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Egalitarianism is, technically speaking, a trend of thought that favours equality for all people. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term has two distinct definitions in modern English: either as a political doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights; or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people, economic egalitarianism, or the decentralization of power. However, in recent years it has been used by anti-feminists to justify their opposition to feminism and female quotas being on the basis of equality.
Relation to feminism
“”If you see someone proclaiming themselves as an "egalitarian" rather than a "feminist" run away as fast as you can. "Egalitarian" has become a buzzword anti-feminist MRAs use to pretend to be progressive. In their minds, everyone has an equal opportunity and therefore feminism (and other progressive movements) is unnecessary, rather than recognizing how not everyone gets an equal outcome out of that initial equal opportunity. Affirmative action of any kind is seen as discriminatory against the majority, rather than an attempt to correct centuries of bias against women and others.
Most feminists will argue that the reason "feminism" is used instead of "egalitarianism" when discussing gender inequality is that it focuses on women's issues – as they are the most affected by gender discrepancies – but at the same time not detracting from men's issues, often making analogies to the African-American civil rights movement and the LGBT rights movement. In short, feminism is a form of egalitarianism with a focus on gender issues.
However, more often than not, MRAs use "egalitarianism" as a way of promoting pro-MRA beliefs under the guise of equality, in the same way "Dr." David Duke promotes his racist garbage under the guise of civil rights for white people.
Another issue is that egalitarians are by definition feminists, as an egalitarian believes everyone is equal, and a feminist believes in equality for the sexes, meaning that feminism describes an egalitarian's belief on sexism. However, this doesn't always go both ways, as there are some transphobes in the feminist movement.
- Egalitarian | Define Egalitarian at Dictionary.com
- Egalitarianism - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- The American Heritage Dictionary (2003). "egalitarianism".
- John Gowdy (1998). Limited Wants, Unlimited Means: A reader on Hunter-Gatherer Economics and the Environment. St Louis: Island Press. p. 342. ISBN 1-55963-555-X.
- Dahlberg, Frances. (1975). Woman the Gatherer. London: Yale university press. ISBN 0-30-002989-6.
- Erdal, D. & Whiten, A. (1996) "Egalitarianism and Machiavellian Intelligence in Human Evolution" in Mellars, P. & Gibson, K. (eds) Modeling the Early Human Mind. Cambridge MacDonald Monograph Series
- "A scientist's view: why I'm an equalist and not a feminist". The Guardian. 2013.
- David Cameron justifies his feminism on the grounds of being an "equalist".
- Feminism article on RationalWiki. (Revision as of 05:06, 28 March 2016, in case text has changed.)
- Caroline Dorey-Stein. "Feminism: Why Not 'Egalitarianism' or 'Humanism'?" Progressive Women's Leadership. 24 September 2015.
- Melanie Mallon. "Bad Chart Thursday: Egalitarianism vs. Feminism" Skepchick.org. 29 October 2015.
- "You are a racist" – David Duke