The definition of feminism is sometimes "The advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes" or sometimes "The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes". Both definitions are not the same, but let's pick the second one.
So basically we don't want women to be discriminated against men only because they are women. But we also don't want men to be discriminated against women only because they are men. But men have been educated to be strong, and don't complain, so nobody is going to argue for more equality for men, it is admitted that if they need equality they have to take it (end).
Social phenomena are different depending on culture, so I will talk only about things in my country (France) but most of them also apply for most rich countries (Germany, UK, Sweden, Australia, US, ..)
Let's make a few hypothesis regarding women (which for me are just reality, but let's be nice so that people who disagree are not offended):
- Women, biologically are in average physically weaker than men and are also in average less competitive (Not all men are stronger than women, not all men are more competitive than women and maybe culture has ALSO an influence on competitiveness levels)
- Women can be pregnant
- Culture's history and people's inconscious social models have expectations on how women should behave (This is also the case for male, for trans, for gay, for children, for anyone)
First myth: Feminism is somewhat a fight of women against men
If we take a simple model and say that everyone is going to be in a relationship with someone at some point on his life, we can also say that if the relationship is not forced, and accepted by both parties, the two people in the relationship are very likely agreeing on what are their role in their own relationship. And that includes that both the male and the woman in each relationship have the SAME point of view regarding feminism. So I you think a man is not feminist then there is very HIGH chance his partner is not feminist either.
If we exclude homosexual couples, then what we see is that there are in a country like France, probably as much males than females who are not feminist. So there is no fight of women against men. But it is more, some people are feminist, and some are not. Nevertheless what is true, is that maybe strategically it is easier to first convince a woman to adhere to feminism and then let her convince her husband. I disagree with that but well anyone can have his own strategy.
Second myth: Women should be paid as much as men
Well in France, two people bringing the same value from their job have to be paid the same, not only the base salary but also the variable one. If this is not the case this is illegal. If you are a woman and are paid less than a man and you feel like you are bringing as much as him then talk about it to your manager and if he doesn't increase your salary, you can sue him, it is very likely that you will win. Personally in my working area (developers, product manager, designer) I have never seen a woman purposely be paid less than a man.
But as salaries are still private things in today's society, if someone is a better negotiator than another it is likely that he will get a better salary. And yeah men are more competitive so that would make sense that their salary is greater than the one of the women. A business owner's goal is to hire someone for the least amount of money he is willing to accept. So if you want more equality in terms of salary at same business value added, just ask for more transparency of salaries.
There is one last point that I haven't touched, that bad feminist particulary like, is that women are in average paid 30% less than men. Well if the data tells that it is true, I'm not going to complain about it.
- But men are (in average) more competitive than women, so it makes sense that in the highest paid positions, the ones with more responsibilities, more working hours, more data driven projects, more competitive we have more men than women.
- It is also true that in some people's mind, executive positions are more a men's job than a women's job, which also influences women on not trying to pursue this kind of careers and then decrease the number of women being in a high paid position.
- It is also true that there are much more men as a fireman, working in the army, working in construction, driving trucks and there are much more women than men, working as nurses, secretaries, cleaner, ... So if in average women and men are not working the same job, we can't expect their average salary to be the same
- It is also true that women can be pregnant and that being pregnant is a big problem when you have a job with responsibilities. As a result for an employer it is much riskier to hire a woman, who can have a child, than a man. Do we want to keep things like that ? Personally I don't think so, we should find a way so that mothers have a way to pursue the same careers as non-mother women. It is important to let any girl be able to be a mother if she wants to and preserve also her ability to have a great career if she wants to, but this is not something an employer can do alone. There needs to be state regulation to address this problem
Third myth: Women can wear whatever they want
In today's society there are a lot of girls saying "I can wear what I want". Well no, you cannot. We live socially together in society and we follow rules so that there is no anarchy. You are a girl and you think you can wear a short which reveals your butt ? then you can't. The same way as men can't either. You want to walk topless in the street ? well you can't. The same way that men cannot. Do I agree with that ? Personally I don't care. People can go in the street naked I don't give any shit about it. But that's not what the laws of our country are saying. So regarding the law you can't wear anything you want. But this has nothing to do with feminism
The second reason you shouldn't wear whatever you want is that you don't understand what wearing anything you want means. You have seen this sexualized model on ads and you want to get dressed the same way as her ? Then you become a sexualized object too. Having a cleavage because you liked the dress and you didn't really think about having your boobs out is feminism, wearing a tight dress because you feel hot, you feel sexy, you feel desirable, is the opposite of feminism. If you get dressed as a sexual object, then you stop being yourself and being a woman but you start being what the business industry wants you to be, a SEXUAL object. On Instagram for example, all those girls showing their butts, are not feminists, they want people to look at her and say "she is hot" (i.e tell me I'm a sexual object). Being a sexual object for a woman is the moment at which she loses being equal to a guy, because she basically markets herself as an object of men's sexuality.
