I self-identify as a feminist.I think human males in general should self-identify as feminists. If we want to live in a society that is as technologically and scientifically advanced as can be, we must support feminism.
By "feminist," I don't mean that someone who believes that males and females are identical. Obviously they aren't. And I don't mean that that there aren't innate biological differences, some of which will result in statistically significant differences in the general population. Such differences indeed exist.
By feminist I mean someone who supports identical rights for people regardless of gender. I also believe that we should encourage females to pursue whatever professions, occupations and hobbies that they want and of which they are capable and that we should discourage negative stereotyping about lack of ability.
I don't self-identify as a feminist out of some deep ideological grounding. I don't have any strong ideological affinity with most of the feminist movement. Sure, equality in the abstract is nice. However, it is clear that stereotypes about females negatively impact on everyone. And so, I support feminism, not out of some deep belief, but out of simple self-interest.
How many women have become housewives or secretaries who might otherwise have been the next Barbara McClintock or Emmy Noether but for the fact that they were mistreated and told that math and science were for men? I don't know. But I do know that, for each of the women who were discouraged, there is at least one more interesting theorem, one more cool biological fact, one more interesting astronomical phenomenon that society missed out on. And some of those would have gone on, not just make interesting discoveries but to make practical, helpful discoveries. I have trouble keeping count how many friends and relatives I've lost due to cancer and other illnesses. How many of them would still be alive today if the right little girl hadn't been told that she couldn't do math or that science was for the boys? I don't know, but I can guess that it is probably more than one.
I'm a feminist not because I'm a good person who cares about equality, but because I'm a self-interested person who wants to learn and benefit from everyone I can. I want to live in the best, most technologically advanced society that I can. Therefore, I am a feminist.
When and how geology became a science.
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