Talk:Feminism and equality

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edits to lead in August, 2012[edit]

If the number of feminist women who seek superiority over men is anywhere near equal to (or more than) the number who seek equality with men, please source it. I imagine it's possible in nations that are especially repressive of feminists, as that might result in reformers being repressed but radicals remaining (because reformers would seek to negotiate and then they'd be co-opted or arrested while radicals would likely build their base, theorize, or stay low), but in that case I wonder whether much would be published by them and whether in English. Where repression is very onerous, radicals probably support other nonfeminist radicals and feminist moderates, and that too will likely mean less publication of analyses we can cite as sources. In the U.S., among feminists, they are a minority, composed of a few notable feminists but only one small and short-lived organization. They're probably a minority in every nation. Since "some" could reasonably mean anywhere from a quarter to three quarters, and maybe anywhere from a tenth to nine tenths, "a minority" is probably more accurate.

I think the style guideline used to specify that sourcing was to go into the body of the article, the lead summarizing the body without references. If that's how it used to be, it isn't that way anymore, so I've now put citations into the lead and kept them in the body as well.

More sourcing and content can be added anytime.

Thanks for bringing this up. Nick Levinson (talk) 18:51, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Inherent equality advocacy[edit]

Feminism seems to define 'equal' rights being the inherent aim. This does much the same but further text is telling:

equality, while supported by most feminists, is not universally seen as the only end purpose of feminism

If "most", rather than all, feminists support equality, that would mean that some feminists do not support equality. If it is possible for a feminist to not support equality, this would mean that 'equal rights' is not an inherent aspect of feminism. We should have an article about the comparative issues of equality and feminism, but based on this, not treat equality as an inherent aspect of it's aims. Ranze (talk) 10:08, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Natural languages, including English, are, for most words, not mathematically precise, because people are not and communications are not. While red is defined by authoritative scientists as having a certain wavelength, most people define it as within a range of wavelengths. By far, in the U.S., feminism is about equality. It is inherently so among most supporters and advocates. Opponents often consider feminism destabilizing, but most words are not primarily defined by opponents. A review of sources shows that equality is prevalent by far in definitions of feminism. Nick Levinson (talk) 19:13, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

If we take the stance that the descriptions of movements should come from proponents and not supporters, how would that lead to the definition of things like nazism? We should look at what efforts are actually doing and if those actions conform to egalitarian concepts or to female support concepts. Which predominates? Has 'equality' as a stated goal actually limited feminism-related actions or led them to put forth similar efforts towards males?

" By far, in the U.S., feminism is about equality." .. "equality is central, not separate from, feminism"

What sources should we consider authoritative here? Can we give examples of evidence-based sources and not simply polite definitions? Feminism does not exclude those feminists who promote non-egalitarian ideas. See for example Radical_feminism#Theory_and_ideology which says "Some radical feminists called for women to govern women and men"

Calling for an exclusive gender to rule the other is not an example of egalitarianism. This is classed under feminism, so feminism can't be about egalitarianism if it includes that. If we take the stance that egalitarianism is an inseparable aspect, we can not call radicals who promote exclusive female rulership as 'feminists'. Yet they are called this, and that makes sense, because non-egalitarianism doesn't exclude a concept or person from feminism. Ranze (talk) 05:47, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

I'd want to know the meaning of nazism first as Nazis define it. Of course, they could say it's just 'good things for good people' and that would mean almost nothing, but it's helpful to know their view (which is often a good deal more specific and informative) and then critique it, both for difference from practice and for what is wrong with either principle or practice. For either that word or feminism, Wikipedia relies on sources. What you say may make an interesting exploration for an article at some other webste or journal, but Wikipedia's reliance on sources means that since most speak of egalitarian female-centric efforts as feminism and not as egalitarian feminism or feminism with some other adjective then we do so also on Wikipedia in the article about feminism.
Relatively few words in English in even moderately common use have only one definition each with that definition being precise. Words such as the, set, orange, multiply, and feminism have multiple meanings and no committee exists to drive out users using less common meanings or to stop them in their use. None of these are trademarks. A minority of feminists are nonegalitarian but feminism is not thereby deprived of its primary egalitarian meaning.
An edit that essentially posits that there is feminism and there is egalitarianism as separate phenomena in lieu of recognizing that feminism is primarily egalitarian as to genders is not reflective of sources in general.
Sources may be added. Should you find one or some stating that feminism favors inequality or that equality is unimportant to feminism, consistent with the principle of due weight (considering that this is already covered but perhaps an important angle hasn't been and perhaps you know of a source on that angle), that may be something to add.
Nick Levinson (talk) 17:06, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Dworkin, Guardian, and Scapegoat[edit]

