I am not a feminist, but you can call me that if you want to.

That’s right: I rarely refer to myself as a feminist. I don’t like the term. I don’t think it applies to me. This frustrates my significant other at times, and so I thought I might share my thoughts, because others might find them equally maddening, and that is good for page hits. Let me explain further with a comparison:

I am not gay, transgendered, or otherwise “Queer”. I don’t cal myself a part of the LGBT community, though I fully support their right to be heard and included and their civil rights. I do not have their experiences, and I cannot rightly claim to be one of them. I mess up all the time when talking about the issues of homosexuals, including the fact that many of them now dislike the term “homosexual”. I certainly mess up when speaking about and with transgendered persons and it is nearly impossible to speak about the gender-nonbinary without an introductory lesson in each person’s preferred lexicon.

I am, likewise, uncomfortable calling myself a feminist. I support equality and representation and empowerment, but I do not have the personal experience with discrimination to draw from. I do not have a connection with “feminism” that runs any deeper than my connection with the LGBTQ community: I love these people, and I support them, but it feels wrong to claim to be a part of their struggle. I am an ally for equality and justice, but that is the only label I am comfortable with. It is not that I am against feminism, or even just the word; it just doesn’t speak to who I am or what I am for.

I am an ally for all those people who need to be heard and who need to be treated better. I am strongly against gender bias, and actually against the concept of binary gender even as I am very happy and comfortable as a man. I want my penis to matter less in other people’s valuation of me than what I give back to the world. I want that for everyone no matter what their biology, how they dress, or how they identify. If you think that makes me a feminist, then so be it. I don’t call myself by that term except when it must be defended against people who use it as a slur.

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21 Responses

  1. We ARE humanists. Something “feminists” in their ironic search for equality won’t ever understand or get…

    • I am going to go ahead and let this comment through, but mostly just as a warning: There is nothing “ironic” about the need for women to be treated as equals, including boosting their representation and a conscious effort on the part of men who give a damn to shut up and let them speak more often.

      I do not suffer the stupidity of so-called “Men’s Rights” groups. Men have all the rights and so much privilege that many of them no longer have empathy for the marginalized.

      Again, I don’t use the term because I respect what it means, not because I think I am too good for it. I am an ally to those who are feminists, because I know that they need men like me to tell others to shut up and listen.

      • What in my comment should have received a warning? The labeling of movements with a certain sex, male or female, is silly and should be stopped. Making a movement called “feminism” and then wondering why men don’t accept it is beyond amusing. It has nothing to do with equality, if it had they would have used a broader term.

        • I respect it, and it has everything to do with equality. The fact is that equality doesn’t happen by ignoring inequality. We need to lift up women to be role models for girls, or girls will be less likely to succeed. We need to actively give women the chance to speak, long after we feel comfortable, because they have been shut out of so many conversations for so long. Again, you clearly don’t speak for me.

          Calling the need for justice and equality “ironic” was all the flag waving I needed to see you for the troll you are. There is no place for you to peddle your tired status quo here. You are welcome to engage in discussion, but you will respect the women who are brave enough to stand up and be heard, or I will silence you. It is my blog, and that is how I choose to use my privilege.

          • Silence away if that is how you deal with differing opinions. Pretty weak, but your right. Take care.

            • The problem is that you have an opinion, and you are trying to present it as fact. You don’t get to make up facts. Bring me a peer reviewed study to defend your opinions, and we can have a discussion about the facts there in. Until then, you are trying to refute facts with hurt feelings.

              • Hurt feelings? By women? Amusing.

                • I await your sources.

                  • What sources are you wanting. My life on video? My documentation of a minority male and how much more privileged women are than I am? Sure, let me work on creating that report for you. It will be titled “My autobiography.”

                    • You are still talking about your feelings. Show me where you, as a man of Asian decent, have it as bad as a woman of Asian decent or as bad as a white woman. Bring some facts to discuss, or we are just talking about your life. If that is what you want to do, then, yes, I will need to read your autobiography to have any rational thoughts. You aren’t talking about facts, but just how you feel. That isn’t useful in talking about society at large.

                    • Um… so me talking about my life isn’t facts about my life? And isn’t useful to a discussion on society? Good to know my place on the ladder… you just solidified your views in my book. That is worse than feminism…

                    • Your “facts” are what we call “anecdotal.” I don’t know how much you have achieved. I don’t know how hard you had to work to get it. Your “facts” almost certainly contain information that places you outside the average in some way. Everyone is an outlier on some chart. So, no, your opinions are not useful in talking about real change, because you aren’t even backing them up with more than “I’ve been attacked before.” If you want to share your story, I’ll read it. It still doesn’t show that Asian men have it worse than women. That’s just something you believe in, and it has no more value here than a Jesus fish.

                    • That further validates why I wouldn’t bother putting such facts since you are so quick to label people, as you did in the first response… It is clear you are on the path you want to be. Good luck with it and take care.

      • And to clarify for you the irony is in their need to attack men… to gain equality. That is truly ironic, regardless if you recognize it or not Sir.

        • I have never been attacked by a woman simply for being a man. I have been attacked by men for defending the right of women to speak for themselves. And I mean physically attacked as well as argued with. Again, this probably won’t go well for you if you maintain that attitude.

          • Then you obviously haven’t met that many feminist if you have “never been attacked.” I find that hard to believe. You must be pretty nice.

            • I am not nice. Not at all. I am a terrible person who hates the way people treat one another, and isn’t at all shy about telling people that. I have called out activists from many movements for alienating people who say dumb things by attacking them instead of trying to educate them. I have shouted down crowds who have tried to disrupt a peaceful protest. I have debated preachers intent on shouting at the participants in the Dallas Pride Parade. No one loves me because I am soft spoken and passive.

              Again, though, I have never once been attacked for my gender by a woman, and not because I don’t wade hip deep into discussions. It is because I respect their right to be heard and their anger at being marginalized. It is because I don’t treat them like women; I treat them like human beings, and they have always returned the same courtesy.

              • And you assume from my first comment, which was polite btw, that I do not? And that I am a troll? Jump to conclusions much?

                It is funny when people talk about Men’s rights movements. To what rights are you referring to? A white man’s rights? I am Asian, a minority, and have known almost NO privilege as you claim I have. I actually have no clue what that is like. In fact, far more women get treated better for being women than I have for being me. So yea, you haven’t persuaded me one bit.

                I do appreciate the responses though. -OM

          • I like how you keep warning me “it won’t go well for you” if you really hate getting differing opinions and simply write them off as “trolls” disable comments. WordPress is a forum where people “get” to read others opinions and comment if they choose. You can moderate your blog all you want, but censoring differing opinions on a post you “put out to the public” is a very weak backbone. Again, I wish you the best with your blogging… or rather with your “sharing of your view that you don’t want opinions back on.”

            • You haven’t been censored, yet, but you still haven’t added anything to the conversation except the reminder that there are men out there who can’t stand the thought of gender equality. What is it you are afraid of losing?

              • I am ALL for gender equality. You assumed I was not. What I am NOT for is being made to feel guilty by feminist for things I don’t have. I am not part of the 1% white males in this country.

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