Mr. Shakes put a fine post up this morning about feminism, and, as always happens in any online forum, it didn't take long for someone to show up to complain: but what about the men?

As always, there is a feminist sympathetic man who doesn't understand why we need to have a feminist movement (Toast, who I nearly always emphatically agree with - and I understand what he's saying, which is that equality is equality, so shouldn't we be fighting for equality rather than breaking apart women's rights as a separate issue? Toast, if it were a better world we lived in, I would agree with you, but as it stands, I can't).

There is also a commenter who is hostile to the idea of feminism, The Jenga Toppler. My favorite comment complains - in the same comment! - that he/she is offended by the notion that criticism of feminism comes from men feeling threatened, just a couple of short paragraphs above his/her statement of how threatened feminism makes him feel:

snipped And not to mention the offensive premise that the only criticism of feminism can come because "men feel threatened" and not because the principles of feminism are wrong.

But of course, you haven't bothered to discuss the principles of feminism. Nor have you bothered to discuss the implications for a world in which the principles of feminism hold sway, or contrast this with a world in which humanism holds sway.

In fact, the whole article is thoroughly offensive. Men are denigrated throughout. Men who "are smart" wouldn't fight against feminism! What an argument. Condescension as a vote winner.

emphasis mine.

I'm not schooled in feminist theory, and I find a lot of the language of feminism tiresome, and I have an inner Groucho who doesn't want to join any club that would have me. But how can anyone, particularly a progressive man, take a look at where we are in the U.S. in 2006, and sincerely argue that we don't need feminism? Look at a picture of House of Representatives or the Senate. Look at the Supreme Court. Look at freaking South Dakota. Women are struggling to hold onto the ground they'd already gained. We have to break feminism apart because it's a different movement than humanism.

We shouldn't stop fighting for equal rights, but until we are all truly on a level playing field, we can't abandon the groups that are left behind.

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