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Old 07-18-2017, 11:58 AM   #241
Immet
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This is incredibly stupid reasoning. Just because I don't support feminists means I automatically hate women? Bullshit.

People have their own reasons for not wanting to be affiliated with feminism. Some don't want to be affiliated with the extremists. Some just don't care enough. Some just don't want to engage in any activism. It could be anything.
I agree with you completely. But given the nature of interviews and soundbites today, if you say that you are not a feminist even while explaining yourself, only the part where you say you aren't a feminist will be quoted and people who think that feminist == belief in gender equality will think you oppose gender equality and hate women.

Just look at this very thread. In the first few posts you have people say that they can't imagine why people wouldn't call themselves feminist.

Which is why the definition of what feminism consists of is a discussion I'm interested in, and I'd like to see what Joe's Nemesis has to say about it being a belief system and/or a philosophy.

---

As an aside, someone earlier in the thread said that they never see extreme feminists in real life, then later say that when they do see them they just eye roll and ignore them because they are idiots. That's what I do with obvious sexists, so I'm wondering how much I'm undercounting sexists because I ignore them, just like some people might undercount radical feminists because they eye roll and ignore them.
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:28 PM   #242
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European feminists would like to have a word with you, sir. Far as I know, the origins of the movement are situated with gals like Wollstonecraft and Dohm - all perfectly non-American. :P
Yeah, let me be a little more specific . . . from the perspective of Mujerista, feminism is a North American white movement. Nevertheless, I could have just said Western white women as there's little difference between European and American white feminism by comparison of Mujerista and Womanist movements.
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:36 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by The Pro View Post
This is incredibly stupid reasoning. Just because I don't support feminists means I automatically hate women? Bullshit.

People have their own reasons for not wanting to be affiliated with feminism. Some don't want to be affiliated with the extremists. Some just don't care enough. Some just don't want to engage in any activism. It could be anything.

That whole line of reasoning is precisely why there are people who don't want to be labelled feminists. The face of feminism is no longer equality for women. The movement has devolved nowadays and is associated with ludicrous, silly people like the ones who use that kind of reasoning.
This isn't unique to feminism. It's just a classic logical failing that I like to call "definition conflation" where people swap between two different definitions of a word interchangeably and irrationally. So for feminism, you've got at the very least these two:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism
Quote:
  1. 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
  2. 2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests
And then you ask someone if they're a feminist - they say "No, I am not a definition #2 feminist." and then someone goes, "You don't follow definition #1 feminism? You don't believe women are equal? SEXIST."

On the flipside, you'll see, "Yes, I follow definition #1 feminism." "Woah, stop shoving your personal ideology down my throat, you definition #2 campaigning feminist!"

You can see it on this thread where the overwhelming majority of posters are on board with definition #1, but take issue with some aspects of definition #2.

Any word with ambiguous usage just has this nonsense happen all the time, and yeah, it's lame. There's too broad a scope of things that are all covered under the blanket term of feminism to be able to have a conversation about it in 5 seconds - but the 5 second sound byte is what the current political theater is all about.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:00 PM   #244
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Back to the original question from the survey kicking it off, I was thinking that the definition of feminist needs discussing.

Is it someone who:
  • campaigns for issues where women are at a disadvantage?
  • actively campaigns for gender equality?
  • is involved in the academic and public discussion of feminism?
  • thinks that there should be greater equality between the genders and acts on that in their day to day life?
Because I'm starting to try and clarify my personal definition and I'm thinking that it should only applies to those actively campaigning for gender equality. So those who don't campaign but try to treat people the same regardless of gender are not feminists.

Because feminism is not a religion or belief system, it is a social movement, and unless you are actively involved in the feminist movement then I don't think you are a feminist.

Feminism started as actively campaigning for issues where women are disadvantaged, but the better parts have expanded to gender equality.

However it has been accepted that if you think there should be greater equality but don't do anything towards it you are a feminist. Following on from that, if you say that you aren't a feminist because you are not campaigning then you are a misogynist.

Opinions? Maybe feminism is a belief system and so if you think it without necessarily campaigning or publicly acting on it you are a feminist?
You can define feminism any way you want, there will always be millions of self proclaimed feminists who disagree with you.
There is an uncomfortably large amount of denominations of feminist thought and they do not agree with each other. People who follow different schools of thought in feminism will agree that the other groups are feminist if you asked the question directly, but say that they 'are not real feminists' if you bring up the actions of those groups in an argument.

