If your concern is that you as a man aren’t given space in feminism instead of the fact that women aren’t given space anywhere but feminism, then you are not a feminist ally. You’re an egotistical whiny dude.
These days, before we talk about misogyny, women are increasingly being asked to modify our language so we don’t hurt men’s feelings. Don’t say, “Men oppress women” – that’s sexism, as bad as any sexism women ever have to handle, possibly worse. Instead, say, “Some men oppress women.” Whatever you do, don’t generalise. That’s something men do. Not all men – just some men.
This type of semantic squabbling is a very effective way of getting women to shut up. After all, most of us grew up learning that being a good girl was all about putting other people’s feelings ahead of our own. We aren’t supposed to say what we think if there’s a chance it might upset somebody else or, worse, make them angry. So we stifle our speech with apologies, caveats and soothing sounds. We reassure our friends and loved ones that “you’re not one of those men who hate women”.
What we don’t say is: of course not all men hate women. But culture hates women, so men who grow up in a sexist culture have a tendency to do and say sexist things, often without meaning to. We aren’t judging you for who you are but that doesn’t mean we’re not asking you to change your behaviour. What you feel about women in your heart is of less immediate importance than how you treat them on a daily basis.
You can be the gentlest, sweetest man in the world yet still benefit from sexism. That’s how oppression works.
And they go on to tell us that girls suck at science and math. Fuck you misogyny.
Two other women, also breast cancer survivors, said their husbands left them after they were diagnosed. Both had to have mastectomies (in case anyone doesn’t know, this is the surgical operation to remove one or both breasts).
The first woman said her husband told her that he would rather see her dead than see her lose her breasts. The second woman had her operation and waited all day to be picked up by her husband, who never arrived. By nightfall, one of the nurses offered to give her a ride, and she came home to find the house empty.
Obviously, these are extreme cases of a man’s reaction to his wife’s breast cancer, but this is what I see when I see the “I ♥ Boobies” bracelets. I see love of the body parts, not the person being treated—not the patient, not the victim, not the survivor.
A racist woman is not a feminist; she doesn’t care about helping women, just the women who look like her and can buy the same things she can. A transphobic woman is not a feminist; she is overly concerned with policing the bodies and expressions of others. A woman against reproductive rights — to use bell hook’s own example, and an issue close to your heart — is not a feminist; she prioritizes her dogma or her disgust over the bodies of others. An ableist woman is not a feminist; she holds some Platonic ideal of what a physically or mentally “whole” person should be and tries to force the world to fit inside it.
I do not understand this “male privilege” bullshit.
What. Fucking. Privileges. Do. Men. Have.???????
Name them. I swear, I challenge you to name these “male privileges” and be able to prove them.
Come on, I fucking dare you.
Oh boy. Well, as a man, I’ll tell you my male privilege.
- My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.
- I can be confident in the fact that my co-workers won’t think that I was hired/promoted because of my sex - despite the fact that it’s probably true.
- If I ever am promoted when a woman of my peers is better suited for the job, it is because of my sex.
- If i ever fail at my job or career, it won’t be seen as a blacklist against my sex’s capabilities.
- I am far less likely to face sexual harassment than my female peers.
- If I do the same task as a woman, and if the measurement is at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.
- If I am a teen or an adult, and I stay out of prison, my odds of getting raped are relatively low.
- On average, I’m taught that walking alone after dark by myself is less than dangerous than it is for my female peers.
- If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be questioned.
- If I do have children but I do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be questioned.
- If I have children and I do care for them, I’ll be praised even if my care is only marginally competent.
- If I have children and a career, no one will think I’m selfish for not staying at home.
- If I seek political office, my relationship with my children or who I deem to take care of them will more often not be scrutinized by the press.
- My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious the position, the more this is true.
- When i seek out “the person in charge”, it is likely that they will be someone of my own sex. The higher the position, the more often this is true.
- As a child, chances are I am encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters.
- As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children’s media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male protagonists were (and are) the default.
- As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often.
- If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it has sexist overtones. (Nobody’s going to ask if I’m upset because I’m menstruating.)
- I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented.
- If I’m careless with my financial affairs it won’t be attributed to my sex.
