Thursday, July 11, 2013

Can men be feminists?

A female poet whom I admire as both poet and facebook-posting activist posted about how she doesn't believe men can be feminists. I can't remember the exact wording, as she has removed her posts, but I thanked her for her honesty. It is a discussion that needs to be talked about, needs to be expressed. I understand where the distrust for men comes from.

I will never know what it is like to have that experience, of being a woman in our objectifying, violent, phallocentric culture. but I do have a clue based on being raised by women, having girls as friends throughout childhood, women as friends in my life, close colleagues and family.

That is why I moved from theory and thought into practice. It was time for me to finally speak up and not feel afraid about it.

Being vocal about it is a way to raise awareness. The next, to participate in marches--or help out, if it is Take Back the Night. Also, volunteer work. I've done all three.

You will get backlash, of course. You will have both men and women be critical, doubt, discourage, etc. So what. Don't listen to that. You need to do what you need to do.

It's not the vocalization and protests that change anyone, but the awareness. Action follows.

Also, poetry is a form of voice. For me, it is a feminist practice, a site for revelation and change.

Of course, I totally understand the doubt, skepticism, and, from men, chiding and hassling.

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