"I need feminism because… too many of my friends believe in equality but don’t think they are feminists"
This is probably because too many of your friends have a better understanding of what real equality is. I will say it again, in developed societies we already have equal rights and opportunities and are protected by law, and if either gender feels like they are being discriminated against they have equal right to take action by law. But feminism isn’t content with just equality and is actually spreading some really damaging propaganda…
I will start from the beginning: Every single early human society that has been documented or observed has followed the same pattern: Men hunt and protect, women care and nurture. That isn’t a coincidence. That is human nature. Those are our hardwired instincts. Those instincts (and other biological reason) are what give men and women their own physical and emotional differences. There are certain traits, behaviours, thoughts and actions that are typical of the male gender (typical, but not exclusive). Likewise, there are certain traits, behaviours, thoughts and actions that are typical of the female gender (again typical, but not exclusive). These all came from our instincts that helped us survive through the early stages of the human race.
Obviously the human race has progressed far enough to no longer need or rely on such a system of gender roles to survive, but that doesn’t mean we have evolved out of that instinctive set of behaviours. The majority of men are still going to want to be bread winners and protectors to support the family. The majority of women will still have that maternal instinct to care and nurture for their family. It isn’t because either party are oppressed or oppressors, it’s just how female and male genders have been hardwired.
The thing I dislike about new wave feminism is that it demonizes these typical male and female dichotomies and calls them evil. The only evil is in the individuals who choose to judge each other based on gender stereotypes (For example, those who laugh at men who bake, or those who undermine women in the construction industry).
Feminism is going so far as to pressure women into feeling that they need to be in male dominated areas of study, work and politics otherwise they are somehow being oppressed. It also guilt trips those who want to be stay at home mothers and tells them that their desires are the result of male oppression. It then shames men for simply being the gender majority in certain areas of study, work and politics. Feminism is spreading the ideology that being a woman in a male dominated area is feat deserving of more respect than an equally competent man in the very same situation.
My view on gender is much like the Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang: “Yin and Yang are actually complementary, not opposing, forces, interacting to form a whole greater than either separate part.” Yes we are equal, but for beautifully different reasons. Stop telling me I have to be more like a man to be more of a woman.
*Please don’t misinterpret this and presume that my argument excuses males who abuse females because of their “instincts” (I know someone is going to try bring it up). That is taking my argument out of context and twisting it to fit your own agenda.