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hm. i don't think i understand why you want to keep the word 'feminism'. especially if, for you, it is really the same as 'gender equality'.

even if we agreed completely on every subject and if i subscribed to 'the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes' - as a man there would always be something missing ... and that is: the advocacy of men's rights on the ground of equality of the sexes as well!

both is contained in 'gender equality'.

the point i want to make is that the term feminism is automatically ostracizing men to a certain extent, except if redefined as gender equality. so why not use the latter one to begin with?

also, it's patronizing of your friend to assume that people can't change their minds. as a general rule: if you can't get people to agree with you, maybe it is because you haven't found the right words yet. trying to find out what words are necessary is the first step then.

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