Feminism and Sexual Equality

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Are the genders equal? Does each gender have certain rights and privileges?

Does more work need to be done in order to make the genders equal? What can be done?

First off, from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary this is what feminism is, as referred to in this thread. It is NOT, as many believe, a plot to bring men down.

fem·i·nism – noun \ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\
Definition of FEMINISM
1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

 
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1. They are equal, but not the same. Genders don’t have the same rights, but they have similar rights.

2. In certain areas yes, in certain areas no. I try and keep a moderate approach to things; certain issues can use fixing all around, and yet, a bias must not be established.

3. Yes, this is the definition of feminism. Be careful though, perhaps even bolding that part of your text, because certain people will confuse regular feminism with the radical type.

 
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I believe that certainly a lot of gender inequality exists often due to strong gender roles that are established in our society.
We are certainly familiar with these roles, but I’m going to list some of the ideals that each gender is supposed to live up to:

Men are supposed to be:
Strong
Unemotional
Supporting the family
Aggressive

Women:
Nurturing
Emotional
Physically Weak
Empathetic
Passive

These can be harmful because individuals who do not live up to their gender roles are often treated quite badly by society. Not all men are strong and unemotional and not all women are empathetic and nurturing. A woman can be tough and a man can be empathetic, but of course, that doesn’t bode well for either of them. An empathetic man is a pussy and a tough or assertive woman is a bitch.

 
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Originally posted by TheAwsomeOpossum:

1. They are equal, but not the same. Genders don’t have the same rights, but they have similar rights.

2. In certain areas yes, in certain areas no. I try and keep a moderate approach to things; certain issues can use fixing all around, and yet, a bias must not be established.

3. Yes, this is the definition of feminism. Be careful though, perhaps even bolding that part of your text, because certain people will confuse regular feminism with the radical type.

I’m curious. How can it be equal if the rights aren’t the same? Isn’t that just comparing apples and oranges? Also, you should probably re-post what you just put in the abortion thread, minus the actual abortion bits.

 
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Originally posted by AmandaC4:
Originally posted by TheAwsomeOpossum:

1. They are equal, but not the same. Genders don’t have the same rights, but they have similar rights.

2. In certain areas yes, in certain areas no. I try and keep a moderate approach to things; certain issues can use fixing all around, and yet, a bias must not be established.

3. Yes, this is the definition of feminism. Be careful though, perhaps even bolding that part of your text, because certain people will confuse regular feminism with the radical type.

I’m curious. How can it be equal if the rights aren’t the same? Isn’t that just comparing apples and oranges? Also, you should probably re-post what you just put in the abortion thread, minus the actual abortion bits.

Yes, it is. Men and women are just different.

First, take away physically weak from your gender roles. I do not think of women as weak. Not as strong as men, but not weak. In fact, this is another area where men are strong in some areas and women are strong in others.

Women are different in many ways. They think different, they react to different situations, they are more able to do different things than men.

When I say think different, I mean women are programmed to be nurturing to their children for instance. Men would rather be tearing down the engine in their truck. This is just an example so don’t bite my head off.

When confronted with, say a robbery, a man may take action in retaliation where a woman will look for a way to flee. In my wife,s case she screamed bloody murder.

Did you know a woman can stand with her back against the wall and been down without falling? A man can’t. This is because a woman is built physically different. I thought this was interesting. A woman can hold a child and be in balance, where a man has to use upper body strength.

 
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Originally posted by AmandaC4:
Originally posted by TheAwsomeOpossum:

1. They are equal, but not the same. Genders don’t have the same rights, but they have similar rights.

2. In certain areas yes, in certain areas no. I try and keep a moderate approach to things; certain issues can use fixing all around, and yet, a bias must not be established.

3. Yes, this is the definition of feminism. Be careful though, perhaps even bolding that part of your text, because certain people will confuse regular feminism with the radical type.

I’m curious. How can it be equal if the rights aren’t the same? Isn’t that just comparing apples and oranges? Also, you should probably re-post what you just put in the abortion thread, minus the actual abortion bits.

Equal in value, importance, and necessity. Certain laws are more useful to men than to women, or vise versa. I don’t worry about that. I instead like to choose what is most practical at the time =P.

And yes, it is comparing apples and oranges. Except, it is a case where apples and oranges both taste good. Since they both taste good, I see no reason to choose one over the other… I’ll have both! After all, they both taste good =).

And yeah, I would repost it, but nah, tis not worth it, I’m not trying to get in an argument here =P. Besides, my responses are reactionary ones; in other words, bold statements deserve bold responses. In this thread, bold statements aren’t being made, so, I’d prefer to not post bold statements in here, but instead, to explore interesting ideas, which, imho, is more preferable =P.

