This thing about feminism and skepticism, and the idea that they make a natural pair…
I don’t think they do, really. I think they can be compatible, but I don’t think they’re made for each other.
You can be skeptical about any given social arrangement, but since feminism can be a social arrangement, that means you can be skeptical about feminism too. Or to put it another way, you can be skeptical about social arrangements and about proposed alternatives to those social arrangements.
Of course most of the justifications for social arrangements in which men as a group are above women as a group are stupid and don’t stand up to interrogation, and in that sense skepticism and critical thinking perhaps are allied with feminism. But that doesn’t mean there are no possible arguments for such arrangements. Some people like hierarchical arrangements, even if they’re not at the top of them.
Here’s one thing about equality as a social arrangement: it puts all the onus on individuals, and strips them of the excuse of their place in the hierarchy. That can be a burden.
In a way I think atheism is more aligned to feminism than skepticism is. Maybe that’s why I answer to the name “atheist” but not so much to “skeptic.” Monotheism is the ultimate in hierarchical arrangements, after all, with “god” perched on the point of the pyramid, looking down on everyone. “God” is male, so with him sitting at the top it seems as if men get the next layer and women are underneath god and men. But if you yank god off the top then there’s no particular reason to let men have the next layer, and in fact there’s less reason to think humans are sorted into layers at all.
But skepticism isn’t like that. Plenty of skeptics have been skeptical of equality – you know, equality is for losers, because winners don’t want equality because they are winners. Winning is the opposite of equality, isn’t it.
Michael DeDora has an interesting post about atheism, skepticism and social justice.