A recent edit deleted a source citation. The source says, partly about and partly from Dworkin, "What Andrea Dworkin wants ... is this: she wants women to have their own country.... 'The last chapter [of Scapegoat] - that's my favourite chapter,' she said, regarding the section of her book proposing a nation state for women .... [W]e began to talk about this women's country.... I [Dworkin] repudiate all nationalism except my own and reject the dominance of all men except those I love.... I have become certain of one thing: that women cannot be free of male dominance without challenging the men of one's own ethnic group and destroying their authority. This is a willed betrayal, as any assault on male dominance must be." That is not limited to women being responsible for themselves. It is about women governing a country. And since she talks (in the same source) also about a right of women to execute men who are rapists, she is not talking about excluding men so as to form a women-only nation. The source (with another) supports what is in the article: "a minority of feminists have argued for superiority of women over men as a form of government." If a close rephrasing would help, please do it or indicate. Otherwise, I propose to restore the citation. I'll wait a week for any response.

I did not and do not try to summarize her position with respect to Jews.

Nick Levinson (talk) 21:00, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

I wasn't objecting to the 'government' part. I was objecting to the 'superiority' part. In the cited article Dworkin rails against the idea of superiority (as it has been used to oppress both women and Jews) and proposes her hypothetical state as a defensive measure to protect women. That is very different from the idea a reader would get by reading the existing lead sentence. Kaldari (talk) 23:52, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I finally got ahold of the other source, For the Record: The Making and Meaning of Feminist Knowledge. This source has also been misrepresented. On page 151, it says "The only way women can protect themselves is if they dominate particular institutions and can use them to serve women's interests. Reproduction is a case in point." It says nothing about "superiority of women over men as a form of government." The other page that was cited, page 214, has nothing on the subject except, "I am probably more of a feminist-anarchist than ever before; more mistrustful of the organisation of power into large bureaucratic states than I once was." This would seem to imply the opposite of what it is being cited for. I've tweaked the wording of the sentence so that it is not so out of line with the cited sources and have restored the Dworkin citation per your request. I also removed page 214 from the other citation since I couldn't find anything relevant there. I hope this is an improvement. Kaldari (talk) 23:40, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
The Guardian article (which appears to have been written by Linda Grant except for the part by Dworkin) does show Dworkin's opposition to superiority by Nazis and by Jewish men in Israel and her proposal is for a defensive purpose, but that does not alter the crux of her proposal as reported and the feminism and equality article did not claim that she wanted global rule by women over men, that Israel should be that women's state, or that women were perfect or were biologically superior, but that they should have the superior role in governing one future nation populatable by both genders.
I should be able to get hold of the other sources over the next week or so.
Nick Levinson (talk) 17:39, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
All of that is true, but the sentence "a minority of feminists have argued for superiority of women over men as a form of government" sounds like some feminists want women to take over the world as matriarchal dictators. Obviously that isn't the case (unless one were to take SCUM Manifesto as a serious proposal). My point is that the nuance of wording is very important here, as it can give people a very misleading impression. I'm fine if it says that some feminists want to set up _a_ women-ruled society or _some_ women-run institutions, but I don't want to give anyone the impression that radical feminists are bent on taking over the world and subjegating the male gender. Despite what the MRM would like the world to believe, even radical feminists oppose oppression, regardless of what gender is imposing it. Kaldari (talk) 04:48, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
I clarified on quantity; Dworkin wanted one (and the SCUM Manifesto is probably not treated as a founding document even by most radical feminist activists). Matriarchy implying a requirement for motherhood (i.e., child-free women need not apply) when that is not in the sources (some authors have applied that rubric but these have not), I rephrased. I re-added the citation to p. 214 but corrected it; I probably cited it originally as a page for qualifying information but since then elsewhere I've used a clearer way of indicating that some pages are supplemental or qualifying; thank you for drawing my attention to that and I should have been clearer the first time. And, minor, I hardened spaces.
Chesler in 1972 raised questions premised on at least superiority in Women and Madness (ISBN 0-385-02671-4): "Why has modern feminism surfaced in America? Why has so startling, so simple, so dangerous, so elite an idea as female humanity, or equality, or supremacy, or sexuality, surfaced as a potentially mass movement?" (P. 239 (emphasis so in original).) Supremacy is more intense than mere superiority; basically, something can be superior to that which is superior to something else but nothing can be superior to that which is supreme. She wrote that "women who are feminists must ... dominate public social institutions .... I don't think that 'equality' ... will be possible for women who have never experienced full participation or supremacy in public institutions as men have." (P. 299 (emphasis so in original).) I think the 2005 edition (not handy right now) is similar.
I have more checking to do, probably this weekend.
Nick Levinson (talk) 16:34, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
One book finally reappeared on a shelf at a library: Chesler's 2005 edition of Women and Madness, which is similar to the 1972 edition. It differs in places, such as in positing that women must dominate "public and social institutions" (p. 347) (in 1972 she wrote of "public social institutions") and that she doesn't think that equality will be possible for women who have not experienced "supremacy in public institutions as men have" (id.) (in 1972, she allowed for "full participation or supremacy ..." but in 2005 only supremacy could fulfill her requirement).
Dworkin said this, which I don't plan to add to the article but is relevant to understanding her views: ".... The cure to this problem is political. That means taking power away from men. This is real stuff; it is serious stuff. They have too much of it. They do not use it right. They are bullies. They do not have a right to what they have; and that means it has to be taken away from them. We have to take the power that they have to use us away from them. We have to take the power that they have to hurt us away from them. We have to take their money away from them. They have too much of it. Any man who has enough money to spend degrading a woman's life in prostitution has too much money. He does not need what he's got in his pocket. But there is a woman who does. [¶] We need to take away their social dominance—over us...." (Dworkin, Andrea, Prostitution and Male Supremacy (from speech (1992)), in Life and Death (N.Y.: Free Press, [1st printing?] 1997 (ISBN 0-7432-3626-2)), pp. 149–150 (page break between "it." & "They") (title per cover I: Life and Death: Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War Against Women; title per p. [iv] (copyright page) (Library of Congress Cataloging-In-Publication Data): Life and Death: Unapologetic Writing on the Continuing War Against Women) (information on speech per p. [vi] (Publication Data)).)
Dworkin also said, "Prostituted women are all on the ["social"] bottom.... [E]ven men who are prostituted are above the bottom". (Id., pp. 148–149 (page break between "prosti-" & "tuted").)
Nick Levinson (talk) 17:15, 25 November 2013 (UTC) (Clarified being done & corrected quoted punctuation: 17:24, 25 November 2013 (UTC))

