I hate gender stereotypes and prejudices in general, and I am a definite believer in many so called 'feminist issues'. However, I feel a small minority of feminists have gone too far, past fixing unjust treatment and harmful stereotypes against females and going further to a pro-female viewpoint that implies that males/masculinity/testosterone is inherently harmful or wrong; basically arguing females are inherently superior and thus encouraging genderist polices so long as they are pro-female. While this is the minority of feminist they can sometimes be the most vocal and thus I feel slightly tainted the term by causing some to associate the term with the more extreme pro-female viewpoint.

Meanwhile, I also hate gender roles and stereotypes that harm males as well. I don't claim for a second that males have it worse then females on average, but I do believe there are gender stereotypes harmful to males exist and should also be addressed. However, I definitely don't want to refer to myself as a Men's Rights Activist, who are even more notorious in cultural perception for going beyond trying to fix actual inequalities that affect men towards pro-male genderist view points.

*I'm speaking only to culture perceptions I've seen, I am not making any generalized statement about actual mindset or intent of feminists or men's right activists here!

I believe stereotypes and genderism should be removed, rather they are harmful to males or females (or in many cases both at once). I also don't believe there is any reason that addressing gender issues for one sex should limit the ability to address issues for the other sex. Is there a good term for someone with this view. A sort of gender-neutral version of feminists/MRA that is looking to address sexism of any manner without prioritizing one sex's issues over another; and definitely not encouraging unfair treatment in favor of one sex over the other.

  • 3
    The original feminists had exactly the goal in mind to be recognized as equals and get equal rights. The meaning changed to radical feminist at some point.
    – GoDucks
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 16:34
  • I think the term is non-sexist, but that is just my interpretation of your last paragraph. Why are you asking this question on EL&U? Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 16:34
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    It's worth noting that any term like this is going to have its own politicized overtones - an attempt to distance yourself from the term "feminism" is vulnerable to being read (even if wrongly) as a rejection of all forms of feminism, rather than only of the "small minority who have gone too far", or perhaps as an endorsement of the views of people who have already used whatever term you end up with, whom you may not actually agree with on what is "too far".
    – Random832
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 17:29
  • You use the terms genderist and genderism in your OP. What's wrong with non-genderist?
    – WS2
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 17:40
  • Obviously it would be a "sexist".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 18:28

4 Answers 4


Egalitarianism works, though if speaking about socioeconomic factors (which always get tied in with gender inequality), usage may implicitly skew more to the side of economic egalitarianism (i.e. "the 99%").

You could specify further with "gender egalitarianism."

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    Maybe gender equality advocate/proponent to go along with that? I'm not a native speaker...
    – user98955
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 16:58

I would go with anti-sexist, defined as "One who is against or opposed to sexism; one who does not think that either sex is superior to the other; one who considers the sexes to be equal" (here).

  • This is a good answer given my question, but I'm not sure it fits my personal desire. I really want to include the concept of being opposed to gender stereotypes, which are not always as simple as preference to one or the other. For instance, while admittedly this isn't something that bothers me nearly as much, the presumption that males are associated with blue and females with pink is a stereotype that isn't necessarily showing preference to either sex; however, I still would be opposed to anyone that complained because a girl was given a blue item or a boy's favorite color was pink...
    – dsollen
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 19:56

Whether one don't want to see any extravagant claims of a gender but only a human being then it's logical to merely think about humanism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism


Firstly, let's preface this discussion with acknowledgement that the definition of feminism and whether it is a gender specific ideology is a highly controversial issue.

Some feminists or political commentators would make the counter argument, that despite the term 'feminism' having a gender specific root, the ideology itself concerns itself with gender equality issues for all genders.

This isn't an entirely unreasonable argument - the label itself can be seen as a historical artifact derived from the fact that it were women, being the marginalised gender, driving the movement.

On the other hand, people such as yourself would argue that the gender specific term indicates that the ideology is gender specific.

The problem with either side of the 'what feminism really is' debate, is that it's essentially a No True Scotsman fallacy, with both sides attempting to draw the lines around what constitutes a a feminist or feminism in order to support their world view.

Like with a the definition of a 'Scotsman', with feminism we do need to accept that definition of anything is always going to be a bit grey. For example is a Scotsman someone who was born in Scotland? What about the child of two Scots who was born elsewhere? What about someone who has lived in Scotland for 40 years?

Ultimately, I would suggest that the term feminism has in a way lost any concrete definition, and could be interpreted to mean any of the following things:

  • The idealogy of identifying as a feminist. Not a tautology! The idea being that identifying as a feminist is a political act itself.

  • A collection of political beliefs regarding gender issues, the collection which of depending on who you talk to.

As far as alternatives to feminism go, there's:

humanism - a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values;

a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason

For example, Meryl Streep recently said she doesn't identify as a feminism, but as a humanist.

The problem here is that you still get the same 'no true scotsman' issue, with some feminists (here I mean 'feminist' to mean 'people who identify as a feminist') arguing that whether she identifies as a feminist or not, Meryl Streep is still a feminist.

So there's a fundamental problem that any attempt that use any alternative term to discuss progressive gender politics will always been seen as a politically contrasting ideology to existing feminism.

I would suggest the term:

gender progressive - It's neutral, specific about it's political direction (progressive rather than conservative), while able to be encompassing of range of gender issues. It's more specific to gender issues than 'humanist' which seems like a sneaky way avoid the feminism question by piggybacking on an existing ideology.

  • while I understand your point about some feminists arguing that feminism is not limited to female rights, and prefer that vision of feminism myself. I was asking for a term to get around cultural biases that those not involved in such a movement may have. However one defines feminism actually doesn't matter to that, regardless of it's definition TvTropes has a straw feminist and some refer to 'fem-nazis', rather or not these are justified I want to avoid a term associated with them. Basically, it's not about feminism itself, but how those ignorant to it may view the term.
    – dsollen
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 20:04
  • @dsollen Well - you could use the term 'gender progressive' as I suggested. The problem always is, is that someone might say 'Why not say feminism?'
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 21:31

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