Category: Feminism

Has feminism become a cult?

I recently had another blogger, queer guess code, respond to my previous post about feminism. Her response perfectly demonstrates the irrational need to hold onto a belief that has taken hold of many feminists. If you read my post, you’ll see that it was quite a mild criticism of some types of feminist thought: it was not a criticism of feminism itself! Yet, the response was one of pure anger. Her response is here. You can check it out if you happen to like reading many exclamation marks, boldface, ALL-CAPS and swearing coupled with a painful writing style and little semblance of a logical flow.

One thing that I have truly been amazed at from writing this blog is how many civilized Muslims have responded to my (sometimes admittedly strong) attacks on Islam and how many uncivilized feminists have responded vehemently against my minor criticisms of certain aspects of feminism.

I really didn’t expect that feminists would be more inclined to be close-minded than religious people. Feminism comes out of a culture of questioning everything! How can this be?

Perhaps my personal experience is not representative. What do others think?

It seems quite difficult to read anything by feminist writers today that doesn’t come back to the idea of patriarchy. This concept has, in my opinion, actually taken away a lot from the feminist struggle. When most people think of the struggle of feminism, they think of women overcoming the dominance imposed upon them by males; however, if you are a little more clever, you will realise that this is only half of the issue. The other side is the dominance of males imposed on females by females. This realisation requires a little more introspection by women, admittedly.

When a feminist writer blames male dominance in society on patriarchy, they are not considering what women are doing wrong to deny themselves access to the dominant positions in society. Thus, the need to be introspective and work harder to attain betterment of oneself is negated. This is a major step backwards.

While playing the victim does demonstrate how a perpetrator is doing something bad, does little to encourage oneself to improve or change. So, I would say that there are other reasons than just the idea of the patriarchy for, for example, there being so few female CEOs in the world.

I believe that one issue is that many so-called ‘masculine’ activities are quite beneficial to the introspection of an individual. One example is sports. When women don’t play sports because they think that competitive activities are a guy thing, they miss out on the chance to criticize themselves. In sport, it is quite evident who is better and who is worse. In other activities that are usually non-competitive, like art or dance, this is less obvious (of course, comparing Picasso to a common person is an easy call, but comparing two people in the same range becomes extremely debatable). When you do poorly in an art class, there is no game sheet to say how few points you scored. You are not reminded constantly of your shortcomings. In sport, assuming you are playing in the right level for your skill, you are constantly reminded about what you can do better (this is why playing against poor players will generally stagnate or even degrade a player’s skill, since they don’t worry about what they are doing wrong). This forced introspection and encouragement of betterment is a strong influence on the development of a child’s mind, inside and outside of sports.

This is only one example. No doubt there are other activities deemed ‘masculine’ that help men develop into the kind of people who will work a little harder to achieve dominant positions in society. So, this is actually a kind of feminism, in my opinion; just one that goes against the grain of what many feminists seem to advocate these days. In short, parents instill the skills needed for successful girls — those parents must realise that many ‘masculine’ activities are quite beneficial to their children’s development.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali at her best!


Islamic Republic of the Maldives Sentences Child Rape Victim to 100 Lashes

A girl is repeatedly raped by her father in law and other men. So what does the Islamic nation of the Maldives do? They sentence the girl to 100 lashes because she had sex outside of marriage.


The Failings of Modern Western Feminism

Recently I finished reading Nomad by one of my idols, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. While the book is not focused on feminism, per se, it does go into what I agree is the major problem with modern Western feminism — in a word: egoism. However, I, being a white male, have no right to comment on this, or so the modern Western feminist reasoning goes. So, fine, I won’t comment on this. I will let Mrs. Ali, a non-white female, comment. Below is an excerpt from Nomad which I think demonstrates the wasted energy and selfishness of modern Western feminism:

“Feminists began to define white men as the ultimate and only oppressors. White men had engaged in the slave trade, apartheid, and colonialism as well as in the subjugation of women. Nonwhite men were, almost by definition, seen as members of the oppressed….

My colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, Christina Hoff-Sommers, calls this “the feminism of resentment.” This is the position of “feminists [who] believe that our society [read, Western society] is best described as a ‘male hegemony,’ a ‘sex/gender system’ in which the dominant gender [read, white male] works to keep women cowering and submissive.” These feminists of resentment refuse to appreciate the progress Western women have made, from the right to vote to the punishment of those who try to harass women at work. They see only the iniquity of the white man and reduce such universal concepts as freedom of expression and the right to choose one’s own destiny to mere artifacts of Western culture….

