“Humanism as an umbrella movement and humanism working alongside feminism is awesome, but humanism in place of feminism implies that all genders/sexes have the same problems or needs in society.”
Thank you to my friend Megan for that quote.
It’s perfectly valid to identify as a feminist or a humanist or an equalist. The problem comes when you assume that every person you are supporting equality for faces the same problems, is disadvantaged or marginalized in the same way, or that there is a one-size-fits-all solution. There isn’t. Women and men face different types and methods of oppression. Cis and trans folks are not impacted by inequality in the same way. You can be a feminist and a humanist, you can be a humanist and a feminist, but the two are not the same and they are not interchangeable. They are also not mutually exclusive.
The largest problem I’ve had with people who call themselves “humanists” instead of feminists is that they adamantly deny the need for feminism and insist that feminists are sexists who demand superiority for women instead of gender equality. That has not been true of every person who has used the terms humanist or equalist, but to be fair it’s been all but 1.
Recognizing the difficulties unique to each demographic is key in solving the problems. Ignoring the needs or voices of one group does nothing but marginalize them further. We need movements working for the betterment of specific minority groups because there is no single magical solution that will make things better for everyone. We’re engaged in a human rights struggle, still, that necessitates each group working for themselves AND with one another to make a safe space for everyone.