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bethiedrama101

Are You a Feminist?

72 posts in this topic

I was saying men and women are not psychologically and mentally identical. This doesn't concern whether they are equal in these matters, which is quite a subjective term. 

 

 

Taking things back to biology and reproductive behaviour as an example. In the human population, there is a high availability of sperm but a proportionately low availability of eggs. Much as in other species, males try to propagate their own genome as frequently and vastly as possible, whereas women have the advantage of being much more selective due to the high supply of potential mates. 

 

Now compare this reproductive strategy to human behaviour around relationships. I'm generalising here, but there is a pattern I think most people recognise. 

 

Most women want committed, exclusive relationships. This has historically been beneficial to the woman and the children produced, as men have been responsible for providing for them, whether that be food and shelter prehistorically, or a household income more recently. Even though many women are career-focused nowadays, let's face it there are still many stay at home mothers who choose not to work. In countries with good social security, this responsibility is now subsidised by the state and the tax payers. Consequently, there is a much higher frequency of single parents (mostly mothers). Men instinctively have a higher sex drive, and the behaviour patterns, though much dampened by modern society, still exist. (Think cheating boyfriends/husbands, which does of course occur the other way around as well but you get my point) I think as people become more educated and intelligent, they are less likely to behave this way. Think about why childbirth rates are much lower in highly educated countries, when comparing to rapidly growing populations in developing countries. 

 

Now of course, the line between instinctive behaviour and behaviour influenced by social norms and customs is unclear as always... But I don't think reproductive strategy can be classified as a social construct, really. 

 

I think this mirrors differences in mentality and psychological features, which is present in other species as well. 

Edited by OMGIBISFUN
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I think that most feminists mistake gender equality for misandry in their pursuit for equality haha, just my op

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In addition to the above post, I would like to add that a recent survey showed that women actually fill up 97-97% of college courses that lead to low paying jobs whereas men are majority to high paying jobs. I understand the reason behind the women not being allowed, but factually, not all the women are pushed into that scenario.

Also, recently, feminists told the USMC (United States Marine Corps) that the Marines should reduce the fitness standards so that women can join. While the reply was curt, and shot down the idea, I feel that honestly, it makes no sense to reduce fitness like that. The Marines are soldiers at the end of the day, and if you cant meet the requirements, its your fault, not the fault of the Corps, and if a man is not fit enough, will you ask for the fitness to be cut down. Often, even when men die during these selections, it is acceptable, but it is not acceptable if a woman can't enter as she is too unfit.

In addition, it has also been found that like OMGIBISFUN said, men in cases of divorce are basically alienated from their children, yet have to financially support them. This does not seem fair to anyone. Its my opinion that the Father should be allowed to meet his children regularly, and still support them. He has an issue with the mother not the children.

 

That said, I am not against Gender inequality, I am totally for it. However, I feel that the present "FemiNazis" as the are called are going to extreme in their ideas and demands. Also, I feel that we can never achieve full equality simply because men and women are different. We may achieve equal wages etc, but fact is, if me and another girl of the same age start working out together, I will get muscle faster, simply because I have the hormones to support it. Or that if I choose to, I can grow a beard, while a girl just cannot.

Hence, I feel we should have equality in 99% things, but we also need to understand that the differences in biological and psychological setups of men and women need to be accepted.

I have the exact same opinion on these matters as you and OMGIBISFUN. It's almost sad to see even girls distancing themselves from the term feminist due to how some people throw the word around to get what they want, I see it as akin to people who use the race card to get their way for anything - just undermines all the effort that has been done to date in terms of civil rights or, in this case, gender equality.

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I'm completely and utterly for gender equality, but I find it hard to get behind the term feminism given the connotations that it holds. I've seen a lot of so-called feminists who are really misandrists and I just cannot accept that. 

 

I think a really big problem is that a lot of times in this society we tend to see feminism as just helping women, but there are also ways to help men. For instance, men are so much less likely to win custody of a child even if the mother is less fit to be a parent. There's also the issue of paternity leave.

