We have been seeing a battle between many ISMs lately. People debate if the can use Schools of thought like Humanism, Equalism, Feminism interchangeably, while many mostly attack the dreaded F word — Feminism. It is assumed that the word is not as inclusionary as the other two. Well for that, let me walk you through the origins and meanings of these contentious words.
Humanism is the belief that human needs and values are more important than religious beliefs.
It basically says that humans should be rational, rather than superstitious or dogmatic. No, it does not mean seeking equality for all genders in any way, neither it opposes it. In its entirety the concept is way different than what people make it to be.
It is a belief of political philosophy that means social equality.
It is a broad term cutting through all forms of inequalities. It is an alternate form of egalitarianism. The basis of equality is not specified, as it it simply advocates for the equal treatment of all beings.
If these philosophies cover the ground THEN WHY FEMINISM ? Well, here is the answer.
it is a radical notion, (and a counter-culture) that believes in social, economic, political EQUALITY between sexes and genders by advocating the rights of those “specially oppressed under patriarchy”.
So unlike Equalism, it is based on the cognizance of gender disparity and unfair patrarchial practices that may affect one more than the other It belives that in order to reach he equalist way of living, we must first level the playing field. Itconsiders gender as the base to oppose inequalities
In conclusion, none of these theories contraidct each other on the face value. These are different ideologies which are open to personal interpretation. You can be a HUMANIST, EQUALIST, FEMINIST without contradicting the other.
It is just that, out of them all, FEMINISM is most the controversial because it opposes the foundation of misogyny and patriarchy which we all have internalised by now, and can’t seem to question.
Thus, don’t use either term to oppose FEMINISM, use them to strengthen it. And always know your lingo before using it!