 
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Originally posted by jhco50:
Originally posted by AmandaC4:
Originally posted by TheAwsomeOpossum:

1. They are equal, but not the same. Genders don’t have the same rights, but they have similar rights.

2. In certain areas yes, in certain areas no. I try and keep a moderate approach to things; certain issues can use fixing all around, and yet, a bias must not be established.

3. Yes, this is the definition of feminism. Be careful though, perhaps even bolding that part of your text, because certain people will confuse regular feminism with the radical type.

I’m curious. How can it be equal if the rights aren’t the same? Isn’t that just comparing apples and oranges? Also, you should probably re-post what you just put in the abortion thread, minus the actual abortion bits.

Yes, it is. Men and women are just different.

First, take away physically weak from your gender roles. I do not think of women as weak. Not as strong as men, but not weak. In fact, this is another area where men are strong in some areas and women are strong in others.

Women are different in many ways. They think different, they react to different situations, they are more able to do different things than men.

When I say think different, I mean women are programmed to be nurturing to their children for instance. Men would rather be tearing down the engine in their truck. This is just an example so don’t bite my head off.

When confronted with, say a robbery, a man may take action in retaliation where a woman will look for a way to flee. In my wife,s case she screamed bloody murder.

Did you know a woman can stand with her back against the wall and been down without falling? A man can’t. This is because a woman is built physically different. I thought this was interesting. A woman can hold a child and be in balance, where a man has to use upper body strength.

Absolutely, there are physical differences in how female and male bodies work. That’s a fact. Some of the behavior, I’m not so sure. How can we know how much men act stereotypically ‘masculine’ because that is what is expected of them by society, rather than that being their natural state?

 
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If feminists are going to continue to be such an outspoken group in the western world, I wouldn’t mind sending them all to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc where they are suppressed to show that they have it good, and if they really want to fight for women’s rights, they should be where there is an active push to keep them down.

 
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Fun fact: the idea that women have this sixth sense to really gauge social cues is true … It’s also true for men. Men just require a different motivation (money). Men and women are equally keen at picking up social (behavioral) cues. I forget what the women’s motivation was – but it was pretty crucial to their integration into society.

What bothers me is when the goal posts move with Feminism. You define it as equal rights for the sexes – and then on things like tumblr, have signs that support Women’s Rights – and not Men’s Rights. Am I missing something here? Are Men’s rights somehow implicit in, or superseded by, these signs saying Women’s Rights? If it really is defined how the dictionary says, I think it’s a terrible misnomer.

Um, hellooo — HUMAN’S RIGHTS anybody?

 
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Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

If feminists are going to continue to be such an outspoken group in the western world, I wouldn’t mind sending them all to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc where they are suppressed to show that they have it good, and if they really want to fight for women’s rights, they should be where there is an active push to keep them down.

So, you’re saying that feminists should sit down and shut up and have no power, so that we can be just like in Iran? Good job. Your username suits you well.
And why all the hostility regarding equality, anyway?

 
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There isn’t equality of the sexes, no. But that’s what feminism is fighting for. Anything a man can do a woman can do, and anything a woman can do a man can do. We think differently, yes. But our minds are just as strong ads one another. Physical strength can be compensated for by technique.

Paid the same for the same jobs, all jobs open to both sexes, and acceptance of such. No glass ceilings or glass cliffs. Equality in responsibility in all areas including the domestic situation and child rearing. An end to sexual discrimination in the legal system. All of it is what feminism is ultimately fighting for.

About the only things a man cannot do that a woman can, is feel a new life growing inside him, or breastfeed. That’s about it. Both are due to differences in the body, not differences in the self. A woman cannot take the same level of physical punishment as a man conversely.

However, should she wish to put herself in harm’s way that is her choice. So long as she can do the job that is all that matters.

 
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Originally posted by AmandaC4:
Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

If feminists are going to continue to be such an outspoken group in the western world, I wouldn’t mind sending them all to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc where they are suppressed to show that they have it good, and if they really want to fight for women’s rights, they should be where there is an active push to keep them down.

So, you’re saying that feminists should sit down and shut up and have no power, so that we can be just like in Iran? Good job. Your username suits you well.

Nah, he’s trying to say that feminists (in this case, I think he’s talking about the extreme type) should focus on the countries with greater inequalities first rather than worry about a country that has relatively fewer inequalities in comparison. (Or I think that’s what he meant) =P

Nonetheless, he didn’t say it in a very diplomatic manner =/.

 
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Originally posted by AmandaC4:
Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

If feminists are going to continue to be such an outspoken group in the western world, I wouldn’t mind sending them all to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc where they are suppressed to show that they have it good, and if they really want to fight for women’s rights, they should be where there is an active push to keep them down.

So, you’re saying that feminists should sit down and shut up and have no power, so that we can be just like in Iran? Good job. Your username suits you well.

