Thursday, September 23, 2010

Feminism's collateral benefit

I made a comment on Jezebel/Gawker the other day that got a kind of touchy reception, and I was a little surprised. Saying "feminism is for women" doesn't mean that all feminists must be women - it's just that feminism exists to benefit women. Cool? If some collateral benefit comes to men, that''s fantastic, and not entirely unintentional. Feminism has obviated a lot of the restrictions of patriarchy, and patriarchs are stuck in the past, and seem to expect a revolution to be handled for them.

This came up in response to the crop of media discussing the ascendency of women in the professional world, and all the subsequent whining about the way that models of masculinity haven't prepared men to deal with a world where women matter. Well, duh. Fix your masculinity then. Feminists have made some inroads on this work, but it's really not up to women to change men.

Anyway, that's all I was trying to get at. I was a little blunt in my original comment, but it seems to have gotten across to people who weren't busy protecting their male feminist bona fides. (You know, by threatening to stop defending me from the mean old patriarchy. Some allies.)

UPDATE: The Good Men Project is an example of men seeing that they have plenty of catching up to do.