Feminism: an outdated term?

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First things first, I would like to say I am absolutely in favour of gender equality. It is an incredibly important issue, which needs to be constantly dealt with in society. However, feminism is outdated. It had its place with the suffrage movement and throughout the 20th Century and no-one can argue that it wasn’t important; it achieved an awful lot. But it doesn’t have a place in the 21st Century.

We_Can_Do_It!

The UK doesn’t need feminism anymore. Women have equal rights to men in all respects and the same opportunities. There are still some issues we know, but for the most part feminism has achieved its goal. The issues of pay, of proportions of women in managerial roles and cultural perceptions are important but feminism can’t achieve this.

This is firstly because of growing negative associations in the public perception. Many people now see feminists as militant, men-hating bra-burners, with a chip on their shoulder. Yes this is an unfair caricature, and it is in no way true. But the constant emphasis on being PC, and some very recent controversy about where to draw the line, has landed the whole movement on the wrong side of public perception.  We can no longer make gender related jokes, wear a dress or watch a Disney film without being criticised for perpetuating stereotypes. And annoyingly enough even this is a catch-22, we can’t win. If a woman wears make-up she is conforming to this stereotype, if she doesn’t she is labelled for it. This issue is everywhere, from appearance to degree choice. And what’s worse is that, because of feminism, girls are being pushed into these decisions. We see encouragement for getting girls into science and women in industry, but how often do we see men being encouraged to do arts subjects, early years teaching or nursing?

The idea is outdated because the term itself is discriminative. ‘Feminism’, even when fighting for gender equality, puts emphasis on the female, and inherently puts her in opposition to the male. This immediately means that there is an imbalance in the emphasis of a movement that is supposed to promote equality.

We can see this imbalance in practice, there are all sorts of projects and schemes specifically targeted at hiring women, offering internships to female students etc. This positive discrimination, though all in good faith, is still discriminative. Surely the purpose of gender equality is to look past gender, and allow such things to be awarded on merit. So when a man misses out on a promotion because his boss had to fulfil gender quotas, we are actually tipping the other way.

There are increasing instances where the issue is tipping the other way. While domestic violence is still a big issue for women, it is not only women who suffer. There are increasing reports of men being the victims of domestic abuse too, but the concerns about not reporting are even worse for men. As a result of this, the scale on which it is occurring is unclear. And what about men’s rights? Looking at the verdicts of custody cases, we see men have a significant disadvantage. So how do we react to this? Do men need their own ‘masculinism’ to fight for their side of equality? It sounds ridiculous but it does follow the logic.

Most Feminist Societies, if we look specifically at universities, are in place to promote gender equality. Not women’s equality. These are different things, and if we are looking at gender as a whole then the term is simply wrong, not to mention old-fashioned. I’ll admit that the ‘Gender Equality Society’ doesn’t roll of the tongue as easily, but at least it gets the point across. It is also all-inclusive, I reckon men are far more likely to join than they would the Feminist Society. At risk of stereotyping, can you really see rugby or football lads campaigning for feminism? So this way the sentiment is still the same, all we have to change is the name.

‘Image: We Can Do It’ by J. Howard Miller

65 thoughts on “Feminism: an outdated term?

  • Oh dear, Ellen. This is kinda primary school. Have you ever read any feminist literature, or spoken with any of the many good feminist academics in Durham?

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    • I have had a lot of experience reading about and discussing feminism and a year ago I would have strongly defended my position as a feminist. I still truly believe in achieving equality but I can see that there is growing bad feeling about ‘feminism’ as a term and in its approach. Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I think the same values just with a gender neutral term would be a good place to start.

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      • we live in a society so heavily gendered, in which women are actively disriminated in so, so many ways that a gendered approach is the only way to achieve this. eg on quotas, whilst there is an ideological argument against them for sure, there isnt a practical one. until men see women on executive boards and are forced to treat them as equals, the same upper echelons will keep hiring their Eton roommate’s son for an executive position, and the system stays skewed towards men at the top. Patriachy is so ingrained into every aspect of our culture that you have to break the system, not just try to patch it up.

        I would be really interested in how you think women have the same opportunities as men? the same opportunity to reach the peak in their chosen career? the same opportunity to exist without the constant threat of sexual violence and reincofrced message that if you experience sexual violence, its probably gonna your fault? because if you know of somewhere that this is the case, please let me know

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        • I understand where you are coming from. Your scenario however depicts nepotism and class difference long before it concerns gender. Legally women have all the same rights. So just because not as many women are actually in those jobs, doesnt mean they cant be. Equally before now maternity has been a big issue affecting this so hopefully this will change with changes to paternity leave. But there are no longer legal barriers just cultural ones, which need to be challenged. As far as fearing sexual violence is concerned I think this is getting less prevalent. I don’t only fear sexual violence when out late at night but violence of any kind and this can also be said for men too. If we ‘force’ men to treat women as equals or vice versa equality in the form of feminism will never actually gain real acceptance.

