Why I want feminism and not equality (and why they are not the same thing)

Unlike equalists, feminists do not want men to share their oppression

 

How many feminists believe they are working towards equality? How many men self-define as equalists over feminists? Equality is almost universally accepted as the definition of feminism. But the term equality has never been questioned.

I am a feminist and I do not strive for equality. I support liberation. The defenders of equality espouse moderate feminist principles: equal pay for equal work, equal opportunity with no special considerations i.e. positive discrimination, failure is down to the individual, and above all, women must embrace hierarchal work structures where the job always comes first. Equality takes the male status quo as the standard to which women aspire.

To be equal, women have to show they are strong enough to live up to men’s standards in a man’s world. Backers of equality cheer as women enlist in institutionally discriminatory police forces, join the military in invading other countries and committing war crimes, train for the roughest of men’s sports whether its dangerous and cruel horse racing, or life-threatening cage fighting.

Once women have joined male dominated areas of work, nobody asks why anybody regardless of gender would work in these repressive institutions. The crux of the matter is that men live and work in a brutal society, which is maintained through stratified social order based on ritual humiliation, gentleman’s clubs, fights, rites of passage, sexism, and banter.

When women enter the male realm whether law, politics, or a construction site, they find themselves in a repugnant world in which their only means of survival is by undergoing a fundamental transformation leaving them with little opportunity to make any change. We see this manifested in descriptions of women professionals as harsher than men. Assertive women are seen as aggressive bitches.

It is impossible to alter male spheres, which are resistant to outside interference, because women are a minority that could be cut out at anytime, and men have vested interests in preserving the status quo.

The Equality Act 2010, which replaced the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, was designed to give the false impression that women’s subjugation had been legally acknowledged. Political support was gathered because politicians knew no great changes would ensue. Equality legislation exists throughout Europe but nowhere is there equality.

The attitude of the legal profession to equality is best shown by the number of women Attorney Generals over the years: one women in contrast to 202 men. The Act is barely enforceable due to extortionate legal costs and severe costs to time. Of 89 per cent of women health care workers who experience sexual harassment, barely 1 per cent initiate legal actions because they know that regardless of whether they win or lose they will be branded a troublemaker and all hopes of a promotion will be dashed.

The Act is a handmaiden to equality as it strikes down attempts at positive discrimination. Equalists refuse to support positive discrimination; instead they believe in equal treatment and equal outcomes. Here, a contradiction emerges, equalists support 50: 50 men and women in institutions but women will not be recruited in large numbers because ‘equality’ laws have made quotas illegal.

Other unequal situations arise from the equalist debate. A right to maternity leave or an abortion is not an equal right, women are requesting discrimination because of their gendered differences. A woman will never be equal to a man because she can never be the same, and gendered distinctiveness is not valued by equalists.

Arguing about equality or difference results in a debate that drains the life out of the feminist movement. Men plead both equality and difference when it is to their benefit. They argue equality when they want paternity leave, and difference when they want to be paid more prize money for sports.

The equality and difference argument is banal. Equality would be cruel to men if they were treated equal to women: men’s genitals would be sliced up, annual rape of men would increase from 9,000 to 69,000, male prostitution would soar, men’s penises would be sprawled across page 3, men would stroll down the catwalk with their penises hanging out, and the Labour Party would roll out pink vans to attract women voters and blue vans to entice male voters.

Unlike equalists, feminists do not want men to share their oppression.

The equalist debate is one way of preserving patriarchy, whereas feminism seeks to give power to women on their own terms – not mens. This is why I am a feminist, not an equalist. Equality is harmful to women and most men, as they are required to replicate behaviours that are degrading and dehumanising. Once women buy into the masculine terms of society, our civilization will become crueler than ever expected.

Men hold the balance of power. Power is granted in the wrong ways, and used for the wrong ends. Change can come about by redefining and redistributing power, breaking down hierarchal structures, and reevaluating the criteria designed by men.

*This piece was inspired by two of the greatest feminist thinkers of our time, Germaine Greer and Catherine MacKinnon

Charlotte Rachael Proudman is a barrister in human rights law and a PhD candidate in law and sociology researching FGM at the University of Cambridge

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243 Responses to “Why I want feminism and not equality (and why they are not the same thing)”

  1. littleoddsandpieces

    WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER

    The state pension is not equal throughout society.

    Some people have other income from better salaries in life, so do not rely on the state pension solely in old age.

    NATURE HAS NOT MADE MEN EXACTLY THE SAME AS WOMEN

    The lower the income level, the more unequal in nature are men and women, as men tend, on average, to die sooner than women.