 

There's also this culture of machoism that men are expected to have which is honestly just as damaging as the expectation that all women have to be stick thin. 

 

It's also really important to acknowledge the issue of gender inequality from a global perspective. A lot of Western more radical feminists tend to only focus on their struggles and ignore the much greater gender inequality that we see in places like the Middle East. I think we need to sort out our priorities and recognise that in the West women are in a pretty good situation.

 

I'm not going to even bother talking about the wage gap because OMGIBISFUN put it wonderfully.

 

I think feminist tends to be a loaded term, partly because of the connotations that come with it, but also because of the prefix fem. It makes people think that women are the only people being screwed over by gender inequality, which simply isn't true. Yes, we tend to get screwed over more than men, but both sides need big changes.

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I do believe that all genders should be treated equally, but I am not a feminist. Right now , it seems feminists believe that they are physically and emotionally identical to men. As said above, biology disproves this notion.

 

This will be a bit off-topic, a few days ago , I was reading a forum that was discussing an upcoming videogame, the conversation quickly went downhill when a person calling herself a feminist started swearing at a person when he brought up the point that King had brought up; that men tend to grow muscles faster due to hormones. Basically, she looked dumb contradicting strong scientific facts..

 

I am speaking from personal experience here, but when  feminists realize I don't agree with their views completely, I get attacked brutally. I get accused of "enjoying" oppression like all of the women in my culture (!) After a number of these accusations, I just tend to shy away from being labelled as a "feminist".

 

I would just like to end this by saying that we are all entitled to opinions so please don't attack ;o

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I am speaking from personal experience here, but when  feminists realize I don't agree with their views completely, I get attacked brutally. I get accused of "enjoying" oppression like all of the women in my culture (!) After a number of these accusations, I just tend to shy away from being labelled as a "feminist".

 

I would just like to end this by saying that we are all entitled to opinions so please don't attack ;o

 

 

That's one major issue I have with feminism as well, the aggression and hostility. 

 

If you're a man and you don't agree with feminism, you're a patriarchal misogynist rape apologist. 

 

If you're a woman and you don't agree with feminism, you've been brainwashed by 'the patriarchy'. 

 

 

There are other ways to deal with issues concerning equality that are more civilised and constructive. 

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OMGIBISFUN, we shouldn't generalize though. While these are qualities of many feminists out there, there are also many feminists who are, like you said, civilized and constructive individuals.

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I know I realise I am generalising, that's why I referred to them as the more extreme adherents of the movement. 

 

As with any other social movement, the most active and loudest branches tend to gather the most attention and influence the movements' image most significantly.  

 

 

Because of this, I choose not to associate myself with Feminism, and I feel many have a similar reaction. 

 

I prefer to voice my values and opinions regarding gender equality as an individual, perhaps a humanist, rather than through a movement with so many fringe connotations differing from its official denotation. 

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I'm all for gender equality, and I think there is a plethora of issues that need to be addressed. 

 

In most modern societies, there are laws in place which set standards for gender equality. This is what I believe is the foundation of gender equality, social attitudes and perceptions will change slowly, and over generations. 

 

Having said that, I would definitely not label myself a feminist. 

 

Whilst the core principles of the movement strive for equality, I feel a large part of its more extreme adherents propagate a negative message. They have opinions that are very gynocentric and alienating to men in general.  

 

What I also find despicable, is the widespread dismissal and denial of any legitimate issues men face in society, e.g. custody laws overwhelmingly favouring mothers, sentences for similar crimes being significantly longer for men, to name a couple. I think claiming that simply being a male gives you some ultimate privilege, and implying that you can't possibly have any legitimate issues is ignorant and possibly rooted in hostility and resentment. 

