"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Feminist vs. Pro-Feminist - Missing the Main Point?

(I tried to post this elsewhere in response to another posting referenced two postings before mine and am trying to add a little to it.)


I think that whether a man can be a "feminist" or "pro-feminist" is really missing the most basic issue. Women face issues of sexism regularly in their lives (as People of Color face racism).

As men we can be "nice guys" while not substantively confronting and helping end sexism. Women have regular reminders that they are "only a woman".

For men to really be supportive of feminism we need to both support women and to affirmatively work with men to help end misogyny.

Such work can clearly be at many levels from confronting sexist jokes and statements to working with batterers and "normal men" (who aren't visibly misogynst)to help change our whole culture.

When we as men do even 25% of the work that women do, I'll start being concerned about what title we have.

In the 1960's when I was a teenager Black folks said to White folks that it was time that we should start leaving the leadership of the Black focussed groups to Black people. What nearly all of us White People missed then was the addendum that we needed to work among White people to end racism in our communities.

Similarly, it's way past the time for us Men to start doing the hard work with other men! It's much easier to cozy up to Women. It's much easier to talk with men about "safe topics". Similarly if we want to change the political status quo we need to work and organize and not to simply cozy up among our allies and bemoan our fates or celebrate the recent failures of many on the right.

In "my day" in the 1980's - men's violence issues were predominant. They're still important. No doubt today we can look at many many issues where we need to confront "maleness" and how it impacts both men's and women's lives. I would think that issues of video games, web exploitation and many other issues would become apparent to anyone who thinks much as well as militarism, homophobia, etc.

Thanks!



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