This is an essay about why feminism is wrong, why it has always been wrong, and why it cannot help but be wrong.
At best, feminism can only ever be half-right.
It has nothing to do with women; plenty of men identify themselves as feminists too and all my criticisms here apply to them as well. It is a mistake to blame women for the problems of feminism, as I've seen some people do. Gender isn't the problem. Ideology is.
Ideology is like a cheat sheet that always has the answer to all of life's problems. Except it's rarely ever the correct answer. It's just the easier, lazier, more emotionally satisfying answer. The answer you want to be true. But an idea that is rooted in a fundamental error can never magically become right (no matter how offended its adherents act when you call them out on it). Whenever feminists have been right about something, it has been despite their ideology, not because of it.
How can I say that, considering all the unspeakable institutionalized sexism we've had in the past, which feminism has made great strides in eradicating?
As I've read essays written by feminists, talked with them, and watched their videos on YouTube, what I've realized is that, most of the time, I don't disagree with their facts. What I disagree with is their conclusions. They will show you point A, point B... and then Point F. Well, no. Point C logically comes next. Except, when you have an ideology to make all your conclusions for you, Point F is always the end point, and you only have to vaguely hint at that direction to triumphantly conclude it.
Feminism is far from unique in putting the conclusion before the evidence. "I had terminal cancer, but then I bought the Zambeezy Prayer Beads and my cancer miraculously disappeared!" "The subprime mortgage crisis is proof that banks need more deregulation." "Homosexuality is unnatural, therefore it is evil." "I found a quarter on the sidewalk; this must be my lucky day!" We all do this. We all think this way. We are all bad at drawing logical conclusions because our brains evolved to prioritize drawing up patterns quickly rather than accurately. So this is a universal human trait. The problem is, ideologies reinforce this behavior and try to make it immune to questioning.
What is the ultimate conclusion of feminism? Equality, of course! They will tell you, and TELL YOU, that feminism is all about gender equality. And if you disagree with them then you just don't understand feminism or you need to read their literature or you're judging them by the actions of their extremists or blah-de-blah-de-dah. I've heard the exact same gobbledygook rationalizations from Christians, Muslims, Mormons, social conservatives, free-market capitalists, hippies, conspiracy theorists and other miscellaneous crackpots. Their arguments and argumentative style is so similar, after a while it's like they're all speaking in the same voice.
My disagreement with these ideas is not because I don't understand them, it's because I do. And what I see I don't like.
(Also, FYI: All groups are judged by the actions of their extremists. Any group that thinks they're somehow unique in this regard needs to stop whining and maybe do something to corral their nutballs...)
I've heard it said, "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."
Well, no. Actually, feminism is the radical notion that women are victims.
All women, all victims, all the time.
And why? Because of the Patriarchy! You know, the system whereby men rule the world and women are subjugated and objectified? The reason why women have always been voiceless for thousands of years? The culture-wide, inescapable, godlike explanation for all of society's ills and evils? Kind of like the Illuminati, or the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy? (I kid! I kid!)
Though the truth may surprise you: I Don't Deny That Patriarchy Exists!
What I do deny is that it's the last word on the subject.
I've heard some feminists mention Kyriarchy, which I think is a bit closer to truth because it acknowledges that there can be various different levels and layers of oppression depending upon gender, race, sexuality, religion, etc. However, both ideas fail because they ignore the fact that almost everything in nature balances.
Patriarchy is only one facet of the entirety of human interaction. When it comes to gender, society has deeply-ingrained roles that formed through millions of years of physical and social evolution, even before humans existed. These gender roles aren't forced upon us by society. That's ridiculous. We exist BECAUSE of them. Every difference between men and women exists because evolution selected for it. It was the set of behaviors most likely to increase the survival rate of the species during prehistoric times.
Problem is, this isn't prehistoric times anymore. We have made ourselves a world where we are no longer at the mercy of the weather, huge predators or most diseases. We're safer now than we have ever been in all our existence. Yet we are still wired to exist constantly in Emergency Survival Mode.
The gender roles evolution wrote for us have given both benefits and drawbacks to both genders. Society treats men like adults: men get more power but are also expected to face greater risk and die whenever the greater good determines. Society treats women like children: we instinctually want to protect them from harm, which often results in them being 'kept in their place' with men making their decisions for them. And both genders are ridiculed and persecuted for acting like the other. A woman trying to perform a traditionally-male role will be patronizingly shooed away like an annoying little kid, while a man who is victimized and asks for help is ignored and told to 'suck it up'. (I won't even go into the shitstorms caused by the differences in how we perceive and pursue sex.)
