Feminism for beginners

För min svenska ”publik” (har en så enorm läsarkrets) så tänkte jag skriva ett par rader först; jag har i olika sammanhang blivit ombedd att skriva inlägg på engelska då flera icke-svensktalande vill läsa. Således kommer hädanefter många inlägg skrivas just på engelska, och bara när det är frågor jag vet är specifikt svenska och som är totalt ointressanta för icke-svenskar kommer jag använda Svenska.

My first post in English in this blog will be a response to a video that came under discussion the other day. It is a Joe Rogan video from Youtube where he is interviewing Carl Benjamin, aka ”Sargon of Akkad” for his podcast. Now, for those who don’t know of Sargon, he is a britt who claims to be a ”liberal” but who is actually arguing for many quite conservative points. Especially he is adamant in his dislike of feminism, which I see as an effect of in part him being ignorant as to what feminism actually means, and in part due to him making a living as a Youtuber, and hating on feminists and so called ”Social Justice Warriors” is very popular in the microcosmos of Youtube.

Joe Rogan of course has his kind of Libertarian views which is generously sparkled with a love of masculinity and again out of misunderstanding he thinks this means he dislikes feminism. My reply basically address some of the misconceptions revealed in the video, and also an attempt at explaining how feminism is not claiming ”all women are oppressed by all men”, which is what at least Sargon believes.

Sargon says ”The base premise of feminism is that men are oppressing women, if they aren’t there is no case” Well, that is not the base premise of feminism, and this distinction is quite important. Feminism posits that society is structured in a way that puts women at a disadvantage to men for no other reason than them being women.. This says nothing about who is doing the oppression and in many cases, feminist analysis concludes that certain such structures are maintained by women as much as by men.

Now, that out of the way, the interesting question is if that premise is right, and it’s not really that hard to understand the validity or invalidity of it; If the premise of feminism would be wrong, men and women would be (allowing for statistical variance of course) making exactly the same amount of money, be equally represented in every professional area and have the same amount of power. I think we can all conclude without going anywhere near looking at sources that this is not the case, thus the premise given holds.

Now, a lot of people argue ”Well, women make less money because they stay home with children more, thus falling behind in wage development” or that ”Women tend to chose lower paying jobs than men” or ”Well, some jobs takes more physical strength to perform and thus is best performed by men” and all of this is true. That still doesn’t change the basic premise: in a society where men and women are truly equal there are structures implemented to negate such phenomenon: Women are staying home more to care for children – well make men do it instead. Women chose jobs that pay less – well understand why this is and make sure this changes, there is almost no biological reason for different job preferences meaning they are preferences that can change. Men are more fit for physical labor – develop tools that doesn’t require physical strength to use – This is of course the exception to the notion that biological difference is without consequence and in these cases we should of course attempt to minimize the effect of the difference using technology – We wouldn’t hesitate giving specialized tools that helps someone born with a debilitating defect any tool available to help her function normally in society, glasses for example. It goes the other way around as well, there are jobs men tend not to chose because of various rationalizations for them being ”female jobs” which is also a problem, there are fields where women seem to have some either biological or socialized advantage, this can also be worked around. Reality is that most of the factors that are maintaining the difference are much less obvious social structures that, as a whole have noticeable effect as discussed. There may be fringe cases where it is actually not practically possible, those however would prove to be few enough no to have a structural impact.

So called ”egalitarians”, which I believe Sargon among other Youtubers who dislike feminism likes to label themselves, believe that by treating everyone the same we are achieving equality. If you think about it for more than 20 seconds it’s easy to realize why treating everyone the same will never bring about equality. It’s like saying you have two people; one of them makes sure the other one is starved for five years, ensuring the first guy is well fed to keep fit. One day the two guys are having a 1 mile race; at this point, will treating them the same during the race achieve equality? What if we take a person with a physical disability making him limp, again, would it be fair to treat them the same in a race? This is exactly analogous to society; one group of people have making sure to get into a position of advantage at the cost of the other group being disadvantaged; treating them the same starting from now can only work to perpetuate the inequality, or to put it the right way around: Egalitarianism meaning that everyone should be treated the same in all respects can never change distribution of advantages in a population and it can only have equal outcomes if the starting state is absolutely equal. This of course goes for ethnicity, religions groups or other minorities.

Feminism isn’t in any way against men – and no, male feminism isn’t dying off, actually in large parts of the world a feminist perspective is becoming the default modus of thinking about gender and if you don’t state otherwise you are assumed to be a feminist, and even outside of that feminism isn’t what Joe, Sargon or the crowd of Youtube frogs thinks it is; it isn’t a small movement of extremists, it is one of the more advanced areas of social sciences within academia and research and feminist methods are used in a wide variety of other fields of research today. It is also very important within politics and policy making and is having large impact on the market. It is also a force that accomplishes many actual, tangible results for

About the generalized insults against male feminists, that really comes across as really dishonest and weak. I am personally of course a feminist, and also have been competing in MMA for many years up until I got to old and am now contending with cave diving and rock climbing to keep fit, I have never had any trouble ”socializing” with women but have settled for one for the last 11 years and is very happy with my family. Trying to label male feminists as some kind of stalkers or whatever is just the expression of either fear or lack of understanding. Sargon I know where he stands and that even if he wasn’t an ignorant fool on the topic he couldn’t say anything else because of his fans, but I wouldn’t have though Joe would be such a weak person as to have to resort to that sort of generalized smears.




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