Why I’m against “Women’s Rights”

No, there is no typo in my title.

Yes, I know that this article is written for a “women’s rights in the middle east” website.

I’m against the expression “women’s rights” because it implicates in itself an implicit differentiation between men and women at the level of their rights. Merely labeling these rights “women’s” highlights an originally non-existent distinction between the two.

International conventions came up with a chart for “Human Rights” and not men’s rights.

 I believe that not only women should fight to implement the respect of their rights but rather that individuals in general; women and men, should become aware that basic conditions of existence – not to over use the term “rights” – which have been conventionally established as rightful to all human beings are only being provided, in some countries, to half of what makes up “Humans”.

A rather popular quote which I have been reading frequently on many social media outlets is “women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition”. I think that whoever uses this quote to bash feminism not only lacks knowledge in the sociological definition of equality and it’s dissimilarity from equity but also is trying to uses the connotation of this quote in a non fitting place.

The concept of equality is viewed in nuanced forms by several sociologists. It could be defined as a treatment promoting an undifferentiated access to advantageous social positions to individuals regardless of their social origin. It can also be viewed as bringing closer conditions, lifestyles and salaries of individual in any community.

Equity, on the other hand is a consequence of equality and of equality of opportunities. It can be even seen as an equalizing inequality since it is based on a just equality where treatment is proportionate to the situation of individuals and where the situation of individuals is the result of their own merit and not that of unfairness in providing their basic needs at the start and in respecting their rights.

Neither of the previous definitions highlights, sociologically nor humanitarianly, any sex-based condition for the concepts.

Those who say that women lack ambition if they strive to be equal to men should realize that if doing so would ensure their most rudimental necessities economically, professionally, politically and socially then they should keep striving. Instead of these people viewing feminism as an attempt by women to “lift themselves up” to the grade of men, they should start viewing it as an attempt to abolish any sex-based, irrational and illogical, bias.

That being said, unfair criticism of feminism should be more thought through and both genders should start militating, not to defend “women’s rights”, but to implement a fuller application of “Human rights”.

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  1. Nice Marianne! But i honestly do believe that there is a particular need for fighting for women’s rights in a broader fight for human rights. for ex, a law against domestic violence in Lebanon, is particular to preserve women from being beaten and killed!

  2. I understand what you mean but I do not agree. Women, especially in the Middle East, are repressed as a ‘group’, and discrimination is obvious at all levels, both in private and public spheres. Men do have more rights and privileges. So, even if we fight for human rights, there is a specificity to fight for women’s rights. You can be for Human Rights in general and work specifically for women’s rights and vice-versa. There is no conflict between the two. On the contrary! So why be ‘against’? You can just say I’m for HUMAN RIGHTS without saying ‘im against women’s rights’! and obviously, you seem like a feminist, so you are for women’s rights too.

    1. Of course I’m not against them but the expression was to make a statement! Of course I know that women fighting for their rights is natural because women specifically are the ones deprived from their rights and are repressed as a group. However, my article was written for non-feminists slightly more than it was for feminists because my intention was to paint feminism in slightly different colors to remind people of its importance.

  3. When a woman spanks a man that is called teasing
    When a man spanks a woman that is called sexual harassment
    When a woman sends a message on Facebook for the first time it’s called flirting
    When a man sends a message on Facebook for the first time it’s called stalking
    Conclusion: Meninist will now join feminists for equal rights! Long live spanking!

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