When you dress as a sexual object, you increase the feeling that women are just objects of men desires, when you draw a caricature of mahomet you attract more the interest of muslims. The more you present a sexual object to a guy the highest chance you will have to have a crazy man trying to force use the object. The more you attract muslims the highest chance you will have a crazy man trying to kill you. Does that excuse people who rape or who kill ? NOT AT ALL. The woman is not responsible, it is the society as a whole who is responsible. The big problem is that getting dressed hot is a spectrum, from not being hot to be extremely hot. And this spectrum is the same spectrum as getting dress whatever you want. So anyway the best solution is to not rape anyone, never ever, but for that we need stop having girls being presented by society as sexual objects
Feminism is also about having sex with more guys
Sex is probably the biggest topic of inequality betwen men and women. But surprisingly this is not something feminists usually talk about. In the non-recent past, when you were a women and you were having sex you were quite likely to get pregnant, so that may have contributed to the fact that women are trying to prevent themselve to having sex with many different people. But when we look at now ? Why would a woman stop herself from having sex with a lot of partners ? Well maybe social pressure. In this documentary The science of lust they show that women unconsciously repress themself from feeling horny, this is called sexual repression. And even if some woule say that naturally women are less interested in having sex than guy I'm personally don't think it true. Nevertheless it is hard to imagine that spending your childhood seeing princesses refusing to be seduced have no effect on that. In all media content children can watch, and real life examples they will have from their mothers, you will almost never see an example of an easy girl, but you see will plenty of examples of girls preventing men to seduce them. On the opposite side of that, there is no social stigma associated with being an easy man. Even today we can rarely see any woman who is able to have sex with any guy she wants without being treated poorly and most of women are limiting (or lying on ) the number of partners they have sex with.
But why ? What is different in having sex than talking with a friend ? Let's forget everything and imagine you are on a planet, on this planet there are one woman and one man. Both of them like each other. If they have 30 minutes, to spend what the most enjoyable activity they can do during that time ? Well for plenty of people that would be having sex, but will they do it ? Well probably not, only because this is not something which is socially accepted. And especially on the girl side.
This is a controversial subject, but I can't help to think that if a guy is not fulfilled sexually he will suffer from it. If the behavior of women make sex scarce for men, in average men will suffer from it. Yeah some people don't need sex, but most people need. When you have a group of people who suffer from something it is more likely to have extreme behavior from them, no ? As far a I know, people who are happy are not the one who manifest on the street. I can't believe that the lack of sex fulfillment is not a factor of rape, it can't be the only one, but it must be a factor.
At the end of the day, the more a country is feminist, the less there are girls in engineering positions, because you know what ? All those stereotypes that women are nicer than men, they are more interesting in educating their children than men... They are maybe most of them true. And the more we are trying to artificially remove those differences the more women will actually try to look like the ideal woman we have in mind
For sure it is hard to be a free woman, and for sure what society expect women to do is probably not exactly what these women want to do, but please for god sake, stop posting photo of your butt on Instagram ...(or do it if you want to find sexual partners)
If you disagree with me, my email is open, tell me why. Always happy to progress