I really wish people would shut up about rebranding Feminism.
The smug replacing of the word Feminism to Equalitarianism or Humanism is not only pretty vapid, it really misses a lot of points.
First of all, Humanism is, in fact, it’s own movement. It relates to different topics and isn’t directly concerned with bringing about equality between sexes.
Anything “Equal Rights” is, on the surface, a fairly valid supplement, until you consider the fact that once you make a name ambiguous, you muddy the cause and direction. Equal Rights as a term doesn’t bare much relation to equality for sexes, either.
There’s actually nothing wrong with the word Feminism and it does exactly what it needs to – which, I feel, is partly why people take such exception to it. (That and a really blind, wilful ignorance)
Yes, the word does related directly to the female sex – funnily enough, Feminism works pretty closely with bringing equality to the female sex*. Part of that work is battling the demonisation of females* and, sure enough, the demonisation of Feminism happens in ways that directly correlate!
“I don’t hate women*, I just don’t support or identify with the cause that is fighting what oppresses them.”
If you feel like Feminists have habits of excluding you (particularly if you’re a cis gendered, white, straight male), I suggest reading Part One.
Okay. So the most common complaint I hear is
“Oh hoh hoh. Well if Feminism is all about equality between the sexes, why is it all about FEMinism, hey?”
Implying that Feminism should be concerned with the representation of cis, white, straight males is a bit daft. Not only is Feminism not built to pamper the already privileged, part of the work is bringing representation to the marginalised. The name, therefore, is really goddamn fitting.
Not to mention, the word “Feminism” has a seriously diverse and complex history. The Suffragettes literally died to give women the vote. Second wave feminists fought tooth and nail for rights that we take for granted today – workplace rights, reproductive rights, rights to own property, rights not to be considered property – these were all fought for by Feminists!
By removing the name that has united the history, we are distancing ourselves from the progress and sacrifices made. Remind me again why we would do that to pander to people who haven’t taken the time to research what Feminism even means?
Look, everyone, Feminism’s core concept is equality between sexes. If you believe that they deserve equal rights, we’re on the same page. You might differ on how that manifests/what works/what doesn’t – but that’s just sorting out what wave or sub-sect you subscribe to. There’s no need to pioneer a separate movement, one already exists.
At the end of the day, one of the reasons we need Feminism, the word AND the movement, is that people don’t identify as Feminists or understand why it is important to identify as a Feminist.
*forgive me the gender binaries! I didn’t want to get bogged down in a gender tangent.