It's about time!
Apr. 10th, 2007 @ 10:25 am
Hear ye, hear ye!
Go read this: link
Then come back here and post your thoughts. It's about time, I say.
|Date:||April 10th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)|| |
Ok. Well, first, it seems like this guy has already accepted stock feminist dogma and has tailored all of his arguments to come to conclusions he long ago made, making broad dismissals without giving credence to other viewpoints.
I think it's particularly sad when a man falls for this type of thinking. Feminism is concerned about women, not men. It is bent around the notion that women are inherently less endowed with personal rights than men, and seems to be staying there. If, by the standards of gender equality, we must replace "he" with "he or she" (a sentiment I agree with), then why must we not at the same time replace "feminism" with "humanism".
Feminism (as a body of thought) doesn't address gross disparities gender politics that have existed since its foundation. There are literal Jim Crow laws affecting men. A single man can't enter a Chuck E. Cheese anymore, according to company policy. 70% of successful suicides are male. Less money is raised for Prostate Cancer than Breast Cancer and more men die. We have shorter life expectancy due to inadequate medical care. We can get drafted. We have less chance of getting the kids in divorce settlements. We pay more, straight out, for car insurance. Aside from occasional single (and appreciated) voices from the feminist community, there has been nothing to address these truths.
When the feminist community starts acting like it truly wants equality, namely by giving the concerns of men and children the same level of consideration that women have historically gotten, I might consider all points as having a chance for validity. But the name, Feminism, is truly indicative of the mindset we're working with. If a movement calls for men and woman to give up their preconcieved notions about gender and have a dialogue, it needs to put the terms on neutral ground. Feminism, by name and by dogma, is not neutral. And you cannot expect dialogue or participation from men if you continue to ignore them.
I don't want to come off as uncaring. I believe in the same goals as most moderate feminists. I just think that the movement and is still coming off of an era of groundbreaking advances in the aims of women's equality, and to change the name would be to deny the progress they made. I understand. But the end result is that radical feminists of a pro-woman bent are going to find a far more comfortable existence in the community than someone of similar radical proclivity sporting a pro-man bent. This speaks of a broad bias, however correct or incorrect it may be- and bias has no place in a school of thought that claims to be seeking equality.
Honestly, I would be more happy with a feminism that stuck to the goals of promoting the rights and identity of women. Without attempting to take on the mantle of gender neutrality, feminism can maintain its identity and help a lot of women find a community and promote their views. It's notsomuch that men do not want to consider or espouse feminist viewpoints, it's just that as of today, the prevailing feminist zeitgeist has little to do with them. The hostility with which the author of the piece attacked viewpoints other than his own is, I think, testament to the kind of reception the uninitiated but interested male recieves. The author went as far as to say that men who accepted traditional gender values were "stupid". That's hardly inviting. But it's sortof typical, especially among the ranks of the newly-intiated, and particularly among feminist men.
Wow. Well, it's been a while since I got to rail like that. I promise I'm not a jerk.
This is exactly what I wanted to get when I posted that link. Yay for lively discussion.
I'm at work right now, but when I get home I promise to read your post at length and post a reply.
|Date:||April 13th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)|| |
The lively discussion has seemed to die down. I mostly agree with most of what Billy said and would comment myself but I could not eclipse his way of saying it so I'll just say I agree with him. Of course, I'm a male and, therefore, am now considered a jerk along with Billy, if such was already thought.
I still liked the article and felt it was well written. But, the points I did not agree with so much. But, I'm not as strong felt on my opinions on the subject, as say Billy is, so again, thsi is the best you'll get from me.
Owlmoose, I'd still like to read your reasons for disagreement.
That is a fabulous article, and I wish I had more time to go through with a point-to-point explaining why. Maybe when I get home. But thank you for sharing it.
I could not disagree more with the other commenter. Again, no time to make coherant arguments now, but I will get back to it.
I confess I did not care for the article. I also did not agree with it academically. These are two very different but important things to note in my opinion. I had high hopes for the article given its topic as it seems to me the feminist movement has fallen from the public's eye as a matter of import. There is still much to be accomplished in the way of equal opportunity, treatment, and justice for the sexes (to include the now diverse selection of genders). I agree with the author on these points and was glad to see someone approach the issue.
I did not 'like' the article for it's tone and deviation from an academic mode. There are far too many strong descriptors and unqualified generalizations of my sex to suit my taste. The author seems to assert that the problem lies with all men, including the 'most progressive, repeatedly which surely cannot be accurate or considerate of the reader (especially in the case of males who would otherwise be sympathetic to the cause). Of the many slanders laid upon 'men' in general is the proposition that feminism (re-defined as humanism) is being held back by men and that, as such, it is men who are holding back the progress of all mankind. The language is very strong and unbalanced, presenting women as without extremist or abusive factions or individuals. Again, granted, being a male it is possible this is a defensive, emotional response but I honestly believe my reaction would be the same should such generalizations be made of the entire opposite sex.
I disagree with the article academically as a great deal must be accepted as truth to lay the foundation for this article. Chiefly, that all men (even progressive ones) strongly oppose the feminist movement. Many? Certainly. Most? Quite possibly, but here sits at least one who is contrary to that fundamental assumption. Second, it is asserted that the feminist movement in itself is without internal fault prohibiting progress and that the betterment of all mankind is hindered completely by men. As I often like to say, "I supported feminism until I met a feminist." There is a great deal of factionalism within the feminist movement that both cause internal strife (preventing a unified movement) and damage the cause through poor example (extremists and hypocrits). Such is the case with any movement and were I not readily able to provide examples from my personal life I would simply say it is reasonable to believe such troubles would be found in the feminist movement by extension.
Even the very premise of the article seems contradicted by its delivery and arguments. The conclusion urges a unification of the sexes for the common good, to discard artificial roles and redefine ourselves for the progress of all mankind. Yet the majority of the article singles out the males of the species and piles labels, roles, and generalizations about them throughout. I feel the ultimate goal of combating racism, for example, is for children to one day not comprehend any distinction between people based on cosmetic differences. As such, I feel organizations such as the NAACP are harmful as they must constantly re-enforce a division between 'black' and 'other' to exist. There can be no National Association for the Advancement of Colored People if there is no distinction between race. Likewise, feminism cannot exist without a distinction between the sexes. In this light, perhaps it would have been better for the author to have bypassed feminism altogether and make a call for a larger humanist movement. The author's 'us and them' mentality seems to be the ultimate enemy of humanism (or feminism for that matter) and thus destructive to the cause the author professes to support.
On a final note, I found only two references to males being victimized. First the author claims that men as well as women and 'the black man across the street' (by saying this we can only assume the author really means 'white men' when the word men is used, and is thus exhibiting a racist worldview) are victims of the larger machine. This seems to be a call to arms, informing men that they are but tools as well and they should turn against the powers that be. Yet, elsewhere the author characterizes the greater machine as being patriarchal in nature and, in fact, man. This may seem like a stretch, but at the very least my readers might see how I find the author's granting that men may be victims as well has an ulterior motive. Secondly there is the reference to abused children. While the author does admit that male children are also abused the author asserts this to be done only by the father. Further, the author claims male children often, in turn, abuse their sisters. I do not deny these situations happen. They are, however, not ALL that happens. Boys are abused by their mothers, sisters, female teachers, and other women in positions of power, not just older males.
With my attempt to approach this article as fairly and impartially (or at least introspectively to grant a transparent hermeneutics of suspicion) complete, I would like to part with a single, personal bias:
Boys get abused too. Only nobody seems to give a fuck about the boys.
|Date:||May 12th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)|| |
And just for fun