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        • Equality of opportunity is not the same as equality of outcome.

          I do not believe that it’s the victim’s fault if he or she experiences sexual violence. However I wonder why, therefore, so many feminists feel free to assert that male victims of domestic violence were probably abusers who are killed by women in self-defence?

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          • At the recent National Conference for Male Victims of Domestic Violence a (female) researcher touched on the 40+ year old feminist narrative that female perpetrators of DV are acting in self-defence. She pointed to a study which showed that only 4% of female perpetrators of DV self-reported acting in self-defence. She also highlighted the fact that in 70% of cases of uni-directional DV (the victim ‘takes it’ or exits the situation) the perpetrator is a woman. 300+ studies from around the world show that women are at least as physically aggressive towards their intimate partners as men.

        • Good god have you been living under a rock for the last 30 years ? Let’s be clear we are talking about the UK here when we talk about these subjects and there is absolutely equal rights between men and women. I live in the UK and for me feminism is nothing but a plague of hatred and a form of oppression telling me I should behave a certain way or dress a certain way.

          Every person I have met that has admitted to being a feminist has then proved to me that they should not be let out in public or near children. The whole sexual violence and the hyper sensitivity to rape is just ridiculous and utterly absurd concepts of “rape culture” are just there to remind us of how seriously delusional feminists have become. It’s like they have run out of genuine things to fight for so they have just started making random problems up, it’s a little pathetic really.

          Oh and as for your point on quotas, they are ridiculous. Start forcing women into positions where they haven’t earned or got the skills to succeed and you will see all the corporations crumble. Men have got to these positions because they are ruthless and determined and shown pure dedication to earn them. To push them aside to put a woman who hasn’t worked as hard, has popped off for a couple of years to have a baby, spent another year backpacking around Australia with uni friends and in her spare time runs a nail salon is hardly going to result in positive results on the organisation which is obviously what it is there to do. Quotas will never work and they will always be rejected because they are in themselves a form of discrimination.

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        • “until men see women on executive boards and are forced to treat them as equals, the same upper echelons will keep hiring their Eton roommate’s son for an executive position”

          How many men are in a position to do this? You go on talking about 0.01% of the human population like their behavior and attitudes are a fair basis for evaluating everyone else. This elitist drivel get’s us no where. The act women less often rise to the top means nothing to 99.99% of people who will never know they top let alone be member of it.

          “Patriachy is so ingrained into every aspect of our culture that you have to break the system, not just try to patch it up.”

          Why would we break the whole society for such a narrow set of interest when it’s clear equality at the common(er) level is ubiquitous and taken for granted. Perhaps it’s the culture steeped it classiest notions that what’s good for those on top will trickle to the bottom that inspires you but it’s apparent that your attention is not on what the people need. It’s all about what you think will satisfy your desire for gender pride. We don’t need to suffer for your pride or that of other feminists who no longer consider the public good in advancing divisive public fights to stroke the ego of few people.

          “the same opportunity to reach the peak in their chosen career?”

          Considering how few people have that I don’t think it’s a realistic benchmark. You don’t focus on people simply working and living and that’s where women and men spend their lives.

          Using the sexual violence as a wedge issue is disgusting. You are exploiting female rape victims while marginalizing male ones. This isn’t social justice. It’s vile demagoguery.

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  • You’re right to a point when you express the exclusivity of feminism, but you undo any progress you may have made when you claim at the end that the solution to that is a name change. There’s far more to it than that.

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    • I absolutely agree, I don’t think a name change is enough, the approach needs to be more based on equality. But while the term ‘feminism’ is in use, the movement won’t be accepted by society, so maybe this is the place to start?

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      • I wouldn’t want to see feminist mentalities invading egalitarianism personally, they will just start calling themselves that to disguise what they really are and then poison another movement.

        I find the problem with feminism is that it pretty much accepts all mentalities and hate is far too often given a pedestal, what feminism won’t accept however is criticism of feminism, even the hatred within it and not even by feminists. I knew your comments would be filled with feminists calling you stupid and using tactics designed to shame you into silence, sadly I wasn’t disappointed.

        I liked your article and I found it to be a non convoluted read that gets the point across, as an MRA I see slight issue with some of it but I understand that for what it is, it gets the point across.

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        • I agree that many theories within feminism are problematic (e.g. I am against positive discrimination or quotas) and I’m not here to dismiss or refute everything this article or your comment is saying.. but I still would regard myself as a feminist. It isn’t quite dead for me. I see and feel gender imbalances that affect both men and women and feminism aims to criticise these.

