Why are people against Feminism?
Feminism; “The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” This is the dictionary definition of feminism and it sounds like feminism is a very essential part of modern life in the UK, as who would be against equality? However, despite this rosy definition there is a growing number of people who label themselves ‘anti-feminists’ or as part of the ‘sceptical community’ and I know what you’re thinking, “How could someone be anti-feminism, anti-equality, surely these individuals are nothing but hateful bigots and misogynists.” Well I hope to analyse these people’s arguments and see just why some are going against what is supposed to be the modern back-bone of gender equality.
Now, firstly, let me begin by explaining the 3 ‘waves’ of feminism. 1st wave feminism was the likes of the suffragists campaigning during the late 19th century and early 20th century right up until the 1st world war when after they finally given the right to vote along with the working classes for a stronger democracy in Britain. 2nd wave feminism was during the 1960’s to 70’s and their main goals were to get equality legislation into government for things like equal pay. Now, anti-feminists, for the most part, support the first two waves of feminism as they feel, as does most of western society, that the first two waves were necessary to ensure equality between both men and women. However, anti-feminist’s problem is with the current wave, 3rd wave feminism. The reason they feel this way is because they feel that is because they feel a third wave is not needed and that men and women are already equal within western society. However, anti-feminists main concern is with the way that feminists argue. They feel like they sometimes argue in bad faith and a lot of their arguments are unproven theories or myths that they are pedalling as facts. So with that, somewhat brief, introduction I will now go to analyse the most prominent feminist arguments through an anti-feminist lens seeing just why people are turning away from modern day feminism.
Debatably, the biggest feminist argument of the last couple years is the wage gap. According to http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk the gender wage gap is when a man and a women get paid differently, with the man being paid more, for the exact same work for a number of reasons going from “differences in caring responsibilities” to “outright discrimination.” For these reasons women are supposed to get paid less than men, how much you ask, well again according to http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk the gap, overall, for people working full-time it is 13.9%. Now, this would appear to be damning evidence that modern day feminism is not only needed but is essential for upholding the rights of women in Britain today. However, according to https://fee.org/articles/truth-and-myth-on-the-gender-pay-gap/ “The clear majority of gap is explained by skills, experience and preferences.” This meaning that the gender pay has everything to do with the choices that men and women make, such as women are more likely to go into professions such as nursing and men are more likely to seek a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and STEM jobs tend to pay more so the statistic is a reflection on the amount men and women make as a whole rather than individual men making more than individual women for the exact same work. Also, according to https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf, men worked an average of 8.2 hours whereas women worked an average of 7.8 hours, for full time employees which is a factor the Feminist Wage-Gap doesn’t consider.
Now, that would the Feminist wage-gap fairly debunked, however, this does not explain Feminism’s rampant unpopularity amongst young people.