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.  


Stitch said...

Hi Sara,

I am a PhD student at the University of York in the Centre for Women's Studies. I would really like to talk to you about blogging and feminism and would really appreciate it if you could email me at jkm502(at) so that we can talk about this further.

Many thanks

Jo Maltby

Saladman said...

One of the most disgusting and seemingly constant struggles for me, as a man, is the calling out of those who by inflection, using oppressive premises as the basis of "jokes" and by casual and offhand comments, continuing this elitist BS.
I understand that there exist fair weather friends like those you refer to, but I remain perplexed at a position that threatens to hang one out to dry if we don't reflect timid placation, or roll over and shut up as a course to a better culture.
Defenders of feminism who think that support for equality can be turned on and off like a spigot have obviously missed the point.