Feminism is not just basic human rights!

Phonaesthetica discusses how feminism does NOT mean that you simply agree that women should have basic human rights, and it does NOT mean accomodating men’s egos and sex drives so they’ll join in the struggle.

Believing these things doesn’t make you a feminist. It makes you “not totally batshit,” or “not the leader of a fundamentalist splinter cult,” but I don’t award cookies for that. Giving a shout-out to basic human rights in a democracy doesn’t make you a feminist, because that’s not all feminism asks of you.

Feminism asks more. It asks, for example, that you consider the risks PIV poses to women: disease; pregnancy; mandatory childbirth. That if a woman cannot choose the manner and timing of her own reproduction, she is not free. That you can’t become a woman if you weren’t born a girl. That porn – even the fair-trade, free-range, shade-grown “female-oriented” variety – has devastating consequences not only for the girls and women in it, but for the girls and women who live in a world where female bodies are commodities to be bought and sold.

Anyway. The Guy’s Guide premise, while great-sounding, is disingenuous: Feminism is NOT as good for men as it is for women. If it were, women’s status in every inch of the world – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe — would look drastically different. Patriarchy serves men well; ergo, they have a vested interest in it. That’s why feminism has to be made palatable and fuckable for men, with cool graphics and ironic hipster tone. That’s why men will never get on board with real feminism — any gains they’d make would be dwarfed by their losses.

16 thoughts on “Feminism is not just basic human rights!

  1. LD July 21, 2012 at 06:44

    are you being ironic?

    • Francois Tremblay July 21, 2012 at 10:22

      No… what could possibly be ironic in what I posted?

  2. LD July 22, 2012 at 18:10

    Everything. I really like some of your stuff….but gah, I really don’t go for feminism at all. Oh well, not everyone has to agree on everything.

    • Francois Tremblay July 22, 2012 at 20:10

      Nope, not ironic. I assume you’ve seen some of the radfem stuff I’ve posted already… there’s also more to come. But no worries, as you probably figured out, I have a lot of topics, so you’ll still find stuff to like. :)

  3. LD July 23, 2012 at 14:55

    You see to me that’s something of a cowardice instinct you’re trying to make manifest as leftist intellectual materiel…but for those heterosexual males of us who have to live here and at least mull over social and sexual hierarchy and assorted associated reproductive strategies, it doesn’t help to have traitors in the midst as it were, though for you as an anti-natalist, there’s nothing to b treacherous against by default due to your existential commitment to better if we never had been. I put it to you that in being a feminist you’re contradicting your non-imposition of harm policy. Feminism is extremely harmful.

    • Francois Tremblay July 23, 2012 at 22:12

      You seem to be confused. I am not a feminist. I actually have an entry in the queue on why it’s impossible for a man to be a feminist. It’s a contradiction in terms.

      That being said, I’d like to know what it is you believe I am traitor to, since there’s no such thing as gender. What is it that you believe I am a traitor to? Penises?

  4. LD July 24, 2012 at 13:33

    No such thing as gender isn’t very helpful either. Technically there’s no such thing as anything except vague quantum vibrations doomed to stillness in some far cold dead nonfuture. There is such thing as gender; just because it’s complex and malleable doesn’t mean it’s not bifurcateable or in other way pragmatically reducible, at least to the extent there’s conscious human agents floating around on this odd rock.

    I like a lot of your stuff so it’s not a general critique, just like saying a man can’t be a feminist, when being something you aren’t and which masquerade is individually and socially harmful is exactly what feminism is.

    • Francois Tremblay July 24, 2012 at 13:44

      “No such thing as gender isn’t very helpful either. Technically there’s no such thing as anything except vague quantum vibrations doomed to stillness in some far cold dead nonfuture. There is such thing as gender;”
      No, gender is not like, say, matter being really made mostly of nothing. Gender is like homeopathy or the existence of Jesus, a socially-accepted myth that has no basis in reality.

      “just because it’s complex and malleable”
      There is no “it”. There is nothing there to be complex or malleable except our belief in it, which is grounded in faith. And what you have faith in is of no concern to me whatsoever. If you want to keep believing in gender, then do that, but I don’t.

      “I like a lot of your stuff so it’s not a general critique, just like saying a man can’t be a feminist, when being something you aren’t and which masquerade is individually and socially harmful is exactly what feminism is.”
      Feminism is not socially harmful. I have no idea why you’d say something so fucking stupid. Seriously, I accept that you disagree with me, but don’t say something that dumb. Just say that feminism is a necessary part of human intellectual progress but that it’s not your cup of tea.

