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Feminism is meaningless

February 15, 2013

The greatest thing about language, and possibly the worst thing about it, is it’s tendency to evolve through time and culture. What one word means when used hundreds of years ago may mean something completely new now. Some words change with new knowledge and understanding. Some words change when those who find themselves at their mercy rise up and challenge it, forcing it’s submission to their new masters. It makes conversations tricky at times, because you come to the realization that the two people talking can’t form an agreement because they’ve never defined the term in question, and their arguing for and against something with two completely different meanings. It’s one of the reason I’m ignostic toward the majority of ideologies. Feminism has found itself in an odd position; where it’s gained so many different and highly personal meanings that it’s become utterly meaningless. Think about it; what does feminism mean?

You might see the joke definition; the radical notion that women are people. Or perhaps the dictionary definition; The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Or perhaps wikipedia’s definition; a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. You might even get into the nitty gritty of radical feminism which requires certain things be accepted, such as Patriarchy Theory and Rape Culture. Then there’s Liberal feminism, Conservative Feminism, Political Feminism, Ideological Feminism, Egalitarian Feminism, Equity Feminism, Socialist Feminism, Marxist Feminism, Black Feminism, maybe even Feminist Feminism, etc. I don’t know; I’m not sure how anyone could honestly keep track without the use of spread sheets and an encyclopedia.

Beyond the obvious focus on female or feminine issues, there really isn’t a cohesive definition for people to grab on to. More to the point, it’s so fluid at this point that anyone and everyone can claim or gain the title on a whim. Those crazy Radical Feminists that want a biological solution to the male problem? They’re feminists. An MRA that believes in equal rights? They’re feminists. Someone who challenges the social expectations of their gender? They’re feminists. People who make the conscious decision to adhere to gender roles? They’re feminists.

The amusing part of the conversation comes from the predictable ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy. Man hating feminists? They’re not real feminists! Sex positive feminists who have sex with men? They’re not real feminists! That douchebag TheFeministMRA? He’s not a real feminist! How can you possibly be a Feminist and an MRA? If you prefer to keep it in house; you can just look to the ‘Feminist Sex Wars’; even those attempting to control the narrative are divided on what to do. How do you think that looks to someone on the outside?

If I make the claim that I am not a Feminist, but I believe in equal rights for both men and women, am I correct in said claim? If someone response to said claim with; “If you believe in equal rights for both men and woman, then you are a feminist.” Ok, fine, I accept that, I’m a feminist. But wait, I’ve also heard the response; “If you’re an MRA, you’re not a feminist.” Ok… I guess I’m not a feminist then. But I am… but I’m not…

What this essentially boils down to is once again, people superimposing their unique individual perceptions of a word onto it’s definition. Which isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing per say, because subjectivity is observation of objectivity. ‘Blue’ means something different to everyone; especially the color blind. And of course, there are many shades of blue.

The “bad” thing, the problem, is when people impose their subjectivity onto others. Their definition of the word is the only one they accept as valid. So once again we see those bloody Scotsman raving and ranting about who’s really one of them. When it’s *your* personal definition, or *your* person philosophy, it isn’t *mine*. We might share some ideas and some thoughts, but what’s *yours* is *yours* and what’s *mine* is *mine*.

If everyone called their personal philosophy Bill, Bill would simply be the meaning for personal philosophy; not necessarily the one you believe in. Feminism has now become someone’s individual perceptions on the ideas of the women’s movement. Calling yourself a Feminist is the equivalent of calling yourself a philosophy. Ok then… what’s your philosophy? Because someone can’t claim to be an ideology without expressing that ideology, even if their ideology is entirely meaningless, like Nihilism. But Nihilism is Nihilism, it isn’t “ideology”. It’s *a* ideology.

Feminism is personal philosophy. That is what it means now. And without it’s meaning, it’s entirely meaningless. Know what I mean?

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One Comment
  1. Selvar permalink

    THANK YOU!!! This is exactly what I was thinking, Some feminists have fought for the right of women to vote. Others have fought for affirmative action that discriminates against men. The word simply has no consistent definition.

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