Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

A Male Feminist's Conundrum

Thursday, March 21, 2013

this entry brought to you by radiohead, "lotus flower"

I have no problem referring to myself as a feminist. Its a word that, when I was younger, I was afraid to say because I thought feminists wouldn't think I, a man, had any right to describe myself that way. I've gotten over that. I don't care anymore. I like the term feminist, I think it fits me, I know I'm not describing myself that way to be cool or to make chicks think I'm sensitive. In fact, I resent that sentiment. Fuck you. This is how I am.

But I've run into a slight conundrum. There are women who are outwardly anti feminist, and they will say that feminism has destroyed America and all that insane bullshit. But if I say they're being anti feminist, well, they are. That's part of their thing. But there's a different type of woman who refers to herself as a feminist, and then says some horseshit that is anti feminist. But if I call her on it, her reaction is to say "Who are you, a man, to call me anti-feminist?" And she kind of has a point. I understand that that just because she's a woman doesn't mean she can't be wrong, just as I can be racist against black people even though I'm mixed. In fact, something that I've come across is people of Latino descent, but are second or third generation, who have no sympathy toward the plight of illegal immigrants, and say idiotic things like, "My grandparents came here legally! How come they can't?", completely unaware of the advantages his grandparents might have had at the time, or how different Mexico is now than it was then. But as a non Latino, it's difficult to say to that Latino person, "Dude, that's some racist horseshit you're spewing there."

I was listening to something earlier and a woman, who is from England, was speaking, and the three male hosts were referring to some horrible piece of awful, sexist advertising that had originated from the UK, and how demeaning it was. The female guest asserted that, first of all, it's from the UK, and their attitude about sexuality is much more liberated than it is here in America, which is true, so this kind of thing was far more common and nobody bats an eye-- which is a logical fallacy on its face. Yes, Europe has a much more positive view of nudity than America does, but that doesn't mean that it is always used for good in all cases. We here in America have a much more positive view on violence than Europe does, but that doesn't mean that all violence that is in our culture is always meaningful or with reasonable context. So that bit of logic bothered me. But then she went to a place that I didn't just disagree with, she said something that positively offended me: "Listen, I'm a feminist," she said, "but if you lads have a problem with this image, then you need to get a life."

I resented the notion that as a man, my being concerned with feminist ideals was somehow not worthwhile, and that lads will be lads, and if you're offended by gross mysogyny in advertising, then you've somehow got your priorities as a man screwed up. But more to the topic, I listened to the energy in the room get sucked out, because here were three men who essentially could not defend their position. If they were all men talking about a topic of opinion, they could say, "You're wrong, and here's why you're wrong." But when it came to this particular subject, that very line of thinking, you're wrong and here is why you're wrong is basically saying "Yes, you're a woman, but I'm there real person who is allowed to have an opinion," or at least I could understand how it could be misinterpreted that way.

And as a man, how can I tell a self professed feminist that she's being anti-feminist without feeling like I'm imposing my own bias on her? After all, regardless of how sensitive to the issue I am or how well meaning I may be, I can only see feminism through my own gender.

with love from CRS @ 10:49 PM 


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