Feminism is definitely a belief system and in my eyes a religious one. The actions of feminist activists (such as votes for women) are a result of those beliefs.
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Old Yesterday, 09:02 PM   #245
Arthellion
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Real quickly, how would we define a belief system as religious. That is important to clarify.
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Old Yesterday, 10:09 PM   #246
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I'd like to think few reasonable people would agree that it'd fall under the literal definition of a religious belief system, it has always denoted a supernatural characteristic. The usage of the false equivalence however is quite interesting, as it has mainly been used in theological debates, ("Atheism is a religion", "Christianity is not a religion but a philosophy"). It ought to imply that religion has a generally accepted trait of being a non-rational (read:false) system. Hence the phraseology would be intended to be inherently smearing.
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Old Yesterday, 10:53 PM   #247
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See the definition I have always adhered to is the following:

"A religious belief system is one that in some way makes a claim about the supernatural which causes the adherents of said belief system to live a certain way."

So for example, I would ultimately not consider atheism a religion, but it is a religious belief system because it does make a claim about the supernatural and then causes adherents to live in such a way that god does not exist.

Based on my definition, feminism is not a religious belief system because it makes no claim about the supernatural.
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Old Yesterday, 11:00 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by Imariel View Post
I'd like to think few reasonable people would agree that it'd fall under the literal definition of a religious belief system, it has always denoted a supernatural characteristic. The usage of the false equivalence however is quite interesting, as it has mainly been used in theological debates, ("Atheism is a religion", "Christianity is not a religion but a philosophy"). It ought to imply that religion has a generally accepted trait of being a non-rational (read:false) system. Hence the phraseology would be intended to be inherently smearing.
Not at all. Religion is often defined as a set of laws or rules that have a spiritual component to them, and obeying such laws or rules through devotion guides a person through life. Most religions include a personalized deity of some type, but some do not. Another defining element of religion is the devotion to a single person, element or idea.

When Christians say "Christianity is not a religion," they are responding to the first element above—that Christianity is not bound by laws or rules one must follow for proper guidance. (If you have questions on this point, let's take it to a new thread because it's a very different topic).

Furthermore, Christianity is as rational as any other philosophy or science. Unfortunately, you've made the common mistake of making faith and "rational systems" antonyms. They're nothing of the sort. Christianity is nothing if not rationally systematized into 9 or 12 areas of theology, each one following Aristotelian linear logic to the most minute issues. Pick up a systemic theology book (Erickson's Christian Theology is a good choice) and you'll find exactly what I'm talking about.

I think, perhaps, a better statement (and maybe what you intended to say) was "Religion has an intended trait of being based on a faith statement rather than observable data."

Now, that being said, how does feminism play into this definition? First, for some, there is a set of rules or laws by which feminists live, and if one of them sways from it, they are castigated by others.* For me, the question of feminism as a religion falls to the second element. Is there a devotion based on a faith statement rather than observational data? And, for some, I have to say yes, there is.* So, for a few, it is most definitely a religion.

*The video link I'm going to provide as evidence to both of these points is a young woman talking about her experience making a documentary of the MRM (Men's Rights Movement). Don't get sidetracked by the MRM argument (I think it is silly in many ways). What I'm intending to show through the video is that the young feminist both exemplified a devotion regardless of observation, and then when she began understand her reactions to and question whether they were right, she was castigated by other feminists. You made of heard of the documentary, "the Red Pill." Here's the creator speaking about it.
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Old Yesterday, 11:14 PM   #249
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I'm fully in agreement regarding defining feminism as a non-religious belief system based on that definition. Yet I can't help but disagreeing on the atheism aspect. My definition of a religious belief system would include a positive claim of a supernatural aspect, hence atheism falls squarely outside of it, akin to Dawkins "abstinence as a sex position" quip. It's not a belief system, it's the lack of one. However, at the risk of derailing into yet another theology thread - might want to cut it there, as we've agreed feminism is squarely outside the definition?

edit: @Joe's Nemesis:
Your rewording of my statement is valid, though I'd be hard pressed not to be a tad provocative and add that a logical system postulated on a falsehood still remains inherently illogical. My main point at that was the last sentence, that it's a rhetorical tool, as this will most definitely derail I'm content to stop it as far as this thread goes.

Night shift ending soon - if I remember I'll re-edit on the feminism argument once I've slept.
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Old Yesterday, 11:26 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by Arthellion View Post
See the definition I have always adhered to is the following:

"A religious belief system is one that in some way makes a claim about the supernatural which causes the adherents of said belief system to live a certain way."

So for example, I would ultimately not consider atheism a religion, but it is a religious belief system because it does make a claim about the supernatural and then causes adherents to live in such a way that god does not exist.

Based on my definition, feminism is not a religious belief system because it makes no claim about the supernatural.
See the response from @Joe's Nemesis.

Merriam Webster also has some interesting definitions. One of the definitions would seem to codify feminism as a religion (although that is dependent on the degree of fervour invested in feminism).
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