The available definitions of the term feminism use words like ideology and doctrine, but they also use advocacy and movement. It is difficult to discuss feminism in terms of what feminists believe without also discussing what feminists advocate, and promote. It is also unnecessarily limiting to avoid discussing how feminism, the ideology and the movement, influence society both directly and indirectly.
I suppose one could find a couple of wild-eyes feminist radicals who actually advocate that men deserve less rights than woman, but I think we all can agree that the core principle of feminism is that men and women should have equal rights. It would be naive or disingenuous, however, to suggest that this is the beginning and end of what feminism is all about. For example, most feminists advocate affirmative action programs as a means to redress historical and existing inequality. Without arguing whether or not such programs are fair, appropriate or effective, they clearly go beyond a simple call for equal rights among men and women.
Obviously feminism is not all about rape, but any discussion of the former is bound to eventually involve the latter (and apparently far more quickly in this forum than elsewhere). The situations that max has addressed have less to do with feminist ideology, than the influence of that ideology on society and politics.
I would suggest that there are few feminists who do not believe that there is a "crisis" or "epidemic" of sexual assault and rape on American campuses. Whether this belief or claim is based on accurate or distorted statistics, has been discussed in other threads, but it is held so firmly that it has led to widespread calls for action of one sort or the other. This action involves university policy and legislative responses, but virtually none of it addresses the valid concern that in "campus courts" due process is frequently being denied to those accused of sexual assault or rape.
It is not a feminist principle that those accused of rape be denied due process, but that it occurs and that it is not being addressed is a result, in part, of the politics of feminism.
Few institutions in this country so desperately seek to be politically correct as do colleges, and political correctness can be described as a state of being in compliance with the demands of aggrieved minorities or oppressed groups. Without question, a major concern of the feminist movement, as respects rape, has been the practice of putting the victim on trial. A legitimate concern that has been, at times, perverted to the point where "campus courts" can give such deference to the claims of the accuser that the accused suffer a loss of due process.
Universities and colleges are generally spineless in the face of any pressure and have attempted to impose "solutions" that will insulate them from any criticism from favored interest groups - feminists, for example. As a result, a speedy resolution of all claims that doesn't produce an unpleasant experience for the accuser is the goal, rather than full investigations and just results.
The notion that the feminist movement has nothing to do with the situation on campuses across the country is also naive or disingenuous. It isn't all there is to feminism (and I don't think that max has ever argued that it is), but it is one aspect of the impact of the feminist movement, and not an insignificant one.
The originating thread addressed whether feminism has not morphed into an ideology concerned with civil rights in general, and so to the extent that civil rights are at times being denied to individuals, in part due to an indirect effect of the movement, it is certainly relevant to the discussion, and hardly a red herring designed to preserve male privilege. Claims that it is or that it is an indication of an anti-female agenda are far more injurious to free and open discussion than max bringing up the subject is to the feminist movement or to women.
Frankly, it's not as if anyone was providing DKgirl with a serious and comprehensive response from the outset. Max didn't swoop in and disrupt anyone's learned discourse on the meaning of feminism, but he did commit the apparent crime of raising a concern about the effect the feminist movement has directly or indirectly had on university society. Why he seems (based on contributions to other threads on the subject) particularly concerned with this issue is irrelevant. Personally, I think all that can be said on the topic has been said, but that's not why anyone is taking issue with him. The real red herring, and one that is pretty obnoxious, is the argument that every criticism of any movement is an attempt to preserve the forces or status quo these movements are fighting.
A Christian calling someone a sinner to hatefully disagree, is a person calling someone an asshole to hatefully disagree.
@One Eyed Mind,
I'm not sure I understand your comment.
The words we speak are developing from the laws of physics. The majority of our people do not listen to what people are saying; they are listening to what they want to hear them say. A Christian calling someone a sinner. A person calling someone an asshole. It's the same colloquial physics you experience from others when they always assume you're fighting for what they are fighting against. Great warriors often make more enemies through those who are human, than those who are animal. He who wins all the time, is he who always loses in public eyes. Understand these words of wisdom, and you'll understand the very reason why what you wrote had to be written by you in the first place, friend.