Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Can a Man be a Feminist?

Anti - feminists would like to break feminism down to a hatred of men. How then can a man be a feminist? Perhaps, just perhaps that is not what feminism is about.
I had the good fortune this morning to stumble upon this opinion piece in the Daily Kent Stater, written by Christopher Taylor

I am a male. I am a feminist.

Yes, men can be feminists, too.

I have attempted to ask men of all different types of backgrounds if they were feminists. I received shocked reactions and puzzled looks as if I had asked a final-round Jeopardy question.

The most common theme about feminism in dictionaries describes it as a doctrine or movement to ensure "equal rights." How is this idea still so foreign to us, and why the hell is it even being debated?


I particularly liked his insight in this paragraph
Here's another fun quote from Marianne Brennan on Humanevents.com: "As a woman, I have every right to drink, to dress however I want, and to go to a man's room alone. I also have every right to walk into an urban ghetto and scream racial slurs, but if I got shot, no one would argue that I wasn't complicit in my own victimhood."

What? Not only is she stereotyping "urban ghettos" as areas reserved for blacks, but she is comparing an action full of ignorance and hatred with a woman who likes to have a drink every so often. One is deliberate; the other is not.


I have been fortunate to know many feminist men. I married a feminist man, of course how could I do otherwise? It would be impossible for me to share a life with someone who thought I was lesser or wanting somehow.
Just as I rejoice that so many boys are being raised by strong feminist women, I rejoice that so many girls are being raised by strong feminist men.
As these children grow they will learn to treat each other with respect, concern and to recognize each other as equal partners. This can only bode well for the future, for laws and attitudes that will govern society.
Here's to you, feminist men!! And may there be many more!!

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21 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

I would consider myself a feminist as well.

No one, and I mean NO ONE, will ever tell my 7-year-old daughter that she cannot do something, or is not worth as much as someone else, simply because she lacks a penis.

Good post

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Kuri said...

I would large agree, although I have my semantic quibbles.

My chum (and I) usually use "feminist ally" or "pro-feminist man" to describe these great guys. This emphasizes that it has to be women who lead the struggle for their own emancipation and that men are in a supporting role here.

Just as I as a straight woman would classify myself as "queer ally" to emphasize that I actively support queer struggles but don't condescend to tell queers what their goals should be or how they should conduct their activism.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can women then consider themselves Chauvinists?

1:19 PM  
Blogger April Reign (aka Debra) said...

Chauvinism can certainly be practised by women, either by those who feel women superior to men or by those who feel themselves somehow lesser than men.

Here is an excerpt and link to a very good page describing the word

"Male chauvinism and male chauvinist emerged as terms right along with the women's movement in the late 1960s. The term sexist was coined concurrently (in 1965) on the analogy of racist. Racism from those who believe whites are superior could quite correctly be called white chauvinism, and sexism is male chauvinism. You don't have to be a male to be a male chauvinist; you have to believe passionately in men's superiority, and be very vocal about it or try to act it out every chance you get. (Pretty much sums up Bobby Riggs, perhaps the most famous of the self-proclaimed male chauvinists.) You also don't have to be a male to be sexist."
The Maven's Word of the Day

2:16 PM  
Blogger Blanks57 said...

feminist men are effeminate like most homosexuals and lesbians, you should know that.

4:15 PM  
Blogger April Reign (aka Debra) said...

Thanks for that incredibly thoughtful post.

5:40 PM  
Blogger none said...

Let's look at www.babblestrike.com's feminisim forum. Specifically, the guidelines for the feminism forum:

2. Pay respect to and think about women's voices before you speak.

sounds like you're talking to a dog or something here

4. Be respectful of all people who identify as women, regardless of birth gender, and ensure that all voices are heard in discussion.

6. Post about men's rights elsewhere (and feel free to start your own forum if you want).

When looking at these rules, one could easily take this as anti-men, its that obvious.

Substitute men for women in these rules, except for #6 and do vice versa. Would a feminist agree with this? No, because they're being put down by men. When feminists become comfortable about being a woman rather than trying to put men down, they will become mainstream. In the meantime, they end up painting themselves into a corner.

1:58 PM  
Blogger April Reign (aka Debra) said...

Sorry none but if you know any woman who is educated, holds a job, has a bank account or in any other way recognizes herself as a person in society you know a feminist whether they choose to identify as such or not!

3:46 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Yeah that's right blanks, ya moron.

BTW, that really is me in the picture.

4:45 PM  
Blogger none said...

Thanks for that intelligent retort Mike.

9:02 AM  
Blogger none said...

April, I noticed that you didn't address my comments. No deflections please, direct answers only.

I will however, address your comment. I think that they would just call themselves a woman.

But let me get to this. If the woman isn't well educated (just a high school diploma), she isn't a woman then? Or how about if they have a joint account with her husband, is she not a woman? You certainly know how to marginalize women.

9:09 AM  
Blogger April Reign (aka Debra) said...

Being that I have a joint account with my husband I suppose that would mean I just marginalized myself.

Surely you can do better!

9:25 AM  
Blogger none said...

Again, you didn't addressed my questions, and, you are the one who stated that a woman with a bank account is a feminist. And you stated that a woman with a good education is a feminist. If she doesn't have a good education, what then???

What about a stay-at-home mother??? Is that considered a job in your eyes?

10:27 AM  
Blogger none said...

Actually, you didn't marginalize yourself, you said one thing and do another.

10:29 AM  
Blogger April Reign (aka Debra) said...

again none I have been a stay at home mom to SIX children.

You may feel I am not addressing your questions, however, I am.

I am addressing them by pointing out your thin arguments and insistance on stereotyping.

Also you are misquoting me. I didn't say good education, PHD, or otherwise I said "educated".