          One thing I would pick you up on is ‘what feminism won’t accept however is criticism of feminism’.
          This is untrue. In every feminism blog/ discussion group/ platform I have ever looked at I see constant debate and criticism of different views. Feminist theorists are constantly revising and critiquing the ideas that have come before them.
          Maybe your experience of feminism has led you to feel that the movement is somehow anti-intellectual; I would suggest you have not read enough.

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    • The reply was full of hot air and basically a run down of the growing backlash against feminists. When feminists are faces with such a situation they turn it around and use it as proof of their victim hood and by extension that of all women. The thing is all women don’t make careers out of bashing men. Hating people can make you a hated person. Feminists are not exempt from this aspect of the social order.

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  • I want to thank people who have commented with intelligent, well explained and informed arguments. The purpose of my article is to encourage people to think and debate even if they don’t agree and I’m happy to see this happening. I think the reaction from the Huffington Post shows exactly my point, that Feminism itself is becoming oppressive. As an independent woman I’m not allowed to express my opinion any more, because in the light of feminism it is ‘wrong’. I want equality where I am not characterised by my gender and feminism can’t achieve this for me. Keep the discussion coming its fantastic!

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    • You do understand that there is nothing oppressive in you being told you’re wrong, right? No-one is ‘not allowing’ to have an opinion, and no-one is ‘not allowing’ you to express that opinion – here we are, on a discussion board, discussing it. Your rights to free speech are entirely intact. But ‘the right to free speech,’ is not the same thing as ‘the right for my opinion to be taken as gospel no matter what relation other people think it bears to reality.’ Feminists believe – and we have quite a lot of evidence to support this belief – that women continue to suffer from structural oppression (you might want to take that whole ‘culture’ thing a bit more seriously, that’s why political theorists make a distinction between formal equality and equality of opportunity). You are entitled to think that this is not true – so fine, don’t be a feminist. But interestingly, you are asking for more than that here, you think feminism should go away, which is equivalent to wanting some women to stop believing they are structurally oppressed because you don’t think they are. So who is actually trying to prescribe opinions?

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      • Jane your argument instantly falls apart when you state “Feminists believe”. It’s a well known fact that all feminists make up what they believe feminism to mean to them on a day to day basis. The fact that you don’t know, and can’t accurately say what all feminists believe without making wildly inaccurate generalisations shows how little you actually know about the movement, that you yourself claim to belong to. What we do know from interaction with feminists in the online sphere is that a lot of them are bitter twisted revenge seeking man hating bigots who have no interest in making anything better just spewing hatred and generating more opposition to any change proposed by the feminist movement.

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        • Well, I would have engaged with you, until you descended into a stereotyped ad hominen rant. And you’re lecturing me on the structure of argument? Good work 🙂

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          • So basically you had nothing to come back with because you know I am correct. Yes well done me for shooting your flawed argument down in flames. At least you had the common sense to back away instead of further embarrassing yourself.

  • I appreciate the sentiment but disagree with a few things. First – feminism needs far, far more than a name change – there are too many different types of feminists with their own views of what’s “equal”. The clearest evidence is in their actions – while claiming to want equality there have been no campaigns against any of the favouritism/special treatment. In particular is the lack of any effort to have female criminals given the same sentences as male criminals – instead we get things like the charming idea that women don’t need to go to prison and they’re all there because, in some way, some man must ultimately be to blame. Second – the feminist caricature definitely applies to too many feminists especially in terms of the things they do and say. Man hating definitely is an issue. Third – men campaigning for feminism – google walk a mile in her shoes just for a quick example of what men are willing to do, and this includes the macho sports players. Fourth – gender equality – find a feminist that genuinely wants real equality, to be held to the same standards, accountability and lose any special treatment purely because they are female .. I’m sure there are some out there .. but they’re massively outnumbered by those who think they are, but a quick scratch of the surface reveals the usual patriarchy nonsense and the view that demanding powerful job quotas is perfectly acceptable but never even considered why quotas aren’t demanded across the board.

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  • being a feminist male, opinions such as what you express always shock me,

    ‘women are equal to men ‘in all respects’?

    instead of saying ‘men also suffer in domestic violence’, look up the damn figures and see how women have traditionally suffered up to two thirds more in domestic disputes. dont let me go into the rape figures – western world and worldwide. you need to do your research.

    look at how in saudia arabia, in which women are legally enslaved to their male guardians.

    you need to understand that your article is, in reality, based on a distorted depiction of factual information which (when read clearly) proves that women DO have more problems than men in MANY ways.

    if women want to call it ‘feminism’ they can. men do not have the same problems. they have more social power. statistically, they have less problems.

