I want to broach a subject that my followers have disagreed with me on before: feminism. I think feminism is important for both men and woman, but let me be clear what I mean by feminism. By feminism, I mean the equality of the genders, and the empowerment of the genders. When I talk about feminism, I do not mean hating men is acceptable, nor do I believe in the primacy of women. I believe feminism is important for cis women, cis men, and the trans community.
First, feminism is important for women. Women in western society truly do have some of the best statuses in the world, and yes, of course I care and am upset more about some of things going on in other parts of the world. Still, that doesn’t negate the fact that there are certain aspects in western society where women are not given equal status. For example, women are often seen as mere sex objects, and their attractiveness is often evaluated before their mental capabilities and accomplishments.
Secondly, feminism is important for men. I would truly like to live in a world where men, and particularly little boys, are not shamed for crying or being emotional. I want to live in a world where if a man likes something that is perceived as feminine he is not considered less of a man. I would like men to be able to just be comfortable being themselves instead of having to worry about how they will be evaluated on the “manly spectrum.”
Thirdly, feminism is important for the trans community. Transgendered people need to be uplifted to just be themselves. In this way, they should not feel the need to box themselves into mere gender stereotypes. A trans man can still be emotional, and a trans female can still be a tomboy.
Finally, I have a lot of thoughts on feminism and gender, and I have barely touched the subject. Perhaps, there will be more posts. In any case, some strands of feminism can be toxic, but I am asking my readers to think critically before throwing out the baby with the bath water. I am asking my readers to think critically and deeply about prejudice in society. I don’t think, personally, that there are no innate gender, but many of them aren’t. I think we do mistreat each other, and I want us to work to stop this silly behavior.
And as always, feel free to comment!
The laws need to be clear about sexual acts, where drugs or alcohol are involved. Two people who are wasted having sex with each other might be unfortunate, but it cannot be rape, since neither could consent. Someone who is not drunk (maybe only had a couple of drinks) having sex with someone who is throwing up and can’t stand up straight is in my opinion a rapist. There is just no telling whether or not the wasted person would have wanted to consent, if they were in their right minds. They cannot consent. We shouldn’t still be in the days where “getting someone drunk” is just considered sneaky or even romantic. It is wrong.
Sadly, many people think it’s the victim’s fault where alcohol or drugs are involved. It may never be smart for someone to get that inebriated at a party. That’s a given, but that does not give the sober/slightly buzzed person a right to take advantage of someone. If you wouldn’t have sex with someone in a coma, paralyzed, or otherwise, you shouldn’t sex with someone as drunk as I have described. It is not just bad sex. It is abuse. The only person with the power of a sound mind in this situation is non-inebriated person. The wasted individual may not even be capable of remembering the event. What does that say about the individual who has sex with them? Well, it tells me they’re immoral. It tells me they are okay taking advantage of people.
Look, I understand there are gray areas, but as far as I’m concerned, their needs to be some standards here. A person who has had two drinks, or no drinks, should not have sex with someone who has had 20. I, also, no some people have ahigh tolerance to drugs or alcohol. Perhaps, and I’m not devoted to this, their should be a set limit on how many drinks a person can have before being labeled as unable to give consent. Even if I’m wrong on setting a limit, we owe it to our men and women to be clear on consent and rape where drugs and alcohol are concerned. Tell me what you think!
Rape is a terrible thing, and I hope I didn’t need to tell anyone that. The laws on what’s consider consensual or not need to be reformed. They need to very specific, very clear, and the law needs to understand normal sex practices. We need to be able to distinguish clearly what constitutes rape. I find it very disconcerting that current laws are either ambiguous or stupid or even absent, so I will be writing a series of 3 posts on consent and rape. This first one is simply the background for this conversation.
When I walk around my campus, I always see signs saying, “Ask for her consent every time.” I’ve heard other people say that this is ridiculous. Sex happens in the heat of the moment. The woman (or man) should say no, if things get too heated. Let me be clear. I think it is the responsibility of both parties to make sure they both want to have sexual contact. It may be a hassle. It may not be very romantic. Well, neither is making sure your partner is on birth control/using condom, but I hope most of us do that anyway. The fact of the matter is some people are not very assertive. Situations do happen in the heat of the moment. I’m not saying this should be considered rape under the law, but sometimes with passive people, they don’t feel like they can say no. They might not even have expected sex. All of sudden sex is just happening that they didn’t ask for. They end up having unwanted sex. Thus, to the passive person, it is like being raped, even if a “no” was never uttered. It is clearer for everyone involved, if you verbally ask for consent. Please, guys and girls, ask for consent, especially if it is your first time with a particular partner.
Everyone should be a feminist. By feminism, I mean equality and quality treatment towards women. Socially and politically women should be treated as equal to men. They should not receive substandard treatment when compared to men. Women should not experience old white dudes telling them how to use their bodies. Women’s issues such as birth control availability should be important to all, and it should be taken as seriously as prostate health. In modern times, we shouldn’t have politicians saying that a woman’s body has some way of not getting pregnant, if she is raped. (Thank you, from all of us, Todd Akin.) Feminism is a must, but I’ve noticed some strange things happening with atheists and feminism. Furthermore, we need to be very clear about feminism.
