Hi. I am not a feminist but I am debating in spaces in which I believe portions of feminism as i understand it are often wildly misrepresented. In the interest of intellectual honesty I try to clarify these errors with the people im debating.
Men keep telling me they've repeatedly read that "feminism helps men too" and that "feminism is about 'equality'. " here is a typical such exchange. In my understanding of feminist discourse, which may be out of date, "feminism helps men too" does not mean that feminism is about MENs rights issues as described BY men or mens complaints, but is a statement meant to convey that fighting for the rights of WOMEN, the interests of women and the patriarchal system helps men TOO in the way FEMINISM believes men need help. That feminism is not concerned about the manner in which gaining womens rights and advocating for womens issues "harms" mens interests, in the sense these men keep throwing at me
My understanding of "feminism is about equality" is that it's a glib expression of the broader statement that the mission of feminism is to rectify legal inequities and social isabilities that WOMEN suffer vis a vis MEN or in the patriarchal system, NOT that it's mission includes rectifying any male-perceived inequities and social disabilities that men suffer vis a vis women that MEN consider such
my question is Am I off base in my understanding? Is what I just wrote clear and accurate? I keep trying to explain that feminism is about WOMENS issues, not mens, and these facile quotes that are coming from the mouths of self proclaimed feminists keep being thrown back at me. there seems to be no way i can express to these men that FEMinism is ABOUT women without them somehow interpreting it weirdly. has third wave and intersectional feminism just muddied the waters so much that feminism has become impossible to discuss as a distinct movement with specific ideas? i posted this on /r/AskFeminists and got some very oddly unsatisfying answers about there being no "feminism police" and some MTF had soemthign to say about it. im hoping you guys can help me out, i want tobe CORRECT in my understanding of feminism
The radfem analysis of marriage as a patriarchal institution has convinced me that as a heterosexual man, marrying someone is unethical. I have an intuitive feeling that in the present society having kids in a hetero relationship (adopted or not) is also somehow unethical, no matter how much one individually tries to make it "equal"
This begs the question: how would the ideal society be organized in terms of men, women, and children, both homo and hetero? Is there a general radfem consensus on this?
I understand that this is highly theoretical, and that most time is devoted, rightly so, to actually fighting the patriarchy and not coming up with utopian models. But any answers, links to blogs, books, etc. are appreciated. Thank you!
I read probably all the comments too and I have a question. So men are supposed to tell these Larry Flint and Hugh Hefner types to stop because they're being immoral and stuff, but how are we supposed to get them to listen when they don't care and are out of reach? How are we supposed to stop the average idiot from not adopting their ideology when most just stop listening to us and we all end up going our separate ways? We are all responsible for one another, sure, but under the many threats of capitalism and even violence how are we supposed to actually be responsible for them? Are women supposed to only focus lecturing women and men go lecture the men??? That doesn't seem right. Women should be able to lecture the men as well as women, just as men lecture both sexes. Or is that wrong? If that's wrong why are men responsible for all other men when I haven't even come in to contact with most of these guys? Also if women shouldn't have to deal with men because men are violent that's bullshit because its not like all men can just handle violence so easy. And what are we supposed to do try and fight all these dudes to submission? Attacking the problem early (Good parents teaching kids not to be too focused on any on particular topic or ever be too wrapped up in dumb shitty activities) seems to be the only way because old men (and even young men) stuck in their ways will take us fighting to their death (as persuading just a few could take up a person's whole life) or they might actually just become violent.
From my fairly young and ignorant point of view, to beat this, you'd have to rid society of some of the shitty norms like wanting to be an athlete or rebel drug connoisseur, and the whole capitalist system. But even just the shitty norms have some underlying and complex reasons for existing, so its not so easy. I wonder even if there's an actual fix, as everyone is sort of just testing the limits of their current reality, which causes them to have less time for others. Men and women both are trying to see how strong they can be by doing ridiculous activities, like getting on steroids lifting weight no natural person could and beating each other for sport. Somehow even being a comedian is a profession because the limit for edginess in public needed to be stretched. Are we supposed to stop people from attempting these things? How would we even do that? I don't think you can really regulate that currently (anytime soon).