    EQUALITY IS AN EXCUSE TO MAKE THINGS WORSE NOT BETTER

    Men moaned about women getting state pension payout at 60, so instead of making retirement at 60 for men as well, the husband’s lost the household income of women for 6 years, plus the 1 and more years of their own pension.

    TAX WOMEN MORE AND GIVE THEM LESS

    Then this was compounded by the age discrimination idea

    so the higher age related tax allowance that began at 65 for men and women,
    was abolished from 2013, so losing over £3000 of extra tax allowance to both men and women,
    when for decades women’s retirement age had been 60, so over-taxing women in comparison to men for 5 years of retirement),

    This also meant that men and women lost entitlement to Winter Fuel Allowance for up to half a decade or more in life.

    This winter is on course to see 40,000 early deaths of elderly’s deaths from hypothermia in unheated homes, being as once reach over 70s the body cannot efficiently generate body heat, so a room needs to be heated to 70F 24/7. Not affordable for the many of all ages.

    THE STATE PENSION GETS EVER LESS

    Men and women got equally low state pension, far below what it should be under the EU Social Contract treaty obligations with the EU, and the lowest amount of all rich nations bar poor Mexico.

    The state pension is far, far below the breadline, and about 4 per cent lowest income.

    But then women were hit with the scandal of the married women’s National Insurance stamp that ended up being worthless and still is.

    And now men will get nothing for the wife from their husband’s Ni contributions far higher than 30 years (or 35 years from 2016), because in 2016 the wife will not get the 60 per cent state pension payout when she has nil NI record in her own right.

    Many women have erratic NI history so ended up with state pension payouts as low as £30 per week, because tend to be the carers for children and elderly parents / sick husband.

    Now men and women are getting 2016 flat rate state pension forecasts as low as £55 per week with no top ups, from most of their NI record being opted out from the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme that became the State Second Pension in 2002.

    Both SERPs and S2P are abolished in 2016, so no further contributions can be made by men and women anyway.

    THE CON THAT IS THE FLAT RATE PENSION

    See why the state pension is LESS NOT MORE or

    EVEN NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE

    under my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    And you may care to also sign the bigger petition that started me off

    when I saw that worse was to come with the flat rate state pension

    that will be presented to parliament mid March:

    http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/statepensionlaw

    So that Labour’s Mr Miliband and Mr Balls can formally say in front of parliament
    if they will revoke the Coalition’s Pension Bills 2010-2014 (flat rate pension).

  2. Mason Dixon, Autistic

    “Equality would be cruel to men if they were treated equal to women: men’s genitals would be sliced up”

    It’s called circumcision and it is mostly practiced on boys mostly for cultural reasons, same as with FGM except that it happens too young for them to remember what they’ve actually been put through.

  3. Andy Pabon

    You wanna know why people like this dont think equality is fair? Because they want a world where unicorns are real and Harry Potter is more than a book. Well not really but it might as well be that, they want a world where rapists will suddenly prefer mens dicks over womens vaginas simply becuase they are equal, a world where more men suddenly are in desperate need of a job so bad they turn to prostitution, and a world where society wouldnt socially murder a man for showing his privates on a magazine. This world could happen (not the rape and prostitution part anyway) if people like this writer would get over themselves and this “patriarchy” feminists are trying so hard to prove exists when it doesnt. This writer doesnt want equality simply because that would mean she cant claim vagina whenever she wants an excuse for work, maternity leave and abortion are already given rights, we cant stop THE PUBLIC OPINION of those who oppose abortion BECAUSE THAT IS THEIR RIGHT WEIRD HUH?! Even so absolutely no one can stop you from choosing to have an abortion, its your choice and your problem if you let public opinion tell you what to do with it.

  4. Jacob Ferrell

    Welcome to the future the media is pushing. 1984 except with vagina worship and insane excuses for logic. Someone nuke us already, it’s the only way to save the world from madness at this point.

  5. Miss Miglin Hunt

    This nonsense is so easy to debunk.

    Chinese foot binding: A feminist would say this is from male oppression, yet, It was supported, organized and carried out by mothers and older women. “To keep women in control to land better husbands.” Says women who do this to their daughters.

    Sex working? Usually lead by women. This also includes the oppression of sex-workers are lead by other women. (Usually feminist.)

    When one considers science and history, she is saying you men eventually are going to start cutting up your gonads to land a better wife. You men are going to start sex-working more, and other men will attack you for it.

    Now watch my post ether get deleted, or I get attacked by feminist saying “I should be raped!”

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