Confidence, while usually considered a good thing, actually can limit the free will of those around us. Many people are confident in the life choices they have made (rightfully so!) and that confidence leads them to (incorrectly) think that their way must be the best or only way. Therefore, when giving advice that person will often give advice based on their own life choices, which is where the limitation occurs. Because the person taking the advice is NOT the person giving it.
At one point in my past I left a cushy office job to be a full time martial arts instructor. I was expecting my office co-workers to be excited for me because I was excited about the change. Nope. The general consensus was that I was making a terrible life choice. It took me a while to realize that my co-workers thought I was crazy because they were putting themselves in my shoes and had decided that they would have to be crazy to make the same decision. They were confident in their own life choices and rejected the decision I was making. There was no allowance for me being a different person.
You also see this consistently in internet comments. A recent question on twitter about married people eating alone with a member of the opposite sex garnered many comments. What struck me about the comments is most followed the same line of thinking as my co-workers did. Everyone was confident in their own life choices to the point of dis-allowing any other possibility working for a couple.
Even more interesting is that many of the commentators noted that their marriage was the most important relationship they had, to be protected at all costs. They had opposing ideas of how to go about that protection – be friends with the opposite sex, not be friends with the opposite sex, and everything in-between – and the “you’re doing it wrong” comments flew both ways. Dig to the heart of the matter and one might realize that only 1 person needs to agree with each individual’s argument… the person married to that individual.
To judge a married (or dating) person on their choice to spend time – or not spend time – alone with members of the opposite sex is to judge that person by our own life choice standard. To say that we’re all the same. But we’re not, each person is an individual with dreams, life choices, and personality of their own. Just as each individual has a vision of what their gender means to them.
And so it only makes sense to use gender individualism as a replacement term for feminism (in terms of gender equality). Because each person should be treated as an individual, and we’re being specific about gender. And because aiming for female equality, while a much needed and worthy goal, is too small a target when all of humanity is lacking equality.