Echols and content accuracy[edit]

A recent edit replaced a quotation with a statement on the ground of "actually reflect[ing]" the source. The source's first sentence appears to contradict the new paraphrase; if it does not, that's because of other content on another page(s), for which a page citation would probably be necessary. Radical feminism generally posits the opposite of the new paraphrase or combines both views. The prior quotation was from a critique of "formal equality with men" under liberal feminism typified by the pro-mainstreaming NOW position and the critique said that "the fundamental problem ... [was] women's subordination within the home". The pre-edit quotation is both accurate and consistent with the context. I propose to restore the quotation. The new paraphrase probably needs a source, although one probably can be found in some book or other. I'll wait a week for any response. Nick Levinson (talk) 21:07, 14 September 2013 (UTC) (Clarified: 21:13, 14 September 2013 (UTC))

Done. Nick Levinson (talk) 17:54, 22 September 2013 (UTC)



This concerns a sentence in the first para of the "Superiority" section, which includes the following: / ... to place "the 'feminine'./ (/ref. Davis/)

I guess I miss to see where or how the feminine is placed; grammar seems to indicate that something is missing, as do the quote marks, with the incomplete " ' ' series. I (briefly) looked up Davis, and didn't find anything similar in the referred pages 145 - 146. Perhaps some intheknowerati could have a look?
T (talk) 19:46, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
I went back to where I added the content (it's easier than getting the source again). Someone edited this article recently and deleted part of what made the quotation meaningful. I take the edit in good faith, but nonetheless I restored. Thanks for catching it. Nick Levinson (talk) 20:43, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

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