 

Also, the claims that women were always universally oppressed is somewhat shortsighted. Whilst this is somewhat true in some areas of life, the reasons are not as black and white as some feminists like to portray them as. Let's take the issue of custody of children in the U.S to begin with, historically in situations of divorce men received custody, because he was financially 100% responsible for not only his children but his wife as well.  (Keep in mind, any income a woman received was hers to spend as she wished, no financial obligations) Feminists fought for legislation to ensure mothers received custody, which happened as laws were passed. What's often omitted by feminists is, that whilst mothers continue to receive sole custody in an overwhelming majority of cases, men who are stripped of their rights to be a part of his childrens' lives STILL remain financially obligated to fund their raising. This is unjust not only for the father, but for the children as well. I think this is a case of the pendulum swinging too far. 

 

Another issue I have a problem with, is the claims of women receiving 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same work. (Even repeated by president Obama)

Whilst there are glass ceilings and inequalities of opportunity in areas of business, this figure is misleading due to simple statistics and mathematics. The 77 cents figure is calculated by comparing the median income of ALL men and ALL women in the country. The first problem with this is, it does not account for education background and profession. Thus using "for the same work", is hugely misleading. Furthermore, this ignores fundamentally crucial factors, such as the different career paths men and women choose, the fact that many women choose to work part time especially after becoming a mother, and the overwhelming number of men who choose to work full time AND overtime. Not to mention that on average, out of highly educated university graduates, women earn on average more for the exact same job. As a male, I don't consider this to be a marker of inequality. I believe salaries should be based on merit alone. Do I think social attitudes towards which career paths are socially acceptable need changing? Yes, absolutely and this goes for both genders. Everyone should be allowed to follow their passion in life. 

 

I'm by no means trying to deny that there are gender inequalities in this world, I'm simply saying that I don't consider myself a feminist because of their increasingly discriminatory modus operandi.  

 

I would consider myself a humanist, in that as a society we should emphasise the value of each individual, rather than by the categories they fall under, whether that be race, gender or sexual orientation. 

 

Sorry for the long post, I just feel strongly about this.  :D

 

Great post!  Maybe should be turned into an EE or Masters ... And I see you~re from Finland.  I hear Finland is much better off in terms of equality, but then saw a report which talked about how women in Finland are overwhelmingly favoured in certain matters, which has consequences. The children, for instance, live with the mother almost by default. 

 

That may be acceptable, until you hear another fact ...that in 82 percent of all cases where children never see the other parent ... is when they live with the mother. Apparently, mothers actively cut off the children from their other parent, which rarely happens the other way around   :o  It is heart/breaking.

 

Even when the fathers struggle to maintain contact with their kids after divorce, if the mother in Finland refuses to cooperate or, worse, chooses to alienate children from the father, then there is nothing he can do.  The social services and Child protection favour mothers overwhelmingly, which effectively dooms fathers and  amputates children from the only other parent they have. And from what I gathered from this programme, there was nothing the fathers could do, so they had to give up. 

 

Not so good for the children. They grow up with highly intelligent, educated, ambitious, angry mothers who use the children as pawns to crush fathers. I#m not saying narcissism and bad behaviour of these women has anything to do with feminism, but the social&legal structures which were instituted partly in response to feminism help perpetuate the abuse.

 

Feminism is good to men and women, and children, when practised right.  It brings out the best in both. Not when it gives one gender more rights and favours over another. That was never the idea. I agree with a lot of what you say.

Edited by Blackcurrant
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Feminism is equality for both genders. Feminism, if it is followed to what it's meant to be, is bringing true the ability for individuals, no matter their gender, to do as they wish so long they don't harm others. It's when being a certain gender doesn't harm your meritocracy. Feminism doesn't only positively affect women, feminism positively affects men too. 

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I'd like to point y'all to something: Aziz Ansari on Letterman: "If you do feel women and men should have equal rights, then if someone asks if you’re a feminist, you have to say yes, because that is how words work. Because you can't go "I'm a doctor who primarily does diseases of the skin"––"Oh, so you're a dermatologist?"––"Oh, no-no, that's too aggressive of a term, no-no, not at all.""

 

Also, feminism is striving for equal political, economic, and social rights for women and men alike (Merriam-Webster), not the claim that women and men are biologically equal. And if your complaint is that the word is feminine, screw you––the whole history of the mankind is masculine.