If you're a woman, you're treated like an object: only there for ornamentation and reproduction.
If you're a man, you're treated like an object: disposable.
To believe that the Patriarchy is purely 'bad for women, good for men', is to be willfully blind to half the equation. Men's Right's Activists (MRAs) will point out example after example of how men get screwed over as bad or worse than women in our supposedly paradise-for-men culture. Women aren't forced to register for selective service; fathers are treated like dirt by family courts and divorce courts; society ignores men who are the victims of domestic violence or rape; there are battered women's shelters but no corresponding support for men; juries are far more likely to convict a man than a woman for similar crimes; female circumcision is considered a human rights violation but men are laughed at for daring to suggest that mutilating baby boys might also be wrong; men are more likely than women to be homeless, to commit suicide, to die in war, to die in work-related accidents, and are more likely than women to be the victims of ALL types of violent crime.
But as feminists will tell you, "Patriarchy hurts men too."
Excuse me? You define the Patriarchy as a system which benefits men over women, then when that's demonstrated to be false, you still make the claim anyway?
The reality is, to believe in Patriarchy theory, you have to focus all your outrage on one gender's problems while doing everything possible to diminish or dismiss the other's. When bad things happen to women, it's a national emergency. When bad things happen to men, it's business as usual. (More on this later.)
Feminists will say that men simply can't see Patriarchy at work because they have on the blinders of Male Privilege. If you are the same race or gender of the oppressing class, you can't possibly understand what the oppressed go through. And that has some truth to it, certainly. We can never perfectly empathize with one another.
But the Male Privilege argument relies on the premise that women's suffering is unique. That, if you're male, nothing you've been through is equal to what a women goes through. This argument was elegantly laid waste to by a fellow on YouTube who said, in response to a feminist blogger's assertion that men can't know what it's like to be a woman and fearful of rape all the time, that he spent three years stationed in Kabul and returned to the states with PTSD, afraid of every stranger around him, afraid of every car driving too close to him, and having to hide in the basement every 4th of July like a terrified dog. But he's a man. So of course he can't understand how hard it is to deal with the fear of being a 21st century American woman.
It is stated as if it's a fact: white males run the world. Dare to disagree and feminists will say you're chock full o' privilege. Well, I'm going to disagree. I'm white. I'm male. Do I rule anything? Shit no. Why? Because I'm DIRT POOR. I won't deny that there's likely privileges to my race and gender that I'm probably not even aware of. But nothing offsets any other kind of privilege like poverty. The single biggest gap between oppressor and oppressed is economic. Who truly runs the world? RICH PEOPLE. Just try to argue that my pale penis exerts the same influence on the world as seventy million dollars would.
Privilege is a bigoted argument. It exists as an excuse to ignore criticism. 'Oh, you're from an oppressing class? Too bad! Nothing you have to say has merit!' It presumes that everyone of a group all thinks the same. Funny, we don't tolerate that when racists do it.
There's a lot of bigotry that creeps into feminism. Has it ever occurred to you to wonder WHY there are battered women's shelters in the first place? I fully understand why someone who's been the victim of violence, especially from someone close to them, would want to flee to a safe place and feel protected. But why do these places turn away men and boys in need of help? Are women unable to realize that all men aren't abusers? Would a white victim of violence be taken seriously if they asked to go to a shelter where no black people were allowed? Because black people remind them of crime too much? Would we even allow a Holocaust survivor to request that their landlord not rent out to any Germans? Are these questions making you uncomfortable?
There is a danger in accepting at face value that something is good, simply because a majority says that it is. Raising awareness for breast cancer is good, right? Pink ribbons and survivor walks? I understand why there is so much talk about breast cancer. Before Betty Ford publicly admitted to having it herself in the 70s, it was a taboo subject. Awareness of it needed to be raised. But now, breast cancer receives the lion's share of all cancer funding, despite it's relatively high survival rate. Four times as many people die from lung cancer, yet lung cancer gets only ONE EIGHTH the funding breast cancer does per death. Why? Because a movement with a noble aim outlived its usefulness. Breast cancer awareness had a goal, met its goal, then stayed around because the money was too good. Such is the case for a lot of good causes: the purpose evaporates but the structure is still there, ripe for misuse.
