I was on Radio NZ Nights tonight, talking about why we still need feminism.
Click here for the MP3.
You seemed confused by the fact that many young women dislike the label “feminist” while being in favor of equality. I don’t think that’s such a great mystery. Feminism is about equality, but it’s not a secret that there’s a subset of feminists who in practice are almost exclusively occupied with *female* rights, and who have little or no enthusiasm for the areas of life where men face the biggest problems.
One such was mentioned in your radio-interview: Women now outnumber men 60% to 40% in most first-world nations, in a few countries they’re nearing 2/3rds of all university-students. That’s a *problem* not a *win* if the goal is equality.
I’m comfortable calling myself a feminist. And I do think women face significantly bigger problems than men in the first world. But we’ve come a long way. Today corrections are needed in both directions. If a woman face 2 problems, and a man face 1, then all 3 problems should be treated with the same respect. That’s what feminists sometimes fail to do. (instead they take the 2 problems of the woman seriously, while dismissing or ignoring the 1 problem of the man) And that’s why some say: “I’m for equal rights, but I’m not a feminist”
I missed a global perspective, but I guess the context was mostly NZ. If you’ve got friends in Iran, in Tunisia, in Kuwait or in Dubai, it’s not hard at all to answer why we still need feminism. You mentioned that african-american women in USA have complained that feminists have focused too much on white middle-class-women, while ignoring the problems faced by other women. I feel the same is true about international solidarity.
We don’t talk *nearly* enough about the situation for women in India, in the middle-east, in Africa and in many parts of Asia.
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