Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Not sure what to call this one...

So Hugo has a post up about men and their role in feminist spaces. Go check it out its worth a read but I want to take a bit of space to clear something up.

There's this comment by the user kristina:
No offense to Danny but he comes off as a little whiny, but let me explain. Women have always been policed by women and men to stay in their role, but only recently did men get policed by women to change their role and men to stay in their role (the feminist movement was the start of this). When you look at it in this light it’s obvious to see that men are defending their privilege (their privilege to only be questioned by men). Men are finally feeling the pressure that women have felt for centuries and amazingly enough they are reacting the same way women did when we started the feminist movement…The anger of some men is misdirected at feminists because they(feminists) are speaking up against women’s roles, and therefore threatening men’s roles by adding the pressure that women have ALWAYS felt. So excuse me if I’m missing some sympathy for men who don’t want to separate from the roles SOCIETY is enforcing, the same thing that feminism wants, yet men fight so vehemently against.
I'm gonna be nice and let that first sentence slide. Here goes.
Women have always been policed by women and men to stay in their role, but only recently did men get policed by women to change their role and men to stay in their role (the feminist movement was the start of this).
This is a sentiment that I've heard a few times before. For some reason there are those out there that think that no man has ever been treated unfairly because of his gender until after the start of the feminist movement. Also note how kristina manages to conclude that the pressure on men to change or not is along a strictly gendered line where women are the only ones that want men to change and only men want men to stay the same. My own experience (and I'll bet a lot of other men's experiences too) pretty much show that to be a lie. There are men who want men to change and men who want men to not change. There are women who want men to change and women who want men to not change. Trying to absolve women of any and all wrong doing in the gender realm is NOT going to help make things better for people.
When you look at it in this light it’s obvious to see that men are defending their privilege (their privilege to only be questioned by men).
Lay in the false foundation then build the false house. Yes there are men that are trying to defend their privilege but that does not translate into presuming that every man is doing this. In fact even the existence of male feminists (not to mention MRAs and other men who identify by other titles or no title at all) would contradict that assumption wouldn't it?
Men are finally feeling the pressure that women have felt for centuries and amazingly enough they are reacting the same way women did when we started the feminist movement…
Again with the false house. Who is to say that no man has even wanted to go outside his gender role before now?
The anger of some men is misdirected at feminists because they(feminists) are speaking up against women’s roles, and therefore threatening men’s roles by adding the pressure that women have ALWAYS felt.
This I can agree with. There are some men out there who enjoy unfair privileges and will fight tooth and nail to keep them. Problem is people take that fact, staple it on the foreheads of all men, then cry foul when men aren't coming in droves to joy feminism.
So excuse me if I’m missing some sympathy for men who don’t want to separate from the roles SOCIETY is enforcing, the same thing that feminism wants, yet men fight so vehemently against.
And this is why I don't go rushing to join up with feminism. For some reason the men that don't want society to change for the better are held up as the representation of all of us and then used as "proof" that none of us, except for the few enlightened male feminists want change.

Now that I have that off my chest I will say that she did follow up with this:
Danny, if my assumptions of your intentions are wrong it’s ok to tell me, I won’t jump down your throat just because you’re a man, the only reason I said anything was because it sounded similar to MRA arguments, it was to engage discussion though I may have done that poorly and I’m sorry.
She did apologize for her words and I'm cool with that. Gender is a hot topic and its real easy to to get heated up real fast. But one other thing. "MRA arguments"? I really hope she isn't one of those who has written off the entire MRA movement...

7 comments:

Sonja said...

This bit gets me: "Men are finally feeling the pressure that women have felt for centuries"

Because if men were only policed by other men to be masculine, why were women handing out white feathers to men who did not serve in the armed forces during WW1, branding those men as cowards?

Haven't men traditionally been protectors? Isn't shaming them into fighting a war they may or may not be capable of/willing to fight in trying to keep them in the same role they've been in for millennia?

Danny said...

Exactly. Its amazing that to feminists it seems that the only negative things that happened in the past were committed by men. They'll whine on and on about how "men are the ones that start wars" but will go silent when confronted with the fact that women put their fair share of pressure on men to fight in order to prove their manhood. No we're supposed to believe that women have never supported war efforts. And back in the days of knights and maidens women sure as hell had no problem expecting men to "fight for their honor".

What they don't want to admit is that men are not just finally feeling the pressure but are finally realizing they are under pressure. But what do you expect from people who have already decided that men have had nothing but pleasure since the beginning of recorded history and women have had nothing but pain for even longer than that.