To give another example, is there any reason to have gay pride parades anymore? For fun, I guess, okay. But we're past the point where we need guys in fishnets marching down the street to force the mainstream to acknowledge their humanity.
Similarly, do we really still need feminism?
'Well of course!' some would say. 'Sexism still exists!' Yes, it does. But that's missing the point: sexism is always going to exist. We are a species hardwired to think in generalizations. We are a species with undeniable differences in how both genders think, feel and react to one another. We're a species that is clumsy as hell at being empathic. And we are a species with extreme fluctuations in behavior among individuals (meaning, we will always have assholes).
We will always have war, we will always have murder, we will always have bigotry, we will always have rape, and we will always, always, always fail to understand each other.
The solution is not, 'Give up because nothing can be changed'. And the solution is also not, 'Quixotically crusade to change everything anyway'. The solution is, 'Learn to choose your battles wisely'.
Not too many decades ago, there was appalling institutionalized sexism. Everything the feminists say about Patriarchy and male privilege used to be true. But the early feminists kicked a lot of ass and changed a lot of laws. Yet modern feminists seem to be unaware of that fact. It's not enough for them that sexual discrimination and harassment is no longer legal. They want it GONE. I can understand that frustration (I can't tell you how many times I've wished that willfully lying would cause people physical pain), but frustration doesn't change things. Wishful thinking Does Not Change Things.
Feminists have accomplished their most important victories. Women can vote, run for office, have kids out of wedlock, wear what they like, take any job they choose, get a higher education, be homosexual, and even buy dildos without getting arrested. But so long as even a little bit of the old sexist attitudes remain, they're unsatisfied. Like a kid on Christmas who barely waits after unwrapping one present to start on another one. The biggest enemy of feminism now is biology. Their biggest targets are the engrained, instinctual behaviors embedded in humanity, which will only change over a long, long period of time. But that's not good enough. Feminists want sexism ended NOW! Because they WANT IT!
The greatest victory it's ever possible to have over any kind of human behavior is 1) illegality and 2) near-universal societal condemnation. Until the point in time when we understand the brain enough to consistently prevent crimes before they happen, that is as good as it gets. Murder is both illegal and socially condemned. So is racism. So is being a jerkass to the disabled. Even the laws and attitudes against gays are rapidly changing for the better. As for sexism, I don't know of any workplace where discrimination against women is still legal, and I can think of very few stories (real or fictional) where a man treating a woman like shit is ever portrayed positively.
I am not saying everything's fine. I am not saying that we can just stop fighting sexism because there's nothing left to fight. No: I am saying that keeping around the old tactics is ineffective at best, and at worst, sexist in and of itself.
For instance, right now there are probably more women in positions of power than there ever have been before. It's not enough, say the feminists, there needs to be more. How? Legally force them in? Make a law that says every parliament and board room must be 50% male and 50% female? Is that moral? Is it possible that maybe time will do a better job of changing social attitudes than any law ever could? And I know you don't want to hear this, but is it possible that there may be some biological reasons why men and women might gravitate to different types of work in unequal numbers?
Feminism has yet to accept what the Rolling Stones knew: "You can't always get what you want." Unfair as that may be, it doesn't matter. Or to put it a little more reverently, there's the Serenity Prayer: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
(Yes, you heard right: big mean atheist Alex Reynard just quoted a prayer. Hey, it ain't ALL bullshit!)
The reality is, life sucks for everyone sometimes.
But for feminists, that's not true.
Remember how I said that under their ideology, every woman is a victim? Well, the flip side of that coin is that apparently, no one else is allowed to be.
I recently saw an essay describing how misandry is a myth; that every single instance of systemic male oppression is actually proof of misogyny! In other news: the sky is green and the grass is blue! This essay was one of the most repellently hateful, inhuman things I've ever read. This writer was so outraged by the claim that other people were suffering, she felt a need to not only invalidate their victimhood, but to steal it for herself. This is the thought process of a person devoid of empathy. The very fact that she chose to write this essay disproves it's point.
Why would someone be so insanely jealous of victimhood?
Because under the right circumstance, being a victim is actually a position of power.
A while ago, a YouTuber I really like received a torrent of condemnation for some admittedly-despicable things he'd said to a rape victim. I saw the quotes, I was shocked. They are horrifyingly ugly and insulting. But I refused to judge the situation because all the articles were only showing the same batch of quotes from him, not anything that was said to him. I told one person that I wanted to see the full context. They told me that context didn't matter; saying what he did to a rape victim was always unacceptable.
I don't need to see context?
