When is a Feminist Not a Feminist?

Paula Wright

This essay was first published as a guest blog by Lee Jussim on his Psychology Today Rabble Rowser blog here 

Feminism: The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes.”

Egalitarianism: The doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.”

The two quotes above are sourced from the Oxford Dictionary. On the face of it, feminism and egalitarianism appear to converge. Indeed, it is not unusual to hear feminists appeal to this dictionary definition whenever they are challenged. I will call this the “reasonable person” defence, e.g., What reasonable person could possibly disagree? The point being, they can’t. Not if they want to remain reasonable in the eyes of others,

But similarly, what reasonable person could disagree with egalitarianism? Both premises are highly reasonable.  But as numerous studies and surveys have demonstrated, a majority of people support egalitarian values but do…

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