The Flaws in Modern Feminism – Nick Paddon

The traditional feminist: a person dedicated to the equal rights of men and women, who campaigns for and represents both men and women on political, social and generic issues regarding inequality. The modern, 3rd wave feminist, however, is different.

Before I alienate many of the people of The RHS, I in no way oppose the campaign for gender equality; I am an advocate for it, and see no reason for a modern day society still to have fundamental inequalities in between  genders. I do not aim this at every feminist, but the minority that create a negative stereotype for feminism everywhere. Thus I oppose this part of the modern feminist movement, which, instead of campaigning for gender equality, has turned into a women empowerment campaign and, most importantly, only contests the inequality of women, not the inequality of men. I find this hypocritical, creating a world of reverse sexism.

fem cartoon
Social inequality: no laughing matter.

Firstly, allow me to define the word ‘feminism’: it is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of sexes. Now this all encompassing definition surely suggests that women have the desire to be equal to men across the board. However, the hypocrisy is clear to me. I’m sure you have heard of the feminist campaigns and uprisings against unequal pay in the government department of Equality, and the campaigns against the statistic that 58% of domestic workers are women which has been described as ‘the feminist’s final frontier’. On the other hand, I bet that you haven’t heard of the campaign, by feminists, against the increased likelihood for adoption acceptance if you are a woman; or the lack of safe house provision for men in abusive relationships. Because they don’t exist.

So how can feminists honestly say they wish for equal rights if the only sex they care about being equal is women, and more pertinently: they turn a blind eye when women are above men in an area of society.

Let me use an illustrative example: the inequality of the law against rape. This is a pristine example of reverse sexism whereby the law has become more forgiving and understanding towards females being raped, and has moved away from leniency towards men. Understandably this did need to change, as 50 years prior, men could only really be prosecuted for rape if the woman had insurmountable evidence proving it. However, the change has gone above and beyond equality to the point where only 19% of men come forth about rape incidents compared to the 82% that come forward that are women because of the fact that the law doesn’t regard them with the same severity. Also male rape trials are relatively new to the courtroom, being introduced in 1994 as a legitimate illegal offence. So what does this all show? It illustrates the fundamental point that feminists have overlooked this factor and have kept quiet about inequality in the very laws that govern our society that leads to the disempowerment of men.

Even the word feminist has become exclusive, whereby people only think this applies to women. As I said earlier feminism is a synonym for gender equality; however, the idea of it has been morphed to the extent that feminism is now (to many) synonymous with angry women burning bras and parading through the streets half naked. Evidence for the exclusionary factor of feminism is that masculism has sprung up, admittedly to a far lesser extent. This to me seems counterproductive; surely two campaigns focussing on the furthering of their own sexes equality will further the reverse sexism that is currently going on, and as a result the two genders will never be equal as the spectrum will tip in the favour of one gender for a few years and then to the other. Allow me to give an anecdote on the exclusionary factor of feminism: once, in a class of 50 sociology students, the professor asked ‘who in here is a feminist?’ – and 5 girls raised their hands. Then he asked another question: ‘who in here advocates gender equality?’ – and the vast majority raised their hands, both men and women. This either identifies a lack of understanding of the word ‘feminism’ in one sociology class, which is a moot point, or it highlights the fact that feminism has become female.

And I’d finally like to address the popular campaign at the moment that white women do not get paid equally to white men. In fact all women are paid less than their male ethnic counterparts, and this has occurred even in places that strive for equality, for example the government department of equality! However, the flaw springs up again in that white women (as revealed by the National Committee on Equal Pay) are paid more than black or Hispanic men and women and the implication is that these men have very little voice as feminists persist in women’s pay equality. Again I ask if any of you have heard of campaigns to help these people?

Overall, I believe gender equality can never truly be established by the feminist campaign because for the most part it focuses on the issues of women, but does not contest the inequality men face and when women are ahead of men. This means that the spectrum of equality will constantly be fluctuating around, but never actually reaching equality. So instead of classifying yourself as a feminist which inadvertently excludes yourself from the male campaign for equality, join the equality campaign so that one day both sexes get equal opportunities in life.

12 thoughts on “The Flaws in Modern Feminism – Nick Paddon

  • May 26, 2016 at 1:48 pm
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    Well, if this doesn’t get the people of RHS commenting I don’t know what will. Some interesting ideas in this eloquent piece, Nick – I look forward to seeing what the females – or indeed feminists (female or otherwise) – of this establishment have to say…

  • May 27, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    You’ve addressed some very important issues here, such as the lack of ‘feminist’ actions fighting for the rights of minorities. However what I think is the crux of the matter, is the lack of understanding of what feminism actually is. You have given a good definition of it at the start of your article, but I completely disagree with your take on the third wave feminism, as to me it seems to be the case that most men are simply intimidated by women striving for more in terms of equality.

    There is an extremely important issue of the stigma associated with the word ‘feminism’- some even go as far as calling us ‘feminazis’ (ideational metafunction- the language we use affects the way we see the world) which by itself is so ridiculous, because, you know, they kind of killed millions of people?? You’ve done a good job of starting a discussion, however what you seem to be addressing for the majority of the article, such as the rape court cases and women being more likely to be approved for adoption, are exactly the same issues which actual feminists are striving to tackle.

