I have written this rant a thousand times. My children can recite it word for word. Heck, given the power of speech, I bet the first words out the cat’s mouth would be: For the love of catnip, stop squawking about humanism.
Nothing annoys me more than people disavowing the political theory of feminism because they want to be “humanists”. Honestly, does no one google anymore? Humanism has an actual political definition which is predicated on the notion of rational thought; and that “rational thought” excluded women because we’re all emotional and hysterical and shit. In fact, dating of the humanist movement usually starts around the Renaissance which is a period not known for its feminist writers. How anyone who grew up in a “Western” country with access to free secondary school education can get confused about the definition of humanism is completely beyond me.
- Humanism is the belief in mankind’s ability to achieve happiness and fulfilment without the need for religion.
- Feminism is the belief that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men.
Not even close.
This is the definition of humanism as taken from the Oxford Dictionaries Online:
A rationalist outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.
- (often Humanism) a Renaissance cultural movement which turned away from medieval scholasticism and revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought.
- (among some contemporary writers) a system of thought criticized as being centred on the notion of the rational, autonomous self and ignoring the conditioned nature of the individual.
If you feel the need to quibble with this definition of humanism, do feel free to google yourself. Wikipedia’s got a pretty decent history of humanism. Or check out the British Humanist Association definition:
- trusts to the scientific method when it comes to understanding how the universe works and rejects the idea of the supernatural (and is therefore an atheist or agnostic)
- makes their ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals
- believes that, in the absence of an afterlife and any discernible purpose to the universe, human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same.