Sunday’s Sermon

“Earlier this month, Merriam-Webster announced that 2017’s word of the year is feminism. Searches for the word on the dictionary website spiked throughout the year, beginning in January around the Women’s March, again after Kellyanne Conway said in an interview that she didn’t consider herself a feminist, and during some of feminism’s many pop culture moments this year. And the steady stream of #MeToo news stories have kept the word active in search over the past few weeks and months.”

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5 thoughts on “Sunday’s Sermon

  1. Re: Conway’s statement above. Are there different types of feminists? My understanding of the definition of feminism is below, as copied from the definition of feminism in English by Oxford Dictionaries:

    “Definition of feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”

    What type of feminist is she referring to, or does she not believe in equality of the sexes? Or worse, does she not understand the meaning of the word as I understand it.

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  2. I’m sure there are many different flavours of feminism, but it would seem all would agree with the Oxford Dictionary as you quote above.
    On Conway: ““It’s difficult for me to call myself a feminist in a classic sense because it seems to be very anti-male, and it certainly is very pro-abortion, and I’m neither anti-male or pro-abortion,” Conway said during a conversation onstage with conservative commentator Mercedes Schlapp. “So, there’s an individual feminism, if you will, that you make your own choices. … I look at myself as a product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances.” – from The Washington Post.

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  3. Hi, both. I’m contributing under a nickname and a bogus email address because I’m about to say things that could easily cost me my job if anyone found them here. I’m willing to engage on the other side of this issue if you agree not to pry into who I am.

    Like Conway, whom I don’t know, I no longer consider myself to be a feminist.

    I hope that doesn’t sound too monstrous. It might help, I think, if I explain what I don’t believe in reference to the definitions you gave.

    “Feminism = the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” I agree that the sexes are of equal merit. I am happy with the idea that two people, should be treated with equal moral consideration and exposed to the same opportunities and risks and duties notwithstanding the fact that one is a man and the other is a woman. I don’t think that many feminists believe that, though. If I were confronted with a situation in which women are expected to shoulder the same duties as men but are not offered the same rights, I would be glad to advocate for their rights to be respected. But I would just as eagerly advocate for the rights of men to be respected if it were men who were treated unfairly in some other case.

    “Femininsm is the radical notion that women are people.” If this were all ‘feminism’ means, then I can’t imagine any decent person today denying feminism. That one really is a no-brainer.

    It seems that ‘feminism’ today implies much more than that, though. Here are a few of the things it appears one has to believe in order to be a feminist:
    – that a group of men in the past set out to structure society in such a way that men had a great life and that women had a horrible life.
    – that we live in a culture that generally doesn’t care about women being raped, and that it took the rise of feminist groups to raise awareness about the wrongness of rape.
    – that men have tended to be a source of evil in the world, while women have tended to be a source of goodness.
    – that affirmative action programs for women in every field generally make the world a fairer and better place.

    I think these claims are at least controversial. In my experience, failure to agree with these and other, related claims are enough to get one accused of not being a feminist (and also of much worse than that). So, I guess I’m not a feminist anymore, even though I definitely don’t deny that women are people or that women should have the same rights (and the same obligations) as men.

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  4. BC Expat writes: “Femininsm is the radical notion that women are people.” If this were all ‘feminism’ means, then I can’t imagine any decent person today denying feminism. That one really is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, I can not only imagine, but point to a few!

    Words like “liberal” and “conservative” are also broad in scope. A liberal in BC is not a Trudeau liberal. That’s why some one invented adjectives and adverbs!

    All feminists are not radical feminists although all radical feminists are feminists!

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