 

And what people are dragging up here (and everywhere), the radical feminists, misandrists, is just a way to distract from the real issues. Most, if not all women, even in first world countries, regularly experience men following them. Are you a guy? Do you sometimes get this where, when walking on the streets with another male friend, you tell your buddy "yo, I think we should walk faster––I'm pretty sure there's a woman watching us, masturbating in that bush"? Ever? I'm not very old, and I've experienced this more than once. First time was walking through an old town, midday, both of us 12 years old.

 

Yes, men get raped. Men have a social pressure to be masculine. Absolutely real problems. So are men harassing me, and so many other women. However, in Afghanistan women going to college can be considered justifiable grounds for disfiguring. So while some problems may be pseudo-problems (I know what the tumblr feminist tag is like), life as a woman isn't uncomfortable, it's goddamn scary.

Edited by ellie

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I advocate for gender equality so I do consider myself a feminist, even though I am weary of the stigma to feminism and some misinterpretations. 

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I think an important distinction needs to be made between "equality" and "fairness". There will never be equality between sexes (at least by the dictionary definition of equality) in that, for example, not all careers will not be made up of 50% men and 50% women. Men and women are different. Neither is superior to the other but they are inherently not equal. For example, it is likely that there will always be more male construction workers than female ones because, by and large, men are better suited for manual, physically intensive labor. I do, however, believe in fairness between the genders in that if a woman wants to be a construction worker and she can do the job well she should get the job. She should face no other adversity on account of her sex.

 

I'd also like to soap box for a second on the stat often cited in the US that women make 70 cents for every dollar that a man makes. The figure is often used out of context and is also a bit misleading. One hears it in the discussion about "equal pay, equal work", however this stat is simply the comparison of the average salaries of men and women in general, not men and women doing the same job. When evaluating a job, men tend to value salary more highly while women tend to value other benefits like healthcae, maternity leave, etc (whether this difference is simply a general difference between the sexes or the product of societal pressures is an entirely different discussion). Additionally, women are less likely to negotiate for a higher salary.

 

Also, while I'm on the subject of "equal pay, equal work", this is one of those political buzzwords (buzzphrases?) that sounds nice but is a gross oversimplification. Completely aside from the gender issue, two people should not necessarily be paid equally for the same work as there are so many other factors to consider e.g. benefits, experience, tenure, quality of work etc.

 

To answer the original question, by the dictionary definition, I am a feminist however, I think the movement has been bastardized by the third-wave feminists to the point that I do not feel comfortable calling myself one. I guess egalitarian is probably what I'd call myself, but the label doesn't really matter.

 

 

 

Also, feminism is striving for equal political, economic, and social rights for women and men alike (Merriam-Webster), not the claim that women and men are biologically equal. And if your complaint is that the word is feminine, screw you––the whole history of the mankind is masculine.

Okay, I get what you're going for here, but your etymology is wrong. The word history comes from the Latin historia which has no gendered connotation ('his' is not the masculine pronoun in Latin). The 'man' in mankind is actually a remanent of Old English. Back in the day, werman reffered to males, wifman referred to females and man was gender neutral. This linguistic oddity just filtered down into modern English and is not patriarchal conspiracy.

Edited by crossroads1112
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When evaluating a job, men tend to value salary more highly while women tend to value other benefits like healthcae, maternity leave, etc (whether this difference is simply a general difference between the sexes or the product of societal pressures is an entirely different discussion). Additionally, women are less likely to negotiate for a higher salary.

 

 

uhm... how is that "an entirely different discussion"? I mean, the statistics is there, that "women make 70 cents for every dollar that a man makes" (as you've already pointed out). And I think the discussion here is about whether gender inequality is the reason for that stat figure.

 

To me, I'm absolutely convinced that the reasons for why 'women are less likely to negotiate for higher salary or spend more time on maternity leave' are entirely because of societal pressures, or at least because of the conservative tradition of viewing women as less equal compared to men; a tradition that somehow still exists in our society today. So I wouldn't say that the gender pay gap is the result of gender discrimination committed by the employers, but I strongly believe that the pay gap is caused by gender inequality one way or another.

