A Woman criticizes Feminism. {Video: Male Disposability}

Via on Dec 28, 2011

93%.

A Woman criticizes Feminism. Well, 1st & 2nd Wave feminism.

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What has feminism done to shatter the patriarchal “women and children first” mentality, and elevate men to status as full human beings deserving of empathy and human rights? What has it done to reinforce and legally entrench the mentality that everyone, including men themselves, should put men last?

Great comments here (Reddit). Best comment here:

Women and men are both made to conform to oppressive cultural archetypes, and third-wave feminist theory acknowledges this idea regularly. Most modern (or should I say postmodern?) feminists are concerned with breaking down cultural binaries (like man and woman, gay and straight) in an effort to free individuals from the restrictive cultural norms that coincide with these titles. Despite this, many people are only aware of first and second-wave feminist sentiments, so they dismiss current forms of feminism as being stuck in the past, even though feminism has become much more postmodern and inclusive over the past century. Yes, there are still some regressive feminists who are pushing for female empowerment, but that is only one aspect of the movement. Third-wave feminism acknowledges that all sexes are made to fit certain roles, and thus focuses more on gender, class, race, and other societal issues, albeit largely through a culturally-feminine perspective (though there has been an increase in feminist texts from culturally-masculine perspectives recently).

The problem most people have when approaching feminism is that they don’t take the time to understand that it isn’t a monoistic field of study with specific, absolute tenets. The media so regularly shows many examples where feminists (and these are often feminists with little or no exposure to any degree of feminist theory) have overstepped their bounds or demonized men, that most people have taken to disparaging all forms of feminism, failing to realize even within feminism there are multifaceted and conflicting opinions; several aspects of feminism that are commonly despised are also disparaged in other facets of feminist theory.

I am a male feminist, and I really can confirm that once you get past the “feminism is for women” myth, you’ll understand the field is more interested in studying gender and culture and truly is more akin to egalitarianism than most realize. One really shouldn’t judge a massive and multiplistic group based on its loudest, most misinformed members. In critiquing feminist theory, one shouldn’t dismiss the whole movement, as your critiques of feminism have been voiced by other feminists.

EDIT: I’ve gotten about ten comments now asking, “If feminism is so different now, why call it feminism?” and since I’m tired of responding personally to each one, I discuss this idea in another comment. In short, I agree the title is off-putting to the layperson who has been exposed predominantly to negative and one-sided media depictions of feminists, and I feel a name like egalitarianism would more aptly reflect postmodern feminism, but changing the name of a massive field of study would be incredibly difficult, and might promote a dismissal of previously established feminist theory. Besides, one shouldn’t judge a multifaceted field of study on its title alone; if a person is critically engaged with feminism, they will realize much of its recent theory is merely egalitarianism under another name. I will concede that the layperson is not critically engaged, though, so the name certainly does have an impact on the public accessibility of the movement. For those interested, I started a discussion about the public view of feminism in this post to r/feminism, wherein the conflations between first, second, and third-wave feminism are addressed.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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16 Responses to “A Woman criticizes Feminism. {Video: Male Disposability}”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    #
    Chelsea R finally! i love it.

    #
    Kasie M Ray First wavers were far from regressive. How many women returned to school and/or entered the work place as a result of their efforts? The ERA really had the word "Equal" in it. Domestic violence is not only reported more frequently, but taken more seriously thanks to 1st/2nd wave efforts to link DV shelters/counseling centers with better law enforcement training.

    Methinks a little 3rd wave gratitude is in order. And you're welcome, kid.

  2. Gianni says:

    Finally. A woman expressing a genuine post-post feminism perspective. Thank you Waylon.

  3. This needs to be said over & over until people start to get it. I used to argue with feminist oriented lit professors because I felt like this separation and elevation of women did nothing towards the ideal of making us all equal. It doesn't mean we should all be the same, just all of equal value. I love men. I love the contrast of masculinity and femininity. What I don't love? That my son is growing up in a world that increasingly devalues men.

  4. lucas says:

    "isms" pretty much all suck.

  5. lori says:

    As a humanist first, feminist second I find these arguments extremely weak. When she says "we" it does not speak for "me".

  6. lesliekay says:

    this video does not speak for me. feminism means equality, period. i don’t agree with the socialization of children into patriarchal gender roles, circumcision, dismissing men’s feelings or domestic abuse or rape cases. i can’t believe that the concept of “disposable males” even has any effect in first world countries. firemen going into a burning building will save the person they CAN save. it’s pretty obvious that the speaker has a son, and she’s trying to state his case, which i understand. it seems like she is afraid that society will start devaluing men, but i don’t see her arguments that this is actually happening as valid. women are still underpaid at work, underrepresented in government and corporate positions of power, and overly sexualized in every media outlet available. if you call that women ruling the world and expecting an unfair advantage, you are mistaken.

    • Stig says:

      So as a woman your objective is to rule the world? Nice….

    • Yogatchr says:

      I agree. Repost from what I put on FB: The problem lies in statistics about women. Unfortunately, our lives remain very very different from those of men because of real dangers and inequities in our culture. For example, 85% of domestic violence victims are women. So, I guess differences aren't so superficial after all.

    • alex says:

      female is a sexual object according to Nature laws, so she can not be overly sexualized, she is sexualized by default.

  7. Stig says:

    I am always very impressed when I see a true thinker examine paradigms from an unconventional perspective. Her views go a long way to dissolving the separation that exists and helping to realizing our unity. Differences are superficial and ultimately unreal, serving only to sustain our attachment to the ego identities that we cling to. Conventional feminism does nothing to foster unity; rather it reinforces our separation. Bravo Girlwriteswhat!

  8. Aase Knudsen says:

    Thank you for sharing this important thoughts. I know from my own life what you are talking about. I was born with a boys body but I felt being a girl. I did not tell anybody and learned how to live as a boy. After 43 years I changed sex and know I experience being a woman. All what you said is so through. It got to change….thank you. Hugs from Lillehammer in Norway

  9. Alex says:

    Women will not ever jump up at men's level neither mentally nor phisically, so what feminists are doing is a waste of time.

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  12. gavbo101 says:

    Your article is intellectually arrogant.

    Very Sincerely,
    Layperson

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