He’s saying feminists should work on improving women’s rights where women have the least rights.

 
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Originally posted by TheAwsomeOpossum:
Originally posted by AmandaC4:
Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

If feminists are going to continue to be such an outspoken group in the western world, I wouldn’t mind sending them all to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc where they are suppressed to show that they have it good, and if they really want to fight for women’s rights, they should be where there is an active push to keep them down.

So, you’re saying that feminists should sit down and shut up and have no power, so that we can be just like in Iran? Good job. Your username suits you well.

Nah, he’s trying to say that feminists (in this case, I think he’s talking about the extreme type) should focus on the countries with greater inequalities first rather than worry about a country that has relatively fewer inequalities in comparison. (Or I think that’s what he meant) =P

Nonetheless, he didn’t say it in a very diplomatic manner =/.

Ohhh yeah. The lack of diplomacy sort of made me misinterpret that.
My apologies. In any case, I certainly can’t go over and change the middle eastern government. That’s kind of a big goal. And there are feminists who do work around the world, like Eve Ensler, who has created programs to support Afghan women. She’s done work in other parts of the world, too.

 
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To shamelessly borrow an oft-used phrase from psychology “those who think they can take big steps all at once ultimately find they fail. Small steps taken often, will ensure the change sticks.”

 
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No yeah, I think it’d definitely be hard to move over there. I’m not quite sure you could push for much once over there, really, actually =/. Freedom of speech is a bit more limited.

The good thing is stuff is getting done =). Slowly… but it’s getting done. I like that =D.

 
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Originally posted by DarkBaron:

Fun fact: the idea that women have this sixth sense to really gauge social cues is true … It’s also true for men. Men just require a different motivation (money). Men and women are equally keen at picking up social (behavioral) cues. I forget what the women’s motivation was – but it was pretty crucial to their integration into society.

What bothers me is when the goal posts move with Feminism. You define it as equal rights for the sexes – and then on things like tumblr, have signs that support Women’s Rights – and not Men’s Rights. Am I missing something here? Are Men’s rights somehow implicit in, or superseded by, these signs saying Women’s Rights? If it really is defined how the dictionary says, I think it’s a terrible misnomer.

Um, hellooo — HUMAN’S RIGHTS anybody?

This all started with the feminist movement, back in the day when women had very few rights. Hence the name. Now, I would argue by attaining more rights for women and changing the norms for what women ‘should be’ in society, perhaps we can provide more room for men to not have to act stereotypically masculine all the time.

Still, I would argue that men do have more rights than women, even now. Especially because men do hold the majority of economic and political power in the US, and that’s basically how anything gets done around here.

 
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Or, we could directly help men with men advocacy, and disabuse them of their assigned gender roles, like what you’re trying to do with women.

I know you would argue as such. I’m not even going to try to explain otherwise, it’s a waste of time. Just remember that your gender isn’t the one that’s encouraged to fight to die, so that it may win glory from the other gender. Power is relinquishing your human emotions and right to safety so that you may be in politics or what have you. (Politics has its own stereotypes associated with it… and if that’s power, then I don’t want power)

Take for instance conscription. I, a pacifist, to enroll to university to earn my PhD had to sign up for conscription to earn financial benefits from my government. Last I checked, women do not need to do this. Now, if there is a serious issue with this war, and we need more soldiers, I could get drafted, much against my will. Is this power? No control over what I even want to do with my life?

 
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One little thing that bugs me is when people say feminism stands for equal rights for both sexes. Saying that you believe that women and men deserve the same rights as each other to other people is like saying “I breathe oxygen!” Its almost completely normal opinion and is held by the majority. It does not deserve a title. Its like going around and declaring you believe the earth is round. Its important to distinguish this title so we can see the radicals from the normal people.

However, I feel that looking at a single sex and saying “this one is oppressed, raise it!” is bound for problems. We need to get out of primitive thinking, and realize that we shouldnt raise “special interest” groups higher, but rather people in general. We need equality of opportunity and not equality of income/other issues. We don’t adjust things for equality – doing so requires frivolous, unworthy effort.

Little note: Remember to look solely at what are the facts and what do they point out.

 
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Dark, I would encourage women to fight as well. Well, I would if I didn’t believe men should not be fighting either. Send robots and teleoperated waldoes in instead. It’s far easier to put them back together afterwards.

The conscription issue is wrong. However, equality is not achieved by mandating conscription for women as well, but by removing it from the men. Remove this stupid, primitive encouragement for men to fight and die, too. It is a total waste.

EDIT: In the meantime, as a stopgap measure, add mandatory conscription for women. It will even out the sexes, and provide additional impetuous to overturn conscription altogether.

 
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Originally posted by DarkBaron:

Or, we could directly help men with men advocacy, and disabuse them of their assigned gender roles, like what you’re trying to do with women.