  5. LD July 24, 2012 at 20:22

    I can’t say that because to me it’s a incredibly dumb thing to say. I have no idea whatsoever why I should be undumb and subscribe to feminism’s evolutionary necessity merely on your say so. I haven’t been mean or rude to you, so I’d appreciate a retraction of the dumb comment. It’s not true, and it sucks to be insulted. Can you not see your own belief system infusing your attitudes? Liberalism as an ongoing blog philosophy is waaaaaaaaaaaaay more tied into identity than my reluctance to entertain feminism. Incidentally, being wary of feminism isn’t being anti-women or whatever, just not down with isms generally is all. Except ironically scepticism.

    • Francois Tremblay July 24, 2012 at 20:28

      I’m not a liberal, so… what the fuck are you talking about?

      Being wary of feminism is just dumb. I’m sorry you don’t get that, but I’m not going to apologize. Facts are facts.

      Skepticism is dumb too. But at least it does foster some affinity for science, so it’s not nearly as bad.

  6. Sarah July 25, 2012 at 12:01

    A few months ago I became aware of something I had not until that point heard of – the “Men’s Rights Movement.” It took some time to sift through the enormous amount of propaganda (and hate speech) that over-shadows their movement to get to some of their legitimate gripes (and they do, I feel, have some legitimate gripes, though much of this, as I say, is over-shadowed by heaps of propaganda, false statistics, etc).

    Along the way, I came upon a video with some interviews of some of the proponents of this movement. One of them said something quite interesting. He posits that feminism is an engineered social construct. And I presume he is not referring to first wave feminism (the right to vote, own land, be considered a full human being etc), but probably 1970s and onward feminism – particularly with regards to women in the workforce. He posits that this was a carefully crafted paradigm shift, to the end that “allowing” women to enter the workforce (nay, even shaming them if they choose to raise kids instead) was a clever little govt plot to double tax revenues. Hmmm. I have to admit, it gave me cause to pause on that thought.

    He then goes on to explain the pay gap (which many MRMs deny exists) by stating that in all cases men make more for one of two reasons: 1) Brawn – in terms of manual labor. A man can carry two bricks to his female counterpart’s one brick. And pay is therefore based on production, not time. Fine and dandy. 2) Negotiation (this one was downright BS). He states that in all other instances, the man negotiated a better salary. Umm yeah right. As if salary negotiation and not an outright offer is the standard in every job.

    But THEN…. he completely shoots his “2:1 bricks” argument in the foot, by going on (to the next MRM topic) to claim that more than half of domestic violence victims are men (and the perps, women). So, I guess that means that the man’s 1-brick-carrying female counterpart somehow suddenly musters the 5-brick-brawn to beat the shit out of him.

    I will say this: All that aside, I do see how (radical) feminism can be harmful. I think it’s harmful when it pits us (women/men) against each other. And it seems to have successfully done that. In my daily life, I don’t walk around with a chip on my shoulder; nor do I believe the majority of men are out to get me, to subjugate women, etc. We are ALL products of socialization (aka brainwashing) – whatever the current paradigm might be. And in reality, we are ALL subjugated in economic slavery. But it seems they’ve got us very busy arguing amongst ourselves so that we don’t take note of the cage that surrounds us all.

    I also think some of the reader comments on the original Phonaesthetica blog post are a bit…absurd. “What if there were countries where women were the only inhabitants, and that these were well planned, well financed places? How many women would move to them?” She seems to forget that roads, plumbing, buildings, etc, are pretty much built by men. I’m not sure if “there is no such thing as gender” on your part Francois is semantics (the word “gender” vs the word “sex”), but semantics aside, we (men/women) need each other. We complement each other. I don’t want to live in a world without men.

    Just my opinion, and I hope I won’t get a verbal thrashing for that ;)

    • Francois Tremblay July 25, 2012 at 13:00

      I think you may have some misunderstanding of what radical feminism is about.

      • Sarah July 25, 2012 at 13:58

        That could very well be the case. What I’m specifically responding to in this instance though is the lengthy discussion in the comments of the OP’s blog post, that seems to be a man-hating conversation, right down to discussion of female asexual reproduction. To me, that seems to seek to erase men from the face of the earth. I’m personally not in favor of that.

        • Francois Tremblay July 25, 2012 at 14:08

          Well, it’s not a serious proposal. Parthogenesis in humans may exist, but even if it does, it is extremely rare. I am against reproduction anyway, so… :)

          • Sarah July 25, 2012 at 14:43

            Given the state of the world, I’m with you on that. Bringing a child into this world is selfish act.

        • Francois Tremblay July 25, 2012 at 15:24

          As for man-hating, well… obviously I am not self-hating, so I wouldn’t qualify myself as man-hating. But facts are facts.

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