The Importance of Feminism

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!




You Are Not Going to Like What I’m about to Say about Feminism and Atheists

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.