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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Drop the 'ism'

Is part of the misconception of feminism being about the power of women and their pursuit of dominance over men drawn from the fact that it is an ‘ism’?

Other ‘isms’ apply to negative discriminatory ideas and behaviours, such as racism, ageism, ableism, sexism. As an ‘ism’ are people prone to misunderstand feminism – stemming from the very basic construction of the word.

Is anti-feminism, (as a term rather than the ideology that’s now been associated with the word), actually more descriptive of the movement than just ‘feminism’ alone? I.e. it challenges the systems in culture and society that oppress women, just as anti-racism challenges the systems in culture and society that oppress people of different races?

There are other movements described by ‘isms’, now gaining credence and a growing allegiance – such as humanism and equalism. Does the nature of these words ‘human’ and ‘equal’, explicitly inclusive as they are, negate the general belief that an ‘ism’ is bad?

3 comments:

Brad Tastic said...

I think the "femin" part sustained a very long, dedicated, and unfortunately successful (in many ways) attack. Sort of like the social-isms and anarch-isms.

Jackie said...

isms have done a great deal of good in educating the masses and identifying problems. but i think that the idea of combining an interlocking system of history/oppression/battles fought and won into one little bitty word is kind of belittling.

ed said...

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