long and each one should prove a point. The very first paragraph should include what you hope to accomplish in the article and the conclusion should actually show or prove the entire article.
The point is to get people to read the entire article and not just people interested in you or feminism, to do that it has to flow and move the reader along, hoping to gain more insight as they go.
Rachael Lefler (author) from Illinois on December 12, 2014:
Well, this article is not titled "Insight on Feminine Spirituality for People Who Believe Everything is an Illuminati Conspiracy", is it? So sorry it didn't live up to your expectations? Well except that I'm not sorry for that, because your expectations make no actual sense. Maybe I should just write a book though, I guess if you're saying I have too much to say for people like you to follow. I don't like to condescend about my audience's attention spans or reading skills.
somethgblue from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 12, 2014:
Let's take a closer look at the word 'believe', shall we . . . It consist of two root words BE and LIE with a suffix of VE. The first word BE is defined as the existence of a thing or person. The second word LIE is defined as a falsehood or deception. The suffix refers to the state of or action of.
So when we use the word 'Believe' when are in fact telling ourselves that 'we accept 'e existence of a falsehood or deception'.
My sources are fine, thank you, it is your perception that needs checking, that and the fact that although it is necessary to keep a reader on your article for 3 minutes and 40 seconds to gain a 'page view', requiring a reader to slog through over 10,000 words to make a point usually will lead to sleep.
I went to the conclusion hoping to find the point and got an apology and critical analysis of Hub Pages. I began reading article hoping for some insight on feminine spirituality and a different perspective and got a long winded rant from a disturbed writer.
First impressions being what they are I won't be back . . . you really need to stay on point and learn to edit, because you're a good writer but a lousy editor.