And does being the victim of a certain crime automatically make you the good guy forever?
I'm sorry, but context is damn important. Always. It's totally possible that YouTube Guy was simply being a heartless bully to Rape Victim. But this was on a forum thread. Was anything said to him to provoke him? Was this a huge flamewar with everyone being as vicious as possible to each other? If that's the case, I think it changes things a little, don't you? If I say 'Fuck you!' to a stranger, doesn't it matter a lot whether they said 'Fuck you!' to me first?
Also, how do we know the person he insulted was really a rape victim? I'm sorry if I'm not allowed to ask that question, but I'm asking it anyway. Considering that this incident demonstrated how being a victim could grant you immunity in an internet debacle, it's conceivable that someone could simply claim to be a victim in order to gain that immunity, plus a legion of strangers ready to jump to their defense. This is the internet after all; the easiest place in the world to be something you're not. You'd think by now that people would be a little more skeptical of claims made in forum comments.
Starting to see how victimhood has its perks? Starting to see how someone who isn't really a victim of anything might gravitate towards an ideology that says they are? With all the freedom from responsibility for one's actions that comes with it?
I am not slamming actual victims here. I highly doubt that any real victim of a real violent/sexual crime would callously use what happened to them to such petty advantage. (And if any do, they can go to hell.) I am slamming people who will say 'You don't understand the trauma of rape!' to a person like me for writing an essay like this, then write a blog post about how some creepy guy hit on her at a party and she felt like he might have wanted to rape her: cue torrent of comments extolling sympathy. Even if that hypothetical incident really happened to that hypothetical person, being afraid of rape isn't the same thing as rape. It simply isn't. Thinking that you are in danger of being raped doesn't mean that you actually are. And expecting me to feel the same sympathy for you that I do a true victim... that's not going to happen. Your victimhood is not equal to theirs. Not even close.
The culture of victimhood that feminism fosters pisses me off because their definition of what a victim is doesn't match reality. You can be a victim simply by saying you are. A woman is a victim if she receives unwanted attention from a man she doesn't like. He is, in their terms, "Schrödinger's Rapist": maybe he will, maybe he won't.
Well, let's do a little experiment. According to FBI.gov, there were "an estimated 84,767 forcible rapes reported to law enforcement in 2010". Since they're only counting what Republicans would call 'legitimate rape', let's double the number to 169,534 to include things like date rape. And since feminists claim that most rapes go unreported, let's double that number again to 339,068. Fair enough?
Now, let's divide that by the U.S. Census' population estimate for the United States: 311,591,917. And since the FBI doesn't bother counting male rape victims, why should we? Let's cut that population in half: 155,795,958.5.
So, guess what percentage we wind up with?
Zero point two percent of women were raped in the United States in 2010.
Yeah, that's a perfectly legitimate fear you have. It's perfectly rational for you to look at any given man and worry that he'll rape you. While it's true that if you'd said you fear rape from black men specifically, you'd look horribly bigoted, but since you categorize 50% of your fellow citizens as potential rapists instead of 7%, why, that's not prejudiced at all!
I do not care how afraid of something you are if that fear is irrational. Remember the soldier with the PTSD? He asks his friends and family to not coddle him. He knows his fears are irrational and, by working hard to confront them, they slowly ease over time. He has the right idea. Period. Victims do not grow stronger from being surrounded by people who encourage them to let their fears control their lives.
Some people even police the web, demanding that "trigger warnings" be added to anything that mentions rape or domestic violence. These are not trained psychologists, they are people assuming what a trigger will be. Plus, most of them are getting offended on behalf of purely hypothetical victims. And I would bet that, most of the time, it's not done for the sake of helping victims, but for the rush of feeling morally superior. Even if their efforts are completely sincere, all they are doing is training victims to never let go of their trauma.
In Feministland, victims must be kept victims. And why would you ever not want to be one? When you're a victim, people treat you like a saint! If you work hard to grow past your trauma, you can't blame all your mistakes on it anymore! If you pick at your booboos instead of letting them heal, you can milk the sympathy forever! People will pamper you like a little child! Taking responsibility for your actions means acting like an adult! Yecch, who'd want that?
Not surprisingly, another thing feminists hate is what they call victim-blaming. Well, I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but sometimes victims are partially (or fully) to blame for the bad things that happen to them. That's reality. If you leave your valuables lying in plain sight in your car and they end up stolen, of course it's primarily the thief's fault for committing the crime. But it's also partially yours for making it so damn easy. If you walk along the railroad tracks with your mp3 player blaring, it might be terrible for you to get hit by a train and end up with your legs in your lungs, but you wouldn't be in that position if you hadn't put yourself there.