 Western women have power. They are now firmly established in the workforce. They have access to contraception, to their own bank accounts, to the vote. They can marry the men they choose, or choose not to marry at all, and if nature allows it, they can have as many or as few children as they want. They can own property, travel wherever they choose, and read any book, newspaper, or magazine they wish. They can have an opinion on the moral choices of others and express that opinion freely, even publish it….

If feminism means anything at all, women with power should be addressing their energies to help the girls and women who suffer the pain of genital mutilation, who are at risk of being murdered because of their Western lifestyle and ideas, who must ask for permission just to leave the house, who are treated no better than serfs, branded and mutilated, traded without regard to their wishes. If you are a true feminist, these women should be your first priority.”

I’ve believed exactly this for many years now, but being a white male, of course whenever I asserted something like this, every feminist would just shout down my argument because I couldn’t understand how tough life is for a woman growing up in a Western country.

When I lived in Canada, to be honest, I just accepted this line of reasoning because, perhaps there are many things that I don’t notice in the lives of women in Canada.

However, I’ve now lived in South Korea now for about 6 years. When I first arrived here, within a couple months I could see the subtle and not so subtle discrimination against women here. Me! A white male! I was able to notice this! How is this possible?? I am supposed to be blind to the suffering of women, right? Wrong. I realize now that the belief that men are oblivious to the suffering of women is simply a kind of prejudice, like all other prejudices. Further, I now believe that many feminists in developed Western countries are using feminism not as a way to elevate women and women’s rights, but as a way to say, “Oh, my life is so hard! Feel pity for me! You should be ashamed white male!” This is, in a word, egoism. These women are empowered in ways their ancestors and sisters in undeveloped countries would have trouble fathoming. It’s time for empowered feminists to work on empowering truly repressed women around the world!

The labels of “pro-choice” and “pro-life” have both come to represent legalizing and prohibiting abortion, respectively. This is inappropriate. The use of the words “choice” and “life” make it seem like this is all there is to the argument. The fact is both sides are wrong when they simplify this argument to either, “Do you hate a woman’s right to do what she wants to her own body?” or “Do you love killing babies?”

Since both sides have become hypercharged in a hypersensitive atmosphere, both sides fail to see the childishness of their own arguments.

Personally, I come down somewhat firmly on one side of this debate: the so-called “pro-choice” side; yet, perhaps counter-intuitively, I couldn’t care less about a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body. The fact is that the woman and her baby are not analogous to a woman and her arm. The baby is not simply a part of her body. She bears responsibility for the life inside of her, of course. This argument becomes stronger the further along in the pregnancy the woman is. It’s hard to see why once the woman emits the baby from her body, she cannot kill it, but if it is inside of her, and has the ability to live outside of her, she is free to kill it.

This would be the extreme, however. A third trimester abortion is something rarely performed unless the mother’s life is in danger anyway. However, this raises the question: where do we draw the line? I think almost everyone would agree that there is a point after which we cannot ethically terminate a baby (which is not a threat to the mother’s health), but it is much harder to say exactly when that point is. So, in all, given the choice between letting women do what they want to “their bodies” and allowing a life to be terminated, of course I will take away the woman’s right to do what she wants to her body.

Now, before I get to why I am actually on the side of the pro-choicers, let me breakdown why the “pro-life” term is also ridiculous. Think about that term. Pro-life. What stupidity. Who is not pro-life, in the greatest sense of the term, aside from psychopaths? This term is an ad hominem in itself. That’s a bad start. You’re labeling all people who disagree with you as psychopaths before the argument has begun. This is not an argument about who likes life and who likes death. This kind of thinking destroys any nuance that may be presented counter to abortion prohibition.

Now, as for me, I don’t believe that abortion should be legal, as I said, because I care about a woman’s choice to do what she will with her body. This doesn’t have a big enough impact on society, in my opinion — and I believe that it is the purpose of laws to make a society run as smoothly and humanely as possible. Well, if you’re a pro-lifer and you’re banging your desk and screaming right now, just calm down for a second. I have not just contradicted myself. I believe abortion should be legal because when we look at examples around the world where it is not legal, we have to consider what happens. Does abortion just stop? Wow, I wish I lived in that world! No. It does not stop. It goes underground. It still happens, and it happens by boyfriends kicking their girlfriends in the stomach until the fetus or the mother dies, it happens by single mothers using coat hangers to hopefully puncture the right organs (I will save you the details. I’ll assume you can guess what I’m saying), it happens through quack doctors, or people who are not doctors at all, try to make a quick buck off a helpless would-be mother. This is a totally inhumane society, and one I am not willing to live in. For this reason alone, I am for the legalization of abortion everywhere.

Abortion is an admittedly terrible procedure, but one which qualified doctors can perform with the lowest chances of error. This has nothing to do with being pro-choice or pro-life; it is simply the best solution to a hard problem.