I was taken aback by all the unity on the topic when I had thought it just was an extreme part of radical feminism (sort of like the shock value when some activists talk about killing men). I didn't write the post (and I can see specifically the second portion) in order to undermine any attempts for progress, or radical feminism as a whole, but the lumping of all men into a group and not really confronting males directly (I think its fine to primarily focus on women's issues, but I was wondering why they don't want to take charge like some commander/direct the [male] traffic/establish matriarchy with their superior knowledge/intuition [imo only way that's possible if women take their opportunities to take command]. I just don't agree with that idea. The sidebar seems to mentions this as being primary idea too (I only read it just now [in regard to grouping men]). But, did men really allow the system to set in place because they knew "oh well at least I'm part of the powerful class"? I know it's documented most men in the past thought of women as lesser beings, but isn't it more an issue of past ignorance, time and dealing with the current issues and then as much of the other things as possible? Like when slaves were allowed in the Southern United States, even though the Northern United States was against the idea? Like they only allowed it because they couldn't solve the issue in a snap. And just because people of the past were ignorant doesn't mean men of today are held responsible as if we were the same as those men of old. And just because men (and women) fall victim to the demotivating factors in our current reality, and end up lifelessly just going through the motions, using things such as alcohol and watching football to supplement/avoid reality, doesn't mean they're exactly pieces of shit. All the unmindfulness, depression, and supplementation of reality are caused by many complex factors, and aren't exclusive to men or even due to the "men class", as all of that is hard to pin point at the moment. Like I don't know exactly why so many people I know would rather focus on watching people play video games online, rather than focus on being fit and fixing all the societal issues currently at hand. There are a ton of internal and external issues at play, and when people don't want be open or listen to others or even face their own issues its very hard to get any change as you deal with your own issues.
I see the same thing with veganism where some vegans call meat eaters or even vegetarians pieces of shit for not being vegan. I don't understand it as a tactic and I think those people are just fools. I'm a vegan and I don't do that because I don't think that's going to change anyone's mind. I do understand the whole getting people's attention aspect just like some of the weird protests they do (like the one where a girl talks about chicken as if it were her child). But I don't think these tactics are really changing anyone's mind. I assume vegan activists don't care as much because they believe change can't and shouldn't happen over night. Therefore, some literally don't care and are just putting on a show (being edgy or over dramatic) to be some vegan rock star or something. But with radical feminism I don't see why you would want to do that. I would assume you would want change as quickly as possible because there wouldn't be such consequences to change, where as rapid and sudden global veganism would cause problems in the world economy and leave a large amount of unwanted farm animals. Like the only thing I think (currently can come up with) would happen would be people involved in prostitution or pornography would diminish greatly as well as steroid footballers and greedy capitalists owning sports teams and other bullshit businesses. And all those involved shitty activities and others who remain ignorant can all go work the minimum wage jobs or do hard time depending on what they were involved with.
Also it seems like aggressiveness and violence aren't wanted yet the initial acts of aggressiveness and violence have underlying causal issues that may not be eradicated currently (or anytime soon) without aggressive and violent countermeasures. I'm not suggesting violence, but plenty of men like to be aggressive and I don't know if that is going away or is necessarily a bad thing. So why not put it to use? Instead of claiming men are all part of the problem to maybe subliminally get men to go after other men, why not openly declare your stances against major issues while suggesting men join up in protest against these issues. Like for example ask men to protest football events, explain how sports professional sports are taking money away from them, how steroiders don't deserve that kind of money and the whole professional sport thing is pointless. Not necessarily with radical feminists (I believe its a woman only thing), but sort of like commanding your male battalions to occupy certain areas in protest and ready for confrontation. I'm sure there are tons of men who have anti-capitalist beliefs and yet like to get aggressive (are looking for an excuse to get after other men's bullshit, not necessarily wanting to harm others, just not afraid of aggressive behavior and would like confrontation or to shame them) and such. Surely plenty of military men who believe they're fighting for good could be easily convinced. Especially when lots are looking for something to do. I don't really see the harm in using men as part of the solution. Imo all radical feminist leaders would have to do is be the ones controlling the information and bringing awareness. They don't necessarily need to be the front line, they just need to name what where when and why, and send their ally troops the coordinates. Anyways I know radical feminists wouldn't want aggressiveness to win but I don't know how you beat aggressiveness without it until aggressiveness isn't the primary tool used in oppression or controlling others. And men getting after other men's bullshit is what got me to go vegan (specifically the idiocy of professional sports). I've always disliked the average man's shitty ideals. The acts of violence and bullshit misinformation to confuse you and think your lesser. All of that manipulation is harmful and should be punished aggressively (not really physical violence, but maybe) imo. But maybe that's just a man's dumb view.
