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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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From the Point of View of a Nonconforming Feminist    

By Achelle Vinzon
3063 Views | 5 Comments | 8/23/2014 11:58:33 AM

How is Feminism defined, and how not?

First of all, I would like to say that I highly commend my co-blogger, Peter, for bringing up and so articulately discussing this controversial issue, especially because he belongs to the opposite sex.  He has pointed out in his blog "Who Needs Feminism" that,

                “Men and women have the same natures and any observable differences are culturally imposed.  While sex is a biological fact, gender is a cultural creation, one that could be other than it is.”

I also point out the fact that his blog holds more relevance, and may even attract even more controversy, because he is male.  I say this for the reason that, while it is true that sexual differences are fundamentally biological in nature, the culturally-imposed differences between genders is one of the major driving forces behind the feminist movement. 

Yes, feminism, at its core, seeks to advance the awareness that men and women are fundamentally the same and, therefore, deserve equal treatment.  However, he also argues that feminism is not defined solely by its purpose of achieving equal treatment, because this is more aptly defined as humanism.  Unless I am mistaken, I think Peter was referring to the concept of equality and human rights, not the philosophical concept of humanism.  In any case, he suggests that “the notion that women deserve equal treatment” (or the concept of gender equality) is synonymous with the universal concept of equality and human rights.  But, if this is the case, then it would be a case of oversimplification.

The concept of equality and human rights is wide-ranging and aims to promote and enforce equality and non-discrimination among all humans regardless of race, social status, cultural beliefs, religion, sexual orientation, and gender.  Gender equality is only one facet of the concept of equality and human rights.  And it is precisely because of the unfortunate reality of gender inequality throughout modern human history (at least) that women’s or, more specifically, feminists’ fight for gender equality has taken on a life of its own. 

Yes, women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.  But when women are denied their human rights, it is precisely because they are women.  Consequently, feminism as it necessitates gender equality does fall under the universal concept of equality and human rights, but has also become separate from it because gender inequality does not care about the fundamental nature that all humans share as much as it does about the culturally-imposed differences between men and women. 

Another one of Peter’s points on which I want to give my two cents is,

                “The claim that you should not criticize feminism today because it has been responsible for the advancement of women’s rights in the past is a version of what is known as the genetic fallacy:  Using the origin of an ideology as a way to either discredit or defend its contemporary status.”

This is in reference to the statement made by feminists in response to Women Against Feminism that,

                “It’s very easy for Women against Feminism to declare that they don’t need feminism using the voice and powers that feminism made possible."

Peter makes a valid point in his argument.  But I would argue that the last statement can be seen within a different context.  I have read the Washington Post article about the Women Against Feminism movement, and I think this statement merely points out the fact that these Women Against Feminism are able to express their criticisms of the current status of feminism because of the freedoms that the feminist movement have achieved for women. 

These Women Against Feminism are practically renouncing the feminist movement or, at least, what it has evolved into, and they claim that they have no need for it.  To take the aforementioned response to this new “anti-feminism” movement further, I’d like to say that many of today’s women, indeed, can now afford to say that they don’t need feminism because it has already taken them far enough that they feel it has already served and accomplished its purpose. 

Except for these two points, I agree with everything else that Peter discussed in his blog.  Feminism, in its present form and especially in the west, has transformed from a movement that sought to advance women’s rights into one that now only seems to foment greater discord between the sexes and to seek the emasculation of men.  It has become a movement of hate.  (It is no wonder countless western men are choosing Asian/Chinese women for a life partner.)  

In a perfect world, men and women will only be different in so far as their biological roles are different.  In a perfect world, women can be women and men can be men, and there will be nothing to dictate what it means to be a woman or a man other than their respective biological nature.  Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.

There are still so many countries, particularly those that are less developed, where feminism, in its original, uncorrupted form and with its original purpose, is still greatly needed.  I do believe that in these countries, the feminist movement can be reborn and effect the same, positive changes that women from the developed world have been enjoying for decades.  Feminism will remain relevant and necessary as long as gender inequalities and sex discrimination continue to exist.

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2014-08-23 11:59:48 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Another voice heard from, and one that is female. We might have expected that an intelligent, educated and well-written woman such as you, Achelle, would have come out swinging on behalf of the feminists that are under attack by Women Against Feminism, and also by Peter in their apparent support. But I for one, didn't expect you to do that. I've always read you as what I will refer to as a Moderate Feminist, one who adopts and promotes the reasonable and positive tenets of Feminism, but will recognize and steer clear of the rabid mad dog tenets of the Extremist Feminists, and that is what you appear to me to have done in this article.

Unfortunately for me, you have beaten me to the punch with some of your points, and now I am left to go back and revise my own half written blog in response to Peter's, as well as add my responses to some thoughts expressed here by yourself. Which is what I will do. I'll see you both here tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I hope we'll hear from our members through comments on these two blogs. Please wade in everyone.

You Western men please express your thoughts on if, how and why modern Feminism caused your current interest in finding your lifemate among Chinese/Asian women.

And you Chinese or Asian women, please express your thoughts on Feminism, and where you fit in that movement, if you fit in it at all.

#2014-08-24 12:18:46 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

I don't think we disagree on anything. The fundamental goals of feminism have by and large been achieved in the West, which is why Western feminists find themselves dealing with so many inconsequential and absurd issues. In much of the rest of the world, however, women struggle for legal and economic equality. When in Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive, this is a denial of basic legal equality to women. Closer to home, I have heard countless cases in China where women were told straight out they were too ugly to be considered for a job, even when that job was something like a bank teller.. That is a denial of the basic employment equality to women (especially ironic when an extremely ugly man was telling you this). So yes in these places feminism (more precisely, second wave feminism) is still necessary.

#2014-08-24 13:40:12 by sandy339 @sandy339

I don’t know why I just feel it is ridiculate when we talk about that, since we all know the economic status gives a real equality and freedom in life.

#2014-08-25 16:49:32 by Belle77 @Belle77

If a woman wants to act like a man, by some reason, then it really makes no sense for her to look for a man

#2014-08-27 07:22:24 by kalzorch @kalzorch

I think the basic problem is that you take Peter's assertion

“Men and women have the same natures and any observable differences are culturally imposed.”

for granted. Many people disagree with this. David Deida, for example, says that everyone has both a masculine and a feminine essence. Usually men have more of the masculine, and women have more of the feminine. Unsurprisingly, the masculine essence has the traits that we usually associate with men, such as being performance-oriented and using logic. The feminine essence is less logical and more an expression of free-flowing spirit. Each essence is attracted to the other. Note that some men have more of the feminine, and some women have more of the masculine. For example, I had an uncle with a majority feminine essence who was married to my aunt with a majority masculine essence, and they were some of my favorite people.

In any case, I think we can all agree that everyone should be accorded equal rights and opportunities. In some cases we have gone overboard with this, so that in the west a woman can hardly admit that she wants to be "just" a housewife.

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