Question to feminists. - Page 13

Question to feminists.

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  1. #121

    A lot of male problems are mired in misogyny, in fact, so feminism will talk about those.
    "You see, it was understandable for me to want to be a tomboy and do ďboyĒ thingsóbecause men are better, after all. But for a guy to want to be feminine? Unthinkable. Now, while this double standard affects men negatively, itís mired in misogynyóthe idea, of course, is that thereís nothing worse than being a girl. Think about it. Girls can wear pants; boys canít wear skirts. Girls can play with trucks, but the minute I caught one of my little boy cousins playing with a doll, he threw it across the room with a look of shame on his face. Itís demeaning to be female, and boys learn that from an early age."
    --from Jessica Valenti, Heís a Stud, Sheís a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know.
    Thing though, although feminism is about equal rights, it is also about recognising where they are not equal, and about helping in a way such as to create equality. Which, in the case of inequality, means helping unequally - based on need, in order to create equality. A man may be limited in how he can act because if he acts according to any part of his character that is seen as 'feminine' then he will be stigmatised. But women - who and what they are, or are seen to be, is seen as awful and as a way to insult and shame others. To be insulted and shamed is shitty - to have your identity used as a label of shame points to the real power dynamic - and is also really shitty.

    The untangling of misogynistic power dynamics and bullshit gender roles is part of feminism and both men and women can benefit from that.

    Like rape culture. It blames women for being raped, being sexual, for being seen as sexual, for, you know, being raped. It puts women in charge of men's sexuality. It's a way to oppress and abuse women. It also paints men as unable to control their urges, buys will be boys, yada, which although not oppressive, is still discriminatory.
    "The thing is, itís patriarchy that says men are stupid and monolithic and unchanging and incapable. Itís patriarchy that says men have animalistic instincts and just canít stop themselves from harassing and assaulting. Itís patriarchy that says men can only be attracted by certain qualities, can only have particular kinds of responses, can only experience the world in narrow ways. Feminism holds that men are capable of more Ė are more than that."
    That sort of worldview is also part of the 'men can't be raped - they want it - it is feminine and weak to be raped - it makes you a pussy' victim-blaming that attached to male rape victims.
    snail, R22, heartturnedtoporcelain and 5 others thanked this post.

  2. #122

    Quote Originally Posted by Torai View Post
    In all the TV shows I've watched, the rape victims they take seriously are almost always women and children.
    The problem here is that the ones you are referring to I'm guessing, all involve women who are violently assaulted by someone they know or random strangers. It's not the same for date rape at all. Then it's your fault, you should have known better, etc., etc. I've known guys who've been raped, it is a problem, but socialization can fix that. We can't just influence other men the same way, but we can try to influence other women at least. Personally, I've never heard a female say that guys can't be raped but I have heard the "joke" and it's not funny. Anyhoo...
    lirulin thanked this post.

  3. #123

    First of all,
    The Male Privilege Checklist | Alas, a Blog
    White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
    Privilege Checking Resource

    Having said that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidean View Post
    Very time I talk to feminists in the real world it always revolves around women, which is cool. I like talking about women issues. However, we never discuss men.

    So I would like to hear a feminist perspective about mens issue. I would like to hear their theory on a few issues. So I would like to hear why you think men kill themselves more often, develop a substance abuse problem more often, more likely to go to gaol, drop out of school compared to women.
    Going back to the OP, I'll answer from my own perspective as a former Women's and Gender Studies/Sociology student and as someone who currently works in a feminist Women's Centre collective and have also volunteered in a sexual assault crisis program. I'm a white, upper-middle class, cisgendered, heterosexual presenting woman in a relationship with a cisgendered heterosexual man, with a university education and a full time job - I have a lot of privilege and I try to acknowledge it in the work I do.