Also as I've said previously people are testing limits of reality so I don't really know how much change you can create because determining whether these things are good or bad is difficult. With sports and steroids I think you can because it seems we can predict that steroids are limited in usefulness, as steroids will never do anything to protect the brain from trauma and you can only get so big and muscular. So to continue to allow "athletes" to compete, or experiment with the limits of steroids, is pointless. Therefore, we can probably stop with all the pointless professional sports (where most are very likely on steroids). That is unless the creeps at the top involved in all this want to create some new drug that increases skull density safely or increase the natural size limit of humans, but creating such freaks would be too obvious to the public and probably no one wants a oversized skull. Also getting so big is just completely counterproductive (men want to be big for strength and fighting but if everyone was big, it would be the same as if we were all small with tools for strength and when big men fight they're likely to get knocked out much easier than two small men fighting because there is more force that will be applied on the skull, so if we want a less dangerous and violent world we definitely don't want large men with their tiny heads) and would probably require too great of resources for just one person, and as of now we have tremendous problems or die if we get too big.
TLDR: I'm sort of asking why the all men tactic (which I see as pointless manipulation) rather than directly challenging things that would get men to question or protest certain things, or even directly telling men what to do? It's not quite clear as to why there wouldn't be a desire to use men as a tool. Also I don't know why there is such a focus on stopping pornography and prostitution rather than getting men to be less ignorant in other areas. Shouldn't we try to just get men smarter and not want to participate in idiotic activities and ideologies over fantasy (rather, with the lack of effective teaching and mass information how can they understand how to get a handle on their fantasies involving women when they cannot even get a grasp the illogical desires and fantasies working against them)? Women tend to be more mature and more intelligent, sure, but they are fighting against idiots, and their is no winning against idiots, unless you educate them(eventually they might influence women if the idiocy is not eliminated or dominated). So shouldn't women be trying to engage men or the things that are distracting men, especially in changing their opinion on the overly idiotic desires in which they act on (dumb sports and such which are skewing their view of their own expectations) which imo is taking up too much of their attention, which then causes them to lose sight of reality in all that bullshit competition. Men think they need to compete in all these different things, most women know they don't, so some of these men think women are less because they're wrapped up in the false importance of these illogical desires that lead to nothing (also with all the bullshit careers I think people just hate everything more). Aren't the main negative influences on women revolving around attraction and perform sexual acts (with most being outlandish fantasies, that actually mostly no one wants or even is interested in). While men are being influenced in similar ways, but are also getting wrapped up in a lot of other idiotic things to where they take too much interest in it. Nowadays of course women are too, but that's the problem I think. For some reason these idiotic things are still not being questioned enough and we even have more women getting wrapped up in them too. I also believe we spend less time thinking about or engaging in sexual activities than the many other dumb things we do. If we just had sexual fantasies to deal with we could solve the issue. But we have sports and other bullshit, while we have little respectable professions or people. Shouldn't we mostly be focusing on getting rid of the useless things that take up a lot of time, effort and resources (pointless hobbies/interests that take up the most time and fake/useless careers/positions that cause men to think life is a game/competition and they need a reward/nice title/be a winner). I've only been looking into this stuff recently but I know Radical Feminists like Cathy Brennan seems to like sports like baseball and Magdalen Berns likes boxing. I wonder if we should be trying to be more critical of these other things like sports, entertainment or medicine (others not only the trans topic, that's obviously a big and important issue to tackle, but honestly my paranoid brain thinks its another disgusting way those at the top are keeping people occupied with problems, most don't think it makes sense but are too busy bullshitting [leaving it up to the motivated people, therefore they can't tackle other issues at the moment]and just go along with it like most other things until it affects them, but hopefully it can and will be used to nail those even slightly involved in it,[especially big pharma, shitty billionaires and politicians]), which are imo much bigger problems (than pornography and prostitution as the other issues require more focus and distract people more).
Also sorry if this isn't considered appropriate (too critique like/not questiony enough) for the subreddit. Should i post in the debate subreddit instead if I want an opinion?
*I edited and rewrote it to try and clarify with new stuff after the second paragraph.
Hi. First of all, I don't question that BDSM is problematic. Let's all acknowledge that there are very real concerns and hazards when it comes to BDSM practices and relationships, as well as communities and erotica.
