- “Feminism as an institution must be for the benefit of women only”.
- “I don’t see why someone would take issue with the idea of feminism as being an institution centered around women only”.
Is feminism for women only or is it centered around women? These sound like two mutually exclusive characterizations.
In the first case, if the benefits are for women only, then no one else can benefit. In the second case, benefits can be more widely spread to those on the periphery, i.e. men and society in general.
Actually, I (like Karen) don’t think your first statement is correct and from what you are writing, you also don’t think it is correct. That’s why I thought you might want to change that statement. If women are treated as equal to men (by that I don’t necessarily mean the same as men) then everyone benefits.
This is an important distinction, however trivial it might sound. There is a misandrist contingent of 4th wave feminism that creates the anti-feminism movement. And the anti-feminism movement uses statements like “for women only” to discredit feminism and recruit. It is a counter-productive and divisive aspect of feminism. From your dialog with Karen, you do not appear to adhere to the woman only camp. Your initial comment gave us the impression that you do. I think this is why she replied and it’s why I followed the thread.
I’m always ready to have a public debate with a feminist I don’t agree with, but Karen did a fine job of determining you are not one of them in spite of first impressions.