Category Archives: Social Justice
That idea is known as “essentialism”: the belief that there are uniquely feminine and uniquely masculine essences which exist independently of cultural conditioning. Both actual (minor) and alleged (major) differences between the sexes have been used to justify inequities and constraints which harm women emotionally, financially and physically. Even where (and if) such differences do […]
Reader Justin wrote and asked me for advice on an ethical balance problem, and with his permission I quote his email: I have a question which has been bothering me for some time, and which may/may not be worth addressing on the site. In any case, its something I don’t feel precisely comfortable asking my […]
FAQ: Why "feminism" and not just "humanism"? Or "equalism"? Isn’t saying you’re a feminist exclusionary?
This question implies that one must be either one or the other. People and philosophies are far more complicated than that. A feminist may also be both a humanist and an equalist. There’s no law that says only one box can be ticked here, and it’s hugely important not to get sucked into thinking that […]
Sexual objectification is the viewing of people solely as de-personalised objects of desire instead of as individuals with complex personalities and desires/plans of their own. This is done by speaking/thinking of women especially as only their bodies, either the whole body, or as fetishised body parts. Sexual attraction is not the same as sexual objectification: […]
FAQ: Isn’t "the Patriarchy" just some conspiracy theory that blames all men, even decent men, for women’s woes?
Patriarchy: one of the most misunderstood critical-theory concepts ever, often wilfully misunderstood. Patriarchy is one form of social stratification via a power/dominance hierarchy – an ancient and ongoing social system based on traditions of elitism (a ranking of inferiorities) and its privileges. Societies can be (and usually are) patriarchal, oligarchal and plutocratic all at the same time, complicated by current and/or legacy features of sectarianism, imperialism and colonialism, so the gender hierarchy is only one source of social disparity. Because of the limited capacity of the word “patriarchy” to describe the full operation of intersecting oppressions, some now prefer to use the word “kyriarchy” instead, but it is not yet in common use.
(Updated with extra clarification in the clarifying concepts section)Many men are entirely comfortable with calling themselves feminists, and many feminist women are very happy to accept them as fellow feminists working for the end of sexist oppression. However, there are also men and women who are ideologically uncomfortable with men calling themselves feminists, because it […]
Please feel free to leave comments quoting your favourite excerpts from these and why they speak to you. A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) by Mary WollestonecraftWith Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects It would be an endless task to trace the variety of meannesses, cares, and sorrows, into which women are plunged […]