Honestly I think this is a good test to see how committed a feminist is to equality for all people. You would think they wouldn't get so bent out of shape over men trying to speak up for themselves. But they can't stand the fact that women aren't the only ones that need some gender equality.

You know that saying, "feminism is the radical notion that women are people too."? I think somewhere in their attempts at sounding hip they forgot that men are people too.

Sonja said...

Yep. And now they're whining about how women should be allowed on the front-line, then going AWOL because they can't find a babysitter (having no long-term partner) when their unit is activated.

Hmm, being in the military is ALL ABOUT short-notice action! Egads, it's half the reason my job has become harder in the last few weeks - I can't rely on people to be there because the DoD needs them elsewhere.

"You would think they wouldn't get so bent out of shape over men trying to speak up for themselves."

You'd THINK they'd be all for it. Because "feminism is about equality".

Alan said...

I guess I think you're saying the way Kristina put it, is sloppy, using “men” as all men, etc. Sure. But I think the point that men overall haven't responded much at all to feminism in some 30 years is a really good one. To do nothing is to continue the status quo which is defending priviledge. Actually, you'd have to do quite a lot before you'd really even remotely have a chance to change the status of women and the power of sexism.
If someone says “Ouch! You're hurting me!” and you just do nothing, and when they complain, you say, “But I'm just doing what I've been doing.” I think that's most inadequate. I think “men” (figuratively) owe women a comprehensive look at ourselves and a response to what they are saying. I think we have our own story and issues but we're not figuring it out, nor trying. Unless you don't accept most women's concerns but then I say WTF?
In that thread, I pointed to some huge issues full of references for men. I'm afraid nobody over there is even willing to look at it. I need to write it more clearly though.

Danny said...

Thanks for dropping by Allan:
I do agree with what you say here Allan. For the most part men have not been looking at themselves. The problem I have now is that it seems to me that now that men are looking at themselves and their situation there are feminists out there that simply don't like to admit that women are not the only ones that need to have their situation examined and most certainly don't want to admit that women aren't the only ones that need help because of the messed up system we have. This attitude isn't representative of all feminists but it is why I'm a staunch non-feminist.

I don't know if its because feminists think men owe them something, think that we deserve to be mistreated, or what but one thing I do know is that in my attempts to examine myself as a man I've come across hostile feminists as well as friendly feminists as well as neutral feminists. At first I really did try to work with feminists but as I said at Hugo's I learned the hard way that I am just not welcome in most of those spaces. Yeah I was angry for a while but now that I'm getting beyond that I've pretty much said fuck it and decided to strike out on my own. If feminists want to talk to me cool. If they want to work with me cool. If they can't get over themselves and realize they don't have the corner on the gender equality market to the devil with them. If they think I'm going to pretend that they have already unraveled all there is to me as a man and then proceed to flip the fuck out when my experience contradicts the conclusions they've already drawn then to the devil with them.

Danny said...

Had to split this (there is a 3000 character limit on comments here).

If someone says “Ouch! You're hurting me!” and you just do nothing, and when they complain, you say, “But I'm just doing what I've been doing.”
True but to continue your analogy I've realized I have pains of my own to deal with but people like kristina seem to think that I should just ignore my pains a make the pain I'm causing them the only priority, despite the constant assurances "we're all in this together".

I think “men” (figuratively) owe women a comprehensive look at ourselves and a response to what they are saying. I think we have our own story and issues but we're not figuring it out, nor trying.
On the whole you may be right on the not trying part but now I see that some (women and feminists) either want to not respond at all (to give them more to complain about) or only want us to respond in ways they approve of. As you say I have my own story and I'm not going to edit it to suit their tastes. If they want to tell their own story the least they can do is let me tell mine.

Danny said...

And one other thing. For the record Hugo still did not answer my question. I asked:
How are you able to reconcile your efforts to work with women feminists despite there being those among them who speak on the lives of men as if they know them better than actual men?

He responded with:
Danny, feminists don’t act like the life of men is “sunshine and rainbows”. Sexism is not a zero-sum game, and being part of the privileged group is no recipe for happiness.

And Danny, we live in a world where men are encouraged to shut off their emotions, and women encouraged to take care of men — little wonder that in some instances, some women do know men better than they know themselves. That has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with socialization.


Now while he does an interesting job of explaining how we've gotten to this point were women (and feminists) try think they know men better than they know themselves there is nothing in there about how he reconciles his own efforts to be a male feminist in there.

But I do like how he says that being male is not a recipe for happiness. Now if it weren't for all those other feminists who say males are not marginalized, not oppressed, not harmed over their gender, etc....

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