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    • Maybe I was unclear, I meant legally in the UK. The article wasn’t about other countries. Furthermore you can’t trust the figures, rape and domestic violence are both under reported so we can never get a clear picture, but what we do know is that the motives behind these are power related, not actually to do with gender, and men are increasingly becoming victims as well. Just because statistically men have fewer problems does this mean we shouldn’t be doing something about that too? I absolutely agree that women still have problems, more so than men but I think the gendering of the supposed ‘equality’ movement, in today’s world does more to perpetuate difference by defining people by their gender. I’m not denying that we need to deal with issues related to gender, I’m just pointing out that today public perception about feminism means it won’t ever be accepted, so it needs to change.

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      • If rape is not about gender, then why does it happen to vaginas? Your arguments just get weaker and weaker. Stop talking. Seriously, stop talking.

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        • You should take you own advice. Men are raped, boys are raped and women can be rapists and sexual abusers. It’s attitudes like yours that help women get away with it and get treated more leniently when caught. Read the reports from places like Kidscape that show mothers abusing their children, older girls abusing younger boys and girls .. Some of the accounts are truly sickening. Many female abusers use a variety of objects to penetrate – one that shocked me even more than all the others was the woman who used rose stems covered in thorns to abuse a girl.

          How many women have taken advantage of drunk men? When it’s the other way round it’s treated as rape. How many men have woken up next to someone they would never sleep with while sober?

          War rape – happens to men too. Prisoners frequently find rape is used as part of their torture.

          Rape by female teachers – the abuse of young boys in their care.

          Rape by foster carers or women in the care system. The last study I saw of boys abused in the system reported that most of the abusers were actually women.

          Rape only happens to vaginas? Do your research.

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          • legally, women cannot be rapists. In the eyes of the law, only men can rape. I suggest YOU do YOUR research.

          • Clearly you support this thinking and also disregard the fact that men and boys can be victims and women can be abusers. The law is an ass, as you seem to be too

          • And since you obviously can’t do research (something you should really try before joining in a long discussion and adding a pathetically weak comment as if you’ve proved something) and think capital letters work instead – here’s something for you to read – news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1225124.stm Claire Marsh, a WOMAN, convicted of rape.

            Women who abuse boys should be charged with rape just as men are.

          • Is this not discriminative against men then? Legally they are only the perpetrators not the victims. We can’t pick and choose the aspects of equality we want, everything has to be completely equal.

        • Rape only happens to vagina’s in the UK because its defined that way. Of course rape only happens to women and by men, if that’s the only way it can happen by definition.

          Its like saying that the only fruit that can be counted are apples, and then declaring that all fruit are apples after the count.

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        • Because in England, ‘rape’ is about ‘penetration’ and absolutely ignores (thus allows) envelopment of a penis (or other body part) by a vagina.
          Thus, when a man reports a rape – the figures show zero because women are literally endorsed to rape men & children in England.
          This is why newspaper headlines will read as “Teacher pleads guilty to sex with student” for a female rapist but will read “Teacher admits to rape of a minor” when it’s a male teacher.
          It would be so nice if feminist sympathisers did some research regarding their complaints instead of just assuming “man bad / woman victim” all the time… such, sexism… such, bigotry!

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      • This is a fantastic article. Thank you Ellen.

        If you go to YouTube, the most popular video under the heading ‘feminism’ is one by Karen Straughan, which makes very similar points: http://youtu.be/vp8tToFv-bA

        In response to SeanP, if you accept that in the UK, men account for 1/3 of all deaths due to domestic violence, could you not accept that it seems reasonable to suggest that it’s not clearly a gendered issue? No-one is suggesting that women don’t experience domestic abuse/violence, we’re simply suggesting that men experience it also and, given that men are far more likely not to report it, men may account for many sufferers/victims.

        When you say “women DO have more problems than men in MANY ways,” I’d suggest that men and women are different, have different pressures, expectations and stresses placed upon them, and that as a result it’s difficult to say who exactly ‘has it worse’.

        Men die younger, account for 98% of all workplace deaths and serious injuries. Men account for the majority of suicides – 8x the rate of women. Men are the majority of the homeless. They are more like to lose contact with their children in the event of family breakdown. Men commute much longer hours than women, and work much longer hours. These latter factors account for much of the ‘gender pay gap’.

        Dealing with these issues – for the benefit of both men and women – requires, as Ellen suggests, policies and activism which goes beyond what much of feminism, as it’s currently understood, can possibly offer.

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      • Two women a week are murdered by their male partners or ex-partners. How many men are murdered by their exes? Look up the stats.

