Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Feminism and men

I read another article today aimed at female readers and what makes a feminist:


From the blog:

"did he mean “real feminists shouldn’t show open affection for their husbands?” or did he mean something else? the fact that i’m “internationally adored” and neil is “bestselling” seems to be part of the point he’s making, but….what’s the point?"

"“if you’re trying to turn your friends into feminists, i think you’re taking the wrong tack. i would back up and start off by not trying to turn them into ANYTHING…this is how we got into this whole mess in the first place.”
as far as i’m concerned, the most powerful feminist can do WHATEVER SHE WANTS.


I think it's easy to be insulted by people who do not know what feminism is outside of general culture and right-wing talk shows, but as someone who is feminist, I, too, run into this problem.


"don’t let anyone try to turn you into a feminist.
just be one."


I'm a white, straight, male feminist. As there are many feminist writers (women, womyn, and men) that agree men need to be a part of the movement, and that men can be feminists, I've still run into people who somehow want me to "prove" I'm a feminist when I say I am. Or getting the questions: "Why are you a feminist?" "What makes you one?" "How can you be one?"

I simply am. Which is why I often do not say I am, unless there is a statement that assumes feminists are women.

Yes, I can list the things I've done and continue to do, or describe my ideology, but it still feels like an argument I am making. I choose the warrants, study my claim again, find the grounds, etc. I'm about to recite my essay again.

And maybe I should save these times to simply inform people that men can be feminists. Maybe mention bell hooks? And I can do it slyly:

So I am ranting. Okay. Amanda Palmer, married to Neil Gaiman, is writing her blog out of the same angst I am feeling after reading hers. It is simply trying to break stereotypes, which is a function of feminism.

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