Feminism Vs. Egalitarianism

Feminism Vs. Egalitarianism

Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back to my life.

So I talk about feminism a fair bit on this channel and a certain class of person likes to jump into the comments and say things like,

“Why are you a feminist? Feminists treat women differently from men, so by default you’re being unequal. If you really care about equal rights, you should be an egalitarian.”

These same comments crop up when you talk about civil rights as well, or gay rights, or basically the rights of any portion of society that’s having a rough time.

Egalitarian, of course, means you believe all people should have equal rights regardless of race, gender, religion, etc. etc.

This seems to be a good default attitude to have, and should be considered the default state.

There’s just one problem, which is that taken to an extreme, an egalitarian will treat everyone the exact same—regardless of how OTHER people, and the rest of society, treats that person.

So if, for example, women tend to earn less in the workplace then men do, an egalitarian might say,

“Well, when I hire people, I pay them equally regardless of their gender.”

That’s good. Great—for you, and YOUR workplace, and the women that work there.

You’re not…you’re not making the world any WORSE, okay? Well done on that.

But you’re also not making it BETTER anywhere else, and that’s where I FEEL the difference lies.

Because a feminist might try to evaluate what factors in society contribute to women making less in the workplace in America in general, and try to fix those factors.

Now if we do that, we are by default treating women differently than men, because we are trying to solve a problem that affects women and does NOT affect men.

See, if you imagine the world as a balancing scale, and a type of person is receiving unequal treatment, so their side of the scale is lower.

Egalitarianism says you should put equal amounts in both person’s scales by treating them equally.

Now mathematically speaking this makes the scales MORE equal—but it will never create actual equality, it will only improve the ratio.

Feminism, or civil rights, or gay rights, is the attempt to find out why this side of the scale is so much lower and lift it up.

Now of course this is a limited analogy because rights and equal treatment are not a zero sum game.

It turns out women and minorities CAN be treated equally WITHOUT sacrificing any of the rights of the straight white male.

So to me, the difference is that egalitarianism treats everyone equally regardless of how the rest of the world treats them—which is kind of the epitome of blind justice, but is better than sexism or racism or homophobia.

Whereas feminism, or civil rights activism, or gay rights activism, recognizes actual problems that affect people in the actual world, and tries to correct them.

If the world were equal already, egalitarianism would be the best possible method of dealing with it. But unfortunately it’s just not.

So while egalitarianism isn’t bad, I mean it’s certainly better than racism—now there’s a ringing endorsement—I don’t see how it can actually create the equality it purports to believe in.

And if your response is that egalitarianism DOES try to correct injustice and unfairness, and WOULD reach out to correct gender oppression, then we’re just disagreeing about terms.

If you’re interested in helping correct injustices against women in our society and you want to call yourself an egalitarian, that’s totally fine.

If I do the same thing, I’m going to call myself a feminist—and I’m going to think of you as a feminist as well. And that word just isn’t an insult.

Thank you for watching, Rebels, remember: never read the comments, and I will see you tomorrow. Maybe. Byyye.

 

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at garrettbrobinson.com.

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7 comments
0range
0range

Hello Garrett,


When you spoke about egalitarians paying women and men equally in the workforce, you seemed quite negative about it.You do realize though that if everyone was an egalitarian, then everything would be equal. Your argue so far has been that society favors men, therefore we must "tip the scales" to "balance things out"; a egalitarian never fixes the problem because he simply improves the "ratio". You brought mathematics into this, saying how adding weights on a scale would improve the ratio, but it wouldn't fix the problem. Well, perhaps you should brush up on your math; as the amount of mass added on both scales approaches infinity, the difference in weight between the two approaches 0. Likewise, as the percentage of egalitarians approaches 100%, the difference in treat with men and women approaches 0. 


If everyone was an egalitarian, everything would be fair.

If everyone was a feminist, the scales would be tipped an infinite amount as time continues on. The problem with feminism is that it tries to "tip the scales" to "balance" issues, but it doesn't actually care about balance. I have never seen feminists discuss a "cutoff" point; a point where they stop "tipping the scales" (e.g. goals that they reach to reach to make things fair).


That's just my opinion though; if you're reading this, thanks for reading my post.

MattJordan
MattJordan

full of way too many errors. just gonna say this feminism is a poison to the world and egalitarianism is the cure

Nebica
Nebica

This is one of the few pro-feminist articles I have read that doesn't sound spiteful and full of contradictions so thank you for that. Semantics wise, there is nothing wrong with feminism when it is needed, however I must disagree with the idea that egalitarian don't try to fix problems out there in the world. The definition is similar to feminism only instead of focusing in on women rights it is generalized for all types of people. This does not have anything to do with who will fight and who won't. There are many "feminists" who are purely hateful and spiteful and either want privilege over equality or do want equality but instead of fighting they just complain and insult others. Some care about simply focusing on and solving the actual problems like you said. Someone might also call themselves an egalitarian and contradict themselves in the same way some feminists do, or simply do what your explained and not try to change the world....but some do. The difference between the two isn't "one will act for change the and other won't". The only difference is one is generalized and one isnt. Following the exact definitions of both, all egalitarian are also feminist and gay rights advocates...The only difference is that they are also for male rights, straight rights....regardless of whether or not those rights are currently lacking. That is the way I prefer to see it. Using the dictionary and this explanation, I am not JUST a feminist, but an egalitarian. Using the definition I feel applies to not all, but most modern feminists(which is based entirely on bias, inequality, and belittling of others), I am NOT a feminist. I am an egalitarian.

Nebica
Nebica

Please excuse the typing errors. I am using my phone which is a pain.

iwalkalone593
iwalkalone593

Feminism is another form of sexism as the author articulates Tho does not seem to support. It is a desire to treat people differently based on sex and how society treats them rather than treating others equally regardless or sex or social status.

Eddie Jakes
Eddie Jakes

I would have to say I'm a egalitarian.  I agree with you though that it is semantics between them.  Personally I do not consider myself feminist only because I am not a woman and have not walked in their shoes (except maybe once when I was five).  Egalitarianism just feels like a better fit for me and is all encompassing.  I am also a little more active in the causes for the oppressed then most.  Great post!

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