Feminism is a Misnomer

The idea of feminism has become anathema to many people. Why is this? I believe that it is not because of the few fringe feminists who proclaim extreme statements (though, that does add fuel to the fire). I believe that it is much simpler: the word “feminism” is inherently divisive.  However, this should not be the case.

The misnomer lies in the initial creation of this word: its prefix refers to only women. Unfortunately, I have no alternative word that would supplant “feminism” (sexual-equalism just doesn’t have the same impact). As a result, the word implies a superiority of women’s issues or at least a battle solely on behalf of women. In my opinion, this is not truly what feminism is or should be.

My definition of feminism is different than most dictionaries. I believe that feminism should be a striving for equality and fair treatment among both sexes. I am not the only one who believes this. It is to the detriment of society if any member is treated unfairly or unequally. Further, I would assert that it is to the detriment of either sex if the other sex is treated unfairly or unequally.

In this way, men’s rights should be fought for by feminists as much as women’s rights.

Some people will scoff at this statement and say, “Men are in the position of power, they are the ones monopolizing the rights.” This is a very simplistic way of looking at the world. The fact is, we need to consider women and men not as monolithic entities, but as a single descriptor of individuals in society. There are poor, disabled, homosexual white men. Are these men the monopolizers of rights? Every individual has different qualities and it is unfair to lump them into a giant group of “men” or “women” only.

Therefore, if examples of men having higher conviction rates than women, or male genital mutilation (circumcision) should not be swept under the carpet or laughed away. Men being portrayed as bumbling morons on sit-coms should also not be ignored (Note: some shows, like the Simpsons, demonstrate various kinds of men, so this is no problem. However, other shows these days seem to make all men on the show appear like some kind of simpleton who somehow earns money).

So, sometimes people are surprised when I refer to myself as a feminist.  I’ll admit,  it does seem like sycophantism for a man to proclaim that they are a feminist, according to the standard definition of the term. However, I claim to be a feminist with my aforementioned definition in mind. In this way, it is not impossible for a man to be a feminist with my definition; nor is it embarrassing.

Regarding a new word to supplant feminism, I have not thought of anything. Any suggestions would be welcome. 🙂

I remember watching a YouTube clip in which Richard Dawkins interviews a Muslim guy, seen here. In this clip, there was one quote that was particularly annoying. I will paraphrase to make the statement neater since it was a back and forth discussion. Essentially he stated that Western men dressed their women as whores. I assume he meant, we let them dress like whores; regardless, it’s still a ridiculous statement.

This statement is rude and offensive due to its sexist slant; however, I will let feminists attack this point. I am more concerned with something more overarching: it is an ignorant and unfair comparison.

Ignorant because Muslims who make these kinds of statements don’t realize why it is an unfair comparison.

The explanation of its unfairness of this comparison may not be intuitive; however, once dissected, it is quite easy to notice. There are many aspects of culture, and for this reason, it is quite easy to compare apples and oranges without realizing it.

In this instance, the Muslim being interviewed is comparing modern Western culture with traditional Islamic culture. This is not fair. Of course there are traditional Western women who never reveal their bodies in a sexual manner. Of course there are Islamic women who dress provocatively and behave sexually (there are brothels in Islamic countries).

Now, of course women in Western countries are more likely to dress provocatively, but why is this? Is this what Western culture was like traditionally? No. Not at all. The reason why more Western women dress this way is because they can. Specifically, it is because of the continuous fight against the oppression of women in Western culture. In modern Western societies, women are free to dress as they please with little risk of being given dirty looks and no risk of being imprisoned or beheaded.

This same fight against the oppression of women has not happened in Islamic countries. This is not something to brag about. This is something to be ashamed about.

The same advancement of the rights of homosexuals and religious minorities has not occurred in Islamic countries either and we see the same desire by many Muslims to be proud of this lack of advancement. This can be illustrated by the infamous quote by the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “Our country doesn’t have homosexuals.” Again, was this always the case in Western societies? Have Westerners always loved homosexuals and religious minorities? Again, no. The acceptance of the rights of these aforementioned groups are not Western ideals: they are universal ideals.

So, when a Muslim compares Western and Islamic cultures, they should either compare modern Western women and modern Muslim women or traditional Western women and traditional Muslim women. Muslims have no reason to be proud of comparing traditional Islamic culture with modern Western culture. This is an unfair comparison.

Moreover, this is desire to brag about how “modest” Muslim women are in Islamic countries is actually something to be ashamed of, not proud of, since it illustrates how backward the rights of women are in their country. That is, Islamic countries have failed to discover these universal ideals.