I know you would argue as such. I’m not even going to try to explain otherwise, it’s a waste of time.

There’s quite a number of masculine studies programs; there’s also a big push in Women’s studies (the bastion of academic and radical feminisms) to promote gender equality, rather than specifically female empowerment. This is the result of the alliance with Queer/Transgender studies; traditional feminists can’t afford to be solely focused on their own gender.

In other words, what you want already exists. You just have to look for it; the general impression of an ideology or discipline is usually simply the most outspoken view, which is not one that reflects the broad array of perspectives available and pursued.

Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

If feminists are going to continue to be such an outspoken group in the western world, I wouldn’t mind sending them all to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc where they are suppressed to show that they have it good, and if they really want to fight for women’s rights, they should be where there is an active push to keep them down.

They already exist. Islamic feminism is pretty major.

 
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Just because something exists does not mean it is ubiquitous. Rockets exist, and we all know it – however, only to astronauts and NASA, etc. Yes, there are men activist groups – but they are so few and far between that it does not influence the male populace. Think of it this way: greener, economic cars do exist. We even are experimenting with hydrogen fueled cars. These will fantastically help make our environment greener… but on its small scale, it hasn’t done much. Until it becomes ubiquitous, it is not fulfilling its intent.

 
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Originally posted by DarkBaron:

Just because something exists does not mean it is ubiquitous. Rockets exist, and we all know it – however, only to astronauts and NASA, etc. Yes, there are men activist groups – but they are so few and far between that it does not influence the male populace. Think of it this way: greener, economic cars do exist. We even are experimenting with hydrogen fueled cars. These will fantastically help make our environment greener… but on its small scale, it hasn’t done much. Until it becomes ubiquitous, it is not fulfilling its intent.

All I’m trying to suggest is not to prejudge self-declared feminists on the basis of a preconception of what commonplace feminist activism sounds like. Yes, there are radicals, same as with every discipline or ideology, but many of the feminists I know and the ones writing today are more accurately described as gender theorists; they’re all-inclusive: male, female, trans, queer.

Personally, I’d say male activism is the wrong way to go, mainly because of the (not unfairly) strident objections by some feminists that it focuses attention away from the groups that are actively persecuted or discriminated against. Yes, men are discriminated against too, but it’s simply erroneous to argue that they are discriminated to the same degree as women, trans, queer, etc. The conflict is rougly analogous to the conflict between traditional ‘white male’ (privileged) literature and multicultural literature. Yes, we should teach both, but to argue that this ‘white male’ literature has been squeezed into a minority camp is just untrue; what’s happened in both cases is that the till-now silenced minorit(ies) has been occupying space typically reserved for the majority/privileged. They’re bumping shoulders where twenty years ago they weren’t because the minority stuff wasn’t even on the table. Hence, friction.

One book you might want to add to your reading list aside from Farell is Daphne Patai’s Professing Feminism. It’s become one of the core resources for critiquing radical western feminism, particularly the problems it’s created relating to free expression in academia, and also dumbing down the bio sciences related to sex.

 
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Originally posted by vikaTae:

To shamelessly borrow an oft-used phrase from psychology “those who think they can take big steps all at once ultimately find they fail. Small steps taken often, will ensure the change sticks.”

It will take time Dark. If the change is lasting, it has to be done incrementally, so that each piece is in place and generally accepted before the next piece is laid down. I know it is agonising waiting for such efforts to complete, but radical change does not work when you try to do it all at once. All that does, is put people’s backs up, and induce stubborn refusal to change as well as an outright backlash.

Slow and steady wins the race.

 
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Originally posted by vikaTae:

There isn’t equality of the sexes, no. But that’s what feminism is fighting for. Anything a man can do a woman can do, and anything a woman can do a man can do. We think differently, yes. But our minds are just as strong ads one another. Physical strength can be compensated for by technique.

Paid the same for the same jobs, all jobs open to both sexes, and acceptance of such. No glass ceilings or glass cliffs. Equality in responsibility in all areas including the domestic situation and child rearing. An end to sexual discrimination in the legal system. All of it is what feminism is ultimately fighting for.

About the only things a man cannot do that a woman can, is feel a new life growing inside him, or breastfeed. That’s about it. Both are due to differences in the body, not differences in the self. A woman cannot take the same level of physical punishment as a man conversely.

However, should she wish to put herself in harm’s way that is her choice. So long as she can do the job that is all that matters.

Is that a fact!? You can do anything a man can do? I think not. Yet, there are things a woman can do that men cannot. You cannot claim equality on such a statement.

I agree, if a woman does the same job, she should get the same pay. However, if it happens the man has seniority or more experience, I cannot say give the same pay for a substandard performance. That would be reversed discrimination. What you and your husband decide to do in your domestic relationship is up to you, not legislation.