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When evaluating a job, men tend to value salary more highly while women tend to value other benefits like healthcae, maternity leave, etc (whether this difference is simply a general difference between the sexes or the product of societal pressures is an entirely different discussion). Additionally, women are less likely to negotiate for a higher salary.

 

 

uhm... how is that "an entirely different discussion"? I mean, the statistics is there, that "women make 70 cents for every dollar that a man makes" (as you've already pointed out). And I think the discussion here is about whether gender inequality is the reason for that stat figure.

 

To me, I'm absolutely convinced that the reasons for why 'women are less likely to negotiate for higher salary or spend more time on maternity leave' are entirely because of societal pressures, or at least because of the conservative tradition of viewing women as less equal compared to men; a tradition that somehow still exists in our society today. So I wouldn't say that the gender pay gap is the result of gender discrimination committed by the employers, but I strongly believe that the pay gap is caused by gender inequality one way or another.

 

 

Actually, the 70c for $1.00 is if you take all the wages of every woman and divide it by the number of women, and all the wages of men and divide it by the number of men. It doesn't factor in occupation, working hours (full-time or part-time), etc, etc. If you also factor in their age, if they've had a child (and therefore whether the father has paternity leave or not also plays a role because then women are less likely to leave the workplace for such a long time), apparently when those factors are controlled, it's actually closer to 91c to 95c to $1.00, which still displays there's inherent inequality that has to be changed, but it's far better than 77c.

 

However, that's not important. The important thing is that we encourage women to go into other branches that are higher-paying by giving them right education and not being biased against it as a society, but we also have to ensure we have workers for the lowing paying jobs! We need men to go into teaching, counselling, secretary, and so on jobs to maintain a balance. Yes, there is a gender gap, but it's less to do with employers skiving off on jobs and more about your choices, particularly when you go into university. You might adore a subject, and that's awesome, but those subjects won't necessarily get you jobs that pay well - unless, of course, we made it so every job would have the same wages, which, well, I don't entirely agree with. We also need to allow more flexibility with men's jobs because often the job of looking after the child falls solely upon the woman instead of both parents, meaning women are more likely to fall behind in that regard.

 

Also, about negotiating job rises... call me a victim blamer (or whatever the term that's being used is, I can't recall at the moment), but shouldn't we, as women, break out of those boundaries ourselves? If there's evidence to show that we won't negotiate, why don't we all go, "Okay, so that's the problem? Let's start negotiating then." Undoubtedly this is because of my lack of experience with a job, but if you see a problem and you have a solution... why not just go for it? Feel free to prove me wrong with it though.)

 

Some sources/interesting reads (there's a good youtube video out there somewhere too, but I can't find it at the moment):

Edited by daeadalus
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Also, about negotiating job rises... call me a victim blamer (or whatever the term that's being used is, I can't recall at the moment), but shouldn't we, as women, break out of those boundaries ourselves? If there's evidence to show that we won't negotiate, why don't we all go, "Okay, so that's the problem? Let's start negotiating then." Undoubtedly this is because of my lack of experience with a job, but if you see a problem and you have a solution... why not just go for it? Feel free to prove me wrong with it though.)

 

 

Because they're afraid that if they ask for more, they will lose their jobs. A lot of women have children to support and are afraid of risking their jobs. And there are bosses that aren't really keen on negotiating and think you should be grateful to them just for allowing you to work. 

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Im not necessarily a feminist, but a humanist. I believe that all humans should have equal rights.

Now yes woman are still not equal to men in some aspects such as in some cases job pay or in trades but men are not always equal to women

I bring this up as i feel like gender roles have defined our society too much on occasion.

Now im not saying gender roles are awful, and need to be banished, that would be hypocritical seeing as i am the most stereotypical 'feminine girl' there is, therefore i fit my 'gender role' quite well.

I just wish to see that gender roles would just be another thing and if someone doesn't conform to those roles or if they dont fit in to them, it wouldn't be a big deal or an issue.