    In my own personal theory that I've developed through a combination of my education, work experience, and personal research, I feel that feminism encompasses all genders and all people, with the main focus beginning with patriachy. I do not believe in any "us" vs "them mentalities and I do not believe that men are out to get women, but that patriarchy is a definition of how our society currently works. I believe anyone can be a feminist, and it's not a realm strictly reserved for women. My own personal activism involves work with men, women, trans, and genderqueer folks. In the Sexual Assault Crisis Program I volunteered with I was on call various nights to go to the hospital when someone had been sexually assaulted. The program is for men, women, trans folks, children but as far as I know only a couple of male children were ever seen and only one male client was seen, and he came in from a local prison. The same centre that opperates this program also has an abusive relationship program but with two prongs - the first is for anyone experiencing abuse whether they're gay, straight, bi, or men, women, trans, genderqueer (but again, I don't think any men have gone through that side of the program up to this point). The second is for abusers, which has so far been exclusively men taking part. This is the only program in my city that will work with couples currently in an abusive relationship. I do believe change is possible, but i think it's rare that abusers actually WANT to change, however the program has had a lot of successes and I'm really happy it exists. The women (both biologically and trans women) I tend to work with at my paid job are not in relationships with abusers who are wanting or willing to change. Feminism has done a lot in it's 100 or so years (of going by that name, anyway) but patriarchy still exists and so does an unsettling amount of oppression and my feminism also encompasses race, class, age, ability, and pretty much any -ism you can come up with.

    It's very important to me personally to try to be inclusive as possible in all area's of my life and my main focus is oppression as a whole. This is more or less the way I was taught feminism in my academic career as well as in my work. I'm very careful when speaking to never make generalizations because I know that they are not a rule and that not everyone will fall into them. I don't like assumptions.

    I personally did a lot of work on how patriarchal society is harmful to men and boys, as well as people who don't fit either gender category. I really like reading theory on hegemonic masculinity and the ways that it's harmful to both men and women. Jackson Katz has done some great work really highlighting this. Jackson Katz | Anti-Sexist Activist, Speaker, Author, Film-maker

    I do NOT believe in equality with men. I believe that the current patriarchal system is unworkable and not that we need to "get to where men are" but that we need to break down the whole system and start re-wiring it. I personally feel that prescribed gender roles are harmful to everyone. Those who fall outside of any expected roles are often ostracized or bullied. Many people go through life completely repressed and unhealthy because they don't live in an environment that allows them to be open and honest. Like others have already stated, men are expected to always be strong, breadwinners. They're expected to fulfill hegemonic masculine roles that they often don't agree with. A culture of violence and rape is perpetuated by that kind of masculinity. I'm not saying there aren't men who are naturally more masculine, who may fit some of those stereotypes and be healthy and happy - but I think that anyone who wants to stray from that definition of maleness should be allowed to do so without worrying if they'll be noticed. This current patriarchal, hegemonic masculine way of thinking does no favours for anyone. I don't think the things you listed are a result of feminism, but a result of a culture that is resisting fundamental and necessary changes.

    In my personal experience as a student, volunteer, and activist, I have found that this is a fairly common view of feminism among people my age who are involved in it. But I also acknowledge that there are probably as many feminism's as there are feminists and I can't claim to speak for anyone else.
    snail, R22, lirulin and 3 others thanked this post.

  4. #124

    It's not letting me edit my post but I also wanted to add a great resource by bell hooks, http://excoradfeminisms.files.wordpr..._everybody.pdf
    In particular, you may be interested in Chapter 12, Feminist Masculinity.
    lirulin and Paragon thanked this post.

  5. #125

    This author also has a website regarding the patriarchy that some PerC members may be interested in:

    The Gender Knot | Allan G. Johnson
    lirulin and perfectcircle thanked this post.

  6. #126

    Quote Originally Posted by R22 View Post
    This author also has a website regarding the patriarchy that some PerC members may be interested in:

    The Gender Knot | Allan G. Johnson
    That sounds like right up my alley. I clearly identify as a post-modern feminist so I'd be interested to hear what other self-identified feminists have to say about transgressing current mainstream ideas of gender.

  7. #127

    Quote Originally Posted by R22 View Post
    This author also has a website regarding the patriarchy that some PerC members may be interested in:

    The Gender Knot | Allan G. Johnson
    The Gender Knot was a terrible read.

  8. #128

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidean View Post
    The Gender Knot was a terrible read.
    Was it for the theory of the writing? I haven't read it but just looked at the amazon write up and some of the reviews.

  9. #129

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyhead View Post
    Was it for the theory of the writing? I haven't read it but just looked at the amazon write up and some of the reviews.
    It was the theory. He did not discuss the biology of the subject, that did it for me (and if he did I do not remember it).

  10. #130

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyhead View Post
    I do NOT believe in equality with men. I believe that the current patriarchal system is unworkable and not that we need to "get to where men are" but that we need to break down the whole system and start re-wiring it.

    Cheers :)
    perfectcircle thanked this post.

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