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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Evolving to become an egalitarian

One of the things I really enjoy is growing and evolving because of new understandings, insights and experiences. I love writing about ideas, perceptions and opinions that I might have, while recognising that it's simply how I'm thinking in that period of my life.
I've realised today that I've been changing with one of my own beliefs, and I can see how that change has occurred over time.

In May 2013 I declared myself to be against radical feminism. I wrote this as the explanation at the time:
Feminism, where it fights for the rights of women as equals, is fantastic. I completely support that. Always have and always will.

What I’m against, however, is the ideas of the ‘man haters’ out there. The radical feminists.
I also wrote this, which is important:
I believe in equal rights for everyone, and equality in the workplace and at home. I believe that everyone should be entitled to do what they want. I believe everyone should live the life that they want to live, as long as their choices harm no one else.
Over a short amount of time I began to realise that it wasn't just radical feminism I was against - it was more than that. It seemed that most feminists were either supporting the calls of radical feminists or they remained silent. Since feminists as a whole seemed to be supporting radical feminism with their silence and lack of opposition, I began to see that all of feminism was part of the problem.

So in October 2013 I declared myself to be an anti-feminist, and I wrote this:
When you have any organisation or group of people with an ideology that wants to stifle debate, and only have things their way, you have a significant problem, and that’s what I see growing in the world today. I want to help reverse this problem.

Equality is something that applies to ALL people, not just women.
The common thread in my discussions about being anti-feminist were that I was personally a believer of equality, which I didn't see in feminism.

In May 2014 I wrote about how you can't stand for something without being against something (post deleted):
I’m against feminism because I’m for rational and caring behaviour that brings all people together, regardless of gender or the colour of their skin. I’m for equality and social justice, and so I’m against anything that threatens that. I’m for an understanding and appreciation of the role that men and women each have in society, and so I’m against anything that wants to destroy that.
Even though I was saying I was for equality, I didn't even know that I was actually declaring myself to be an egalitarian.

And today I was thinking further about being anti-feminist, because a couple weeks ago I wrote about how I wanted to avoid stepping in the dog shit (post deleted), because I didn't want to get myself dirty from it all - but I find that I can't let go of it.

I've never been able to let go of it since I started down this path, no matter how much I try. It's been too important to me. When I see injustice, demands for inequality and stupidity, I just want to stand up and say something about it.

And so today, after pondering all of this, and thinking about why I get angry at the feminism that calls for women to be treated as special and for men to be treated like criminals, and thinking about how I should be for something instead of against something, I realised that at the end of the day I was really just an equalist. I wrote this on G+:
Being an equalist (also known as egalitarian), I believe in equality for all people, regardless of their gender, colour or nationality.

Naturally, this means I'm against anything that seeks to give any group of people more or less rights than any other group of people.

It also means that if you think that you (or any particular group of people) deserve to have special rights separating you from any other group of people, then I consider you to be an enemy of equality.
I realised that the 'evolution' of my anti-feminist anger has been towards realising I'm an egalitarian.

I believe in equality, and anything that tries to encourage or enforce a belief that people are NOT equal is something I will fight against.

(Yesterday I was an anti-feminist. Today I'm an egalitarian. I don't know what I'll be tomorrow.)

I guess it's also important to understand what being equal means to me.

There are many people who think that equality should mean that everyone is the same. But it's clear we're not all the same, even though feminist doctrine tries to support this kind of version of equality by making everyone the same, and discouraging terminology that describes or celebrates our differences.

Since I disagree with that definition of equality, the definition that I subscribe to is described by Alexander Berkman as:
...equality does not mean an equal amount but equal opportunity... It does not mean that every one must eat, drink, or wear the same things, do the same work, or live in the same manner. Far from it: the very reverse in fact... Individual needs and tastes differ, as appetites differ. It is equal opportunity to satisfy them that constitutes true equality... Far from levelling, such equality opens the door for the greatest possible variety of activity and development.
Equality is not about men and women getting the same pay, for example, but it is about men and women getting the same opportunities to receive the same pay. And we already have that in the western world.

This is the underlying foundation of my values and belief systems that result in me getting angry, in this context, with feminists that want to give men less rights than women, or produce flawed and stupid arguments to label all men as criminals and should be treated as such.

The recent #YesAllWomen campaign had, as one of their primary messages, an argument that if you had a bowl of M&Ms and you knew that 10% of the M&Ms were poisoned, you would naturally treat all M&Ms as if they were poisoned, and that is exactly what should be done with the treatment of all men.

Every person that supported #YesAllWomen was a person supporting the hatred of all men everywhere, and as a result, are enemies of those who support equality.

I'm no longer just an anti-feminist. I'm an egalitarian anti-feminist. My understanding of my values and beliefs has evolved over time, but it also means that my efforts to support equality and oppose feminism need to be continued. I can't stop fighting for equality, and anyone that thinks I should... Really?

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