What is the difference between Feminism and Humanism?

In my opinion, the only difference is that Feminism is biased and inaccessible to everyone.

When trying to spread its ideals to men and other women who are not as biased as a feminist is, it makes people angry and therefore does nothing for the spread of humanism, which is the true strive for equality.

Feminism seems useful to me only to a select group who share bitter experiences towards men. It is useful to have a support group to talk about things that are troubling you and how men have hurt you, but feminism is and always will be the biased and segregated from humanism which doesn't in and of itself help the humanist cause.

What are your own thoughts on the difference between humanism and feminism? Clearly one can be both, but is it right for someone pursuing humanism to pursue it in the name of feminism?

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Comment by Luara on August 6, 2014 at 4:32am

Humanism and feminism aren't the same, but humanism had better be feminist if it's to mean anything!

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 5, 2014 at 7:53pm

"One can be both, but is it right for someone pursuing humanism to pursue it in the name of feminism?"

Oh boy! You sound like a white, male, used to privileges and wrangle at the thought of giving up power and control to women who are fully as capable and as competent as men. I wonder how you would sound if the table were reversed and you had been the scion of centuries of put-downs, discounts, trivializations and discrimination?

That said, people defined by class, education, gender, race, or sexual orientation, have their stories to tell and their separate challenges to overcome. A clear sign of hubris is thinking that your lot is the norm and all others need to fit into the slot as defined by your interpretation. 

Yes, I am a radical feminist and some call me angry. You are damned right, I am angry. I am so angry I could grab your balls and twist them until they were like mashed potatoes and I could not care less if it hurt. My advice to you is to just get over it. It is I that have my challenges and some of the biggest challenges are the attitudes, beliefs, customs, traditions and values of men and women who buy into the myths of Abrahamic factions, and attempt to homogenize everyone, especially when the playing field is assumed to be level and it is not.

Now, as to humanism, there are many roads that lead to humanism. My road is the feminist road, others have class to overcome, a separate group has lack of education, more than a few have racial barriers, and then let us not forget those who have sexual orientation challenges. 

I am not interested in a hyphenated descriptor for me; no feminist-humanist, no class-humanist, no educated-humanist, no racial-humanist, no sexual-orientation-humanists. We enter the humanist door and we become a diverse group of people who have "a doctrine, attitude, or a way of life centered on human interests or values; especially :  a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason."

A group to which I am interested in participating with has a mixture of GLBQT, with people from different classes, who have different education histories, from different racial and national origins, and who have used different coping strategies to survive. I want to hear their stories, discover their hurdles, and celebrate the reality that we are all on this Earth together, trying to find a healthier, more compassionate way of being, valuing the reality of diversity.

Who am I to judge if a person is right or wrong to pursue humanism in the name of feminism or class, or education level, or race, or sexual orientation?" Frankly, it is none of my business how a person pursues humanism. Each has his or her reason, it is not my interest to question

Comment by Quills Witts on October 1, 2013 at 11:30pm

You can be a feminist and a humanist, you can be a humanist and a feminist, but the two are not the same and they are not interchangeable. They are also not mutually exclusive. Humanist doesn't mean what many people think it means. Humanism was a cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance that emphasized secular concerns as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome. It is the denial of any power or moral value superior to that of humanity; the rejection of religion in favor of a belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts. All good stuff, but not interchangeable with feminism.

Even if Humanism did mean equal rights for all humans, which it doesn't, there still needs to be a movement that has a focus on gender equality. Humanism in place of feminism implies that all genders/sexes have the same problems or needs in society. 

Comment by Johnny on November 10, 2009 at 4:04am
Your idea of my ide of choice, Fred, supposes that experiences all stop right now and new stimuli can't create new opinions. Obviously people can change their opinion and it is because of new experiences that they will interpret based on what they bring in their psychology.

I posted this in a different thread for a reason. I answered your feminist argument, so now let's move the choice one to my other blog please.
Comment by Johnny on November 9, 2009 at 10:08am
Wow! I have no idea how it got censored! I thought about it but then didn't because I wanted to leave it up as an example of how their future opinions are less credible due to the foul-mouthed mindlessness that was Ralph's comment.

