The Female Perspective: Humanist Versus Feminist: Is One Better Than The Other?

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

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*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Teach Humanism.
Teach Humanism.

Recently, Sarah Jessica Parker went on record with Cosmo magazine as saying that she is no longer a feminist but a humanist.

“As [playwright] Wendy Wasserstein would say, I’m a humanist. I’m enormously appreciative of the work that my mother’s generation did. We are the beneficiaries of a lot of disappointment, heartache, discouragement, and misunderstanding. But I see a lot of people trying to sort out their roles. People of color, gays, lesbians, and transgenders who are carving out this space. I’m not spitting in the face or being lazy about what still needs to be done — but I don’t think it’s just women anymore. We would be so enormously powerful if it were a humanist movement.” ~Jezebel

I read and re-read that paragraph a couple of times, the entire time nodding my head in total agreement. Why? Because darn-it, she is totally right. We would be enormously powerful if we all banded together to forward the cause of humanity. Not just one small section of it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not turning my back on my ladies and their needs, I am instead opening my arms up to everyone who needs support and equality, minorities, homosexuals and the transgendered community. If we all simply chose to work together instead of separating ourselves from one another, imagine how much louder, how much more powerful our voices could be?

SJP hit it right on the nose.
SJP hit it right on the nose.

They could shake the world.

And then they’d shape the world.

YES!
YES!

What Is Humanism?

I’m SO glad you asked!

Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism). ~Humanism as defined by Wikipedia

Isn’t that a beautiful idea?

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be a feminist and I am proud to fight for my ladies wherever I can but at the same time, I see the division, the cracks, in the feminist community and it seriously bums me out. How are we ever going to accomplish our goals if we divide off into various factions? How are we going to come together and fight for our beliefs if we think a woman who wants to be a mother and a wife is somehow less than a feminist who is single, childless and working a high-paying job? Am I less of a feminist because I ask my boyfriend for advice? For comfort? For support?

NO.

If you stand up for women. For their rights and their equality in the male-dominated work force and beyond, than you are a feminist. You are a feminist whether you have kids, don’t have kids, work a corporate job or go to school full-time. There shouldn’t be levels of feminism. There shouldn’t be division.

What’s that old saying? “Together we stand, divided we fall,” and let me tell you, that’s completely true. I would be nowhere without the love and support of my family, friends and boyfriend. I would not be doing what I love every single day and I would not be able to do that without the blood, sweat and tears of the women who marched before me.

The thing is, if we joined forces with all the other equality movements out there we could be louder and stronger than any of us have ever been before. It seems so simple when I write it but at the same time, as we all know, it is much harder than that. We as a species need to learn that accepting help is okay, respecting others ideas is great and working together is Earth shattering.

I am proud to be a feminist but I am even prouder to be a humanist.

Capt. Picard knows where it's AT!
Capt. Picard knows where it’s AT!

What do you think? Is one better than the other? Do you believe in division or togetherness?

Sound off in the comments!

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