- If I’m careless with my driving it won’t be attributed to my sex.
- I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.
- Even if I sleep with a lot of women, there is little to no chance that I will be seriously labeled a “slut,” nor is there any male counterpart to “slut-bashing.”
- I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability.
- My clothing is typically less expensive and better-constructed than women’s clothing for the same social status. While I have fewer options, my clothes will probably fit better than a woman’s without tailoring.
- The grooming regimen expected of me is relatively cheap and consumes little time.
- If I buy a new car, chances are I’ll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car. The same goes for other expensive merchandise.
- If I’m not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore.
- I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.
- I can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called “crime” and is a general social concern. (Violence that happens mostly to women is usually called “domestic violence” or “acquaintance rape,” and is seen as a special interest issue.)
- I can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. “All men are created equal,” mailman, chairman, freshman, he.
- My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
- I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.
- The decision to hire me will not be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.
- Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is pictured as male.
- Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.
- If I have a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are we’ll divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks.
- If I have children with my girlfriend or wife, I can expect her to do most of the basic childcare such as changing diapers and feeding.
- If I have children with my wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are we’ll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.
- Assuming I am heterosexual, magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to me sexually. Such images of men exist, but are rarer.
- In general, I am under much less pressure to be thin than my female counterparts are. If I am over-weight, I probably suffer fewer social and economic consequences for being fat than over-weight women do.
- If I am heterosexual, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover.
- Complete strangers generally do not walk up to me on the street and tell me to “smile.”
- Sexual harassment on the street virtually never happens to me. I do not need to plot my movements through public space in order to avoid being sexually harassed, or to mitigate sexual harassment.
- On average, I am not interrupted by women as often as women are interrupted by men.
- On average, I will have the privilege of not knowing about my male privilege.
And lastly, I am taken as a more credible feminist than my female peers, despite the fact that the feminist movement is not liberating to my sex.
This is male privilege.
THIS. THIS IS HOW YOU BE A MALE FEMINIST.
Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuu very much.
Mona Eltahawy’s version of feminism gets slammed.
This was so fascinating. It would have been anyway, but especially since I’m living in Abu Dhabi right now.
sometimes if you vomit enough rainbow and explanation marks it does make a difference!!!!
this is why i get grossed out when ppl say the ONLY way to educate people is by yelling at themyeah but the person she educated wasn’t a dick. He asked questions and he didn’t insult her. I think that’s the reason he got the response that he did. And it’s great.
cambridge university students were asked on campus why they needed feminism. here are 60 answers. click the link for over about 600 more.
This is amazing
why make tumblr posts about female harassment and rape and stuff. get off the political justice high horse and go act on your beliefs if they’re really that strong and maybe make a difference.
You say that as though building awareness and advocacy with thousands of other people somehow isn’t “doing something”.
I think frequently what people mean by this is that they don’t think what you do on the computer “counts” like going to a protest.
They don’t understand that your congressperson no longer cares how many people are on the Mall waving signs. They have no accurate count (or even a guesstimate) for how many of those are their constituents, so it doesn’t matter. Sending them an email (preferably coherent and personal, not a form letter) really is what works. No, not a handwritten paper letter—staffers hate that and it might just get trashed. Email, they can sort through and count up easily. Talking to their scheduler to get an appointment to talk to someone in the office (probably a staffer or if you’re lucky, chief of staff—the congressperson is busy voting in sessions or reading those bills you want them to read or on the phone with an agency about why Sarah’s WIC stopped or Joe’s VA benefits haven’t shown up in 2 months—but that’s fine, the staff write the bills and advise the member, that’s their job) works too. Just showing up, you might not find anyone with time to talk to you.
They also don’t understand that some people are bedridden. Some people can’t ride on airplanes or trains because they can’t sit up for more than an hour at a time. Some people can’t risk being there when the cops pull out pepper spray, because their throat will close up and they will die if they come into contact with capsaicin (the chemical that makes peppers hot). The Capitol & Congressional office buildings are very wheelchair-friendly despite being exempt from ADA (the Architect of the Capitol cares a lot), but chronic fatigue and chronic pain aren’t magically fixed by that.
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