In this blog post, I will give a personal comment on Rebel Media’s video entitled ‘Lauren Southern: Why I am not a feminist’. I am very new to blogging so I am still experimenting. This is more of a written stream of consciousness than a carefully constructed post. All views are entirely my own and not intended to offend or upset.
This is an interesting and insightful reflection of an ongoing argument surrounding gender equality issues. All the points Lauren makes are entirely valid and true.
But, I think the real crux of this ongoing issue is that many of the people who identify themselves as feminists (myself included) do so with exactly the same intention as those who identify themselves as humanists or proponents of equality (something I also identify myself as).
I support feminism because I want to see more equal gender relations. I support feminism because I believe that men should never be shamed for expressing their emotions and because I believe women should never be dismissed as over-emotional.
I support feminism because the patriarchal structure of society restricts and oppresses men, women and those who identify as neither. By fighting against a society in which males are expected to be dominant, emotionless, the breadwinner and never victimised, I believe I am fighting for a better, more equal society.
I am not saying that this is a view shared by everyone who identifies themselves as a feminist. Third wave feminism is a terribly fractured and confused movement and amongst those there will be supporters who don’t consider the challenges and inequities men face to be important. But I am emphatically not one of them.
And to tar all feminists with that same brush is not only unfair but reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the indistinguishably blurred overlaps between ideological positions and the vast differences in position that exist within each ideology.
I have deep respect for this video and for those who share it. I agree with Lauren’s ideological position wholeheartedly and yet, I am also a supporter of the movement that she is criticising. So, what does that say about the current state of egalitarian politics?
I would argue that it draws attention to a dangerous tendency for those who share common principles to be divided against each other by different labels and sweeping generalisations about one another’s goals and beliefs.
This disconnect is not only damaging to both parties but serves to weaken the wider movement – smaller fragments of people fighting for the same cause simply don’t have the same power and influence to change things as one united mass.
Perhaps it is time we stopped focusing on the labels people use, started focusing on their core beliefs and goals for society and unified those who believe in a more equal society irrespective of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation etc.
Labels bring together letters but beliefs bring together people. And it is those people that can bring about the change they wish to see in the world.