Am I saying that it is ever someone's fault they get raped because of how they look, dress or behave? Fuck no. That's what assholes like Limbaugh would say. That is genuine victim-blaming. Am I saying that it's partially your fault if you go to a party and let yourself get Ke$ha-drunk without letting friends or family know where you are, and the next morning you wake up in a place you don't want to be in? Fuck yeah I'm saying that. If you make the choice to incapacitate yourself for fun, you have given up control of your life. Whether you wake up at the bottom of a stairwell or in a sweaty bed, if you chose to raise your glass, you chose to put yourself in a bad situation.
I know a lot of people don't want to hear that. It can be hard, when you're suffering, to be told you're partly responsible. All of us remember when we were kids, some situation that left us blubbering with tears and our parents lecturing us about how we brought it on ourselves. That hurts like hell. Because it's supposed to. Because shame exists to teach us not to repeat our mistakes. If someone tries to protect you from feeling shame, they are not helping you. They are keeping you in a babylike state, preventing you from facing the consequences of your choices. It doesn't matter that sometimes facing consequences is hard. It doesn't matter that it causes icky, feel-bad emotions. Act like a grown-up and fucking do it. Or else you let yourself exist permanently in a state where all you do about your screw-ups is run to someone else so they can kiss your tears away and tell you it wasn't your fault.
Denying someone responsibility denies them power over their life. How does it empower anyone to tell them, 'Rape is NEVER the victim's fault'? By saying it's never the victim's fault, they're also saying that the victim had no responsibility in preventing it. The victim is helpless to do anything about it. Hey, getting struck by lightning or swallowed by an earthquake isn't anyone's fault either! Isn't it more empowering to say, 'Here's how you can keep yourself safe'? To tell someone that the direction of their life lies within their own hands?
I don't believe feminists actually want women empowered. Because a truly empowered woman wouldn't ask for anything from anyone else that she could get for herself. Feminists want attention. Not just from you, but from governments and donors. They will always want more laws, they will always want more funding, and they will always want more public sympathy so they can get more of the first two.
There are legitimate things a citizen should expect from their governments. But when a benefit is given to one group and not another, based on race or gender, I am not okay with that. There are sensible exceptions, certainly. Women should have their birth control covered by their medical plans. Laws regarding abortion should not be solely written and voted on by men. Women should not be afraid that getting pregnant will lose them their job. But when a man makes bad decisions and fucks up his life, he's not likely to ask the government to bail him out and get much more than a derisive laugh. The same should be true for women. A woman should be ashamed to get into college or a job because of gender quotas. A woman who has a baby she doesn't want should be told the same thing a man is told, 'Shoulda used birth control!' Women and men should receive equal protection from violence, and equal sentences when they commit a crime.
That's the reality of equality. Equal freedoms = equal responsibilities. If you want more rights, you ought to be willing to accept more obligations. Isn't that what any teenager's told by their parents?
Equality is not what feminists want. It doesn't matter how many times they say it; actions speak louder than words. The actions of feminism as a whole, not just its fringe radicals, shows their true character.
And it is one of infinite selfishness.
I simply do not see any evidence that the feminist movement is working for anyone's benefit besides their own. I've looked. I have seen nothing but short-sighted, greedy self-interest. I have seen a movement that doesn't care what the consequences are to anyone else, so long as they get what they want. But maybe I'm biased. Anyone is welcome to try proving me wrong. And it wouldn't take much. Just link me to examples of large amounts of mainstream feminists working together on an issue that does not benefit only or mostly women. Or show me one instance of feminists doing something that actually benefits men more than women, purely for the sake of righting an injustice. Show me proof that feminists are against all double standards, not just the ones they can't use to their advantage. Show me anything at all demonstrating that feminists care more about human suffering than women's suffering.
Because do you know what I see now?
'Me first! Me first! Fund my problems first! And don't you dare tell me about yours or I'll get offended! No one else could ever suffer as much as me! There is no problem facing humanity that doesn't impact me the most! Every man is against me and everyone else needs to save me! I'm just a blameless victim and I need to be taken care of! And if I don't get everything I want, it's just more proof of how oppressed I am!'
