Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Why I am a Male Feminist"

Ok I realize I have been a very lazy blogger of late. Rather then writing about my own thoughts on various topics I link to other people's writings that move me. In part it is a time issue, but the larger piece is that there are just so many great articles and stories out there worth sharing. Below please find an excerpt from an article by Byron Hurt on "Why I am a male feminist." The entire article can be found by clicking here.

"Like most guys, I had bought into the stereotype that all feminists were white, lesbian, unattractive male bashers who hated all men. But after reading the work of these black feminists, I realized that this was far from the truth. After digging into their work, I came to really respect the intelligence, courage and honesty of these women.

Feminists did not hate men. In fact, they loved men. But just as my father had silenced my mother during their arguments to avoid hearing her gripes, men silenced feminists by belittling them in order to dodge hearing the truth about who we are.

I learned that feminists offered an important critique about a male-dominated society that routinely, and globally, treated women like second-class citizens. They spoke the truth, and even though I was a man, their truth spoke to me. Through feminism, I developed a language that helped me better articulate things that I had experienced growing up as a male.

Feminist writings about patriarchy, racism, capitalism and structural sexism resonated with me because I had witnessed firsthand the kind of male dominance they challenged. I saw it as a child in my home and perpetuated it as an adult. Their analysis of male culture and male behavior helped me put my father's patriarchy into a much larger social context, and also helped me understand myself better.

I decided that I loved feminists and embraced feminism. Not only does feminism give woman a voice, but it also clears the way for men to free themselves from the stranglehold of traditional masculinity. When we hurt the women in our lives, we hurt ourselves, and we hurt our community, too. "

I want to thank Mr. Hurt on writing such a brave and powerful article. He gets it. He gets that feminism is not a women win and men lose thing. Feminism is about creating a better world for all. When men and women more equally share in power and decision making, when they make an effort to more fully understand each other, when we work to bring out the full potential in each other, then we will have a more just, equitable and peaceful world. This is what it is about!!!!! Men have much to gain in this new paradigm and I hope and pray that more men gain this perspective and claim their feminist voice.

Have a wonderful Sunday. We are off to church where I will pray for this future.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

He doesn't get it Jacki and neither do you. We've been round this dialog before.
What he describes and you endorse here is a thing that is ill defined, even undefined, and has no definable end, therefore is an advocacy for the sake of the movement, rather than a list of tangible goals.
Imagine a stated goal of covering a table with syrup. You have in your mind that "covering" has a certain thickness, so you start pouring, and soon the table is indeed "covered", and syrup is pouring all over the floor. Your tangible goal is achieved, but you keep pouring more and more in the name of the original goal. If you stop pouring, the syrup dries in places and shrinks back so you know that in order to keep the goal as "achieved" you gotta keep pouring.
In other words, there isn't a goal, there is a kind of ideological itch that cannot be adequately scratched.
So you keep pouring no matter what a mess it makes.
There is nothing tangible about what this man says. His is the exact same urge that drives a high school boy to say, while in the back seat of a fogged up car, "I'm not like those other guys". Though his immediate intent obviously differs from the high school boy, the psychological driver behind it is the same.
Most of us grew out of that.

Chris (your old email debate friend)

Chris said...

The male feminist says:

Feminist writings about patriarchy, racism, capitalism and structural sexism resonated with me because I had witnessed firsthand the kind of male dominance they challenged. I saw it as a child in my home and perpetuated it as an adult. Their analysis of male culture and male behavior helped me put my father's patriarchy into a much larger social context, and also helped me understand myself better.
I decided that I loved feminists and embraced feminism. Not only does feminism give woman a voice, but it also clears the way for men to free themselves from the stranglehold of traditional masculinity. When we hurt the women in our lives, we hurt ourselves, and we hurt our community, too.


You cannot have an effort that seeks to counter an alleged “women as victim” situation without it involving inversely proportionate negativity towards men. It’s fallacious to claim otherwise. To claim, as the writer does, that there is some stranglehold of traditional masculinity that can be overcome by, um….embracing the um, stranglehold of feminism is cognitive dissonance defined.

Lady Ariana said...

@Chris, you talk about this having no substance when you're the one who has not provided any substance.

The man in the article NEVER says (or implies) "I'm not like those other guys!" If you read that article at all, you'd see that he explains how woman's perspective and views are NOT considered by the male propaganda we are constantly bombarded with (excessive syrup, indeed!)

Perhaps you're just not liking the CHERRY flavored syrup being poured over the (already) excessive syrup that you're used to (and prefer.)

Feminism is not flawless. But that does not mean it is discredited or "no longer needed." Ever heard of the bechdel test? I highly doubt that you do. Feminism require academic studies to understand, not some guy (or lady) who is comfortable with how things are and says "Eh, I'll just wing it. Why not? Things don't ever seem to change."

Why are you even here if feminism is in excess? Stop wasting your (and most importantly, mine) time UNLESS you're interested in offering some "meat" (substance) to your point, instead of being a hypocrite and claiming others are lacking such substance.

I'm here because hopefully you can "learn" me something new. I'm ALWAYS interested in learning something new but CONSTANTLY without fail (100% of the time, so far) I'm disappointed by guys (or gals) like you who claim "You just don't get it!" Only to get me excited to open my mind and learn that you're just projecting your own reality. Sorry pal, YOU just don't get it.

If I am in error, I would LOVE it if you prove it so. Substance, please.

Thanks.

Lady Ariana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lady Ariana said...

(Sorry for the double-post. Must've been a glitch, I deleted the second one.)

Chris, you said "You cannot have an effort that seeks to counter an alleged “women as victim” situation without it involving inversely proportionate negativity towards men. It’s fallacious to claim otherwise. To claim, as the writer does, that there is some stranglehold of traditional masculinity that can be overcome by, um….embracing the um, stranglehold of feminism is cognitive dissonance defined."

This is a fallacy. This is not a man vs woman situation. This is a seeking of balance between both genders. Ever heard of the injustices against men? Feminism is against that too, I know when you meet misandrists hiding under the guise of feminists, you find this hard to believe. But the system (created BY and FOR men) is helping men dig their own grave.

For example:

Men are generally notorious for bragging about being sub-human walking brutes who exist for their groins. Right? This is funny. This is "cool." Any man who opposes this is not a "real man" by societal norms (and even comedy.)

So what, right?

Well, in court, child custody tends to sway the favor of women. Uh oh! Alright MEN, time for you to hate women! (I've heard this argument so many times, it' weak. Man hates woman cause it's so common for men to lose custody over their children. Wah..) but here's the thing... would YOU want your children being taken care of by a sub-human walking penis who only exists for sex? I think not.

So you see. Gender stereotypes ALSO affects men. Patriarchy hurts EVERYONE.

Now, your impulse thought might be (and I hope it's not, cause again, that's a fallacy) "Oh, so you're saying MATRIARCHY IS BETTER????"

Again, this is NOT a competition. This is not "women are better than men" (although, men like to play that game, and to me, it's an instant lose on their part.. hehe) this is not the case with feminism.

I don't quite recall the name for it, but there's a name for a system that is both ruled by female and male. It's not patriarchy OR matriarchy. It's balance.

And just because we have yet to achieve it, doesn't mean it's impossible. This is why feminism is still alive today.

Looks like the system is creating a lot of PANCAKES for the syrup to keep a'pourin! xD