There is no evidence that women in Islamic countries innately desire to cover themselves more than any other women. They are products of the society in which they live and these products have not been taken care of. So, whenever a Muslim asserts that their women are more modest than Western women, it is our duty as global citizens to criticize this behavior for the protection of minorities everywhere.

Why not blame the victim?


I have heard the same catch phrase from feminists many times now: “You can’t blame the victim!”

It seems that whenever this statement is uttered, everyone just sheepishly drops their gaze and apologizes for fear of being considered offensive or sexist.

But why can we never blame the victim?

Before I get into this, let me say that, although I am a man, I do consider myself a feminist — if a feminist is someone who believes in equal treatment and opportunity for men and women.

Before getting into rape, let’s cool off a little, as I know many people might be fuming so far, and try to apply the “you can’t blame the victim” theory to another situation.

Let’s same I see a group of gang members hanging out on a street corner. I then decide to go up to them and say, “You guys should be in school right now.” As a result, I am beaten up. Is my foolish judgement really blameless? Of course not: I should most definitely be blamed for my lapse in common sense. Now, is the crime any less serious? Of course not.

The fact is that the “you can’t blame the victim” mentality conflates two concepts. If you agree that you can’t blame the victim, you are saying both, the victim did nothing to provoke this crime and the perpetrators are less guilty for this crime.

Of course, I am not saying both of these. I am not saying the perpetrators are less guilty for this crime. I am saying that the victim did something to provoke the crime.

Now, the common issue with rapes is, if a woman wears provocative clothing and walks down a street alone, she is not to be blamed because you can’t blame the victim. Nonsense. Any woman with any common sense knows that she is being wholly naive to think that she can behave in this way and not expect negative consequences. Again, if she is raped, is the crime any less severe? No. However, the woman can still be blamed for not being responsible with her own safety.

If the world were a happy, joyful, peaceful place where crimes never happened, then this hypothetical woman’s behavior wouldn’t need to be judged. However, we have to face facts. There are bad people in this world. If you behave in certain ways, you will provoke an attack by them.

In any case other than rape, it seems logical that we can blame the victim. Let’s have some uniformity in our convictions.

When we thought it couldn’t get any worse than a failed shoe bomb, the incompetency of terrorists proves us all wrong.

It seems that the Taliban have downgraded their prior terror of explosives, suicide bombings and ambushes of military targets to shooting unarmed young girls.

Malala Yousufzai, a truly brave young feminist, has become the victim of what can only be called a cowardly act. Usually, the use of an adjective like “cowardly” is a highly biased term; however, in this case, all but the most extreme viewpoints would consider shooting an unarmed 14-year-old girl anything but cowardly.

On top of this, they failed. She didn’t die, and is now recovering in hospital. Perhaps the Taliban needs to set its sights a little lower: killing an unarmed girl is a little too difficult for them.

Of course, this raises the question: why are the Taliban resorting to such ridiculous and atrocious behavior? The answer is that Malala Yousufzai is working to promote progress in her country while the Taliban are fighting for a return to the good old days of the Caliphate — a time when, not coincidentally, the Islamic world started to fall behind the rest of the world intellectually.

Apparently, according to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan — the perpetrators of the attack — the young girl Malala Yousufzai provoked this attack by being pro-West and admiring Barack Obama. Both qualities, I would argue, are good things, not bad things.

First, people often confuse being “pro-West” with being “anti-East.” This is a false dichotomy. Being pro-West means being proud of the institutions that the West has provided to allow Western countries, and countries that have followed the lead of these Western countries, to become prosperous and fair. In this case, the institutions of the rule of law, sexual equality and the separation of the church (or mosque) and state seem most critical.

Second, the major reasons that the Taliban are anti-Obama, is because he is the leader of America and is working to promote human rights across the Islamic world. As the leader of America, Obama must be evil, otherwise, their conspiracy theory driven narratives would collapse like a house of cards. Needless to say, this is not a genuine reason to be anti-Obama. As for promoting human rights, this is again, an affront to the attempt to regress to the time of the Caliphate, as has already been discussed.

Unfortunately, deeper critical thinking about their own ideology is nearly impossible for members of organizations such as the Taliban, partly because the vast majority of them are illiterate and don’t have access to better information.

Further, they are not fighting to promote life in this world, but rather, the hereafter. Herein lies the largest problem. It is true that they love death more than we love life. No person who isn’t part of a death cult ideology would ever consider shooting a 14-year-old for expressing her opinion.

We can only hope that this shooting will draw attention to the barbarism of the Taliban and hopefully more Muslims will reject, rather than be inspired by, the tenets of Taliban ideology.

In short, the Taliban has not only failed to kill this young girl, but may have set in motion the death of its own organization.

If you found this interesting, check out this article I found from a slightly different perspective.

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