        Dreadfully frustrating article, by the way, because you almost make some insights, then veer at the last second to a conclusion as illogical as it is insulting. For example: the old canard about men being treated “unfairly” in child custody cases? Of course this is a feminist issue: Society views women as “natural” care-givers, and views with suspicion men who seem genuinely invested in being primary carers for their children. Changing this will benefit women AND men. (But even the perception that men are “unfairly” treated by the family courts falls apart if you look at the actual stats; IIRC, men are actually treated MORE favourably than women in the low percentage of cases where they go for custody.)

        Likewise, this – “So when a man misses out on a promotion because his boss had to fulfil gender quotas, we are actually tipping the other way.” – is utter nonsense. Given men’s overwhelming domination of the spheres of politics, business, sport, government, religion, and any other domain you care to mention, we are in precisely zero danger of “tipping the other way” – the very concept is ludicrous. When (as is currently the opposite case) 97% – 97%! – of FTSE100 bosses are women, and men are being held back from the top spot, get back to me and I might concede you have a point.

        Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. When you write stuff like “Women have equal rights to men in all respects and the same opportunities”, I can only sigh. You’re naïve, sure, but that in itself is hardly a crime. Writing articles that prop up the patriarchy (even if only to a tiny degree!), though? That’s more of a problem.

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        • “Two women a week are murdered by their male partners or ex-partners. How many men are murdered by their exes? Look up the stats.”

          Yes, it’s one man every nine days. About 1/3 of the total. Your point?

          “The old canard about men being treated “unfairly” in child custody cases? Of course this is a feminist issue: Society views women as “natural” care-givers, and views with suspicion men who seem genuinely invested in
          being primary carers for their children.”

          Great! So you’ll agree there should be an automatic presumption of shared parental custody then? Guess what – you agree with MRAs!

          “Given men’s overwhelming domination of the spheres of politics, business, sport, government, religion, and any other domain you care to mention, we are in precisely zero danger of “tipping the other way” –
          the very concept is ludicrous.”

          Firstly, men also overwhelmingly dominate the fields of baggage-handling, construction work, fishing, farming, electricity generating and being technicians in nuclear power plants and operating cranes. Men account for 98% of all workplace deaths and serious injuries. As a feminist, why aren’t you campaigning for more female street-sweepers?

          Secondly – what do men in power actually DO for other men? They don’t do anything, because men have no in-group preference. They don’t pass laws that favour men – if that was the case men wouldn’t retire later than women. They wouldn’t send men off to war either.

          Finally, what about the fields where women dominate? What about nursing, psychotherapy, teaching? Why shouldn’t there be a focus on getting men into those careers (admittedly, there are a few such campaigns)?

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          • In addition, men murdered by proxy – pretty common that another man is induced to murder another male who previously was in a relationship with the woman. Those murders are not reported in the figures. Also dead men can’t give evidence and women are treated far more leniently by the law and more likely to be found not guilty of murder. In fact a Professor just this week is advocating that killing a husband or partner who was/is abusive ought not to be termed murder. Taking all this into account, the male and female initiated figures are a whole lot closer than we believe from the quoted statistics.

        • At the last count I did, it was 4 women per fortnight and 3 men per fortnight. Does one less make men less important in the eyes of a sexist?

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        • And here we have the hate filled, ignorant, delusional, bigot feminist stereotype we have all been talking about to jump in lay down some hatred and some inaccurate fabricated stats and statements and then run away because she can’t possibly defend any of the points she has tried to make. This ladies and gentlemen is the type of ignorance you subscribe to when you call yourself a feminist. She even squeezed in the word Patriarchy towards the end like a good little feminazi bot…

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          • lol

      • Ellen men have always been victim’s of domestic violence and the government stats and research shows this is happening in the western world, but unfortunately it has not been recognised by the feminist’s, whoes narrative wants to paint the victims as only women and perpetrators as only men. The whole ideology is based on men bad, women good, it needs this narrative to keep the female privilege going.
        I work in healthcare and its a know statistic that for every pound spent on mens health, 6 are spent on women, men die at a younger age of more cancers, and in greater numbers than women, the research of prostate cancer is one example, it kills almost as many men as breast cancer kills women, but it gets a tenth of the research money. That is just one example of the unfairness we face. I could expand further on the healthcare issue alone, but won’t as you have made a good start in your analysis already and I hope you are ennobled to take it further. Its a fascinating subject when you look at the facts!!