That being said, let's imagine, on the other hand, the most inoffensive case. Suppose there's a nice, loving couple -- maybe straight, maybe gay -- and most of their sexual episodes are quite vanilla. Usually they're both submissive to each other inside and outside the bedroom. However, they like to "spice things up" sometimes -- say, with BDSM.
They "switch," between "sessions"/encounters, so that sometimes it's one partner doing the domming, and sometimes it's the other. They keep it all strictly "safe, sane and consensual." Everything is discussed before and after. There's aftercare. It's a bedroom thing, not a lifestyle thing. They don't advertise or even disclose it to anyone; it's purely something between them two that they enjoy doing sometimes in private.
Is there nothing wrong with that? Or is BDSM always unacceptable.
Hi, I am not exactly sure how to word this, but it seems important so I'll give it a shot. I have many trans people in my life that I care about and see how much they struggle as trans people. As a marxist and feminist I also agree that gender is a socially imposed system (in that eventually we would hopefully end gender as a concept and just have people) that unfortunately like race does have a real existence in our current society. I also understand that the oppression of women is often centered in the biological nature of female bodies (pregnancy for example). Can somebody be a radical feminist and be allies with trans people (in the sense that they do not fit into our current society)? Is there any basic reading any of you would recommend? Thank you for your time and any responses. I am sorry if this is a basic question I should have googled instead of foisting on your community.
Hello, first time posting here, I hope this is ok here.
A lot of radical feminist stuff I've seen seems to tend to focus on the inherently coercive nature of capitalism. For example in the case of prostitution, it's considered a coerced activity because it's the way to get food under capitalism if other ways turned out not to work. (under capitalism labor is coerced, coerced sex is rape, therefor prostitution is rape.)
Radfem stuff also seems to come from a ... Marxist? blueprint for how these things are supposed to be organized. 1) Consider the group (women) as a class. 2) Raise consciousness about ways we're oppressed 3) .... liberation? I'm not really familiar with Marxism but it seems like a familiar formula, kinda, like I've seen it elsewhere. The same words, too. "Oppression". "Radical". "Liberation".
So would it be accurate to say radical feminism is a communist project, one of many organized along the same lines?
The people around me are very much feminists or influences by feminism, but more the queer-feminist / sex-positive kind, which I understand can be seen as contradicting radical feminism.
I've noticed they tend to decidedly distance themselves from second-wave and radical feminism, and ... - from the outside, without being as intellectual as they are, it doesn't seem too right. I know about the controverses (have read the wikipedia articles about the "sex wars", not much more). But to me there seems still a lot of overlap (plus, I'm always avoiding conflict...).
From your point of view, do you think feminists are seriously divided along those lines?
From your point of view, do you think that sex-positive, trans-inclusive feminism has its merits?
Thank you very much, I'm looking forward to learning from you!
(I understand this is a broad question. I'm interested in personal views more than analyses. I'm willing to read, if you could point me to good sources!)
If men leave women alone to do their own thing. With men forming their own cliques, groups, and companies. While also not marrying women or trying to have children or committed relationships with women. Doesn't that help women achieve liberty from men?
I see occasional dislike against MGTOW from women but it makes no sense. Why are they mad at those men who want nothing to do with them, and are content to leave them alone? It's almost like the feminists demand that men be present and sacrifice for women. Which is neither equality nor liberty for men.
Throughout my life, I've been attracted to asceticism, renunciation, monasticism, and all lifestyles characterized by austere self-discipline and self-denial. Currently, I live at a monastery where I maintain the grounds and buildings and have my own ascetic practice of celibacy, fasting, living with minimal material possessions in an off-the-grid cabin, silence, solitude, and meditation. I've done extensive research into the history of asceticism from the ancient Christian desert hermits and medieval mendicants, to Hindu and Jain sadhus, to secular philosophers like Diogenes, to Buddhist monastics, and notice that the overwhelming majority of ascetics are male. Men also tend to engage in the most extreme forms of asceticism. I also notice that monasteries are almost militaristic-the uniforms, the obedience to superiors, the rigid schedule, etc. Solitary eremitical, mendicant, and pilgrim ascetics also place an emphasis on detachment from others and independence. My question is to what degree the phenomenon of asceticism is a product of gender, particularly masculinity? Are women under-represented in this phenomenon because of feminine socialization or because the women who do choose such a life are doing so for similar reasons to that of the spinsters written about by radical feminists like Sheila Jeffreys? Would this global phenomenon exist if there were no gender?