Is ‘Equalism’ The New ‘Feminism?’

It’s really frustrating to me that in the year 2011, there are still so many smart, accomplished, modern women who wouldn’t dare label themselves a feminist. It makes no sense. To me, a feminist is someone who believes in equal rights between men and women – plain and simple. Can you really be a modern woman without identifying as feminist?

Apparently so. Beyoncé and Lady Gaga are just two of countless female celebrities who have dissed the F word in a very public way. Gaga has proudly proclaimed, “I am not a feminist. I love men.” (Gee, thanks for comin’ out.) And in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar UK, the Queen B herself replies when asked if she’s a feminist, “I don’t really feel that it’s necessary to define it. It’s just something that’s kind of natural for me, and I feel like…you know…it’s, like, what I live for. I need to find a catchy new word for ‘feminism’, right? Like ‘bootylicious’…”

The clever folks over at Jezebel have asked readers to come up with a new word for feminism and they’ve just posted a partial list of suggestions (as you can see, many of them are highly amusing):

Flesh-Hungry Young Slutism
Lieutenant Ripleyism
Reallyism (as in “really? In 2011 that’s acceptable behavior or thought to have about women? really?”)
Equality for everyone regardless of their genitals
Equaligasm (an adherent of equaligasm would be an equaligasmitist)
FYATPHPHYRIO? (Pronounced Fee-Aht-Fee-Ree-Oh): Fuck You And The Privileged Heterosexist Patriarchal Horse You Rode In On
GEM (Gender Equality Movement)
Decency (feminists are “decentists.”)

The winner? “Equalism.” I must admit, I like it, I like it a lot. But I still think that feminism works even better. It’s an oldie but a goodie. I’ll certainly be using the term when explaining equality between the sexes to my own two boys.

(Photo: Hemera)

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  • Somnilee

    I actually consider myself an “equalist” because there are (surprisingly to some people) many areas where I consider the rights for men to be lower than rights for women. Case in point: paternity leave.
    To me, calling myself purely a “feminist” would seem wrong as it implies that you only care about solving discrepancies where men usually have the advantage (wages, promotion, “everything”) whereas I truly believe in levelling the playing field for everyone.

    • Jen

      But Feminism IS about equal rights for the genders. Though feminists have often (and for obvious reasons) been aligned with Women’s Rights movements (suffrage, birth control and abortion access, equal pay, etc) they are also at the forefront of the movement for gender equality in general. Being a feminist already means supporting equal rights for the sexes.

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  • meteor_echo

    This is why I call myself a “feminist-egalitarian”.

  • Go Equalism!

    Go Equalism! This emerging movement makes sense for many, many reasons. Feminism is worthy but now has lost its impact among younger women today and is facing a backlash. It has is some part become hijacked by divisive radicals and has become associated with women-only issues perhaps in part due to the issue of the etymology. Equalism is better because it’s meaning is clear and it encompasses all struggles, including sex, race, sexuality, gender and class issues. It is a true people’s movement where we all champion equal worth and unity

    • Psych Student

      That is one of the most well said things I’ve ever read!

  • Ben

    If you claim to support equality, don’t pick a side.

    Feminism is picking a side. It’s explicitly pro-female or female-centric and, as a result, implicitly anti-male or disenfranchising of males. Just look at this very site. “mansplaining” and “male privilege” is exactly what I’m talking about: Disenfranchisement. (Usually in the most severe form: discarding male opinions without thought or counter argument. Merely because you disagree or because the comments hurt someone’s feelings.)

    If Feminism WERE only about equal rights it’d be fine and dandy. But look at what Feminist groups and Women’s Interest groups spend their money on. Look at the ads they buy and the lobbying they do and there’s a severely anti-male streak to it all. Because generally the radicals of any movement are the ones most motivated to take control.

    The Feminists that lead the movement now are the women that discourage breast feeding baby boys to “keep them from getting strong enough to oppress women” and those who support sex-selective abortion of male babies to create a “more fair” gender spread of 80 or 90% females in our species with “culling” of males that don’t conform and submit to the dogma.

    RadicalHub used to be a great place to read about these Feminists until they caught on that people were scooping up their absurdity and reposting it elsewhere. Now it’s private, I think.

    • Psych Student

      “Male privilege” is a thing. Just like straight privilege, white privilege, etc.

    • Fake Mustache

      It’s a concept but it has little to no basis in reality. Where’s the privilege in injury rates? Death rates? Unemployment? Suicide? Homelessness? Lifespan? Healthcare spending? Taxpayer spending? Tax burden? School performance? High School and College graduation? Reproductive rights? Incarceration rates and durations and all other interactions with the courts and law enforcement?

      Males LOSE in literally every single one of those areas. They come out ahead in all of TWO areas: Executive positions and overall pay by gender. But even on the pay grounds, childless, unmarried women have been outearning their male peers since the 70s. Today they outearn by as much as 20% in some states. If you take equal education and work history and working the same job there is no gap outside the margin for error at all! The entire gap boils down to life choices. For example, female business owners make much less than their male counterparts. Do they discriminate against themselves? No. They actually just work easier hours and take more time off.

      In light of WHY men get paid more as a whole, that may or may not tell us why men hold a majority of executive positions in business and politics. Or maybe not. Maybe that’s a real problem area.

      But all of it pales in comparison to how much better off a white girl in the West is than a white male, all the while mostly-white Feminist groups demonize and slander men as rapists and misogynists and oppressors through concepts like “Patriarchy”.

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