Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What she said

The issue about whether or not men can call themselves feminists isn't one I have a lot of energy for. I think both sides make some good points, but ultimately I just don't care (hey there's another issue, maybe I should start collecting them).

What I do care about is men who pretend to care about women's issues, women's lives, and then proceed to treat women like shit. Girl Bomb does an outstanding job of detailing this phenomena in its different forms. The one that I've come across the most is example two:

Edgy sexy artsy bisexual left-wing guy is always suggestive and provocative, always posting impassioned essays on Art and Politics, and especially Feminism. He talks about the pro-choice rallies and political events he's attended, but he doesn't mention that he went for the chicks. He likes to tell people what feminism does and doesn't mean -- to him, feminism is mostly about "women's freedom to express themselves sexually without being shamed or oppressed by other feminists." Id est: porn, threesomes, and you taking the pill. He'll argue for sex-positive feminism all day long, putting down other feminists for being "patronizing, infantilizing, and patriarchal." PS: He's only pretending to be bisexual.
I have known that guy, more than once; I've known people, I've known groups, damaged by that guy. She's right about everything else as well. That calling yourself a feminist of feigning interest in women's issues is no guarantee . It makes being a woman in left-wing circles so hard, because you can't trust men, not based on what they say. You have to wait until you know them, you have to be careful, and they're supposed to be your comrades.

Do read the whole thing, and check out her signs to look for, they're very useful:
3. Is smarter than you, and more "rational" (i.e., not ruled by terrifying and psychotic mood swings), but doesn't hold that against you. Understands that women are more "emotional" than men, and therefore susceptible to "simple misinterpretation." Smirks, smarms, provokes, and blathers until you go crazy, then calls you crazy.

5 comments:

  1. what kind of man would want to be a feminist

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  2. A particularly suspect one PQ, as the post points out.

    This one is just der echte Hammer:
    "4. Loves porn, even if he pretends to hate it. As a matter of fact, the more he professes to hate it, the more hardcore and specific the porn is."
    Ha ha, she's really got their number! I've known a few of these too. Also applies to non-feminist-posing men, such as SPCS types.

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  3. Interesting post. I'd say I'm all in favour of men supporting feminism -- the only thing I have a problem with is when men who call themselves feminist or pro-feminist want to take over and tell us women what we're doing wrong. ("If you really want men to listen to you, you have to do such-and-such...") Male supporters of feminism are welcome, but they need to remember it's not their movement. (As a comparison -- I'm white and I'm a supporter of Maori people's rights, but I would never in a million years go to a Maori rights meeting and start bossing everyone around and telling them what to do. I also wouldn't call myself a Maori rights activist, because I'm not entitled to; it isn't my movement.)

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  4. I really can't get up the energy for this argument either, but have encountered some of the behviours described by Girlbomb.

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  5. I find it hard to understand why I don't care. I've got in arguments that have lasted for hours about whether women who sleep with men should be able to call themselves lesbians. And I'm not a lesbian.

    Why don't I care about how the word that describes the political ideology I most identify with?

    I actually think it's because defining feminism the way I define it feels like such a rear-guard action, that whether or not men can be feminists is actualy below not letting the media define feminism

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