Feminists Should Spend Time Advocating Men’s Issues – The Oxford Student
Image Description: A sign at a protest saying ‘The future is a woman’
PROPOSAL (Uri Shine)
At its core, feminism is the belief that discrimination against women must be eliminated and replaced with equal rights and opportunities for people of all sexes, and a feminist is one who holds this belief. In practice, the benefits of feminists spending time advocating for men’s issues seem to outweigh the costs.
Mostly, just because a person has a feminist belief, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they should even spend time at all actively advocating for gender equality. Let me explain why. The question of how people should act is the ultimate question of moral philosophy, discussed by Kant, Hume and famous YouTuber and Oxford University student Cosmicskeptic. One issue to be aware of is that many of us have a strong sensitivity to multiple different areas of social injustice, and therefore balancing our time fairly among various causes seems incredibly difficult to do. Elon Musk may be a feminist, but in theory it might be more effective for him to focus on building electric cars to tackle climate change. As a feminist, egalitarian, anarchist, vegan, anti-racist, pacifist, climate activist, how should I spend my time?
You might argue that each individual should be spending their time on matters that matter to them. Feminists who are particularly attached to feminism should prioritize it over other causes, perhaps including men’s issues. However, this approach seems to fatally disconnect actions from the magnitude of their impact. After losing a family member to a shark attack, a person can become deeply passionate about preventing similar deaths. However, due to the rarity of these events, their activism is likely to yield very little result, so they should not spend time activism of shark attacks. Likewise, feeling passionate about feminism alone does not seem to justify spending all of your time fighting for feminist issues, and none on other issues, including those relating to men. When deciding how to act, we must consider the magnitude of the impact that will follow our actions.
Born in Oxford, Effective Altruism is an organization and movement that strives to answer the question of how we can best use our resources to help others. In theory, a person might actually conclude that although they are a feminist, they should spend their time earning money to donate to the 9 million people who die of hunger-related illnesses each year. Conversely, they may have the position and skills to effectively create a change in the way women are treated, and therefore should focus primarily on feminism. Therefore, the question of whether a feminist should spend time advocating only women’s issues seems to depend on her skills and the effectiveness of her actions in achieving equal rights and opportunities for the sexes, for example. compared to its effectiveness in other policy areas.
Ultimately, in reality, most people rarely consider in depth what actions are most effective. It seems likely that there are often chances for those with feminist beliefs to stand up for women’s rights without too many opportunity costs, for example calling someone up to make a sexist joke or having conversations about feminism. while socializing with friends. Likewise, although women experience much more discrimination and inequality than most men, spending at least minimal time mentioning and highlighting men’s issues in practice appears to have a low opportunity cost. associated and a high degree of potential benefit. It could not only improve men’s issues, such as unfair treatment during custody battles and increased paternity leave, but would also be a valuable example for many men of what it looks like to a person. to show care and empathy towards all of them. suffering, whether or not they share the same sex.