Men as feminists, more masculine…

Consider, if you will, the ideas presented in this article: http://studentaffairsfeminists.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/why-feminism-is-in-my-best-interest-as-a-man/.  Here, the author makes an argument for the what should be the aspiration of every man to be a feminist, or feminist ally; and, to seek the acceptance of women in doing so.  It is a powerful message.  The author addresses a concept that is also one of Charlotte Gilman’s primary points – that is, the pitfalls of patriarchy.  He says that patriarchy does benefit men a great deal (compared to women), but that in contrast, they also suffer in ways women do not; namely, they die younger and experience greater levels of depression and violence (at least the non-sexual kind) than do women.  Gilman would point out that although patriarchy was created to maternalize men, effectively causing them to take on both male and female social gender roles, it is no longer a beneficial or practical social construct.  Still, the author of this article seems to take an optimistic and objective stance in his argument, and  goes on to imply that, despite the negative effects and the destructive nature of patriarchy, people (men) can still move forward from this social construct.  In this way, he is again in line with Gilman, who also argues objectivity and optimism, in the form of positivism; both Gilman’s work and this article seek to skewer the inherent (modern) faults of patriarchy, while trying to simultaneously offer hope for growth beyond that way of life.

2 thoughts on “Men as feminists, more masculine…”

  1. Interesting.

    This is a sentiment I hear often, that men ought to care about feminism because it is actually a men’s issue, since they are the oppressors and yet paradoxically also somewhat dehumanized by it (i.e. separated from their emotions). Emma Watson made this point in her address to the UN recently.

    While this may be a valid point, at times, I cannot shake the impression that this is simply an appeal to men. Feminism as a men’s issue, in my opinion, is a men’s issue because of male dominance. Any consequences from that because of, as Gilman argued, the reign of male energy (aggressive, sporadic) is an effect from male dominance.

    I would love to hear what Gilman would say in response to Watson or to the author of the article you shared!

  2. I’ve heard this too, and I think it not only suggests men should care about feminism because they are the aggressors, but because they are affected by it. It’s easy to assume that women’s issues don’t directly affect men, particularly those men who are respectful and non-violent. But every man that has a sister, mother, or daughter is affected by women’s issues. Feminism is a male issue because men co-exist with women in this world. Feminism is also a male issue because those men that oppress and abuse women affect the reputation of all men.

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