They must have violated some kind of hazing rule that an admin saw
Comment by Gold Guy on November 9, 2009 at 8:43am
How do these posts get censored? Someone made a crude insulting attack on myself and Johnny. It was removed and so was my post in response. Similar thing happened in the other thread. I don't know if the blog owners did it or the management of A|N. Just curious. Although in another respect it sanitizes the discussion and one side of the debate appears gentile and just when they really are not. That is a downside, but then again maybe all this divisiveness is more destructive than helpful (hey, isn't that my original point about... oh let it go).

Maybe I've been too dogmatic myself. There are schools of thought that fall under the rubric of feminism that I completely agree with, those parts I think should be relabeled. I think Steven Pinker handles the topic well in "The Blank Slate." I don't have a problem with what Christina Hoff Sommers calls "Equity Feminists." She contrasts that with "Gender Feminists." It is the gender feminists that have in the past emphasized political analysis and have taken clearly an anti-science stance. But then I come back to "well then the equity feminists ought just call themselves humanists."

Anyway I don't want to stress people. I'm going to let this topic go unless someone makes uncalled for attacks.
Comment by Johnny on November 8, 2009 at 10:51pm
All rational people should never assume that they are right without constantly examining their beliefs based on reason, GG.

I'm now preoccupied on the issue of choice and I'm against everybody lol, so I don't think I'll be back to this debate. I'll be sure to look it up later to see how it turned out though!

Thanks for the input everyone!
Comment by Gold Guy on November 8, 2009 at 10:34pm
True. I could be wrong. Don't think so, but I'm rational about it. All of my beliefs are subject to disconfirmation or change if the evidence and logic is compelling.
Comment by Gold Guy on November 8, 2009 at 10:11pm
I think we ought to be able to disagree. This site is about atheism, not feminism. There is no reason we should all agree on every issue. It also the case that we pretty much agree on everything, except whether feminism is based on hateful bias. Arguments must be judged on their merits. I'm sorry if it is so disturbing to you that some have a different view, but I don't see why that should drive you away. You don't have to read every blog on the subject, if you find it disturbing. You can just ignore posts by that yellow South Park character ;-)

Suppose I'm wrong and feminism is as wonderful as others say it is. Wouldn't a calm respectful discussion benefit all? I think I have been. I also think my arguments are disturbing because they are difficult to refute. You don't have to read them. You can just ignore my posts ya know. I read your post linked above. Didn't convince me in the least that my issues with the ideology of feminism should be a problem for you. People don't always agree. There is no reason for me to censor my beliefs just because you don't like them.
Comment by Gold Guy on November 8, 2009 at 8:31pm
Excuse me, but did you ever look up the definition of feminism?

Yes Rita D, I've read many definitions. I have come to the conclusion, that in spite of the positive spin feminists wish to place on their ideology, the reality is that the only distinguishing characteristic from humanism is the pro-female, anti-male bias. I made some strong arguments to that effect in this blog:


That blog is 18 pages and I don't wish to rehash that. So let us leave it at this, okay.

It's the concept that women should have the same rights as men.

You know, the bias is so pervasive that you don't even realize that you just made a very biased statement. That statement assumes, before any examination of the issues, that women do not have the same rights. Beyond that, the statement says nothing of inequalities that might impact the rights of men. Isn't that incredible! It is so insidious, once you accept the premise of feminism you lose all objectivity.

But yes, feminism is promoted as a positive concern for equality. As I said in the other blog, the idea of equality is not novel or unique to feminism. It is part of humanism. It is not what make feminism the ideology that it is. Feminism is sexism that soft sells itself by claiming the principles of humanism as their own, while quietly ignoring the fundamental bias of the perspective. The true definition of an ideology or philosophy is not what it has in common with other beliefs, but what makes it different.

Feminism - gender bias = humanism
Humanism + gender bias = feminism

I do not see that believing both genders should experience equal rights is one of bias.

Again, that is not what feminism is about. And if that is the goal of feminism it doesn't need to identify with one sex. Humanism already encompasses the ideals of equality and justice. Nobody is saying that is bias, but neither is that feminism. Feminism attempts to apply a political groups analysis to understanding the sexes. It is the wrong model. In addition, as the very name undeniably shows, it takes the side of one of the sexes.

I suspect men and women who are sour against feminism are (1) ignorant; or (2) biased; and/or (3) sour.

Every time someone disagrees with me I want say the same thing, but usually think twice ;-)



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