Feminism embodies the stereotypes it claims to hate. Their embrace of victimhood fosters more of the same, encouraging behavior that says, 'I am not the problem. Everyone else needs to change their behavior. Not me.' And when bad things happen to women, they must never be blamed for it. No acceptance of blame means no guilt, no self-reflection and no growth. Feminists want women to be able to act like children, but be treated like adults. And then they throw tantrums when anyone won't comply.
By focusing only on their own problems, they dehumanize the other half of humanity. And when they act as if it's oppression to suggest that they may ever be the cause of their own problems, they dehumanize themselves.
When you don't allow criticism, you don't allow yourself to learn. When you don't allow someone to be portrayed with all their faults, you are denying their personhood as much as if you'd portrayed them without virtue.
You know who else is fully empowered, loved by everyone, is never wrong, never gets in trouble for their mistakes and commands all sympathy when anything bad happens to them?
A Mary Sue.
That is what feminism reduces women to.
But nowadays, there's a change on the wind. There's a stranger comin' to town.
It's called the Men's Rights Movement.
And they are gaining ground. They are making people aware of the sexism that men have to deal with. They are compiling statistics. They are poking holes in long-established feminist arguments. Increasingly, I see MRA-written essays popping up on the web, and their videos getting overwhelmingly positive ratings on YouTube. People are getting sick of feminism and are glad to see someone finally standing up to them.
Sure, some MRAs whine and bitch and distort statistics and attack strawmen and use logical fallacies.
Gee, just like some feminists do.
Sure, some MRAs openly hate women, writing disgusting comments and threats on their forums.
Gee, just like the commenters at RadFem Hub who cheerfully discuss how nice it would be to commit genocide against all the world's men, including boys and even babies.
In fact, the more I think about it, there is not a single criticism feminists have thrown at MRAs that doesn't apply equally to them as well. And vice versa! Suddenly there's ANOTHER loud, rude, incredibly selfish movement devoted entirely to hogging all the attention for their own gender's problems!
Why, it's almost as if feminism and the MRM are mirror images of each other! Kissin' cousins!
You can guess why feminists hate them so much, right? Those goddamn men are cutting in on their action!
But I sit back and smile. Because as the men's right's movement grows in influence, and feminism increasingly shows its true colors in their fascist opposition to them, I think there's hope that the two groups might eventually reach a strange kind of balance. Not cancel each other out, but have their voices heard equally loud. As they should be. With two groups both selfishly bellowing for their gender to get the most governmental attention, maybe both sides will get a decent amount of what they want. Maybe eventually there'll be more female business and political leaders AND fathers will be treated the same as mothers in family court. Maybe women will feel safer from sex crimes AND men will feel safer from false sex crime accusations. Maybe abortion will be made fully legal and easily attainable for women AND men will have the same fairness extended to them by allowing them to financially separate from a child they don't want without facing the threat of debtor's prison. Maybe we'll even see pop culture change, so that women committing violence against men will be portrayed less often as comedy, and men aggressively pursuing women to the point of stalking and sexual harassment will be portrayed less often as 'romance'.
True equality. That'd be nice.
So no, I'm not a feminist. But only if I'm not a men's right's activist either.
Or I am a feminist. But only if I am also a men's right's activist too.
Both or neither; never only one. One half without the other is irreparably broken.
You cannot achieve gender equality by focusing only on one gender's problems. The selfishness of the movement is its fundamental lie. And it's right there in the name. Feminism. Not equalism, not egalitarianism. Nope; ladies first. The very same chivalry they claim is the problem. You cannot expect only half a problem to go away, to retain only the unfairness that benefits you.
Feminism as it is today embodies a particular Orwellian idea. If I may be so bold as to paraphrase: 'All humans are equal, but some humans are more equal than others.'
P.S. The wage gap. I have to mention it. It is one of feminism's most-used arguments and one I believed in for quite a long time. Until I thought about it a little. Men are paid more than women for the same work? Does that mean that there's some guy in almost every business who looks over all the paychecks and reduces all the women's' income? Surely that would be incredibly illegal, not to mention impractical. Oh wait. It turns out that the wage gap all but vanishes for women who are willing to do the same amount of work as men. Men, it seems, are more willing to put their career ahead of their health, relationships and sanity by working long hours and overtime. And if you're that masochistic, I'd say it's fair for you to bring home more money. Women are more likely to have a stronger commitment to self and family. So they spend less time at work and more time with people important to them. Hence, lighter paychecks. Certainly, sexism plays a role in some cases, but I think its simplistic to not consider that both explanations may be true.