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      • Don’t forget that poverty, culture/environment, drugs/alcohol and mental health issues also play a huge role. What makes you say women have problems ‘more so than men’ what factors have convinced you of this? The statistics don’t necessarily reflect reality, depending on the study you look at men report DV anything from 2 to 8x times less than women. If you mean that those severely injured through DV (which are the minority of recorded cases) men appear to make up a quarter of this minority, when men lose the plot it seems they inflict more damage, although we don’t know how many men end up hurting another man on behalf of a woman (which wouldn’t show up in the stats).

        The stats indicate women instigate violence 75% of the time and that the safest person for a child to be with from a DV point of view is their father. Then there is the problem of emotional/psychological abuse which is much harder to measure and in many cases can be as bad or worse than physical abuse, some would argue that women would be the masters of this kind of abuse, Erin Pizzey talks about ‘the emotional terrorist’ and her corrosive games. I find the more I look into any contentious and emotive issue between the genders, that when many factors are taken into account things are pretty even between us overall. We do find it easier to perceive women as victims more than men, both men and women alike have a tendency to do this I think.

        Thanks for the article, it’s refreshing and hopefully a sign of the times that people like yourself are voicing these sentiments, I like the notion of a gender equality movement, I would happily join forces with any (ex) feminist who thought the way you do and really wanted to make our society a more understanding and balanced one when it comes to gender issues. Nice one.

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      • Don’t forget that poverty, culture/environment, drugs/alcohol and mental health issues also play a huge role. What makes you say women have problems ‘more so than men’ what factors have convinced you of this? The statistics don’t necessarily reflect reality, depending on the study you look at men report DV anything from 2 to 8x times less than women. If you mean that those severely injured through DV (which are the minority of recorded cases) men appear to make up a quarter of this minority, when men lose the plot it seems they inflict more damage, although we don’t know how many men end up hurting another man on behalf of a woman (which wouldn’t show up in the stats).

        The stats indicate women instigate violence 75% of the time and that the safest person for a child to be with from a DV point of view is their father. Then there is the problem of emotional/psychological abuse which is much harder to measure and in many cases can be as bad or worse than physical abuse, some would argue that women would be the masters of this kind of abuse, Erin Pizzey talks about ‘the emotional terrorist’ and her corrosive games. I find the more I look into any contentious and emotive issue between the genders, that when many factors are taken into account things are pretty even between us overall. We do find it easier to perceive women as victims more than men, both men and women alike have a tendency to do this I think.

        Thanks for the article, it’s refreshing and hopefully a sign of the times that people like yourself are voicing these sentiments, I like the notion of a gender equality movement, I would happily join forces with any (ex) feminist who thought the way you do and really wanted to make our society a more understanding and balanced one when it comes to gender issues. Nice one.

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      • Ellen,
        Twice you have mentioned in responses “men are increasingly becoming victims”. The ONLY reason I can accept that is that the gender bias laws in UK mean that men will be arrested for Domestic Violence calls to police and as more and more females understand that then more of them will assault males knowing they are immune to arrest. Having said that, I do not believe that men are “increasingly” becoming victims. They always were at least half of the victims (look up PASK or check 1700 studies confirming that) but these either weren’t being reported or police arrests under Duluth Model where men are automatically termed the abuser skewed the figures to support feminist ideology. Another reference: Professor at Law, Brian Dempsey, report Abused Men in Scotland report (online), pages 85-90: 150 Domestic Violence arrests over one weekend in Scotland. 150 males arrested, ZERO females. Statistically as near to impossible as you can get unless arrest bias is in place (unless the arrests were a a male stag party!!)
        .

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    • How amusing – a male feminist mansplaining to a woman 🙂

      I understand the feeling. Feminism does sound like a good thing to support .. until you start asking questions, that is. Try this next time you’re with your fellow feminists – challenge some of the figures and claims (eg that women shouldn’t even get sent to prison) and see how they respond to you, as a man in particular, for daring to question. You could try asking why feminist groups who have political and media influence are fighting issues like page 3 and lads mags .. While doing nothing on the same scale to fight against things like FGM or stopping daughters being dragged overseas and being forced into marriage?

      Men have fewer problems? So, of all the things you’ve no doubt heard before – really, none of them register on your scale of problems? Things such as men dying earlier, more likely to be attacked/injured whether on the streets on while working, more likely to be homeless or commit suicide? And your feminists – the ones who claim they also care about men – they’re doing what, exactly, about any of these issues?

      Domestic violence? Really? How many men do you think are able to report violence? This constant message from the feminists that men are aggressors and women are victims does nothing to help male victims or stop female aggressors. And do you think female aggressors only target their partners? What about the kids? She’s bigger, stronger and the children are even more vulnerable than a female victim. Male victims get ignored or even accused themselves. The current This is Abuse campaign has not one advert showing a woman being the aggressor.

      Education? Girls doing better than boys? More women attending university? Women really are so much worse off, aren’t they?

