Why I'm not a feminist

Originally written for Minds.com on May 17th, 2018

Less than a week ago I wrote a post in which appeared to do the unthinkable - defending feminism by actually explaining what the ideas were actually about. However I felt a few things went wrong with that post, namely the fact that I didn't put as much care into the critical aspects of my writing, which may have led some people to believe that I was either a feminist SJW or as at best leaning towards it, despite my having made it perfectly clear that I was not calling myself a feminist. Given I've had plenty of arguments resulting from it, and plenty of time to have hashed that out, this post is going to go more in depth to the reasons why I am not a feminist.

I'll skip the typical antifeminist talking points because they've already been done a million times by now, but my first reason is perhaps the most obvious, yet the reason I have been most negligent in failing to bring up. The fact is that feminism has an obvious bias, and what I mean by that is that, although its goals may hold egalitarian value, it fundamentally operates from the lens of womanhood. Simply put it is primarily focused on the interests of women as a group. This is why feminists tend to be dismissive of the idea of using the terms "egalitarian" or "humanist" instead of feminism, because they don't operate from the same lens, and many feminists (which thankfully are a very slim minority of women and an even smaller minority of men).

The reason I didn't bring that up in the last post was because I felt it was one of those "no shit" statements, and represented an angle that had already been done before. The reason I think it is a problem is because it means it will never truly be egalitarian because it will never address the gynocentrism that permeates much of culture. In fact you could make the argument that feminism would only encourage that, as feminists, whether bourgeois or not, would stand to benefit from the cultural capital that the gynocentric underpinnings of human culture create.

The second reason is its attempt to address that bias using intersectionality. Now I should make clear that I still maintain that the premise of intersectionality is different to the premise of liberal identity politics, but that's not what this is about. As I said in my previous post, intersectionality was created by black feminists such as Angela Davis with the belief in mind that racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. are inseparable from capitalism, and thus capitalism cannot be addressed without addressing them as well. The reason it caught on in feminism is because it gave feminism more of a reason to exist. It gives feminists the rationale to make other social justice causes feminist causes as well. If you give it more thought, intersectional feminism is essentially feminism on life support.

You'd think that intersectionality would help include more people in feminism, but judging that in my country only about a third of people consider themselves feminists (which might be the most generous figure I could find at the time of writing this), it seems to me that it may have had the effect of alienating more people from the movement. Either that, or the rhetoric of contemporary mainstream feminists has been the main thing alienating people from feminism, and I never questioned that this was the case considering how obvious it is.

The third reason is that it is incapable of running dialectics, and this is something I found out myself attempting to run Hegelian dialectics for the first time. To be more specific, I attempted to run the thesis > antithesis > synthesis model, and then the problem > reaction > solution model, with the aim of proving feminism could run dialectics. In both experiments, the first ingredient is systemic sexism (being the thesis in the first experiment and the problem in the second). With the first experiment I was unable to come up with a viable antithesis, and therefore no synthesis could be reached. With the second solution, feminism itself was the reaction to the problem of systemic sexism, but I couldn't arrive at a solution. Why is this a problem? Because successful left-wing movements have a capable grasp of dialectics. The problem with feminism is that it fundamentally isn't dialectic, probably because it wasn't a materialistic ideology to begin with. If you're a feminist with a grasp of Hegelian dialectic who can prove me wrong, come to the comments section and challenge me on that point, I'm more than happy to have the conversation.

Now I'm not saying that dialectics is the only thing that matters in political discourse, and I say that because, as I will stress to my left-wing audience, I can guarantee you that the average voter or worker has no grasp of dialectics at all. However, dialectics is a fundamental aspect of leftist politics. Even anarchism is capable of dialectics. Feminism, however, is not, and considering its gynocentric lens, it may not be entirely helpful to the left. This may be disappointing for my feminist readers to hear, but sadly the meme that feminism has been bad for the left doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Now of course I do remain somewhat sympathetic to feminists. After all, I realise they are being smeared by dishonest actors on YouTube, whose views on feminism are now swiftly becoming mainstream. I also think plenty of them are genuine in their belief that feminism is ultimately beneficial for both men and women, and I do agree with some of their views. Additionally I have no plans to stop engaging with feminists and interrogating ideas held by feminists, and I remain skeptical of mainstream antifeminists (hopefully I get to do some more debunking in the future).

Does that make me a feminist SJW by default? No. In fact, if it transpires that feminism is an obstacle to the egalitarian ideals I want to pursue, then I will have no choice but to oppose it. For now, however, it should be clear that I am not an ally of feminism, and would prefer the term humanist egalitarian instead. I hope this at last clears up some misconceptions spawned from my last post.