11:12 AM  
Blogger none said...

Stereotyping you say? Wait a minute, I have done no such thing, all I have done is challenge what you have said which I feel, marginalizes women in all aspects of life.

You said, "Sorry none but if you know any woman who is educated, holds a job, has a bank account or in any other way recognizes herself as a person in society you know a feminist whether they choose to identify as such or not!"

Now I ask you if a woman isn't educated, why isn't she a feminist? Does that make her less of a woman? Again, if she takes care of the home, is that a job?

I'll let you know something, not all women are feminists (in that they view themselves as such, because like it or not, most don't want to be assoicated), actually, feminists are in the minority.

And based on my posting of babblestrike's feminist forum, they've proven that they try to make men feel inferior.(you didn't answer this either) I asked what if you were to substitute the word men for women (except for #6) and how would that make you feel?(You didn't answer this either)

I would like to know where I have stereotyped women though, would be interesting to hear your reply on that one.

In regards to being educated, where do you hold this mysterious behaviour? Many people would certainly agree that high school just doesn't do it, one must be in college or university to be considered educated. (again, you didn't answer this either)

The reason I am typing all of this is to challenge you. Feminists need to be challenged when they make statements and do not explain themselves(such as the stereotyping comment).

1:28 PM  
Blogger April Reign (aka Debra) said...

Now I ask you if a woman isn't educated, why isn't she a feminist? Does that make her less of a woman? Again, if she takes care of the home, is that a job?

If education was not and is not available to woman in many areas that do not recognize women as persons. For many years a woman was denied the right to education, property holding etc. Therefore, if it is available and a woman partakes of that availability she is reaping the rewards of feminism.

My question then is if a woman considers herself anit feminist, why partake of those things feminism has provided?

As far as taking care of the home yes I do see that as a job.However, many anti feminist types do not see it as a job, or as particularly important but as a woman's place. Big difference.

Can you prove to me that feminists are in the minority? Since you're all about proof.

I don't choose to speak to En Masses rules as it is not my site nor do I any longer post there. I have my own board. I will speak to that.

When people register on my board they agree
"This is a progressive site, by signing on you agree not to include sexism, racism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, classism and other denials of human dignity and equality in your posts. Failure to abide by these conditions may result in suspension or banning."

Therefore obviously I consider sexism a denial of human dignity.

In regards to being educated, where do you hold this mysterious behaviour? Many people would certainly agree that high school just doesn't do it, one must be in college or university to be considered educated. (again, you didn't answer this either)

I would hold here that you are being classist. Many people are forced through lack of money to achieve higher education by self education. I do not hold these people to be any less intelligent or capable. This is your own bias not mine.

Finally sorry but I don't see that you have any right to challange me most particulary without challanging yourself and your own biases.

1:48 PM  
Blogger none said...

If education was not and is not available to woman in many areas that do not recognize women as persons. For many years a woman was denied the right to education, property holding etc. Therefore, if it is available and a woman partakes of that availability she is reaping the rewards of feminism.

Did SOW do this? Or was this before they were created?

My question then is if a woman considers herself anit feminist, why partake of those things feminism has provided?

I'm not sure what anit feminist means, maybe its a typo. I will try to answer as best as I can. I feel that women who don't identify themselves with the feminist movement is that the feminist movement no longer identifies with them.

I don't choose to speak to En Masses rules as it is not my site nor do I any longer post there. I have my own board. I will speak to that.

You did, however, participate in the feminist topic there under those rules. Since you've now chosen to not answer that, you're basically ignoring it and therefore, avoiding my pertinent questions in regards to this specific title of your original posting.

I'll try to reword my question then. If a feminist group were to have those rules as I have previously quoted, how would you feel as a woman if those rules were changed from men to women? Isn't this sexist, or is it alright to go the point of feminist as men can be with chauvanism?

would hold here that you are being classist. Many people are forced through lack of money to achieve higher education by self education. I do not hold these people to be any less intelligent or capable. This is your own bias not mine.

Again here you don't answer my question. Where do you hold as a boundary, being educated? My point is that it doesn't matter if they are educated or not, they still have the same worth as a feminist. By your statement, you have marginalized those women who aren't up to your standards(which you still haven't answered what your standard is for being educated).

Finally sorry but I don't see that you have any right to challange me most particulary without challanging yourself and your own biases.

Again, what bias??? Specifically, re-post what I have said that is biased?(earlier you said stereotype)

In regards to stats, there are no stats out there in regards to which women out there are feminists(according to your definition) and which women don't want to be identified as such. I do however, look at stats on women who favour some type of abortion regulations, women who are helped by SOW(seek help by them) and topics that feminists partake in these days. I also look at the feminist organization (whose name escapes me but is similar to the SOW) that ran out of money, money which came from our taxdollars. If they were indeed that important to women as a whole, or in the majority, they certainly would have the membership to stay alive without government funds.

10:37 AM  
Blogger April Reign (aka Debra) said...

none you refuse to see any point but your own.

Grammar flames are lame.

I'm offended by the use of sow. A sow is a female pig and/or a particularly nasty sexist slur. SWC is the acronym you are looking for.

Since you are only interested in your own opinion I will leave you to talk to yourself.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I don't understand why there is ever any quibbling about this issue. It's all about human rights. I don't see how anyone can start grey zoning human rights.

Well, unless you're a member of the White House, that is.

11:32 AM  
Blogger none said...

You can be offended all you want abou the acronym, I think its rather appropriate since it is a waste of taxpayer's money.

And since you refuse to even address one of my points, you obviously are grasping at straws now and feign being upset at my use of their acronym..

Mike, its about whether women want SOW to speak for them or just special interests.

10:15 AM  

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