      This isn’t a Yorkshire man sketch of oneupmanship – there are men and women suffering around this country. How is feminism really helping?

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      • Great comment, you could have also mentioned that single young women out earn their male counterparts, that unemployment rates for men ar higher than womens, women make up 65% of all public sector workers. If this guy can’t believe his ears when other men speak about men’s rights how does he think we feel when we hear his righteous indignation and regurgitation of feminist canards?

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    • Look up the figures that show DV is in the main reciprocal 50/50 between the genders, look up the figures that show men are many times less likely to report being victims of DV. Look at the lives of men and boys in the middle East and see how life for them could be painted in just as negative a way as womens, see the recent article on A Voice for Men about the lives of men and boys in Iran for example. And no, don’t go into the rape figures if you are simply going to spout more of the same biased statistics and expansion of definitions that we are used to hearing from feminists. Do your research again and this time widen the net and open your mind to the possibility that the female victim narrative you seem to follow is pernicious and manipulative.

      Prove that men have more social power, the average man has no more social power than your average woman and in many cases significantly less, reproductive rights, longer prison terms for the same crimes, massively higher rates of suicide and homelessness. Try talking about men’s human rights and see how quickly people will try to shut you down through derision or shaming. Sure we may have mainly male leaders, but in case you hadn’t noticed they’ve been voted in by women and have spent decades implementing feminist friendly policies that impact men negatively.

      I am all for equality and fairness but feminism has become a bigoted ideology that is harmful to both men and women. Very few en want a return to traditionalism, what we don’t need is to turn our already gynocentric culture into a man hating gynocracy, much of what feminists have to say is pure projection, very few men have spewed such hatefl bile about women as feminists have about men.

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    • You’d be surprised how ignorant your post is and it makes me wish you’d swallow your own medicine. If you look at sources NOT created by feminist ‘studies’ (agenda-driven, they frequently fit the tests to a predetermined conclusion of ‘man bad/woman good’) you would find that men suffer in just about every aspect as much, often more, than women.

      Let’s take violence – more men are murdered, more men are robbed & assaulted in stranger attacks, more men are assaulted in general. Rape – in England, rape by women is not even legally recognised, so any man reporting it – is immediately dismissed & marginalized. In fact, the feminist phrase ‘rape culture’ was stolen by feminists from the prison system. Feminists do a serious disservice to men of all colours & creeds. It’s like a white woman complaining about being ‘lynched’ by people of colour – it’s just downright disrespectful considering the historical violence inflicted against black men because of (mostly) white women’s false allegations against them.
      Here, let’s talk about rape, read this article and educate yourself at least a little bit. http://antimisandry.com/articles/rape-men-146.html

      It’s good that you have to leave the comfort of Western standards to ‘prove’ your case about men being dominant.. It speaks volumes about Western men & women.

      It’s not that women have MORE problems than men, it’s that women’s problems are more visible & society is considerably more aware of women’s issues than they are for men’s issues – we have government depts just for women’s issues whilst men’s issues have zero male-specific departments in the government.

      If women want to call it feminism, yes they can – but let’s stop the lie that feminism is about equality, when at the very best it is only about ‘selective equality’ (when it benefits women).

      Statistically, men have no less problems than women and it takes an ignorant sexist to suggest as such.

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      • Watch now as SeanP changes the goalposts…

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  • Ellen, thanks for a very interesting article, which we’ll link to on our website shortly.
    The American writer Christina Hoff Sommers made an interesting distinction in ‘Who Stole Feminism: How Women Betrayed Women’ (1994) between ‘equity’ feminists like herself who believe (as we do) in equality of opportunity, and ‘gender’ feminists (Harriet Harman MP would be an obvious example) who relentlessly seek special treatment for women (and girls) at the expense of men (and boys), regardless of the impact on men, children… and most women, come to that.
    For the past 30+ years in the UK (and across much of the developed world) the defining ideology of the Establishment has been gender feminism. Even when men dominate fields (e.g. the top of politics, business) they pander to women at the expense of men. Next month female postgraduate engineering students at Brunel University will start getting additional grants of £15,000 p.a. solely on the basis of their gender (details on the ‘menu’ of the J4MB website).
    In our public consultation document (available online) we make proposals in 20 areas where the interests of men (and boys) are assaulted by the actions and inactions of the state. I expect our 2015 general election manifesto will cover 25+ areas. There’s not one area in which the British state assaults the interests of women (and girls). Men pay 72% of the income tax collected in the UK, women only 28%, so men largely fund the state which assaults them on so many levels.
    Mike Buchanan
    JUSTICE FOR MEN & BOYS
    (and the women who love them)
    http://j4mb.org.uk
    CAMPAIGN FOR MERIT IN BUSINESS
    http://c4mb.wordpress.com
    ANTI-FEMINISM LEAGUE
    http://fightingfeminism.wordpress.com