I know this was a little off topic, but to wrap up my point. I believe that all humans should be equal, male female nonbinary etc. 

As well as no one should be expected or demoted for their actions because they arent "being lady like" or "being a man"

I AM AN EQUALIST 

 

 

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The important thing is that we encourage women to go into other branches that are higher-paying by giving them right education and not being biased against it as a society, but we also have to ensure we have workers for the lowing paying jobs! We need men to go into teaching, counselling, secretary, and so on jobs to maintain a balance. Yes, there is a gender gap, but it's less to do with employers skiving off on jobs and more about your choices, particularly when you go into university. You might adore a subject, and that's awesome, but those subjects won't necessarily get you jobs that pay well - unless, of course, we made it so every job would have the same wages, which, well, I don't entirely agree with.

 

 

I believe you're right in saying that women need to be encouraged to seek higher-paying jobs if they wish to be better off financially. However, if that condition (ambition in the purely financial sense of the word) is not fulfilled, I fail to see why they should aim any higher. The point is that if the majority of women doesn't even want to perform certain types of tasks, how is this inequality? It is just reality that some jobs are better paid than others, and - as you said - if you choose a job that pays less, it doesn't mean you are any less equal to other people who might earn 100k a year. You have made your choice based on your biological traits, personality and interests, and that's it. Whether or not it is just that salaries for some jobs are ridiculously high is debatable.

 

No, I do not want to be called a 'feminist' because I don't see the point in the so-called "positive discrimination" that is put to effect in workplaces and legislation (at least here in Finland if not elsewhere). I support gender equality which is a slightly different thing. The problem with feminism is the underlying assumption that women are always the 'weaker' sex that needs to reach a 100% equality in everything men do - that's not how it works in real life: you can't force women to take half of jobs in metallurgy, for instance, because most women are simply not interested in that field of study, nor can you make men choose nursery studies if they don't have a passion for that subject. You do what you are interested in. It has nothing to do with oppression.

Edited by Mikko
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There is no condition that would cause me to say that I am not a feminist. I believe that since I have the same education and potential as a man in the same position, my application of this potential should not be hindered due to the fact that I was born a certain way. 

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Am I the only one who wouldn't call themselves a feminist?

 

Like many user addressed before, gender equality is subjective and hard to define.

 

I believe in gender differences. Of course, there are women who are very suitable for traditional jobs for men, and vice versa. For those people, if they have the passion and want to go against the flow and fight to break the stereotypes, I say go for it! But I believe that there is a reason why, for example, man works and woman supports man in a household. 

 

Women tend to be more emotional, while men tend to be more logical. I am not saying all people are like this, there is a reason for this statement(psychological aspect). No logical fallacies pls. People are different because they are brought up differently. 

 

What I mean is, we are given roles in this society. If you don't like where you are, fight for it. If you don't want to fight for it, then too bad, stay where you are and be content. The thing with making everyone equal isn't necessarily a good thing. What about loss of individuality? 1984? A Handmaid's Tale? Brave New World? We think that's frightening, but now we think more equal is better? Not sure if this is societal influence...

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Funny thread and topic. It reminded me of my last semester in Uni when I was taking Sex and Gender class (sociology class) and we were 3 men and 25 women or so and I was the only one standing against the feminist approaches and then there were times I was **at on. Oh well! Everyone has their opinion and no one's wrong. That is what I have come to believe.

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I believe in gender equality. Not in feminism. 

 

 

I'd appreciate if you can kindly define "Equality" for me! It's just because we came across this term a couple of times when I was taking Sex and Gender last semester. It's interesting to see how people define a single word in many ways...reminds me of Socrates and his whole argument about defining something...interesting dialogue between Socrates and Plato...people should give it a read.

Edited by Nabz

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I believe in gender equality. Not in feminism. 

 

 

I'd appreciate if you can kindly define "Equality" for me!

 

 

Well.. In my opinion, equality is, in this case (gender equality) the "idea" (Sorry, I don't know how to phrase this) that men and women have the same rights

Why'd you ask?

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