    One could potentially argue that yes indeed the very name of feminism could be seen as problematic, however one should also consider the fact that women have to be empowered in the first place in order to be at least partially considered equal in its most basic terms, as they were basically sub-citizens for centuries. Furthermore, this links to a question – can true equality be achieved everywhere within our lifetime?

    • June 6, 2016 at 11:57 am
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      I think Nick perfectly understands feminism and how it has digressed over time. Well articulated and fairly expressed, I believe he has encaptured your opinions within his article, but has not been afraid to question them. In an equal society shouldn’t everyone be able to express their opinions; including Nick?

      • June 7, 2016 at 8:38 am
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        I don’t think Nick’s right to free speech was ever threatened by anyone, was it?

  • June 6, 2016 at 9:38 am
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    I agree that there is a failure in the current feminist movement to tackle oppression against men. There are a few, but certainly not enough. The only answer I can see, is to start these campaigns ourselves, and articles like this, which call us out on this imbalance, are just what is needed to kickstart action!

    Men face a plethora of issues which seem to be chiefly the result of the stereotype that men must be strong providers and protectors. You may not feel it now, boys, but if at some point in your life you chose a supposed “female career” like nursing, you are subjecting yourself to a lifetime of being called a “male-nurse” – as if there’s some kind of difference between male nursing and female nursing. And God forbid that you ever decide to be a stay-at-home dad – just try to ignore those sideways glances in the playground and don’t worry if people start to think you’re a poedephile just because you’re a man alone with a child! And if no progress is made for men, I really do hope that you don’t suffer from mental health issues or eating disorders- statistics show that you will feel pressured into hiding these problems from friends and family and if you do share your problems you will be vilified and victimised further. The worst of these cases will in in suicide, but the best of these cases will still ruin your relationships, jobs, and lives as you suffer in silence.

    If we can break the stupid generalised gender stereotypes of all men as powerful, aggressors, and abusers and all women as weak, emotional victims, then we would live in a much more better place.

  • June 6, 2016 at 9:40 am
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    Nick, this is a very balanced analysis of 3rd wave feminism and very bell concluded.
    Good one!

  • June 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm
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    Nick, I completely agree with your article however I’m not sure about the way you seem to be presenting 3rd wave feminists in an almost negative light, for example using the word “hypocrisy”: although your article brings up many valid points on how these feminists appear to have swept male inequality “under the rug” so to speak, we cannot disregard the pressing issues that women face: you may have read in the news recently, for example, of the Stanford victim who’s rapist’s sentence was shortened so as not to impact on his swimming career. Of course, males face issues that need to be addressed, however I believe that equally, we should turn our attention to the issues that women face that are sometimes (I said sometimes) more pressing: pay inequality, genital mutilation, the fact that Metropolitan Police statistics show that male violence against women made up 85% of domestic violence incidents and the pressing standards of society that are undeniably more prevolent to women (makeup, weight loss programmes etc.) to name but a few. You cannot deny that it is more acceptable in society’s eyes for a man to appear overweight than for a woman to appear that way: pick up any magazine in the style of “hello” or “ok” to see this in action.
    I do wholeheartedly concur with your argument that some male issues are overlooked in this new wave of feminism, however I believe you have omitted some key information. Although men face oppression in a number of ways, I believe that you have made the mistake of not taking into account both sides of this argument. However I must congratulate you on a well written piece containing many good points.

  • June 9, 2016 at 9:34 am
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    I would like to entitle this comment as the faults in this article, as though you have such strong opinions, I do not believe you have researched enough about what third wave feminists are trying to achieve. Instead it seems that you have made direct points that criticise what you believe feminists haven’t done, and blatantly ignored the facts that prove you to be incorrect. The media presents feminists to be butch, man hating women who are only concerned with the pay gap. This is where the media is wrong. This is not feminism. The world has a misconception of the word due to the accusations of misandry that have been flung at feminists since the first wave in the early 19th century. I’m not denying that there are women who hate men and only have concerns for their own rights; but they do not belong in the feminist community. Feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”. Therefore showing that feminist is pro-equality, not anti-men. This means that the aim is for woman to be equal to men in ways such as through representation in government. As well as the aim that men will be equal to woman in ways such as the treatment of rape and abuse victims; which isn’t in a good state for any victim, just look at public figures like Kesha Sebert and Amber Heard, but it is easy to see that male victims are being mistreated to a greater extent than female victims due to gender inequality towards men, which needs to be changed. Third wave feminism is about trying to get gender equality, and not just for the cis community, but gender equality, whatever that gender may or not be.
    I respect your confidence in publishing this article nevertheless, I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    • June 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm
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      The impression I got from the article, was that Nick was addressing the “minority that create a negetive stereotype for feminism” rather than every feminist in existence. Nevertheless, I do agree that feminism has been wildly miss-branded by misandrists who hide behind the name and misogynists who are determined to destroy it. But we cannot let feminism be defined by those individuals. Hitler called himself a Christian but we don’t think of all Christians as being systematic murderers. Perhaps Maisie Williams has a point when she says we should stop calling people for gender equality “feminists” and call those against it “sexist”- you’re either a normal person, or you’re sexist.

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