    Reply
  • Ellen.
    Well written. Thank you for such a thoughtful piece that will, no doubt, be attacked by feminists without the ability to think logically, and would rather use the soundbite of gender studies.
    Having a very quick look through the comments below, I am not surprised that those blinkered are the same ones who do not (cannot?) offer reasoned rational argument against your points but, stereotypically,go straight into name calling, belittling, abusive or shaming language.
    Those who accept and support your views do so in a reasoned, appreciative and respectful way.
    We draw on our own conclusions on why this is so.
    As an aside, and my apologies if you are already aware of her, but a lady named Karen Straughan (better known by her nomenclature “Girl Writes What”) offers some excellent writings and YouTube videos on all aspects of feminism and I would strongly suggest that anyone with an interest and an open mind to watch just a few of her comments and to make up their own mind.
    My best wishes – you are an example to your colleagues.

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  • Truly excellent article well written and some very accurate and well researched points. Well done and thank you for taking the time to write it.

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  • Fantastic article Ellen. Well though out and balanced. I often think that the term – Women’s Rights – is a better term for, well women’s rights. Feminism is purely about women’s supremacy since feminism just keeps asking for more and more and is not at all interested in equality.
    There are a few ways in the UK where women are a little disadvantaged. But when one thinks of the myriad of ways in which men are disadvantaged in the UK. eg.,
    Health – 4 times more spent on women’s cancers as opposed to men’s even thought similar numbers die.
    Prison – men are much more likely to receive longer sentences than women – even when women are much less likely to be prosecuted. Tougher prisons for men.
    Education – less than 10% of primary school teachers in UK are males – and also many more boys now have no male role models at home. The percentage of girls entering university 2013 was 56% – and rising every year. The number of boys being diagnosed with ADHD is rocketing.
    Family courts – men stripped of their children by secret family courts. Not to mention unfair divorce settlements
    Domestic violence – public funding to women’s shelters is massive compared to men’s, even though numbers affected are similar
    Suicide – 4 times more males than females commit suicide
    Homelessness – 90%+ of homeless are male
    Genital mutilation – not even considered a bad thing to mutilate a person which nature has made perfect.
    Workplace deaths – 97% are men – a lot due to long arduous work.
    Boys and men are in real crisis and what are feminists saying or doing? – nothing. They are only interested in forwarding the interests of women and they do not care about who suffers in the process.

    Anyways, a big thanks for your honesty, which may well cost you in the short term. In the long term, you have done the right thing.

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  • Thanks Ellen for at least admitting that men are being discriminated against. Most current actions by Feminist activism are to cause three things. Creeping gender apartheid with numerous bias laws or policies based on false or incomplete information, a target of all women to work full time, and to do away with equality of opportunity in favour of skewed gender quotas in cherry picked areas of influence that they want to target for rapid advancement. The effects are that men can no longer trust even good women, that childrens’ needs are being thrown to the kerb in different ways for both parents and in education for males, and any woman who does get a job on merit will be undermined or resented if quotas are involved. Current Feminist Societies mention equality to get funding but their actions speak otherwise the vast amount of the time. Being a woman or a modern feminist is not even close to being the same thing and many are getting uncomfortable in what is being done in their name.

    And I do not know how you handle all the contradictory messages or demands of feminism. You have the right to show your body but if you do you are being exploited and must be stopped. Enhancing your appearance is freedom of expression but you are letting those evil men objectify you so you should not enchance your appearance to please them. You have the total right to be a mother but you have to go to work full time and leave the children. If men want children they have to marry you but your marriage is an oppression and you should free yourself and take the man to the cleaners with the laws we have put it place to protect you. It is sexual harassment if unknown men ask you out but its men’s job to do the asking. You can have sex with a drunk man but if you have one drink you are incapable of consent. I am sure you know more.

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  • Feminism is a hateful ideology. Be egalitarian. Fight for justice, freedom and equity for all.

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  • Twice I have posted links to merely factual information to counter a comment on here and both times the comments have not displayed. Censorship?

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    • One of the comments is now showing so now people can make up their own minds.

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  • After trawling through these comments I have deduced that men and women do a lot of awful things to men and women.

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  • I’m going to cry.
    The article.
    These comments.
    Why are you all so ignorant? Have you actually read into feminism or are you just listening to what everyone else tells you about it? Take the time to actually read about something before stating a false claim, please and thank you.

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    • Wish I could post the picture to go with this – “feminism – strong, smart and independent until things get a little bit difficult”

      Reply

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