First of all, on labels: I’ve chosen to identify with the label of “anarchist” despite the stigma around it. A common stereotype is that anarchists are teenagers going through an irrational rebellious phase, which, while there are some teenagers who wear a raggedy circle-A symbol on their hoodies and go around spraypainting it on things to appear “edgy”, that’s not a real anarchist. Forgive me for using the term “real anarchist”, but I’m talking about in the most basic sense that a “real” anarchist is a person who supports the abolishment of any ruling class, generally on a moral basis. The stereotype is just rebelling against authority because they feel like it.
That said, even though I’ve embraced the stigmatic label of “anarchist”, I am hesitant to adopt the label “feminist”. I thought at first it was due to its stigma, even though my values would probably define me as a feminist, but I’m not so sure that’s the reason.
Perhaps because the word “feminist” implies a preference for females, which is simply switching the paradigm into the opposite, but still wrong, direction. There should be NO gender preference, which is really what feminism is about, but I think that the word gives the wrong impression, to make no mention of the feminists who are, in fact, misandrist and would prefer women to be on top rather than to level the gender field.
As a proponent of non-aggression, voluntary interaction, a non-hierarchical world structure, and, most importantly, logic, feminism is implied by my values. Harassment, discrimination, or even simple assumptions based on any biological descriptor, including sex as well as race and age, are preposterous. Women do not exist to serve men, just as blacks do not exist to serve whites as slave owners seemed to believe. This is ancient, ignorant, presumptuous thinking.
There is certainly ancient, ignorant, and presumptuous thinking about men on the part of women as well, but not to the extent that it comes from men. As I’ve done some reading and participating in online dating websites, that’s where the disparity between sexes has become most obvious to me. It’s absurd how frequently men contact women to make crass comments about their bodies, or to tell them what they want to do to them sexually based solely on pictures posted on a website, or send unsolicited pictures of their genitalia, or, if they put on the appearance of a reasonable human being long enough to go on a date, then they often expect sex as a “reward” simply because they bought dinner and some drinks. On the other hand, about the only expectations you’ll get out of women are to open the door for them, pull out their chair, and pay for dinner, though, interestingly, feminists are often against these practices as well.
In essence, gender inequality is based in logical inconsistencies; that women, by definition of their gender, have roles and obligations to society, particularly to men. This brings me back around to anarchism, because the allegation that women have inherent roles and obligations to society implies the existence of the absurd “social contract”.
And going back to my original point, since this became more of a stream-of-consciousness rambling than anything, perhaps it’s best to coin a new label such as “humanism” or “equalism”, which may collectively oppose sexism, racism, ageism, and perhaps other -isms I haven’t thought of yet.
Or better yet, maybe I should just label myself a decent human being.