"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

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday Linky Goodness: Feminism 101 and "Things Happen to Men, Too!"

Tekanji has a fantastic post/FAQ up over at Feminism101 regarding "What’s wrong with saying that things happen to men, too?" (Full disclosure: In her 'other reading' section, she quotes a couple of posts from Feminist Allies, one by me and one by Dave.)

Tekanji's take on the work that men need to do, and the importance that context plays as regards discussions of what hurts men, is particularly lucid:
No one is saying that discussions on men and masculinities shouldn’t go on. It is absolutely important to have dialogue on men’s issues, including discussions on violence done towards men. The thing is, a feminist space — unless the topic is specifically men’s issues — is not the place to have that discussion and neither are spaces (feminist or otherwise) in which the topic is specifically focused on women’s issues. What it boils down to is this: Men, not women, need to be the ones creating the spaces to discuss men’s issues. There are a lot of feminist allies who do this, in fact, and there also a lot of non-feminist (or anti-feminist, if you really want to go there) spaces that are welcoming to this kind of discussion. Thus, the appropriate response to a thread about women is not to post a comment on it about men, but rather to find (or make) a discussion about men.

Now, I consider FA a feminist space. As such, certain types of discussion will be discouraged. But at the same time, I wonder if FA couldn't sometimes be a discussion forum for some of this stuff that many of us deem as inappropriate in some feminist women's spaces. What do y'all think? Is FA an appropriate forum for discussions about men's violence against men? About men and porn? If there were more forums where men could discuss such things, and do some good work in helping men overcome the negatives caused (in part) by conceptions of traditional masculinity, would it be worth having this be (in part) one of those forums?
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