Stephen Hay (who is a friend of mine) wrote an column in the local university magazine called Why Dudes Should Support Feminists:
This is an article for all the guys who don’t want to be as stupid as Pat Robertson and want to have a look at what Feminism really is. Feminism is a liberation movement. Much like how the people of Vietnam struggle against US imperialism to free their country and have control over there own lives, that’s just what feminists are doing against sexism. So just like the ordinary Americans that had no say on their Government’s foreign policy, but felt they would be complicit if they didn’t stand up and fight, its time (in fact long overdue) for guys to take a look at the sexist world we live in and do something.I wish it was less rare for men to stand up and defend feminism.But what I've been toying up ever since I've read it was the end of the article:
While men may get some small benefit from the sexist society we live in, it is only a fraction of what the people at the top of the system get out of it and an even smaller fraction of what we all could have, if we get rid of that system.I'm really not sure if I agree.
I want to agree, I want to believe (in the words of my once and future boyfriend Joss Whedon) "that misogyny is sucking something from the soul of every man woman and child on this planet". I can certainly see the argument that Stephen is making - which is that sexism divides us up so we're less able to fight capitalism. If men were able to fight sexism so that the working class were no longer . Of course he believes that, he's a Marxist. Even if you're not a Marxist I think there's still a lot in the argument that by dividing men and women sexism and misogyny does harm to everyone.
But I keep wondering if the compensation of a free and equal society would be enough, even if it was a free and equal post revolutionary society.
I don't know, you see. I don't know what it's like to have a 'wife' - someone who (to a greater and lesser degree) facilitates your relationships and emotional needs and does the housework. I'd love to not have to do housework, and relationships and figuring out my emotional needs - that's pretty hard work. Maybe I'd like it quite a lot if I had someone play that role for me.
I don't know what it's like to have walking, talking sexual objects, that are used to the idea that their sexuality, and their bodies, should all be about pleasing you. The idea of walking talking sex objects doesn't really do it for me, but maybe if that was the only way I'd experienced my sexuality I wouldn't want to give it up. Who knows maybe it's great.