Why? It's really pretty easy. I don't think that by-and-large the modern feminist movement properly represents my values and as such I don't want to identify with it. My views have remained the same, I've always thought that disadvantaging people for arbitrary characteristics is both stupid and immoral and should not be done. I think we should and have removed the legal barriers disadvantaging women (in most western countries).
I think I should preface this with a pretty obvious statement. Feminisim does not need me. It has been doing just fine achieving it's initiatives on it's own without me, and I'm sure it will continue doing so without me again. Additionally, I had been thinking about writing this for quite some time, but decided to do it today after seeing @SpiderManFan2002 's recent myTake We Need More Male Feminists.
At the outset I figure it's best to give a little of my background to help you understand where I'm coming from. I was raised in a single mother household and most all of my female family members are incredibly tough women. Some were in the first few graduating classes at West Point and dealt with physical abuse but stayed strong. Some were fighter pilots in afghanistan, one (I think) was a drill sergeant, two just came back from hiking one of the highest mountains on the planet, and I'm sure I could go on. As such I've never really believed many of the stereotypes about women being dainty or less capable or anything else, I still don't. Going through school and learning American history I was disgusted by how women were treated in antiquity. I then started hearing about feminism and was informed that it meant "equal rights under the law" or something similar and I agreed. Thus for years I've considered myself a feminist and just been happy to talk about my own beliefs from there. Recently though I've had my eyes opened to some very troubling trends within the feminist movement and originally I just brushed these off as being a troublesome minority, but as time has gone on it seems that these "radical few" are either shaping the movement itself, or are simply being tolerated and not spoken against by the majority. That s not something I can abide. I'll describe some of these things below.
What Is Feminism
Ok, so the first thing that obviously needs to be done is defining what we're talking about. If you go to most dictionaries you'll commonly find definitions like, "the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes" or more colloquially "equal rights for the sexes." If this is all we mean by feminism then I'd happily still consider myself one. I believe that men and women are citizens and as such should be treated equally under the law; HOWEVER, that does not appear to be what people are commonly meaning when they discuss it today. For ease I'm just going to take some information from the Wikipedia page about feminism because feminists purposefully ensure that this page is regulated.
- Defined: Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes.This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men.
- Feminism "aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience"
- Intersectional Feminism appears to have taken over the modern feminist movement so I will also get the definition for it. In fact you may not be aware that if you're not an "intersectional feminist" you're actually a racist. https://www.bustle.com/p/what-is-white-feminism-here-are-7-sneaky-ways-it-shows-up-into-your-life-7921450
- Intersectionality is an analytic framework which attempts to identify how interlocking systems of
power impact those who are most marginalized in society.
- Intersectional feminism proposes an interlocking matrix of oppression and is based on marxist theory, hence it's said to "add a new dimension to Marxist economic theory."
To conclude this section. Feminism appears to no longer be the general "equal treatment under the law", but as pointed out in most places it is a group of ideologies and focuses on social equality rather than legal equality.
Collectivism V Individualism
One of the biggest problems I have with Feminism now is because it has become a collectivist ideology in the same vein at Marxism. I do not accept collectivism because I am an individualist. I do not like or accept grouping people together by a set of arbitrary characteristics and then generalizing their experiences and views. When I look at a person I don't see them as a rich black female transgendered lesbian and then presume things about where she comes from and the amount of privilege or effort she's put into life. I view her as a person and talk to her to hear her story and come to my conclusion based on her actions and words. This is not something that feminists by-and-large appear to be doing today. They instead view everything through the lens of race, gender, sexuality and class. https://www.hastac.org/blogs/cathy-davidson/2016/02/15/what-justice-ginsburgs-tribute-justice-scalia-teaches-us-hastac it's incredibly frustrating.
Man-Hate & Deplatforming.
This section will mostly just cover some of the atrocious things I've seen and found no-one, or almost no-one speaking out against it in the "mainstream" feminist groups. If you want me to believe that these people don't represent you, then you have to actually make it known. You can't just pretend that they don't exist. For this section I'll just post a few short videos and then pull out some quotes to show what I'm angry about.
(3:23) "Bitch and moan with the other guys that are upset about the unfair divorce settlement, or because they never get to see their kids, or because the girl they like won't go out with you. There's a place on the internet called the men's rights movement its a little bubble of misogyny" This is quite abhorrent. How dare these men be upset that they never get to see the people who matter most in their lives, how dare they be upset that all of their possessions are being taken, and then the strawman equating these issues with not getting asked out.
Professor's and students bullying other students for merely attempting to document their protest.
-The professor was eventually fired-
"It's a privilege to teach future dead cops" - Again professors taking marxist feminist (intersectional) as a weapon to enact change. In this case arguing for the destruction of the government and by all means necessary including violence.
-Movember is a movement to celebrate North American guys not practicing basic facial hygiene for a month in order to raise money [for prostate cancer, a leading cause of death in men] towards saving a group of extremely privileged people—themselves." Now this article was since removed and an apology proferred, but it certainly isn't alone. http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2015/11/movember_mustache_campaign_for_prostate_cancer_is_misguided.html https://www.mcgilldaily.com/2013/11/movember-as-micro-aggression/
-Women banned from their jobs by feminists https://www.businessinsider.com/f1-grid-girls-have-lost-their-jobs-but-are-fighting-back-on-twitter-2018-2
-Female centers on campus? Of course. Male center? Absolutely not- https://nationalpost.com/opinion/robyn-urback-on-shocking-anti-male-hatred-on-the-sfu-campus
-The listen and believe mentality which has led to incredible harrassment of men on college campuses of which several have been found to be false allegations leading to the destruction of people's lives including but not limited to Emma Sulkowicz's, The Duke Lacrosse team, Brian Banks, Jackie Coakley, two personal friends of mine, and undoubtedly more. This tends to not be quite as bad with the police, but the public outcry and demonization of innocent persons in public is abhorrent yet it always appears to be ignored or downplayed by feminists. This has gotten so bad that women (mothers) have had to form groups like Families Advocating for Campus Equality.
In conclusion, I will not call myself a feminist because of the direction or normality of views that I find abhorrent within mainstream feminist movements. Thus, I'll just call myself an egalitarian and go from there.
That'll be all for now. As always criticism is appreciated.