When I was growing up, I used to always hear about how feminism was becoming “radical” and “sinful” from Christians. They argue that feminism used to be about women’s rights, but now it’s advocating lewd dress styles and stripping. I still hear Christians complain that radical feminism isn’t just about women’s rights but minimizing men’s rights as well.
Now, there seems to even be an issue within atheism about feminism. Some who will go unnamed argue against feminism outright. They won’t even leave their complaints to the so-called radical feminism; although, some just complain about zealous feminists. Meanwhile, atheist feminists are complaining about sexism among atheists.
Can an atheist be a sexist? Absolutely. However, many would think that this is less of a problem within the atheist community. The issue is that not all atheists derive their atheism from reason. Many view atheism as a sub-culture of extra reasonable people, and that is a subset of atheists. Not all atheists are alike. (See my post Atheists are not a Homogenous Group: A Helpful List.)
Well, what about the feminists? I think some do in fact see sexism around every corner. Calling someone a sexist is a serious accusation, and so, we should be careful when labeling someone a sexist. I am not saying that we shouldn’t point out sexism, but we need to be reasonable. If, for example, someone does something sexist we should point it. However, we also need to be careful. Was it really sexist? (Many times it fairly obvious. I’m not implying that it’s not.) Also, we need to realize, in certain minor situations, the person is ignorant and unaware of their sexism, but otherwise, said person doesn’t actually think or treat women as inferior. In this case, point it out, but don’t call the person a misogynist.
Another issue, is that we don’t all agree on what the feminism should advocate. For example, I’ve heard it said that strippers and prostitutes can be feminists. Well, yes, they can. Perhaps, they don’t like being used as mere sex objects, but they need to feed their children. Still, they do care about feminist ideals. However, I, for example, would disagree that those occupations can be perfectly in agreement with feminism. I would argue, at least as they are now, they are degrading towards women. They put women at risk for violence, and as a woman, I don’t want to be seen as a mere sex object. However, many disagree.
This means we need to be reasonable about feminism. People should be able to disagree and have a rational discussion about the issues. It means people don’t all agree on what feminism should be, but these parties shouldn’t be automatically labeled as sexists by each other. However, blatant sexism and anti-feminists should put everyone’s stomach in knots. Yes, let’s all be feminists the best way we know how. Let’s listen to each other and apply reason, but at the same time, we should put a stop to the immediate gut reaction we get when we come to a difference of opinion.
There is a big discussion going on about the lack of women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field. There has been a lack of women for a LONG time, and there have been many tries at a solution for this. Some have said that maybe the lack of women is due to women preferring jobs working with people. Many say it is due to outright sexism. Most are just clueless. My academic career has mainly been towards mathematics, but I was originally a physics major. (Physics and engineering have the lowest percentage of women.) In my opinion, there is a lot more going on besides sexism and gender roles.
First off, I think there are differences, at least in my society, between what is typical “woman behavior” versus “man behavior.” (I’m not saying these are genetic. I’m not qualified, and I’m not necessarily deeply concerned about psychology, for my purposes.) (The following is anecdotal, and it is not meant to be an empirical account of how all physics majors act. ) Physics, for example, is considered the brainiest subject one can go into. There is a bit of chip on the shoulder when one is doing well in these courses. Still, if one is asking a male student about a particular subject, it is common for them to be condescending. (Doesn’t matter if the questioner is male or female.)( In fact, sometimes they will give an incompetent answer due to pride, if they don’t know the answer.) If a student asks a female physics major, they are more likely to get a caring and non-egotistical reply. However, there are very few female physics majors. That has been my experience, and this huge part of the reason I switched to math.
On top of that, I have witnessed physics majors being condescending to anyone who was not a physics major. I have heard them state, to other students, that the only real science is physics, and the rest isn’t important. (This includes biology and psychology, where there are more women.)
In fact at one point, I was the only female in a particular physics class. (I expected this to happen at some point. I wasn’t bothered.) However, at times I felt stared at. I would briefly look around. There would always be a few men looking at me as if they hadn’t seen a woman in ages. (My eyes are up hear gentlemen.) I’m not sensitive. It was just mildly uncomfortable. That is until I was alone with one of them in the hallway. He actually hissed at me. (That may not seem like a big deal to most, but if, like me, you’ve been a sexual assault victim repeatedly, then you’re always on alert.) I’m sure that guy had some issues, and that this wasn’t normal, still.
Furthermore, I think a big problem with the lack of women in STEM fields is simply due to the lack of women. I think role models are important. A department that has all men is likely to draw mostly men. People, whether they admit it or not, like to have real life examples. It is much easier to see yourself as a physicist if a college has physicists in your gender. I’m not saying that some can’t break the cycle. I’m just saying it is harder.
I’m sick of the “solutions” that are supposed to solve the demographics issue. You can put a pretty woman on a pink cover to a popular math book all you want. I’m a human first and a woman second. I actually find this type of advertising patronizing and annoying. Talk to me like a HUMAN. Tell me the benefits of STEM. Don’t patronize me. Don’t belittle me. Talk to me. I don’t know, maybe, have actual feminine women talk to young girls about it. I’m done with my rant. Feel free to send me hate mail.